Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My July (LOL) Oscar Predictions...

So, it's the last day of the month and I scrambled to get this put together.  Talk about waiting till the last minute, but I was not pushing this out until August.

Lead Actress:

I don’t even know what the hell is happening here.  It seemed so full and yet now the pool is drying up, with so many performances being either pushed to next year or filtered into the supporting field or meeting less than expected reviews.  The idea that an 8-year-old little girl in an independent film is the categories clearest ‘lock’ at this point is beyond bizarre.  The big names are still hanging out, but really none of them really feel like winners to me.  In fact, some of them I struggle to consider nominees.  After pouring through trailers and reading over synopsis’s and reading reviews (I should learn to read more of those) I’ve come up with what I imagine is going to happen come Oscar nomination morning.  Honestly, I have no clue and so this is all horrible guesswork at this point, but something, someone, somewhere has to fail; paving way for something unexpected.

Let’s start with the names I’m seriously considering.

Amy Adams/Trouble with the Curve

Marion Cotillard/Rust & Bone

Judi Dench/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Gyllenhaal/Won’t Back Down

Helen Hunt/The Sessions

Keira Knightley/Anna Karenina

Laura Linney/Hyde Park on Hudson

Emmanuelle Riva/Amour

Maggie Smith/Quartet

Quvenzhane Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts/The Impossible

Mary Elizabeth Winstead/Smashed

For now, these are the names that feel the most promising, for various reasons.  I understand that names like Jennifer Lawrence and Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep are being thrown around by a lot of people right now, but I don’t have faith based either on role, timing or reaction to the trailer.  So, of the twelve I have faith in, this is how I’d rank them.

Supporting Actress:

While the lead category at this point feels a little wide open and completely up in the air, there is a more solidified feel when it comes to the supporting race here.  With Anne Hathaway primed and ready for awards domination, her contenders will all sink into their respective roles as also-rans relatively quickly.  There are still a lot of questionmarks here though, so it isn’t like a lineup can be ultimately decided this very moment.  There are just a lot more names that actually seem viable at the moment, whereas with the lead category it all feels so random.

So, the names that I am currently considering are:

Amy Adams/The Master

Samantha Barks/Les Miserables

Annette Bening/Imogene

Helena Bonham Carter/Great Expectations

Pauline Collins/Quartet

Isla Fisher/The Great Gatsby

Anne Hathaway/Les Miserables

Jennifer Lawrence/The Silver Linings Playbook

Kelly Macdonald/Anna Karenina

Carey Mulligan/The Great Gatsby

Alicia Vikander/Anna Karenina

Olivia Williams/Hyde Park on Hudson

So, you’ll notice that two of the names I omitted from the lead category (Lawrence and Mulligan) I placed here in supporting.  That may give the illusion that lead is actually a tighter race and that supporting is the category wide open, but really they are here because I think that the roles they have warrant supporting consideration.  The role of Daisy in particular is a small one, one that isn’t very deeply portrayed and lacks the punch that other roles in the story have.  In other words; it isn’t meaty enough to carry a film.  That said, if Mulligan pulls it off in a way that draws us to her, she could easily become a factor in this particular race.

Of these twelve, this is how I see their ranking at the moment:

Lead Actor:

This category seemed pretty much locked up from the beginning, which means that it is due for a serious shakeup.  So, I’m going out on a limb here and completely redirecting my thoughts on the race.  It’s hard, because all five major candidates seem like locks.  You have one of the most respected actors and one of the most beloved playing American Presidents.  You have a Tony winning showman in the role of a lifetime.  You have a Hollywood rebel making a total comeback in a PTA film that looks to be a serious contender and you have a recent Academy Award nominated character actor on a serious role portraying a paraplegic.  There doesn’t seem to be a single ‘fail’ in the bunch and yet it all seems so locked up that it is bound to be NOT that way.

