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Digging into Anne Thompson’s Oscar Predictions

The frustrating thing about this time of year is how many of us must make “sight unseen” predictions. It’s a gamble – kind of like saying “I predict it will rain on Christmas.” Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. It’s most likely to rain so I’m gonna go with that. But Anne Thompson is one of the few who refuses to that, thus, her predictions are based on films she’s seen – she also lists contenders she thinks might go all the way, or films she thinks are in the running but isn’t confident about placing them in the winning category. Then she has the longshot dark horses. So, as we all know in the Oscar predicting game, this is a nearly foolproof method of being able to never get anything wrong.

Also, Kris and Anne have reignited Oscar Talk and you can have a listen to that as well.

Let’s trip the light fantastic, shall we?

Anne writes:

Best Picture
Front Runners

“Anna Karenina”
“Argo”
“The Master”

“Moonrise Kingdom”
“The Sessions”
“The Silver Linings Playbook”

Contenders
“Amour”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Long Shots
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“The Dark Knight Rises”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Django Unchained”

She doesn’t even really have to hard line it with The Dark Knight Rises because it gets to be placed comfortably in the long shot category, along with other “could go either way” titles.

For me, my list of SEEN films for Best Picture would go:

Argo
The Master
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
The Dark Knight Rises
Amour

I then fully expect the hottest sight unseen contenders to be:

The Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Les Miserables

Since you can’t have 11 nominees for Best Picture, and given that their herding cats method ensures that a film has to have a significant amount of number ones, my compiled list of most likely to succeed for Oscar would be — BEST CASE SCENARIO GUN TO THE HEAD PREDICTIONS:

*Lincoln (heads in, leading with 12 nods. picture, director, screenplay, actor, supporting actor/actress, cinematography, production design, editing, costume, score, sound, makeup)
*Les Miserables (heads in with 11 nominations – picture, director, actor, supporting actress, editing, cinematography, editing, production design, costumes, sound, sound editing)
*The Master (heads in with 10 nominations at least – picture, director, screenplay, editing, actor, actor,  supporting actress, cinematography, production design, score, costumes)
*Argo (heads in with 8 nominations – picture, director, screenplay, supporting actor, editing, sound, costumes, production design – also possibly cinematography, score)
*Zero Dark Thirty (heads in with 8 picture, director, screenplay, supporting actress, editing, sound, sound editing, score)
*Beasts of the Southern Wild (heads in with 5 – picture, director, screenplay, actress, supporting actor)
The Silver Linings Playbook (heads in with 5- picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay)
Moonrise Kingdom (Picture, screenplay, production design, costumes, maybe more, depending)

*marks films I think are most likely to hit the DGA/Best Director category. But you notice I have 6 instead of 5. One will have to be dropped. It ain’t going to be Paul Thomas Anderson.  That’s all I know right now.

Best Picture might be seven, might be five, might be six, might be ten. Last year was such a suck-ass year for movies they still ended up with nine. So how can they not do 10 this year?

The Sessions (possible for two for sure, Actor and Supporting Actress)
Django Unchained (too soon to know but possibly picture, director, screenplay, actor, supporting actress, cinematography, editing, costume, production design)
Anna Karenina (could be a big one, with picture, director, actress, costume, art direction, cinematography)
Flight (too soon to tell but actor for sure)
The Promise Land  (maybe picture, director – too soon to tell)
Not Fade Away (total wild card)

I’m not sure why Anne has no faith in Beasts of the Southern Wild to go all the way to a Best Picture nomination. If there has been one filmmaker who has really broke through this year, if there is one film that shares the current award accolade spotlight with The Master, it’s Beasts. The other awards darling this early is Amour.  Those are three absolutely brilliant films. I would be shocked at a WGA, DGA or PGA that didn’t award at least two out of the three.

And then the dark horse long shot for me are the two super hero movies.

1) The Dark Knight Rises – absolutely deserves to be there but you just never know with Academy members. Still, it will likely be nominated for, at the very least, visual effects, score, sound, sound editing. But it could also nab picture, director, supporting actress (although Hath could probably get in with Les Miz).

2) The Avengers – a true crowdpleaser if there ever was one. It will do battle with TDKR for the techs, but mostly in the area of visual effects, sound and sound editing, which is usually where preference is felt. However, if TDKR gets a Best Pic nod along with the techs, it moves to first place to win those categories.

3) Life of Pi – it’s still a big question mark but if it hits it could hit big.

Anne writes:

Actor in a Leading Role

Front Runners
John Hawkes “The Sessions”
Bradley Cooper “Silver Lings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman “The Master”
Joaquin Phoenix “The Master”
Jean-Louis Trintignant “Amour”

Contenders
Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln”
Jamie Foxx “Django Unchained”
Hugh Jackman “Les Miserables”
Denzel Washington “Flight”

My addition: Richard Gere in Arbitrage

If it goes that way, and I agree with Anne that it will, Phoenix takes this in a walk.  He has no real challenger except Hoffman, who has not only already won but really can’t steal Phoenix’ thunder.  His is the performance of the year, or certainly one of them.

However, there are five slots. The contenders section is a force to be reckoned with, right? So whom do you dump? I think Bradley Cooper will be sacrificed for Silver Linings, being that it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s show. Jean-Louis Trintigant will also get dumped, in that event, sadly, because if anyone gets in from Amour it will be Emanuelle Riva. I only say this because the contenders section is packed with likely nominees.  ALL OF THEM. As usual, Best Actor is the most crowded of the bunch.

Anne writes:

Actor in a Supporting Role
Front Runner
William H. Macy “The Sessions”
Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louis Trintignant of “Amour”

Anne is pushing hard for The Sessions. It’s clear she loved that movie as she is its main champion. She is siding with this film to be Oscar’s favorite over Beasts of the Southern Wild, which explains why she left off the strongest contender in this category so far:

Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Nate Parker for Arbitrage

Other frontrunners Anne does not include:
Alan Arkin for Argo

Contenders

Leonardo DiCaprio “Django Unchained”
Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln”
David Strathairn “Lincoln”

Long Shots

Michael Caine “The Dark Knight Rises”
Russell Crowe “Les Miserables”
Robert DeNiro “The Silver Linings Playbook”
John Goodman “Argo”

As of this moment, I don’t agree with most of her contenders list or her longshots, with the exception of Leo Dicaprio for Django Unchained.  The Lincoln men, it’s just too soon to know.

Anne writes:

Actress in a Leading Role
Front Runners

Keira Knightley “Anna Karenina”
Jennifer Lawrence “The Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva “Amour”
Quvenzhane Wallis “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

I am still not convinced Knightley is that much of a sure bet but I will have to see the film. The other three I agree with. The two I would add:

Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Contenders

Viola Davis “Won’t Back Down”
Julianne Moore “What Maisie Knew”

Long Shots
Toni Collette “Jesus Henry Christ”
Marion Cotillard “Rust & Bone”
Rachel Weisz “The Deep Blue Sea”

Weisz, Collette and Moore, not seeing it. Not yet anyway. I would hope Viola Davis gets in but I’ve heard Maggie Gyllenhaal’s part is bigger.  So I don’t know what to think about that. But none of these names leap out at me except Marion Cotillard’s.

