PREDICTIONS FOR THE 85th ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

So here it is. The fearless forecast!

Les-Miserables-Character-Poster-les-miserables-2012-movie-32450706-648-960

PICTURE

Safe Bets:
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Argo
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Shaky, But Likely:
Moonrise Kingdom
Django Unchained

This Year’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close:
Cloud Atlas

Fighting for the Last Slots:
The Master / Amour / The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel / Skyfall / The Impossible

This year is a mad year for the movies. We have the safe bets, but those safe bets have issues themselves.

Zero Dark Thirty is the frontrunner, but Bigelow just won three years ago. Some say it’s too political, and the torture scene always gets the spotlight. Lincoln is also running for the top spot, but they love Spielberg more than his movies (he only won Best Pic for Schindler’s List, the last time he won Best Director, it didn’t win Best Pic). Les Miserables gets a mixed-to-favorable reviews. Some love it so much, some hate it to death. Hooper just won two years ago. Argo has the backlash. Silver Linings Playbook, well, it’s a comedy. Oscar does nominate comedies on a fair basis, but win? Life of Pi is touted as Ang Lee’s another masterpiece, but will it also do well given the unknown lead actor? Oscars is also a popularity game as well. Beasts of the Southern Wild – some says it’s too indie, but PGA notices it, and it also consistently showed up with the precursors.

Moonrise Kingdom has the fandom it needs, but will it be enough? Django Unchained surprised last year by doing well at the precursors, but will they fall for this? Racial issues may affect.

And now, the surprise nominee – Cloud Atlas. It sharply divided the critics. It showed up infrequently at the precursors. But there are really those who love it. And Roger Ebert loves it. His promotion is a big deal, I guess. So, is this ELAIC all over again?

And now, those fighting for the last slots, maybe kicking out either of the last three – SO MANY OF THEM. But their struggles are more evident. The Master has high respect, but the voting system demands that a movie should be LOVED. Amour has the foreign film language factor – both positive and negative. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has the SAG support, it’s feel-good, but with the other films that look more important than this one, maybe it’s too light. Skyfall will earn votes from the James Bond fans, and it’s the 50th anniv of the series, but still, it’s James Bond. The Impossible – with the hopeful and emotional story it has, it might tug the voters’ hearts, giving way for a nom, but it lacks noise.

I’m predicting 10 nominees. Yes?

DIRECTOR

Safe Bets:
Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
Ben Affleck – Argo
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln

Shaky, But Likely:
Tom Hooper – Les Miserables
Ang Lee – Life of Pi

Fighting for the Last Slots:
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook / Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

The DGA turn out justifies the top five, but they don’t always get that right. I’d say the shakiest of the group are Hooper (he’s getting the backlash from The King’s Speech) and Lee (for whatever reason, he is).

LEAD ACTOR

Safe Bet:
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

Shaky, But Likely:
Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
John Hawkes – The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Fighting for the Last Slots:
Denzel Washington – Flight
Richard Gere – Arbitrage

Maybe they could make a move about the Best Actor race titled Whatever Happened to the Best Actor Race? Basically, Day-Lewis is the only safe bet. You could all say that six actors are battling for the four slots.

Jackman is in a Best Pic contender, but if they don’t love Les Miz, he’s in much shakier place. And he hasn’t won any precursor award yet (he’ll get the Globes though). Cooper is also in a Best Pic contender, but will they only go gaga for Jennifer Lawrence. Male in comedy roles are harder to sell. Hawkes also consistently show up at the precursors, but the film might be too small, and the sexual content might drive away the conservative ones. Phoenix gets lots of accolades for his role, but his relationship with the other actors are not necessarily… strong. Washington also gets praise for his performance, but is it really his time to get another nom? The movie seems like a lesser one compared to him. And Gere, who surprisingly got a Globe nod. He might do a Gary Oldman here and surprisingly show up at the noms list.

LEAD ACTRESS

Safe Bets:
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Shaky, But Likely:
Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Fighting for the Last Slots:
Helen Mirren – Hitchcock
Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea
Judi Dench – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Only Chastain and Lawrence are safe, and they are also the ones racing for the win. Now, seven actresses are fighting for three slots.

Wallis has the advantage of being in a Best Pic contender, but will the Academy really go for history by having the youngest Best Actress nominee ever? Riva has strong support from critics, and the story might touch the aging members of the Academy (which, I say, is a lot members), but will they go for this foreign language performance if they have another choice for that? Watts has lots of support from actors (Reese Witherspoon, anong others), but I heard Tom Holland is the real lead of the film. Mirren has the baity role of a real person, and she has the Globes and SAG noms, but will they really go for her, given the lightweight film and the more competitive year compared to 2009 when she got her last nom? Cotillard could earn the safe foreign language vote if they would want to. She has Globes and SAG noms, too. But like Hawkes’ problem in Best Actor, the sexual content might turn the conservative members off. Weisz was not supposed to be noticed given the very early release of the movie, but she might get in, still. Dench is a longer shot, but given the film’s unexpected success and her also praised role in Skyfall, she might!

