Predicting major category wins
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 22:02
This year’s Oscars, to be presented Sunday, have more hotly contested awards than the last three or four combined. Here are my predictions for each of the major categories.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) is the clear favorite, and he absolutely deserves it. However, he has already won twice, and only two people have won three times or more (Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson). Dark horses are Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Phoenix was the most praised part of “The Master.” Some voters may swing his way after it was shut out of Best Picture and Best Director, but not enough, this one will go to Day-Lewis.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) look to be fighting for this one, after they both won the Golden Globe. But I think Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) who played a stroke victim struggling to maintain her relationship as well as her will to live will pull out a surprise victory. That is the type of role the Academy adores, not to mention she’s the oldest Best Actress nominee in Oscar history.
Best Supporting Actor: Originally this was a lock for Phillip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), but Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) entered the picture in November. Then Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) won the Golden Globe. As for Robert DeNiro (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Alan Arkin (“Argo”), they’re both too awesome to ever be ruled out. From what I’ve read, there seems to be a lot of affection for “Silver Linings Playbook,” and seeing as it has nominations in all four acting categories, the Academy may be inclined to give it at least one win. This would the most ideal place, so I’ll go with DeNiro.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway.
Best Director: For once, this one doesn’t depend on who will win Best Picture, kind of. Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) is the favorite. The last time he won was “Schindler’s List” and “Lincoln” is certainly his best film since. But Ang Lee could win for “Life of Pi,” which was very innovative stylistically and visually. It’s a toss up, but I’ll go with Spielberg because “Lincoln” has a higher chance of winning the grand prize, and that always seems to be a criteria.
Best Picture: “Argo” has the momentum, the accolades, the admirers and everything needed to take this one home, except a directorial nomination for Ben Affleck. The last time a film won Best Picture without being nominated for Best Director was 1989 and, prior to that, 1932. “Lincoln” is definitely a favorite, as the Academy loves historical films and its political message is relevant. “Zero Dark Thirty” could win if wasn’t clouded in controversy, which the Academy prefers to avoid. “Silver Linings Playbook” is the heartwarming charmer, which has been slowly acquiring buzz over the last two months. “Amour” and “Les Miserables” are longshots, but not long enough to be completely ruled out. If there’s one thing the Academy likes to do, it’s play it safe, which is why I think Best Picture will go to “Lincoln.”