Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Oscar predictions

Oscars are today. This is a big deal in my house. Well, it is to me, anyway. The very first book I had published years ago was about Oscar history. I've been a movie lover for most of my life, and though I know the Oscars are just as much about politics as they are anything else, I still love 'em.

It's been hard for the past decade to see many of the nominees, though. First there was living in the UK, when I often had to wait to see American releases. Then there was having young kids, which meant the only movies I saw had talking animals. But it's changing, thank goodness. And I've actually seen more than half of the Best Picture nominees this year. :)

But half the fun is in predicting them, right? So here's mine.

PICTURE: Argo. It's going to win because everybody got pissed Ben Affleck got skipped over, but honestly, it's the one I liked best of the five I saw. Plus, it combines political commentary with movie-making talk, two things Hollywood loves to recognize.

ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. This one's a lock and has been for months. Everybody else is just along for the ride.

ACTRESS: I'm going to say Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. For a few reasons. One, she's pulling in most of the major awards. Two, it'll be a token win for SLP. Of the other nominees, Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis are there just for the recognition. I'd thought Jessica Chastain would beat Jennifer Lawrence until I saw Zero Dark Thirty, but I was so unimpressed by her performance that I think she'll get swallowed by the Lawrence juggernaut. I haven't had the chance to see Naomi Watts in The Impossible, and though I've heard great things about it, I don't think enough people saw it to give her the win.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: A tough category. All five have won before and have great respect in the industry.  So I'm going to go with who I want to win. Christoph Walz for Django Unchained.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables. Another lock. The only one who stands a chance at beating her is Sally Field, and I just don't think it's going to happen.

DIRECTOR: Without Affleck in the category (he won the Director's Guild Award, which is usually the best indicator of who's going to win the Oscar), it's hard to predict. Lincoln isn't Spielberg's best, while Haneke and Zeitlin aren't known. That leaves David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook and Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Directors don't often win for comedies, so for name recognition and technical prowess, I'll go with Ang Lee for the win.

Of course, everyone knows it's who manages to pick Best Documentary and Best Animated Short that usually ends up winning the Oscar pool. So do these end up really mattering? Only for the obsessed among us.