Sunday, February 24, 2013


It is that time again and this year is looking very interesting. I know a lot of people think the Oscars is just another evening full of celebrity self-fladulation, and undeserved pretentiousness. We grumble that the awards show is a snooze fest and out of touch with modern audiences. But there are those of us who try to believe in the magic of Oscar night, even if the show isn't perfect.

There are so many things to love about the event, like the red carpet which is always an incredible showcase of designer fashion, the speeches and live performances are always fun. And every now and then we get to witness a host go down in flames. I'm looking at you James Franco.

But, the best part of the Oscars having an opportunity to get a glimpse of the people behind the camera. I have always been more interested in the writers, editors, cinematographers, composers, costume designers and other craftsmen and women involved in the business of film. These behind the scenes players usually give awkwardly endearing, or short and humble speeches that are typically forgotten by morning. But while everyone else focuses on the worst dressed list, I tend to think about all the hard working people who were recognized for their work. That's what I like to believe the Oscars are about, despite all evidence to the contrary.

I really suck at predicting the Academy Award winners. I think I just have a different perspective than those who actually get to vote. I always root for the nominee whom I believe deserves it the most, and that rarely meshes with the Academy's choices. I'm also completely indecisive and can see how multiple films deserve to win. I only get a few predictions right every year, but don't count me out just yet. If I can get 3 predictions right, I will count that as a win!

So, At the risk of humiliating myself... I present -- My 2013 Oscar Predictions:

Visual Effects Nominees: 

The Hobbit: and Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

Winner: Life of Pi

I'm conflicted about this one but I think this will be Life of Pi's big win for the night. I was really surprised to see Snow White and the Huntsman on this list. But if you look back at my review of this film you'll see that the only thing I praised was the beautiful imagery.

Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees

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

Winner: Beasts of the Southern Wild

I think this will be the big award for Beasts of the Southern Wild, or at least I hope it is. I can also see the award going to critic favorites Argo, or Silver Linings Playbook. I think this award will set the stage for many other awards throughout the night. If Beasts of the Southern Wild wins, I think there is a chance the Academy will make more unconventional choices this year.

Best Original Screenplay Nominees:

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

Winner: Zero Dark Thirty

I can also see this award going to Amour. While I absolutely loved the film, I think the writing in Zero Dark Thirty might just be too controversial and could lose out. Amour with its more subtle themes might appeal more to the Academy. They are such different films, it's hard to know.

Sound Editing Nominees:

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: Django Unchained

The sound was pretty incredible in Django. But Zero Dark Thirty had amazing sound as well. Especially during the scenes in Bin Laden's compound. The flash bangs, and the chaotic near silence was great. But I can't forget the sound of Django's whip.

Sound Mixing Nominees:

Les Miserables
Life of Pi

Winner: Les Miserables

I think this is a tough one but I think Les Miserables will stand out because it's a musical and so different from the other nominees.

Best Original Song

"Before my Time" - Chasing Ice
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" - Ted
"Pi's Lullaby" - Life of Pi
"Skyfall" - Skyfall
"Suddenly" - Les Miserables

Winner: Skyfall

Everyone love Adele so...

Production Design Nominees:

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pie

Winner: Anna Karenina

I feel like they always give this award to the opulent period pieces. Though I can easily see this award going to Le Mis.

Foreign Language Nominees:

A Royal Affair
War Witch

Winner: Amour

I feel pretty confident that Amour will win, but the Chilean film No has gotten a lot of attention as well.  No's leading man Gale Garcia Bernal is not only incredibly hot, he's also one of the best actors working today. Amour is a little bit to melancholy for my taste, and No has a lot of that revolutionary life to it that makes it more triumphant.

Makeup & Hairstyling Nominees:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Winner: Les Miserables

Best Original Score:

Anna Karenina
Life of Pie

Winner: Lincoln

It's John Williams so...

Documentary Nominees:

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
Invisible war
Searching for Sugar Man

Winner: 5 Broken Cameras 

Film Editing Nominees:

Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: Argo

This should go to Zero Dark Thirty, but I feel like Argo will take it.

Cinematography Nominees:

Anna Kerenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

Winner: Django Unchained

This is my favorite category and I can see this award going to any one of the deserving nominees. I chose Django Unchained because it was my favorite. Though I feel like I have to comment that there were no women nominated in this category this year.

Costume Design Nominees:

Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Winner: Les Miserables

I think it will go to either Le Mis or Anna Karenina, period pieces always take this award.

Best Director Nominees:

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

Winner: Benh Zeitlin

I really want to see Ben Zeitlin win for Beasts of the Southern Wild because he's young and he gives me hope. I would love to watch this 30 year old guy beat out veterans like Spielberg and Lee. I think it would be a welcome surprise.

Best Supporting Actor Nominees:

Alan Arkin - Argo
Rober De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
Tommy Lee Jones: Lincoln
Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained

Winner: Alan Arkin

There are a lot of deserving actors on this list, it was hard to choose. But I think it will be Arkin.

Best Supporting Actress Nominees: 

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

Winner: Anne Hathaway

The award could also go to Sally Field, but I think Anne Hathaway has had a lot of success this awards season. I think Hathaway deserves it, she really gave her all.

Animated Film Nominees:

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck it Ralph

Winner: Frankenweenie

While I personally think Brave deserves it, Frankenweeie is so fucking sad, I don't see how it can lose.

Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominees: 

Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva - Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts - The Impossible

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

I'm not sure there is much competition in this category. While I personally think Jessica Chastain gave a better performance in Zero Dark Thirty than Jennifer Lawrence did in Silver Linings Playbook, I can't help but root of Lawrence any way. She's my favorite.

Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominees:

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

Winner: Daniel Day Lewis

I think this one is pretty cut and dry.

Best Picture:

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

Winner: Zero Dark Thirty

The truth is, Argo or Lincoln are probably going to win. But I decided to cast my vote for the film I want to win. I loved Zero Dark Thirty, I thought it was as close to a perfect movie as it gets. I also loved Django Unchained. And it would be awesome if Beasts of the Southern Wild won too. It's a hard choice, this was a pretty amazing year for movies.

But there you have it. Tune in later this week to see how many I got right!

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