The Daily Aztec’s 2013 Oscar Ballot and Predictions

by David Dixon

\Think you know who will win big at the Oscars this year? Fill out our handy ballot and tune in this Sunday to see if you’re correct. In the meantime, check out Assistant Entertainment Editor David Dixon’s predictions

 

BEST PICTURE

Lincoln

Argo

Les Misérables

Zero Dark Thirty

Silver Linings Playbook

Life of Pi

Django Unchained

Amour

Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Argo: This isn’t a lock because Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for best director. However, the beloved thriller, drama and dark comedy won best picture at many other award shows including the Screen Actors Guild Awards, British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Golden Globes. While “Argo” isn’t my No. 1 choice for the best movie of 2012, it’s still one of my favorites of last year. The only picture with a chance of winning against the unconventional crowd-pleaser is the profoundly powerful “Lincoln.” The other seven films don’t seem to have as much momentum in the race for the biggest award.

 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Bradley Cooper-Silver Linings

Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Denzel Washington – Flight

WHO WILL WIN?

Daniel Day-Lewis: If Day-Lewis wasn’t in “Lincoln,” the competition would probably be between Joaquin Phoenix’s unforgettably intense performance as Freddie Quell and Hugh Jackman’s touching work as the classic protagonist Jean Valjean of “Les Misérables.” However, Day-Lewis gives such an emotionally complex and sympathetic portrayal of the 16th President he’s automatically the front-runner, once again reminding audiences he is one of the best in the business.

 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings

Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva – Amour

Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of

the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts – The Impossible

WHO WILL WIN?

Jennifer Lawrence. Many critics are saying that the gold will either go to Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain. Chastain may have actually given the best performance in her category as the mysterious Maya in “Zero Dark Thirty,” but there’s so much overblown controversy about the use of torture in the film that her chances of winning aren’t as good as they once were. Lawrence shines brightest in a very strong ensemble as the mentally unstable Tiffany Maxwell in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

 

Alan Arkin – Argo

Robert De Niro – Silver Linings

Playbook

Phillip Seymour Hoffman-

The Master

Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

Christoph Waltz-

Django Unchained

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Tommy Lee Jones: Some say De Niro is overdue for another Oscar win, but I think Jones left a lasting impression as the liberal abolitionist, Thaddeus Stevens. Voters will likely ignore some bizarre interviews as well as his ultra-serious appearance at the Golden Globes, instead of focusing on his many electrifying scenes in “Lincoln.”

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

Amy Adams-The Master

Sally Field-Lincoln

Anne Hathaway-

Les Misérables

Helen Hunt-The Sessions

Jackie Weaver-Silver

Linings Playbook

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Anne Hathaway: Ever since the teaser trailer of “Les Misérables” was released with Hathaway singing “I Dreamed a Dream,” people assumed that she would be nominated as the factory worker turned prostitute Fantine. That buzz only grew once the beloved musical actually came to theaters. There’s no way anyone else has a chance of winning this award.

 

DIRECTING

Michael Haneke – Amour

Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the

Southern Wild

Ang Lee – Life of Pi

Steven Spielberg – Lincoln

David O. Russell – Silver

Linings Playbook

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Steven Spielberg: Haneke and Russell are long shots for making movies that are well-directed, but intimate in scope. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has inventive direction, but this is only the first full-length feature  Zeitlin has directed. Lee’s amazing direction of “Life of Pi” and he could be a surprise winner, but Spielberg will likely be rewarded for beautifully recreating what life was like in 1865. Spielberg doesn’t let visuals get in the way of the incredible acting and the scenes when people vote on the 13th Amendment, keeping the film wonderfully suspenseful.

 

WRITING-ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Amour

Django Unchained

Flight

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Amour: Director and screenwriter Haneke has created a dark drama about an elderly woman who becomes partially paralyzed as a result of a stroke. The dialogue is surprisingly lively with many extended conversations that feel true to life. Even as events become drastically more bleak toward the end, the writing is relatable and occasionally funny.

 

WRITING-ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

 

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Lincoln: Celebrated playwright Tony Kushner is one of the few who has written wonderful dialogue for both theater and film. His screenplay for “Lincoln” showcases his sense of humor and hope for humanity that was also prominent in his classic play “Angels in America.”

 

BEST DOCUMETARY

5 Broken Cameras

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man

WHAT WILL WIN?

Searching for Sugar Man

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Amour

Kon-Tiki

No

A Royal Affair

War Witch

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Amour

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Wreck-It Ralph: “Frankenweenie” and “ParaNorman” received a lot of  acclaim, but because they both celebrate horror movies, voters will unfairly say they’re thematically similar. “Wreck-It Ralph” was both a critical and commercial hit that was far too clever and original to be labeled as an extended video game promo.

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Seamus McGarvey

-Anna Karenina

Robert Richardson

-Django Unchained

Claudio Miranda-Life of Pi

Janusz Kaminski-Lincoln

Roger Deakins-Skyfall

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Life of Pi: For all the deep themes and thought-provoking questions that are in “Life of Pi,” the first thing I think about when someone mentions the survival adventure is the cinematography. While the first third of Pi’s journey is more about him growing up in India, once he’s on the lifeboat with tiger Richard Parker, the eye candy on screen rarely ever stops.

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Anna Karenina

Les Misérables

Lincoln

Mirror Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsmen

WHAT WILL WIN?

Anna Karenina

 

SHORT FILM-ANIMATED

Adam and Dog

Paperman

The Simpsons:The Longest

Daycare

Head over Heels

Fresh Guacamole

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Paperman

 

MUSIC-ORIGINAL SCORE

 

Dario Marianelli-Anna Karenina

Alexandre Desplat-Argo

Mychael Danna-Life of Pi

John Williams-Lincoln

Thomas Newman-Skyfall

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Mychael Danna, Life of Pi: I personally want John Williams to win for his soulful and sometimes fun score in the film“Lincoln,” but Danna is the favorite to win. Danna’s playful music adds to the enchanting tone of the picture. The music is at its best during some of the more upbeat moments, when a sense of wonder is effectively expressed.

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit:

An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Les Misérables: As she did with “The King’s Speech,” production designer Eve Stewart created a memorable depiction of old Europe with each distinct setting.

 

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

J. Ralph – “Before My Time”

Seth Macfarlane  and Walter Murphy –  “Everybody Needs a Best Friend”

Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri – “Pi’s Lullaby”

Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth -“Skyfall”

Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg  – “Suddenly”

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Skyfall: “Suddenly” and “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” are enjoyable tunes, but “Skyfall” is one of the better James Bond songs in a while.

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

The Hobbit:

An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

Marvel’s The Avengers

Prometheus

Snow White and the Huntsmen

 

WHAT WILL WIN?

Life of Pi: It will win mostly because of the motion capture that was used to make the tiger Richard Parker a terrifyingly original character.

 

 

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