I might see Actress shaping up like this:

Lawrence
Riva
Wallis
Cotillard
Davis (if it’s a big juicy part)
Then:
Knightley
Streep 

Actress in a Supporting Role
Front Runner

Amy Adams “The Master”
Helen Hunt “The Sessions”

Contenders

Samantha Barks “Les Miserables”
Sally Field “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway “Les Miserables”
Vanessa Redgrave “Song For Marion”

Long Shots

Maggie Gyllenhaal “Won’t Back Down”
Kristen Stewart “On the Road”

I have no beef with her on these and can’t think of how they could improve. I do think the winner in this category will likely be a showdown between Hathaway for Les Miz and Field. But we shall see.

Directing
Front Runners

Ben Affleck “Argo”
Paul Thomas Anderson “The Master”
Wes Anderson “Moonrise Kingdom”
Michael Haneke “Amour”
Ben Lewin “The Sessions”
Joe Wright “Anna Karenina”

One of these things is not like the other.  Benh Zeitlin might be whom she was thinking of when she wrote Ben Lewin. But I think no for Joe Wright (but will reserve final judgment until I see it).

Contenders
Kathryn Bigelow “Zero Dark Thirty”
Tom Hooper “Les Miserables”
Ang Lee “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino “Django Unchained”

Long Shots

Christopher Nolan “The Dark Knight Rises”
Benh Zeitlin “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

I covered director above. I think, all things being equal and if it turns out how we expect it to, Best Director is going to be:
1) Ben Affleck, Argo
2) Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
3) Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
4) Tom Hooper, Les Miz
5) Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
6) Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
(we got six and we need to make it five so Lincoln, Les Miz or Zero Dark Thirty will  have to bomb)

After that it’s:
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Joe Wright, Anna Karenina
Michael Haneke, Amour
Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight Rises

You can check out the rest of Anne’s list here. She also does screenplay and animated feature.

102 Comments on this Post

  1. Tero Heikkinen

    I think Anne has all the possible titles there. Right now I’m feeling that 8 films will get in and that they are…

    “Argo”
    “The Master”
    “The Silver Linings Playbook”
    “Amour”
    “Les Miserables”
    “Lincoln”
    “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
    “The Dark Knight Rises”

  2. I don’t know other markets but in NYC last week or so every TV commercial of “Won’t back down” heavily promotes Viola Davis. She is in every single scene while there is nothing about MAggie G. You may even feel that movie is all about Viola.. Given the topic, especially after teacher strikes in CHicago this movie may get even more publicity and it seems that they push Viola quite hard…SInce many people believed that she deserved it last year (I disagree) that kind if sympathy vote plus a hot topic and push could help her sneak in…especially if movie makes decent box office…it looks like she and Maggie are co-leads or even Maggie is the lead but that didn’t stop her best actress nod last year. And I have a feeling that if Viola gets in she may even win best actress….

  3. Best Picture

    Argo
    The Master
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Silver Linings Playbook
    Amour
    Django Unchained
    Les Miserables
    Lincoln
    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Director

    David O Russell
    Michael Haneke
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    Steven Spielberg
    Tom Hooper

    Actor

    Daniel Day Lewis
    Joaquin Phoenix
    Jean-Louis Trintignant
    Richard Gere
    Denis Lavant

    Actress

    Marion Cotillad
    Jennifer Lawrence
    Jennifer Lawrence
    Emmanuelle Riva
    Quvenzhane Wallis

  4. Mattoc,
    While your list looks good ( J. Law twice??), I am sure ABC executives would have a heart attack. Imagine the best known nominated actor by middle America is RIchard Gere. The ratings would be all time low:)

  5. I meant “actor best known by middle American”. Damn iPad;)

  6. The industry practically owes Vanessa Redgrave one after roundly snubbing Coriolanus last year, so the call for Song for Marion may be a wise one.

    I’m still very unsure about how things will shake down re: Anna Karenina. I liked it, was impressed by it, but also greatly disappointed by it.

    Regarding the WGA/DGA/PGA comment, Sasha, I’m not so sure. You’re right that PTA has a DGA nomination locked already, but Benh Zeitlin? I’m not convinced. Michael Haneke, though, has a very decent shot at a DGA nomination. The PGA will have ten (I think) but may lean very commercial, and the WGA will probably declare half of the screenplays in contention ineligible as usual, thus making them hard to forecast.

    The Dark Knight Rises’ chances are waning heavily, I think, and have been since its release. I don’t think it’s strong enough to recover from Aurora, and that’s not just me speaking from the perspective of someone who wasn’t crazy about the film. Its critical and financial performances have both been weaker than its predecessor, and we all know how that turned out. I can’t see it making it into the race from this position in such a way that it’ll be un-ignorable.

  7. I meant to write more about Anna Karenina:

    Atonement was also divisive, but whereas both have attracted some negative responses, Atonement’s were more cold and slightly bemused at all the attention the film had provoked, and Anna Karenina’s are more overtly negative. Also, Atonement had rather more raves (or so it seems from this early stage). I think it has a shot at nominations in many categories, but the critics’ groups will likely be tough for it to crack, as with the guilds, who drove the last nail into Atonement’s coffin damn hard five years ago; it’s remarkable it got that Best Picture nomination at all after that.

    Also, the call for Toni Collette in Jesus Henry Christ is way off the mark. The film’s getting trashed by the critics.

  8. i think with anna karenina, we still just have to wait and see what the reaction from the major critics is going to be. there’s just not enough in yet, especially with a film that could be divisive. that means there could very well be passion for it as well

  9. Lowest. Rated. Oscars. Ever. If this lineup is anywheres near what shakes out in late January. You cannot have such an unfair imbalance of art house films vs. mainstream favorites and expect anyone to watch. People have had enough of blockbusters being relegated to the slum of Usual Suspects Boulevard (VFX, editing, sound) when they deserve to be competing in every major category (Hunger Games, TDKR, The Avengers; average RT rating of 86-88 between them as well as $2.5b worldwide cumulative boxoffice.

    We really need someone with deepest financial pockets to take on the Academy and present an opposition awards telecast that will challenge the Oscars hegemony. Take them on, expose them for the elitist, old white boys network that they are. These are the same Oscar folk that booed Orson Welles and Citizen Kane on Oscar night 1942. Air those new awards opposite the Oscars, on that Sunday in February or the following Monday. It can work and will work if you’ve got the moxie and the endurance to do it.

  10. unlikely hood

    Why no love at all for…?

    The Hobbit
    Cloud Atlas
    Frances Ha
    Stories We Tell

    I mean this question sincerely, not snarkily. Why am I the first to mention any of those four films? Why are they each considered non-starters?

  11. You can sense some people taking particular interests on that Viola Davis film(actually Maggie Gyllenhaal’s) while no one else really wants to put that film on any list. They probably pretend everybody is as entusiastic about that idea as they do. But honestly, it’s just plain embarrassing. Come on, with the song what doesn’t kill you….hahaha.

  12. Lowest. Rated. Oscars. Ever. If this lineup is anywheres near what shakes out in late January. You cannot have such an unfair imbalance of art house films vs. mainstream favorites and expect anyone to watch. People have had enough of blockbusters being relegated to the slum of Usual Suspects Boulevard (VFX, editing, sound) when they deserve to be competing in every major category (Hunger Games, TDKR, The Avengers; average RT rating of 86-88 between them as well as $2.5b worldwide cumulative boxoffice.

    We really need someone with deepest financial pockets to take on the Academy and present an opposition awards telecast that will challenge the Oscars hegemony. Take them on, expose them for the elitist, old white boys network that they are. These are the same Oscar folk that booed Orson Welles and Citizen Kane on Oscar night 1942. Air those new awards opposite the Oscars, on that Sunday in February or the following Monday. It can work and will work if you’ve got the moxie and the endurance to do it.