So, here are the twelve names I’m considering at the moment:

Ben Affleck/Argo

Daniel Day Lewis/Lincoln

Leonardo DiCaprio/The Great Gatsby

Clint Eastwood/Trouble with the Curve

Joel Edgerton/Zero Dark Thirty

Jamie Foxx/Django Unchained

John Hawkes/The Sessions

Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables

Bill Murray/Hyde Park on Hudson

Joaquin Phoenix/The Master

Suraj Sharma/Life of Pi

Terence Stamp/Song for Marion

Bah!  Looking at this list it’s really impossible NOT to put the predicted five in as, well, the predicted five.  This could very well be a locked up race.  My gut tells me that someone is going to be omitted.  Is it ever really this easy?

So, here is how I see it ranking at the moment:

Supporting Actor:

Supporting Actor is notoriously my favorite category, year after year.  It is also the one category that makes me cringe the most with regard to Oscar’s picks.  In other words; I love the Fisti nominees but usually loathe the Oscar nominees.  This year makes me really excited because it looks chuck full of amazingness in this category, with loads of potential for greatness.  Sadly, this probably means that what I want to see happen and what actually happens is going to be worlds apart, but for now I’m having faith in the combination of Big Names/Big Projects and quite frankly, those names and those projects make me horny (in a purely cinematic way…mostly).

These are the names I’m banking on for consideration:

Tom Courtenay/Quartet

Bryan Cranston/Argo

Russell Crowe/Les Miserables

Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained

Joel Edgerton/The Great Gatsby

James Gandolfini/Killing Them Softly

John Goodman/Argo

Dwight Henry/Beasts of the Southern Wild

Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Master

Jude Law/Anna Karenina

Matthew McConaughey/Magic Mike

David Strathairn/Lincoln

But honestly, this category is so stacked right now.  I mean, I could have easily included five more that seriously have potential to be considered for awards throughout the year.

Sacha Baron Cohen/Les Miserables

Michael Fassbender/Prometheus

Samuel L. Jackson/Django Unchained

William H. Macy/The Sessions

Bruce Willis/Moonrise Kingdom

But, for now I’ll stick with the twelve listed above.  Here is how I would rank there prospects.


Director is always hard because it all too often reflects merely ‘Best Picture’, which isn’t what ‘Best Director’ means, but voting bodies apparently continually forget to get that memo (see also ‘Best Editing’ and ‘Ensemble’).  So, when it comes to predicting the best director of any given year, we basically have to skew what films we think have the biggest chance at getting in with Best Picture.  Granted, the pool is deeper with up to ten viable choices for Best Picture, but the five names called in this category will reflect the five films AMPAS will love the most (generally speaking).

So, these are the twelve names I’m considering:

Ben Affleck/Argo

Paul Thomas Anderson/The Master

Michael Haneke/Amour

Tom Hooper/Les Miserables

Ang Lee/Life of Pi

Baz Luhrmann/The Great Gatsby

Roger Mitchell/Hyde Park on Hudson

Christopher Nolan/The Dark Knight Rises

Steve Spielberg/Lincoln

Quentin Tarantino/Django Unchained

Joe Wright/Anna Karenina

Benh Zeitlin/Beasts of the Southern Wild

So then the question arises, what films have the best shot with Oscar’s BIG prize?  And then another question arises.  Who is deemed due enough to trump the major hurdle of the first question?  Could someone like Luhrmann or Nolan sneak in regardless of quality of their films because they were deemed snubbed in other years?  Will the controversy surroundings ‘The Master’ be too much for PTA to maneuver around?  Will the apparent love for ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ secure a slot for Zeitlin, despite MUCH bigger fish in the sea?

Here’s how I see it.

Best Picture:

OK, so every year we think we know and then we discover that we know nothing.  Last year I only correctly predicted like 3 out of nine, and one of those was a major fluke.  We can be so certain and then, well, expectations fail and movies we never would expect take a major push into the forefront.  Right now, considering buzz, Cannes, reviews and synopsis, this is what I’m thinking we’re looking at for possible nominees.


Anna Karenina


Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Dark Knight Rises

Hyde Park on Hudson

Les Miserables

Life of Pi


The Master

Moonrise Kingdom

The Sessions

There is a decent mix of critical darling / prestige bait / box office blockbuster going on here, so I’m pleased with this list.  This is how I see it all unfolding.

