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Oscar Predictions and Winners

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Will today be Argo‘s day to shine? Will Steven Spielberg be rewarded Best Director by default? Will Jessica Chastain win Best Actress, or will Emmanuelle Riva swoop in for an upset? Here are my predictions for the 85th Academy Awards – which 2012 movies will take home Oscar gold?

For a full list of Oscar nominations, go here.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • Did win: Curfew
  • Will win: Curfew, because it’s one of the more accessible and uplifting short films. And it’s in English.
  • Should win: Death of a Shadow; I liked Curfew more, but this one is the most unique of the bunch.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Did win: Paperman
  • Will win: Paperman, because it is the most entertaining and extremely heartwarming.
  • Should win: Paperman, also because it is the most entertaining and extremely heartwarming.
  • Wild card: Fresh Guacamole, because even though it’s only two minutes long, a lot of people are talking about it.

Best Documentary Short

  • Did win: Inocente
  • Will win: Mondays at Racine, because it sounds like a sincere tear jerker.
  • Should win: Haven’t seen any of these, so I am not going to comment.

Best Visual Effects

  • Did win: Life of Pi
  • Will win: Life of Pi, because the visuals are simply incredible.
  • Should win: Life of Pi,because the visuals are simply incredible.
  • Wild card: Snow White and the Huntsman, because the breathtaking special effects are far better than the rest of the movie.

Best Sound Editing

  • Did win: Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty (tie)
  • Will win: Zero Dark Thirty, because the Academy will want to give this movie credit somewhere.
  • Should win: Zero Dark Thirty, because it deserves more recognition than it will receive.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Did win: Les Miserables
  • Will win: Les Misérables, because all the singing was recorded on stage and not in post-production.
  • Should win: Les Mis.

Best Original Song

  • Did win: Skyfall
  • Will win: Skyfall, by Adele, because not only is it the most memorable and a hit song, it speaks for all Bond songs that have never won.
  • Should win: Bond. James Bond.

Best Original Score

  • Did win: Life of Pi
  • Will win: Life of Pi, even though I don’t remember the scores to most of these movies.
  • Should win: Skyfall, simply because I like James Bond music and I don’t remember the scores to the other nominees.

Best Makeup

  • Did win: Les Miserables
  • Will win: Les Misérables, because the makeup in Hitchcock is overrated and The Hobbit was just more of the same.
  • Should win: Cloud Atlas, but it isn’t nominated (they made Hugh Grant a woman!).

Best Film Editing

  • Did win: Argo
  • Will win: Argo, on its way to Best Picture.
  • Should win: Zero Dark Thirty, because this procedural back-room manhunt film is one of the most suspenseful films of the year. Luckily for William Goldenberg, he edited both of these movies.

Best Costume Design

  • Did win: Anna Karenina
  • Will win: Anna Karenina, because costume dramas often win this award and this dull film isn’t going to win anything else.
  • Should win: Les Misérables, because even the clothing feels grimy.

Best Cinematography

  • Did win: Life of Pi
  • Will win: Life of Pi, because it has less of a chance of winning the bigger awards.
  • Should win: Anna Karenina, as much as I didn’t like the movie, the cinematography is what holds your interest for as long as it does.

Best Production Design

  • Did win: Lincoln
  • Will win: Life of Pi, because it is all artistic and shit.
  • Should win: Anna Karenina, because again, even though I didn’t love the movie, the set design – which evolves while you’re watching it – is pretty fascinating.

Best Animated Picture

  • Did win: Brave
  • Will win: Wreck-It Ralph, because it was the most entertaining and fun animated movie of the year.
  • Should win: See above.

Best Documentary Picture

  • Did win: Searching for Sugar Man
  • Will win: Searching for Sugar Man, because it’s a feel-good documentary among a poor selection pool.
  • Should win: The Gatekeepers, the one documentary I haven’t seen, because it looks to be pretty fascinating and by default has to be better than most of the films in this category.

Best Foreign Picture

  • Did win: Amour
  • Will win: Amour, because it won’t win for Best Picture but voters clearly like it.
  • Should win: Amour is unfortunately the only movie in this pool that I have seen, so that’s what I have to work with.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Did win: Argo
  • Will win: Argo, because it’s Argo.
  • Should win: Silver Linings Playbook, because even though I love Argo, this screenplay helps deliver two of the best performances of the year, and some of the best dialogue.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Did win: Django Unchained
  • Will win: Zero Dark Thirty, because it’s not going to get the Oscar love it deserves.
  • Should win: Django Unchained, because Quentin Tarantino deserves it.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Did win: Anne Hathaway
  • Will win: Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables, because… have you seen her performance?
  • Should win:  No one else, because have you seen Anne Hathaway’s performance? On a side note, why was Jacki Weaver even nominated?

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Did win: Christoph Waltz
  • Will win: Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook, because Hollywood wants to send him a message that he should only star in good movies. But this is a tough-to-predict category.
  • Should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master, though Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained is incredible, too; however, he just won a couple years ago for a sort of similar role.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Did win: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Will win: Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, because she has won nearly everything else, but Emmanuelle Riva in Amour stands a fighting chance because this could very well be her last opportunity. She spends most of her time in bed, however.
  • Should win: Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, because she is great, though Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook is terrific, too.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Did win: Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, because he embodies the 16th President like no other actor could.
  • Should win: Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, because he gives an even better performance. Still, both don’t hold a torch to John Hawkes, who wasn’t nominated.

Best Director

  • Did win: Life of Pi
  • Will win: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, because the Academy forgot to nominate the three best directors of the year, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino.
  • Should win: Not counting the miniscule possibility of a write-in win for one of the three listed above, Ang Lee for Life of Pi showed the most imagination and talent.

Best Picture

  • Did win: Argo
  • Will win: Argo, because it is one of the best and most entertaining movies of the year, and the Academy will be voting for their approval of Ben Affleck.
  • Should win: Argo, but I would be content with a win for Zero Dark Thirty, or, less likely, Django Unchained. If the bore-fest Lincoln wins, I am going to throw my television out the window.

If you like your predictions with a dose of in-depth analysis, read Nathan Vass’s Oscar predictions and analysis.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Awards & Oscars
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