Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Oscar Predictions: Final (Major Categories)

With the Oscar nominations being announced slightly early this year (January 10, before the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards take place), I guess this will be my last predictions article this year. It snuck up on me. I didn’t really have time to make a mid-season article, plus the theaters around here decided not to carry many of the buzz-worthy films, preventing me from my usual scouting of every contender. Check out the final predictions. Most of the races are pretty well defined at this point at the top, and it is shaping up to be a great year for only five Best Picture nominees… Hopefully we get back to that at some point. Anyway, here it goes:

The Predicted Five
1. Lincoln – Tony Kushner – This is the winner in the category, unless there is some huge shift in momentum from the other major awards. Either way, this nomination is completely locked.
2. Argo – Chris Terrio – The screenplay is one of the best elements of the dark horse contender for the top prize. An upset here could really shake up the ceremony.
3. Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell – This seems like an Original Screenplay winner, but it may be a hard sell with such hard-hitting screenplays in the Adapted category.
4. Life of Pi – David Magee – It seems like this year’s Hugo or something, the tech-driven film that still snags all major awards nominations.
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky – This seems like this year’s American Splendor or Ghost World, the random Adapted nominee that is the film’s only mention that may be the best of the year.
Others in contention
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild – Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlan – This is still the indie film like Winter’s Bone or Frozen River that could sneak into the major categories, but it seems like the buzz has faded since its release.
7. The Sessions – Ben Lewin – This seems to be one of the under-the-radar contenders for the major awards. An inclusion here would not be a surprise.
8. Les Miserables – It is still a contender, though a nomination here is fairly unlikely. Reviews are somewhat mirroring Dreamgirls, plus it is basically a direct adaptation with basically no dialogue.

The Predicted Five
1. Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal – The best reviews of the year belong to this movie, and his last screenplay (a much less complex one at that), won this award, so this seems like an obvious choice for the prize.
2. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino – What a shame it would be if QT lost to Boal again… It is going to happen. I have already prepared myself for it.
3. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola – There is always a quirky nomination in this category, and no film exemplifies that quality more than Anderson’s beautiful nostalgia comedy.
4. Amour – Michael Haneke – The foreign film in the Original category seems to have become a staple.
5. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson – It would be a shame if he misses out, but there are so many more contenders here than in Adapted. If one of these is left off, it will be PTA, sadly.
Others in contention
6. Looper – Rian Johnson – It is picking up the necessary precursors and certainly deserves the nomination, but I just cannot really see this movie represented here at the Oscars.
7. Arbitrage – Nicholas Jarecki – I am not too sold on this movie, but the buzz is steady. A random nomination here may lessen the blow from another Richard Gere snub.
8. The Impossible – Sergio G. Sanchez – This is one of those late releases that could really speak to the Academy. I would not be shocked to see several nods for the film.

The Predicted Five
1. Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables – Her is fantastic, but it has been cited as overblown. Still, she is getting the precursors. This is just about locked up, unless they want to give an actress a third award…
2. Sally Field – Lincoln – She is the main contender to take down Hathaway, but can she really go 3 for 3 with almost 30 years in between her second and third? I just cannot see it.
3. Helen Hunt – The Sessions – I have been waiting for a validation nomination for Hunt since she won her Oscar 15 years ago. She finally has that role.
4. Amy Adams – The Master – She will receive the Helena Bonham Carter nomination here, getting swept in by the film’s success and other actors. Is she the next Thelma Ritter? Sure looks like it. Will she ever win one or get a lead nom?
5. Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy – Despite horrible reviews, she has picked up the necessary nominations to get her to the ceremony. Oscar loves their stars dirtying it up.
Others in contention
6. Ann Dowd – Compliance – This random little movie has picked up some steam. Her NBR win is definitely helping her cause.
7. Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – The movie is lame, but it is pure Oscar stuff. The collection of British stars will get the film several votes, and if it is mentioned in the acting categories, it will be here.
8. Judi Dench – Skyfall – The movie was much more popular than anyone could have expected. A nomination here is a real possibility.
9. Emma Watson – The Perks of Being a Wallflower – The best performance in a well-acted film could get singled out. She has already gathered a few critic mentions.
10. Samantha Barks – Les Miserables – She was the show-stealer in the film, and definitely felt like the most natural performer. If the movie is really popular, this would not be a surprise inclusion.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah Shocker Nomination: Kelly Reilly – Flight

