24 February 2013
  Oscar predictions. . .
It's been one of the closest and most suspenseful Oscar races in recent memory. Yet, in the end, and after dozens of awards have already been handed out from other organizations and critics groups, the frontrunners in nearly every category seem pretty clear. I am hoping for some surprises tonight, but not holding my breath. Here are my predictions:

Supporting actor:
Will win. . . Tommy Lee Jones. If there is an upset in any of the acting categories it will be here. Voters clearly love Argo, and I won't be surprised to see Alan Arkin take home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, although I would be very disappointed. In the end, smart money is still on Tommy Lee Jones, however.
Should win. . . Of those nominated (and discounting two that I deem to be category fraud) my preference is for Robert DeNiro. The person who should truly be getting this award, however, is the not-nominated Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
My five. . . Dwight Henry, Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones, Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall)

Supporting actress:
Will win. . . Anne Hathaway can not be beaten for Les Misèrables. Granted it is an excellent performance in a role that was virtually assured awards attention. But it has been her relentless campaigning for the award that is what won it for her in a landslide.
Should win. . . It is an extremely close call for me, but I would go with Sally Field over Anne Hathaway, just because there is unexpected range and depth to her performance of Mary Todd Lincoln, that Hathaway doesn't necessarily bring to her performance.
My five. . . Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney (Liberal Arts), Maggie Smith (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Amy Adams

Will win. . . Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar before he even put on the stovepipe hat. It certainly isn't undeserved, although it may be a bit boring.
Should win. . . No doubt Daniel Day Lewis is brilliant in his role, but his acting doesn't excite me in the way that the two leads of The Master do. In the end, I would go with Joaquin Phoenix.
My five. . . Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Daniel Day Lewis, Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Logan Lerman (Perks of Being a Wallflower)

Will win. . . As usual, this is the weakest field in the Oscar race—not because the nominees are necessarily undeserving, but because there are so relatively few "Best Actress" performances to choose from. In another category, Quvenzhané Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva would have had trouble getting in, but I think they made it here, almost by default. The award goes to Jennifer Lawrence.
Should win. . . I love Jennifer Lawrence. I am so excited to see her win. I loved her in Silver Linings Playbook. However, the biggest travesty of awards season for me is the absence from the category of deserved Best Actress winner Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina.
My five: Keira Knightley, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore (Game Change) and Quvenzhané Wallis

Original screenplay:
Will win. . . For me, this is the most unpredictable of all the major awards categories. There is a three way race between Django UnchainedZero Dark Thirty and Amour. Smart money is probably on Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty, but my instinct tells me this one will (inexplicably) go to Michael Haneke for Amour.
Should win. . . Paul Thomas Anderson's screenplay for the Master is. . . well, masterful.
My five. . . Paul Thomas Anderson, Mark Boal, Quentin Tarantino, Josh Radnor (Liberal Arts) and Neil Purvis/Robert Wade/John Logan (Skyfall)

Adapted Screenplay:
Will win. . . For Tony Kushner to win Best Adapted Screenplay here would be just as much of an upset as for Daniel Day Lewis to lose Best Actor. There is no competition.
Should win. . . For me there was far more exciting and original screenwriting this year than Kushner's admittedly apt work. My choice would be Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar for Beasts.
My five. . . Zeitlin/Alibar, Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower), David O. Russell, Ol Parker (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Tom Stoppard (Anna Karenina)

Will win. . . Steven Spielberg is the most obvious choice for the Best Director Oscar, and it is likely to go to him. However, I would honestly not be shocked to see Benh Zeitlin stun the audience with a win. After all, he stunned with a nomination. Zeitlin is my no-guts-no-glory prediction
Should win. . . Benh Zeitlin. Hands down. No Question. He crafted something so remarkable here, and no director could have done what he has done. Pure vision.
My five. . . Benh Zeitlin, Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Tom Hooper (Les Misèrables), Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) and Sam Mendes (Skyfall)

Will win. . . This is the first year that I am almost happy there are more than five Best Picture nominees. There are so many deserving films this year, as opposed to in past, so it is nice to see more honored. Of the nine best picture nominees, the one that seems most undeserving of its spot is Argo. And Argo will win in a landslide. Whatever.
Should win. . . Tonight, I will be rooting for Beasts of the Southern Wild to come out of nowhere and take it all. It will never happen, but how amazing if it did. My pick for the best of the year, however, goes to Sam Mendes' dazzling Skyfall.
My eight(!). . . Skyfall, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Master, Anna Karenina, Les Misèrables, Silver Linings Playbook, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Will win. . . I think Roger Deakins finally takes home the award for Skyfall.
Should win. . . Deakins' camera work in Skyfall is the single element that truly makes that film. Well deserved.
My five. . . Skyfall, Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Impossible and Django Unchained

Production Design:
Will win. . . I think Sarah Greenwood surprises as it is hard to deny the brilliance of her work in Anna Karenina
Should win. . . Greenwood
My five. . . Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, The Impossible and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Will win. . . Please dear God don't let it be John Williams. Yet another hackneyed, lazy and predictable effort from him. I think it is likely to be Michael Danna for his work for Life of Pi.
Should win. . . My preference is for the thumping, dramatic zydeco-inspired score to Beasts of the Southern Wild.
My five. . . Beasts of the Southern Wild, Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty

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