Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oscar Nomination Predictions

Well, ladies and germs, it is that time of year again.  Granted, it is a bit earlier this time around, but it is still time for my annual Oscar nomination predictions.  With the announcement coming tomorrow morning, here are my predictions for who will get nominated in the wee hours of 5:30 am PST (8:30 am around these Atlantic coast parts).  In 2009, I did a bang up job of predicting, and had a prediction rate of 89%.  In 2010, I dropped ever-so-slightly, to an 87%, and then last year, I kind of plummeted a bit, to a rather lackluster 82% prediction rate.  Here's hopin' I can bring that number back up again, but this year seems a bit more difficult to narrow in, so that may not happen.  Anyway, here we go.

Best Picture

Since we are never sure these days, just how many nominations will come in this top category (the academy officially says between five and ten), I will list them in order of probability, starting with the big five.
  • Lincoln
  • Les Miserables
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Argo
  • The Silver Linings Playbook
If it goes further (my prediction is eight)...
  • Life of Pi
  • Django Unchained
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
Then again, it could go to ten...
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Skyfall
But Don't Count Out: Amour
Dark Horse: The Master

Really, any of the top three could be considered the frontrunner here, but we are not here to talk about who might win, but instead, who will get nominated, and the top three are definite locks for that.  In fact the top five are all locks for nominations.  I think Django, though controversial, will slip in there as well, as will Life of Pi and Beasts.  Then it gets tricky.  Will there be a ninth or tenth nominee?  Who knows.  There were nine last year, but what does that matter?  The PGA gave nominations to the top nine on this list, and a tenth one to Skyfall, but will Oscar actually nominate a Bond film?  Probably not, but hey, almost anything can happen when we reach ten nominees.  As I say above though, I think it will stop at eight.  Then again, we should not count out Michael Haneke's Amour.  A virtual lock for the Foreign Language Oscar, it's name has been ballyhooed about on many an Oscar predictor's table.  And then, we also have The Master.  PTA's film had once been thought the frontrunner, but those days are long past.  Now it is merely wishful thinking that this film, my second favourite of the year, will get a BP nomination.  As for one final longshot possibility - let's go with Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and leave it at that.

Best Director
  • Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
  • Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
  • Ben Affleck for Argo
  • Ang Lee for Life of Pi
  • Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
But Don't Count Out: Tom Hooper for Les Miz and/or David O. Russell for Silver Linings
Dark Horse: Michael Haneke for Amour

The top three here are locks.  No doubts.  In fact, I think Affleck may actually take the Oscar, but that is a story for next month.  As for Lee, I think he has a strong near-lockish feel.  But this is when we get into trouble.  Who will be that fifth nominee?  The DGA just announced its nominations, and the top four, along with Tom Hooper, were their choices.  Normally, the DGA and the Oscars match four for five, so that means one of these five will need to be tossed aside tomorrow morning.  Obviously, I have chosen that person to be Hooper. Common sense says this won't happen. Les Miz is probably too big a film to let that happen, and it is considered a frontrunner for the BP Oscar, but still, my heart says go for the wishful thinking of good ole QT, so go with him I shall.  I suppose Hooper could still get in, and Tarantino would replace Lee.  Of course, we could see a 5 for 5 match with the DGA.  Then again, we should not count out Russell, and some people are talking a surprise nod for Haneke.  As for P.T. Anderson - like his film, three months ago he would have been a veritable shoo-in.  Now though, forget about him.  It would be great to see though, huh?  Anyway, to throw one other possible, but quite unlikely surprise in, howzabout Banh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Yeah, probably not.  Like I said, this is the most difficult category this year, but at least I am assured of a 60% ratio on this one.

Best Actor
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables
  • John Hawkes in The Sessions
  • Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Denzel Washington in Flight
But Don't Count Out/Dark Horse: Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

This is probably the easiest category to predict this year.  Almost anyone who is anyone has these exact five names getting announced tomorrow morning.  I see no reason to change that.  A few months ago, both Bill Murray and Anthony Hopkins were thought to be pretty good bets, but now, we can forget 'em.  The only other possible surprise would be Phoenix sneaking in, but I suppose that ship has pretty much sailed.  Still would be fun to see though.

Best Actress
  • Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence in The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone
  • Naomi Watts in The Impossible
  • Emmanuelle Riva in Amour
But Don't Count Out: Helen Mirren in Hitchcock
Dark Horse: Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Chastaine and Lawrence are pure locks.  The actual Oscar is probably a battle between the two of them.  Cotillard is what one would call near-lockish, and Watts seems to be a pretty strong contender as of late.  Then we have that fifth spot. Helen Mirren was thought of as a lock just a month ago, then her film came out and it just wasn't very good.  Rachel Weisz, for The Deep Blue Sea, may have had a chance, but no one remembers the film.  For the longest time, many - myself included - were pushing for a nod for nine year old Quvenzhane Wallis.  That could still happen, but I think instead of the youngest (she was just six when she made the film) will end up making way for the oldest, in 85 year old Emmanuelle Riva.  Riva blew most - myself included - away with her stunning performance, and even though it is a foreign language performance (Oscar has never been overly big on such, and Cotillard may already have the token foreign spot here), I think she will grab that fifth nod.  Then again, Wallis could still get in, taking Watts place instead. 

