Saturday, February 23, 2013

Big 5 Oscar Picks

Oops! Wrong Oscar!
So, between my mother's most recent health scare and my exhaustion thanks to dealing with it, I really haven't posted much this week. But since tomorrow brings us the 85th Annual Academy Awards, I thought I should at least post my annual picks. 

While I won't apologize for making a joke about Oscar Pistorius, I won't judge him until I hear all the facts (unlike Casey Anthony; Jodi Arias and Drew Peterson). But that's not what tonight's post is about.

Tonight is about the impending Oscars and my picks for the 5 Big Awards (and a few others). As always, I'll be listing What Will Win; What Should Win and the Long Shot. And as always, I'll be asking you not to place any bets based on my picks, because I am never 100% accurate (though I did manage to get most of last year's Big 5 right, if I remember correctly -- and weren't too lazy to go back and look). 

So, without further ado, here are my picks:

Best Actor (Supporting Role):

Who Should Win -- Robert Di Niro in Silver Linings Playbook. Giving his least affected performance in years, Di Niro is simply excellent.

Who Will Win -- Alan Arkin in Argo. Arkin has been around a long time and will win for his body of work.

Long Shot -- Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master. A simply astonishing performance from one of America's best living actors.

Best Actress (Supporting Role):

Who Should Win -- Sally Field in Lincoln. We really liked her a long time ago. Despite being all wrong as Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man, Field is more than just 'good' as Mary Todd Lincoln in Spielberg's biopic.

Who Will Win -- Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables. Her performance, while brief, was the best part of Tom Hooper's misguided adaptation of the stage hit.

Long Shot -- Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook. Who? The Australian star is completely unknown in the U.S. and very unlikely to win.

Best Actor:

Who Should Win -- Denzel Washington in Flight. Washington was nothing less than amazing as an alcoholic pilot who lands a plane and saves it's passengers against all odds.

Who Will Win -- Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln. Did anyone doubt they were watching the real Lincoln?

Long Shot -- Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook. Cooper is still young with many great roles ahead of him.

Best Actress:

Who Should Win -- Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook. Lawrence just gets better and better with each film she makes and she shines here.

Who Will Win -- Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. As the woman who found Bin Laden, Chastain more than makes up for her performance in the ridiculous Mama.

Long Shot -- Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild. No child has ever won in this category, despite the 9 year old's brilliant performance.

Best Director:

Who Should Win -- Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Lee won for 2005's Brokeback Mountain, but his singular visual style in Life of Pi (despite the movie's 'spiritual' message) and the performance he gets out of young Suraj Sharma certainly warrant acknowledgement. 

Who Will Win -- Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. Having won for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg seems to do well with historical drama. 

Long Shot -- Behn Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. First-time nominees rarely win in this category, no matter how wonderful their films are.

Best Picture:

What Should Win -- Argo. Ben Affleck's dramatization of the 1980 rescue of 6 hostages in Iran is a thrilling and entertaining version of a daring rescue in a very uncertain time in history.

What Will Win -- Argo. Do you really think any other movie has a chance?

Long Shot(s) -- Les Miserables/Amour -- Tom Hooper's tepid musical and Michael Haneke's tale of love among octogenarians both face uphill battles against several much better films.

Other Winners:

Animated Feature:  ParaNorman: The first animated film to feature an openly gay character, director Chris Butler's stop-motion horror comedy may well turn out to be the first animated film in a long time to beat Pixar.

Cinematography: Life of Pi. Quite simply the most gorgeously filmed movie of 2012.

Animated Short: Head Over Heels

Original Song: Hands down - Adele's 'Skyfall' from Skyfall

Costumes: Anna Karenina

Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Original Screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom

Adapted Screenplay: Argo

I'll talk about the awards again, after I've turned them off in boredom half-way through - though I do have high hopes that the adorable host Seth MacFarlane will be amazing enough to keep me watching.

And just as a side note, last November I occupied a 4th row seat in the Dolby Theatre for Cirque du Soliel's Iris. I wonder what celebrity will be planting his or her butt where I planted mine.

More, anon.

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