The Predicted Five
1. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master – It seems like most of the performances in this category are good, but not really winner-material. PSH gave a winning performance. They just have to decide if they want him to get two before Tommy Lee Jones.
2. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln – This nomination is the most secure, and he could very well be the default winner if Lincoln is in for a sweep.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained – He would be the frontrunner, but he is getting snubbed by some awards. He will get a bunch of first place votes and get left off some ballots altogether.
4. Alan Arkin – Argo – His performance was pretty good, definitely a scene-stealer. It is just an obvious throw-away nomination, though. No chance he wins this.
5. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook – He is right there for this fifth spot. The Golden Globe snub is confusing, but there are just too many members that are dying to see his big awards comeback.
Others in contention
6. Javier Bardem – Skyfall – He is becoming a regular at the ceremony. His nomination would come at the expense of De Niro if it happens, which I don’t see at this point.
7. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained – It would be sort of reminiscent of The Departed’s supporting guys if he gets in. Everything points to DiCaprio (like Nicholson), but they are sharing votes. Maybe the less showy role (like Wahlberg) could steal his spot.
8. Matthew McConaughey – Magic Mike – It is strange to think that he could be a nominee, but he had a tremendous year and has been cited a few times as the year’s best.
9. Eddie Redmayne – Les Miserables – If the Academy really loves the movie, he could pull a surprise.
10. Jude Law – Anna Karenina – He is always threatening a nomination. If Oscar falls for this costume drama, expect Law to receive some votes here.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah Shocker Nomination: Hal Holbrook – Promised Land

The Predicted Five
1. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook – She is the future go-to leading lady in Hollywood. Her performance is brilliant, memorable, and a little edgy. Unless they want to make her wait a few more years, she will take this.
2. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty – Suddenly one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood, Chastain is looking at her second nomination in as many years.
3. Naomi Watts – The Impossible – It is hard to believe that she has only been invited once. This is a definite Oscar movie. Expect tons of Oscar scenes to help secure this nomination.
4. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone – I had always suspected that this would be a hit when it got released. She should get the international vote and cruise to another nomination.
5. Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea – This film’s buzz was dead and basically no one had seen it. Now with the NYFCC win and GG nom, she is right back in the race. If enough voters check out the screeners, she will get the fifth spot.
Others in contention
6. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour – Being nominated for foreign films is always difficult, but this seems like one that could break through.
7. Helen Mirren – Hitchcock – She is always in and around nominations, so an inclusion here would be no surprise.
8. Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild – If the voters want to give this film a major nomination, I would hope that it is for Wallis. She was simply magnetic onscreen.
9. Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina – Unless she snatches up the British vote, she will be receiving yet another snub.
10. Meryl Streep – Hope Springs – It would be foolish to forget about her.
11. Judi Dench – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – or her…
12. Maggie Smith – Quartet – The film seems Oscar-friendly enough. If they want to give her a nomination, it would make much more sense here than in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
13. Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Smashed – She was tremendous and incredibly raw in her role. If the ultra-indie films stand a chance, this will be the one that breaks through for this category.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah Shocker Nomination: Zoe Kazan – Ruby Sparks

The Predicted Five
1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln – He is the clear frontrunner, and the second 3-time winner in as many years. That is just remarkable, considering his few amount of career films and his track record with those films.
2. Denzel Washington – Flight – He is a near-lock, even though he has not been invited in a decade. His role and film are pure Oscar bait.
3. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master – This is the one that screams either major snub or potential upset winner. It will be interesting to see how the Academy takes the actor who apparently hates all awards ceremonies.  We already saw how SAG responded.
4. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook – It is a performance where the popular actor gets lost in his character’s gimmicks. I think he is in.
5. John Hawkes – The Sessions – The film seems like an actor’s film, and he can somehow come out of obscurity to snag his second nom in three years. Crazy.
Others in contention
6. Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables – He was not good in the film. I am not even sure he was lead. In any other year, he would be a lock, considering his category placement in an Oscar darling. This just seems like another Richard Gere in Chicago overlook situation.
7. Richard Gere – Arbitrage – He has been close so many times, but this just seems like another version of the Gere type and another Oscar snub.
8. Bill Murray – Hyde Park on Hudson – The Globe nom kept him alive in the race, but he and his film are on thin ice.
9. Anthony Hopkins – Hitchcock – I cannot imagine him being completely dead in the water, but he is certainly a long-shot right now.
10. Ben Affleck – Argo – It depends on how much they love Argo.
11. Brad Pitt – Killing Them Softly – He gave a brilliant performance in a film that was popular with some groups. This would be a cool out-of-nowhere nomination.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah Shocker Nomination: Matthew McConaughey – Killer Joe

