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Guide to Oscar Predictions — General Consensus and Potential Long Shots

I thought it might be worth combing through the Oscars category by category. What is most likely to win, what might win and what the dark horse could be.  I come at this three ways. First, what the general consensus is based on previous wins, Second, what the shifting buzz seems to be indicating, and third what the potential upset might be.

This weekend, is the WGA, the Eddie, the CAS and the MPSE. They will probably confirm what we already suspect, that the industry has determined its winner and that winner will go on to be confirmed at the Oscars.  It’s all over but the shouting.

One important thing to note about this year is that it might be the first time ever that the Oscars had their ballots turned in before the major guilds announced.   That seemed to throw the race into a kind of flux we’ve never seen before.  The pundits seemed more confused than ever, switching predictions each week – it’s Argo, no, it’s Silver Linings Playbook, no, it’s Les Miserables, no, it’s Life of Pi, no, it’s Lincoln, no it’s back to Argo.  After Argo won the PGA, then the SAG, then the DGA and then the BAFTA it became unstoppable.  Whether it was due to Affleck’s snub, Zero Dark Thirty’s demise or it being a really likable movie — it turned out to be the magic formula and now Ben Affleck is set to make Academy history on one week.

The other new thing that happened this year was that social media engaged like never before.  The films that really seemed to take a hard core beating in the press and then had those stories spread around like wildfire were Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables, Django Unchained and Lincoln.  One story was blown way out of proportion. A tweet by Spike Lee inspired debate. Torture became a war between critics defending Zero Dark Thirty and activists and politicians attacking it. It seemed to be taking it from all sides.  Les Miserables became the film people most loved to hate – those bad reviews and commentary caught on like never before.  Social media and the Oscar race, not a good combination.

But either which way, we’ll never know how things might have turned out if the Oscars had waited for the DGA to announce before they did.  But as it is now, there are five directors who are nominated that seem to be invited for no apparent reason.  Them’s the breaks with more than five nominees for Best Picture.  So far, back when the preferential ballot was in play you had to have a director nomination to win. But there wasn’t a DGA back then.  If there had been, who knows?

Best Picture
General consensus: Argo – it breaks history by becoming the first film since Driving Miss Daisy to win without a director nomination.  It will also be the third time a film has won the DGA and goes on to win Best Picture without a corresponding director nomination.  So far, only Apollo 13 and The Color Purple were that position and both lost Best Picture.
Potential shifting buzz – there isn’t any but Roger Ebert says that Silver Linings Playbook is picking up steam.
Potential upset – truly, it almost feels like any film could be read and it would not be that surprising.

Best Director
General consensus: there isn’t one but Steven Spielberg seems to be the one in the lead.  No one but Ben Affleck and early on, Kathryn Bigelow have won Best Director so we have nothing to go on here. If Spielberg wins he will become the 4th director in Academy history to win more than 2 Oscars.  Most of the time, in a split, the film with the most nominations wins either Picture or Director.  Twice in the past that wasn’t the case.
Potential shifting buzz: – it’s possible that they might award David O. Russell if they want to give Silver Linings a big award. He’s never won before. His win, along with Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke’s would be historic because no director has ever won without a DGA nom going back to 1949.
Potential upset: Ang Lee whose film has 11 Oscar nominations and might end up with the night’s biggest haul of awards.  This category feels like any name could be called and it wouldn’t be surprising.

Best Actor
General Consensus: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln – he’s won most of the awards so far, the major ones, most notably the SAG and the Globe awards.  Day-Lewis would be making Academy history for winning his third lead acting Oscar.  No actor has managed to pull this off yet.
Potential shifting buzz: it’s hard to say but passion for Les Miserables could put Hugh Jackman in the winner’s seat.
Potential upset: Possibly Joaquin Phoenix both for his masterful performance and for his peculiar approach to awards season. He started out resistant to it but has since found a way to campaign his own way.

Best Actress
Consensus: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour. While she didn’t get nominated for the SAG she did just win the BATA. Amour earned surprise nods for Picture, Screenplay, Director, Actor. It could turn out that this is the one big award for the movie or it could take other categories too.  Riva will be the oldest Best Actress nominee, as old as the Oscars themselves. But it’s more than that; it’s her once-in-a-lifetime performance playing a dying woman that has earned her a deserved win. I don’t see how anyone could vote against her.
Potential shifting buzz: Riva is the shifting buzz and it shifted away from Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain.
Potential upset: Naomi Watts appears to have a lot of support, probably more than anyone realizes. Most SAG voters probably didn’t see The Impossible but you can bet Academy members did.

Best Supporting Actor
Consensus: Christoph Waltz who won the Globe and the BAFTA for Django Unchained.  Waltz has a lead role compared to everyone else so in a way it’s an unfair advantage. He did just win in 2009 for playing not that different of a part. But he’s so charming he could prove to be that movie’s one big win (unless Tarantino takes screenplay).
Potential shifting buzz: Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln – he won the SAG and history generally says that the Oscar winner is either the SAG or the Globe winner.  Tommy Lee Jones is very popular but it will all depend on how much the Academy likes Lincoln.  All we have right now are the 12 nominations it has.
Potential upset: Robert De Niro who has been campaigning like a mad person and has the longest time between now and his last win and is one of Silver Linings Playbook’s four acting nods.  But Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Critics Choice and also has a lead role.  This category feels very much up for grabs.

Best Supporting Actress
Consensus: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables – Hathaway has won every major award she’s been up for.  She’s got it in the bag.
Potential shifting buzz: none detectable
Potential upset: Jacki Weaver is the only one I could think of because of the four noms for Silver Linings, or Sally Field, whom the Academy adores. But we still don’t know if they liked Lincoln or not.

Original Screenplay
Consensus: Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained might be the consensus pick at this rate but many are predicting Michael Haneke to win here and maybe do what The Pianist did by winning director, actress and screenplay.  Mark Boal might win the Writers Guild for Zero Dark Thirty, which could give him some momentum heading into the Oscars.
Shifting buzz and Potential upset: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom

Adapted Screenplay
Consensus: Chris Terrio for Argo appears to have this thing since winning, mind-bogglingly, the Scripter.  The Scripter passed over Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner for Lincoln so if they could do that, the WGA will likely follow suit, and if Argo is to win Best Picture it certainly can’t win without screenplay, I don’t think. It’s possible but improbable.
Shifting buzz: David O. Russell might win here if they want to reward him — especially since he just won the BAFTA.
Potential Upset: Tony Kushner is still a possibility, but it will depend again on whether the Academy “likes” Lincoln.  We don’t yet know.  Luci Alibar and Benh Zeitlin could pick up a surprise win for Beasts of the Southern Wild and might as well throw David Magee in there too for Life of Pi. This category feels like it’s anyone’s game.

Editing
Consensus: It’s Argo’s to lose
Shifting buzz: nada
Potential upset: If any other films wins in this category it might be an early signal that some other movie besides Argo is going to win – but then again, Argo probably wins this anyway, even without picture.  But Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings might also win here.

Cinematography
General consensus: Life of Pi — it’s expected that this will be the big winner because it is a visual effects frontrunner and the prettiest film in the lineup.
Shifting buzz: rumblings that Roger Deakins might pull off a win after ten at bats.
Potential upset: This might be a surprise win Lincoln could pick up, especially if it isn’t going to win any of the other majors.

Production Design
General Consensus: There isn’t one yet. But if you have to put something down for your office pool go for Anna Karenina.
Shifting buzz: it seems to be down to Anna Karenina versus Life of Pi.  Pi is the Best Picture contender so it might have the edge.
Potential upset: again, if the Academy wants to reward Lincoln in the techs rather than the majors it could win this.

Sound Mixing
General Consensus: Les Miserables – it’s a musical that filmed all of the vocal recordings live. I can’t see how it misses here. Also, it heads into the race with 8 nominations, one more than Argo.  That shows broad support. It probably won’t win just supporting actress.
Shifting buzz: There are rumblings of Greg P. Russell finally winning for his 16 nominations for sound.  He’s on Skyfall, which, in any other year might have won this easily but now he’s up against a musical and they almost always win.  In Contention’s Kris Tapley has been advocating for Russell for years.  This might finally be the year it pays off.
Potential upset: I really have a feeling Argo is a threat in Sound and Sound Editing. I could see it doing what Hurt Locker did and take both in a shocker.  It’s going to depend if they like the movie as much as the industry has so far.  If they do, this might be a place they can award that movie.

Sound Editing
General Consensus: Argo – it will probably win big at the MPSE this weekend, so it’s entirely possible it will also get an Oscar win.  I wonder if voters even pick this category when filling out their ballot or if they skip it, not knowing anything at all about sound editing.
Shifting buzz: Skyfall might surge in the sound cats.
Potential Upset: Zero Dark Thirty might pick up a win here, especially if it isn’t winning anywhere else.

