2012 Oscar Winner Predictions

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Finally, the Oscar season will come to an end this Sunday. Even I, someone who doesn’t follow the Oscars for a living, I’m tired of the dirtiness of the race this year. This year, the Academy made a couple of bold choices, and they were punished for them. And at the same time, studios did them impossible to make their films stand out, even if it meant making the people involved in other films look bad. So read on to find my predictions of what will happen this Sunday, in what is surely to be one of the most disastrous shows in the history of the Academy (seriously, so much music!).

Best Picture

Despite the fact that the season started with many possible outcomes, the various precursors have turned it into the most boring one in memory. So now, it’s poor Ben Affleck’s film versus everything else. And while I’m 95% certain that it will win,  I’m not gonna predict it. Much like I did for the 2010 season when I wrongly predicted a Toy Story 3 mini-sweep, I’m going to do the same with my favorite film of the year: Amour. Sure, the French, harsh look at mortality and love probably had a hard enough time being seen, but whatever. Many said anything can happen this year, and so I’m betting on one  of the most unlikely outcome.

Will Win and Should Win: Amour

Could Win: Argo

Should Have Been Nominated: Wreck-it Ralph

Best Director

In reality Ang Lee or David O. Russell are going to win this since Ben Affleck was not nominated. But since I’m not gonna go with reality for Best Picture or Best Director, I’m just going to predict my own personal choice and the unlikeliest to win.

Will Win: Michael Haneke, Amour

Could Win: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Should Win: Michael Haneke or Steven Spielberg

Should Have Been Nominated: Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Actor

Okay, back to reality. So, Best Actor…nothing to see here. Daniel Day-Lewis will take it and make history by being the only male actor to have won three Oscars for leading performances. But then again, I wouln’t be surprised if Hugh Jackman or Bradley Cooper took it as well.

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Could Win: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Should Win: Day-Lewis, although I wouldn’t mind it if Bradley Cooper won

Should Have Been Nominated: Logan Lerman, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Actress

For this category, you really make a case for almost all of the nominees being worthy of a win. Jessica Chastain could win because no one has had a breakthrough as her, and she does a fine job driving Zero Dark Thirty. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t deserve to win, but they might want to reward her for the great year she had thanks to The Hunger Games. Emmanuelle Riva simply gives the best performance of the lot. Her work is so physical and heartbreaking, and it’s especially surprising coming from and 85-year-old. That plus she is a cinema legend. Quvenzhane Wallis commands the screen like very others. Naomi Watts also gives an incredibly raw and physical performances, and she is way overdue for an Oscar.

So who will win? Most people are predicting Lawrence because she is backed by Harvey Weinstein, but I’m gonna go with Riva. I don’t see how anyone who watches all of the nominees will want to vote for anyone other than her or Watts and their performances are master classes in acting. So, of the both of them, I’m giving the edge to the one that is in a Best Picture Nominee. But really, probably Lawrence will take it.

Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Should Win: Riva or Watts

Should Have Been Nominated: Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Could Win and Should Win: Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook

Should Have Been Nominated: Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Supporting Actress

Nothing to say here. Anne Hathaway really doesn’t deserve it but she has the show-stopping musical number and she shaves her head on screen and she dies, so, yeah.

Will Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Could Win and Should Win: Sally Field, Lincoln

Should Have Been Nominated: Jennifer Ehle, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Original Screenplay

It’s all down to Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, and Amour. Django is Tarantino’s weakest work yet, and I’d go as far as saying that it is borderline bad (the more I think about it, then closer I am to disliking it) and the overtly gratuitous use of the N-word will no doubt turn some off.  However, he has won the Golden Globe, the Critic’s Choice, and the BAFTA. Mark Boal took the WGA award home for his fantastic journalistic achievement, but the dialogue is cringe-worthy at times, plus it might be a bit dry for some. So, I’m gonna go with Amour. Yes, it’s in French, and some will consider it dry and will be turned off by how matter-of-fact it is about its subject, but in the end, it’s the warmest, most universal of the bunch. Plus, it’s also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, and the others aren’t so. I’d love it if Moonrise Kingdom took it though.

