IAR's Oscar Predictions

Monday, 03 December 2012 21:22 Written by  Brett Gursky
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IAR's Oscar Predictions

It's that time of year again. The 85th Academy Awards are upon us, only three months away, which means it's time to go on record with some Oscar nomination predictions. The race is officially on, with front-runners beginning to take the lead and others in the mix hoping to shake things up. Several movies have still not yet been released, but every film that hopes to qualify for the Oscars will be in theaters by the last day of December. Let's take a look at how the six major categories are taking shape, with the top contenders fighting for five coveted slots.

BEST PICTURE


Front-Runners: 
Argo 
Les Miserables 
Life of Pi 
Lincoln 
Silver Linings Playbook 
Zero Dark Thirty 

 
In The Mix:

Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, Hitchcock, The Hobbit, The Impossible, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Promised Land, The Sessions.


Analysis:

My favorite movies of the year so far have been Argo and Silver Linings Playbook, but it is still too early to tell.  Buzz and anticipation are building for Les Miserables, which will first be released on Christmas Day.  There can be anywhere from 5 to 10 nominees for Best Picture. 
 

BEST DIRECTOR

 
Front-Runners: 
Ben Affleck, Argo 
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty 
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables 
Ang Lee, Life of Pi 
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook 
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln 
 
In The Mix:

Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), Judd Apatow, (This Is 40), J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), Sacha Gervasi (Hitchcock), Ben Lewin (The Sessions), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Gus Van Sant (Promised Land), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).




Analysis:

So far the 6 front-runners for Best Director match the 6 front-runners for Best Picture.  Ben Affleck would be a first-time nominee for Best Director, though he won an Oscar in 1998 for writing Good Will Hunting with Matt DamonAffleck would join a prestigious group: Kathryn Bigelow won this award in 2010 for The Hurt Locker, Tom Hooper won in 2011 for The King's Speech, Ang Lee won in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, and Steven Spielberg won in 1994 for Schindler's List and in 1999 for Saving Private RyanDavid O. Russell was previously nominated for Best Director in 2011 for The Fighter.


BEST ACTOR


Front-Runners: 
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook 
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln 
John Hawkes, The Sessions 
Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock 
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master 
 
In The Mix:

Ben Affleck (Argo), Matt Damon (Promised Land), Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Richard Gere (Arbitrage), Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Denzel Washington (Flight).


Analysis:

This is a competitive year for actors. In the lead right now are two actors who played real people: Daniel Day-Lewis as “Abraham Lincoln” and John Hawkes as “Mark O'Brien”.  Another portrayal of a real person: Anthony Hopkins as “Alfred Hitchcock”.  Bradley Cooper gave his career-best performance in Silver Linings Playbook, and Hugh Jackman is said to have done the same in Les Miserables.  Going for his third nomination is Joaquin Phoenix, who was previously nominated in 2001 for Gladiator and in 2006 for Walk The Line.  It could be interesting if Ben Affleck and Matt Damon find themselves facing off with each other in this category, for Argo and Promised Land respectively. 
 

BEST ACTRESS


Front-Runners: 
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty 
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone 
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook 
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild 
Naomi Watts, The Impossible 
 
In The Mix:

Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina), Melanie Lynskey (Hello I Must Be Going), Leslie Mann, (This Is 40), Meryl Streep (Hope Springs), Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed).


Analysis: 
The main front-runner right now is Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings PlaybookLawrence is coming off a huge year with The Hunger Games, and she was previously nominated for Best Actress in 2011 for Winter's Bone.  Also gaining momentum are previous Oscar nominees Jessica Chastain (in 2012 for The Help) and Naomi Watts (in 2004 for 21 Grams), as well as previous Oscar winners Marion Cotillard (in 2008 for La Vie En Rose) and Helen Mirren (in 2007 for The Queen).  A newcomer in this category could be Quvenzhane Wallis, who was only 6 years old when she filmed Beasts of the Southern Wild.  It would also be great to see Leslie Mann recognized for a comedy like This Is 40, which was written and directed by her real-life husband Judd Apatow and hits theaters on December 21st.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

 
Front-Runners:

Alan Arkin, Argo 
Russell Crowe, Les Miserables 
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained 
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master 
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln 
 
In The Mix:

James Badge Dale (Flight), James Gandolfini (Not Fade Away), John Goodman (Argo), Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Hal Holbrook (Promised Land), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike), Ewan McGregor (The Impossible), Christopher Walken (A Late Quartet).


Analysis: 
Right now the Best Supporting Actor category is up for grabs with no clear front-runner.  Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar, though he was previously nominated in 1994 for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, 2005 for The Aviator, and 2007 for Blood Diamond.  Time will tell, as Django Unchained will first be released on Christmas Day.  Alan Arkin, who stole all of his scenes in Argo, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2007 for Little Miss SunshineRobert De Niro, who stole all of his scenes in Silver Linings Playbook, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1975 for The Godfather: Part II and for Best Actor in 1981 for Raging Bull.  Three other previous Oscar winners will likely round out the category: Tommy Lee Jones, who won Best Supporting Actor in 1994 for The Fugitive, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won Best Actor in 2006 for Capote, and Russell Crowe, who won Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator.  This time, Crowe takes on a musical with Les Miserables.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 
Front-Runners:

Amy Adams, The Master 
Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables 
Helen Hunt, The Sessions 
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook 
 
In The Mix:

Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Blythe Danner (Hello I Must Be Going), Rosemarie DeWitt (Your Sister's Sister), Ann Dowd (Compliance), Scarlett Johansson (Hitchcock), Gloria Reuben (Lincoln), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained), Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).


Analysis:

The Best Supporting Actress category is also up for grabs with no clear front-runner.  But Anne Hathaway is starting to gain momentum for her role in Les MiserablesHathaway was previously nominated for Best Actress in 2009 for Rachel Getting MarriedSally Field is also an Oscar favorite, having won the Best Actress award twice before – in 1980 for Norma Rae and in 1985 for Places in the HeartField has earned rave reviews for holding her own as “Mary Todd Lincoln” opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in LincolnHelen Hunt is another previous Oscar winner, winning Best Actress in 1998 for As Good As It Gets, and she will likely find herself back in the race this year for The Sessions.  Also back in the running are Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook, who was nominated once before in 2011 for Animal Kingdom, and Amy Adams for The Master, who was nominated three times before in 2006 for Junebug, 2009 for Doubt, and 2011 for The Fighter.


Game on.


The Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 10th, 2013. 
 
The 85th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 24th, 2013.

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