The marathon has gotten to around mile number 14. About the time where everybody with a movie blog (including yours truly) spends far too much time on other movie blogs, figuring out who will be in the Oscar race. The last few years, Oscar blogs have been to Oscar what ESPN has been to end-of-season sports awards: rallying cries for certain favorites to win. In some ways, its felt like the movie blogs vs. the voters. I guess this is a good thing, except that no process is truly democratic, so some deserving candidates, that might otherwise have given a fair shake, are pushed even further to the bottom. No support from the apparent “experts” and even less from the apparent “decision-makers” Looking ahead, there’s a few things that are now up in the air. It’s about that time where a few risky predictions are in order. So, here goes:
Either Lincoln OR Les Misérables (Not Both) Will Get Nominated for Best Picture
And it will likely be Lincoln, though one has to wonder if pundits are overstated the film’s presence. Nonetheless, early critics seem to be behind it, so it will likely get the thrust it needs for a nomination. On the contrary, Les Miz has all the makings of a winner with recent Oscar lineage, but will there be a backlash? Will Lincoln supporters turn against Les Miz and split the vote? It’s possible. It’s also possible that Lincoln will play as a stuffy bore against Les Miz’s exciting visionary appeal. Everyone assumes both are locks, but “what if”?
The Master Will Get Nominated for a Total of Two Oscars
One for Phoenix and one for Hoffman. That’s it. The writing is already on the wall for this one. In fact, I don’t know how bold a thought this even is anymore. Critics absolutely need to come through for this one. If the critics aren’t giving everything to Anderson’s film, there’s a distinct chance it will be left in the cold. I can’t imagine the voters not giving a nom to Phoenix, though his antics aren’t helping at all.
Sam Rockwell Will Get Nominated for Best Supporting Actor
Seven Psychopaths is a watchable movie primarily because of how inventive Rockwell’s performance is from beginning to end. He’s not the lead but he sure steals every moment the camera captures him, and even some of the moments where he’s off-screen. With a number of actors who’ve already won this award in the running again, the Academy may be instinctively looking for some new blood. With the right amount of support for Rockwell, he may emerge as the under-appreciated talent who is way past due.
The Sessions Will be in for Best Picture
Maybe I’m crazy but I really think this one will happen. The Sessions is the kind of feel-good, yet frank, true story that tends to far well with the Academy. Lead by performances that are sure to get nominations, the film has a simple thematic presence that escapes most of the other favorites. This film knows what it is and aims only to be exactly that. It succeeds as a smart film that’s also emotionally charged. The Sessions will remain an underdog for a while, but I predict the moment it starts turning up on Top Ten Lists, that will change.
The Avengers Will Win Two Academy Awards and Maybe More
Lest we forget, people really liked The Avengers. And honestly that unity of critic v. audience hasn’t been matched by any other release. While I think it’s a longshot for this one to get a Best Picture nomination (though not impossible), I do think it will get at least four or five nominations. Much like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last year, the voters will want to spread some love. Look for this one to take both of the Sound categories. However, do not be floored if The Avengers shows up as the inaugural superhero movie to grace Best Picture either.
Anthony Hopkins Will NOT be Nominated for Best Actor
Well, he sure looks like the real thing. And the Oscars sure do love non-confrontational biopics about the film industry. So how can this one not come through? The answer is that the film might play too light and frothy for voters looking for a change from the past two years. Yeah, the trailer looks like it has some drama, but how manufactured will it feel? Haven’t we seen the struggling artist with white collar problems enough in the past? Also, Hopkins could be seen as hiding behind the makeup (not that I actually believe this will happen). Something tells me Hopkins could get lost in the shuffle.
Cinematography, Editing, and Best Picture Will Not Match Up
This isn’t uncommon at all. In a year that has no clear cut frontrunner, the categories always have the chance to be mixed. Additionally, even if a frontrunner does emerge, it seems like this year they will not possess greatness in both major tech categories. For instance, Argo might be in for Editing but not Cinematography. The opposite for Lincoln. If Silver Linings Playbook wins Best Picture then I suspect it will not win either Editing or Cinematography. Right now, I’d guess Argo gets knocked out of Best Picture but wins Editing. Ditto Lincoln, but wins Cinematography. So who goes Best Picture?
Best Original Song Will Make a Triumphant Comeback
I have a good feeling that the nominations for Best Original Song will finally be exciting again. Assuming voters aren’t completely brain dead, they should be able to conjure up something great from the slew of interesting artists with songs this year. The opportunity for a telecast that includes a song from Adele and a song from Karen O sounds very exciting to me. Do the older voters care? Well, they aren’t conservative stiffs. They create art, after all. I think they will care. This ones going to be fun again.
Moonrise Kingdom Will Win Best Original Screenplay
I just have a feeling about this one. The film world loves Wes Anderson and the Oscars love to give this award to quirky, original visions. Especially comedies by celebrated auteurs. The Academy has shown they are interested in showing love to Anderson, but until Kingdom his work has seemed a little too esoteric for an actual win. In a thin year for Original Screenplays, this could be Anderson’s to lose.
Someone Other Than Jennifer Lawrence Will Win Best Actress
If there’s one thing I think people know in their guts it’s that Lawrence doesn’t have a chance to win Best Actress. Sure she’s been penned as the favorite for now, but even the studios seem to know that her post is rather shaky. They’ve just announced that Chastain will go lead in Zero Dark Thirty and Hathaway will be lead for The Dark Knight Rises. The question for this category seems the same for Best Picture: who, if not our current frontrunner, will emerge as the winner?
Argo Will NOT Win Best Picture
Again, I don’t know how “bold” a prediction this is. Almost everyone seems to think that Argo’s only the frontrunner for as long as it takes a sure bet to emerge. I have a feeling that “sure bet” may never actually appear. However, I do think that Argo will lose in a photo-finish. The Oscars are exciting for sports fans only when an upset occurs. I’m a sports fan, so this one has me giddy.