    When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers referred to an off-topic, unsubstantial comment as a “thanks for sharing.” In other words, PaulH, your comment falls into this category. Instead of judging movies based on their popularity and box office, why not judge them based on quality?

  13. PaulH – what do you have against the People’s Choice Awards? I’m asking, because you seem to want to invent another one?

  14. I can assure everyone that Anna Karenina has absolutley no chance of a best picture nomination. NO CHANCE.

    It is a very cold film, very stylish and absolutely beautiful, but deeply flawed and its just not the kind of thing to float the academys boat.

    I really liked Atonement but I really want to stronly suggest that Anna Karenina’s only oscar hopes should be pinned to outside chances for Knightly and Law(the films warmest and best performance) and certain nominations for art direction and costume.

  15. I really thought that Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha might get nominated but then it was picked up by IFC so now she is pretty much off my list. I just dont think IFC can push her or the movie.

    I also dont think “Won’t back down” is happening but maybe with the teachers strike in the new it might help it and the actors.

  16. I agree with PaulH that there needs to be a decent Oscars alternative. If they don’t award well-known/well-liked people this year, I think it will be too many years where the people have to go “Wha?” This year does show promise with Ben Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix though. Everyone knows them. But even still I think most years have 20 quality movies and only ten-ish get recognition. The more popular ones usually getting kicked to the curb specifically because they’re not hoity-toity enough. I think it’d be nice if there was something that recognized movies over “films”.

    I just found a problem.

    Director is going to be:
    1) Ben Affleck, Argo…

    After that it’s:
    Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

    How are they going to award Affleck before Tarantino? Even if he deserves it for this film, and I’m not saying he does, I’m saying “if” ’cause I haven’t seen it. Even if he does, how could they do it? That would look so F’ed up. I say that and excluded PTA from the same comparison because everyone knows the name Tarantino, but not as many normal people know PTA. I mean normal people who really don’t even know what directors actually do will be thinking “lol wut?

  17. Mattoc, the PCA’s have a fatal flaw; the winners already know who they are. The Globes have too much baggage themselves. No, what’s needed is an organization, call it the FilmAmerica Awards. Where critically acclaimed blockbusters and just critically acclaimed, boxoffice-challenged festival movies can compete in every category. A balance between the mainstream and the not-mainstream. And since some fans believe the Oscars pick their winners out of a hat, why not take it one step further? Make sure you have the best films in the country to begin with, then pick the winner out of a hat. Eliminates any full-court press Swinestein lobbying or Nicholas Chartier mass-emailing AMPAS members to not ‘ vote for the $500 million movie, but choose our microscopic Iraq war drama instead. Get rid of all the montages, keep Bruce Villanch and his writing minions a light year away from the venue, and audience interest would be there until the end . And it could be done in 2 1/2 hours.

  18. @Mattoc

    Do you know how sad and lonely it was trying to nominate Tom Hardy and WARRIOR for People’s Choice Awards last year, all by myself? *sobs*

    We need something like that where people would be chosen to vote and then only allowed to nominate, and later vote, once. By phone number or something. Otherwise, the tweeners take it over. And no one has THAT many phone numbers.

  19. mileshigh

    Nobody knows anything…

    However, I have a tiny hunch Lincoln will win Best Picture. Of course, this depends on how the General Election goes. Just my two cents of speculation.

  20. In great movie years such as 2012 is, let’s have the FA’s pick 6 nominees per category. If you have a suck-ass year like 2011, limit it to four.

  21. Antoinette and Mattoc, the MTV Movie Awards, of all shows, was the one I was most invested in. Finally, hardly any Breaking Dawn recognition, and The Hunger Games was starting to pull away from the pack. Then, goddamn Twitards had to eff up best picture. That blew chunks. But I maintain they nailed the years best actress performance (J-Law, Hunger Games) and Supporting Actress (Elizabeth Banks, THG).

  22. PaulH and Antoinette – all that sounds logical. So why not fix the People’s Choice Awards? Their system seems more likely to produce an overall view than any other group. In regards to Tom Hardy in Warrior, Antoinette – he would probably have the same problem even with a restricted voting system last year. You would have the massive task of trying to get everyone to see the film first. If Warrior was released ‘this year’ he would be in.

  23. “Why no love at all for…? The Hobbit/Cloud Atlas/Frances Ha/Stories We Tell”

    Have to agree. The elephants in the room right now are the unseen Lincoln, Les Mis, Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, and Flight. A failure of any of these (esp. Lincoln and Les Mis) would create a vacuum of openings in most categories that would be filled, likely, by the above.

    TDKR, I agree with others, won’t have enough gas to make it and Beasts of thhe Southern Wild (I hope) will do better than Anne predicts.

    Best Director is a group crowded with unseens, but it appears to be made up of one, and the rest. PTA is in and everybody else can draw straws.

    Hawkes, Phoenix, Hoffman and DDL you can bet the house on and, like last year, slot 5 will be a horse race. At least the (designated) best actor is at the right end of the line this time.

    Actress is a toss-up, as usual. Only Riva and Lawrence are certain, with Cotillard awfully hard to ignore. Wallis will depend on how the actors branch considers her age versus the calibre of other performances – keep Meryl out of it? Is Keira getting too many mixed reviews from one extreme to the other? Will Viola be worthy this time?

    Not going near the quagmire of supporting yet. Those two categories will flip and turn about six times before the nominations. Leaving off Dwight Henry would be shameful and I’ll always root for Redgrave, sight unseen.

  24. rufussondheim

    Les Miserables will likely be past 200 million by the time Oscar noms come out.

    Lincoln will likely be over 100 million.

    Argo will likely do well. People who have seen The Town are generally pretty effusive about it so I guess there will be excitement for Argo once it gets closer to its release date.

    Silver Linings Playbook has major box office potential. As does Django Unchained.

    The Life of Pi, if it’s worth of a nomination, will likely also be quite popular (based on the widespread popularity of the book)

    And Moonrise Kingdom did well enough if it gets a nomination.

    People I work with are excited to see The Master (after I showed them the inkblot scene) so even that has a possibility of doing well enough.

    I just don’t see the potential batch of nominees being a box office dead zone.

    I don’t think we should be so negative towards the box office for these films.

  25. Having seen The Master twice now, I’m honestly not sure how the Academy will respond to it. I’d love to hear any reports coming out of Academy screenings to see how its playing with that crowd. It’s safe to assume that Joaquin Phoenix is the frontrunner to WIN Best Actor, but aside from the Editing and Cinematography nods that are a sure bet, I really am not sure what else it gets until I hear how they’re responding to it. In a perfect world, it would get Picture, Director, O. Screenplay, Actor, Actor, Sup. Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Score, Art Direction and Costumes.

    As far as Anne’s predictions, while I agree she’s selling Beasts Of The Southern Wild waaaayyy short, I also see The Sessions as a strong player this year. And I’m absolutely shocked that nobody’s mentioned Cloud Atlas. After the Toronto reception it seems pretty apparent that it will have a passionate fanbase that will most likely secure it the number 1 votes it needs to get in, even though I’m also pretty sure I’m gonna hate it.

    Here’s my best guess at Best Pic right now:

    MOST LIKELY:
    Argo
    Lincoln
    Les Miserables
    The Sessions
    Cloud Atlas
    Beasts Of The Southern Wild
    The Silver Linings Playbook

    I’m guessing we have 9 nominees again this year, so the 7 above plus two from below would be my guess.

