2013 Academy Award Nominee Predictions

Normally I have these predictions posted a good month before the nominations, but with vacation and a tremendous work schedule, I let it slip until the night before. But here goes nothing:

In six hours, the nominations will be presented by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone, from that point on I will have 46 days to successfully watch every film nominated for an Academy Award.

Best Picture

“Les Misérables”
“Life Of Pi”
“The Master”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
“Moonrise Kingdom”

With ten spots available (but not necessarily required), I am pitching that there will be eight, with “Lincoln”, “Les Misérables”, “Argo”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, and “Silver Linings Playbook” leading the pack. If there are ten this year, I believe “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” will squeak in.

Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Tom Hardy, “Lawless”

On the fence about the Academy awarding Bradley Cooper a nomination, I’m going with him over Ben Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix. Many people aren’t pulling for Denzel Washington in “Flight”, but I feel he might come through. Do not expect “Lawless” to get any love, but I will still be wishfully hoping for Tom Hardy to emerge from the abyss. This category goes to Daniel Day-Lewis no matter what.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Jason Clarke, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Waltz and DiCaprio are pretty interchangeable in this category, although the Academy likes to drop the ball when it comes to DiCaprio. The favorite in this category has to be Philip Seymour Hoffman, but I have a strong want for Jason Clarke to solidify his great year with a nomination. Robert De Niro is another nomination that could go either way, but with his strongest performance in years, it would be great to see him in there.

Actress in a Leading Role

Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

What will basically be the Jennifer Lawrence versus Jessica Chastain show, we can only hope “Rust and Bone” makes it on the board with a nomination for Marion Cotillard, who the Academy generally loves. “Amour” appears to be getting tons of love this year, and would not surprise with a nomination for Emmanuelle Riva. Naomi Watts could easily be bumped out of her spot, but the Academy drifts towards the dramatic, disaster films. Would love to see Rachel Weisz get this nomination just to have a reason to watch the film.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, “The Master”
Ann Dowd, “Compliance”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”

Pulling completely for Ann Dowd to get a nomination, since the company that produced “Compliance” refused to send out screeners for her consideration, she and her family and friends pooled to do it themselves and I can only hope this will pay off. Hunt, Field, and Adams are all safe bets, but like the Leading Actor category, Anne Hathaway is almost locked for the win in this one.

Animated Feature Film

“The Painting”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Despite the Disney/Pixar magic, “Brave” got no love in the critics circles this year, which makes me wonder how it will do at the Oscars. “Frankenweenie” and “ParaNorman” got tons of love from the critics, but like last year, I feel like there has to be at least one unknown film in the count, bringing in the interesting looking “The Painting”.


Claudio Miranda, “Life Of Pi”
Greig Fraser, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Janusz Kaminski, “Lincoln”
Danny Cohen, “Les Misérables”
Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”
Seamus McGarvey, “Anna Karenina”
Mihai Malaimare Jr., “The Master”

No real surprises here. I had “The Master” in this one until the ASC nominations came out this morning. And with “Lincoln” having a better shot at taking many of the awards this year, I bumped out Malaimare Jr. for Kaminski. Expect Deakins, Cohen, and Miranda as locks. The other ASC nomination off my list was “Anna Karenina”, which I don’t see making a big splash this year, but I could be wrong and Fraser could be sitting out this year.

Costume Design

Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina”
Joanna Johnston, “Lincoln”
Paco Delgado, “Les Misérables”
Sharen Davis, “Django Unchained”
Colleen Atwood, “Snow White and the Huntsman”
Mark Bridges, “The Master”

Aside from wishful thinking, “The Hobbit” simply needs some love at the Oscars this year. “Lincoln”, “Karenina”, and “Les Misérables” are definite locks for these nominations. Colleen Atwood is nominated almost every year, which makes me want to pick her but instead pushing Davis in for “Django Unchained”.


Ben Affleck, “Argo”
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Tom Hooper, “Les Misérables”
Ang Lee, “Life Of Pi”

Despite his Directors Guild nomination, I am pulling Ang Lee from the nominations, as I feel David O. Russell might get the Oscar love this year, especially if Roger Ebert is saying it could win it all. Affleck, Bigelow, Spielberg, and Hooper all got the perquisite DGA nomination and will make it a tough call the entire Oscar season.

Documentary (Feature)

“Bully,” The Bully Project LLC
“Chasing Ice,” Exposure
“How to Survive a Plague,” How to Survive a Plague LLC
“The Invisible War,” Chain Camera Pictures
“Searching for Sugar Man,” Red Box Films

The Weinstein produced “Bully” will probably get a lock, as will “Searching for Sugar Man” was seemed to be a favorite this year. Going with my gut with the other three, which feel like Oscar nominated documentaries, covering a well-rounded wealth of information and issues.