Costume Design
General Consensus: Anna Karenina – anyone who saw the movie (key point) will no doubt have to give over their vote to the year’s most beautiful costumes.
Shifting buzz: It really doesn’t go to the best picture winner very often, although it did last year with The Artist. In an ordinary year, if Lincoln were actually winning, it would get costume on its way to sweeping. But this is a surprising year and nothing so far is going as expected.
Potential upset: Les Miserables, especially if voters really feel passionately about it but know it won’t win the major prize.

Original Score
General Consensus: Life of Pi – it doesn’t seem to have much competition
Shifting buzz: you just never know about Argo, how much they love it or what it will win. It could win this category on its way to winning everything it’s nominated for.
Potential upset: Skyfall maybe, but I can’t believe they’ll give John Williams another Oscar win, dude’s won five. But it goes without saying that if they REALLY like Lincoln, you never know where the wins will fall.

Foreign Language
General Consensus: Amour
Shifting buzz: none
Potential upset: none

Visual Effects
General Consensus: Life of Pi
Shifting buzz: none
Potential upset: probably none, but you never know about the Avengers or The Hobbit

Animated Feature
General Consensus: there isn’t one quiet yet – seems to be between Wreck-it Ralph and Brave
Shifting buzz: Wreck-it Ralph seems to be the most liked, while Brave the more ambitious (and Pixar nom)
Potential upset: Frankenweenie because it’s Tim Burton and he’s well liked in the Academy

Makeup
General Consensus: Les Miserables seem to have this in the bag. So let’s count them for Les Mis: supporting actress, sound, makeup and maybe costumes. Not a bad haul overall
Potential upset: The Hobbit, I guess, could be a threat but I doubt it.

Song
General Consensus: Skyfall

Live Action Short
General Consensus: Curfew
Shifting Buzz: You never know about Buzkashi Boys – if it isn’t too brutal for voters it might win.
Potential Upset: Henry – it is a movie about a wartime elderly man – seems like Academy catnip.

Animated Short
General Consensus: Paperman
Shifting Buzz: Adam and Dog seems to have a lot of folks talking about it.
Potential upset: the Simpsons’ Endless Daycare. You just never can underestimate the Simpsons

Doc Short
Consensus: Open Heart – it is surely the most socially conscious of them.
Shifting Buzz: I have to hope people are watching Inocente and that it will move them as it has moved me but these are all very good doc shorts worthy of the prize.

And that, as they say, is that. What say you readers about this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

106 Comments on this Post

  1. Potential Upset: Tony Kushner

    I feel like crying that the race has come to this. I don’t know this year, I really don’t.

  2. Most of these are decent predictions, though I disagree about Riva and Waltz. Riva has only won the BAFTA and wasn’t even nominated for the SAG award, so this still seems to be between Lawrence and Chastain. Waltz won the GG and BAFTA, but he wasn’t nominated for his respective SAG award either, so this still seems to be leaning toward Jones (or potentially Hoffman). Riva and Waltz could be upsets though.

    As far as adapted screenplay goes, if the WGA names Argo tomorrow, then that’ll be the final nail in the coffin and I’ll sadly have no choice but to switch my prediction to Argo. However, as of right now, the inaccurate Scripter Award is not enough for me to do so.

    Sound Editing seems a bit of a stretch to call for Argo, especially with Skyfall, Life of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty in the mix, but we’ll find out where that stands tomorrow.

    You could be right about film editing, though it would be a rather disorienting shift after Zero Dark Thirty took most of the editing awards throughout the critics awards.

    Overall, though some of them seem a bit off, most of these are pretty solid.

  3. I dont think emmanuelle riva is in the lead for best actress, if anything shes picked up steam but i think jennifer lawrence is still the one to beat. Riva didnt get a SAG or Golden Globe? Has that ever happened before, where the oscar winner didnt win either of those awards in recent times? idk maybe im just too biased as a lawrence fan

  4. daveinprogress

    Wow this close to the Oscars, and still many categories are wide open. Thanks for the navigating and orienting Sasha. May our respective ships come in!

  5. I think Argo would win Sound Mixing way before it would win Sound Editing. Kind of like how Slumdog won Sound over The Dark Knight. Still, I don’t think Argo wins any Sound Awards.

  6. ^ I don’t know the Oscars anymore.

    In a normal year (where merit mixes with politics):
    Picture: Lincoln
    Director: Affleck, oh, wait, Spielberg
    Actor: DDL
    Actress: probably Riva, even if by default
    S. Actor: Tommy Lee Jones
    S. Actress: Hathaway
    A. Screenplay: Kushner, Lincoln
    O. Screenplay: probably Amour, even if by default
    Editing: Argo

    This year (if agendas trump merit, every vote is political, and Argo is our winner):
    Picture: Argo
    Director: Russell (at any rate, apparently anyone but Spielberg)
    Actor: DDL
    Actress: Lawrence
    S. Actor: De Niro
    S. Actress: Hathaway
    A. Screenplay: Argo
    O. Screenplay: Amour if they want to avoid scandal; Django if they want to honor Tarantino again in a weak year + an American script
    Editing: Argo

    Lots of stats may be broken — Argo/anything else beating it for the first time, anyone for Director (especially the foreign-language nominee), Riva, Waltz, DDL, the rare year where both Screenplay winners may lack a Director nomination (not since 1995), Skyfall becoming the first Bond song to win an Oscar, a posthumous nominee, a couple of always-the-bridesmaid technical nominees.

  7. daveinprogress

    The night’s most anticipated and possibly jaw dropping categories?

    Editing (the bell weather)
    Supp Actor
    Lead Actress
    Adapted Screenplay
    Director
    Picture

    That feels like a lot of uncertainty going in. After getting my hopes up last year during the show when Hugo kept on winning, i am not going to assume anything. The key categories would still have to be these above, regardless of the share of artistic prizes. Costume, effects, sound ed etc

    Editing has 4 of the big players – SLP (if it gets this, i might have to be restrained) but could mean the SLP sweep at the end; If Argo wins it – Picture is theirs! If Lincoln or Pi it is still a toss up, and could be a red herring ala Social Network’s win

    Actress – It does seem like Riva and Lawrence are now the players – and when i write that,the outcome seems much easier to predict than Lawrence – v Chastain (Chastain would be my favourite winner). If Jennifer Lawrence prevails, it will already be apparent how many her movie have won, and she may still be the lone recipient for it. I’m feeling Riva as others are too.

    Supp Actor – TLJ seems most likely – but a Hoffman win wouldn’t change the rest of the night – and would be wonderful. DeNiro – sentiment purely – unless Mr Russell wins elsewhere it is a sign. If Arkin wins……

    Screenplay adapted – smart producers schedule this near the end. It will be the pointer. Argo = Picture if it wins. Lincoln is my pick.

    Director – seems still like anybody’s to win – again the second last award would be the time to hand it out – so much riding on it.

    Picture – who knows! Clear as MUD!

  8. Josh T: I think Riva’s chances are not unlike those of Geraldine Page, who won for TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL with only the Indie Spirit and Boston Film Critics in her corner. This was in ’85, before the SAG awards came around.

  9. Everyone suddenly shifted Riva after she won a BAFTA, but think about this. Since the SAG awards began in 1994, all of actresses that won both the SAG and Golden Globe have gone on to win the Oscar. The largest voting branch of the Academy is the actor’s branch, and if the actors were really behind Riva, don’t you think she would have gotten a nomination from them?? Overall, the BAFTAs are a weak predictor for the Best Actress Category. Plus, this is one award that Silver Linings can probably win, and with Harvey backing it, he/Lawrence will prevail. He’s had DeNiro stumping hard as his back up win, but his money is on Lawrence.

  10. christiannnw

    If i’m grateful for anything this awards season, it’s that the gradually, annoyingly predictable nature of the race has encouraged me to spend less time following the race and more time doing productive things (Adobe Lightroom and woodcutting, holla). Save for Director, Actress, and Supporting Actor, most of the major races seem sewn up, even Adapted Screenplay, where Tony Kushner seemed invincible just over a month ago.

    Blargh take me back to Oscar circa 2010 please.

  11. If Argo manages to win Editing and Adapted Screenplay early at the ceremony, of course it will get best picture.

    There are a lot of possible scenarios though.

    1.) Editing: Argo Ascript: Argo (locked for bp if it happens)
    2.) Editing: Argo Ascript: Silver Linings Playbook
    3.) Editing: Argo Ascript: Lincoln
    4.) Editing: Lincoln Ascript: Lincoln
    5.) Editing: Silver Linings Playbook Ascript: SLP (wins bp if it happens)

  12. @Keith, Julie Christie won both SAG and Globe and lost Oscar. Marion Cotillard had Globe and BAFTA. Honestly, Lawrence could very well still win. I disagree that Riva’s performance is undeniable. But I still think she would be a worthier winner for this film than Lawrence. For the record, I was predicting Riva for BAFTA too as well as Oscar. I jumped ship post-BAFTA, but not because Riva’s win caught me by surprise.

