Projection Oscar: Oscar Predictions, 2/6/2013
So…interesting bit that my Best Picture prediction hasn’t changed my final pre-nomination article. At the first of the year, it seemed to me that Argo truly was the consensus pick that Oscar was looking for, and in spite of that scurrilous Best Director omission, the film has settled as the dominant force in the Oscar race. Funny that this most unpredictable of Oscar seasons has seen one of the more dominant across-the-guild showings in recent memory, with Ben Affleck’s film winning top honors from PGA, SAG, and DGA. And yes, we have one precedent for a film pulling the guild hat trick and still coming up short on Oscar night – Apollo 13 in 1995 – so there is reason to doubt, but little reason not to acknowledge that Argo is the frontrunner as we progress…slower this year than ever before…to the Big Night.
We also now know that in a head-to-head competition, Jennifer Lawrence beat Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts for Best Actress…but since Emmanuelle Riva wasn’t a SAG nominee, she is the wild card that could tip the race. Tommy Lee Jones, scowling and absent, won the Supporting Actor SAG prize, though that category is still in flux as Oscar voting is set to commence.
We have to start piecing together winning paths for Argo, which can certainly still rack up the most wins on Oscar night without being able to win Best Director. Or there is Lincoln, trying to be this year’s Braveheart. Honestly, Life of Pi seems to have the clearest path to many wins, and if it is able to land those wins, why wouldn’t it also win Best Director, and with it, Best Picture? Or hell, Silver Linings is still a Harvey Pet Project, and who knows who he is currently schmoozing or strangling…
The race as it stands, as perplexing as ever, even if it seems like many races should be locked in…
1. Argo – You have to consider it the consensus frontrunner at this point. Anything else is speculation.
2. Lincoln – If there was gonna be a “Braveheart over Apollo 13” scenario, this would be it.
3. Silver Linings Playbook – Still in the thick of the race because it’s loved…and because of Harvey.
4. Life of Pi – A big below-the-line favorite could bode well for its upset chances.
5. Amour – More popular than you might think, but probably not a threat to win BP.
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild – A bright burst of ingenuity that the Academy obviously respects. Not a likely winner, but among the top group.
7. Zero Dark Thirty – Too much controversy. Not happening.
8. Les Miserables – Too polarizing. Not happening.
9. Django Unchained – Not Harvey’s Chosen One. Not happening.
1. Ang Lee, Life of Pi – Not comfortable with the pick, but if there is a Picture-Director split,
this could be the one to take it.
2. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln – Still a prestige selection. Definitely a possibility.
3. Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild – I could see this happening in a Picture-Director split, too. Honoring the upstart young filmmaker with a singular vision is a plausible outcome.
4. Michael Haneke, Amour – It will be his most honored film, but I think his reward will come in the Original Screenplay category.
5. David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook – Not a “Director’s Movie.”
1. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook – Hers to lose.
2. Emmanuelle Riva, Amour – Big potential spoiler. Big.
3. Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty – The SAG loss hurts.
4. Naomi Watts, The Impossible – SAG loss hurts her even more, since she was the actors’ darling this year.
5. Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild – The “she will have many more years ahead of her” line applies here more than ever.
1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln – Yep.
2. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables – I suppose he’s the closest thing to second place, but in a race this over, he’s just the ringleader of the also-rans.
3. Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook – A “welcome to the club” honor.
4. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master – The nomination is proof of how brilliant the performance is. But they’ll never let him win.
5. Denzel Washington, Flight – This nomination was always all about the nomination.
Best Supporting Actress
1. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables – 95%.
2. Sally Field, Lincoln – The other 5%.
3. Helen Hunt, The Sessions – Welcome back.
4. Amy Adams, The Master – Her time will come…truly.
5. Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook – A coattail nomination for a well-loved actress.
Best Supporting Actor
1. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln – SAG gives Grumpy a boost. He’s been at the top of my leaderboard since late October.
2. Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook – Making a big push. Could be the winner.
3. Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained – Third in a three-man race, but still a possibility.
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master – Great work…probably not a winner.
5. Alan Arkin, Argo – Distant fifth.
Best Original Screenplay
1. Amour, Michael Haneke – Feels like that strong foreign film that can win Screenplay.
2. Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino – Will be close between QT and Haneke.
3. Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal – Now that those vocal few hate Boal, he likely has no chance. Yet the film is still loved among the quiet majority.
4. Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola – At one time seemed like the destined winner.
5. Flight, John Gatins – Give me a break.
Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Lincoln, Tony Kushner – Tentatively sticking with what seemed like a lock a month ago. But…
2. Argo, Chris Terrio — …A win here could sort of be the replacement win for the Best Director omission.
3. Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell – They really love the movie…but with all the firepower in this category, probably not gonna happen.
4. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar, Behn Zeitlin – More likely to win Best Director, honestly.
5. Life of Pi, David Magee – Not a “Screenplay Movie” in the slightest.
Best Animated Feature
1. Wreck-It Ralph – Gonna be close. All the love has gone to Ralph…
2. Frankenweenie – Yet the Academy might love the chance to honor Tim Burton for such a personal work.
5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Best Foreign Language Film
1. Amour – Seems obvious.
3. A Royal Affair
4. War Witch
Best Documentary Feature
1. Searching for Sugar Man – Frontrunner by virtue of its broad guild support.
2. The Invisible War – It’s importance and topical nature could push it to the win.
3. How to Survive a Plague – The best film in the category…
4. The Gatekeepers
5. 5 Broken Cameras
Best Production Design
2. Anna Karenina
3. Les Miserables
4. Life of Pi
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
1. Life of Pi – Seems like the Avatar Prize.
2. Skyfall – Close on Pi’s heels. Deakins’ most celebrated recent work.
4. Django Unchained
5. Anna Karenina
Best Film Editing
1. Argo – Banking on this one. Another tie that binds the film to the Best Picture prize.
3. Life of Pi
4. Zero Dark Thirty – The best-edited film in the group will be denied here.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1. Les Miserables – As the only “prestige film” in the category, seems like a good way to honor the film.
2. Hitchcock – The kind of schlocky makeup work that can actually win sometimes.
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Or maybe this wins. Probably the most complex work in the category. Kind of open.
Best Costume Design
1. Anna Karenina – A great place to honor an undervalued film.
2. Lincoln – In a Lincoln sweep, this would be an obvious choice.
3. Les Miserables
4. Snow White and the Huntsman – Potential spoiler.
5. Mirror Mirror
Best Original Score
1. Argo – Part of Argo’s Best Picture string.
2. Life of Pi – The obvious alternative.
4. Anna Karenina
Best Original Song
1. “Skyfall” from Skyfall – Over. Nothing else matters.
2. “Suddenly” from Les Miserables
3. “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted
4. “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi
5. “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice
Best Sound Editing
1. Argo – Part of the string…
2. Life of Pi
4. Django Unchained
5. Zero Dark Thirty
Best Sound Mixing
1. Argo – Part of the string…
2. Life of Pi
3. Lincoln – Could be the surprise winner if the Sound categories are split.
4. Les Miserables
Best Visual Effects
1. Life of Pi – Clear frontrunner.
2. Snow White and the Huntsman – Could be a real surprise.
3. The Avengers
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Projected Winning Totals:
Life of Pi: 3
Les Miserables: 2
Silver Linings Playbook: 1