2013 Oscar Predictions

When the Academy Award nominations were announced on January 10th I was rather surprised by the favoritism shown towards Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour. Though I more understand the affection for French language film Amour which tells the story of two retired musicians in their eighties and their struggles in their relationship after one suffers an attack and faces death, I didn't think it would dominate the way it did. Amour is a bleak portrait of what we are all heading towards in life and director Michael Haneke has crafted a film I personally found "moving in ways I don't know that I've received from any other film in recent memory, but that doesn't mean I'll ever watch it again. It is a very serious film and one that is almost overly so with its static shots and honest to a fault dialogue. The performances of both Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are moving in what they have in common with the overall film." With the way in which voting is done these days I should not have been surprised to see the film receive so many nominations, but more I was upset that some of my hopefuls were left by the wayside. This came to be most true in the best director category as heavy front runners like Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper and Quentin Tarantino were knocked out by the directors of both Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Since those nominations much has happened as Argo has taken the lead in the best picture category and the acting categories for best supporting actor and best actress continue to be a tight race. We all know Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway will be making acceptance speeches, but who else will be taking the stage? Hit the jump to find out my predictions for all of the major categories.

Best Picture

While I was upset with the director snubs, especially over Bigelow as she truly deserved not only to be nominated but to win, I was even more upset this lessened the chances of her film, Zero Dark Thirty, taking home the big prize. The chances of that are now basically, no pun intended, zero. Still, this doesn't mean those directing snubs will cost one of the deserving pictures a shot at the main trophy as Argo is now the front-runner. Many were upset with the Academy for ignoring Affleck in the best director race and thus he and his third directorial effort have now won every major prize at every preliminary awards show. Taking top honors at the Golden Globes as well as the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Actors Guild. This wave of support hasn't nearly settled and it is likely the Academy will try and make up for its snub by giving Affleck and his fellow producers the best picture trophy this Sunday. Still, there is the off chance Lincoln might take home the big prize as Spielberg is still the favorite for director and I wouldn't put it past the Academy to ignore the sympathy that has been garnered for Argo and go against the crowd and continue with their tradition of giving the best director winner the best picture honors as well. For me, a film that deserves to win a title such as "best picture" though is one that has that shot of being a milestone for the time in which it was made. A film that will stand the test of time and mean something even further down the road. That is why I still believe David Fincher's The Social Network should have taken home the big prize in 2010 and why Zero Dark Thirty deserves the best picture trophy this year.

What Will Win: Argo
What Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty    

Best Director

It's still odd we have more best picture nominees than directors, yet it would seemingly make the best picture winner easier to predict. In the three years since the best picture category has expanded the winner has still continued to follow its director after his or her win. I initially didn't see the Academy breaking any rules here so I was ready to stick to my guns and say it was definitely going to be Spielberg walking up on that stage February 24th. This is still the most likely outcome though it will probably be only be a single time he makes his way to the stage. I appreciate Lincoln and respect it for what it is (I believe Tony Kushner deserves the award for best adapted screenplay) but I don't see Lincoln as the most deserving of a directing win as Spielberg had it relatively easy when compared to his opponents. If I were going to pick the most deserving director out of the group the Academy has nominated I would give it to Ang Lee, hands down. The challenges of bringing a sprawling novel like Life of Pi to the screen and with such success was a daunting task to say the least. Doing this required a ton of trust in Lee as a director because this film was anything but a safe bet. Life of Pi was not my favorite film of the year, but it would have made my top 20 had I extended it that far. It is a gorgeous film, probably the best looking of last year (which will guarantee it wins in several technical categories) and the sequence in which the ship sinks is absolutely breathtaking on the big screen. To manage such large scale pieces as this while at the same time delivering a character study in the way he directed first time actor Suraj Sharma deserves some kind of recognition.

Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg
Who Should Win: Ang Lee    

Acting 

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Who Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Who Should Win: Jessica Chastain

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Robert DeNiro
Who Should Win: Christoph Waltz

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Anne Hathaway
Who Should Win: Helen Hunt

Writing


Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: Chris Terrio, Argo 
Who Should Win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln


Best Original Screenplay:

Who Will Win: Michael Haneke, Amour
Who Should WinQuentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Alternate Picture Categories

Best Animated Film

What Will Win: Brave
What Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph  

Best Documentary

What Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man
What Should Win: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Foreign Film

What Will Win: Amour
What Should Win: I haven't seen any other films in this category besides Amour.   


Music & Score


Sound Editing: 

What Will Win: Life of Pi

Original Song

What Will Win: Skyfall, Adele

Sound Mixing: 

What Will Win: Les Miserables

Original Score: 

What Will Win: Life of Pi



Technical Categories



Cinematography:             Production Design:                 Visual Effects:

What Will Win:                     What Will Win:                             What Will Win: 
Life of Pi                               Anna Karenina                            Life of Pi

Editing:                              Costumes:                                   Make-Up:

What Will Win:                    What Will Win:                               What Will Win:
Argo                                     Anna Karenina                          The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Seth MacFarlane will host the 85th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, Feb. 24 as they air live on ABC.