Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

Oscar predictions 2013

Well, you can’t be a critic without having an opinion, right? So here, on the almost-eve of the 2013 Academy Awards, I present my predictions for who will win on the night.

Best Picture

A few years ago, when they expanded the shortlist of nominees from five to a hundred (or so it felt), it seemed like any jolly fool could win – even War Horse got a look in, though mercifully it didn’t cross the finishing line. This year, however, all the Best Picture nominees are worthy adversaries, even if I have loudly publicised my boredom of Lincoln and as yet failed to utter an underwhelmed word about Zero Dark Thirty.

This category is also a mystery to me, though the absence of a shoe-in brings me hope that the ceremony may not be entirely dull. If precedent has been set by the Globes and the BAFTAs (which, apparently, the Academy doesn’t listen to), then Argo will win. Personally I’d like it to be Life of Pi, but there’s been very little buzz about this film, so it’s unlikely. People seem to be Les Mised-out (I blame Anne’s dreadful Globes speech, but perhaps the film had already had its day by then). ZDT has done itself out of contention due to Torturegate. Some say Lincoln’s sudden outing as a fiddler of history has ruined its chances too. Amour can be fobbed off with Best Foreign Film. Beasts of the Southern Wild is too left-field, classic “It’s enough to reward the new kid on the block just by nominating him”. And Quentin isn’t going to win anything other than Best Original Screenplay (maybe) for Django.

So what does that leave us? Silver Linings Playbook? It’s terrific but it’s not a Best Picture. My half-hearted bet (though I’d be happy for it to be true) is on Argo. Since Affleck got the very public snub by missing a Director nomination, it’s the least they can do.

Best Director

Although it’d be nice for Ang Lee to get it, it’s just not his year. So I’m going for Michael Haneke for Amour. That way they can give Quentin the screenplay gong, Haneke the Best Foreign Film, and everyone’s sort-of-happy-even-if-not-over-the-moon. Plus, his film is mastery at work, and he totally deserves it.

Best Actor

Bored or not, I cannot fault Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance in/as Lincoln, so he is set to make history as the only person to win three Best Actor gongs. Huzzah.

Best Actress

I’m actually placing all my money on Emmanuelle Riva. I watched Amour for the second time recently, and was bowled over by her performance. Quvenzhane Wallis has (in theory) her whole acting life ahead of her, so hers is a token, cutesy “Look! Youngest ever nominee!” nomination, though she did put on a terrific show. Jennifer Lawrence is consistently good, but doesn’t beat the competition here. Similarly, Jessica Chastain will be back; so will Naomi Watts. I want and believe this will be Riva’s time. As she turns 86 on the day of the ceremony, it would be the most moving and wonderful birthday present.

The Support Acts

Obviously Anne Hathaway will win for Les Miserables, and that’s OK with me, as long as she does a bloody good speech this time. And most likely Christoph Waltz will take home yet another little gold statuette for Django Unchained. It does seem like something he’s done before and will no doubt churn out again, but at the same time he was great in it. However, if there is a God, this one will go to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was amazing in The Master. My fingers are still a wee bit crossed for a miracle.

Best Foreign Film

As above – Amour. That way they can acknowledge it’s a great film, but still leave the Actual Best Picture slot open to Movies Without Subtitles (or Films sans sous-titres as I like to call them).

Documentary Feature

Searching for Sugar Man. That is all.

Original Screenplay

This is Quentin’s patch. They can give him this in lieu of Directing or Best Film because he’s the brains behind the babble, and it’s a bit like saying “Hey, your film was awesome, but, y’ know…”. I don’t disagree with their choice if they do – I liked Django Unchained much more then Inglourious Basterds and have been a big Tarantino fan since the very beginning. Dude has a way with words – bring it.

Adapted Screenplay

Yes, it may be Argo, but shouldn’t this be the “unfilmable” Life of Pi? Yes, it should.

The Rest

I’ve not seen any of the Animated Features strangely, so that’s anyone’s guess. Cinematography will go to Life of Pi, unless Roger Deakins wins for Skyfall, but I don’t believe he will. Costume Design is more likely to reward Anna Karenina than Les Mis. Visual Effects – The Hobbit? Life of Pi? Hobbit? Pi?…

 

With apologies to the less glamorous awards, I don’t have a fixed view on what will or should win. But one thing seems clear: Sunday’s ceremony will be a pot-luck dinner of shared goodies, rather than a greedy feast for any one film – and since Lincoln is up for 12 but looks unlikely to pull more than a couple out of the bag, this comes as a great relief.

 

Who and what do you think will win an Oscar on 24th February?

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