This being one of the most unpredictable years at the Oscars, I can’t say that I am very confident in any of my picks. I am not done with the Oscar Challenge as of yet, but I am far enough along to make my picks. Most years I go with popular consensus, but with this year being up in the air, I decided to go more with my gut and my understanding of the Oscars, rather than revolutionizing the wheel. If “Argo” does win, it will be interesting to see it break all kinds of records.
Official Pick: “Lincoln”
Will Probably Win: “Argo”
Could Win: “Silver Linings Playbook”
- “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
- “Django Unchained”
- “Les Misérables”
- “Life Of Pi”
- “Zero Dark Thirty”
*** “Argo” could easily take this one, at least according to the experts and the general consensus, but I have this feeling that “Lincoln” will win more than we think it will. There’s two camps every year, and I’m in the “Lincoln” camp this year and could easily miss out on several predictions because of it. I am split because I loved both of these films, but there’s something about Ben Affleck not getting nominated for director that has me questioning that guarantee. Sure, Affleck won every Guild award, but this could definitely separate the Guild from the Academy.
Actor in a Leading Role
Official Pick: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Will Probably Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
- Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Denzel Washington, “Flight”
- Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”
- Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
***This has got to be locked by now. Second predicted big win of the night for “Lincoln”.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Official Pick: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Will Probably Win: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Could Win: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Dark Horse Pick (Want to Win): Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
- Alan Arkin, “Argo”
- Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”
***I say Tommy Lee Jones wins here, giving “Lincoln” three big wins. I want Hoffman to win so badly, but with all the forecasting, no one is picking him whatsoever.
Actress in a Leading Role
Official Pick: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Will Probably Win: Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Could Win: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
- Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
***Up until the BAFTAs, it was a Jennifer Lawrence versus Jessica Chastain. Then, Emmanuelle Riva won the BAFTA and everyone shifted, seeing as Lawrence had the SAG and Chastain only had the Golden Globe (which Lawrence also received). I am going against my gut feeling of Jessica Chastain on this one and going with Jennifer Lawrence. Despite her age, everyone appears to be behind her on this one. The focus just started shifting on Riva, because of her old age, so she could easily swing in and take this.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Official Pick: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
Will Probably Win: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
- Amy Adams, “The Master”
- Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
- Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Sally Field, “Lincoln”
***Another locked category. If for some reason there’s an upset, I say it’ll be Sally Field for yet another “Lincoln” win.
Animated Feature Film
Official Pick: “Brave”
Will Probably Win: “Wreck-It Ralph”
Could Win: “Frankenweenie”
- “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
***In what appears to be the unpopular choice this year, I am picking “Brave”. Yes, “Wreck-It Ralph” won the Annie Awards, and yes, “Brave” hardly took home awards this year, however the Academy usually sides with Pixar and I feel like that will happen again. It’s a great film and I’m going with my gut on this one.
Official Pick: “Skyfall”; Roger Deakins
Will Probably Win: “Life Of Pi”; Claudio Miranda
Could Win: “Lincoln”; Janusz Kaminski
- “Anna Karenina”; Seamus McGarvey
- “Django Unchained”; Robert Richardson
***I am praying for a miracle in this category and going with Roger Deakins. Deakins has been passed up for this award too many times and “Skyfall” is one of the best looking films of 2012, bringing a run-of-the-mill franchise to something more epic and grand. However, “Life Of Pi” is the popular choice. But if there’s any year for Deakins to finally win, it might as well be in this unpredictable year where records will be broken.
Official Pick: “Anna Karenina”; Jacqueline Durran
Will Probably Win: “Anna Karenina”; Jacqueline Durran
- “Les Misérables”; Paco Delgado
- “Lincoln”; Joanna Johnston
- “Mirror Mirror”; Eiko Ishioka
- “Snow White and the Huntsman”; Colleen Atwood
***”Anna Karenina” has won several high end costume design awards already and is the popular choice among the experts. As much as I’d like to see a fantasy film win, I do agree that the costumes in this are gorgeous.
Official Pick: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Will Probably Win: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Could Win: Ang Lee, “Life Of Pi”
- Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
- Michael Haneke, “Amour”
**Here’s one that’s up in the air, but for me, going with “Lincoln” for the win, I feel like Stephen Spielberg will win this one for sure, making the popular match of Best Picture and Best Directing. If Ben Affleck were in this category, it would be a different story, but I feel like there’s a reason that he’s not. Even if “Argo” wins Best Picture, I feel like Spielberg has the strongest chance here with the better film out of these five.
Official Pick: “Searching for Sugar Man,” Red Box Films
Will Probably Win: “Searching for Sugar Man,” Red Box Films
- “5 Broken Cameras,” Guy DVD Films
- “The Gatekeepers,” Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil
- “How to Survive a Plague,” How to Survive a Plague LLC
- “The Invisible War,” Chain Camera Pictures
***Personally, I enjoyed “5 Broken Cameras” the most, but “Searching for Sugar Man” had a wonderful premise and is loved across the board, making it the favorite to win.
Documentary (Short Subject)
Official Pick: “Inocente”
Will Probably Win: “Open Heart”
- “Kings Point”
- “Mondays at Racine”
***I’m going with my heart on this one and picking “Inocente”, my personal favorite documentary short. “Open Heart” is set to win because it is the most apparent social needs and cultural film, but I feel “Inocente” carries more emotion and covers a boarder range of feelings and social issues that are so transparent.
