What a year for movies, but it's time to officially put the final few nails in the coffin of 2012 and what better way to do that than with the 85th annual Academy Awards. Unlike recent years though, this Oscar night could prove to as memorable as it is unpredictable. Despite the fact that Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" leads the pact with 12 nominations, this is a year where nearly every category is wide open.
To make it even more interesting, Seth MacFarlane is hosting the show, which opens the door for all sorts of chaos. You never know what that dude is going to say. MacFarlane has had a big year, directing his first live action film, "Ted", to box office success and critical acclaim. It's not exactly Oscar material but good for laughs.
This year, nine movies are nominated for Best Picture. Remember, there can be as many as ten but no fewer than five nominees. "Argo", coming off it's Golden Globes win last month, may be the favorite heading into Oscar night. The 70s era political thriller seemed to gain momentum after Ben Affleck was anointed as the "biggest snub" of this year's awards.
On the director's side, Affleck wasn't the only snub. Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper failed to earn a nomination despite the fact that both of their films, "Zero Dark Thirty" and “Les Misérables”, respectively, were each nominated for Best Picture. It might be time for the Academy to allow the Best Director category breath on occasion and make it so the directors of the nominated Best Pictures also get nominated.
In the acting categories, there isn't as much open ended speculation. Daniel Day-Lewis seems like an absolute no brainer after his uncanny performance in "Lincoln", while Anne Hathaway made the most of her 23 minutes (approx.) screen time for a powerful turn in “Les Misérables”. The Best Actress category should be close as should the race for Best Supporting Actor.
The 85th Academy Awards air on Sunday Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. CST on ABC, with red carpet coverage beginning at 6:00. If you're into all that pre-show entertainment, E! will have pre-ceremony coverage starting at 12:30 CST.
Check out my predictions below and keep score against me on Oscar night. You can see a full list of the 2013 Academy Award nominees. You can also follow me on Twitter @tbenglish during the show for what I'm sure will be some very insightful commentary on the developments of the evening.
Best Picture: "Argo"
Best Director: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings PlayBook"
Best Supporting Actor: Robert de Niro, “Silver Linings PlayBook”
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Wreck-It Ralph”
Best Documentary -- Feature Film: “Searching for Sugar Man”
Best Documentary -- Short Subject: “Open Heart”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour” (Austria)
Outstanding Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski “Lincoln”
Outstanding Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina”
Outstanding Film Editing: William Goldenberg, “Argo”
Outstanding Makeup and Hairstyling: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, “Les Misérables”
Outstanding Original Score: Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”
Best Original Song: Skyfall from “Skyfall” -- (Music and Lyrics by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
Outstanding Production Design: “Lincoln”, Production Design: Rick Carter, Set Decoration: Jim Erickson)
Outstanding Short Film -- Animated: “Paperman”, John Kahrs
Outstanding Short Film -- Live Action: “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), Tom van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
Outstanding Sound Editing: Erik Aadahl and Ethan van der Ryn, “Argo”
Outstanding Sound Mixing:Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin,“Life of Pi”
Outstanding Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, “Life of Pi”
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