    POSSIBLE:
    The Master
    Django Unchained
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Amour
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Flight
    Anna Karenina
    The Hobbit
    Stories We Tell

    DARK HORSES:
    Not Fade Away
    The Dark Knight Rises
    The Avengers

    Gun to my head, I’d go this way:

    Argo
    Lincoln
    Les Miserables
    The Sessions
    Cloud Atlas
    Beasts Of The Southern Wild
    The Silver Linings Playbook
    The Master
    Django Unchained

    and if there’s 10, add Zero Dark Thirty.

  26. Jake G!!!

    Life of Pi will suck(i hope). Zero dark Thirty could not be up to par with The Hurt Locker and not get the BP nominee. Django Unchained wont be as good as everyone will want it to be and will most likely miss out on the BP nominee(especially since Inglorious Basterds got a BP nod not too long ago). Moonrise Kingdom is that little Indie film that slips in to the BP lineup on nominee announcement morning. Once all the hype blows away on Argo, it could get ignored just like The Town. Beasts of the Southern Wild doesnt have the strength to get the BP nominee. Anna Karenina just doesnt have the reviews for a bp nod! The Silver Linings Playbook and The Sessions will be fighting for a comedy bp spot, and Playbook looks stronger. Les Mis and Lincoln are locks. The Dark Knight Rises gets a bp nomination, its too strong not too. The Hobbit will be worthy, and might just make it, lotr is their favorite.
    So right now I see:

    Lincoln
    The Master
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Les Miserables
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Silver Linings Playbook

    And Maybe: Argo, Zero Dark Thirty

  27. Forgot to mention Life Of Pi, but honestly there will probably be room for only one strange, fantastical, big budget art piece based on a much loved but hard to adapt book, and I’m guessing that spot goes to Cloud Atlas right now until I’m proven wrong.

  28. Jake G!!!

    And The Hobbit in my BP predictions at the seventh spot.

  29. Notice how everyone has been jumping in to add an oversight from a previous post? (Mine would be Django). It’s great to have so much to choose from, at this point, anyway.

  30. rufussondheim

    I really see Hugh Jackman as a lock if Les Mis hits it big like most of us are expecting it to. His voice is gorgeous and will likely sound great singing these songs. He got his start in musical theater and while everyone knows he sings, I think this performance will surprise people at how good he really is in that medium. Plus, Bring Him Home is the biggest Oscar Bait moment, probably, in any major movie this year for Lead Actors.

    I think DDL and Hoffman are not as locked as one would believe at this point. I don’t think people will put DDL on the list since he has two already and if Hoffman is not as good as Phoenix, I don’t think people will make two spots for a film that’s probably not going to win.

    If you haven’t heard him sing check out this song…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNEUtN21cuU&feature=related

    And if You don’t know Bring Him Home here is a good version of it…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsYnhVITf9E

    This is the big song at the end of the film when he’s unsure of who died and who did not after the big battle. It’s a trememdously effective number and there will not be a dry eye in the Academy screenings.

  31. I think it will be..

    Argo
    The Master
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Lincoln
    Les Miserables
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Django Unchained
    The Dark Knight Rises

  32. Agreed, steve50. This year seems way more stacked than last year. There are even other, more genre oriented movies that nobody is mentioning here that could have an outside shot, like Looper, Skyfall and This Is 40.

  33. Thing is, there are enough English-speaking actresses that are worthy of being nominated ahead of Riva and Cotillard. Lawrence, Knightley, Adams, Weisz and one other that may not even be on the radar yet. Streep (too soon), Wallis (waaaaaay too young) also sit this one out. Still have issues with Cotillard swiping the 2007 Oscar from Ellen Page (Juno), I guess.

  34. unlikely hood

    Last year was such a suck-ass year for movies they still ended up with nine. So how can they not do 10 this year?

    I loved this. It kinda makes me wonder what we were all doing here last year. It would be like if the Republicans opened their convention with, “wow our 2008 team really stunk, huh? anyway, this year…”

    I do love the hopeful vibe around here, very first-day-of-school or first-day-of-NFL-season (where are we getting that from?) – before the results roll in and everyone can be bitter and cynical again for another season.

  35. “Thing is, there are enough English-speaking actresses that are worthy of being nominated ahead of Riva and Cotillard.”

    I realize I’m just taking the bait on this, but with that calibre of logic, a blonde won last year and a brunette the year before, so – ooga,ooga – 2012 is the year of the redhead! Go, Ginger!

    In 2007, Page likely came in a very distant 3rd, if not 4th. The race all along was between Cotillard and Christie.

  36. the 5th actress nominee; Anne Hathaway, the female lead in TDKR. Her Catwoman was the best iteration of that role since Julie Newmar.

  37. rufussondheim

    You act like Catwoman is an iconic role of legendary status, like Juliet or Lady McBeth or Scarlett O’Hara or even Dorothy.

    It’s not.

  38. Jake G!!!

    PaulH: i agree with you 100 percent! She deserves a Best Actress nod but i know she’ll have to campaign in supporting for it. What she does as Catwoman is amazing.

    I dont know about you, but I think its in the league of best performances ever, along with Anthony Hopkins for Lambs, Heath ledger in TDK, Kathy Bates for Misery, Marlon Brando for Godfather etc. Shes that good!

  39. It’s all just opinion, but I really don’t think there is a better performance that Riva’s this year. I haven’t seen Lawrence is SLP as yet and I can’t see anything else yet to be released. I live in hope…

    To me it’s Riva then daylight. Then Cotillard and then Lawrence in HG then Wallis.

    Speaking English, French, na’vi or not talking at all, has fuck all to do with performance.

    I really wish more people would talk about Lavant’s performance. To me it’s one of cinemas finest roles. I fear it may be overlooked.

  40. Anne Thompson’s early predictions looks good. I am sure there will be a lot of changes when nominees announced.

  41. At the moment, I think only one of those 3 will be nominated and will take the very last spot: (in order of likability):
    – Life of Pi
    – The Hobbit
    – TDKR

    The only scenario in which I see more than one of those 3 getting in Life of Pi/ Hobbit. Hobbit/ TDKR won’t happen (can anyone seriously imagine 10% of the Academy ranking one those 2 films as number 1… with so many candidates so far and so many still to be seen) and TDKR will depend on the flop of the two films to dream about the nomination.

    The others I’m predicting will be:
    – Lincoln
    – Les Miserables
    – Argo
    – The Master
    – Silver Linings Playbook
    – Zero Dark Thirty
    – Django Unchained
    – Amour
    – Beasts of the Southern Wild or Moonrise Kingdom (only one of the two).

    Once more, I agree with Sasha. The Master is not Academy Awards’ kind of winner. Any of the winner films that we call unlikeable choices (The Departed, NCFOM, The Hurt Locker and even Slumdog Millonare, which is the only film that won the top prize with no well-known actor in the history of the Oscars) are very easy films to follow. There’s nothing difficult to understand in them. The Master, on the other hand, is a tough film to follow according to the opinion of who has seen it.

