Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who's taking home Oscar on Sunday; Winners Update!

One of these best picture nominees are clamoring for Oscar. Which has the best odds?

            It is that time of year once again.
The cream of the crop will be gathering shortly in Hollywood to celebrate the best in film at the Academy Awards. Celebrities of all ages (have you seen the best actress slate?) will walk the red carpet into the Dolby Theater and wait anxiously to hear if their name will be called to take home Oscar.
Meanwhile, people are glued to their television looking over their mock ballot seeing who they picked in their office pool. Some people pick their ballots based on what the few best picture nominees they’ve seen, others, like me, go all out to see all of the nominees and follow the Oscar race like a hawk.
While some races appear to be all sewn up, there are a few that are still wide open, and some that are really close. With all of the major precursor awards handed out, predicting who Oscar will go home with is a little bit easier. Let’s take a look at the top races and see what your safest bet is in your office pool.

Best Picture: ARGO
Like last year there are nine nominees, and probably the strongest group of nominees since 2007. There are contemporary war stories (“Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty”), kids fending for themselves (“Life of Pi” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild”), an historical epic (“Lincoln”), or two (“Django Unchained”), the foreign language film (“Amour”),  a twisted comedy (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and a musical (“Les Miserables”).
"Lincoln" received the most nominations this year with 12, including picture, director and actor, followed by "Life of Pi" with 11.
You can’t get any more diverse than that.
“Argo” appears to be the film to beat. Having claimed victory at the Golden Globes, British Academy of Film and Television Award (BAFTA), and the writer's, producer’s, directors' and screen actors guild awards, it seems a safe bet. Although lacking a key nomination in the best director race, “Argo” has already proven to be a hit with everyone and everywhere.
Sure, no film has won best picture without a best director nomination since “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989 (and then “Grand Hotel” in 1932 before that), but “Argo” has the strength. The film is currently taking the “Apollo 13” route from 18 years ago; winning all of the precursor awards then losing the top race on Oscar night.
Both films won best director at the Directors' Guild of America award without a best director Oscar nomination.
“Argo’s” closest competition is “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” which both received best director nods and a slew of acting nominations as well.
Predicted: Argo
Best Director: Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Ben Affleck won the DGA for "Argo" on Feb. 4
This category had two shocking omissions when nominations were announced; Ben Affleck for “Argo” and Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty.” Their spots were filled by Michael Haneke for “Amour” and Behn Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
First-time nominees Haneke and Zeitlin will contend against two-time winner Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”), winner Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), and previous nominee David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”).
Although “Argo” is looking to take the top prize, Speilberg is favored to win the runners-up race. He last won in 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan,” the year “Shakespeare in Love” claimed best picture, and he’ll have to relish in being one of the film’s highest wins.
Predicted: Steven Spielberg

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
This race is done and over. Daniel Day-Lewis will win a record-breaking third Oscar for best actor for his title performance in “Lincoln.” There is no competition.
Predicted: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
The best actress race this year showcases the work of the categories oldest and youngest nominees ever. “Amour” star Emmanuelle Riva is 85 years old, and Quvenzhane Wallis from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is 9 years old (and was only 6 when the film was made).
Both nominees present strong work, but Riva is getting more and more attention these days. A recent victory from BAFTA over fellow Oscar-nominees Jessica Chastain, and Jennifer Lawrence speaks volumes.
Emmanuelle Riva poses with "Amour" director Michael Haneke, and co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant with the
Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.

BAFTA was the first to predict upsets by Marion Cotillard in 2007 and Meryl Streep last year, so it could be enough to stop the power train of “Silver Linings’” Lawrence, who currently has front-runner status.
One of four acting nominees from the film, Lawrence gives the best performance in the film and the Academy will want to reward the film somewhere. Considering it could go home empty-handed from eight nominations, this is the category where it could pick up some hardware.
You should still watch out for Riva, who celebrates her 86th birthday on Oscar Sunday and may want a nice present.

Predicted: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
This is the first category in Oscar history to be filled with entirely with Oscar winners, so which one will take home another Oscar?
In a completely wide open field it’s hard to choose. “Lincoln’s” Tommy Lee Jones has picked up key awards so far, but so has “Django’s” Christoph Waltz and “The Master’s” Philip Seymour Hoffman. Apparently, Jones is the favorite to win, but I think anyone of them could.
There is strong buzz for Robert DeNiro’s performance in “Silver Linings Playbook,” but not so much for “Argo’s” Alan Arkin.
My money is on Waltz because he just won the BAFTA and a Golden Globe for this role and it’s not a one-note performance like Jones’.
Predicted: Christoph Waltz

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway
It’s Anne Hathaway. She'll win for singing like Jennifer Hudson did in "Dreamgirls."

Predicted: Anne Hathaway

Academy Award Winners for 2012

Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
Best Animated Feature: Brave (Predicted ParaNorman)
Best Documentary- Feature: Searching For Sugar Man
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Makeup/Hairstyling: Les Miserables
Best Original Score: Life of Pi
Best Original Song: “Skyfall” from Skyfall
Best Production Design: Anna Karenina (Predicted Lincoln)
Best Sound Editing: Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Winners in categories I didn't predict
Best Animated Short Film: Paperman
Best Documentary Short: Inocente
Best Live-Action Short: Curfew

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