Sunday, February 24, 2013

85th Academy Awards Picks

The time is upon us, once again the films billed as the best of the year (2012) will compete for honor and glory in the eyes of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As we have yet to reach the time wherein nominees battle out for the prize in the Thunderdome (one day...), I have brought together my favorite categories and will give my predictions and comments on the 85th Academy Awards.


Also props to me for seeing all the nominees for Best Picture before the ceremony for once.

The year of 2012 brought to audiences around the world perhaps one of the strongest slew of Oscar contenders for years. From auteurs returning to the plate once again (Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Michel Haneke to name a few), to mega blockbusters breaking the box office (The Avengers blew my mind, and Skyfall I have since come to love. There will be no mention of The Dark Knight Rises in my house), to visionary adaptations (Life of Pi, Anna Karenina) and cinema achievements that we will revel in years to come (The Master is always on my mind!), this was a smashing year!

So it came as a shock to nobody that the Academy has made a terrible group of choices. There have been blaring omissions/snubs, The Master missing in many categories, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck, Moonrise Kingdom and Holy Motors to name some more. But c'est la vie, I'll work with what we have. And be sure to read on until my ULTIMATE wild card pick!

Best Picture
  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Misérables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty
Who will win?


As I mentioned above, there are some truly unforgivable snubs here, and once again blatant Oscar baiting films such as Les Misérables have been awarded for their banality. However I think I am correct in my pick. Argo has had the momentum since it was named the most popular film from the Toronto Film Festival. A Golden Globe and PGA award have cemented its position as leading contender.

Who should win?


None of the nominees moved me greater than Amour. Close to home I know but I felt it deserving of the Golden Palm at Cannes and think it pertinent that it be equally received abroad.

Who should have been nominated?

The Master

 This was the greatest crime of the year, for the greatest 'cinema' film of the year to be denied acknowledgement by the industry as the best American film of the year. Truly a travesty, well at least the community agrees with me.

Wildcard - Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director
  • Michael Haneke - Amour
  • Ang Lee - Life of Pi
  • David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook
  • Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
  • Behn Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Who will win?

All hail Señor Spielbergo!!!

But seriously:

Steven Spielberg - Lincoln

Were this a fair year, Kathryn Bigelow or Ben Affleck would have been at least nominated, and I would have given it to the former. However I think as Argo will win Best Picture, the Academy will award industry favorite Steven Spielberg. Lincoln is a fantastic film, and whilst I don't believe it pushes boundaries, it doesn't tread on any toes either. 

Who should win?

Michael Haneke - Amour

Amour was a beautiful film, and one which exhibited Haneke's transcendent capabilities as director. He is well and truly deserving of his nomination and I would wish the Academy to do him the honor.

Wildcard - Behn Zeitlin

Best Actor
  • Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables 
  • Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
  • Denzel Washington - Flight
Who will win?

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

My god you could pick this from a mile away, a British method actor playing arguably the most celebrated American President in a Steven Spielberg period drama. They should have handed the Oscar to him as soon as he signed on. (Can you tell I have a vehement dislike of Daniel Day-Lewis?)

Who should win?

Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

Now this was acting. He didn't so much play the part as lived it. I was totally drawn to Joaquin's performance in The Master along with the rest of the cast. I guess a Volpi Cup is good enough for now.

Wildcard - Hugh Jackman

Best Actress
  • Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmanuelle Riva - Amour
  • Quvenzhané Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts - The Impossible
Who will win?

Hint: It's not Meryl Streep.

But like seriously, you're awesome.

Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook

Locked up by now, she was fantastic as Tiffany and I have no doubts that Hollywood's new 'it' girl will take home the gold (I have a massive crush on Jennifer Lawrence)

Who should win?

Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook

Phenomenal performance, whilst my love for Jessica Chastain knows no bounds I felt Jennifer had a stronger performance. God I love you.

Wildcard - Emmanuelle Riva

Best Supporting Actor
  • Alan Arkin - Argo
  • Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook 
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master 
  • Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
Who will win?

Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln

I have an incredible soft spot for Tommy Lee Jones, and as Lincoln will be denied Best Picture I am sure it will pick up in other categories (like a runners up prize).

Who should win?

Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

You can see where I'm going here, The Master was truly amazing largely due to the performances of its cast. Give the film and its actors their due!

Wildcard - Robert De Niro

Best Supporting Actress
  • Amy Adams - The Master 
  • Sally Field - Lincoln 
  • Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables 
  • Helen Hunt - The Sessions 
  • Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
Who will win?

Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables

See my reasoning for Daniel Day-Lewis. It's gonna happen people.

Who should win?

Amy Adams - The Master

Amy Adams is, along with Jessica Chastain, one of America's most talented actresses. She was at full force in The Master.

Wildcard - Helen Hunt 

Other Categories and My Picks

Best Original Screenplay
  • Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Lincoln 
Best Animated Feature
  • Wreck-It Ralph
Best Foreign Film
  • Amour
Best Original Song
  • Adele - Skyfall
Best Cinematography 
  • Life of Pi
Best Animated Short Film
  • Paperman


For my ultimate wildcard theory, basically a thought of what could really throw a spanner in the works at the ceremony, I look at Silver Linings Playbook. This film has achieved the rare feat of being nominated in all four acting categories, the first time since Reds in 1981, and also being nominated for the Big Five, the first time since Million Dollar Baby in 2004. Will this film make a surprise sweep and join the likes of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and The Silence of the Lambs in winning Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay? 

Well those are my picks, enjoy the show and remember that cinema is the greatest art form of our time, and should be respected as such.


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