It's award season again, and the grandaddy of them all, The Academy Awards, is taking place this weekend. But this year, there won't be any one film sweeping the awards.
Here are my predictions as to who should win, and who will win.
Writing (Adapted Screeplay)
Lincoln should win due to it's epic story, however, Hollywood has fallen in love with the rubbish film, Silver Linings Playbook, so screewriter David O. Russell will take the trophy.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Quentin Tarantino took the BAFTA in this category for Django Uchained, however, strong competition from Michael Hanke for Amour and Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty will make it a close race. Tarantino should and will win.
Music (Original Song)
The song from Skyfall, appropriately titled Skyfall, will win, and will be another trophy for Adele (and Paul Epworth).
Ben Affleck has won every directing award this year for his amazing effort in directing Argo, however, he has not been nominated for the Oscar. Do the Academy members have a grudge against him because he is currently excelling at his second act? Perhaps they do. Katherine Bigelow was also not nominated for her gripping account of the capture of Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. So who is nominated? Michael Haneke for Amour (no chance); Benh Zeitli for Beasts of the Southern Wild (worthy of a nomination? - I say no); Ang Li for Life of Pi (Li did a beautiful job in recreating the book); Steven Spielberg for Lincoln (deservedly so); and David O. Russell for the formulaic Silver Linings Playbook. Who will win? I am hoping Ang Li wins. Life of Pi was an amazing movie. But Spielberg's Lincoln has not picked up any awards in this awards season, just best actor. I hate to say this, but Silver Linings Playbook has been gaining momentum and is loved by Hollywood (as is Russell), so Russell may take the prize home (to my horror).
Best Supporting Actress
This one is not a contest. Anne Hathaway will win for Les Miserable. She is not on screen that long, but her performance stays with you until the very end. A well-deserved nomination which will lead to a win. Sally Field, nominated for Lincoln, already has two Oscars and Helen Hunt, nominated for The Sessions, already has one. Amy Adams is in this category for The Master, and has been in this category three times. (Don't you worry, Amy, you will win one eventually.) But what is Jacki Weaver doing here? Oh, of course, she was nominated for Silver Linings Playbook. Her character, the mother of Bradley Cooper, has one facial expression throughout the entire movie. What a waste of a nomination.
Best Supporting Actor
This one is hard to call, though it looks like Christopher Waltz will win for Django Unchained, and it will be his second statuette after winning in this category in 2008 for Inglorious Basterds. Waltz has been winning some of the major film prizes this year, but may be scooped by Tommy Lee Jones from Lincoln, who last won in 1993 for The Fugitive. I doubt they will give it to Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook (he has appeared in better movies), Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (though it could possibly happen) or Alan Arkin for Argo, as all three are previous Oscar winners. But it is Waltz and Jones who stand out in this category. Waltz should and will win.
A month ago, I would've guessed that Jessica Chastain had a lock on this category for Zero Dark Thirty. However, Emmanuelle Riva won the BAFTA for her heart-breaking performance in Amour, and the film is still getting excellent buzz. Plus, Riva is 83, and this is likely to be her swan song. Jennifer Lawrence from Silver Linings Playbook and Naomi Watts for The Impossible are not in the running. How did Quvenzhane Willis get nominated for Beasts of the Southern Wild? She is an eight-year old girl playing an eight-year old girl. How hard was that to do? Chastain should win. (If they gave an Oscar for the most film performances in the last two years, it would be Chastain; she was in four films last year and seven the year before). But Riva will win on the sentimental vote (and SPOILER ALERT: her character dies at the end, and the Academy loves these kind of endings).
Four of the nominees might as well not show up to the ceremony. Daniel Day Lewis WILL win for Lincoln, and it will be his third Oscar. No other actor has won this category three times. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master and Hugh Jackman for Les Miserable are very distant seconds. Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook and Denzel Washington for Flight are also deserving, but they stand no chance against the mighty and meaty performance of Lewis.
Leave it to anyone to figure out why the Academy only put nine films in this category instead of 10. The only film that I think has a shot at winning is Argo, as it just won the BAFTA for best film and has scooped all of the other film awards. Also, by leaving out Affleck in the Best Director category, this will be his consolation prize. Also, the Academy would love to see George Clooney accepting the Oscar, as he is one of the producers on this film. Life of Pi would easily have won in any other year, but it has not received any film award prizes this season, so it does not stand a chance. Other films nominated include Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. If any one film pulls an upset, it will be Django Unchained, as Tarantino is very well liked, and none of his films has ever won in this category. In Django Unchained, he has a shot at winning, though Argo should and will win.