Here are my annual Oscar predictions, based as always on seeing as many films as I could – 23 out of 53 nominated films. I’ve given my thoughts and after the night I’ll update my successes and failures! I will also be livetweeting from @shegeekbham all night if anyone is curious about my take on outfits, speeches, winners, losers and how much it makes me sad that Nora Ephron, Tony Scott and Celeste Holm (from All About Eve) are dead.
Best Picture nominated films: In summary
Watched and loved: Argo, Amour, Django Unchained
Watched and enjoyed: Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Wasn’t interested in: Life of Pi
So I’ve listed my preditions below as follows: Category – What Will Win – What I want to Win
Whether I was right will be updated on 25 Feb 2013.
Best Picture – Argo – Amour/Argo
Amour will win Best Foreign Language, so even though it is actually better than most of these nominees, it still won’t win the top gong. That’s how I felt about Toy Story 3 too.
I originally thought Lincoln would win based on numbers of nominations and general American epicness, but I think that the directorial snub means Argo may get picture as a compromise. Also everyone loves to see George Clooney onstage.
At the end of the day these are mainstream awards and of the mainstream runners Argo kept me engaged and intrigued throughout. Les Mis was lovely but pretty niche, Beasts is too Indie and loads of voters probably haven’t seen it. Silver Linings just isn’t epic enough, Lincoln is a big old history lesson, Life of Pi feels good but not great and Zero Dark Thirty & Django – I feel may be too intense and frivolous for the Academy respectively.
Best Director –Steven Speilberg -Benh Zeitlin
I love indie underdogs, but I suspect Goliath has David beat.
I should note that I was annoyed that Kathryn Bigelow wasn’t nominated because I certainly think she did an better job than other nominees, I was devastated that Ben Affleck was overlooked, because his direction was pretty masterful.
Best Actor In A Leading Role – Daniel Day Lewis -I’m ambivalent
Daniel Day-Lewis always gives amazing commitment but Jean Valjean was clearly tailor made for Hugh Jackman so it would be nice for a shock victory on his part and I think he’s the only other contender.
I haven’t caught The Master, which I’m annoyed about and Flight, which I’m not.
Best Actress In A Leading Role – Emmanuelle Riva- Emmanuelle Riva
Jessica Chastain would make a lovely surprise winner, but I don’t think anyone who has seen Amour has stopped talking about Madame Riva and rightly so.
Best Supporting Actor – Robert DeNiro – Robert De Niro
Battle of the heavyweights. Everyone nominated here has an Oscar, everyone nominated here is a joy to watch. For me it’s between the Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro. They both have excellent pedigree but I really enjoyed the nuanced performance RDN gave in Silver Linings Playbook. The cast nestled really well together and whilst Jennifer Lawrence was stand-out, Robert De Niro glued the whole film together.
Best Supporting Actress –Anne Hathaway- Amy Adams
Amy Adams is long overdue and for me it’s consistent excellent acting vs and outstanding achievement in a particular scene.
If I compare how I felt after Mon’ique’s scene stealing, Oscar winning scene, the film was unimaginable without her, and whilst Anne Hathaway was undoubtedly great ,it doesn’t eclipse how I feel about how compelling I find Amy Adams. She’s the main reason I kicked myself when I discovered I missed The Master at the cinema, she is always intriguing and definitely deserving of an Oscar (yep I want her to win even though I haven’t seen the film.)
Best Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino – Quentin Tarantino/Michael Haneke
I think Quentin Tarantino will win and this will not bother me at all. The dialogue is witty and pithy and QT at his very best. That said writing dialogue for someone afflicted with a stroke and the man trying to communicate with her. It would be magnificent to honour that with a statuette.
Best Adapted Screenplay – Chris Terrio – Argo – I have no strong feeling.
I pretty much always get the Screenplay categories wrong. It’s pretty apples and oranges to me. Adaptation is incredibly difficult and I won’t feel a sense of outrage whoever wins.
Foreign Language Film-Amour – Amour
It’s nominated for Best picture. It’s outstanding, compelling and touching. I suspect the most widely viewed of the nominees by a long way. I have to say I haven’t seen the other but definitely planning on catching No and A Royal Affair.
A now for the categories which I would consider mostly hunches and guesses rather than educated speculation
Documentary Feature – 5 Broken Cameras
Total guess. I haven’t seen any, although Searching for Sugarman had a decent release and I’ve herad excellent things about How to Survive a Plague. I really should watch these.