  42. Moonrise will get the “quaint” slot and Beasts (and Wallis) will get the “winterboner” slot.

  43. A few question marks. Will ‘The Master’ be this year’s ‘Black Swan’ or ‘Tree of Life’? Will Lincoln just be another War Horse? Will 2 foreign language performances be nominated in Best Actress? The 2 frontrunners for Best Actress, if you combine their age wouldn’t even be 30. Will Phoenix/Hoffman both be leading? We need a trailer for Promised Land

    PICTURE:
    1. Argo-true story, thriller about Hollywwod-star cast, produced by Clooney, directed by Affleck
    2. Lincoln-Spielberg. Day Lewis. One of the most beloved presidents. Election year
    3. Silver Linings Playbook- the crowd pleasing dramaedy-Descendants, Little Miss Sunshine
    4. The Master- the critical darling perhaps. PTA. Weinstein.
    5. Les Miserables- beloved musical. Star cast. Hooper is the new Daldry when it comes to the Academy
    6. Beasts of the Southern Wild- indie favorite
    7. Life of Pi
    8. Zero Dark Thirty
    9. Promised Land
    10. Django Unchained- This is tough. Will this be awarded like true Grit, which was a remake which scored Wayne his Oscar, or 3:10 to Yuma. Tarantino, will it be Pulp Fiction/Basterds, or Death Proof, Kill Bill?

    DIRECTOR:
    Ben Affleck- Argo
    Paul Thomas Anderson- The Master
    Tom Hooper- Les Miserables
    Steven Spielberg- Lincoln
    Ang Lee- Life of Pi

    ACTOR:
    John Hawkes- Sessions
    Joaquin Phoenix- The Master
    Daniel Day Lewis- Lincoln
    Denzel Washington- Flight
    Hugh Jackman- Les Miserables

    ACTRESS:
    Jennifer Lawrence- Playbook
    Quvenzhane Wallis- Beasts
    Marion Cotillard- Rust and Bone
    Maggie Smith- Quartet
    Emmanuelle Riva- Amour

    SUPPORTING ACTOR:
    Philip Seymour Hoffman- Master
    Leonardo DiCaprio- Django Unchained
    Robert DeNiro- Silver Linings Playbook
    Russell Crowe- Les Miserables
    Hal Holbrook- Promised Land

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
    Anne Hathaway- Les Miserables
    Helen Hunt- The Sessions
    Amy Adams- The Master- big question mark
    Judi Dench- Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Pauline Collins- Quartet

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
    Promised Land
    The Master
    Amour
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Django Unchained

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
    Argo
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Lincoln
    The Sessions

  44. unlikely hood

    Slumdog Millonare, which is the only film that won the top prize with no well-known actor in the history of the Oscars

    Oh come on JP. Gandhi and The Last Emperor just off the top of my head. (Ben Kingsley was absolutely no one to them, as unseen as Geoffrey Rush pre-Shine.) I will say that if you’re going with unknown actors, it helps to go to Asia.

  45. @ unlikely hood,

    I think if The Hobbit performs on War Horse level of quality it will surely get a Best Picture nomination.

    And I do think The Hobbit will be at least on War Horse level :) I’m not even worried about it.

    I want to see two Europeans (non-Brits) getting nominated for Best Actress, but is that possible?

    We still haven’t seen a good number of films.

    I don’t see how Maggie Smith’s super Downton Abbey success is not going to earn her a nomination for either The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or Quarter (leading or supporting).

    Harvey’s behind Quartet, too :) and at the Oscars he is God Old Testament LOL

    Once again I will remind the public how much I love the mystery surrounding Best Actress this year and I do think the predictions currently posted will greatly change after SAG.

  46. @ unlikely hood

    Do the names Peter O’Toole (TLE) or Candice Bergan, John Gielguld and Martin Sheen (Gandhi) say something to you. I think you should rewatch both films. And by unknown I’m saying unknown to the Academy members. Or you think they’ve heard about the cast of SM before the fim?

  47. therealmike

    Wow, not a single “Lord of the Rings” fan here, huh?! I always thought “The Hobbit” was a sure bet.

  48. ^
    oh come on :D what do you think I am? :)

  49. Hmmm most people seem to exclude anything British! Quartet cast, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel …….. unless of course, Les Miz is being deemed as the Brit movie. From what I have seen of The Master, I see it being similar to last years Tree of Life – not much Academy love except for the odd acting nom. Someone above mentioned the so-so reviews for Anna K stopping it from being a contender ….. well that theory blows after last years so-so reviews for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ….. and it beat the better reviewed Dragon Tattoo!!! Tbe Academy are a strange breed …. more often than not they go for more mainstream movies …. historical, true stories. I think its a threeway race between Argo, Lincoln and Les Miz.

  50. It’s funny Sasha when you are dismissive of people who predict best oscar contenders that haven’t been seen yet… but then through the course of your article YOU TOO will list your best pics that you haven’t seen. What’s with that? why don’t you just enjoy predicting who will win and not make a science out of it and giving all sorts of explanations while in fact covering all the bases like you said so that you won’t get anything wrong. haaaay

  51. My early thoughts for now:

    Acting only, Bespt Picture could literally be anything, and one of a good 15-20 titles. Though, Argo, Silver Linings, The Master, Lincoln, & Les Miserables appear to be 5 strong contenders.

    Actor:
    DDL
    Phoenix
    Hawkes
    Jackman – I really feel like the Academy will honor him with his first nom here. The role, the movie, the emotion, he’ll likely campaign,etc.
    Gere – they seem to be pushing him hard. And again, never nommed before.
    ——-
    Denzel

    I really feel that the “5” will be from those 6.

    Actress:
    Lawrence
    Knightley
    Watts
    Wallis
    Riva
    ———-
    Cotillard

    I see “5” from tohse 6, unless a few welcomed surprises come sweeping in.

    Supporting Actor:
    DiCaprio
    PS Hoffman
    William H. Macy
    Arkin/Goodman
    DeNiro

    “5” of those 6.

    Supporting Actress:
    Hathaway
    Adams
    Hunt
    Field
    Collins – Quartet. She’s getting pretty big buzz.
    —————
    Smith – Best Exotic
    Dench – Skyfall, according to early world from Kris Tapley.

    “5” from those 7.

    It’s fun doing this so early :)

  52. Don’t underestimate The Sessions as an Oscar contender. This uncomplicated movie is funny, tender and emotionally satisfying. Several people around me and I were crying at my Toronto screening. Also The Impossible is a hard film to ignore. A gripping and sometimes harrowing film.

  53. AlecFPrice

    I say this as a long-term Wes Anderson fan, Moonrise Kingdom won’t be getting nominations. I think people have been swayed by the fact that it has made more money than his other films but it’s the first time he’s released work outside of the usually overcrowded autumn/winter awards season. The film is really good, no arguments on that front – probably his best since Tenenbaums – but come the end of the year I just can’t see it being part of the conversation. The Academy have largely been very cool toward Anderson and it will require more of a departure than Moonrise to convert them to the extent they might feel inclined to bestow nominations.

  54. btw, whatever happened to Lovelace? no trailer no nothing, wtf?

  55. Tero Heikkinen

    therealmike: There are many LOTR fans here, it’s one of the best trilogies ever, but I – personally – am not feeling The Hobbit. I predict 4-5 nominations to it (no major ones).

  56. Bob Burns

    Beasts screencap up top. good for you, SS.

  57. Agree w/Tero. To me, The Hobbit played in its trailer almost as a comedy-drama. The Sessions (again from its trailer) REEKS of Oscar bait. Absolutely reeks.

    In an ideal world, my BP nominees (6): Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Hunger Games, Les Miz, Master, BOTSW. Populist/critic favorites cited as well as the non-mainstream.

