We’ve said it before and we will (hopefully not) say it again: 2012 was a great year for movies. This year’s Academy Awards promise to be more exciting than last, mostly because people actually like most of the movies that are up for awards this year. This is in stark contrast to 2011, when we were all so desperate for something great that we managed to convince ourselves that Moneyball was as good as the previous year’s Sorkin outing, The Social Network (even though we knew it wasn’t).
If you haven’t seen the films nominated in many of the larger categories this year, I urge you to do so. You won’t regret it. Another thing you won’t regret is checking out our Best of 2012 lists that ran recently here on Smack My Flick Up. You can find mine (I’m Eliot!) here, and Nick’s list is available here. Anyway, since the Oscars are upon us, we thought it would be seasonally appropriate to make bold and fearless predictions for Sunday night’s ceremony. Turns out we have similar hunches in a lot of these larger categories, but don’t worry we disagree on the important stuff like BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN. Down below you’ll find our complete Oscar prediction lists (if we predict a win for something but think the winner should be something else, we generally note that in parentheses — we love parentheses. Oh look, we’re inside a parenthetical RIGHT NOW. Wow, what a coincidence.)
If you want to look over the list of nominations, you can find them all on the Oscar website here. Anyway, let’s do this.
Eliot: The Best Supporting Actor category belongs to Tommy Lee Jones this year. I think Lincoln will clean up at the ceremony this Sunday, although personally I think Phillip Seymour Hoffman is most deserving. The Master was driven by incredible performances by its talented cast, and Hoffman’s haunting portrayal of enigmatic cult leader Lancaster Dodd was one of the most mesmerizing things I saw in a theater this year. Hoffman deserves it, but Jones will take home the statue.
Nick: This is really a two horse race between guys with three names. Arkin was hilarious and DeNiro was emotionally effective but both had very little screen time. Waltz was great but played a similarly confident badass character as his Oscar winning Hans Landa three years ago, only to lesser effect. I think Hoffman loses votes due to the fact that The Master was not seen by as many people as Lincoln. Tommy Lee picks up his first Oscar in a role where he is not chasing Harrison Ford.
Eliot: Everyone has a giant hard-on over Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Miserables, and I think it’s safe to say she has this year’s Supporting Actress category locked down. Speaking of boners, The Master’s Amy Adams gave the best angry handjob of the year (in a supporting role), but I think the quiet power of her performance was overshadowed by the more flashy Academy-friendly performances of co-stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. As for Weaver, I was surprised that she even got nominated and there’s no way she grabs a statue. Final note: Helen Hunt’s accent in The Sessions really bothered me. Whenever she pronounced “Mark” as “Maahk” I couldn’t help but be reminded of Tommy Wiesau, the one-of-a-kind auteur who SHOULD have multiple Oscars for his performance in The Room.
Nick: A month ago I picked Hathaway as my one pick lock. The only thing that has changed is that I am more confident about that pick. Adams is getting a lot of love (as she often does from the Academy) but will split non-Hathaway votes with another Academy darling Sally Field. Naked Helen Hunt should be happy enough with just the nomination and Jacki Weaver probably paid someone off for hers. Even Chris Tucker gave a better performance than Weaver, but that’s off topic. Hathaway, all the way.
Eliot: There is no doubt in my mind that Daniel Day-Lewis will take home this award, and deservedly so. The other performances here are all solid, but Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln checks every box on the Oscar pedigree checklist. Period piece… check. Major physical transformation… check. Sweeping patriotic historical epic… check. Three of the other nominated actors starred in R-rated films (which hurts their appeal) and the fourth was Hugh Jackman (whose vocal performance has been widely panned by every once-hopeful thespian in America who happened to see a stage production of Les Mis in tenth grade and now thinks they are specially qualified to criticize his vocal range). Anyway, none of that matters because DDL will take home this award and I have no qualms with it. His performance as Lincoln was movie magic at its finest.
Nick: I recently read something that claimed this category was all sewn up the moment Daniel Day-Lewis inked his contract for Lincoln. I think that’s pretty damn accurate. Could Joaquin sneak in and surprise? No, and he is the only one with a chance to beat the unbeatable. Cooper had his best role since Wet Hot American Summer (ultra snub!) and the Academy loves crazy people but as we all know anything to do with the Eagles will always disappoint. I feel like Denzel overacted to a point that he may even be beat by Jackman, which doesn’t bode well for either. DDL owns this one fo sho.
