Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Final Oscar Predictions 2013

Back in January, I spent a lot of time putting together a coherent set of predictions for the Oscar Nominations.  As I stated in that column, it was a very weird year for prognosticating movie awards.  That trend has continued in a lot of ways throughout the various precursor awards shows, although surprisingly, the Best Picture race is not nearly as close as I thought it would be at this point.

Of the eight major categories, there are three that I will point out that are fairly locked up, while the other FIVE have legitimate neck-and-neck races going on.  In the years I have been doing this, there haven’t been nearly that many open races in the major categories—like, not even close.  No one knows anything this year.

So, I’d say don’t waste your time reading a ton of predictions this year, except that I want you to read mine.  But have a look around the interwebs and it will be humorous to you just how wildly different everyone’s predictions will look.  Again, no one knows anything this year.

As usual, I have laid out below my predictions, complete with my perceived percentages for the winners, and what I think could win, should win, and should have been nominated.  Feel free to follow along and revel in my failure, or my success.  Enjoy, and if you happen to be tuned in to the Oscars on Sunday evening, follow me over on twitter @adamswindow and see my meltdown firsthand after my predictions go haywire.  But please don’t judge me, because again, no one knows anything this year.

% Sure: 98
Could Win: Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Amour
Should Have Been There: The Master
Comments: This category is going to be an anomaly of epic proportions no matter how it turns out.  Argo will be only the 5th film to ever win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination.  If it somehow loses, however, it would be unprecedented to have won the number of precursor awards that it has without winning the big prize at the end.  It’s lack of a director nomination makes it just open enough that a shocker here could be in store.

BEST DIRECTOR:  Ummmm, Steven Spielberg, I guess??
% Sure:  Negative 25%.  I’ve never felt more uncertain about a prediction, ever.
Could Win: David O. Russell
Should Win:  Michael Haneke, Amour
Should Have Been There: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Comments: Since Best Director normally goes hand-in-hand with Best Picture, and we know that won’t happen this year since Affleck wasn’t nominated, this category is going to be the most fun to see the winner announced on Sunday night.  I think 4 of the 5 nominees have a legitimate chance of winning, and here’s how I see it playing out:

Spielberg: 30%
David O. Russell: 27.5%
Michael Haneke: 22.5%
Ang Lee: 20%
Benh Zeitlen: 0%

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

% Sure: 95
Could Win: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Should Have Been There: Denis Levant, Holy Motors
Comments: When DDL wins this award, it will be the first time a male actor has won three lead actor Oscars.  And it will be well deserved.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:  Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

% Sure: 60
Could Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour  
Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva
Should Have Been There:  Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
Comments: Emmanuelle Riva, age 87, has gained some major steam of late for her amazing performance in Amour, leaving Jessica Chastain in her wake and catching up to Jennifer Lawrence.  Any of the three could win, but I think it’s a two-horse race between Riva and Lawrence.  The Academy loved both movies, as each was nominated for director and best picture.  Silver Linings Playbook is the more commercially friendly movie and was nominated in all four acting categories, something that hasn’t happened in over 30 years.  I think those elements are just enough to push it over the edge and give Lawrence the win.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:  Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
% Sure: 30
Could Win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Should Have Been There: I’m just glad that Waltz and Hoffman were both nominated. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Javier Bardem in Skyfall.
Comments: Actually, this category is almost as difficult as Director. Jones, DeNiro, and Waltz could all win and I would not be surprised. This is stupid. I quit.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:  Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
% Sure: 99.5
Could Win: Sally Field, Lincoln
Should Win: Gotta give it up to Ms. Hathaway here.  She was excellent.
Should Have Been There: Ann Dowd, Compliance
Comments: Ok, phew, we’re finally back to a category I’m sure about.  Equally certain is that Hathaway will somehow find a way to annoy the ever-living crap out of me on Oscar night.

% Sure: 60
Could Win: Amour
Should Win: Moonrise Kingdom
Should Have Been There: Holy Motors
Comments: Another wide open race here between Django Unchained and Amour.  Tarantino lost this award in 2009 when The Hurt Locker ousted Inglorious Basterds, even though most thought he was the favorite to win.  I think this award will be really indicative of who will win Best Actress—if Amour somehow wins this, then I think Riva also wins Best Actress rather than Jennifer Lawrence.

% Sure: 80
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Lincoln
Should Have Been There: 21 Jump Street
Comments: Your Best Picture winner is going to take this one.  If it doesn’t, look out.

