Monday, 18 February 2013

Oscars 2013: who'll win, who should...

Here we go – my annual round of Oscar predictions. As before, I’ll pick a winner and also (where I’m equipped to offer an opinion) tell you who should win. I’ll put aside my usual moaning about who/what didn’t get nominated but should have, and dive right into the predictions:

Best Picture

This is where I embarrassedly admit that I haven’t actually seen what is universally considered to be the frontrunner – Argo. As to which should win, I’m torn between Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi. Given my pick of the Best Director field I’ll share the love and say Zero Dark Thirty.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director

Given the academy’s pedigree in giving directors recognition for the wrong film, this one will almost certainly go to Spielberg for his overcooked Lincoln. Personally I’d like to see Ang Lee take it for the magical Life of Pi.

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

Best Actor

Hard to argue with the prevailing thought here – Daniel Day Lewis (of whom I’m not the biggest fan) is unquestionably brilliant in Lincoln. I suspect I will share the view of the Academy on this one.

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

Best Actress

A really intriguing set of performances here. I reckon Jennifer Lawrence will pick up the gong; I’d be tempted to give it to Jessica Chastain.

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

Best Supporting Actor

Less inspiring than the corresponding female list, I found it hard to pick a favourite. Though I thought James Spader and David Straithern were just as deserving in Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones does a great line in irascible tub-thumping – he’d be my pick, and I also think he’ll be the likely winner.

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

Best Supporting Actress

If this doesn’t go to Anne Hathaway, I’ll pack in this prediction lark for good. A nailed-on, cast-iron, copper-bottomed certainty.

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Original Screenplay

I loved Moonrise Kingdom, and while I doubt it will win it would be my pick of the nominations. Mark Boal’s screenplay would be a worthy winner (unlike Tarantino’s messy Django) and is the one I think will take it.

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
John Gatins Flight
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay

Tougher to pick than the original screenplay category, I reckon the academy will play sensible and go for the best-written (and least appealingly titled) of these, Silver Linings Playbook. Actually no, d’you know what, I’ll say Argo.

Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David Magee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Foreign Film

I don’t know enough about these films to make a pick myself, but I reckon Amour is nailed on to win this one.

Amour - Austria
Kon-Tiki - Norway
No - Chile
A Royal Affair - Denmark
War Witch - Canada

Best Documentary

Searching for Sugarman is the likely winner here.

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

Best Documentary Short

Again, no real idea which should win – I’ll stab in the dark and say Open Heart – a nice, Oscar-friendly title.

Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart

Best Animation

I’d love to see The Pirates! win it; I reckon it’ll actually be between Brave and Wreck-it Ralph, of which I’ll plump for the latter.

Brave: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton
ParaNorman: Sam Fell, Chris Butler
The Pirates! Band of Misfits / In an Adventure with Scientists, Peter Lord
Wreck it Ralph, Rich Moore

Best Cinematography

Deakins should win: as we all know, he’s now winless from ten nominations including this. However, I think Claudio Miranda will win for the gorgeous Life of Pi

Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Best Editing

Zero Dark Thirty was quite sparsely and intelligently edited, sustaining what could’ve been a long slog of a movie into something feeling relatively compact, despite the radical change in pace toward the end. Will the Academy agree? Probably not – they’ll give it to whoever they give Best Picture to – in this case Lincoln or, more likely, Argo.

Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
William Goldenberg, Argo
Michael Kahn, Lincoln
Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Editing

I’d say Life of Pi to win on this one. It’s a hard category to judge, as so much is dependent on the screening conditions in which you saw the movie, but I’d be happy enough with Pi winning.

Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, Argo
Wylie Stateman: Django Unchained
Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill: Life of Pi
Per Hallberg, Karen Baker Landers: Skyfall
Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing

Do you ever walk out of a movie and say to your fellow moviegoers, ‘wow, what about that sound mixing’? Probably not. However, given the whole ‘live singing’ thing on Les Mis, I suppose they had the hardest job to do, so I’ll give this one to them.

Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin, Life of Pi
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson,
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, Les Miserables
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson, Skyfall
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins, Lincoln
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia, Argo

Best Make- up and Hair

As often as not, these get bagged by a big impersonation, so in this case I reckon Hitchcock will take it. I’d like to see The Hobbit win this one, personally.

Julie Hewett, Martin Samuel, Howard Berger: Hitchcock
Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lisa Westcott, Les Miserables

Best Original Score

Mychael Danna has been creating fabulous, original scores for years and I’d love to see him win an Oscar. However, I think the Academy will play it safe and give it to John Williams.

Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
John Williams, Lincoln
Thomas Newman, Skyfall

Best Original Song

The song from Ted is easily the best of these, but the allure and glamour of the Bond franchise will win this for Adele.

"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from Ted
"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi
"Skyfall" from Skyfall
"Suddenly" from Les Misérables

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina did something genuinely innovative in bringing back the proscenium arch which Hitchcock claimed Spielberg took away in the seventies; I’d like to think it will get recognition here as a result. Personally though I’d like The Hobbit to win, basically because I really liked it and want it to win something.

Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer: Anna Karenina
Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson: Les Miserables
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock: Life of Pi
Rick Carter, Jim Erickson: Lincoln

Best Visual Effects

Always quite an interesting category to watch, I think Life of Pi is certain to win this one. I’d be happy with that, even ahead of The Hobbit.

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson, Snow White and the Huntsman
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick, Avengers Assemble
Richard Stammers, Charley Henley, Trevor Wood, Paul Butterworth: Prometheus
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer: Life of Pi

Best Costume Design

For similar reasons to the Best Production Design above, I’ll go for Anna Karenina to win.

Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado, Les Miserables
Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Short Film (Animated)

Paperman, the pre-Wreck-it Ralph cartoon to win this, I think.

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"

Best Short

Again, I’m going in blind so it’s impossible to call – I’ll go for Buzkashi Boys.

Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)

So there you go. Once it’s all happened and the fuss has died down I’ll post my customary prediction audit – just in case you hadn’t figured out by then what a monumental load of lovable nonsense the whole Oscar thing is anyway.