Predicting the 2013 Academy Awards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And by that, I mean it’s time for the Oscars. Yes, the 85th Annual Academy Awards will take place this Sunday, Feb. 24th with host Seth MacFarlane. I seriously cannot wait. I feel as excited as a talented German actor playing a scary-funny Nazi.

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The Academy Awards is the biggest award show of the year. All of the other award shows, including the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, lead up to this show. And from what I’ve heard, it’s going to be good. I can’t wait to recap it next week. BUT FIRST, I must predict some things.

Here are some quick links to all of the Oscar-nominated films I’ve seen with their reviews, in case you need to catch up on some of these films before the Oscars:

So for each category below, I will highlight two in the nominee list: orange will be my first guess, and green will be my second guess. Please note: I didn’t include the entire list of the Academy Award nominees, as it’s a huge list with many more technical awards. I’m only including the major nominations that I’ve discussed in the other awards posts. I will write a follow-up post to discuss whether or not I was right about my predictions and comment on the overall show. Here we go!

Best Picture

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

WHY: After all of the Ben Affleck sympathy we’ve seen at the other award shows, I’m pretty set on Argo (If you don’t follow, Affleck got snubbed for a Best Director nomination, so he’s been winning director awards left and right, and Argo has taken home Best Picture at the other shows). Honestly, I didn’t even want to guess a second choice because I know it’s going to be Argo.

Best Actor

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

WHY: Ugh, this one has been difficult all season. Both Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman have snatched up awards for their roles this year. They are just so far ahead of all of the other nominees that I’m pretty sure it will come down to these two in the end. But who will get it? I’m going to say DDL. He’s already got two Best Actor wins under his belt, and his performance in Lincoln was solid. Not to say that I wouldn’t love to see Hugh Jackman get some recognition. After all, his performance in  Les Misérables was moving, but I just don’t know if it’s enough to beat DDL.

Best Actress

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

WHY: I’ve been on the Jennifer Lawrence train throughout award season. After Silver Linings Playbook, I believe she has proven herself an extremely diverse actress. Also, she’s had the popular vote the entire time and has taken away the Best Actress award at both the Globes and the SAGs. But a lot of the reports from Hollywood are saying that they think Emmanuelle Riva could take this one. I didn’t see Amour, but I know the Academy loves foreign films. On top of that, Riva is 85 and Lawrence is 22, so this is kind of Riva’s last chance. If anyone is going to upset Lawrence in this category, it’s going to be Riva. Still, I’m crossing my fingers for Lawrence.

Best Supporting Actor

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

WHY: This category is literally a nightmare. Any one of these actors could win. But since I have to choose, I’m going with my personal favorite and Quentin Tarantino’s new muse, Christoph Waltz. I don’t think anyone should ever beat Waltz when Waltz is nominated because he is on a completely different level than all of the other actors (Please see the above GIF for his awesomeness). As for my second choice, I say Robert De Niro. It’s been a while since he received an award.

Best Supporting Actress

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

WHY: Anne Hathaway is a win at this point. She’s won every award leading up to the Oscars.

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

WHY: Even though I haven’t seen either of these, Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke are the directors we won’t expect to win, which makes them closer to winning because the Academy likes to pull shit like that. Beasts of the Southern Wild is an indie favorite, and Amour is a foreign film. It’s safe to say one of them will grab the Oscar. Especially since Ben Affleck isn’t here.

Best Original Screenplay

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

WHY: Tarantino and Anderson are undoubtedly the best at writing original screenplays. I’ve seen both movies and loved them. But I’m a Tarantino fan-girl, so my vote is for Tarantino.

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

WHY: Silver Linings Playbook is one of the best films of the year, if not the best. Pair its popularity with David O. Russell’s quirky adaptation, and you’ve got a winner. Also, I’ll throw Argo a bone and make them my second choice because I know the Academy is following the Argo sympathy.

Best Animated Feature

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

WHY: I didn’t seen Frankenweenie or The Pirates! Band of Misfits. But I did see the other three, and they were all phenomenal. That being said, if we’re judging by quality of both the animation and the stories, I say ParaNorman for first place and Wreck-It Ralph for second place. I know Pixar usually wins, but Brave kind of pales by comparison to stop-motion and arcade-themed films.

