1) Ben Affleck/Argo
2) Tom Hooper/Les Miserables
3) Paul Thomas Anderson/The Master
4) Behn Zeitlin/Beasts of the Southern Wild
5) Michael Haneke/Amour
I’ve said since the beginning of the year, this was Affleck’s year to make it in and after the TIFF reaction, he’s not only a lock for the nomination, I think he’s in it to win it. I was always skeptical about Les Miserable leading Hooper to another Oscar, despite the epicness of the whole thing and the firm stance that this would be a return to Oscar glory days. I still think that Best Picture is going to be a tight race between the two, but I’m most confident that even if Les Miserables takes top honors, this is going to go to Affleck.
I don’t see Paul Thomas Anderson winning here, although he could if The Master really takes off with Oscar. Early word from critics and personal friends who have seen the film though say that it is a shoe in for awards nominations, but that it is far too polarizing a film to get consensus to vote for it. It isn’t an easy film, and Oscar likes easy most of the time.
I’m also sticking to my guns on Zeitlin, who I think is going to get an easy nomination as long as Beasts of the Southern Wild continues to build buzz. Some have said that the buzz has dies somewhat, but awards season is about to heat up the Wallis is still pretty much locked up for Best Actress, so the word will fill the air, and how can you nominate her and not Zeitlin, especially when he is accredited to her performance most of the time? Haneke may be seen as wishful thinking, but he’s respected and his film is accessible and the raves are all over the place so let this be the time they think to reward him. The directors branch is not as stuffy as they appear sometimes. I mean, they have nominated foreign directors before, sometimes to the shock of all around, so this is something that could easily happen for a man as beloved as Haneke.
What do you think? Who am I missing? Spielberg, I know, but I’m starting to think that Lincoln could be a tad ‘same ol’ same’ for the Academy. Think J. Edgar last year, which seemed like such a LOCK early on and wound up with NOTHING.