Will Win: Amour

Could Win: Django Unchained

Should Win: Amour

Should Have Been Nominated: Damsels in Distress

Best Adapted Screenplay

Given that I am predicting Amour to win Picture, Director, and Actress, and Christoph Waltz to win Supporting Actor, which are the categories where Silver Linings Playbook is most likely to triumph, I have to predict it here since it has to win something. And really, it’s the one that makes most sense. Lincoln may be the best, but to many it will just feel like a history lesson. Life of Pi may not be considered a good achievement since it is just about a boy and a tiger on a boat. It only competition are Argo and Beasts, but since Harvey Weinstein has gone around making sure that everyone knows that his film is “important” because it is about “mental health” it has the edge.

Will Win: Silver Linings Playbook

Could Win and Should Win: Lincoln

Should Have Been Nominated: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Cinematography

Two of the last three winners in the categoy have been big, expensive, CG-heavy 3D epics. Life of Pi fits the bill, so I give it the edge. But never count out Roger Deakins. Sure, he’s never won, but one day he will, and this year might be the one.

Will Win: Life of Pi

Could Win: Skyfall

Should Win: Anna Karenina or Skyfall

Should Have Been Nominated: Amour

Best Costume Design

My vote for this category would easily go to Mirror Mirror, and I am hoping for an unlikely upset this Sunday. However, no one can deny the fact that Jacqueline Durran’s elaborate, fashionable, and gorgeous costumes for Anna Karenina will win. I wouldn’t mind it if Colleen Atwood won her fourth Oscar though, or if Joanna Johnston won her first for Lincoln. But besides Karenina, the only other film that has a chance is Les Miserables, despite the fact that we rarely get the see anything from them below the shoulders.

Will Win: Anna Karenina

Could Win: Les Miserables

Should Win: Mirror Mirror

Should Have Been Nominated: Damsels in Distress

Best Film Editing

Argo has to win something, so this is it.

Will Win: Argo

Could Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty

Should Have Been Nominated: Cloud Atlas

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Hitchcock just won’t win. The Hobbit might give some people déja vu. So, that only leaves Les Miserables. It’s weird that a film that will win in this category for having Helena Bonham Carter with crazy hair will not a Tim Burton film.

Will Win: Les Miserables

Could Win and Should Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Should Have Been Nominated: Lincoln, Cloud Atlas

Best Original Score

John Williams’s score for Lincoln is lovely, but the man has already won 5 Oscars, and is the man with the second-biggest number of nominations (after Walt Disney), so the nomination is his reward. Alexandre Desplat’s work on Argo, although nice, is far from his best, so it’s not his year. And although creative and is crucial for the film, Dario Marianelli’s work on Anna Karenina will likely be ignored for something on a bigger film. This leaves me with two choices: Thomas Newman’s Skyfall or Mychael Danna’s Life of Pi. The former is way overdue for a win, and it might be mighty tempting for voters to work for Skyfall on the two music categories. But unlike the music on Pi, it’s not front an center for large chunks of screen time. Plus, Skyfall is not a best picture nominee, so that puts it at a disadvantage.

Will Win: Life of Pi

Could Win: Skyfall

Should Win: Anna Karenina

Should Have Been Nominated: Cloud Atlas

Best Original Song

“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice is a great, haunting song, but did anyone see the documentary from which it comes? “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” is a fun, Randy Newman-esque tune, but it’s film doesn’t do it any favors. “Pi’s Lullaby” is a soothing song, but it’s not integral to the story. “Suddenly” is a bad song and its inclusion is a shameless attempt at getting the original writers of Les Miserables an Oscar. So, really, “Skyfall” is the only option.

Will Win: “Skyfall”

Could Win: “Pi’s Lullaby”

Should Win: “Skyfall” or “Before My Time”

Should Have Been Nominated: “Learn Me Right” from Brave

Best Production Design

Besides Les Miserables, any of the nominees would make for a worthy winner. But Anna Karenina and Lincoln are clearly the best of the bunch, the former for its inventiveness, the latter for its careful attention to detail. But the latter is at a disadvantage because of how drab it is. So, the only other film that can give a run for its money is Life of Pi, and I wouldn’t be surprise if it won. But I’m going with the one with the biggest number of sets.

Will Win: Anna Karenina

Could Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: Anna Karenina

Should Have Been Nominated: Prometheus

Best Sound Editing

I don’t know about this category. The most obvious choice should be Skyfall, and I’m predicting it will win just because I can see it doing a mini-sweep like The Bourne Ultimatum. But really, any of the others could also take it, so I don’t know.