  58. And what’s Promised Land?

  59. “To me, The Hobbit played in its trailer almost as a comedy-drama.”

    Because it is a comedy drama but drama without the My bother,my Captain, my King/ You Shall Not Pass type of emotional highlights if you know what I mean. If you read the book, you`d know that that type of moment is going to be in the last movie. So the trailer, stills and posters definitely point out at much lighthearted, definitely tragedy-free version of FOTR. That may be good enough for blockbuster spot but not enough for director, script, Best Actor and Best Supporting actor – 4 major categories that are extremly competitive this year.

    But they have 2 more movies and if they plan another thrid movie sweep they just need to secure that previous 2 get nominated in Best Picture. And they always have a chance of director nod for Desolation of Smaug which should be more dramatic than An Unexpected Journey and especially There And Back Again where all the Oscary emoting happens.

    But, yeah, first one doesn`t feel like a contender in the slightest.

  60. I just can’t wait until we get more into the Oscar season and stop this nonsense talk about Dark Knight Rises. It’s not going to happen.

  61. The Academy couldn’t ignore The Lord of the Rings. The first one surpassed all expectations; the critics gave it so much love and it earned so much money that the indsutry couldn’t ignore it, despite their prejudices against fantasy filmmaking. They gave The Two Towers a token Best Picture nomination, but they weren’t taking it seriously. By the time The Return of the King came along, it was such a phenomenon and had so little real competition, its record-equalling Oscar haul was almost inevitable.

    They’re over it now. They don’t have to recognise it. Even if The Hobbit is as good as The Lord of the Rings, the Academy needs a reason to ackowledge fantasy blockbusters and they’ve already used up all their Tolkien-related reasons. Beyond that, The Hobbit could be a great film, but that’s got nothing to do with it. Every year, dozens of great films completely pass the Academy by. It’d need major support from one corner or another, and even the online community isn’t considering it a major contender yet, so things aren’t looking good for The Hobbit yet.

  62. Not bad (but those two markets ain’t exactly the hinterland)

    “In an explosive weekend at the specialty box office, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” broke the record for the best limited debut of all time… opened in 5 theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and took in a staggering $729,745 over the weekend. That gave it a $145,949 per-theater-average, which makes the best limited debut ever for a live-action film.”

  63. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but what about Christian Bale as best actor for TDKR. That was a stunning performance. The best one in the entire film.

  64. That’s something I overlooked.

    Actor: Bale, DDL, Downey Jr, Hoffman, other 2 TBD.

  65. As much as I love Christian Bale, and agree that it was a great performance, it’s not an Oscar-y role to start with. There are plenty of great performances that take more work and range than some or maybe most of the performances that will be nominated. For example something I can’t stop being impressed with are the actors from TED. Yeah I know but here’s why. There wasn’t a second in that film that I ever questioned whether there was a walking talking Teddy bear in that film. That’s not just the special effects guys. That has everything to do with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis selling it scene after scene. I don’t know what they were working with, a stuffed bear or a tennis ball, it doesn’t matter. We’ve had great actors, award winning actors, complain about such work on movies like the Star Wars prequels. “Oh my god I had to work with a tennis ball. Boo hoo wah wah.” And yet these two, and their supporting cast, had me totally believing in this universe. But roles like that would never get recognized. Just as Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers would never be nominated for playing to themselves as multiple characters in the same film. I always think that deserves recognition but that stuff isn’t the Academy’s cup of tea as Sasha would say. So we have to choose from amongst the more traditional Oscar-baity roles.

    As others have noted in this comment section this year is putting last year to shame in a big way. I’m very excited about it. I was thinking about calling 2011 and telling it to go F itself one last time. Due to location I’ll have to wait to see most things but the thought that we could actually have a real race this year makes me very excited. That’s why I really hope we don’t jump the gun and call it for one movie or the other. :)

  66. On the topic of teddy bears, Kim Kold in Teddy Bear is easily one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. That said, I didn’t see Ted. The trailers made me want to die, seeing how far the human race had sunk.

  67. I just loathe having to give credit to a total loop job like Joachim Phoenix. His borderline manic depressive, psychotic behavior during his “hiatus” from acting was deplorable. And he’s the odds on favorite to win an Oscar? Things are seriously honked up.

  68. Please Marion Cotillard should be in the Best Actress list, in the top 5 favorite nominees. She gave the best performance this year and for that reason she must be in the top.

  69. Paddy M, I’ll bet you a shiny new quarter that you’ll like TED. It’s really a buddy movie. It’s not just about a slutty bear.

    PaulH, I was a pretty big fan of Phoenix at one point and thought he should have won for WALK THE LINE. But that stunt with the heard and all that really put me off. I like actors but I don’t like phonies. I hope that was an aberration and he’s gone back to being his normal weird self. However, if he deserves the award for THE MASTER he should win it either way.

  70. Paul H, how bout you worry if Pheonix gave the best performance of the year instead if his personality. But that kind of reason is too much to ask of you I’m sure.

  71. Jake G, what kind of movie fan actually hopes that a film is bad? Kids these days.

  72. There is something I don’t understand.

    Matthias Schoenaerts was Cotillard’s equal in Rust and Bone. I’m not the only one who feels like that, almost every reviewer/critic seems to agree. Yet it is Cotillard who is considered a possible, even likely nominee, hell, perhaps even an outsider to win. But Schoenaerts wouldn’t even be on a longlist if it contained 40 actors. It is almost ridiculous to even reference him, it seems that farfetched and unlikely.

    I realise that each year there are dozens of great foreign performances (possible better than what Hollywood has given us that year) that are ignored, just because no one has seen them and those movies simply aren’t on the oscar-radar, but Rust and Bone clearly is (see Cotillard), yet one of the two awesome leads is competely ignored. Why? Just because he is a relative nobody?

  73. I would put Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s performance in Smashed in the best actress category as well. She is amazing in it.

  74. alan of montreal

    I don’t have time to obsessively go through the entire forum like I usually do, so someone may have said this already, but I think Les Miz has two other potential nominations you’re not counting–another for actor (or possibly supporting actor, if they decide to go that way with it) and another for supporting actress. Hugh Jackman seems like the logical choice for Jean Valjean, but Russell Crowe–especially if they put him in for supporting rather than lead–could easily gain a nod for the role of Jalvert. And while Anne is the “name” as Fantine, it’s really the role of Eponine that tends to stay with people after the watch the show (plus she has the most famous number with On My Own, though of course Susan Boyle helped I Dreamed a Dream gain a greater profile and it’s the song used in the trailer). Thus, if Samantha Barks hits the right notes with the role, she could definitely find herself with a nod as well. I also wouldn’t necessarily discount Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thernadiers, since they do provide the comic relief and they also have a showstopper in the stage production.

  75. Antoinette, pay up. I’d rather it was just about a slutty bear. Buddy movies make me cringe. And the trailers were dreadful. Seth MacFarlane couldn’t possibly be trying harder to be current and funny, and there’s nothing funny about trying too hard.

  76. Jake G!!!

    Im probably the biggest LOTR fan, Ive just been campaigning for TDKR alot!

  77. Really looking at this closely, it now seems to me that there is MUCH more movement in ALL categories, than I expected to see at this point.

    “Lincoln” really looked AWWWWWful in that trailer and sounded worse.

