After yet another year of indulging in film, the anticipation for the Oscars is at its peak for me. The world has been drooling over actors, directors, the roaming of the red carpets, and those ever-so addicting camera pans across the losers faces. The awards season is like high school: all of these shows are the annual dances, the Golden Globes being the Junior Prom. As fun as it is for us, and ego-boosting for the winners, nothing compares to film’s senior prom: The Academy Awards. After thinking long and hard about what motion picture geniuses will be handed the little gold man, I have done it: finalized my 2013 Oscar predictions.
As much as we do not want to admit it, actors in the spotlight fascinate us. Although I would love to call myself a sucker for good cinematography and focus on those awards, I cannot help but be simply infatuated with the amazing nominees we have this year. Daniel-Day Lewis is thought to be a god among mere mortals. He gave a monumental performance in Lincoln, portraying the stern 16th president in his efforts to get the 13th amendment passed to abolish slavery. To no surprise, the movie is nominated in 11 other categories. Best Actor is one of the definite wins. As for Best Actress, Lawrence’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook was nothing short of fantastic. She was able to give a raw cathartic performance that has gotten her wins at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors’ Guild Awards. Jessica Chastain a close second, but I do not think J-Law has too much to worry about. Silver Lining’s Robert de Niro is up for Best Supporting Actor, and although his portrayal of an OCD-ridden father was phenomenal, I think Tommy Lee Jones will be taking home another Oscar. All five men nominated are Oscar winners already, so let’s hope the four that lose are not as stone-faced as Jones tends to be at award shows. Anne Hathaway, appearing on screen for less than 30 minutes in Les Miserables should be practicing her acceptance speech as well. A Best Supporting Actress win is well under way with her powerful Fantine, a Parisian prostitute that has been portrayed on stage and screen countless times. A close second is Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln. A year ago movie and musical buffs were making predictions that the “I Dreamed a Dream”-singing, head-shaving actress would be getting an Oscar. Looks like their guess might come true.
Another favorite award given by the Academy is Best Picture. The much sought-after statue of glory is being tossed back and forth between Lincoln and Argo. I have had faith in the latter since the trailer came out, and will predict that it takes home the award. Affleck’s flick has been sweeping awards left and right: Golden Globes, Screen Actors’ Guild, Writers’ Guild, and even the British Film and Writers’ Guild. Awards from all the facets of Hollywood and beyond has Argo, well-crafted and satisfying, heading in the right direction. The Best Director Oscar will be given to the other tribute to history, Steven Spielberg. He created the Lincoln movie, a monumental piece of art that is worthy of all the nominations. No doubt he will win the Ben Affleck is Pissed Oscar. This will be his third Best Director Oscar, with Shindlers’s List and Saving Private Ryan during the past 20 years. Lincoln may also nab Best Adapted Screenplay, adapted from a book by Tony Kushner, whose first draft was a whopping 500 pages. Best Original Screenplay should go to Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Tarantino took a satirical approach that channeled Inglorious Basterds’ sense of adventure and hilarity. The absurd-aesthetics genius proved that he has the chops to write for period filmmaking, which he brings to life in fascinating ways. He made a good choice keeping his screenplay for Django in one piece, as he had wanted to create a part I and II for the movie.
From the moment I saw the trailer, I assumed Brave would be taking the Best Animated Feature Oscar. After getting over the excitement that Pixar finally had a Scottish princess-heroine as the lead (why couldn’t we have had that back in the day?), and seeing Frankenweenie, that assumption changed. Tim Burton is brilliant. His signature stop-motion on an already peculiar and creative plot won it over for me. Burton should be getting his first Oscar after being in the business over thirty years.
On a more serious note, there is no questioning from anyone I know that Austria’s Amour will win Best Foreign Feature. Emmanuelle Riva gave a riveting performance (absolutely nomination-worthy) that brought me to tears. It was a beautiful heartbreak, and regardless of it being a foreign film, quite relatable. That painful connection to anyone with older loved ones will move any viewer. Riva, playing eighty-something year old Anne who is struggling mentally and physically, is the oldest nominee for Best Actress in the history of the Academy Awards, at 85.
Skyfall should win Best Original Song. As the signature James Bond montage began rolling with Adele’s commanding voice sang out, “Let the sky fall…” I knew I would have this song stuck in my head for days. I still listen to it. Adele is performing the song this year while all the previous James Bonds line the stage; I think it is fitting to give the nod to this tune. T-Swift will have new heartbreak to write about. Life of Pi will take home a win for Best Visual Effects. M. Night Shyamalan and Alfonso Cuarón were unable to continue with what they thought would be their project due to the amazing visuals needed to create this masterpiece. Ang Lee luckily was able to bring Pi, with his many friends and shipwreck to life. An orangutan, zebra, hyena, and tiger, all the while Pi is at sea for over an hour, required endless visual effects to please the eye. Titanic was not even on the open ocean for that long. Also nominated for Best Picture, Life of Pi pleased critics and is worthy of the Visual Effects award, as well as even Best Cinematography. I am hoping The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey wins for Best Hair and Makeup Styling. Up against only Hitchhock and Les Miserables, I found myself drawn to the character appearance elements in this movie much more than those of the other two. It seems to take more skill and creativity to transform a group of actors into dwarves, each with their own individual flair, than to recreate the 19th century French that has been done for over three decades on stage. How can you not be fascinated by prosthetic before-and-after shots?
Surprise is akin to awards shows. My predictions may very well be wrong, and there is always an argument for every nomination out there. Regardless, the night will be nothing short of spectacular. I will say that if for an everyday person, if researching the films and choosing a winner is a difficult task, the Academy must truly struggle with such amazing films in the year 2012. There are endless sites online that let you make your very own predictions. Tune in to see what films come out on top!