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Safe Bets:
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Alan Arkin – Argo

VERY Shaky, But Likely:
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained

Fighting for the Last Slots:
Matthew McConaughey – Magic Mike
Javier Bardem – Skyfall
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
Eddie Redmayne – Les Miserables
John Goodman – Flight
Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Only Jones and Hoffman are safe. In  fact, they’re the ones fighting for the win. Arkin is also sake, but he won’t win.

Now, this is the messiest acting category this year. Should I say, eight actors are fighting for two slots? Oh, my. The horror… the horror.

DeNiro is in a Best Pic contender, but surprisingly, he’s not that loved by the precursors. Add the surprising SAG miss and he’s on the shaky side. DiCaprio has been always touted as the frontrunner for this category, but aside from the competition, his co-star stole the buzz from him. McConaughey had a fine year, and he might get a nom, but where are the awards when you need them? Lack of buzz hurts. Bardem is acclaimed for his role, but really – will they go for a performance from a Bond movie? Genre bias is very present. Waltz is getting the buzz lately, but people opine he’s just doing a Hans Landa rehash. And between him and DiCaprio, who will actually get the slot for Django Unchained? Both might cancel each other out. Redmayne doesn’t have any precursor support, but if Les Miz does that well, he might get caught in the wave. His dramatic musical number gets lots of raves.  Goodman could either got for Flight or Argo, but his role in the previous one seems to be more scene-stealing. And Henry – some precursors, not consistent, unknown, but if both the movie and Wallis gets in, he might.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Safe Bets:
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Sally Field – Lincoln
Helen Hunt – The Sessions

Shaky, But Likely:
Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy

Fighting for the Last Slots:
Amy Adams – The Master
Ann Dowd – Compliance
Samantha Barks – Les Miserables
Judi Dench – Skyfall

Hathaway is the mortal lock. Field is her biggest competition. Unless they suddenly do a category switch, Hunt belongs to the safe 3.

For the rest… Smith has a great year, in movies and in TV, but will the film click with them? Kidman in a polarizing film with an extremely unconventionally Oscarish character – totally risque. Adams might come in with The Master’s wave of support, but the SAG miss is undeniably worrying. Dowd is in a small movie, and the campaign is also small that she herself gets her own money to send screeners to the Academy. Will they notice her? Barks could be an unlikely contender, but given the trend for the past four years when there is always a film with two noms for this category, she might get in if Les Miz love is too strong. Her big musical number sticks. Dench – oh, Dench. If they won’t go with her in Hotel, she might get in here given the fair showing in the precursor awards. But like in Bardem’s case, in a Bond movie?

Just scroll down for the rest of the predictions…..

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Amour

Alt:
Looper

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Lincoln
Argo
Silver Linings Playbook
Les Miserables
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Alt:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Les Miserables

Alt:
The Master
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises

FILM EDITING
Zero Dark Thirty
Argo
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Skyfall

Alt:
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained

SOUND MIXING
Les Miserables
Zero Dark Thirty
Skyfall
Argo
The Dark Knight Rises

Alt:
The Hobbit
Lincoln
Django Unchained
Looper
Life of Pi

SOUND EDITING
Zero Dark Thirty
The Dark Knight Rises
Skyfall
Looper
Cloud Atlas

Alt:
Les Miserables
The Avengers
The Hunger Games

ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE
Zero Dark Thirty
Argo
Life of Pi
Cloud Atlas
Lincoln

Alt:
Anna Karenina
Skyfall
The Dark Knight Rises

VISUAL EFFECTS
Life of Pi
The Dark Knight Rises
Cloud Atlas
Skyfall
The Hobbit

Alt:
The Avengers
Prometheus
The Hunger Games

MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING
Les Misérables
Lincoln
The Hobbit

Alt:
Hitchcock
Snow White and the Huntsman
Men in Black 3

COSTUME DESIGN
Les Miserables
Anna Karenina
Lincoln
Django Unchained
Cloud Atlas

Alt:
Mirror Mirror
The Hobbit
The Master
Hitchcock
Hyde Park on Hudson

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Les Miserables
Lincoln
The Hobbit
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained

Alt:
Cloud Atlas
The Master
The Impossible

ORIGINAL SONG
“Suddenly” – Les Miserables
“Learn Me Right” – Brave
“Skyfall’ – Skyfall
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” – The Hobbit
“When I Can See You Again” – Wreck-It-Ralph

Alt:
“Still Dream” – Rise of the Guardians
“Touch the Sky” – Brave
“From Here to the Moon and Back” – Joyful Noise
“Who Were We” – Holy Motors

ANIMATED FEATURE
Wreck-it-Ralph
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Painting

Alt:
Rise of the Guardians
The Rabbi’s Cat

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Amour (Austria)
The Intouchables (France)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
Beyond the Hills (Romania)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)

Alt:
Sister (Switzerland)
War Witch (Canada)
No (Chile)
The Deep (Iceland)

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One thought on “PREDICTIONS FOR THE 85th ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

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