Saturday, February 23, 2013

85th Oscars Breakdown

I know I haven't written in forever, but I felt like sharing my thoughts and predictions for the 85th Academy Awards. I'll break it down by category and let you know why. Here it goes:

Best Picture
Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Argo
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Argo
Snub: The Impossible

Argo gained a lot of momentum from winning both the Golden Globes and the SAG Award. Lincoln was a front runner for a long time, especially in the early fall. Back in the 90's I would have easily given the award to Lincoln. It is a historical piece and the script is genius. However, Argo has the perfect balance of drama and suspense, all while retelling a true story. I sat on the edge of my seat not knowing what would happen next. Argo deserves to win and probably will, but Lincoln has a chance of slipping in as the winner at the last minute. The Impossible was in my opinion one of the best movies of the year and yet it failed to grab a nomination. The story is emotional from start to finish, the scenery and effects are impressive, and the acting was phenomenal. If nothing else, The Impossible should have at least picked up a nomination.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Jaoquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Could Win: No one else has a chance of winning
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln is enthralling. He made smart choices in the way to chose to become the 16th president. Day-Lewis' mannerisms are not cartoonish or forced, but seem rather natural and just enough to capture the essence of Lincoln. His performance is so believable that it overshadows all of the other nominees.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emanuelle Rivera, Quvenzhane Wallis, Naomi Watts

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Could Win: Jessica Chastain, Emanuelle Rivera
Should Win: Naomi Watts

I think that The Academy likes talented young actresses. I thought that Jennifer Lawrence's performance in Silver Linings Playbook was okay, but I was not blown away. And yet, everyone is raving about her performance. Her track towards gold has further seemed assured by her wins at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Jessica Chastain however could sneak in for the win. Just before the slew of awards shows. Jessica Chastain appeared to be the favorite. Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty was strong and real. Emanuelle Rivera could also come in and steal the prize from her younger competitors. At 86 on Oscar night, she is the oldest nominee in history. She could pull the sentimental vote and surprise everyone. However, I still believe that Naomi Watts deserves the award. Her performance in The Impossible is extremely emotional and demanded my attention from the first five minutes of the film. Strangely enough, the critics declared her the front runner long before nominations were announced. I guess it doesn't help that The Impossible came out early for the Oscar season.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Christoph Waltz

Will Win: Robert DeNiro
Could Win: Tommy Lee Jones
Should Win: Christoph Waltz

Somehow Robert DeNiro has been getting late buzz. His performance as a superstitious sports fan in Silver Linings Playbook is emotional, but I did not recognize it as one of his best performances. Still late predictions are all putting him slightly above his main competitor Tommy Lee Jones. Jones did a great job in Lincoln, and played a strong and likable abolitionist in Lincoln. Still I love Christoph Waltz and believe that his over the top character in Django Unchained was the best of the group.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt, Jacki Weaver

Will Win: Anne Hathaway
Could Win: Sally Field (but the chances are extremely slim)
Should Win: Anne Hathaway

All praise goes to Anne Hathaway. Had it been a different year, Sally Field could have picked up a third Oscar, giving her a perfect record for winning every time she was nominated for an Academy Award. But Anne Hathaway's performance as Fontaine got the attention of audiences and moved them to tears even in the preview for Les Miserables. That song sealed the deal for her to come out victorious as the Best Supporting Actress.

Other Categories (My Predictions)
Animated Feature Film: Brave
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Directing: Steven Spielberg (Snub: Ben Affleck)
Film Editing: Argo
Foreign Language Film: Amour
Makeup and Hairstyling: Les Miserables
Music (Score): Life of Pi
Music (Song): "Skyfall" by Adele
Production Design: Lincoln
Short Film (Animated): Adam and Dog (Paperman should win)
Sound Editing: Skyfall
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Lincoln
Writing (Original Screenplay): Amour

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