  13. It’s been a long road Sasha, and great GREAT job once again at running one of my top three favorite award sites on the net! So much has happened this year, and so much can happen Oscar night that’s different from the consensus. I enjoyed hearing your recent podcast with Tom O’Neil- you’re spot on with so many categories and issues, in particular the fact that Ben Affleck received more attention then Bigelow and Hooper BECAUSE he’s a star- a celebrity, someone people feel they know. The personal angle always helps.

    Here are my final predictions- a few have changed since I posted my video on YouTube and Goldderby:

    Best Picture

    WILL WIN: Argo

    We can say all day and night that Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty (and Amour for that matter) are arguably stronger films, but the tide is clearly on Affleck and Clooney’s baby. Either way it makes history- if it wins, its the first movie with no Best Director nod since 1989 to win top dice. If it loses, it’s the first film (ever?) to win everything major and all the guilds, and come up snake eyes. It’s a thrilling piece of filmmaking, and it should hold up OK. What Sasha argues with that I agree with is that the reason Argo will not look so hot winning, is BECAUSE it’s not a Director nominee. What does that say about the academy? Were they guilty choosing it because they wanted to save face, or do they simply think it was best of the year but not worthy of a director mention?

    SPOILER: Silver Linings Playbook

    I would have said Lincoln, but the change in the wind seems to hint that Harvey Weinstein (the “candy bar king”, get it A League of Their Own fans?) has a lot of voters swooning. Ebert’s recent piece on his site claims there is a lot of hidden support. And those infamous secret ballots that Entertainment Weekly, LA Times and Variety have all shown that the majority are “Lining” up for the Silver- thank you! Lincoln is showing up fourth and fifth place. Is there really any support for this as we think? Never under estimate Harvey. If voters want to give Picture/Director to a movie this year to show they can think on their own, it probably is SLP and not Lincoln. Just watch it happen. I’ll certainly hate it when it happens, and it would be the weakest best picture winner since Crash.
    _______________

    BEST DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

    It’s such a tossup and any of these guys can do it. I want to say that if voters are giving Spielberg best director, Lincoln wins film- but nah, it just ain’t gonna happen. This is his consolation prize. But it’s a very vulnerable pick. Haneke and Zehtlin are out- and I’m not buying Ang Lee at all. Life of Pi has won zilch except tech awards. It’s not a Best Director type of movie. Lincoln is.

    SPOILER: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

    This guy shouldn’t be winning anything at all after his awful stunt he pulled at the BAFTA awards. That on top with his terrible reputation with working with actors and getting into shoving matches with George Clooney? Still, if voters love SLP and Harvey so much, they may want to jump into bed with this arrogant helmsman. Ugh, please no.
    _______________

    BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

    Anyone else would be a shameful, shameful choice. This is the performance of the year, and one that Lewis can be the most proud of. He restrains himself from the usual hamming it up, and it works wonders. He’s won everything this south of the border and if he loses, chalk it up to Lincoln hatred.

    SPOILER: Nobody- seriously, no one else. (Then I quietly mumble “Bradley Cooper”, and the room goes nuts).
    ___________________

    BEST ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

    In my video prediction, I have Jennifer Lawrence- but I think that was my one faulty mistake- Riva is clearly the best in show, and she also has a better story with her birthday being on Oscar night and all. Plus it’s a performance that truly is a master of fine acting. Lawrence is sloppy and not well trained, as Sasha claimed as well in her podcast with Tom! I couldn’t agree more- its just a messy character and Lawrence seems like she’s reaching too much. If she wins it will be purely based on popularity and the academy’s love for honoring hot chicks with big tits. Nothing more. Plus Jennifer’s sour reaction to her loss at the BAFTA won’t help, nor will her horrible stunt on Saturday Night Live- she deserves to sit in shame and realize it takes more then just one big role to land the gold.

    SPOILER: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

    With a Drama Globe and Broadcast Film Critics under her belt, do not under estimate the power of this mature suave actress, who could represent Zero Dark Thirty’s only big win. Her problem is that SAG loss plus that her character doesn’t have any Wow moments voters usually lap up in this category.
    ___________________

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

    A tossup in every regard. Every guy has an Oscar already, so no pressure right? Quite the opposite. De Niro is campaigning, sure, but he has won nothing from any precursors PLUS his performance isn’t that amazing PLUS it’s hard to win your third Oscar. He hasn’t done anything relevant in 20 years. Streep was consistently great and still got overlooked, what now De Niro gives one ok performance and he wins easily? No. Jones has the SAG plus the best overall heft in his performance, and I say he wins.

    SPOILER: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

    My personal pick- if he wins, it will make my night- but I think his recent 2009 win plus the fact that the voters may not warm up to Django as much as other parties might hurt him. But he does have Globe and BAFTA, plus he hasn’t lost anywhere he’s nominated (SAG hadn’t gotten screeners yet). A major threat.
    ____________________

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

    She has it- she’s won everything- its a true supporting role and the big way to honor the divided musical. And she had a great year with Dark Knight Rises; done deal.

    SPOILER: Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

    A nothing performance in a movie the SLP cult will check off in every category and have been. Sally Field should be taking the runner-up status, but it seems this nothing character is getting more passion points.
    _____________

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino

    It’s won everything- so yeah Tarantino will win number two. Great script. Controversial film- and Spike Lee backlash didn’t help. But he won Globe, BAFTA and lost for Inglorious Basterds. Could this be his makeup award? A shaky prediction.

    SPOILER: Amour, Michael Haneke

    How people keep saying this, I have no idea. It hasn’t won anything to validate it taking this- was it really a writing movie? The dialogue is few and far between. Not happening.
    ____________

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Lincoln, Tony Kushner

    In my video I said Argo, here I say Lincoln. Kushner deserves this.

    SPOILER: Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

    Here we are back with this crap again- if they want to award Russell, this is where it will happen, and the BAFTA did help.

    FILM EDITING: Argo
    CINEMATOGRAPHY: Life of Pi
    ART DIRECTION: Life of PI
    SOUND: Les Miserables
    SOUND-EDITING: Argo
    COSTUME DESIGN: Anna Karenina
    ORIGINAL SCORE: Life of Pi
    MAKEUP: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (why people are saying Les Miserables is beyond me)
    FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Amour
    VISUAL EFFECTS: Life of Pi
    ANIMATED FEATURE: Wreck-it Ralph
    SONG: “Skyfall”, Skyfall (because she’s Adele, right?)
    LIVE ACTION SHORT: Curfew (I’ll just go with the consensus)
    ANIMATED SHORT: Maggie Simpson- The Longest Daycare
    DOC SHORT: Inocente (Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson say it’s the one to beat)
    DOC FEATURE: Sugerman

  14. daveinprogress

    SAG has not been a good pointer to Oscar in the Actress category – Viola, Meryl, Julie did not go on to repeat their win, and Globes have double the chance to get it right. The BAFTA

  15. daveinprogress

    BAFTA isn’t always correct – but the Marion Cotillard and Meryl Streep last year were strong indicators. Viola Davis won SAG and Julie Christie had SAG in her year. We’ll see i guess.

  16. HARRY TUTTLE

    Its too bad there won’t be a winner in the Best Documentary Feature category this year (you did not include any predictions). If they did award a film the sure winner would have to be “Searching for Sugar Man”

  17. David Lindsey

    I think you missed Documentary Feature.

    I don’t know….been thinking Riva for Best Actress, but I am starting to get a nagging feeling that they might reward Watts. Hmmm….

  18. Bball_Jake

    Its just way to hard to predict! Im still hoping SLP goes home with BP, BD, Actress and Supp. Actor.

  19. @Jason Travis – How is Life of Pi not a director’s type of movie? That is an insane thing to say. Ang Lee is practically the selling point of the movie.

  20. Jason Travis

    @Daveylow: It’s not to me- it was a beautiful wonder to look at, but I didn’t find the directing part to be that amazing.

  21. Riva is now consensus, just because she won BAFTA in as much a one-sided vote as it got? Nope. Need I remind you Lawrence beat Riva heads-up at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts as SLP took most of the Aussie version of the Oscars. Drew with her w/the LA Film Critics. Is the Academy going to really go off the reservation and give this award to a film that has been seen by little more than the population of St. Louis vs. the rest of this country? Sorry; Lawrence remains the favorite until its taken away from her.

  22. Jason Travis

    Who cares if Riva wasn’t a SAG or Globe nominee? Guess what? Ben Affleck isn’t a Director Oscar nominee, yet Argo is winning Best Picture next Sunday and has swept the Guild prizes. What does that tell you? It doesn’t matter! At the end of the day, voters will go for who they want. Riva is clearly the better performance and has more emotional impact. Lawrence was OK. Again a million actresses could have done what she did. The same cannot be said for Riva. The biggest travesty is that Jean-Louis Trintignant wasn’t a Best Actor nominee.

