This year’s Academy Awards nominations, as revealed by Emma Stone and the upcoming ceremony’s host, Seth MacFarlene, is a testament to the brilliant year cinema’s had: a new Tarantino, a breakthrough in musical cinema, Steven Spielberg taking on American History, to name but three highlights. With February 24th approaching, and anticipation of MacFarlene’s scandalous sense of humour building, let’s take a look at the most anticipated awards and make some predictions about who’s going to take home a golden man.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained and Life of Pi are likely to prominently feature in other categories and considering the not-so-distant success of The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty might get passed over too. Amour is a favourite to win the Foreign Language Film Award, so may well get neglected here. Les Misérables, as a musical, is disadvantaged in this category but nevertheless still very much deserves a nomination, as did the absent Skyfall.
Even with Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook joining the all-encompassing Best Picture category after the Golden Globes, it seems pretty likely that the results will go one of two ways: Lincoln or Argo. A win for Lincoln would annoy many considering how rigorously it ticks the boxes for the Academy, so for this highly anticipated category, the historical drama “Argo” is the one to win.
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
Another remarkable performance from Day-Lewis makes his third Oscar seem inevitable and despite great performances from the rest of the nominees, it’d be real surprise for Abraham Lincoln not to walk away with the statuette.
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Despite losing out to Riva at the BAFTAs, Lawrence is a favourite to win for her mature performance in Silver Linings Playbook. There would be something pretty amazing about Wallis winning, making her the youngest winner in history, but, looking at the lack of wins for the small-budget fantasy Beasts of the Southern Wild this awards season, I don’t think the committees have really picked it up. Riva would be a dark horse, but despite the octogenarian’s recent win and her beautiful portrayal of stroke-sufferer, I’d put my money on America’s newest sweetheart.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
They’ve all got a statue already, they’re all brilliant and they all deserve to be nominated. Jones stole the show in “Lincoln”, de Niro was on superb form in Silver Linings Playbook and Alan Arkin was hilarious in Argo but Waltz is likely to take home his second Oscar for his second Tarantino role. It may seem a little repetitive but his performances as Hans Landa and Dr. King Schultz are equal only in their quality. Plus, he’s a gorgeously grateful winner.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Quelle suprise. She’s practically swept the board so far, so unless the Academy are feeling really wacky this year, I’m pretty sure Hathaway will get her hands on her first Oscar. For all her naysayers, her stark and gut-wrenching performance in Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables” is one of the highlights of the musical epic. Despite this, it’ll be a shame to pass over silver screen legend, Field.
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
The surprising absence of nominations for Affleck and Tarantino massively opens up this category, making it one of the most difficult to predict. There is, however, definitely one name that jumps out. Synonymous with Hollywood, Spielberg could well snap this one up; “Lincoln” is a wonderfully elegant film, but a win for the biopic would be a rare, fourth Directing Oscar for Spielberg. Silver Linings Playbook has been very popular, winning awards for Adapted Screenplay but some call for Lee to win, a second time, for the visual masterpiece that was Life of Pi. It’s a tough one and definitely the curve-ball category for this year.
The remaining categories, whilst under-reported, still hold the promise of plenty of competition. Les Miserables won’t walk away with just the one accolade for Hathaway, as Production Design, Sound and Hair and Make-Up are likely to fall into Hooper’s team’s hands. Considering the monumental size of the project and the revolutionary soundtrack recordings, the first two are certainly deserved. The third, however, is a difficult one, up against The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Hitchcock. Despite the transformation of Anthony Hopkins into the iconic director and the remarkable scores of dwarves and Middle Earth dwelling creatures, neither are likely to get recognition. Worse still, it’s unlikely The Hobbit will win for Visual Effects or Production Design, leaving Jackson unusually empty handed.
Life of Pi appears to be the likely winner in the Visual Effects category as it pushes the boundary not only in 3D cinema but interestingly does so outside the Action genre, unlike the other nominees. Original Screenplay will probably be picked up by Tarantino’s remarkable writing for Django Unchained (I like the way you write, boy) and Adapted Screenplay, whilst I wish it would go to the brilliant Tony Kushner for Lincoln, seems likely to fall into the hands of David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.
Original Music and Original Song is shamefully the only categories Skyfall has been recognised in, with Adele and Thomas Newman likely to pick up another accolade. Here’s hoping Miss Atkins is on similarly inebriated good form as at the Golden Globes. Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, or Tolstoy meets perfume advert, is likely to be lauded for it’s remarkable aesthetics in the categories for Cinematography and Costume Design.
So they’re we have it, some predictions for the 85th Academy Awards. They’ve developed a reputation for being quite predictable, but the Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) is comprised of around 5000 members, so surprise results are very possible. Whoever wins, it’ll be a wonderful, if self-involved, evening of couture, unnecessarily long speeches and Oscar-winning performances from the losers.
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