Oscar nominees sure to provide a tight race
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 23:02
Nearly a month and a half after the nominations were announced, the Oscars are finally a few days away, and this year will prove to be no less controversial than any prior. Don’t have time to educate yourself before Feb. 24? No worries. Here’s a list of the films you can expect to win their respective categories.
Three months ago, I would have told you Lincoln would be a shoo-in. But after Ben Affleck got robbed of a nomination for Best Director – not to mention his film’s BAFTA and Golden Globe wins – Argo has been the movie with the hot hand heading into Los Angeles.
It really is a fine film, one that has grown on me since I reviewed it in October. The Academy isn’t one for surprises, so if Affleck’s third feature film is the favorite going in, there’s no reason to doubt it won’t come away with the win.
As I mentioned, Affleck was left off the list for this one. And so was Kathryn Bigelow, and so was Quentin Tarantino. See a pattern here? The Academy really dropped the ball in the Best Director category, which is going to make it much easier to predict the winner.
Look for Steven Spielberg to nab his third Oscar for Lincoln, adding to his wins for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. But don’t count out Ang Lee – his visual treat Life of Pi was largely overlooked this year, and he might just pull of the upset.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis, no doubt. If you disagree with this obvious pick, then you certainly didn’t catch his uncanny portrayal the 16th President of the United States.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Popular consensus is that Jessica Chastain’s got the edge for her portrayal of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I was unimpressed by her. Don’t get me wrong, Chastain is brilliant in most things she touches, but her character was largely underwhelming for the first half of Bigelow’s Bin Laden hunt.
I think 22 year-old Jennifer Lawrence is much more deserving for her turn in Silver Linings Playbook. Her stock is on the rise, and her attitude is infectious. She’s my pick, but don’t hold me to this one, as the category is too close to truly call.
Best Supporting Actor
I’ve got to go with Tommy Lee Jones here. His powerful performance as Thaddeus Stevens, the sullen and surly congressional leader in Lincoln might just earn him his first bald statue since The Fugitive. Robert De Niro is a viable option for this category as well, and he’s gone 32 years since winning his only Oscar for Raging Bull, and the Academy could be sympathetic toward the A-lister’s plight.
Best Supporting Actress
I wish I could say with confidence that Sally Field could pull off her first Academy Award win since 1984’s Places In The Heart, but her role in Lincoln as the titular character’s wife didn’t demand enough time on screen.
Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Misérables is the frontrunner, but I’m going to have to toss in my vote for dark horse Amy Adams. She’s brilliant in The Master – a movie everyone is deciding to forget come awards season – and Adams is one of the few actresses in the mix that has proven she’s every bit as good doing a ditzy comedic turn as she is in her serious roles.
Best Foreign Film
Amour – don’t even argue with this one.
Best Original Screenplay
It’s a long shot, but Moonrise Kingdom was one of my favorite flicks of the past 12 months, and my pick to win in the screenplay department. This may finally be the year that Wes Anderson adds an Oscar to his collection, as his indie darling dazzled audiences and critics alike.
He’s been building towards Moonrise Kingdom for his entire life, and he knocks it out of the park with an A-list cast and honest performances from his young leads on the back of a screenplay that’s as deserving as any for this year’s Academy Award.