Documentary (Short Subject)

“Education of Mohammad Hussein”
“Mondays at Racine”
“Open Heart”

Film Editing

Chris Dickens, “Les Misérables”
Michael Kahn, “Lincoln”
Peter McNulty, “The Master”
William Goldenberg, “Argo”
William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Lee Smith, “The Dark Knight Rises”
Tim Squyres, “Life Of Pi”

Fairly certain William Goldenberg will be competing against himself this year. Hoping “The Dark Knight Rises” gets some love here, but would more likely bet “Les Misérables”, “Lincoln”, and “The Master” pull it off. “Life Of Pi” feels like the wild card this year, with several instances, including this one, where it could easily bump out a film like “The Master”.

Foreign Language Film

Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director

Like last year with “A Separation”, there really is no competition for Austria’s “Amour”, which steamrolled through the critics choice awards. Had “Rust and Bone” been nominated (instead of the dreadful looking “The Intouchables”), I would have said maybe, but with no admirable competition, this one is open and shut.

Makeup & Hair

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Misérables”

Loving this category if this is how it ends up this year. Will rest on “Lincoln” and “Les Misérables” for sure, with more emphasis on “Lincoln” and bringing the former president to every ounce of his former glory through Daniel Day-Lewis.

Music (Original Score)

“Argo,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“The Dark Knight Rises,” Hans Zimmer, composer
“Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
“Lincoln,” John Williams, composer
“The Master,” Jonny Greenwood, composer
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Howard Shore, composer
“Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Alexandre Desplat, composer

Tough category this year, with tons of great scores. I would especially like to see “The Dark Knight Rises” appear in this category along with “The Hobbit”, but would place more faith in Zimmer getting the nomination over Shore. John Williams and Jonny Greenwood are basically locks. Desplat and Danna are safe bets as well.

Music (Original Song)

“Learn Me Right” from “Brave”
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted”

Pure guesses in this category. Adele better get nominated, that’s all I have to say. Would be fitting if “Les Misérables” got a nomination since it’s a musical. Put “Ted” because I feel like having Seth MacFarlane hosting the Oscars would be the perfect occasion to let him perform the song. “The Hobbit” is wishful thinking.

Production Design

Dan Hennah, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Eve Stewart, “Les Misérables”
David Gropman, “Life Of Pi”
Rick Carter, “Lincoln”
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, “Anna Karenina”

These are all solid choices. The only one that even slightly falters is “The Hobbit” which lacks the necessarily love this year to make me feel confident in it.

Short Film (Animated)

“Adam and Dog,” Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)
“Dripped,” Léo Verrier, director (ChezEddy)
“The Eagleman Stag,” Mikey Please, director, and Benedict Please, music scores and sound design (Royal College of Art)
“Head over Heels,” Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)
“Paperman,” John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)

“Paperman” better rock this category. Enough said.

Short Film (Live Action)

“Asad,” Bryan Buckley, director, and Mino Jarjoura, producer (Hungry Man)
“Curfew,” Shawn Christensen, director (Fuzzy Logic Pictures)
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” Tom Van Avermaet, director, and Ellen De Waele, producer (Serendipity Films)
“9meter,” Anders Walther, director, and Tivi Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions A/S)
“when you find me,” Ron Howard, executive producer, and Bryce Dallas Howard, director (Freestyle Picture Company)

Sound Editing

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Misérables”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Sound Mixing

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Misérables”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Normally I would say “The Dark Knight Rises” would end up in this category, but with the gruff over Bane’s voice, I really couldn’t see people rallying behind it. The rest of educated guesses.

Visual Effects

“The Dark Knight Rises”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Life of Pi”
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
“Cloud Atlas”

Had to go with my love of “Prometheus” over “Cloud Atlas” on this one. The rest better be locks.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Chris Terrio, “Argo”
David Magee, “Life Of Pi”
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Tom Kushner, “Lincoln”
William Nicholson, “Les Misérables”
Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I would absolutely love to see Stephen Chbosky get a nomination here, but with such a great year and most Best Picture nominees needing this nomination to have a chance at taking it all, it has to go to the five films that I believe will be in the Best Picture circle.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “The Master”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Rian Johnson, “Looper”
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”

“Looper” is wishful thinking and “Moonrise Kingdom” better damn well get a nomination. It’s extremely unwise of me not to put Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” in here, but I’m pulling for “Django”, “The Master” and “Zero Dark Thirty slightly more with “The Master” and “Zero Dark Thirty” also in the Best Picture circle.

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