As we enter the 2013 Oscars week, below are my picks for the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, 2013. After going to Oscar screenings, writing reviews, and seeing almost every one of the nominated movies, the theme for my Oscar predictions is “Argo Rules and Anything but Lincoln.” The Academy voting ends next Tues, Feb 19th for 5,856 members, and Hollywood is buzzing with Best Director TV ads running and daily parties planned in Los Angeles.
Because great movies can be watched twenty times, I saw two Best Picture nominees twice in the theater: “Argo” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” While both films are exceptional, I’m sticking with my first instinct for Best Picture, “Argo.” Ben Affleck’s masterpiece is well-edited, historic, filled with great acting (Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Ben are outstanding) and the story climax is superior to all other films nominated. Yes, “Silver Linings Playbook” cast has four nominees that David O Russell describes in this Oscar Screening Q&A, but there are weaknesses in the script that make it too predictable and the ending could have been much stronger.
For acting, the Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence) winners are pretty locked, but there were so many great performances this year that it would be better if we could give out two Oscars in each category. Hugh Jackman gives the performance of a lifetime in “Les Miserables”, and Bradley Cooper really shows his acting versatility in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Jessica Chastain is also powerful in “Zero Dark Thirty” and deserves an Oscar for her performance.
The Best Director winner is a toss up with Ben Affleck out of the race. While Steven Spielberg is a legend, “Lincoln” is just a boring film. If I have to pick, let’s go with David O Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook” for pulling great performances out of four actors nominated, similar to what he did in “The Fighter.” Ben Affleck should have won, and he’s already won Best Director at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, DGA Awards and Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards.
If we have to choose just one winner (and ok, let’s discuss 2nd and 3rd choices), below are my 2013 Oscar Predictions:
Best Picture: “Argo” (should win), “Les Miserables” (may win)
Best Director: David O Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook” (should win), Ang Lee for “Life of Pi” (may win)
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” (should win), Hugh Jackman for “Les Miserables” (may win), and Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook” (long shot)
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook” (should win), Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty” (may win)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Robert Di Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook" (should win), Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained” (may win), Alan Arkin for “Argo” (my fav)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables” (outstanding performance that she describes in our Anne Hathaway Q&A VIDEO), Helen Hunt (not likely, but will support Sundance hit, “The Sessions”)
Best Animated Feature: “Brave” (should win), “Wreck-it Ralph” (may win), “Frankenweenie” (might win, but honestly fell asleep during this film)
Best Cinematography: “Life of Pi” (should win), “Skyfall” (may win)
Best Costume Design: “Anna Karenina” (should win, loved hearing Keira Knightly Q&A), “Les Miserables” (may win)
Best Documentary Feature: “Searching for Sugar Man” (will win, made me cry), “The Invisible War” (brave film and deserves it too)
Best Documentary Short: “Open Heart” (should win), “Inocente” (may win)
Best Film Editing: “Argo” (should win, amazing how they wove the historic news clips and interviews into this film), “Zero Dark Thirty” (may win)
Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour” (will win), “The Intouchables” (not nominated, but deserves it as highest gross film ever in France, and loved Omar Sy Q&A)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “The Hobbit” (should win), “Les Miserables” (may win)
Best Original Song: “Skyfall” (should win), “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables” (may win)
Best Original Score: “Life of Pi” (should win), “Lincoln” (may win)
Best Production Design: “Life of Pi” (should win), “Les Miserables” (may win)
Best Short Film: Animated: “Paperman” (should win), “Head over Heels” (may win)
Best Short Film: Live Action: “Curfew” (should win), “Death of a Shadow” (may win)
Best Sound Editing: “Skyfall” (should win), “Life of Pi” (may win)
Best Sound Mixing: “Les Miserables” (should win), “Skyfall” (may win)
Best Visual Effects: “Life of Pi” (will win, amazing tiger and animation), “The Hobbit” (long shot second)
Best Original Screenplay: "Django Unchained" written by Quentin Tarantino (will win, but don’t care), “Amour” (may win, but don’t care)
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Lincoln” (ok, we will give it to Lincoln), “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Argo” are better
If you add up the score, here’s why you get a very close race for Best Picture for the 85th Academy Awards.
“Argo” = 2
“Silver Linings Playbook” = 3
“Les Miserables” = 2
“Lincoln” = 2
“Django Unchained” = 1
“Amour” = 1
“Life of Pi” = 4 (all technical awards)
If “Argo” wins for “Best Picture” and Alan Arkin receives the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, it would make my night. What are your picks? Where will you be watching the Oscars this year? Follow all the latest news, interviews and get your Backstage Pass on the Official ABC Oscars App, and check back here for Oscar coverage and news.