Oscars 2013: Predictions for the 85th Academy Awards

Photo Credit: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57568981/oscars-2013-take-our-best-picture-poll/

Are you ready for the Oscars? Predicting the winners in such a competitive year can be really difficult. With 24 categories and dozens of films nominated, it’s hard to keep up with them. Films like Argo and Lincoln were significant blockbuster hits, but just how many viewers will have seen the excellent Amour by Sunday night? That’s our job. If you have a pool at your classy Oscar party, here are the films I think will win each category.


Best Picture:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/The tightest race in years comes down to two films: Lincoln and ArgoZero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables have lost a ton of steam since their releases, while Silver Linings Playbook has gained a bunch, but likely not enough. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour are too indie (although both worthy winners), and Django Unchained and Life of Pi are too commercial. Argo is a lot of experts’ pick, but the Ben Affleck Best Director snub still sticks out in my mind. Spielberg’s biopic deserves to win, and based on how the season has gone thus far, it will likely edge it’s political competitor. Will/Should Win: Lincoln


Best Director: 

Photo Credit: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/23/entertainment/la-et-mn-oscar-8ball-steven-spielbergs-lincoln-20121121Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were snubbed. Ben Zeitlin is too young. Michael Haneke is too unknown. Silver Linings Playbook relied more on its performances than David O. Russell’s directing. That leaves Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg who both did a tremendous job on their films. But Lincoln is better than Life of Pi, and has done better throughout awards season. Will/Should Win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)



Best Actor:

Photo Credit: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/npr-interview-daniel-day-lewis-on-giving-lincoln-voice-humanity-playfulness-and-mythologyDaniel Day Lewis is an acting legend. There is pretty much no chance of him losing. In another year Hugh Jackman would have this in the bag, but we got one of the best portrayals of a president ever this year. Another win for LincolnWill/Should Win: Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)




Best Actress:

Photo Credit: http://moviesbybowes.blogspot.com/2012/12/enough-to-drive-you-crazy-silver.htmlPhoto Credit: http://cinemabeans.blogspot.com/2012/09/beasts-of-the-southern-wild.htmlAnother especially good year for the leading ladies. While Emmanuelle Riva may be a superstar in France, she’s not very well known here. Quvenzhane Wallis is probably too young to get a lot of votes (even thought little Hushpuppy was one of the most entertaining characters of the year). Jessica Chastain has lost some steam while Naomi Watts has gained some. But Jennifer Lawrence has pretty much ran away with it at recent ceremonies. Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook); Should Win: Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)


Best Supporting Actor:

Photo Credit: http://www.contactmusic.com/info/robert_de_niroPhoto Credit: http://www.popcorntaxi.com.au/2012/06/blog/the-master-of-all-campaigns/Sadly Phillip Seymour Hoffman has almost no buzz following him. Alan Arkin was an early favorite been has fallen in the background since the Golden Globes. And the wrong person from Django Unchained got nominated (sorry Leo). This one comes down to Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro, the latter of which has become the favorite in most circles. Will Win: Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook); Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)


Best Supporting Actress:

Photo Credit: http://popdust.com/2012/05/30/les-miserables-trailer-anne-hathaway/Just as Daniel Day Lewis has Best Actor in the bag, Anne Hathaway has no chance of losing. All you’ve got to do is see the few minutes where she sings “I Dreamed A Dream” with shocking brutality. The other four nominees did a wonderful job in their films, but something like this only comes once in a while. Will/Should Win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)



Best Original Screenplay:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602620/Django Unchained and Moonrise Kingdom may have alienated voters who aren’t fans of Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson (they are both an acquired taste). Flight wasn’t as well received as the other two nominees, leaving Zero Dark Thirty and Amour. As far as writing goes, Amour is stronger, and I think the Academy will agree. Will/Should Win: Amour