Best Cinematography

  • Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
  • Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
  • Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
  • Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
  • Roger Deakins, Skyfall

WHY: Lincoln was beautifully filmed with its contrasts of light and dark. I really think it could win this one. But I’ll throw in Django, too, because it had such flair.

Best Costume Design

  • Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
  • Paco Delgado, Les Misérables
  • Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
  • Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
  • Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman

WHY: Costume design always goes to period pieces or old literature-based films. Anna Karenina was a book by Russian author Leo Tolstoy set in 19th-century, high-society Russia, so you can imagine the costumes. I think Anna Karenina will take this category, but I’d really like to see Snow White and the Huntsman win. Charlize Theron’s costumes in Snow White were ridiculously detailed, which means Colleen Atwood worked her ass off.

Best Film Editing

  • William Goldenberg, Argo
  • Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
  • Michael Kahn, Lincoln
  • Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

WHY: I’m going with Zero Dark Thirty here. It’s a military-themed film, which means difficult editing.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Amour, Austria
  • Kon-Tiki, Norway
  • No, Chile
  • A Royal Affair, Denmark
  • War Witch, Canada

WHY: I’ve seen none of these. But, look! Amour is in this category. Let’s go with that!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, Hitchcock
  • Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Misérables

WHY: Is this even a question? The Hobbit requires so much more aesthetics than the other films.

Best Original Score

  • Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
  • Alexandre Desplat, Argo
  • Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
  • John Williams, Lincoln
  • Thomas Newman, Skyfall

WHY: Someone in Hollywood (I can’t remember who) said, “John Williams has enough f***ing awards,” which I thought was hilarious (and somewhat true). But he’s still John Williams, so he’s my second choice. My first choice, however, is Mychael Danna. The Life of Pi score is beautiful.

Best Original Song

  • “Before My Time” – Chasing Ice, J. Ralph
  • “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” – Ted, Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” – Life of Pi, Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri
  • “Skyfall” – Skyfall, Adele and Paul Epworth
  • “Suddenly” – Les MisérablesClaude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, and Alain Boublil

WHY: It’s Adele, people. She won the Globe for Best Original Song, so it’s pretty much a given that she’ll take this one.

Best Production Design

  • Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, Anna Karenina
  • Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, and Simon Bright, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Eve Stewart and Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Misérables
  • David Gropman and Anna Pinnock, Life of Pi
  • Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln

WHY: I really have no reasons for my thoughts on this one.

Best Sound Editing

  • Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, Argo
  • Wylie Statemen, Django Unchained
  • Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton, Life of Pi
  • Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall
  • Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

WHY: Sound editing means fixing the quality of dialogue, music, and sound effects. Since Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall have a lot of sounds going on at once, I’m going to say their sound editors had the hardest time eliminating background noise and adjusting the quality.

Best Sound Mixing

  • John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, and Jose Antonio Garcia, Argo
  • Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, and Simon Hayes, Les Misérables
  • Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill, and Drew Kunin, Life of Pi
  • Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Ronald Judkins, Lincoln
  • Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, and Stuart Wilson, Skyfall

WHY: Unlike sound editing, sound mixing means putting all of the sounds together. With dialogue, music, and sound effects rolled into one, it has to be done well. Argo and Skyfall both have lots of action (which means more sounds), so I’m making them my first and second picks.

Best Visual Effects

  • Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and R. Christopher White, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, and Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi
  • Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, and Dan Sudick, The Avengers
  • Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, and Martin Hill, Prometheus
  • Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould, and Michael Dawson, Snow White and the Huntsman

WHY: If you’ve watched the behind-the-scenes of both The Hobbit and Life of Pi, you’ll know that the visual effects are crazy good. But The Hobbit had Gollum CGIed on top of Andy Serkis while he acted, so I’m putting it as my first choice.

***

The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be live on Sunday, Feb. 24th on ABC at 7pm E/6pm C.

If you have any predictions about the nominated films, actors, actresses, directors, etc., please discuss them in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you think!

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