Now that all the guild awards are given and I have voted for the Independent Spirit Awards, I wanted to write a second installment of my Oscar forecasts.
This time, I will go through all the awards and try to see the future (believe me; it is not that hard in many cases). I hope it will be short and sweet.
Best Visual Effects (Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Prometheus, The Avengers, Snow White and The Huntsman): This one is a no brainer. Life of Pi, all the way. It was very well done; additionally it uses 3D very effectively. Another point I want to make here is that after they gave it to Hugo last year, I’d go with the movie which is nominated for the Best Picture. All in all, Life of Pi is the winner.
Best Sound Mixing (Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall): I am pretty sure most of the academy members don’t know what sound mixing is (process during the post-production stage of a movie by which a multitude of recorded sounds are combined into one or more channels). This is a hard one to guess, but I think Les Miserables will take it, as it involves a large production with singing.
Best Sound Editing (Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty): Sound editing is where all the sound effects are created. Skyfall is the strongest nominee here. I would keep an eye on Argo. If Argo wins any sound award, there might be an Argo sweep.
Best Live Action Short Film (Death of a Shadow, Henry, Curfew, Buzkashi Boys, Asad): This year, the academy changed the rules regarding the short film categories. The old rule was that only the members who watched these movies could vote. Now, every member can vote which makes things a little complicated. I watched all of them, and it is a strong group of nominees (except Buzkashi Boys, if it was called Matador Boys and set up in Spain, wouldn’t be nominated). I would vote for Death of a Shadow, and I think it might be the winner. I hear a strong buzz about Curfew, too.
Best Animated Short Film (Adam and Dog, Fresh Guacamole, Head Over Heels, Paperman, Maggie Simpson In 'The Longest Daycare): This year was the weakest year I have ever seen. Paperman will get this easily.
Best Original Song (Chasing Ice, Les Miserables, Skyfall, Ted, Life of Pi): I don’t think any other nominee can stop Adele’s “Skyfall” here.
Best Original Score (Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall, Anna Karenina): This is not an easy category. Although the consensus is Life of Pi, I think Argo (Alexandre Desplat) can pull a surprise here. Desplat is due for an Oscar.
Best Makeup (The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Hitchcock): The Hobbit was not liked by the industry and I don’t think they want to award it. Les Miserables will get this one.
Best Film Editing (Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook): In this category, the only movie that can stop Argo is Zero Dark Thirty, and I don’t think that will happen. William Goldenberg has done a masterful job and a award for him is also a proxy award for Ben Affleck, the director of the movie who wasn’t nominated.
Best Documentary Short: I couldn’t watch the nominees in this category, so I abstain from predicting the results.
Best Documentary Feature (Searching for Sugar Man, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, The Gatekeepers, 5 Broken Cameras): Searching for Sugar Man won almost every other award, so it is a safe bet. Moreover, it is the only feel-good story compared to the other nominees. I would have voted for The Invisible War, though.
Best Costume Design (Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and The Huntsman): Consensus choice is Anna Karenina, which also received the Costume Guild award. An award for Lincoln here might signal a competitive night.
Best Production Design (Anna Karenina, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln): The only movie which can stop Lincoln getting this one is Les Miserables. I don’t think Lincoln will lose this award.
Best Cinematography (Lincoln, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Django Unchained, Anna Karenina): Let me count who is not winning: Lincoln (Kaminski has enough awards, and this wasn’t an exceptional work), Django Unchained (Richardson has won last year for Hugo and already has three of these), Anna Karenina (I’d argue it will not get a single vote). If Roger Deakins does not win for Skyfall, it is a crime. I am pretty sure the academy will give him his due this time.
Best Foreign Language Film (Amour, A Royal Affair, Kon-Tiki, No, War Witch): Amour has this one. Guaranteeed.
Best Animated Feature (Brave, Wreck-It-Ralph, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits): Tough category. Nobody thinks The Pirates will win, though I think it is the best of these five. Any movie but Brave and Wreck-It-Ralph will be a pleasant surprise here.
Best Adapted Screenplay (Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild): Tony Kushner did a great job with Lincoln, but it is too late to stop the Argo steamroller.
Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained, Flight, Amour, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty): Another tough category. Apparently, Zero Dark Thirty has a core supporting group and will get votes no matter what. The question is how the other members will split their votes. There is a disdain towards Tarantino in some corners, but I still think Django Unchained is the winner.
Best Director (Life of Pi, Lincoln, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Amour): Lincoln was my favorite movie of the year and I think if the academy does not give this to Spielberg, it is pure jealousy. The other possibility is Ang Lee, but I don’t think Life of Pi is good enough to get him a second Oscar.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amy Adams, Jacki Weaver, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt, Sally Field): Anne Hathaway is rehearsing her speech at the moment you are reading this.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Tommy Lee Jones, Christoph Waltz, Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman): The toughest award of the night to forecast. All previous winners, all strong performances. What to do? Evidently, Jones being a grumpy old man in other ceremonies did not help him. Waltz just got this award a few years ago in another Tarantino movie. Alan Arkin also received it recently. In my opinion, the best performance is by far Hoffman’s, but the movie he is in did not get a Best Picture, Director or Writing nomination. This leaves us with a surprise win by Robert DeNiro, who might get enough votes by the members who would like to give something to Silver Lining Playbook or who have seen him having an emotional moment in Today’s Show. (If this happens, I will sound like a genius, if it doesn’t happen you will forget it by the next year). I argue that this award will set the tone for the rest of the night (Jones wins, possible Lincoln sweep – Waltz wins, Django gets the screenplay award – Arkin wins, complete Argo sweep – De Niro wins, Lawrence wins – Hoffman wins, everything is TBD).
Best Actress (Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhane Wallis): I think here the oldest is the safest choice. On top of that, Riva really gives a riveting performance. I think the academy would like to give Amour an additional Oscar and this award is the best bet. If not, Lawrence deserves it equally.
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Day Lewis): Daniel Day Lewis does not need to rehearse his speech.
Best Picture (Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables): One of the easier awards: Even Lincoln (unfortunately) cannot stop the Argo steamroller here.
Do not forget to watch the ceremony Sunday night.
Written by OMActivities guest writer Kemal O. Yariz
Kemal O. Yariz is a lifelong film buff who watches movies religiously. He received a Film Studies minor from Bogazici University, a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA and works for Chesler/Perlmutter Productions as a Script Coverage Intern.