  23. Gustavo Silva

    PaulH
    LOL. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard mentions of this Australian award all of a sudden. Didn’t think J-Law fans were so desperate.
    LA Film Critics are great too! Lawrence tied with Riva there, so what? Is Phoenix also frontrunner for Actor? And Amour for Picture?

  24. Gustavo Silva

    Jason Travis
    They are forgetting Waltz wasn’t nominated for SAG too and is the frontrunner at this point. SAG didn’t nominate Riva because they couldn’t bring themselves to watch a Haneke film with subtitles. It’s very simple. If anyone thinks they thought Helen Mirren in Hitchcock gave a better performance, people are crazy.
    Kate Hudson was almost a lock for her role in Almost Famous, a movie as hip as SLP (though much better). She, like Lawrence, was the young hot star of the year. Marcia Gay Harden, on the other hand, was an actress of huge craft. And she won without the SAG nomination. Fun fact: Harden’s studio was the same as Riva’s.

  25. Jason Travis

    @Gustavo: Absolutely! Waltz too, wasn’t a SAG nominee and is currently neck to neck with Tommy Lee Jones.

    This year is going to break a lot of molds, and the big thing that will break is that you don’t need a director nomination to win Best Picture apparently- however, unless you’re as hot as Ben Affleck, don’t count on getting the same pity party, thank you!!!!

    The only sure thing Sunday is that Anne Hathaway will act surprised when she wins, and my liquor cabinet will be opening up very early.

  26. OMG, is PaulH the same person as Winston? Those are the only two posters I remember reading who keep talking about how important those Australian awards are.

    Before Jennifer Lawrence, I never heard any pundit mention those awards at all as an indicator for any category.

    BTW, isn’t the same award show where Jackie Weaver had to accept the award for Jennifer Lawrence because JLaw was “sick. She was really sick.” Why did Weaver have to say “she’s really sick” as if there was a good reason to doubt it. Of course, she miraculously recovered in time for SAG.

    I love that PaulH is also underplaying the important BAFTA win. BAFTA coincides with Oscar for Best Actress almost as much as SAG does. Although SAG is the better indicator, BAFTA is not far behind. In the past few years when the SAG winner didn’t win, the BAFTA winner did. Should tell you something.

  27. Also, stop bringing up the point that not many people in America saw Amour. You know who will have seen Amour? Academy voters. They saw it and liked it so much that it got nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Film.

    So, it didn’t matter how many people saw Amour. What’s important is who saw Amour. The answer is the Oscar voters, and that is who matters.

    Of course, JLaw can win and she’ll rank up there in ten or so years as one of the worst decisions the Academy has ever made. That’s one silver lining I can see with her win.

  28. Jason Travis, three simple words for you; GO FUCK YOURSELF!!! A million actresses could have done what she did??? Um, says YOUR moronic ass, and not really anyone else…certainly not anyone who knows anything about acting. You don’t remain the heavy Best Actress frontrunner throughout most of the Oscar season and counting, she’s STILL the frontrunner despite what the desperate AMOUR groupies think, if you do something a million actresses could do. You do it by delivering an astonishingly powerful piece of brilliant acting that sweeps up most intelligent people who see it. It is clearly one of the finest, most moving heartfelt and genuine performances by an actress of her generation in the last 10 years. It is CLEARLY the female performance of the year. It makes my blood boil when snobby own-farts-inhaling nimrods like you act like your clear minority opinion is the majority. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, an amazing movie that speaks to the heart of non-snobs, is the biggest audience favorite of the BP nominees…FACT. Most of the people who love it will think Lawrence is the best thing about it, and will vote for it….FACT. Honestly, all this Riva GARBAGE just sounds like the ”old miserable people” groupies letting themselves be deluded into getting their hopes up just ‘cuz of one stupid BAFTA award. Lawrence WILL win and, when she does, bathing in the tears of the AMOUR groupies will be almost as big a joy as her getting her deserved prize. Kinda like the same thing when Obama beat Romney.

  29. OK, lets dial it down. There are ways to present an argument without going that route, Almeijad…To be perfectly blunt, you nor Winston are helping out the Lawrence argument much. I’ve at least tried to present evidence which backs up what I believe in.

  30. What I’d really like to see happening in the Best Actress category: the most overdue of all of the 5 winning… NAOMI WATTS…. If David O. Russell acted with Riva winning BAFTA, if this happened at the Oscars, he would have to be taken to an ambulance but… wait… Jeff Wells will already be there after Spielberg wins directing.

  31. Jason Travis

    @AlmeidaJ: Wow. You’re proof that you must resort to name calling to get a point across. And you really are making me laugh over here. Go F Myself? Only if you’ll join me, darling!

    This “old fart” is the grey dark age of 30, and yes I think Riva is superior to Lawrence. This didn’t stop me from predicting Lawrence in my video to prevail, nor does it keep me from respecting her as an actress and having a very solid chance at winning. But I don’t think she will, and that’s my right. As for your choice words towards me, I simply find it amusing you felt the need to stoop so low. I wish you the best in your predictions Sunday night, you fiery vixen you!

  32. Gustavo Silva

    “It is clearly one of the finest, most moving heartfelt and genuine performances by an actress of her generation in the last 10 years.”
    I was gonna ask: how many movies did you watch in the last 10 years, but I’m gonna ask this: how many movies did you watch LAST year? lol
    I love how all of a sudden we are “AMOUR groupies”. As if most people on here aren’t Jennifer Lawrence stans that can’t bear the thought of someone making an argument as to why another nominee might win. You need to start dealing with the fact that PEOPLE THINK DIFFERENTLY IN LIFE.
    And “one stupid BAFTA award”, boy, can make a huge difference… You are in denial. There is a surge going on and you refuse to acknowledge it.

  33. You forgot Doc feature:
    Searching for Sugerman. To win. No doubt a bout it.

    I just saw the docu shorts. Great films but depressing.
    By far the best of the lot was Open Heart.

  34. daveinprogress

    Gustavo, i like the cut of your jib, and the way you point that thing! Cheers.

  35. I’m getting more and more of a feeling about Riva all the time, but it does seem like Naomi Watts does indeed have a lot of support from the Academy. But with Chastain and Lawrence’s awards track record this year, they can’t be ignored either–and it seemed like this was Lawrence’s to lose before BAFTA. I’ve made the decision to wait to see Amour when it comes out on video (only BP nom I haven’t seen)–so only time will tell for me if whatever happens turns out to be a travesty or not.

    You would THINK that the awards should really be split all over the place….but AMPAS often–not always but often–displays a pack mentality.

  36. Paulywood

    I don’t know if this Awards season is getting easier to predict or more difficult with some of the split victories (Guild Awards vs BAFTA vs Globes vs etc.) I agree with many of your picks, although I still strongly disagree with Riva winning over Lawrence. For whatever it’s worth, my calls:
    Picture: Argo (no possible up-enders here)
    Director: Spielberg (should be Affleck. where was his nom?)
    Actor: Lewis (not even John Wilkes Booth could assassinate that call)
    Actress: Lawrence (Chastain running a close second with her early awards wins)
    Supp. Actor: Jones or Waltz (this is gonna be a coin toss for me. sorry DeNiro)
    Supp. Actress: Hathaway (the only way she could lose is for some billionaire to bribe the voters)
    Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph (Brave could upset after Globe & BAFTA but don’t think so)
    Foreign: Amour (it’s gonna get all the love in this category)
    Orig. Screenplay: Django Unchained (Acad. isn’t going to let Quentin’s pic go award-less)
    Adapt. Screenplay: Argo vs Silver Linings (let the WGA call this one.)
    Score: Life of Pi (beautiful music)
    Song: Skyfall (celebrating Bond’s 50th and Adele all in the same category)
    Production Design: Anna Karenina (Art Dir. Guild solidified this one for me)
    Cinematography: Life of Pi (extremely well put together. Skyfall won ASC, but that won’t be enough)
    Costume: Anna Karenina (second choice would be Les Miserables)
    Editing: Argo (that’s an ACE in the hole… please pardon the pun)
    Documentary Feature: Sugarman (PGA brought this one home, additional awards helped)
    Documentary Short: Open Heart (it has to win, because I had a hard time watching it ;) )
    Animated Short: Paperman (Disney magic at it’s heartfelt best)
    Live Action Short: Curfew (calling this only because seems like everyone else is too)
    Makeup & Hairstyling: Les Miserables (BAFTA helped cinch my original call for this one)
    Visual FX: Life of Pi (no contest)
    Sound Edit: Argo vs Zero Dark Thirty (one of these will win the MPSE. I will go with their choice)
    Sound Mix: Les Miserables (with BAFTA and CAS, no question)

    Easiest categories to call were Picture and Supp. Actress. Hardest were Supp. Actor and Animated Feature. If I could change the noms in one category, I would replace Beasts and Amour in directing with Argo and Les Miserables. Good luck to anyone thinking they will get 100% correct. I’m sure I won’t on my final calls. This is a tough year!

  37. What about Feature Documentary?

  38. JamDenTel

    I hope, futilely I realize, that Joaquin Phoenix can somehow pull off an upset and win Best Actor. His performance was truly brilliant–he was able to communicate so much just with his face, being by turns warped, tormented, and childlike. To me, it is so much more impressive a performance than Day-Lewis’ Lincoln (which is a solid performance, but I just don’t see why it’s won everything in sight thus far), that its inevitable loss stings a bit.

  39. I think Sasha’s got a good handle on the state of the race; there’s only a couple of points I’d argue. I think Les Mis is a real threat in production design, much more so than Life of Pi or Lincoln. Les Mis won the BAFTA and while I’m still picking Anna Karenina but I see it as a race between these two. The other category, best actress, has been commented on plenty: Emmanuelle Riva is definitely on the rise but I feel Lawrence remains the frontrunner.

  40. @Guys – Lawrence will not be winning with a David O. Russell chick flick. Forget it. This is Riva’s.

  41. It would be the biggest Oscar travesty of the last few years if Spielberg wins with his dull direction in Lincoln. Haneke, Zeitlin, Lee are all better choices over Spielberg.

  42. People on this site are living it their own reality. 18 experts on goldderby predict Lawrence, seven predict Riva and the consensus is Riva with Watts as potential upset? I’m sorry but this isn’t delusion, this is sheer madness! Oh my gawd…

  43. Actually you state that only Bigelow and Affleck won directing awards, but Haneke has a major win – the National Society of Film Critics. The very same precursor Polanski had when he won. But Polanski was a DGA nominee. Can it really be the year when Oscar and DGA go separate ways not only in terms of nominations? They won’t have the same winner but I believe that the two big threats here are Haneke and O. Russell (please no!).

    Actor: Day-Lewis. Imagine the shock if Phoenix wins. And he’s far more deserving.

    Actress: Riva. Let’s hope Harvey won’t buy the Oscar for Lawrence who’s the only good thing about her film but still not worthy.

    Supporting Actor: TLJ. Please no Waltz for the same role (and a lead one!). And no De Niro for a ridiculously weak part.

    Supporting Actress: Hathaway. And I still don’t get it.

    Original Screenplay: Amour? Django?

    Adapted Screenplay: Argo? Lincoln? SLP?

  44. I don’t think Argo is winning any sound stuff. Mixing’s probably LES MIS; Editing’s literally ANY of the others. The fact it was even nominated in either category is kind of a surprise (seriously, do you know of ANY person who predicted those?), and it’s probably just for that one scene with the plane takeoff.

    ANNA KARENINA was nothing if not a giant tribute to art direct — I mean, production design. I’m surprised so many think this will be close. Or maybe I’m just overestimating its chances. Seems like an easy win to me.

    Director will be very interesting, but the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced Michael Haneke better have a speech ready. I loved the shit out of DJANGO, but I don’t see why Waltz would win over TLJ. I think the SAG win trumps all. And the performance.

    If Jacki Weaver wins Sup Actress, that will be fucking ridiculous. Even if she doesn’t, the fact that she is showing up on so many lists as a potential upset just astounds me.

  45. Luis Burguete

    Best Picture: Argo
    Best Director: Argo
    Best Actor: Argo
    Best Actress: Argo
    Best S.Actor: Argo
    Best S.Actor: Argo
    Best Cinematography: Argo
    Best Art Direction: Argo
    Best Costumes: Argo
    Best Makeup: Argo
    Best FX: Argo
    Best Sound Editing: Argo
    Best Sound Mixing: Argo
    Best Editing: Argo
    Best Score: Argo
    Best Song: Argo
    Best Animated Picture: Argo
    Best Documentary: Argo

    In 2012 the only film people watched was Argo.

  46. The academy would be stupid, if they dont give it to Lawrence.
    She is a cash cow. Even with bad movies they can earn a lot of money just because of her. Lawrence has a lot of future projects (and so a lot of suppoters), it would be just stupid to give it to Riva and not to her.

  47. alan of montreal

    I wonder if Rebelle could pull off an upset in the foreign category (and I’m not just saying that because I’m Canadian). I’m actually wishing for a Naomi Watts win in actress–no other female role was as physically as well as emotionally demanding (though I do find it odd that it was a Spanish produced and directed film about a Spanish family, yet they decided to film in English and make the family British). I hope Tim Burton gets his Oscar, too–he’s done so much for animation, and all of his peers have them (Lassiter, Miyazaki, Park), you’d think AMPAS would finally throw him a bone.

    I’m also hoping for an Amy Adams upset in the supporting category. I think it’s her time.

  48. julian the emperor

    Alan of montreal:

    Naomi Watts is surely the most undeserving of the lot. Physically demanding? I don’t care about that. She looks pained for two hours, no great acting skills required. Yes, she manages to squeeze one tear down her cheek in the end, other than that it is a no-brainer of a performance.

    Ok, I hated the movie. I found it grossly insulting.

    Riva for the win!

  49. Bringing up LAFCA in JLaw’s favour, PaulH, doesn’t work if you’re comparing her chances to Emmanuelle Riva’s. They tied at LAFCA.

    I have a feeling Silver Linings Playbook could pull off a few major upsets. Director, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay – I know I’m not the only one to have posited any of these (nor is the first time that even I have), but I think Roger Ebert is right: SLP is picking up steam.

    Fs.

  50. I don’t really get how “spreading the wealth” would work. Practically, I mean. I get that someone might feel that Zero Dark Thirty or Lincoln deserve to win a couple of awards, but how do they determine which one? Some might give screenplay to ZDT, some might give it editing or sound editing, but if they spread their spreading of the wealth, then they probably miss out on everything.

    To me, you can only give each deserving movie its consolation prize if you get together as a whole and have a public vote, it doesn’t work any other way.

  51. “She is a cash cow.”

    Interesting criteria to with which to judge a piece of work requiring an complex artistic skill. Never thought of it that way. Never will.

    Regarding “spreading the wealth”, I don’t think anyone is suggesting consolation prizes similar to what you give 10 year olds in a pumpkin carving contest. You would think that these industry types would be able to break down the films into individual components and judge each accordingly. That’s not happening. For example, one of the most imaginatively edited and scored films last year was ignored in those two categories (Cloud Atlas).

    Convention rules the day and no thought is given to any creativity that actually advances the art form of storytelling.

  52. Great piece. Just one little thing: The Pianist won Director, Writing and Actor, not Actress.

  53. “Silver Linings Playbook is picking up steam.”

    What this really means is that Weinstein and DeNiro are campaigning their asses off.

    I was amused reading the assault by “Almeidaj” calling Riva fans as “AMOUR” groupies. Hold a picture of Jennifer Lawrence in your hands and look in the mirror.

    Riva gave the best performance of the year and if she does win, it will be without questioning the most celebratory award of the evening.

    But yeah, the desperation is clear when one starts using the F bomb.

    The eloquent Jason Travis is dead on throughout in my opinion, though I would only disagree with this talented scribe on Ang Lee, whose stupendous direction of LIFE OF PI, was perhaps it’s most arresting aspect of all.

  54. The entire presentation here is really excellent, and I found myself nodding my head with just about every consensus choice and back up scenarios.

  55. Quite funny that Riva gave the best performance of the year and should win an oscar, while there’s this dude called Jean-Louis in the same movie who was even better.

    Has he been mentioned more than 5 times by those Amour-groupies?

  56. Sammy, you are one for two.

    Right on with Riva.

    Boo to the dismissal of Spielberg’s excellent direction of LINCOLN.

  57. Reminded of Gordon Pinsent who easily was the equal of Julie Christie, but was also completely ignored while she was a frontrunner.

  58. I loved Trintignant too “praetor” but can you find a single critics’ group that named him Best Actor. It was Riva who resonated with critics and audiences, and it is Riva who has rightly been in contention with the awards’ givers through the pre-Oscar stage.

    The love for Riva isn’t groupie thinking at all. It’s just rightful passion for a searing, extraordinary turn.

    Trintignant was great by in my vire:

    Riva > Trintignant.

  59. “Trintignant was great by in my vire.”

    Meant to say “Trintignant was great in my view. Typo.

  60. I think it is “easier” to play the partner that is losing his/her sanity/essence, it’s big and juicy.

    I think it’s much more difficult to play the healthy partner, to be able to stand up to a part that is much showier, but still hold your ground as an actor.

  61. I don’t have a dog in any of the other category competitions (since AMPAS went above and beyond it’s way to snub TDKR, Hunger Games and The Avengers), safe for VFX which I still resolutely believe Avengers had many more of them and did them on an otherworldly level than anybody else.

    I it’ll have this notion that Oscar is not pleased with this Argo Insurgency and they will find a way to say, eff you, critics, you’re about to be put on your place. I still think Lincoln is going to be the spoiler, winning actor, supporting actor, director and picture. Is there anybody else who thinks the Academy is thirsting to put the guilds in their subservient place? Or will there be enough folks in the actual membership wino will revolt against the directors branch and indeed crown Argo next Sunday?

    Your thoughts?

  62. damn iPad typos; ” I still have this notion” and “in the actual membership who will revolt”.

  63. PaulH’s images keep changing. Is there an imposter afoot?

  64. Too right, Sam. ‘Amour groupies’. LOL kk. Can we be the Turin Horse groupies too?

  65. Charlotte

    I would love for Jennifer Lawrence to win because her performance was phenomenal…she’s a naturally gifted actress and she has won just about every single award you could fit on a bookcase. Lawrence has earned it. If Jennifer Lawrence does not win, my guess is, she will sooner or later (I’m betting sooner). I find it interesting that some are taking the position that Lawrence should not win because she is not well trained…something that wasn’t an issue until very recently; no one cared about this when Lawrence began winning critical acclaim as far back as The Burning Plain up to and including her nomination for Winter’s Bone…except at that time, Lawrence had no chance of winning. One can make the argument that, Lawrence is 22, she’s young…she has time because she IS very talented. I buy that argument. I don’t buy the argument that Lawrence shouldn’t win because she hasn’t had any formal training…it sounds so snotty. There are PLENTY of actors/actresses out there who have not had formal training (and are also acclaimed)…there is such a thing as natural talent which Lawrence has. True, Lawrence can only get better with each performance,working wih quality directors, actors, picking quality scripts (which Lawrence has a good track record for)and move from strength to strength.

    It’s down to the wire, and the ballots are due on Tuesday, February, 19. The pundits on the other blogs I read have all written that nominees would get dragged through the mud in the last days of voting, and that’s abso-fucking-lutely true. I want Lawrence to win, yes, but I will be thrilled with any one of the actresses who could/might win…all gave wonderful performances different styles, and I’m not trying to sound like a fucking Pollyanna (believe me, I’m not that woman)but, I think this was a great year for performances…all are deserving…I just wish the bitchiness (this actor/actress deserves it more!! crap) would stop. At this point, using the Lawrence isn’t well trained, has no respect for the craft, etc.argument, smacks as a last minute effort from someone’s publicity team because they are afraid Lawrence will win. It seems desperate, unfair. They want to change the perception of Lawrence as a naturally gifted, talented actress…see how many people will go for it…throw it out there, see if it sticks. I really don’t think it will work. Lawrence has earned too much acclaim for people to all of the sudden change their minds now, regardless of who wins the race.

  66. I’m still me. No impostor; maybe its the website that randomly assigns images. I’m not in the business of multiple IDs cause life’s just too short for that.

  67. Riva’s BAFTA win only solidified Chastain was out of the race. Not saying Lawrence will definitely win by any means but it’s absolutely a tough call.

  68. Jack Traven II

    The trick is seeing the magic …
    ___

    First, I really hope the Academy will soon go back to five BP nominees. And. I hope they will go back to the previous date the ballots have been turned in.

    The more BP contenders there are, the more of them aren’t really contenders. When there were 5 BP nominees there were at least 2 frontrunners, plus 1 possible upset at the max. A pretty good percentage. Having much more than 5 BP nominees (for a third time now) there are still only 2 frontrunners, plus 2 possible upsets at the max. Usually they’re the ones having a corresponding BD nod. If there hadn’t been the date shift of balloting this year business might still be as usual. But instead of that we have a film being the (only?) frontrunner now without a BD nod. How weird is that?

    Well, ‘weird’ seems to be the new ‘usual.’

    But is the Academy the only one to be blamed for the situation we are currently in? And the outcome we are probably facing one week from today? Maybe (not?).

    What if the Academy hadn’t changed the date (and therefore had picked Ben Affleck as director). Would the guilds have been crazy about him and Argo as well? Well, we will never know.

    What puzzles me most, well, second most maybe, is that all the major guilds chose Affleck. Not a single one stepped out of line. They were rather brought into line. More than ever. And we everyone thought the way The King’s Speech and The Artist became unbeatable was astonishing. Well, we thought wrong. Now we know: it can always get worse.

    Did they really just award ‘poor Ben’? Not ‘Ben Affleck, the acclaimed director of films such as …’ Did they really just feel sorry for him? Well, we will never know that as well.

    What we know is the guilds did their bit, too. Most of all if the Academy crowns another film ‘Best Picture.’ Gee, that would ultimately make the guilds’ showering appear either ridiculous, even travesty-like – like so many other commenters stated here over the past weeks – or just great. Affleck would’ve gotten the reassurance of his peers. And the Oscars – the World Cup of filmmaking (well, more or rather less) – would’ve saved their face. At least something.

    Anyways.

    What puzzles me most actually is the (apparently unstoppable) downfall of Lincoln. It seemed to be THE perfect frontrunner: Period piece. U.S. Civil War. Abraham Lincoln. Abolishment of slavery. Steven Spielberg. Daniel Day-Lewis. Pulitzer Prize winning writer. Years and years of preperation and work. And passion. And last but not least its huge box office success.

    But yet. It didn’t resonate with (the vast majority of) the critics, the critics awards and the guilds. Bashing, trashing, slashing. Anywhere. Anytime. Unceasingly. All the hard work and all the success doesn’t seem to pay off. Everything down the drain.

    And yet. All that is only awards-wise, of course. Because awards partake of nothing magical. Once the Oscars 2013 passed away the only things that will really be remembered are the films. Whether good or bad. Whether spectacular or thought-provoking. Whether Argo or Silver Linings Playbook or Skyfall, The Avengers or Beasts of the Southern Wild or Lincoln.
    ___

    „And in [the movie theatre] they’d come entering a palace, like in a dream, like in heaven. Maybe you had worries and problems out there, but once you came through those doors, they didn’t matter anymore. And you know why? Chaplin, that’s why. And Keaton and Lloyd. Garbo, Gable, and Lombard, and Jimmy Stewart and Jimmy Cagney. Fred and Ginger. They were gods. And they lived up there. That was Olympus. […] I’ll tell you, in a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it.“ – from The Majestic

  69. Pierre de Plume

    I have a feeling Silver Linings Playbook could pull off a few major upsets

    This is one of my dilemmas, Paddy. I admit to clouded judgment (bias) as I didn’t care for SLP. I feel it “needs” to win something, however. My guess would be De Niro – and I hope it’s limited to that, if anything.

    @praetor: I think Trintingant didn’t get nominated because there’s more competition among the men to choose from and his role isn’t as “Oscary” as Riva’s. Also, I think Riva had the more challenging role; she had to go at least as deep as Trintingant but with fewer lines to work with. That’s more challenging to an actor.

    I find it interesting that some are taking the position that Lawrence should not win because she is not well trained…

    Charlotte, I’m glad to say I’m not one of those people. Although JLaw might benefit from formal training, there’s no assurance that she would. And besides, it’s her choice. She’s doing great the way things are. As much as I admire her work, though, I don’t really feel she deserves to win for SLP as much as Riva. This has more to do with the nature of the role of Tiffany, and how well it was written, as opposed to the life that JLaw injected into that character.

  70. acmilan03c1

    Very nice! @Jack Traven II

  71. I might be wrong, but I don’t think either Riva or Waltz were eligible for the SAG. Otherwise they most likely would have been nommed and could have won.

    This years Oscars are going to be interesting for one thing more than any other:
    It will show how much the other awards can sway the members of the Academy. Since nominations people can have changed their minds for a number of reasons. But if Argo ends up winning the big one, the single most important reason is that Academy members have been influenced by other peoples oppinions. Other awards, “poor Affleck”-mania, campaigns, controversy, buzz (good or bad). All factors other than “I watched the films again, and changed my mind”.
    How sad.
    Only the individual oppinion of the voters should influence them. And if the members of the Academy had truly preffered Argo, this year’s nominations would have looked quite different.
    This is my one hope still. That those with the all important right to vote are not swayed by other people’s tastes.
    Naive, maybe. But I think there might still be room for a major upset, and that Argo (good film, that it is) doesn’t walk away with an undeserved best picture win.

  72. Mr-Cinema

    I hope Skyfall picks up multiple wins. This film was loved by critics and by more fans than any other films nominated ($1 BILLION WORLDWIDE). Maybe it’ll be this year’s Matrix/King Kong/Bourne Ultimatum where it picks up 3-4 awards.

  73. Skyfall’s biggest competition would be Life of Pi for most of their awards. I loved Skyfall, but I have to admit that I loved Life of Pi even more.

    The only award I’d like Skyfall to beat Life of Pi is maybe Best Cinematography (and I’m not 100 percent on that) because I’d be wonderful to see Roger Deakins win an overdue Oscar. However, Life of Pi was just gorgeous. Every shot was stunning.