The Predicted Five
1. Steven Spielberg – Lincoln – The film is the frontrunner and a very typical Oscar film. Even if Picture and Director split, I cannot see him not winning this.
2. Ben Affleck – Argo – Apparently it takes making three Oscar-worthy films before the Academy takes you seriously as a director. He is in, finally.
3. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty – Her film is right at the top of the race, as is her direction, which appears to be on-point.
4. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook – His direction was basic, but that has not stopped the Academy from recognizing those types of films in this category recently.
5. Ang Lee – Life of Pi – In such a huge visual feast, it is hard to think that the Academy would ignore the man at the helm.
Others in contention
6. Tom Hooper – Les Miserables – His direction was the undoing of the massive production. If he gets nominated, it will be a joke. They might as well just get rid of this category and combine Best Director and Best Picture.
7. Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master – I feel like this film is getting forgotten, slightly. He could sneak into the final five like Terence Malick did last year.
8. Michael Haneke – Amour – It depends on how many voters see this. His last few films have been beloved
9. Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained – The film is too good to ignore, but a director nom would be a huge surprise.

The Predicted Ten (I predict 8 will get nominated)
1. Argo – It would be an upset, but the LA/Hollywood factor is hard to get past. Hopefully it will not be looked down upon like Crash was after its big win.
2. Lincoln – It has all of the support from every branch, but something is missing from the film. It is still a clear frontrunner, but I feel it could get unseated.
3. Zero Dark Thirty – It has been compared to The Silence of the Lambs in its atmospheric thriller elements. It has the best reviews of the year. It is getting nominated and might pull out a victory.
4. Les Miserables – It is getting nominated. If it does as well at the box office as it promises to, it could make a run at the prize.
5. Silver Linings Playbook – I cannot see this getting snubbed for Best Picture. The story and screenplay are just pure indie Oscar stuff.
6. Life of Pi – It will be this year’s Hugo: tons of nominations, a handful of wins, no real shot at winning Best Picture.
7. The Master – It could be this year’s A Serious Man. Even if the Academy did not understand it, they might still feel inclined to recognize its achievement with a nom here.
8. Django Unchained – Tarantino is as popular as ever right now. His movie is the opposite of an Oscar movie. Maybe that will attract some voters, making the most original film of the year.
9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – The SAG nom spoke volumes as to its chances of getting into the Best Picture lineup. British movies have been all over the ceremony in recent years.
10. The Impossible – This could be the feel good film of the year that somehow makes its way all the way to the ceremony.
Others in contention
11. Amour – It is in and around most of the major categories. A nom here would be a nice change of pace, since we haven’t had a foreign film nominated in 12 years.
12. Moonrise Kingdom – This is Wes Anderson’s best shot at a Best Picture nomination, but it is still an uphill climb for him.
13. Beasts of the Southern Wild – It is hard to picture this film getting 5% of the first place votes, but it has a following, especially from the indie and acting portions of the Academy.
14. The Sessions – Perhaps this is the indie film that could break through. It has been well-received and mentioned almost everywhere.
15. Flight – I refuse to completely count this movie out of the race. It seems like this year’s The Blind Side.

What are your thoughts on my predictions? What are yours? Let me know.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I agree that "Argo" will win Best Picture (if "SLP" continues to lose steam). Like with "Crash," Ebert naming it his #1 of the year is a major boost.

  3. Definitely. The only thing going against it is that cannot see Affleck winning director over Spielberg and they haven't split those categories since Crash. Not even for Fincher for Social Network...so we really know they are reluctant to do it.

  4. If a court ruling for failure to predict the future is not overturned by wiser minds, it will be very harmful for public safety.

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