1) Phoenix/The Master
2) Jackman/Les Miserables
3) Hawkes/The Sessions
This particular category has seemed wrapped up since the beginning of the year. We’ve had the same five names in contention since the very beginning, and it would have stayed the same had Murray pretty much fleeted from the category last month and with Flight’s recent R rating it seems that Washington really is a contender here. With Phoenix’s raves, Hawke’s narrative, Day-Lewis’s, well, being Day-Lewis and Jackman’s role this category seems stacked with five potential winners.
Phoenix has gotten ‘career best’ notices, but I’m not so sure he’ll win. It isn’t a likable character, he isn’t an entirely liked actor (albeit respected) and the film itself is said to be VERY divisive, which could spell nominations without any real wins. Day-Lewis and Washington already have TWO Oscars, so I’m not sure AMPAS as a whole will be all that interested in awarding them a third Oscar. They are certainly very respected actors (something I don’t truly understand, to be honest) but I don’t think either of them is on Streep or Nicholson levels of respect yet, and it took them a very long time to get their third Oscars.
I foresee this as a Hawkes/Jackman battle to the very end. I see Jackman taking the Globe, Hawkes taking the BFCA, we all know DDL is taking BAFTA. It’ll really come down to SAG and at the moment I see Jackman charming his way to both the SAG win and the Oscar. Phoenix is going to steamroll through the critics’ awards, with Hawkes nabbing a few for himself, but in the end I think that’ll be the end of his awards prospects.
1) Lawrence/Silver Linings Playbook
2) Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild
3) Cotillard/Rust and Bone
5) Watts/The Impossible
This category is rather hilarious. None of this makes any sense really. We started the year with a slew of potential nominees and we’ve seen nearly all of them disappear, basically revealing to us a handful of ‘liked but not loved’ performances vying for votes. You know, except for Jennifer Lawrence who shocked the word (or at least this Oscar blogger) but receiving unanimous raves for her Silver Linings Playbook performance.
So I guess she’s winning.
In such a weak year, we have two potential foreign language performances. Both Cotillard and Riva have received pretty solid reviews for their performances, and while Riva as a whole received better (and her film has a much stronger chance at other Oscar nominations), Cotillard is young, beautiful, a previous Oscar winner and has had an amazing string since her Oscar win. She is bound to get a second nomination, and this is the year to hand her one. Wallis, the nine-year-old wonder from the Indie breakout film this year, is pretty much locked up as our sole newbie. Her performance is universally lauded and she has the offscreen presence to carry a nomination on her shoulders.
The last two spots are shaky for me. We have a handful of names to consider. Knightley has the literary adaptation that underperformed with critics but landed her a handful of raves (and a slew of good notices). Streep was in the surprise summer hit with more depth than expected, and she’s Meryl Fucking Streep. Smith is bouncing off of rekindled affections thanks to Downton Abbey and has two light, fun films out this year. Watts has received steady praise for her performance in The Impossible, and more importantly the film itself is getting great ink and is said to be a powerfully moving film.
Right now, I say that Smith charms her way to the senior citizen spot and Watts nabs that last spot and becomes a dark horse for the actual Oscar.
1) Hoffman/The Master
2) Crowe/Les Miserables
5) McGregor/The Impossible
One thing that has become really apparent this year is that we aren’t going to have too many first time nominees. There are just far too many returning nominees with extremely baity fare. I’m still pretty confident that Crowe is in, and the consensus on Hoffman, and his recent win at Venice, makes him a viable threat for the win. DiCaprio has been on every prognosticator’s ballot all year, including mine, but my dwindling faith in Django Unchained and the lack of any true buzz over the project has caused me to consider a snub here. Unless he’s poised to win, I don’t know if he’ll nab enough #1 votes, and I’m starting to wonder if the recycled trend of witty villains is getting tired.
So that brings us to Argo and McGregor. Argo has gotten raves across the board, and it seems like every review singles out a different actor, with Goodman and Arkin nabbing best in show mentions and scene stealing reviews, so I’m betting on a double nomination here. Goodman would also be a first timer, and I think he’s a good bet for the NBR considering the great year he’s been having. Between this and Flight, he has two really high profile films (and performances) and that doesn’t even count the fact that he’s in Trouble the Curve and Inside Llewyn Davis (if that film is actually released this year). Then you have McGregor, who is getting really good ink, and is his film, and it would be about time he got a nomination. Besides that, he’s probably truly co-lead, and Oscar likes to nominate large supporting roles in this category.
And then that leaves De Niro. I really think he could make it in as well, but there are so many returning contenders that I’m leaving him off for the time being. He’s been out of the race for a long time, but this is said to be a great turn from him, and rewarding a legend with a welcome back nomination in the Supporting category is not unheard of.
For now, I’m betting on this lineup, but nothing is truly certain.
1) Hathaway/Les Miserables
2) Adams/The Master
4) Barks/Les Miserables
5) Williams/Hyde Park on Hudson
All I know is that Anne Hathaway is winning the Oscar and that Amy Adams is going to be an also ran once again. Poor girl. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride and yet, there really is no other way that this can pan out. Hathaway’s role is TOO Oscar to be ignored.
Collins is getting great ink for her role, and she would fit the recent trend of returning 90’s nominees and lighter feel good films tend to be accepted in this category. Barks would be a good bet since AMPAS likes to nominate two actresses from the same film in this category. Les Miserables is such a large ensemble it would seem the obvious contender for this trend. Fantine and Eponine are tremendous roles, so the meatiness of this is inevitable.
I feel pretty confident in the top four, and then I’m still juggling options for the final spot. For now, I’m thinking Williams is in. Her reviews have been strong and she is making a big splash with cinema recently, so she could easily nab a filler spot in a year with such a preordained winner. The only other real option at this point appears to be Helen Hunt, who has garnered great reviews but who has switched to Supporting (a foolish move when Lead Actress is far more open and seems like an easy nomination for her). I’m not saying that supporting is stacked to the point where Hunt doesn’t have a shot, but I don’t really see her as a threat here at all. It just doesn’t seem legitimate, and the fact that they are downplaying her role now makes me wonder if Hawkes is going to take all of the support.
Well, that wraps up the acting predictions for the moment. What do you think? Is DiCaprio a bigger threat for a nomination/win than I’m giving him credit for? Am I overestimating Les Miserables? Could Flight manage a supporting nomination for Reilly? Is Hunt really in the game? Is Streep going to get her 100th nomination this year?