Eliot: Of all four major acting categories, Best Actress is definitely the toughest to call this year and it comes down to two very deserving performances. There has been a ton of buzz for Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook but I came away less impressed by her performance than most people were. She had a great, interesting character to work with and she played it well, but I think Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty was on a whole different level. Not only did Chastain truly carry one of the strongest films of the year, but she did so with a quiet, nuanced performance rather than the snappy screenplay that Lawrence had to work with. The stoic intensity of Chastain’s performance as a haunted CIA operative obsessed with Osama Bin Laden is one for the ages, and I think she will pull off a well-deserved win
Nick: This is certainly the closest of all the big award races. Unfortunately my girl Q doesn’t have a chance, but this probably won’t be the last time we hear from her. Another unfortunate thing is that we will probably never hear about Emmanuelle Riva again (she’s almost 140 years old). The lovely Naomi Watts never had a shot. J-Law has garnered lots of praise. I can only describe her performance, quite fittingly, as bi-polar. Often she is fantastic, whether yelling at Bradly Cooper, yelling at Robert DeNiro, or yelling at random people on the street (she does quite a bit of yelling) but when she is forced to convey a lack of emotion that is exactly what she gets in return. On the other hand, Chastain blew my socks off almost as much as the unexpected explosions throughout the movie. A surprise supporting nom last year turns into an extremely well deserved lead win this year.
Eliot: In my opinion, the Best Picture category comes down to three films: Lincoln, Argo, and Zero Dark Thirty. The other six are all deserving, but let’s face it: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour have no chance and are only nominated due to the recently expanded Best Picture nomination rules (up to 10 possible nominees in a given year). Les Miserables, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi all have big-name director pedigree but are each too limited in their audience-scope (Life of Pi is a family film, Django is too edgy, and Les Mis has too much damn singing) to overcome the three frontrunners. As for Silver Linings Playbook, I will now reiterate and expand on my prior prediction from our uninformed Oscar reaction post; I predict that SLP will not win a single award in any of the six major categories for which it is nominated (Best Picture, Director, and all four acting categories). Argo has been winning awards hand-over-fist down the stretch and Affleck will benefit from Ben Affleck’s snub in the Directing category (where Spielberg will win for Lincoln). I personally loved Zero Dark Thirty, but I think the ridiculous torture “controversy” hurt its momentum and in such a close race, people will pass on Bigelow because she won recently with The Hurt Locker. In the end, Argo is going to take home that coveted Best Picture award, and I will not complain when it happens.
Nick: Nothing is hotter right now in any single category than Argo. Winning just about every single major award leading up to the king of them all, people seem to be making up for the fact that Affleck got snubbed for director. Zero Dark Thirty has an outside chance but (extremely unfortunately) controversy has set it back quite a bit. Lincoln is another contender but suffers from a lack of excitement and intrigue. Everyone else? Thanks for coming, enjoy your gift bags and awesome after parties. “Argo fuck yourself.”
Eliot: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Nick: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Eliot: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Nick: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty (Still hoping for baby Q!)
Eliot: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (Although I maintain Phillip Seymour Hoffman is deserving)
Nick: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Eliot: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Nick: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Nick: Wreck-It Ralph
Eliot: Life of Pi
Nick: Anna Karenina
Eliot: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (Although I would be very happy to see Ang Lee win this one. Life of Pi was incredible.)
Nick: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Eliot: Searching for Sugar Man
Nick: Searching for Sugar Man (A happy story surrounded by harsh realities)
Eliot: Open Heart (I haven’t seen any of these nominees, I just picked the name I liked best)
Nick: Mondays at Racine (These are almost impossible to see, gambooool!)
Nick: Zero Dark Thirty
Nick: Amour (If this loses then the Academy has some explaining to do)
Eliot: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Nick: The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (It deserves to win something, damnit!)
Eliot: Life of Pi
Eliot: Skyfall (When it comes to awards shows, ADELE LOSES NOTHING)
Eliot: Les Miserables
Nick: Paperman (Fresh Guacamole is awesome but it’s too short to leave a lasting impact)
Eliot: Buzkashi Boys (Once again, didn’t see any of these but picked the one with the most interesting name. Fingers crossed for Buzkshi Boys!)
Nick: Death of a Shadow (Just like the doc shorts, very hard to find)
Eliot: Zero Dark Thirty
Nick: Zero Dark Thirty
Eliot: Les Miserables
Nick: Les Miserables
Eliot: Life of Pi
Nick: The Avengers (Probably my biggest stretch)
Eliot: Django Unchained
Nick: Django Unchained
Since the Academy Awards kind of put a bow on the year in film, we want to sincerely look back and thank you all so much for a wonderful 2012. We look forward to a wonderful 2013, and that’s only going to happen if we have your support. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments, and as always, please share us with family, friends, and especially all of your enemies.
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Thanks for reading and until next time, enjoy the movies.