As is customary, I hereby audit my 2013 Oscar predictions . No improvement on last year, but no decline either - a solid 14 out of 24:
Best Movie - Argo
Best Actor - Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress - Jennifer Lawrence
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway
Best Foreign-Language Film - Amour
Best Adapted Screenplay - Argo
Best Cinematography - Life of Pi
Best Sound Mixing - Les Miserables
Best Original Song - Skyfall
Best Costumes - Anna Karenina
Best Documentary - Searching for Sugarman
Best Film Editing - Argo
Best Animated Short - Paperman
Best Visual Effects - Life of Pi
As to the awards themselves, it was a curious ragbag of gongs with no runaway headline success, a la The Artist or The King's Speech. Top winner, funnily enough, was Life of Pi with four wins - good news for a movie which has become something of a sleeper hit (still showing at my local cinema two months post-release - unlike Lincoln, Django Unchained or The Hobbit, all released around the same time). I can't comment on Argo, not having seen it - but I do get a sense of the film being a safe choice; once again the daft Golden Globes seem to have had a disproportionate effect on the voting of the Academy. Then again, any half-decent flick with a 'Hollywood to the rescue!' message can't fail to capture a fair number of lazy votes.
The biggest surprise/most unjust award of the night had to be Quentin Tarantino winning Best Original Screenplay for Django - a film that even the most ardent QT fanboys must admit is baggy and unfocused, with script and editing problems. Christoph Walz winning Best Supporting Actor for the same film was also a bit of a swerveball, albeit less unjust (saying that, surely Di Caprio or Sam Jackson would've been more deserving winners from Django).
Ang Lee getting Best Director was a more pleasant surprise; I liked Life of Pi very much but failed to really engage with pre-award frontrunner Spielberg's Lincoln. Brave winning for Best Animated Feature wasn't a surprise exactly, but a disappointingly bland choice. Roger Deakins going without a win at the tenth time of asking was a shame, though I can't have any argument with Claudio Miranda winning best cinematography for the gorgeous Pi.
The other movie-geek curio was the tied award for Best Sound Editing, between Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty - only the sixth ever joint award in Oscar history.
Right, enough of that nonsense - back to the movies...