Documentary Short-Mondays at Racine : Total guess – If I haven’t caught the documentary features…
Best Animated Feature Film – The Pirates! Band of Misfits – Pirates/Paranorman
Ooh I’ve watched all but Wreck it Ralph. Brave was lovely, Frankenweenie was typical Burton weirdeness and I love Mackinnon and Saunders’ work with him (yay brits) . Paranorman was great, unique and funny but Aardman are masters of animation and can I say again yay Stop Motion, yay Britain!
Cinematography – Roger Deakins, Skyfall – Roger Deakins, Skyfall
In 2008 I went to the Edinburgh Film Fetsival Roger Deakins Q&A with co-nominee Seamus McGarvey and I was captivated by this lovely, eloquent man. (Both men in fact were incredibly engaging to listen to). Look at his credits people – 10 nominations to date, WHY HAS THIS MAN NOT GOT AN OSCAR? WHHHHY? That’s right nominated TWICE in one year and still didn’t win. Admitedly, it is not a good reason to give him an Oscar “so Esther can finally stop whingeing about it”, but there are other reasons so just, please, give him one Academy. Also Skyfall did look sodding amazing.
All these men are great masters of light, so my particular obsession and personal feelings sort of aside, I would genuinely be thrilled for Seamus McGarvey to have an Oscar (did you see Avengers Assemble and We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Django and Lincoln where both skilfully shot. I can’t talk to Life of Pi but as it involves some significant CGI that would be my only “meh” winner.
Film Editing – Argo – Can’t comment: Total guess, but if it’s going to get Best Film it should win a technical nod too.
Sound Editing – Zero Dark Thirty –Can’t comment: Total guess, that said there was a lot going on sound-wise in the film, and very little music so sound did create mood in a very effective way. Not sure if that’s what the Academy looks for.
Sound Mixing – Les Miserables – Can’t comment: Total guess, but mixing live vocals must be a total bugger and it was incredibly well done.
Make-up– Lisa Westcott, Les Miserables: I haven’t seen the others but it won the BAFTA and Hugh Jackman aged marvellously and the prostitutes were sublime. I have heard Anthony Hopkins was transformed and I did love the Hobbits, so any winner(s) would be acceptable.
Costume Design- Snow White and The Huntsman –Can’t comment.
When Sandy Powell is not nominated I have no go-to guess. I went out on a limb here because Snow White and Ravenna’s outfits were incredibly memorable. That said period costuming often does well here and the outfits in Anna Karenina were sumptuous, I felt the Les Mis outfits were pretty well dictated by years of stage costumes and Lincoln seemed historically accurate but I wouldn’t really have a clue. Mirror Mirror, was very fairytale.
Music (Original Score) John Williams, Lincoln – Meh
I went with my gut here. Although my gut was fighting with Thomas Newman. I’m fairly ambivalent about who wins, although Argo was my favourite of the films and I generally like Alexandre Desplat. Yep, I’m totally hedging.
Music (Original Song) – Skyfall- Skyfall
Everybody Needs A Best Friend was not my favourite song from Ted, I wasn’t a huge fan of Suddenly (although Hugh Jackman sang it beautifully), I haven’t heard the Chasing Ice and Life of Pi songs – which leaves me with Adele, awesome Adele who I REALLY want to win and hopefully give an awesome, swear ridden speech.
Art Direction- Anna Karenina- Anna Karenina
Wasn’t the hobbit house already there in like 3 other films? Some nice dashes in Les Mis, but it didn’t stand out for me, Anna Karenina had high goals and looked magnificent.
Visual Effects –Life of Pi- Life of Pi
Tiger on a boat and other assorted marvels, yep give it a gong. Although the final Avengers battle was nerdtastic and you know, creating Middle Earth is always tons of work!
Short film (Animated)– Fresh Guacomole – Decide for yourselves!
Adam And Dog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtTQ9dPGBqg
Fresh Guacomole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMO6vjmkyI (made me hungry, very clever, and also short)
Head Over Heels http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHs3Pe32b8Q
Paperman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVp5BHQLX_w (fantasia for a modern age)
& THE SIMPSONNNS….
Short Film (Live Action)– Curfew-Your guess is as good as mine! here’s the official trailer.
Let the good times roll!