Best Adapted Screenplay:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045658/?ref_=sr_1Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/A tough category to predict as a lot of the Best Picture frontrunners. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Life of Pi can be pretty easily ruled out. Argo and Lincoln both managed to dumb down politics enough while still remaining incredibly smart, and occasionally funny. But Silver Linings Playbook is consistently well written and often very funny. My guess is that the Academy will go for the playful nature of that script instead of the more serious fare. Will Win: Silver Linings Playbook; Should Win: Lincoln


Best Foreign Film:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602620/Amour has this in the bag as the only one in the category to get a ton of other nominations, most notably Best Picture. And, it really deserves it. Michael Haneke’s portrait of an elderly couple reaching the end of their lives is both haunting and affectionate. Will/Should Win: Amour




Best Animated Film:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/?ref_=sr_1Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2There was really no runaway animated hit in 2012, but a lot of solid competition for the category. The Pirates! Band of Misfits and ParaNorman weren’t seen quite as widely as the other three, despite strong critical reception. Brave isn’t Pixar’s strongest film and Wreck-It Ralph features a ton a video game references that may go over Academy voters’ heads. Meanwhile, Frankenweenie was cleverly made and laced with classic Hollywood references. I’d still like to see Sonic the Hedgehog deliver an acceptance speech at the Oscars. Will Win: Frankenweenie; Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph


Best Original Score: 

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=sr_1Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/?ref_=sr_1A lot of popular names are in this category this year. John Williams, Alexander Desplat, and Thomas Newman included. But Life of Pi has been the frontrunner here throughout awards season, and will likely win here as well. But Thomas Newman should seriously be recognized for integrating Adele’s theme song and the classic James Bond themes into one, unforgettable score that I was humming long after the credits rolled. Will Win: Life of Pi; Should Win: Skyfall


Best Original Song:

Photo Credit: http://www.xavierpop.com/2012/10/09/havent-heard-the-new-skyfall-theme-by-adele-well-here-you-go/One of the few runaways this year is none other than Adele for the best 007 theme song in years. Know what? I’m just going to excuse myself from writing about this category to go listen to “Skyfall” again. Will/Should Win: “Skyfall” by Adele (Skyfall)




Best Editing:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024648/Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790885/?ref_=sr_1Ah, the supposed predictor of the Best Picture winner. Does this hurt my prediction of Lincoln to win if I think Argo will win this one? Perhaps, but Lincoln isn’t quite as well edited as ArgoLife of Pi I suppose could sneak out a win here too, but what about the way Zero Dark Thirty speeds through a decade worth of major news stories and still allows time for emotions to hit? Will Win: Argo; Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty


Best Cinematography:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=sr_1From the action packed fluidity in which Skyfall is shot to the majestic quietness of Lincoln‘s camera movements, this is a packed category. However, the runaway technical hit of the year is clearly Life of Pi. Featuring the best 3D since Avatar and incredible camera work to tell this fantastical tale, there’s no chance of anything else winning. Will/Should Win: Life of Pi



Best Production Design:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/Life of Pi was mostly CGI and water, so I can’t really see it winning. The Hobbit had some beautiful sets, but used more CGI than The Lord of the Rings and a few of the same sets (which already won). Since Les Miserables was a big bombastic musical, some of the sets were a bit more cartoonish. That leaves Anna Karenina and Lincoln. Since Spielberg’s biopic was incredibly well crafted and actually made you feel like you were in the room with the president. Some of that has to do with the accuracy and majesty with which the sets were created. Will/Should Win: Lincoln


Best Costume Design:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1781769/?ref_=sr_2Not one, but two Snow White adaptations are nominated for this category. Guess what? Neither will win. Les Miserables‘ costumes were vivid in a dark manner. Guess what? It won’t win. That accuracy I wrote about in the category above won’t gain Lincoln a trophy either. Anna Karenina was made for the very moment in which some costume designer gets to go up and make a speech that bores the crowd. There’s not a sliver of doubt. Will/Should Win: Anna Karenina



Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/?ref_=sr_1With only three films nominated this one should be pretty easy. Too many of the dwarves looked fake in The Hobbit and Anthony Hopkins’ transformation into Alfred Hitchcock was decent at best. This will no doubt go to Les Miserables for the incredible work done on just about every actor in the film. Will/Should Win: Les Miserables



Best Visual Effects:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=sr_1The nominees here were a little strange to begin with. The dwarves could have looked a lot better in The Hobbit, even if Gollum was still top notch. The CGI was beautiful in Snow White and the Huntsman, but it was very clearly CGI. The aliens in Prometheus were really unimpressive compared to some films even years before it. That leaves two: The Avengers‘ sole nomination and, you guessed it, Life of Pi. Sure, the team of superheroes fought a war on the streets of Manhattan and the Hulk has never looked better. But that tiger…well he’s just real. Will/Should Win: Life of Pi


Best Sound Mixing: 

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=sr_1There’s a lot of confusion about the two sound categories. Sound Mixing is the art of adjusting the volumes of every sound going on on-screen at once. So, the score, dialogue, and the car chase happening behind it all. For the final product, I see a few possibilites. Skyfall may be too loud for some voters. Les Miserables would be a likely winner if Life of Pi wasn’t racking up every technical award it can. Well, it does deserve them. Will/Should Win: Life of Pi



Best Sound Editing: 

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=sr_1Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/?ref_=sr_1Sound Editing is the actual sounds themselves and how they get compiled together. Since Django Unchained is barely nominated for any technical awards I doubt it’ll win here. I also don’t remember the sound in Argo being especially excellent or anything. This is a category where the action packed films like Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall could, and probably should, get their due. Especially the latter. But alas, Life of Pi is nominated again. Will Win: Life of Pi; Should Win: Skyfall


Best Animated Short:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2388725/?ref_=sr_1Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2162565/?ref_=sr_1Fresh Guacamole is likely too short and simple to win over voters. While Head Over Heels is cute, the claymation was a bit clunky and felt dated. The Simpsons short starring the youngest member of TV’s oldest family brings back a lot of the great humor the show delivered in its best seasons. But it isn’t as effective as the silent love story of Paperman or the gorgeous tale of how man and dog met in Adam and Dog. The latter is my favorite, but Paperman has the Disney label on it, which could win it a few extra votes. Will Win: Paperman; Should Win: Adam and Dog

*By the way did you know all of these are online? Seriously, if you’re interested Google the titles of each and you’ll be able to watch them. It will probably take you about 45 minutes.


Best Documentary: 

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125608/?ref_=sr_1Okay, I’ll be honest, this is where I stop knowing what I’m talking about. Well, for the most part. I predict that Searching for Sugar Man will win because the rest of the Internet does too. It’s the runaway hit of the year in documentaries and it’s going to win, I just haven’t seen it. Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man



Best Live Action Short:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2088735/?ref_=sr_1So the rest of the Internet seems to have an inkling on this one too. Curfew is the frontrunner according to most websites. Including this one! We just don’t have any idea beyond the research. Will Win: Curfew




Best Documentary Short:

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2348322/?ref_=sr_3Yeah, not even the Internet was a help on this one. But this one called Open Heart is about children getting heart surgery in Sudan. Sounds like an Oscar winner! Will Win I Guess But Don’t Bet Money on It Because Me and the Internet Have No Idea: Open Heart




So there you have it! Make your ballot and prepare a Hollywood themed cocktail for Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @dr_dougherty as I will be live tweeting the awards (without a cocktail) and check back here for our reactions to the winners!

By Matt Dougherty

One Response to Oscars 2013: Predictions for the 85th Academy Awards

  1. Sherry Dauerman says:

    I recently saw “A Royal Affair” at an Oscar preview festival. It was breathtaking and kept me on the edge of my seat up until the historical ending. It is very similar to Anna Karenina. Do you think this movie will give Anna Karenina a run for its money with respect to costume and design?

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