I’m as good at guessing or calculating Oscar winners as the next guy, but I’ve never had much interest in Academy navel-gazing or microsopic tea-leaf readings. I really only care about (a) what I want to see win and (b) the apparently likely winners that have no business winning anything. The little man in my chest is telling me something or someone mostly un-predicted will win. Here are my predictions in the major categories plus some of the films and filmmakers that I feel should be winning.
Best Picture of the Year: Obviously Argo. Should win: Zero Dark Thirty. Would Love to See Win Despite The Odds: Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Director: Why does it have to be Ang Lee? I really can’t figure this. No one in earshot has expressed any strong feelings about Life of Pi over the last few weeks. Do people give Oscars to directors of films they mostly respect and admire, but no one is really nuts about? Why can’t the winner be Amour‘s Michael Haneke? Should win: Silver Linings Playbook‘s David O. Russell. Would Love to See Him Win Despite The Odds: Russell.
Best Actor: Obviously Lincoln‘s Daniel Day-Lewis.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook. If Amour‘s Emmanuelle Riva takes it, fine. It would actually be a fascinating moment. Lawrence is young, talented, rich…she’ll be totally fine. But I can’t believe that Riva will pull an upset. The little man in my chest can’t see it. It’s a pipe dream that, I suspect, is at least partly about certain columnists wanting to see a left-field occurence of some kind.
Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook. Because (a) he’s so alive and full of heart in SLP and (b) he campaigned like Bill Clinton did in ’92.
Best Supporting Actress: Obviously Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Movie Godz don’t want this to happen but the winner will almost certainly be Argo‘s Chris Terrio. I wouldn’t mind if Tony Kushner wins for Lincoln because he’s a good fellow. I don’t blame him for the Connecticut wrongo — that was Spielberg’s doing.
Best Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal. The very least the Academy can do to make up for that shameful (and regrettably successful) ZD30 takedown effort by the Stalinists. Might Win: Amour, Michael Haneke. It will be nothing short of a howling travesty if Django Unchained wins.
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph, Rich Moore. But I don’t really know or care. Most animated films bore me.
Best Cinematography: I know Seamus McHarvey won’t win for Anna Karenina, but he should and that’s all I care about. Who’s going to win? Life of Pi‘s Claudio Miranda because the 3D images look like pretty CG candy? I will take it as a still personal rebuke if Lincoln‘s Janusz Kaminski wins.
Best Costume Design: No question it’ll be Anna Karenina‘s Jacqueline Durran. Right?
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man. Should Win: Dror Moreh‘s The Gatekeepers.
Best Editing: Argo, William Goldenberg. Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg.
Best Foreign Language Film: Obviously Michael Haneke‘s Amour. If Amour didn’t have it in the bag the winner would be/should be Pablo Larrain‘s No.