% Sure: 90
Could Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Argo
Should Have Been There:  Looper
Comments:  I simply cannot see Argo winning Best Picture without also taking home this award.  If it fails to pick up this Oscar early in the evening, look out for a BP upset.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Life of Pi % Sure: 70
Could Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Skyfall
Should Have Been There:  The Master
Comments:  The only thing holding me back from saying Life of Pi is sure to win this, is that Roger Deakins, cinematographer of Skyfall, has been nominated many times and had an amazing career, yet never won the award.  He is sorely overdue.  And Skyfall is great work and deserves to be awarded.  But Life of Pi is no weak candidate here, and its aesthetic is so tightly woven into its story that I think it might just be too hard to ignore.  

% Sure: 60
Could Win: Les Miserables
Should Win: Lincoln (Full Disclosure: haven’t seen Anna Karenina)
Should Have Been There: Moonrise Kingdom
Comments: I’m very hesitant to predict this, because Les Miserables could easily take it, and this category usually likes to award films nominated for Best Picture over non-nominees (a trend you will see reflected in the rest of my predictions, as well).  Hopefully Anna Karenina is just too much of a behemoth in this category to ignore in favor of lesser (although good) work in Les Miserables.

% Sure: 55
Could Win: Les Miserables
Should Have Been There: A nod for Beasts of the Southern Wild would’ve been cool here.
Comments: Les Miserables could easily take this and I wouldn’t be surprised, but Anna Karenina has beat it out in a number of precursor awards.  Another coin-flip here. Whatever.

% Sure: 90
Could Win: Whatever
Should Win: Whatever
Should Have Been There: Holy Motors
Comments: Just going with the theory that it’s a Best Picture nominee against non-nominees. Whatever, moving along...

BEST SOUND MIXING:  Les Miserables
% Sure: 90
Could Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Les Miserables
Should Have Been There: All good noms, I suppose.
Comments: Big musicals with a lot of nominations rarely lose this one. Easy money.


% Sure: 75
Could Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Life of Pi
Should Have Been There:
Comments: Tiger and other zoo animals. Ship sinking. Mysterious island. Streets of India. Lots of sound effects here. This is a tough category, but I’m fairly confident in my prediction.

% Sure: 100
Could Win: The Hobbit
Should Win: Life of Pi
Should Have Been There:
Comments: The last time a non-Best Picture nominee beat out a Best Picture nominee in this category was in 1970.  Last year, I bet against these odds and my prediction ended up being wrong.  Not making that mistake this year.  As Life of Pi is the only BP nom in the visual effects category, bet against it at your own risk.

% Sure: 70
Could Win: Brave
Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Should Have Been There:
Comments: There’s a little bit of a race here between Pixar and Disney.  Pixar has dominated this category throughout the years but faltered last year when Cars 2 disappointed and Rango took home the prize.  Brave is better than Cars 2, and has some amazing animation, but Wreck-It Ralph is the better story, is more innovative, and is the better film overall.  I think people will be glad to award Disney for their work here.  

% Sure: 110
Could Win: That’s My Boy.  It wasn’t nominated, but it has as much of a chance as any of the four nominees not named Amour.
Should Win: Amour
Should Have Been There: Holy. Freaking. Motors
Comments:  A foreign film that was nominated for Best Picture has never failed to win this award.  The only question here is whether Amour can take home any other awards it was nominated for besides this one.  

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:  Searching for Sugar Man
% Sure: 89.5
Could Win: The Invisible War
Should Win: Considering I haven’t seen any of the nominees...I will abstain.
Should Have Been There: The Queen of Versailles
Comments: Sugar Man will win.  Moving along...


% Sure: 75
Could Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Lincoln
Should Have Been There: The Master
Comments: It’s either Life of Pi or Lincoln here.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Skyfall” by Adele

% Sure: 110
Comments: Easy. Moving along.


% Sure:  79.5
Could Win: Death of a Shadow
Should Win: Curfew...the only one that was even remotely good.
Comments:  Hey, I’ve actually seen all these! They were not a very good slate this year, but Curfew was the only one that I could legitimately see winning here...the other nominees were all well-shot, but were all some combination of manipulative, contrived, or inconsequential, in my estimation.  Curfew was fun and moving, and to boot was the only English-language nominee.  


% Sure:  90
Could Win: Adam and Dog
Should Win: Paperman
Comments:  I think Disney will win it’s first of two awards with this category, with the emotional and retro Paperman.  Adam & Dog is probably the more meaningful film, and is wonderfully animated, but Paperman just makes you feel the feels and also has a cool visual style to it, the combination of which I think will be more than enough to get it the win.  


% Sure: 50
Comments: No comments, because literally no one cares about this category, including me.

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