Will Win: Skyfall

Could Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: Skyfall

Should Have Been Nominated: The Impossible

Best Sound Mixing

Even I, someone who hated Les Miserables, must concede to the fact that the sound mixing is quite an achievement considering that they were able to mesh the live singing, music, and sound effects effectively. So AMPAS will no doubt will go for that as well. But I really want this to go to Skyfall.

Will Win: Les Miserables

Could Win and Should Win: Skyfall

Should Have Been Nominated: Wreck-it Ralph

Best Visual Effects

“Richard Parker” is one of the greatest CGI creations. Really, it’s like there’s nothing else nominated.

Will Win: Life of Pi

Could Win (unlikely): The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Should Win: Life of Pi or Prometheus

Should Have Been Nominated: Cloud Atlas

Best Animated Feature

As with Best Actress, one can make a case for almost every nominees, as almost every nominee is worthy of a win here.

Brave would be a safe, but sound choice because it would be a worthy winner, and because after the initial shock of awarding it over “riskier” films fades, people will see it as an agreeable choice. Frankenweenie would be the classy choice because it really is the most artful of the nominees, and because it would be a classy move to finally give Tim Burton his long-overdue Oscar, and for one of his best films. ParaNorman would be the daring choice because it will mean that they stand for the moral of the film, which is a timely and important as ever. Also because, for the first time, they would be awarding independent animation in this category (although they are smaller operations, Ghibli and Aardman are kind of a big deal in the world of animation). The Pirates! Band of Misfits would be the crazy choice because it’s not a good movie. And Wreck-it Ralph would be the best choice because it is a masterpiece and because it would be Disney Animation Studios’s first win in this category.

So, it seems that the race is down to Ralph vs. Brave. Could the split be big enough for something else to sneak in and win? I’d say so. With that in mind, I’m gonna say that Burton will have enough support to make Frankeweenie break through.

Will Win: Frankenweenie

Could Win: Wreck-it Ralph

Should Win: Although Wreck-it Ralph is my favorite, I’d be okay if any of them won, except for The Pirates

Should Have Been Nominated: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Best Documentary Feature

Sadly I haven’t seen any of these despite the fact that three of them are available on Netflix. So I’ll just pick the one that’s been winning everything.

Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man

Could Win: The Invisible War

Should Have Been Nominated: Queen of Versailles

Best Foreign Language Film

All I know here is that Amour has to win.

Will Win: Amour

Could Win: A Royal Affair

Best Short Film

Haven’t seen any of the nominees, so I’m picking Death of a Shadow because it stars Matthias Schoenaerts.

Will Win: Death of a Shadow

Best Animated Short Film

Adam & Dog is beautifully animated and has a charming story. Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” is cute and surprisingly visually astounding. Fresh Guacamole is a minute of clever animation. Head Over Heel is just wasted potential. None of them though, have anything on Paperman, which has the perfect combination of story, charm, and beautiful visuals.

Will Win: Paperman

Could Win: Adam & Dog

Should Win: Paperman

Best Documentary Short

Again, I’ve not seen any of these so I’m just picking one at random.

Will Win: Mondays at Racine


And now, here is a ranked list of all the Oscar contenders that I’ve seen:

  1. Amour
  2. Lincoln
  3. Wreck-it Ralph
  4. Anna Karenina
  5. Paperman
  6. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  7. Moonrise Kingdom
  8. Adam & Dog
  9. Skyfall
  10. Brave
  11. Frankenweenie
  12. ParaNorman
  13. The Impossible
  14. Zero Dark Thirty
  15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  16. Mirror Mirror
  17. Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
  18. Life of Pi
  19. Head Over Heel
  20. Fresh Guacamole
  21. Argo
  22. Django Unchained
  23. Flight
  24. Ted
  25. The Avengers
  26. Prometheus
  27. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  28. The Sessions
  29. Hitchcock
  30. Les Miserables
  31. Snow White and the Huntsman

2 thoughts on “2012 Oscar Winner Predictions

  1. I make my Oscars predictions yearly as well! I’m debating whether or not to upload my picks to my blogs.

    I actually thought “The Pirates” was a great movie! And I’m actually glad that “Madagascar 3” wasn’t nominated; I’d rather have seen “Rise of the Guardians” nominated.

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