A couple of years ago my brother was in an Oscar pool at work. He asked me who I thought would win at the Oscars in all the major categories. I gave him my picks and they were all right. He didn’t win the pool because others submitted all the right picks and they had to do a drawing to decide the winner. The point is, that in years past, it was pretty easy to select who would be the big winners on Oscar night. Sure, there may be one or two categories where it was down between two people, but otherwise the night offered very little surprises. This year; however, it’s a different story.
It all started the day nominations came out and the “snub heard around the world” when Ben Affleck was not nominated in the Best Director category for “Argo”. Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Tom Hooper (“Les Misérables”) were also notable people absent for best director. Others thought it was a crime that John Hawkes was nominated for his acting work on “The Sessions”. As award season progressed “Argo” started picking up big wins. Some may have seen it as almost a protest vote for Affleck. “Zero Dark Thirty” was a top pick for many at the end of 2012, but a backlash of bad press has taken it out of being a front runner.
So who win the big categories this year? I wouldn’t be much help to my brother if he was in another pool this year. The only one anyone feels confident about is Daniel Day-Lewis winning Best Actor for “Lincoln”. It will be his third win, but his fellow nominees have barely been heard from at other award ceremonies.
Best Actress looks to be between two women, Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook” and Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”. Both have been nominated for Oscars in the past and both have taken home awards for their performances. Who will win? Flip a coin. Heads for Chastain, tails for Lawrence. I’m picking Jessica Chastain. Her performance could move you to tears at times as you could really feel her character’s passion to get Bin Laden.
Best Support Actor is interesting in that all the nominees have won Oscar gold in the past. Again this looks to be between two people, Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln” and Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained”. I saw “Lincoln” last year and Tommy really blew me away with his performance. Many people thought not only would Leonardo DiCaprio get a nomination for his performance in “Django Unchained”, but that it would earn him his first Oscar. Others thought Samuel L. Jackson should have also got a nomination from that movie. Do you want to know why neither of them got nominated? Because Christoph Waltz was so amazing in his role he completely eclipsed both of them. He should be the one walking away with the Oscar tonight.
Anne Hathaway seems to be a lock to win Best Support Actress tonight for her portrayal of Fantine in “Les Misérables”. However, Sally Field was really amazing for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln. Anne is an Oscar favorite, but Sally Field has not been around the ceremony in a while so an upset could be in the making.
Now we come down to Best Director. Ben Affleck was not nominated and if you are one of the people, who got upset about that, get over it. He will probably have his day sometime in the future. Kathryn Bigelow did a better job anyway and she wasn’t nominated either. The truth is any of the five nominated directors can easily walk away with the award tonight. Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Michael Haneke, David O. Russell and Benh Zeitlin all did exemplementry work on their movies. My pick is that Steven Spielberg will win his third Oscar tonight. “Lincoln” was not only many critics darling, it was also a big box office success as well (it has grossed over $175 million so far). Haneke, Zeitlin, O. Russell and Lee have no buzz swimming around them at all. Here’s another reason…
“Lincoln” is going to win Best Picture tonight. Not every year, but usually the Best Director and best Picture go hand-in-hand. The “protest vote” that “Argo” has been enjoying won’t carry over to Oscar night. A friend pointed out to me that it could still win since in that movie Hollywood is the hero and Hollywood loves to celebrate itself. That is a very good point, but I’m going to stick to my guns here. If I had a vote I would pick “Zero Dark Thirty”. It was my #1 pick for 2012 and “Silver Linings Playbook” was my #2. If any of those movies win tonight, I will be pleased.
The reason it is so hard to pick the Oscars tonight is that there are so many good people and movies up tonight that there is no clear frontrunner is out there. There is very little chance the picks I just made will all come into being. If they do then hats off to me because I will probably be the only person to get all these categories correct. Enjoy the show tonight!