    “Silver Linings Playbook” winning the People’s Choice Award in Toronto is significant and explains why “The Master”s release date is so effing early. It’s difficult. It’s not a crowd pleaser.It was out before TIFF even ended! Anne T. calls it “A critics movie” but expects “Silver” to be a “Massive hit.” And those are both Harvey’s films! So expect him to push Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as well as DeNiro in Supp. for that.

    “Anna Karenina” was my favorite film seen at TIFF. And I think it could go all the way with nods galore. Problem I didn’t see coming for it is that it’s Focus, which is Universal, who also have another Brit hit coming our way “Les Miz”….but there’s no real female lead in that one. Leaving the way for Keira.

    No body is gonna top John Hawkes’ in “The Sessions.” He’s a “mortal lock” (I like the phrase “Immortal lock” better…lol…) Can anyone beat him? Not DDL vis a vis that Disney Aminatronic trailer…And there’s Harvey with THREE Best Actors to push -Joaquin who won’t play the Oscar game. Anne and Kris both comment on this. Phillip, who may end up in Supp. and now Bradley Cooper in “SLP.” Once again, Harvey’s got his handsful.

    Never mind that he has Dame Maggie in “Quartet.” AND now Jennifer Lawrence in “SPL” who looks like sure thing for a nomination + her “Hunger Games” mojo.

    Viola is in a Supp. role in “Won’t Back Down” Maggie is the lead….

    Let the Games begin!

  78. JamDenTel

    I don’t at all see how Won’t Back Down is remotely a contender. It’s a late September release (rarely a good sign), it looks like trite inspirational crap, and it was given no festival play at all. Viola Davis will likely get an Oscar someday. But I think the chances of Won’t Back Down making any kind of impact are negligible.

  79. DKR doesn’t deserve a major category nomination. The plot was widly disjointed and had millions of holes. Pacing was off. Bane turned out to be nothing. Took itself way too importantly, and, frankly, it was boring. And I loved Dark Knight, loved it, thought it was brilliant and better than every movie nominated for Picture that year (the Wrestler, too). Sorry, DKR was a muddled, boring, stodgy piece of junk.

  80. rufussondheim

    Marion Cotillard is a household name in Academy households so she has prominence, plus Best Actress is having a weak year so she gets noticed easier.

    The other guy has no presence in America and it’s already a very crowded year for me so he gets no notice.

  81. TDKR was tracking at $190 million opening weekend before the massacre at Aurora. I believe that tragedy cost the movie anywhere from $125 to $200 million in lost boxoffice. Yes, the movie was a bit overlong. But it, along with The Hunger Games and The Avengers, need to be on the front line of an assault from the hardcore art house circuit to end the streak of indie films winning BP at four.

  82. Tero Heikkinen

    In less than ten years, Academy looks ridiculous when not seeing the power that is The Dark Knight trilogy. Fuck them.

  83. Tero Heikkinen

    For once, PaulH talks the truth (just lay off The Hunger Games). IF Academy fucks TDKR nominations, it will be a disaster. We all know, they changed the number of nominees because of TDK. I’m afraid to see your cards…

    PaulH, you are not my friend anymore. Only for that one bit. You hate my GOD, so I can never be your friend.

  84. Tero Heikkinen

    If there’s one person who I DOOOOOONNN’T want any negative criticism about Spielberg… we know it now.

    Harvey can suck my ass. I may have some shit in there, but generally I keep my ass cleaner that most of you.

    Stephen, STOP being mean to people. Absolutely STOP!!! Why are you so angry?

  85. Theres just no way Anne Hathaway will win. I think she will have to fight for a nomination. She’s only in the first tenth of the story!!

  86. “PaulH, you are not my friend anymore. Only for that one bit. You hate my GOD, so I can never be your friend.”

    Huh??

  87. Tero Heikkinen

    This is great. You know who’s my GOD, cause there’s no actual God.

  88. Did Paul hijack Tero’s account?

  89. @ Stephen

    Hey Stephen, it seems you have problems on your eyes or ears or you have not watched it. Just don’t be ridiculous. Have respect yourself.

  90. @Antoinette – You’re right. The oscars really couldn’t award a director that would leave ‘normal’ people who aren’t interested in what directors actually do thinking “lol wut?”. That would be so embarassing. For the Academy.

    On an unrelated note, Ben Affleck probably has an unfair edge because of that whole ‘actor-turned-director” thing (worked for Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood &, most bizarrely, Kevin Costner, & cost Scorsese two of his most deserved Oscars). I’m really impressed with how Affleck has redeemed himself, but can’t help thinking I’d feel a little disappointed if it went down like that, considering the competition.

    That being said, he’s made a movie about making (sort of) movies, starring John Goodman. Worked for Michel Hazanavicius.

  91. Lest we forget, AMPAS is largely made up of old white guys.

    So I would not count out the embraceable “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” which contained some quite excellent performances from seasoned performers:

    Best Actress – Judi Dench (why do people keep slotting her in BSA. She’s obviously the lead in this movie – narrator + the whole movie revolves around her experiences.

    Best Supporting Actor – Bill Nighy and/or Tom Wilkinson
    Best Supporting Actress – Maggie Smith and/or Penelope Wilton.

    Don’t be surprised if one of these actors win a nomination.

    I, for one, don’t have a problem if that happens. It’s a really enjoyable movie. I haven’t spoken to one person who did not like it.

  92. Tero Heikkinen

    I overshot for my Comedy Hour.

  93. I would LOVE to see Kerry Washington nominated for Django Unchained. Haven’t seen it, of course, just wishing. I’m actually surprised she didn’t get any Emmy love for Scandal, though that may be a timing thing, seeing as how it just debuted in April. There’s one part in the first episode where she’s fighting with her ex and he starts kissing on her and she says, “Don’t touch me.” It was incredible. I watched it like seven times.

  94. “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was certainly one of the worst films I´ve seen in the theatre for a couple of years… such a phoney feelgood crap, I hope it won´t be a contender!
    Would be great to see Johnny Greenwood get his nomination after he was refused one for “There will be blood”, one of the most thrilling sountracks ever.

  95. Sasha,

    Have you heard any rumblings about the Judy Davis / Charlotte Rampling / Geoffrey Rush movie “The Eye of the Storm”. It’s supposed to be released soon (according to IMBD). I can’t wait to see it.

    Granted, it’s a sleeper, but it looks like it could be a contender in some acting categories if received well by the critics and/or public.

    I’ve always felt Charlotte Rampling has been an underrated actress and is deserving of a nomination. Of course, the same holds true for the great Judy Davis. And Geoffrey Rush is always interesting to watch.

    Just curious if you’ve heard any pre-Oscar buzz about this film.

  96. I tend to think that if The Hobbit is at all good that it will end up in the BP race as an “also ran” but it will make the list. The fact that it is new technology is also important, and I would not underestimate the power of the returning Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey. He should have won in 2002. He might not win this year, but I won’t be surprised to see him nominated sometime during these next few years. In a weak field of supporting actor nominees, he feels awfully like a Christopher Plummer, Jack Palance career-honoring nomination and possible win. The Hobbit will no doubt pick up nominations in most of the tech categories, so I’m thinking around 8 noms this time, but probably none of the major categories except BP… similarly to The Two Towers. I also agree that if these three movies are a box office phenomenon, there could be a lot of love come their way in Feb 2015 (even if that does not include another BP win). WETA tends to squash all the competition in SFX, so I’d say they have some more trophies coming their way the next three ceremonies.