  74. Ben Gordon

    Go to goldderby.com and look at the Best Actress Expert predictions. By my count 18/25 experts choose Jennifer Lawrence for the win. Riva has picked up some support but 7/25 hardly shows a consensus. Sorry Sasha. Lawrence for the win (although who the hell knows to be honest)

  75. Pierre de Plume

    It takes time, Ben Gordon, for late-breaking trends to make it onto pundit prediction lists. I think a Riva trend is palpable. Whether it gains enough steam by Tuesday’s ballot deadline remains to be seen.

  76. What’s always interesting for me is all of the reasons that we give of why a film or person should win an Oscar. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that Oscars are given based on the “Best” performance, not the most popular performance.

    If it were about popularity, then Best Actor would be Robert Patterson and Best Actress would be Kristen Stewart, if you get my drift. Oscar voters sometimes do their own thing. I am certainly hoping that THIS is one of those years, especially given everything has been all over the map. One of my pet peeves over the years is that with all of these other award shows, people have gotten into the habit of playing follow the leader, or just voting on what they “Think” will win, as oppose to who SHOULD win.

    Of the roles that did get nominated for Best Actress, none come close to the difficulty of what was required from Riva in Amour. If she does win, and I believe that she will, it will be completely based on performance and this will be a great thing. I find it interesting that someone said that because Lawrence is a big name that the Academy would be foolish not to give it to her. Well, being a big name, she doesn’t exactly need it to increase the revenues at the ticket booth, especially since she will probably be in a sequel to Hunger Games and God knows how many other roles. She’s a fine actress. We found that out before Silver Linings which is also an excellent turn and a very different performance from Winder’s Bone. But she should not win simply because she’s in a popular American picture that does not happen to be foreign and has no subtitles.

    I simply believe that Riva’s performance will touch many more Academy voting members and most of them are an average of around 55 years old, and many are facing their own mortality or have seen it, and will “GET” the Riva performance, unlike many of the younger generation.

    Best Actor: While Day-Lewis is fine, I cannot see why he is this LOCK as well. This reminds me of the year that he was in Gangs. He won many of the awards, but Adrian Brody was CLEARLY better that year and somehow found a way to win. That had to do with many things, which I’m not going to go into but in the end, we didn’t get the automatic Day-Lewis thing. It’s funny because the only time we didn’t get this with Day-Lewis was when he was nominated for In The Name Of The Father. That said, Phoenix was better – Hands down. I could care less about all of those other issues that people think he has. It’s just like with George C. Scott. If it’s the best, then vote on it anyway. Heck, if truth be told, Scott should have won back to back as he was terrific in The Hospital.

    I believe that Day-Lewis will win, but it should be Phoenix, and anyone who thinks that Day-Lewis was far and ahead of the pack by that much, did not see The Master, or Flight for that point. Washington has NEVER been better. You saw sides of him that you never saw in any other film he’s made and not once did you ever get the impression that he was acting. A tall order for any actor, so it’s shocking the support that he’s received as well.

    Best Supporting Actress: No one was as good ad Field. Period. Hathaway may win, but Field was WAY better.

    Supporting Actor: Di Niro will win here. It’s a role that really stands out if you really understand the Di Niro career and go back to The Godfather through today. This is a role that makes you forget all of the gangsters he’s played and it does not hurt that he’s not won since 1980 and they might want to make it a three-win party for the guys. I’m not quite sure how we define Supporting as all actors are supporting each other in a film, so I’m not going to argue about the Waltz or Hoffman roles being leads. Hoffman the one that SHOULD win here, but probably will not, but if it were based on performance, no way Hoffman will lose. He’s simply better than the pack.

    Best Picture. This ones beginning to look like a high school popularity contest, and that’s never good. The best rarely comes out on top in such situations. One thing that’s become painfully clear: This may be the most disappointing Best Picture year since Crash, and unfortunately for Ang Lee, he’s around to witness it again.

    It appears that the same group behind the rally for the Crash win is behind Argo. That’s interesting. Now, don’t get me wrong: Argo is SUPERIOR to Crash. At least, Argo deserves to be nominated for Best Picture. There’s a ton of politics riding on these Oscars and no one has talked about the 800 pound gorilla in the room and the affect it may have had on the way that this thing has gone:

    Note that, the two so-called potential winners are indirectly tied to Presidents:

    Agro – Jimmy Carter.
    Lincoln – Barak Obama.

    Now,if we start to think about the politics and all of the other things we’ve seen during this awards race, Carter verifying the accuracy of Argo, Clinton pushing Lincoln, Spielberg screening the film at the White House and do you REALLY think that this is not going to have an affect on the voting outcome?

    Lincoln carries the weight of trying to win an award, by gaining the vote of people who may think it’s the best, but who might want to slight the current President and Spielberg. I did not think that The Color Purple was that good and time has shown that I was correct, as it has aged badly, but from what I could see, it was a clear swipe at Spielberg and a strong, black character. So, it was interesting when Out Of Africa won and Purple went home empty handed.

    Fast forward and we have a film that’s about a snapshot in the life of a President and of course, the slavery issue is front and center, and we currently have a black President in his 2nd term, and don’t get me started about all of the “firsts” we have witnessed during this administration that the country would have been outraged over, had it happen during a prior administration. How many other Presidents do you recall being called an outright liar by elected officals and that’s just for starters.

    Politics being a powerful thing and in the world of winning, for most, it’s not WHY you win, but the fact that you DID win, it is clear that the Argo camp has this attitude. I’ve found the producers quite an interesting trio as they have paraded to their wins. It would be lovely to see them lose, if only to catch a glimspe of their faces after some other film was announced. We’ll see. I guess.

    Argo may win but is is not the best of the nominated bunch. Lincoln is the better film, but you would have to go way back to 1966 to find a similar film, that was almost play like, intelligent script, and brilliant performances. I’m speaking of A Man For All Seasons.

    Direction: Ang Lee. Life Of PI was easily the most difficult directing feat of the year. Who thought that anyone could bring that book to the screen and so brilliantly at that? Lee should win, but Spielberg will probably get it, but I would not rule out Heneke.

    Enough of my fantasies in thinking the Academy will deal with this based on excellence, devoid of politics. Wake up ans snap out of it!

  77. I’m having the hardest time figuring out my pick for Animated Film. I started with Frankenweenie, thinking how could they not give this to Tim Burton. Then, as Wreck-It Ralph began gaining steam following the Annies and PGAs, I thought that it had the momentum, despite being a younger-generation video game-inspired movie. And now, Brave has won quite a few of the guilds, as well as the BAFTA (though Ralph wasn’t here), and seems slightly more mature for the voting Academy and they could lazily just go with the Pixar movie. Think I’m still leaning Ralph, but I have a feeling it can fall either way.

    ALSO, Production Design is a tough category to predict. Don’t forget Les Miz, Sasha, which won BAFTA. Yeah, in recent years the winners have been digital production designed, so maybe Life of Pi will take it. And then Anna Karenina focuses so-front-and-center on its art direction. Don’t know how it will go.

  78. I had forgotten about that; Riva wasn’t even nommed for a Golden Globe! Yu would think the HFPA would advance her candidacy at the drop of a hat. But even the foreign press declined to nominate her. This whole thing reeks. We can’t let the young nominee win, so lets put up a candidate, move her into the express lane, gin the BAFTA vote to make sure it goes our way, and presto,, instant Oscar contender. The microwave candidacy, Riva’s is. And Gustavo and “J-Law”, please don’t shoot the messenger when I bring up Lawrence’s victory over Riva at the Aussie Oscars. It happened.

  79. Pierre de Plume

    I love your comment, Odee, but you know what? Barack Obama is quoted as saying his favorite movie this year is Argo. Imagine that!

  80. Oh, gee, I wonder why, since Clooney helped get him reelected. ^_^

  81. Pierre de Plume

    I never thought about that, Zach – but maybe Barack simply found Argo more entertaining. I mean, Iprefer Lincoln but readily admit getting snoozy a couple of times during the first half hour or so.

  82. Fair. I just think when all is said and done and the stats are defeated, we’ll look back on this year as the turning point. Not only were the rules suddenly meant to be broken, but we may be able to “follow the money” to Obama as the deciding factor in the major races.

  83. The argument against lawrence not being trained is weak. Most actors who go to acting school or take classes say the most important thing you learn is how to relax and get out of your head. That’s something that comes very naturally to her. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You might be able to say she needs to work more, but she’s already been nominated twice so it’s not as if this is a performance that came out of nowhere. Not to mention her stellar performance in THG.

    I just saw Amour and Riva’s performance was amazing. Having now seen all the Best Actress performances I can’t say I would be disappointed with any of them winning.

    However I do have to say that Jean-Louis Trintignant really surprised me in how amazing he was considering how little award recognition he’s gotten. His performance grounded the movie and kept it from descending into a the kind of movie that makes you want to kill yourself (which I assumed it would be walking into it).