Best Supporting Actor
  • Alan Arkin in Argo
  • Robert De Niro in The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Tommy-Lee Jones in Lincoln
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
  • Javier Bardem in Skyfall
But Don't Count Out: Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained
Dark Horses: Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike and/or Eddie Redmayne in Les Miz

I would say the top four are locks, though Hoffman may be only a semi-lock, since his film is getting a bit bamboozled this awards season.  As for the fifth spot, DiCaprio is probably the safe bet here (and a bet that I have been saying for months now - even as far back as my June early bird predix), but there is so much love for Skyfall (really, it isn't that great people) that I think the first ever acting nod from a Bond film will actually happen.  The thing I would love to see happen is McConaughey sneaking in, which, I suppose, could happen.  Yeah, right, but a guy can hope.  I suppose I should mention that, if the voters have really taken to Django, we could see not just DiCaprio, but possibly Christoph Waltz in there as well, but that scenario is highly unlikely.  Still wanted to mention it though.  One final thought on this category.  If Eddie Redmayne is nominated tomorrow morning, that means the love for Les Miz is through the proverbial roof, and it will take home BP.  There ya go.

Best Supporting Actress
  • Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables
  • Helen Hunt in The Sessions
  • Sally Field in Lincoln
  • Amy Adams in The Master
  • Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
But Don't Count Out: Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy
Dark Horse: Ann Dowd in Compliance

Hathaway is the lockiest of locks (this and Actor seem to be the two big locks for actual Oscar night), and Hunt and Field are in there for sure as well.  Adams, like Hoffman above, should still get in, even without the love for The Master.  Then, like with most categories, we have that fifth spot.  Some are saying Kidman, some are saying Dame Maggie.  It really could go either way, but I think Smith will get the nod tomorrow morning.  I would love, love, love to hear Dowd's name announced tomorrow, and this tends to be the category most rife with surprises over the years, so who knows.  We probably shouldn't count out Hathaway's costar, Samantha Barks, or another dame, Judi Dench for Skyfall, but both still quite unlikely.

Best Original Screenplay
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Django Unchained
  • Amour
  • The Master
But Don't Count Out: Flight and/or Brave
Dark Horse: Looper

Best Adapted Screenplay
  • The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Lincoln
  • Argo
  • The Sessions
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
But Don't Count Out: Les Misérables and/or Life of Pi and/or Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Dark Horse: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I think this is Paul Thomas Anderson's best, and probably only, chance at a nomination this year.  I think both of these sets are relatively strong bets.  I probably should include Les Miz, but I already kicked Hooper to the curb in the Director category, so why not here as well. Of course Les Miz could easily pick up 12 or 13 nominations tomorrow morning, and, and like its musical contemporary, Chicago back in aught two, blow this all out of the water.

Anyway, that is it for me this year.  I suppose I could go on and add predictions for the rest of the categories, but I have other things to do.  Oh hell, I don't have that much to do, here they are in quick succession.  Cinematography (Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Django, Skyfall); Art Direction (Lincoln, Les Miz, Life of Pi, Anna Karenina, Django); Film Editing (Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall, Argo, Django); Costumes (Les Miz, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman); Make-up (Lincoln, The Hobbit, Looper); Sound Mixing (Les Miz, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Avengers, Skyfall); Sound Editing (Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Looper, Zero Dark Thirty); Visual Effects (Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Life of Pi, Prometheus); Score (Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild); Song ("Suddenly" in Les Miz, "For You" in Act of Valor, "Skyfall" in Skyfall, "Everybody Needs a Friend" in Ted, "Touch of Sky" in Brave); Animated (Brave, Frankenweenie, Paranorman, Le Tableau, Rise of the Guardians); Doc (The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, This is Not a Film, Sugar Man, Chasing Ice); Foreign (Amour, The Intouchables, Royal Affair, No, Beyond the Hills).  So there.

I'll be back tomorrow, and let everyone know how well (or poorly) I did in my predictions.  I know you are all waiting with giddy anticipation.  See ya then kiddies.

1 comment:

Kevyn Knox said...

If I am right (we'll see in about 10 hours)...

Nominations count:
Lincoln - 12
Zero Dark Thirty - 8
Les Miz (or Mis) - 8
Argo - 6
Skyfall - 6
Silver Linings - 5
Life of Pi - 5
Django - 5

Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Master, Dark Knight, Amour, Anna K, Avengers, Sessions - 3

The Hobbit, Looper, Prometheus, Brave - 2

And then a bunch of 1 nomination films.

Lincoln's 13 nods seems a bit excessive when compared to the others. Perhaps Spielberg's film will win BP after all.