  97. I do love the entire Oscar process. Once I realized that winners are typically determined way before the presenter pulls out the envelope, I began to grow fascinated at the process. It really lends itself to a year long focus, since it is interesting to determine exactly when leads begin to form. It really is like a sports season. For two years, I have selected 10 possible nominees. Last year I think I was able to get maybe 5 or 6 the day after the previous year’s Oscars. This year I picked out 10 the week afterwards and genuinely think it will be either 5 or 6 in the end. I am especially proud of putting Silver Linings Playbook at #4 back in early March. I then read the book and loved it a lot. I don’t know if i’ve had that edge of your seat experience in a while. So I am super pumped Silver Linings Playbook is going to be so good. I knew David O Russell is doing some fantastic stuff, giving us the pleasure of characters that we sympathize with. The Fighter was so good because we loved those people. The Silver Linings Playbook source reminded me of that and I can see how Russell will nail it with that material.

    Anyways, last year at this time, I believe The Artist was starting to feel unbeatable. War Horse had still to show us what it was made of, but the momentum was building like crazy. By October I almost think it was pretty much sealed. This year feels a bit more unpredictable. But right now, my #1 is The Master. It could either be a Social Network or it could on the other hand be a No Country for Old Men, or There Will Be Blood for that matter. It just has a feel to it, the electricity. To me, Venice is a big moment for it. It really kinda won Picture, Director and Acting there. It currently sits at 90 on metacritic (TWBB ended at 92). Biggest limited opening weekend of all time. It will no doubt go strong with critics end of year, then all it really needs is Phoenix with SAG (nominees in December! wow that’s soon) and the momentum will be quite strong. I also see Silver Linings Playbook as a front runner now with TIFF, surely the “audience favorite” now. But the critics will like it too, similar to King’s Speech I think, though The King’s Speech had the backlash from folks who were tired of historical dramas, which SLP is definitely not. Also, Argo is certainly up there with Ebert’s prediction. To me it’s then what comes of Lincoln, Les Mis or Life of Pi, and less I think Zero Dark and Django. If Lincoln gets any kind of good reviews, it will be a contender. It has the gravitas and the Day-Lewis. Though, it could easily be a War Horse re-tread really. I think a few will love it, a few will think it’s okay, but then some will HATE it. Could be a 65 metacritic kind of thing, just too history channel-ish. Plus people might not get past Day-Lewis’ voice. That voice makes Phoenix almost a lock for Best Actor. On that note, as the main original screenplay, I the Master already has critics awards, SAG Best Actor, Globes Drama (Silver Linings – Comedy), Screenplay, Best Actor oscar, probably Cinematography, all about a 90% chance. But I digress… okay, Les Mis. I think it’s a unique take on the musical, word on the early footage is very positive, big actors, yada yada. it’s just too perfect though. Hooper JUST won director and picture. Les Mis has been done SO many times. So I see it being a BIG nominee (maybe even over 10) but probably not winning much. Life of Pi, gosh I just hope people see that like I do, just, ughhh… The cheesy colors and, gosh I kinda hope this is basically this year’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I think it is. Zero Dark Thirty, just briefly, not that Bigelow has won too recently, but that pretty much it’s the same TYPE of movie as Hurt Locker, but has too much baggage, not even politically, but Hurt Locker was like this brilliant, back to basics pressure cooker. Zero Dark Thirty will be badass, but just too big and “timely” perhaps. Django… ahhh, Inglorious did so well, probably because it was about WWII, Django is drifting into territory that I think will rend it a bit more obscure to a wide range of folks. Also it’s kind of a retread of Inglorious in its themes. Dicaprio, Waltz maybe, original screenplay sure… Anna Karenina, I predicted it as the winner in early March, I hope it gets nominated for Picture, will be in Actress, maybe Adapted Screenplay, Set Design. It’s dividing folks, though I’m sure i’ll love it. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Yes! The one of these i’ve actually seen! I think if it’s made it this far with its buzz in tact it will make it across the finish line, well in nominations at least, this year’s (I hate to keep doing this) Midnight in Paris in many ways, just in being a big Summer favorite that people just got charmed by and it lasted all year. Amour: I love what i’ve heard about it, but the Oscars have started finding places for these brilliant foreign films (Pan’s Labyrinth comes to mind). Original Screenplay may be its breakthrough nomination, supporting Actor/Actress too perhaps, foreign language, yeah. Flight. Zemeckis! Gotta love that Zemeckis, but I would be surprised. He has been making really really bad movies lately, really bad. And plus, he’s always had a bit of the cheese to him, just sometimes really good cheese. Flight will be seen as a heart warming and uplifting movie that doesn’t quite have the depth I think Denzel has a shot at Actor though.

    So for me right now it’s The Master with Silver Linings and Argo with some heat, then Lincoln and Les Mis the big competition, but in comparison to the last couple of years, it’s a bit more hectic, which is good. I still think The Master has the biggest shot at hitting that critical mass of inevitability. I just think it’s due for another, director’s director year, where a more challenging, mature, “deep” and cinematic picture goes the distance, like No Country for Old Men… Here are my picks in the 6 big categories, all in order of likelihood…

    est Picture

    1. The Master

    2. Silver Linings Playbook

    3. Argo

    4. Les Miserables

    5. Lincoln

    6. Beasts of the Southern Wild

    7. Anna Karenina

    8. Zero Dark Thirty

    9. Life of Pi

    10. Django Unchained

    Best Director

    Paul Thomas Anderson

    David O. Russell

    Ben Afleck

    Tom Hooper

    Steven Spielberg

    Best Actress

    Jennifer Lawrence

    Keira Knightley

    Quvenzhane Wallis

    Marion Cotillard

    Naomi Watts

    Best Actor

    Joaquin Phoenix

    Daniel Day Lewis

    John Hawkes

    Hugh Jackman

    Bradley Cooper

    Screenplay (Original)

    The Master

    Moonrise Kingdom

    Amour

    Django Unchained

    Looper

    Screenplay (Adapted)

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Argo

    Les Miserables

    Lincoln

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

  98. Indiewire did their critics poll after TIFF. The results aren’t a surprise – except The Place Beyond the Pines placed third in votes, ahead of Argo and Amour. I wonder why it doesn’t seem to have much blog buzz?

    Also of note – Joaquin Phoenix absolutely obliterated the rest of the field of lead performers with 109 points – Greta Gerwig was far behind him in second place with 50.

    BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
    1 The Master – 67
    2 Silver Linings Playbook – 46
    3 The Place Beyond the Pines – 35
    4 Frances Ha – 32
    5 Argo – 29
    6 Spring Breakers 26
    7 Amour – 23
    8 Tabu – 19
    9 The Impossible – 18
    10 Perks of being a Wallflower – 17

  99. Comment

  100. ^ it was me.

    What about this:

    MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM

    1. To the Wonder – 46 – (6) – 11

    2. The Master – 31 – (4) – 8

    3. At Any Price – 25 – (1) – 7

    4. Passion – 24 – (1) – 6

    5. A Liar’s Autobiography – 18 – (1) – 5

    6. Hyde Park on Hudson – 17 – (2) – 5

    7. Imogene – 17 – (1) – 7

    8. Yellow – 16 – (2) – 4

    9. The Place Beyond the Pines – 16 – (1) – 4

    10. The Impossible – 15 – (3) – 3

  101. *Les Miserables (heads in with 11 nominations – picture, director, actor, supporting actress, editing, cinematography, editing, production design, costumes, sound, sound editing)

    You have editing listed twice. I believe there’s a new song crammed in for Oscar glory so your total remains.

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