Review: 2013 Academy Awards picks

The 2013 Academy Awards will air on Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. Connect2Mason contributor Alex Dodson,  breaks down his picks for the biggest award show in film (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
The 2013 Academy Awards will air on Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. Connect2Mason contributor Alex Dodson, breaks down his picks for the biggest award show in film (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).

For the past five months, the awards race has been in play. Now it all comes to an end. This Sunday night, the 85th Academy of Motion Pictures Awards, a.k.a. the Oscars, will wrap-up one of the most surprising and enjoyable years of film to date.

While a front-runner consensus is still to be undecided in many categories,-uncharacteristic this close to awards night- the debates fervently rage on. Predictions change with each new development in the race and opinions rarely have held true for more than a few days at a time.

Below are the races that most people care about when they watch the Oscars: Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Best Director. For each race, I have determined which film I predict will win, could win, should win, doesn’t even belong on the nominations list and which film was snubbed (deserving of being nominated in the first place). The only categories that matter are what will win and what could win.

The other three are there for your viewing pleasure and provide insight to my true feelings on the race without being restrained by predictions.

Let me know in the comments what you think will win!

Best Picture Nominations:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win – Argo
Could Win – Lincoln
Should Win – Argo

Doesn’t Belong – Les Misérables
Snubbed – Looper

This has been the race to follow for the past several months. There have been four separate frontrunners at one time or another. First it was “Argo,” then “Silver Linings Playbook,” then “Lincoln,” then “Les Misérables” and then “Lincoln” again. But now, after having won major precursor awards in the likes of the Golden Globes, BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and Guild Awards (Screen Actors, Writers, Directors and Producers), it seems like “Argo” is an unstoppable force.

While “Argo” seems to be the clear favorite, the race is still close with“Life of Pi”, “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, which are all in a position to pull an upset. In the end, however, I firmly believe “Argo” deserves the award; an opinion that I’ve held since mid-October when the film premiered.

On the other hand, “Les Misérables” was not a good movie and it didn’t deserve a nomination in this category. While I’m sure the film’s die-hard followers want to throw me in shackles for this act of treason, this is not the time or the place for me to rant about just how much was wrong with the second most disappointing movie of 2012 (the first was “The Dark Knight Rises”).

Animated Feature Film:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Will Win – Frankenweenie
Could Win – Brave
Should Win – Frankenweenie
Doesn’t Belong – The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Snubbed – Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Also without a clear frontrunner are the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film. A three-way tie has developed between “Frankenweenie”, “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Brave.” Despite a long illustrious career, Tim Burton’s films have yet to win an Oscar. However, Burton’s “Frankenweenie” may change all that this year.

Unfortunately, the Academy has a tendency to not recognize talent in the now and award further down the road in an almost insultingly apologetic manner. This happens more than you would believe, so hopefully the corrupt system works to “Frankenweenie’s” advantage since it is actually the best animated film nominated. However, “Brave” has the magical Pixar name to give it way more credit than it deserves and “Wreck-It Ralph,” while not bad, seems a safer choice than “Frankenweenie.”

Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Will Win – Daniel Day-Lewis
Could Win – Hugh Jackman
Should Win – Bradley Cooper
Doesn’t Belong – Hugh Jackman
Snubbed – Jamie Foxx, “Django Unchained”

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Best Actor category this year since Daniel Day-Lewis had it in the bag before the first trailer for “Lincoln” even came out. While probably the most locked-in race for the whole night, if an upset did occur, it would come from the musically inclined Hugh Jackman.

While neither Day-Lewis nor Jackman deserve the award, the Academy will award them for portraying the right characters in the right movies. The true acting talent that emerged this year was that of Bradley Cooper. The transition from the hot guy in “The Hangover” to Oscar-nominated bi-polar divorced man finding happiness in life is truly incredible. Alas, the Academy seems to think he is too young and undeserving of such prestige after one good dramatic role. Instead, the Academy  is going to give the award to Day-Lewis for the third time, making him the man with the most Lead Actor Oscar trophies in history. That’s fair, right?

Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Will Win – Emmanuelle Riva
Could Win – Jennifer Lawrence
Should Win – Quvenzhane Wallis
Doesn’t Belong – Emmanuelle Riva
Snubbed – Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”

This category brings up another issue with age that really irks me. Quvenzhane Wallis was 5 years old when she filmed “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and gave a truly incredible performance that literally brought me to tears. However, she is too young to deserve the Oscar and also the youngest actress to ever be nominated. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Emmanuelle Riva who is turning 86 on Sunday night. She may very well receive the best birthday present of her life! But realistically, this is probably her last opportunity to win an Oscar after a long career, so why not give it to her right?

While she gave a predominantly physical performance as a victim of Alzheimer’s and withering old age, the true acting award should go to either Quvenzhane or Jennifer Lawrence, who is the popular choice to win right now. I’m going with Riva for the upset over the beloved Lawrence, so we will see if this gamble pays off!

Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

Will Win – Tommy Lee Jones
Could Win – Robert De Niro
Should Win – Philip Seymour Hoffman
Doesn’t Belong – Christoph Waltz
Snubbed – Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

This race is unique in two ways: First,  all five of the nominees have already won an Oscar in the past. Furthermore, the winner of this race still remains uncertain. I believe Jones will take home the statue for a few reasons.

First off, Hoffman and Waltz both considered running for Lead at the beginning of the race. Their parts in their respected films are too big for a supporting reward. On the flip side, Arkin wasn’t in the film enough to showcase his talents. When he was onscreen, he was great, but the movie had too much going on to give his character any more time. That leaves De Niro and Jones. Neither of them has gotten an award in over 20 years with De Niro hasn’t even been in a good movie in the last 10 years. In the Academy’s eyes, their time has come.

Yet it would seem that Jones is playing the more likeable character in the more Academy-friendly movie, therefore more likely to win.

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, "The Master"
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Will Win – Anne Hathaway
Could Win – Sally Field
Should Win – Helen Hunt
Doesn’t Belong – Jacki Weaver
Snubbed – Emily Blunt, “Looper”

Much like Best Actor with Daniel Day-Lewis, this category has been a lock ever since it was announced that Anne Hathaway would play Fantine in “Les Misérables.” The whole 10 or 15 minutes that she is on screen is straight-up Oscar bait, which doesn’t leave enough time for her to mess up and ruin the crowd-pleasing, fan favorite character. Her song, “I Dreamed a Dream” is nice but shouldn’t automatically buy her the award.

As long as Anne Hathaway didn’t completely butcher the character, the original writing is powerful enough to evoke a  gigantic emotional response. I’m not saying that she was bad; I am saying she should have had to work a little bit harder in the movie before they just started throwing awards at her blindly. That being said, there isn’t much of a competition here, as Hathaway is sure to win.

Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Will Win – Ang Lee
Could Win – Steven Spielberg
Should Win – Benh Zeitlin
Doesn’t Belong – Michael Haneke
Snubbed – Ben Affleck, “Argo”

Saving the best for last are the nominations for Best Director. While this category is primarily narrowed down to Spielberg and Lee, it will continue to be hotly debated right up to the opening of the envelope. Since “Silver Linings Playbook” is the crowd-pleaser in this year’s race, some people still naively believe that David O. Russell has a chance. While he is more likely than Haneke and Zeitlin, O. Russell is at a distinct disadvantage for directing a comedy since that carries less credibility for such a prestigious award.

I think that out of Lee and Spielberg, Lee deserves the win. He directed the “un-filmable” novel of the same name, on a big water tank in front of a green screen, with a first time actor and a CGI tiger. Spielberg threw a bunch of really great actors in front of a camera and had them read from chapter 16 of their history textbooks.On the other hand,“Life of Pi” overcame difficult directing challenges and turned out to be one of the best films of the year. My prediction goes for Ang Lee.

The 85th Academy Awards will air on ABC Family on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC. 


No votes yet
Student Media Group: