Thursday, February 21, 2013

For What it's Worth: My 2013 Oscar Predictions

Hey everyone, long time no blog, am I right? I guess I've been feeling like life isn't really interesting enough to talk about since I got back from Europe, but even in Boston, I'm still up to the same old shenanniegans :) so I'm going to try and keep this blog a bit more active. Now, for a topic I'm always excited about: the Oscars! I try to see each Best Picture nominee every year (I am MAJORLY behind this season...I blame Europe), and I keep abreast of all of the Academy buzz to try and make some informed decisions. I usually beat Craig in our annual Oscar fight, but I'm not quite sure this year...everything seems so up in the air! But anyway, for what it's worth, I'm throwing out my predictions for the big night, at least in the categories I've seen most of the films. Otherwise, I throw out checkmarks on that play-at-home ballot with abandon. Upon further reflection, that may be a failing strategy.

Best Original Song:

"Before My Time," Chasing Ice
"Pi’s Lullaby," Life of Pi
"Suddenly," Les Miserables
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend," Ted
"Skyfall," Skyfall

This is a given. Adele has been sweeping every award show, and rightly so. "Skyfall" is a beautiful song, she's a flawless singer, and generally, James Bond. What's not to love? I would be floored if anyone else pulled this out.

Best Animated Short:

"Adam and Dog," Minkyu Lee
"Fresh Guacamole," PES
"Head over Heels," Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
"Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,'" David Silverman
"Paperman," John Kahrs

This year, I actually got a chance to see all of the nominated shorts in the theater. Previously, I had only seen Disney's "Paperman," which opened up Wreck-It Ralph. I was smitten, as was much of the internet. It's far and away one of the best short films I've ever seen. I didn't know if anything else would stack up, and lo and didn't. I enjoyed all of the shorts (especially the sweet claymation "Head Over Heels," about a couple stuck in their own respective gravities), but "Paperman" is the clear winner here.

Best Animated Picture:

(I found this on tumblr. Isn't it just the cutest thing you've ever seen?)

Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

This was a tough choice for me. It was a really great year for animation in general. While I haven't seen Pirates!, it was done by my very favorite British animation studio (I will always have a soft spot for Wallace & Gromit), so I can only assume it was wonderful. I enjoyed Burton's sweet Frankenweenie, absolutely adored the ode to cult classic B movies Paranorman, and passionately loved Pixar's princeless mother/daughter story Brave and it's biggest competition, the touching and inventive Wreck-It Ralph. As for my personal favorite, Academy politics aside? It's tough to decide. But Pixar is an Academy darling (we don't speak of Cars 2), and while Wreck-It Ralph picked up an Annie award, I don't know if it can rise to the top this year (though I do believe that's Craig's choice to win. It's on!)

Best Supporting Actor:

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

Er, quick confession time: Lincoln is the only movie on this short list I haven't seen. But keeping with the trend of this awards season, I'm predicting a quick and tidy win from Tommy Lee Jones in this category. That said, it's a tragedy that Hoffman will not win this one: his performance in the Master was absolutely breathtaking.

Best Supporting Actress:

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

This one isn't even worth discussing. While I haven't seen Les Miserables, I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that Anne Hathaway is the runaway favorite in this category. The only real question is how long they'll let her acceptance speech go on, amirite?

Best Actor:

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

This one's a no-brainer. Daniel Day-Lewis wallpapers his beautiful Irish house with Oscars. Sad, because Phoenix was a knockout in the's just not his year.

Best Actress:

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

This is a tougher call. Performances were really strong across the board, but I think this is between Lawrence and Chastain. Frankly, it's almost a toss-up, but I was a big fan of Lawrence's performance, and she's been sweeping the award season thus far.

Best Director:

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

Duh. If I were another director, I wouldn't prepare a speech. Spielberg will be taking this one home.

Best Picture:

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

This is the hardest one for me to judge. Argo was my favorite movie of the year, but Affleck's snub makes its prospects shaky - in the history of the Oscars, a film whose director was not nominated has only won Best Picture once (Driving Miss Daisy, by the way). But Argo is enjoying a lot of success this award season. I think this is the year for Argo to break the mold, but it has to get past Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty first. And after his sly dig at the Critic's Choice Awards, I'd love to hear Affleck's acceptance speech.


  1. How about a prediciton on Seth's performance? Bomb or hit?

  2. hmm good question! Seth has a background in theater, and a pretty outstanding singing voice. Because the Oscars are being produced by the people who do SMASH, I think he'll have plenty of time to flex those chops (I just heard they're closing the show not with the Best Picture but with a big musical number). However, his sense of humor pushes a lot of buttons, and that style has worked for some (Gervais) and not for others (Brand). But he has made a pretty popular brand for himself, so I'll give him a tentative "hit." We will see!