Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello Again, Oscar.

It's Academy Award time again.  Last year, my predictions were way off base. 

Today I am going to make a fool out of myself again and attempt to predict the winners.



BEST PICTURE

Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

They were all fabulous movies. I don't think anyone would argue if any one of them won. I going to go with Lincoln.

BEST ACTOR

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

In all honestly, I can't seem to shake the image of Jackman with claws when he sings.  Cooper is great, but again, I think his comedic background hurts him here. I never go against Day-Lewis anyway, it's his to lose, I think.

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
 
This one is tough to call. Precedent has been set twice already in this category.  It would not surprise me if 9 year old Wallis, already the youngest actress to be nominated, wins. Same for the the oldest actress ever to be nominated, 85 year old Riva, from France. Lawrence, 22, nominated just two years ago for the film Winter's Bone, will win an Oscar, not just this year. I love for Watts to win, but I think Chastain will get the nod.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Wow, this is another one that is difficult. DeNiro is my all-time favorite actor, probably because he was in many great movies in my formative years. Hoffman is so good in everything. Incidentally, one of the best movies of 1999 I loved, Flawless, had both of these great actors in it. TLJ of MIB fame, is another one of my favs. He was awesome in "In The Valley of Elah. Waltz is another talent that I discovered through Tarantino's brilliant Inglorious Basterds. Arkin, at 78, the oldest of the field, will get this one.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Ann Hathaway can sing and act. Both are on great display in Les Mis. I don't know much of the Australian, Weaver, but she was great in the other movie, Animal Kingdom, that I did see. It's been a fabulous comeback for Hunt, who has been scarce since 2000's Play It Forward. I have a soft spot for Adams, there is that girl next door quality about her and I want her to win. I think though, Field,  brilliant as Mary Todd Lincoln, is going to collect it. 

BEST DIRECTOR

Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

You are going to hear the name Benh Zeitlin for many years to come. Only 30, he will have his time, for sure, but not this year.

Russell is a great director. The Fighter is among the best boxing movies ever made. He's not going to win either.

Heneke is somewhat unfamiliar to western audiences. His films are somewhat dark and disturbing, but I have to say Amour is his best work to date. He won't win, though.

Lee is one the diverse directors that ever lived. He can do all genres, and do them brilliantly. As visually stunning Life of Pi is, he won't win. I think he should.

This leaves Spielberg, one of my favorite directors of all time, if not my favorite. This probably stems from the fact that he made some the greatest films of all time during my childhood through adolescence. 

Lincoln was incredible, definitely in his top 5, and he will win as best director, but not one of my favorites of his.



BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
John Gatins, Flight
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

This is another tough one.  Three of these were written or co-written by the directors. I would love for Gatins, who wrote Reel Steel, to win. Tarantino, as lauded he is as a director, is arguably the best screenwriter today. I think Boal will get it with ZD30, but I think Anderson and Coppola should win it.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David Magee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo

I have read the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin on which Kushner's script is based. Not to take anything away from the others, but that was a marvelous feat. However, Terrio's Argo will win this one.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfit
Wreck-It Ralph

I am a huge Tim Burton fan, so I want Frankenweenie to win.  My son says Wreck-It Ralph, my daughter says Brave.  It's a toss up.

Well, there it is. I'm not going to get into the other categories right now. I have to watch the other foreign films and watch the other movies again to actually do that.  I am not sure if anyone else would care anyways.

Anybody else have any picks?

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