Adapted Screenplay:

1)      Lincoln

2)      Argo

3)      Beasts of the Southern Wild

4)      Anna Karenina

5)      Life of Pi

6)      Cloud Atlas

7)      Les Miserables

8)      The Silver Linings Playbook

9)      Great Expectations

10)   The Great Gatsby

11)   Quartet

12)   Killing Them Softly

Original Screenplay:

1)      The Master

2)      Moonrise Kingdom

3)      The Sessions

4)      Amour

5)      Hyde Park on Hudson

6)      Django Unchained

7)      Zero Dark Thirty

8)      Inside Llewyn Davis

9)      Imogene

10)   Trouble With the Curve

11)   Brave

12)   Rust and Bone

Film Editing:

1)      Les Miserables

2)      Zero Dark Thirty

3)      The Dark Knight Rises

4)      Argo

5)      Lincoln

6)      Life of Pi

7)      Django Unchained

8)      The Master

9)      Cloud Atlas

10)   Prometheus

11)   Looper

12)   Killing Them Softly


1)      Les Miserables

2)      The Master

3)      Anna Karenina

4)      The Dark Knight Rises

5)      Killing Them Softly

6)      Life of Pi

7)      Beasts of the Southern Wild

8)      Cloud Atlas

9)      To the Wonder

10)   The Hobbit

11)   Inside Llewyn Davis

12)   The Great Gatsby

Costume Design:

1)      Anna Karenina

2)      Les Miserables

3)      The Great Gatsby

4)      Cloud Atlas

5)      Lincoln

6)      Mirror Mirror

7)      Django Unchained

8)      Argo

9)      The Hobbit

10)   The Master

11)   Moonrise Kingdom

12)   Great Expectations

Art Direction:

1)      Les Miserables

2)      The Great Gatsby

3)      Anna Karenina

4)      Cloud Atlas

5)      Django Unchained


6)      Prometheus

7)      Life of Pi

8)      Great Expectations

9)      Lincoln

10)   Hyde Park on Hudson

11)   The Hobbit

12)   Dark Shadows

Visual Effects:

1)      Life of Pi

2)      Prometheus

3)      The Dark Knight Rises

4)      Cloud Atlas

5)      The Avengers

6)      Looper

7)      The Hobbit

8)      Snow White and the Huntsman

9)      Total Recall

10)   Skyfall

11)   The Amazing Spiderman

12)   Cosmopolis


1)      Les Miserables

2)      Looper

3)      Cloud Atlas

4)      Lincoln

5)      The Hobbit

6)      The Dark Knight Rises

Sound Editing:

1)      The Dark Knight Rises

2)      Life of Pi

3)      Prometheus

4)      Cloud Atlas

5)      Brave

6)      Looper

7)      Zero Dark Thirty

8)      The Avengers

9)      The Hobbit

10)   Django Unchained

11)   Les Miserables

12)   Anna Karenina

Sound Mixing:

1)      The Dark Knight Rises

2)      Les Miserables

3)      Life of Pi

4)      Zero Dark Thirty

5)      Cloud Atlas

6)      The Great Gatsby

7)      Anna Karenina

8)      The Avengers

9)      Looper

10)   Prometheus

11)   Django Unchained

12)   The Hobbit

Original Score:

1)      Anna Karenina

2)      Life of Pi

3)      The Master

4)      Brave

5)      Moonrise Kingdom

6)      Lincoln

7)      The Great Gatsby

8)      The Hobbit

9)      Cloud Atlas

10)   The Dark Knight Rises

11)   Skyfall

12)   On the Road

Original Song:

1)      Les Miserables

2)      Brave

3)      Joyful Noise

4)      Skyfall

5)      The Lorax

Animated Film:

1)      Brave

2)      The Lorax

3)      Frankenweenie

4)      Wreck-It Ralph

5)      Madagascar 3

6)      Rise of the Guardians

7)      Paranorman

8)      Ice Age: Continental Drift

9)      The Pirates! Band of Misfits

10)   The Secret World of Arrietty

11)   King of the Elves

12)   Hotel Transylvania

Foreign Film:

I still don’t know what is being submitted, but I have a feeling that Amour, Rust and Bone and A Royal Affair will make the final ballot.