Official Pick: “Argo”; William Goldenberg
Will Probably Win: “Argo”; William Goldenberg
Could Win: “Zero Dark Thirty”; William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor
- “Life Of Pi”; Tim Squyres
- “Lincoln”; Michael Kahn
- “Silver Linings Playbook”; Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
***Oddly enough, on my prediction board, this is the only win for “Argo”. It’s a great film, but deep down I feel like “Zero Dark Thirty” is the better edited film, with the night raid being one of the best edited portions of a film this year. But if “Argo” is going to rule across the board, then it’s at least good for me to have one pick on here.
Foreign Language Film
Official Pick: Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
Will Probably Win: Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
- Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director
- Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director
- Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
- Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
***Being the only foreign film nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay almost locks this film as the winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Although I have yet to see “Amour”, “A Royal Affair” was my personal favorite, but I do feel like “Amour” is locked to win no matter what.
Makeup & Hairstyling
Official Pick: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Will Probably Win: “Les Misérables”
***This category will definitely show whether the Academy enjoyed “Les Misérables” whatsoever, but with the strong inclination that it won’t bring home many awards, I feel “The Hobbit” is much more makeup and hairstyling intensive and delivers much more than “Les Misérables”.
Music (Original Score)
Official Pick: “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
Will Probably Win: “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
- “Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli, composer
- “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
- “Lincoln,” John Williams, composer
- “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer
***Going with popular choice here, most experts say the score makes the film in “Life Of Pi”. Personally, I’d rather go with “Skyfall”, but feel like that’s far too of a long shot.
Music (Original Song)
Official Pick: “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
Will Probably Win: “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
- “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
- “Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
- “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
- “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted”
***Adele is almost locked for this award, delivering one of the best songs in recent memory for a soundtrack, making “Skyfall” that much more enjoyable while embodying the entire film as a whole, providing the perfect theme song. None of the other entries can say the same.
Official Pick: “Anna Karenina”; Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer
Will Probably Win: “Les Misérables”; Eve Stewart
- “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”; Dan Hennah
- “Life Of Pi”; David Gropman
- “Lincoln”; Rick Carter
***Again going with “Anna Karenina” over “Les Misérables” or “Lincoln”, the constant shifting sets and intense detail far outshine that of any of the other films and brings a uniqueness apparent only in this film.
Short Film (Animated)
Official Pick: “Paperman,” John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)
Will Probably Win: “Paperman,” John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)
- “Adam and Dog,” Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)
- “Fresh Guacamole,” PES, director (PES)
- “Head over Heels,” Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)
- “Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”,” David Silverman, director (Gracie Films)
***Both predicted to win and my personal favorite, it will be slightly upsetting if “Paperman” doesn’t win. The trade off could be no win for “Brave” and a win here for “Paperman”, because both winning seems quite unlikely but here’s hoping wrong (and right with my predictions).
Short Film (Live Action)
Official Pick: “Curfew”
Will Probably Win: “Curfew”
- “Asad,” Bryan Buckley, director, and Mino Jarjoura, producer (Hungry Man)
- “Buzkashi Boys,” Sam French, director, and Ariel Nasr, producer (Afghan Film Project)
- “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” Tom Van Avermaet, director, and Ellen De Waele, producer (Serendipity Films)
- “Henry,” Yan England, director (Yan England)
***Haven’t had a chance to see these yet, but “Curfew” is on the top of most lists, so I will go with popular choice.
Official Pick: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Will Probably Win: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Could Win: “Skyfall” -or- “Argo”
- “Django Unchained”
- “Life Of Pi”
***With realistic explosions and never a moment of sound lost, I would go with this or “Skyfall” for the leads to win. “Argo” is a wild card in all categories, so don’t count that out either.
Official Pick: “Les Misérables”
Will Probably Win: “Les Misérables”
- “Life Of Pi”
***This is “Les Misérables” award to lose, with the element of recording all the singing parts live, something no other film this year can brag about.
Official Pick: “Life of Pi”
Will Probably Win: “Life of Pi”
Dark Horse Pick (Want to Win): “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
- “Marvel’s The Avengers”
- “Snow White and the Huntsman”
***The obvious choice is “Life Of Pi”, being the most nominated of the bunch. Ang Lee does a wonderful job of mixing in the real animal elements with the CGI. Also, if 3D is taken into account, you can bet this is the best use of 3D yet.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Official Pick: “Lincoln”; Tom Kushner
Will Probably Win: “Argo”; Chris Terrio
- “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
- “Life Of Pi”; David Magee
- “Silver Linings Playbook”; David O. Russell
***Again, I’m picking “Lincoln” to win it all, so giving it this award is a no brainer. I know that once I see “Argo” win this one, the rest of my picks will probably fall apart, but I do feel strongly that it will be between “Lincoln” and “Argo”.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Official Pick: “Django Unchained”; Quentin Tarantino
Will Probably Win: “Django Unchained”; Quentin Tarantino
Could Win: “Zero Dark Thirty”; Mark Boal
- “Amour”; Michael Haneke
- “Flight”; John Gatins
- “Moonrise Kingdom”; Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
***Having taken home several awards for the screenplay already, Quentin Tarantino has a strong chance to win with “Django Unchained”. However, Mark Boal is still collecting awards as well and could be right behind him to win. It really just depends how much the Academy turned their backs on “Zero Dark Thirty” as a whole. I’m banking on the Tarantino win.