Oscar StatueHere we are, another year of fine film making about to be honored at the 85th Academy Award Show. The year started out with a couple of movies that really stuck with me: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was a revelation, and I’m glad it received some Oscar love, though I’m surprised “Moonrise Kingdom” didn’t get more attention. Denzel was terrific in “Flight” and “Silver Linings Playbook”, with it’s wonderful cast, was  my frontrunner in a number of Oscar categories for a good while. I saw “Lincoln” twice and the second viewing sold me on it’s Best Picture chances, it has the best adapted script and Daniel Day-Lewis deserves the Best Actor honors in a tough race to call, but I’m thinking “Argo” is now a lock as this year’s winner.

The Best Actor will go to Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”, with Bradley Cooper a possiblity. If Denzel had played a more sympathetic character in “Flight” he’d have a fighting chance, and you have to acknowledge Hugh Jackman’s commitment as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables”.

The Best Actress nominees were all wonderful this year. Emanuelle Riva was amazing in “Amour” as a stroke victim dealing with her final days, and Naomi Watts left us all wondering how she survived the grueling tsunami production, “The Impossible”, but Jennifer Lawrence will win for playing the flawed and fascinating cop widow in “Silver Linings Playbook”.

The Supporting Categories offer some of the best performances of the year. The Best Supporting Actor nominees are all potential winners, but I’m inclined to go with Robert DeNiro’s obsessive sports fan father in “Silver Linings Playbook” mainly because it’s been awhile since his last win, although I loved the work of Christoph Waltz and Tommy Lee Jones this year.

It appears that nothing will derail the coronation of Anne Hathaway as the Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner in “Les Miserables”, although Sally Field  in “Lincoln” and Helen Hunt  in “The Sessions” are close behind in my estimation.

The Best Director award should be Stephen Spielberg’s if “Lincoln” does win Best Picture. Although if “Argo” wins best picture, and many recent signals indicate that it is now the frontrunner with one win after another this award season, I would be happy if Ang Lee won for “Life of Pi” the most amazing visual treat of the year.


The nominees:
Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Could win: Bradley Cooper
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis 

Best Actress

The nominees:
Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

Will win: Jennifer Lawrence
Could win: Naomi Watts
Should win: Emmanuelle Riva

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees:
Alan Arkin in “Argo”
Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

Will win: Robert DeNiro
Could win: Cristoph Waltz
Should win:Tommy Lee Jones  

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees:
Amy Adams in “The Master”
Sally Field in “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

Will win: Anne Hathaway
Could win: Sally Field
Should win: Anne Hathaway

Best Picture 

The nominees:
“Amour” Nominees to be determined
“Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
“Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
“Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
“Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
“Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
“Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
“Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Will win: “Argo”
Could win: “Lincoln”
Should win: “Lincoln”


Best Director

“Amour” Michael Haneke
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi” Ang Lee
“Lincoln” Steven Spielberg
“Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell

Will win: Steven Spielberg
Could win: Ang Lee
Should win: Spielberg

Best Original Screenplay

The nominees:
“Amour” Written by Michael Haneke
“Django Unchained” Written by Quentin Tarantino
“Flight” Written by John Gatins
“Moonrise Kingdom” Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
“Zero Dark Thirty” Written by Mark Boal

Will win: “Django Unchained”
Could win: “Amour”
Should win: Anything but “Flight” would make me happy.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The nominees:
“Argo” Screenplay by Chris Terrio
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi” Screenplay by David Magee
“Lincoln” Screenplay by Tony Kushner
“Silver Linings Playbook” Screenplay by David O. Russell

Will win: “Lincoln”
Could win: “Silver Linings Playbook” or “Argo”
Should win: “Lincoln”

Best Animated Feature

The nominees:
“Brave” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
“Frankenweenie” Tim Burton
“ParaNorman” Sam Fell and Chris Butler
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” Peter Lord
“Wreck-It Ralph” Rich Moore

Will win: “Frankenweenie”
Could win: “Wreck-It-Ralph”
Should win: “ParaNorman”, I thought this was  a much better stop-action story than”Frankenweenie”

Best Foreign language Film 

The nominees:
“Amour” Austria
“Kon-Tiki” Norway
“No” Chile
“A Royal Affair” Denmark
“War Witch” Canada

Will win: “Amour”
Could win: “A Royal Affair” Denmark
Should win: “Amour”






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