Oscars 2012: Final Predictions

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The Oscar nominations will be announced this Thursday, so it’s time I gave my final predictions. Lincoln should be leading the pack with at least 11 nominations, with Les Miserables not far behind it.

So, here are my predictions, with a bit of commentary under each category.

Best Picture

Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: The Intouchables

With such a diverse slate, and no clear favorite, I’m gonna guess that there will be 10 nominees this year. I’m sticking with the usual suspects, but really, look out for The Intouchables. It was the first screener to go out this year, before the other stacks of screeners were dumped on their doorsteps, which gave Academy Members more time to watch it. And with its crowd pleasing nature and its story which will touch the majority of the academy (old, rich white folks) because it will remind them of themselves.

Best Director

Michael Haneke, Amour
Ben Affleck, Argo
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Since the director’s branch seems to be relatively high-minded than the rest of the Academy, I’m pretty sure he’s safe for a nomination here. If any one of these is at risk of falling out, it is Lee because despite the fact that Life of Pi is a tremendous directorial achievement, it just feels like the steam left that film’s campaign. Any number of directors could replace him if he does indeed fall out, such as David O. Russell or Tom Hooper (ugh), but I’d put my money on Tarantino despite the fact that the film started screening too late.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight
Alternate: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Jackman doesn’t deserve to be here at all, but people are eating the film up, and he’s now considered to be the only one that could beat Day-Lewis, so I’ll predict him. But really, I do feel like there can be no other outcome for this category although there are many more strong contenders out there.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
Alternate: Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I only feel sure about Chastain, Lawrence, and Watts for this category. Riva I’m predicting because she’s a legend, and there is absolutely no way that the actors will pass on the chance of nominating a legend in a high-profile art hit, right? any one? Ok, anyways, as for Weisz, it’s not going to happen, but in the beginning I said that I was going to stick with her until the bitter end, and that is exactly what I am going to do.

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Alternate: Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook

I don’t know what to do with this category, so I’ll just predict the most buzzed-about names, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Alternate: Judi Dench, Skyfall

I’m not sure about this category either besides Hathaway and Field. Will the actors applaud or be disgusted by the sight of Kidman peeing on Zac Effron? Can Adams make it for a small role in a divisive film that’s puzzling many? Did enough people see and care for The Sessions? Was being promoted to main Bond girl enough to get a nod for Dench? Will the love for Downton Abbey carry Maggie Smith to a nomination? I don’t know!!!

Best Adapted Screenplay

Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Alternate: Life of Pi

I’m sure Life of Pi was incredibly hard to adapt and that there are more intricacies to it than what we see on screen. But as seen on screen, I don’t many will see it as more than a directorial achievement. For that reason I’m sticking with Perks to make it here even if it’s unlikely members will connect with it.

Best Original Screenplay

Amour
Django Unchained
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: The Intouchables

If The Intouchables gets nominated for Best Picture, it will also get nominated here. So what would get bumped? They couldn’t possibly have to foreign films competing here, so Haneke would have to go. But I’m putting my trust on the writers to do the right thing.

Best Cinematography

Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Master
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: Django Unchained

I feel pretty confident about these, but they do love their Robert Richardson, so he could get here. I’d say it could replace Lincoln because of how (purposely) drab it is at times, and they like pretty colors, so.

Best Costume Design

Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Mirror Mirror
Snow White & the Huntsman
A Royal Affair
Alternate: Les Misérables

The question here is whether or not they will give the late great Eiko Ishioka a nomination for what could be remembered as her greatest achievement. It’s just that the film opened too long ago, and wasn’t that well received. But then again, Jane Eyre survived last year.

Best Film Editing

Argo
Les Misérables
Lincoln
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Alternate: The Master

Just going with the flow here.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lincoln
Men in Black 3
Alternate: Les Miserables

Hobbit because of all the beards. Lincoln because obviously. Men in Black 3 because of Rick Baker. But watch out for Les Miserables because after all, with all the closeups the makeup was very visible.

Best Original Score

Anna Karenina
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Cloud Atlas
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Alternate: Argo

The composers branch has a knack to ignore work by new comers and director that score their own work, so that doesn’t bode well for the composers of Beasts of the Southern Wild. It does’t bode well for Cloud Atlas either, but since co-composer (and director) Tom Tykwer didn’t submit his name, it could work well for the film. As for the rest, I’d say Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and Lincoln are pretty safe. But what about Alexandre Desplat, one of the most prolific composers working today? I’d say he’ll divide the voters with great work in Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, so he may very well miss for having too many great works out there.

Best Original Song

"Learn Me Right" from Brave
"Ancora Qui" from Django Unchained
"Suddenly" from Les Miserables
"Skyfall" from Skyfall
"Breath of Life" from Snow White & the Huntsman
Alternate: "Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi

“Suddenly” has been a lock for a nomination ever since it was announced that Les Miserables was going to have an original song. It’s a shit song though. “Skyfall” should be safe in theory because it is great, but history is against it. “Ancora Qui” is a haunting song, and it is written by the legendary Ennio Morricone, so that should be enough for a nomination, but it’s not used very well in the film. “Learn Me Right” is great, so why not. “Breath of Life” is not gonna happen although James Newton Howard wrote the music for it (and they love their JNH), but since I love Florence + the Machine, why not?

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Prometheus
Alternate: Argo

Anna Karenina and Lincoln should be a no-brainer. Django, I’m not sure, but why not? Prometheus still has my favorite production design of the year, so my fingers are crossed. As for Les Mis, who can resist those batter walls and the ugly wall paper?

Best Sound Editing

The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Skyfall
Alternate: Prometheus

Going with the flow here

Best Sound Mixing

The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Skyfall
Alternate: Prometheus

Again, going with the flow.

Best Visual Effects

The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Skyfall
Alternate: Snow White & the Huntsman

I wouldn’t predict The Avengers here since the work is nothing special, but since it is the reason it made $600 million, it’s in. The rest have excellent FX, so yeah. The only one I think could miss is Skyfall since it didn’t use much CG, but I think the movie is liked enough. If it misses, then I can see them going for the shattering soldier of Snow White.

Best Animated Feature

Brave
Frankenweenie
The Painting
ParaNorman
Wreck-it Ralph
Alternate: Rise of the Guardians

The question here is whether or not Rise of the Guardians, the critical and financial disappointment, makes it in. And if so, what gets bumped? Brave, Frankenweenine, and Wreck-it Ralph should be locks (although Brave might be on shaky ground) with the latter two battling it out for the win. I’d say ParaNorman is pretty safe just based on the artistry. And what about the GKIDS films and the rest of the shortlist? Supposedly The Painting should be the one based on how artful it is, although The Rabbi’s Cat has won similar prizes in the past. So with that, I’d say Guardians is out, but barely.

Best Foreign Language Film

Amour
The Deep
The Intouchables
No
A Royal Affair
Alternate: Kon-Tiki

Apart from Amour and The Intouchables I have no idea.

Best Documentary

How to Survive a Plague
The Gatekeepers
The Invisible War
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Searching for Sugarman
Alternate: The House I Live In

Just random picks here.

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One thought on “Oscars 2012: Final Predictions

  1. I usually predict the winners for fun (once the nominees are out), I tip my hat to you for predicting the nominees!

    I disagree that “Rise of the Guardians” is out. I believe that’s a definite lock, but I, like you, don’t know which film for it to replace.

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