I am obsessed with all things film and TV. That roughly translates to I have the three-DVD option on Netflix. So catching all the Oscar nominations before the ceremony in February each year becomes a fun little quest for me. Five or six years ago this was a pretty tough task with only one halfway decent independent art-house theater in my town. Now it feels like I can see almost all the big nominees on the big screen at one of the big theaters and even more importantly safely and quietly in the privacy of my own home thanks to On-Demand content via my Comcast account. So out of the major nominees this year I’ve seen roughly 90% of the films nominated this year. I have yet to see all of Spielberg’s biopic (high-pitched) Lincoln due to falling asleep in the theater, the disaster-drama The Impossible and the Michael Haneke film Amour. Using my critical thinking skills and context clues I should be able to deduce those films chances via buzz and similar award ceremonies’ results.
I will attempt to predict some of the outcomes of the Awards night on Feb 24. Starting with Best Cinematography I’m going with the newest installment of the Bond franchise Skyfall. Roger Deakins deserves this cinematography award almost as a validation of lifetime achievement for losing year after year but luckily the slick and gritty Bond film is beautiful. Bottom Line: one scene- a stunning action sequence backlit by neon signage from buildings.
Best Directing should go to either Ang Lee for Life of Pi or Benh Zeitlin of Beasts of Southern Wild. I could see the Academy going populist and handing the award to Spielberg but they’d be wrong because Life of Pi and Beasts both share a lot of challenges and obstacles for any director. Bottom Line: Do you even have to direct Daniel Day-Lewis?
Best Supporting Actress will go to Anne Hathaway. She’s been winning awards left and right for her riveting, albeit brief portrayal as a poverty-stricken, single mother in Les Miserables. Bottom Line: She cuts her hair for real in the movie and she sings amazingly.
Best Supporting Actor is a toss up for me between Christoph Waltz and Robert De Niro. Waltz won it previously with his role in Tarantino’s epic Inglorious Basterds so he’s poised to take it again but De Niro was a standout in Playbook. Bottom Line: Waltz is an insane genius and De Niro needs the Oscar to remind him of what he’s been missing.
In the Best Actress category I’m less confident in other categories because I feel I’m at odds with the frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence. I didn’t find her performance as the grieving young widow with a penchant for dancing to be all that remarkable. I’d love to see the young firecracker Quvenzhane’ Wallis take it from her. Bottom Line: Poltics say Lawrence will get it but my heart says give it to Hushpuppy!
Another frontrunner will most definitely walk away with the trophy in the Best Actor Category. Daniel Day-Lewis is the closest thing to a sure bet. People are almost afraid not to vote for him. He’s kinda the Radiohead of acting. Bottom Line: DDL is the Radiohead of acting.
And finally Best Picture will be fought between the critically-lauded Zero Dark 30 and Argo. Both films’ directors were unceremoniously left off the Best Director nominee list so I can see this making up for it. So which is the better film? My gut says ZD30 but I need to rewatch Affleck’s political thriller again to be certain as both films have similar themes and tension. Bottom Line: ZD30 gave me the most anxious, heart-in-throat experience of any film I’ve seen in recent memory. The last 25 minutes of the film is flawless.
Seriously the Oscar game and the politics aside making predictions is fun and I’m pretty sure there will be obvious, predictable winners and probably a few upsets because that’s what we’ve come to expect every year. The best part of awards season is the conversations we get to have arguing over cinema when a majority of our friends and family have seen these great films. Keep your fingers crossed and your popcorn poppin’. Go here to see all of the nominees.
And if you would rather listen to my predictions, I recorded a couple of podcasts for your listening pleasure. Listen to the discussion below, or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes. The first one is a humorous interview with an award statue lasting about five minutes and the second one is me just talking about my predictions and lasts about 45 minutes. Enjoy.