It is almost time for the Academy Awards (Oscars), my favorite night of the year! I have been watching the Oscars religiously since I was little and anyone who knows me knows I make a big production about getting ready for MY Super Bowl. Although I am disappointed by how political the whole process has become, the Oscars give me the chance to rant and rave over who won or lost, or rage over those people and films that were snubbed by the Academy all together (cough THE IMPOSSIBLE cough). To prepare for the big night, I watch every movie that is nominated (even down to the shorts) so I can become an Oscar voter myself. Thankfully, this was a great year for movies.
Starting in November, movie studios and publicists begin to campaign for their films to receive an Oscar nomination. They mail members of the Academy various “For Your Consideration” advertisements and screeners (DVDs) of their films, as well as host special free screenings in theaters around the United States. In late December, the nomination ballots are sent out to the Academy’s 6,000+ voting members who are split into categories based on their profession (e.g. actors, directors, makeup artists, etc.). During the nomination process, each Academy member may only vote to nominate people from the professional category with which they are associated (directors vote for Best Director, actors vote for the Best Actor categories, etc.). The only exception is Best Picture; every member of the Academy votes to nominate the Best Picture category using a preferential voting system (which is a more complicated process to explain than there is room in this article!). The categories for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Picture are nominated by a committee of people chosen from different professional categories.
The ballots are then sent to PricewaterhouseCoopers, an accounting firm used to certify Academy ballots for the past seventy-nine years, for official tallying. The nominations are announced at a ceremony in Hollywood in January. Once nominations are announced, final ballots are then redistributed to the Academy members for voting. Unlike in the initial nomination process, every Academy member is allowed to vote on each category for the final selections. The results are announced during the live award ceremony.
Below are my predictions for a few of the main categories this year:
What Will Win: Argo. Argo has been racking up the awards this season; the most important being Affleck’s Best Director win at the Directors Guild Awards (DGAs). The winner of Best Director at the DGAs has correctly predicted the Best Picture winner at the Oscars 58/64 times, meaning they have only gotten it wrong six times in the past sixty-four years. Those seem like good odds to me.
What Should Win: I would be happy to see Argo win. It was a fantastic film that will hopefully make up for the fact Affleck was not nominated for Best Director. I do wish, however, that Zero Dark Thirty and The Impossible (it’s shocking to me that this film wasn’t even nominated) could all qualify for a triple tie.
Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). In a year where many other directors should be nominated, Spielberg will win this one by default. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Academy surprised everyone with a win for David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) or Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Who Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty). I loved Ben Affleck’s direction in Argo but it took a lot more skill and talent to bring all of the elements of Zero Dark Thirty together. Bigelow’s snub at the Oscars proves just how political the nomination process has become.
Who Will Win: Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln). Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of Abraham Lincoln was top-notch. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Known for his intense method acting, Day Lewis proved he deserves to be on top.
Who Should Win: Daniel Day Lewis. Few, if any, actors in Hollywood could pull off such a great portrayal of Lincoln. Too bad Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) had to be up against him this year.
Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook). Jennifer Lawrence has recently become the front-runner for Best Actress. While I love Lawrence, she is one of my favorite actresses, I don’t think her performance was the best of the year. She was great, but Naomi Watts and/or Jessica Chastain deserve to win this one.
Who Should Win: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and/or Naomi Watts (The Impossible). Due to the politics of Hollywood, I would be very surprised to see Chastain walk away with a win. Her incredibly restrained performance in Zero Dark Thirty would be hard for any other actress to pull off. She is the best actress to come to Hollywood since Kate Winslet. Unfortunately, she was unable to schmooze with the Academy elite at the traditional Oscar campaign luncheons and parties because she was starring in a play, The Heiress, on Broadway. Not to mention, due to Zero Dark Thirty’s perceived “political” nature, it hasn’t been receiving the accolades it deserves. Naomi Watts’ performance in The Impossible was also incredible; her gut-wrenching, emotional portrayal of a mother trying to bring her family back together in the midst of the 2004 Tsunami tragedy was amazing. In 1969, there was a tie for Best Actress between Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in the Winter) and Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl). Can this please be the year that happens again?
Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). This choice is partly that I think he will win and partly that I refuse to write Tommy Lee Jones‘ (Lincoln) name as a potential winner. Jones plays the same role in every film he is in… which is himself. Waltz was fantastic in Django Unchained and out of everyone nominated for Best Supporting Actor, he deserves it.
Who Should Win: Tom Holland. Holland was absolutely fantastic in The Impossible and it blows my mind that he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. It is unbelievable that he was only thirteen years old when he filmed the movie. Thankfully, with his talent, I expect to see him at many awards in the upcoming years.
Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables). Hathaway did a great job in Les Miserables as Fantine. When thinking about the film, her emotional rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” is what sticks with you.
Who Should Win: Anne Hathaway or Amy Adams (The Master). Hathaway brought a lot of emotion to Fantine and I wouldn’t be terribly upset to see her win. However, I would like to see Amy Adams take this one home too. Adams is great in everything she is in and I appreciated her reserved performance in The Master. With her fourth nomination, it’s finally time for Adams to take the prize.
**Don’t forget to watch the Oscars on February 24, 2013 at 8 pm on ABC. I’ll be live tweeting the event and would love to hear what you think (@flickchickdc)! What are your Oscar predictions? Discuss below.