  84. Jason Travis

    What if it was all switched up, and Ben Affleck had been nominated for Best Director but Argo was NOT nominated for Best Picture?

    Would we be having the same outcome- give Argo best picture, even though it can’t win at the Oscars? What would be second in line? Lincoln, perhaps. Or Silver Linings, or Life of Pi. Can you imagine the craziness? Affleck would be pegged to become the first person to win director without his movie up for best picture. Nuts.

  85. PaulH, if you’re so convinced that the whole thing is rigged to the point that they created a rivalry for Lawrence, then what will it say if Lawrence ends up winning a contest that you believe is absolutely manufactured?

    Golden Globes are only 100 foreign “press” people who are known to be star-fuckers. They some times get it right, but they some times get it wrong. These are the people who gave Madonna (who I personally love) a Golden Globe Award for acting over eventual Oscar winner Frances McDormand in Fargo.

    Lawrence has a strong shot of winning, but don’t pretend that Riva would be an unworthy winner. She has won a lot of accolades for her performance, and has numerous Best Actress awards to prove this year. You may want Lawrence to win, but that doesn’t mean everyone else nominated is unworthy to win as well.

  86. Although, you do bring up a good point, PaulH.

    When was the last time that we had an Oscar winner (not just nominee) who wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe in acting?

    Looks like Roberto Benigni was the last one for his foreign-language performance in Life is Beautiful from my limited research.

    Now, Emmanuelle Riva would be the first actress to do so (maybe in some time), quite possibly the first actress to do so without both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination since the SAG award was implemented. There’s always a first time for everything, and she does have BAFTA.

  87. Joe Clinton

    By ANY measure from ANY group of Oscarologists, Jennifer Lawrence is the solid favorite for Best Actress. If anything, the fact that her serious competition now includes Ms. Riva as well as Ms. Chastain only improves her chances.

  88. Lincoln in the techs:

    I think with Lincoln losing buzz in the big’uns, it could see some academy love in the techs. I can’t see Lincoln going home with only one acting award.

    Score, Production Design and Costume should not be overlooked.

  89. Pierre de Plume

    the most important thing you learn is how to relax and get out of your head.

    That’s exactly right, Kim. It takes most actors quite awhile to accomplish that. Those, like JLaw, who begin with that quality start getting work right away and advance quickly.

    Some natural actors benefit from training to improve some aspects of the craft — and others either don’t or just don’t need it.

  90. I loved Riva’s performance (and Amour as a whole) because it tells the kind of human story that reminds me why I’ll never stop dragging my husband to small out of the way theaters despite his protests. And I agree that Lawrence’s character isn’t the strongest contender here, and I would like her to win for a better role, but I’m so tired of this idea that the only reason she may win is because of her “big tits” or the fact that Hollywood considers her “endlessly fuckable”. Like her character or not, hell like the movie or not, we should at least acknowledge what she does in the role because it lets her show us that Winter’s Bone wasn’t fluke and that her real talent is in the raw instinct she shows in front of a camera. Even Sasha wrote the following about her performance in an earlier article…” What makes this an award-worthy performance is that Lawrence elevates it beyond what’s written on the page.” I know the Oscars are part popularity contest (okay more than part), but in our discussion of it, can’t we try to elevate it above that and prove to the academy that we deserve more that a showcase of what money can buy come awards night.

  91. daveinprogress

    Lots of commenters, and especially the editors of this site hailed Jennifer lawrence after Winter’s Bone and her swift rise to prominence. I don’t pick up any residual resistance to her winning an Oscar at any juncture, but for this commenter, i would rather see her win for an honourable and solid piece of work. There is no doubting Jennifer’s talent – raw or evolved. But she was not well directed nor written for in Silver Linings in my opinion. She was miscast, had no chemistry with Bradley Cooper and shrieked and gesticulated her way through the film. She deserves much much better material than that.

  92. I think that you have the majority of categories picked correctly. It breaks my heart that Kushner, Riva, and “Lincoln” might all lose. I’m really interested in finding out more about Production Design because my gut says “Pi,” but not many pundits have picked it. I don’t have the expertise in Production Design or the sound editing category.

    I liked SLP a lot when I saw it in the theater last month, but I now like it a little less because of the Oscar campaign. I really enjoy Lawrence’s work, but I feel that if she gets this award it will be because of the love toward the movie. I am not sure that her performance will stand up through the ages as much as Riva’s or Chastain’s.

    It annoys me when I read about Academy members not watching this or that movie. If I can see 5 of the 9 movies in Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, with relatively limited financial means, they certainly can make an attempt to see all of them. It’s disgusting that they might vote without seeing Amour or the other films.

  93. @BN/Sasha: “What makes this an award-worthy performance is that Lawrence elevates it beyond what’s written on the page.”

    Alas, the same cannot be said for Jessica Chastain. It’s Jennifer Lawrence or Riva for me. Is it just me, or in Amour, Riva couldn’t keep the right side of her lip paralyzed after the 2nd stroke? And Haneke insisted on shooting from the right side of a bed-ridden Riva further highlighting how she’s struggling to keep her right lip shut but just couldn’t.

  94. Gustavo Silva

    Reno –
    You must have watched a different movie that I did. And also, I’m not sure you know exactly what a stroke is.

  95. Paul Voorhies

    Okay, Sasha. I’m just gonna come out and say it. I’m annoyed that you have Riva listed at #3. I can see the argument for Watts perhaps, but Quwlghl’dzhgpdjg?? Explain please.

  96. If anybody read the copy of the script for Zero Dark Thirty, you can attest that it is a miracle that the ensemble, especially Chastain, were able to get out the characters they did. It is a very dense, but very comprehensive script but I cannot imagine any actor reading it feeling like, ‘Yeah! I have this rock star scene that will win me a bunch of awards!’ Whereas with Lawrence that diner scene is pretty much her Oscar clip scene and it read so on the page. What exact dimension does she have independent of Bradley Cooper. The grieving widow cum nympho part just does not really do justice to make her feel more than an extension of the Bradley Cooper character. It’s a glorified supporting part.

    I don’t buy this Watts momentum for a minute. It sounds as if people are warming up the ‘she is due’ state of mind when she has that Princess Di biopic out next year. I am still warming up to this idea there is a three-actress race and even now I am resigning to the idea it will just be Riva vs. Lawrence.

    I also agree with the Trintignant love for his role in Amour. To me that is a tougher part and anchored the film. I really wish there was more momentum his way during awards season, he is equal in legend to Riva among cinephiles, but the Best Actress field was also much weaker.

  97. Folks we can duke it out, name call, film bash etc. but as Sasha wisely puts it, “the trick is not minding”. Enjoy the show next weekend! Lawrence for the W! :P

  98. @Gustavo, I’m 100% sure I know more about stroke than you do. When Riva got bed-ridden, she was pursing the right side of her lip while opening the left side to talk or make sounds. So I thought, OK now there’s facial nerve involvement. As the movie went on, it became evident that she was struggling to keep it in that state. That’s all.

  99. LIFE OF PI and Ang Lee.

    Or lol SLP and Russell. No split anyway.

    That’s what I say. :)

  100. Tero Heikkinen

    Riva. You genius.

    That’s all I have to say about this.

  101. Argo: picture, screenplay adaptation, film editing
    Lincoln: director, actor, supporting actor
    Life of Pi: score, cinematography, visual effects
    Les Miserables: supporting actress, art direction, sound mixing
    Silver Lining Playbook: actress
    Amour: foreign language film
    Django Unchained: original screenplay
    Skyfall: song
    The Hobbit: makeup
    Anna Karenina: costume design
    Zero Dark Thirty: sound editing

  102. After tonight’s results at the WGA, I guess the door has been completely shut on any kind of Lincoln uprising, yes?

  103. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    After tonight’s results at the WGA, I guess the door has been completely shut on any kind of Lincoln uprising, yes?

    Probably. But I also get an eerie feeling like when The Social Network was winning everything too. Probably the Academy will put the period on the end of the sentence but I still wonder…

  104. Pierre de Plume

    Probably the Academy will put the period on the end of the sentence but I still wonder…

    I still wonder, too, Sasha. And it’s not like I’m heavily invested in Lincoln winning or Argo losing — though clearly I’d like to see Lincoln take it. I still keep thinking about the size and demographics of the guilds, especially SAG and WGA, compared with those of the Academy branches, which seem to correlate more closely with the demographic of Lincoln’s biggest audience.

    Next Sunday I’ll be riveted to my seat during the supporting actor, actress, screenplay and director categories.

  105. There is a great series on Oscar Travesties over at Grantland if anybody wants to check it out…kind of like a Sports Bracket if you will..I especially felt the Kings Speech over the Social Network reminded me of Sasha and my own particular dissapointment that year in the Social Network’s defeat and the probable win of Argo over a plethora of challenging films this year..
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/68553/oscar-travesties-day-4-the-egregious-eight

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