Jan 9, 2013

Mandatory Oscar Nominations Predictions

Can you tell how excited I am? Actually, elated as I feel almost completely ignoring the awards season madness for the past few years compared to the exhaustive attempts at coverage I used to waste my time on (even more invigorating, however, was the day I stopped frequenting IMDb message boards), the truth is that there still is and probably always will be a small part of me that invests in these things: the race, the tension, the agony, the ecstasy. It's a great feeling when a film you love is up for an Oscar, but on the flipside, it's that much more difficult to ignore the other 50-75% of the time when you've allow such fleeting pleasures to creep in. Then there's the unfortunate fact that Oscars and their like play a serious, if perhaps diminishing, role in the landscape of determining what we watch, and need acknowledgement if only out of caution or paranoia.

With no further delay, here are my nomination predictions.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook; Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln; John Hawkes, The Sessions; Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables; Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty; Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook; Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Alan Arkin, Argo; Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook; Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained; Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master; Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Sally Field, Lincoln; Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables; Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy; Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Best Director: Ben Affleck, Argo; Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty; Ang Lee, Life of Pi; Steven Spielberg, Lincoln; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Picture: Argo, Django Unchained, The Impossible*, The Intouchables, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty (if there are nine nominees, add Skyfall, and if the full ten, Moonrise Kingdom)

*UPDATE: I made a serious effort to avoid everything in the way of published Oscar commentary prior to formulating my own predictions, and didn't want to alter this choice without at least acknowledging and explaining my reasons for doing so, even if it's only a few dozen who might've possibly noticed the inconsistency. I could go into detail about how The Intouchables, my replacement choice (a film I'd happily forgotten for some time), and The Impossible  (which I only saw for the first time yesterday) share certain overlapping qualities (eerily paralleled by their similar titles) frequently adored by miserable white men in Hollywood, but you probably get the idea already.

UPDATE, Post-nominations: Depending on how you guage the sliding scale Best Picture field, my guesses were about 70% accurate. Not bad for a year with a nice batch of surprises.

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