The 2013 Academy Awards

oscars13Strangely, I don’t feel that invested in the Oscars this year.  Usually I’m amped up about the awards show, not because I expect much from the show itself, but because I love movies and everything about them, including the people who star in them.  I love seeing great movies recognized, so I’m usually pulling for one movie above another.  But that’s not really the case this year.  I’m excited about it, but it’s way less of this kind of excited and more this kind of excited.

Maybe it’s because the vast majority of the movies involved in the race this year are genuinely great movies.  Every Best Picture nominee I’ve seen has been a great movie; that’s pretty representative of 2012, since it was the best year in movies in a long time.  I don’t really have a dog in this race.  Sure, of the lot, I love Zero Dark Thirty the best.  But who am I to argue if the industry chooses a different, equally worthy movie?  What could go wrong?

Regardless of my level of excitement, I’ll still be watching Sunday night.  Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.  Even Seth McFarlane won’t get in my way.  And, just as dependable as me watching the Oscars every year, I must post my picks.  So without further ado:

* denotes a movie I still haven’t seen.

oscars1Best Picture

Nominees: Amour*
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Les Misérables
Silver Linings Playbook*
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Lincoln. It sounds like people are starting to lean Argo‘s way, and boy would it be sweet to watch Ben Affleck win another Oscar that’s not for an achievement in acting, but I still feel like this is Lincoln‘s Oscar to win.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from the sounds of it, it’s the kind of movie Oscar dreams about ending up with someday, writes home about, then brings home to mama.  I don’t see Lincoln losing.

Should Have Been Nominated: The Dark Knight Rises.  If my friends and I ran Hollywood, things would have gone different for Christopher Nolan and his Batman trilogy.  Alas, the best superhero movie ever couldn’t get no respect.  Someday, Chris.  Someday.

oscars2Best Director

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

Will Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln.  This is almost even more of a lock than Best Picture.  No one knows who two of these guys are, and too many of their peers are mad at them for keeping out Bigelow and Affleck.  And no one can really agree on Life of Pi or Silver Linings Playbook.  Spielberg will win his third directing Oscar on Sunday.

Should Have Been Nominated: Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
It’s a tie, because none of these people should have been left off the ballot.  Honestly, I don’t see why the Oscars don’t adopt for every award the same rule they use for Best Picture: minimum of 5 nominees required and up to 10 allowed as long as each nominee receives 5% of the 1st place votes.  I think that’s a fair system for all the categories; it gives every worthy entry a chance to win it all, and it makes sure the worthy candidates are recognized.  I guarantee you these three would not have been snubbed if the Academy played by those rules for every category.

oscars3Best Actor

Nominees: 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, Lincoln.  And this is even more of a lock than Picture or Director.  Though I sure am chuffed to see Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington in the lineup.  Both men deserve every accolade they receive.

Should Have Been Nominated: Dane DeHaan, Chronicle.  This was a pipe dream, of course.  Chronicle never got the attention it deserved.  But DeHaan will be nominated someday.  Mark my words.

oscars4Best Actress

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

Will Win: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty.  Jennifer Lawrence is the frontrunner, but I’m not sure the establishment is ready to give a wild card like Lawrence an Oscar.  Give her a couple years, they’ll say.  But they already love Jessica Chastain, and rightfully so.

Should Have Been Nominated: Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games.  Haven’t seen her performance in Playbook, but it must be a doozy to have beaten out Katniss Everdeen.

oscars5Best Supporting Actor

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

Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master.  I don’t have a reason for this one.  Just my gut instinct.

Should Have Been Nominated: Russell Crowe, Les Misérables.
Just kidding.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained.  Maybe my favorite performance of his ever.

Les MiserablesBest Supporting Actress

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

Will Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables.  No question.

Should Have Been Nominated: Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises.  I’m not kidding about this one.  She was great.

oscars7Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook*

Will Win: Life of Pi.  They called the book unfilmable, and they were wrong.

Should Have Been Nominated: Does The Avengers count?  It must have been adapted from something.

oscars8Original Screenplay

Nominees: Amour*
Django Unchained
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Moonrise Kingdom.  Wes Anderson’s fable about the end of childhood was sublime, and here it’s the movie that benefited most from a well-crafted script.

Should Have Been Nominated: The Cabin in the Woods.  Because it’s the best horror movie since The Descent, and the cleverest movie of the year by far.


Nominees: Anna Karenina*
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

Will Win: Life of Pi.  You could predict this just from watching the trailers.

Should Have Been Nominated: Moonrise Kingdom.  Wes Anderson’s movies are fastidiously constructed frame by frame, and this is the first movie of his I’ve seen where it doesn’t distract from the story but adds to it.

oscars10Animated Feature

Nominees: Brave
The Pirates! Band of Misfits*
Wreck-It Ralph*

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph

Should Have Been Nominated: Frankly this year kind of sucked for animated movies.  So I got nothing.

oscars11Documentary Feature

Nominees: 5 Broken Cameras*
The Gatekeepers*
How to Survive a Plague*
The Invisible War*
Searching for Sugar Man*

Will Win: The Gatekeepers.  I haven’t heard of 5 Broken Cameras, but the rest of them all received great reviews.  However, The Gatekeepers is coming out at just the right time with just the right amount of buzz.

Should Have Been Nominated: The Queen of Versailles.  A brilliant accident of a movie that distills America into one disaster of a family.

oscars12Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Amour*
A Royal Affair*
War Witch*

Will Win: Amour

Should Have Been Nominated: The closest thing to a foreign film I’ve seen from last year was Les Misérables.

Let’s try something.  Watch the Oscars on Sunday, and pick a movie that you’ve never heard of.  Go to your local library, check it out, and watch it.  Then tweet me @abum190 about what you thought of it.  My bet is your world will be a little bit richer for it.

A caveat though: do some research into the movie first.  Just to make sure you’re not getting the equivalent of porn.  The Academy awards some questionable movies sometimes.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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