Oscar, the grouch
The Academy rarely picks the best in movies. Bob Grimm always does.
I used to watch the Oscars when Johnny Carson hosted. This was before I knew the whole thing was bullshit, and I would get all excited when those envelopes were opened, or stupid Paul Williams showed up singing a song.
Even though it usually doesn’t get it right with the awards, I guess I still look forward to the show, especially when that idiot Billy Crystal isn’t hosting it. This year it’s Seth McFarlane. Should be interesting, and perhaps delightfully profane.
Here are the nominees, along with my predictions. Drink chocolate milk every time I get one right, and regular milk when I get one wrong. (I don’t endorse alcohol drinking games.)
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Let’s go ahead and immediately eliminate Amour, Beasts, Django and Life of Pi. None of these films have a chance. Zero Dark Thirty had the momentum going into awards season, but that momentum has shifted significantly, probably thanks to stupid Ed Asner and his lame comments. Go to hell, Lou Grant! A few months ago, I would’ve thought Les Mis, my personal favorite of the bunch, had a good shot, but I think it’s going to get beat because everybody hates Russell Crowe.
That leaves Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Argo. Admittedly, I would’ve gone with Lincoln or Silver Linings a recently as a month ago, but with the Director’s Guild and Screen Actor’s Guild all giving awards to Argo, I’m thinking it’s Argo for the win.
SNUBS: This is a pretty good crop of nominees. Since there’s room for 10, a nom for The Impossible would’ve been nice, or perhaps Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Should win: Les Misérables
Will Win: Argo
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
No chance for Washington or Phoenix, and I ain’t talking football. This is a race between Cooper, Jackman and Day-Lewis. Cooper was brilliant, but there are big, showy roles in this category. My vote would be for Jackman’s incredibly durable, tear-jerking performance in Les Mis, but I think Day-Lewis will nail his third Oscar down for his Honest Abe. No, I didn’t even like Lincoln, but I must acknowledge he’s wonderful in the movie.
SNUBS: When I picked my five favorite actors at the end of 2012, four out of the five nominated were on my list, with the exception of Denzel Washington. I would’ve liked to see Liam Neeson in that slot for The Grey, a performance that didn’t get the accolades it deserved.
Should Win: Jackman
Will Win: Day-Lewis
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Dammit, when is Naomi Watts going to win an Oscar? It’s not going to be this year, but it damned well should be. Her performance in The Impossible, a movie many have not seen, is jaw dropping.
Even though she is the clear winner in my eyes, all of the performances nominated here are deserving of their nominations. Wallis is miraculous in Beasts, Riva is devastatingly good in Amour, and Chastain is a solid anchor in Zero.
That leaves Lawrence, terrific in Silver Linings, and I believe she’ll win the Oscar. She has the momentum now. I would’ve never picked her a couple of months ago, but after the Globes and SAG awards, it looks like it’s all hers.
However, don’t underestimate the age factor. The nearly 85-year-old Riva could sweep in and upset.
SNUBS: Once again, another good category, with four out of the five matching my Best Actress list. I loved Wallis, but I would’ve nominated Mary Elizabeth Winstead in her place for Smashed.
Should Win: Watts
Will Win: Lawrence
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)
I think enough people dislike Django to disqualify Waltz, and the same goes for Hoffman in The Master. Arkin is fun in Argo, but not nearly Oscar worthy.
De Niro was back in fine form for Playbook, and I think he’s the most deserving of those nominated. But Jones just keeps racking up the awards for his dull turn in the dull Lincoln. Nothing he does in that film is different from what he did in The Fugitive. It’s basically Tommy Lee Jones starring as Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln.
Ah, screw it, I’m predicting a De Niro upset.
SNUBS: Sam Rockwell was extraordinary in Seven Psychopaths, as was Edward Norton in Moonrise Kingdom.
Should and will win: De Niro
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Anne Hathaway is going to win. No reason to discuss any further.
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
David O’ Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Well, if Argo is going to win Best Picture, and Affleck didn’t get a director’s nomination, what the heck happens here?
Steven Spielberg wins his third Best Directing Oscar, that’s what. While I love Spielberg, I think Lincoln is a rare misstep for my hero. Of this group, I would have to say Ang Lee is the most deserving. But it’s Spielberg all the way.
SNUBS: Affleck, Tom Hooper for Les Mis, and Kathryn Bigelow are all surprising omissions. Especially Bigelow and Hooper— both directors outdid their previous Oscar winning efforts. How Les Mis got snubbed here is beyond me. The cast sang live, for Christ’s sake.
Should Win: Lee
Will Win: Spielberg
Best Animated Film
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
This is a tough one. While I found Brave to be quite charming, a lot of folks found the whole “mom turns into a bear” thing stupid. I don’t think Pirates stands a chance, although it deserved the nomination. Wreck-It Ralph is my least favorite in this bunch, and I suspect it will be least favorite among voters, too.
I’m thinking Brave will continue a long legacy of Pixar victories, although my personal favorite in this bunch is ParaNorman. ParaNorman was an innovative, creative and just slightly demented film, and a true standout.
SNUBS: Nothing really got snubbed here, unless you inexplicably worship Hotel Transylvania.
Should Win: ParaNorman
Will Win: Brave
Best Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Costume Design: Lincoln
Best Production Design: Les Misérables
Best Sound Mixing: Les Misérables
Best Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Makeup: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Best Original Song: “Skyfall”
Best Score: Argo
Best Short Film, Animated: Paperman
Best Short Film, Live Action: Asad
Best Documentary (Short): Redemption
Best Documentary (Feature): How to Survive a Plague
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour