Reel to Reel Movies: Oscars Preview

By Matthew Buchanan ’13

The most hyped event of the awards season as well as one of the later award shows is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards lovingly known as the Oscars.  The Oscars are selected based on a painstaking election process where the entire academy of 6000 members may vote. The following predictions are done by removing my personal feelings as much as I can. Many of these films I haven’t seen yet unfortunately, and my predictions will be based on the academy’s normal pattern of voting. This actually does not modify the way my predictions can come out too much as the voters themselves do not have to see each film in order to vote, except for the categories of Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, and Foreign Language Film. For these categories, I have researched them as much as I have been able to in order to properly access the content and how it fits into the usual Oscar patterns. Some categories will go into depth more than others based upon the complexity of the category and the voting possibilities. Best Picture as well as Actor, Actress and Director are the hardest to predict the academy voters look for different components in voting for these. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the 2013 Academy Awards.

Best Picture

Nominees: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserable, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty

Prediction:Argo/Zero Dark Thirty While these are all amazing films that each bring something different to the table, I believe the true competition is between these two films. Lincoln while amazing and a wonderful film is more upon focused drama and tension which leads more to the acting and directing aspect. Argo, based on the true story of the removal of hostages during the Tehran crisis under the guise of the filming of a movie, has been a forerunner for best picture since its release. Ben Affleck took his time in the direction and his own acting which shown off the acting, 1970s period setting as well as the original yet true story. Argo has already won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. The Zero Dark Thirty follows the decade long hunt for Osama bin Laden. Despite the film’s controversial depiction of torture, itis a cinematic masterpiece in is direction, story content, lighting and the performance of Jessica Chastain.

Actor in a leading role

Nominees: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington(Flight)

Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis It is known within the Hollywood community that word method acting should invoke the thought of Daniel Day-Lewis. This actor takes more time for single roles than any other actor on the big screen. In the last decade he has only appeared in five films. When he is on set, he is only allowed to be called the name of his character and goes to great lengths to research each role thoroughly before accepting the contract. Much was anticipated then when Day-Lewis was to take on the role of one of the most complex and respected American presidents. Day-Lewis has already won the Golden globe for the role. He is the favorite to win the Oscar. An honorable mention has to go to Denzel Washington for is amazing portrayal of a man struggling to find truth and strength in Flight.

Actress in a leading Role:

Nominees: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour),  Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Souther Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Prediction: Jessica Chastain/Jennifer Lawrence This year both of the categories for actresses are difficult because this was a great year for actresses in their roles and the actress in them. My true leanings are that Jessica Chastain will win the Oscar due to the high drama situations and great ability she showed in Zero Dark Thirty, a film that while about the hunting of Osama Bin Laden focused upon her character. Jennifer Lawrence has already come out in the prominent role in Silver Linings Playbook which has already won her a Golden Globe. This is one time when the way that the Oscars tend to vote comes out. If they are looking more at the singular role I believe it will be Jessica Chastain if they see an Oscar worth role in an actress they have wanted to give an Oscar to lately it would be Jennifer Lawrence.

Actor in a supporting role

Nominees:Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christop Waltz (Django Unchained)

Prediction: Christop Waltz/Tommy Lee Jones This prediction may seem weird to some but the supporting role category is normally predicted by the buzz generated by the supporting role as that role at times becomes the crux of the film entire. The easiest example of this is Heath Ledger’s Oscar win as the Joker in Dark Knight. The same hype and discuss have come out of these two different roles. Christop Waltz to me has that characteristic of being the crux of the film that he is in in Django. He has already collected the Golden Globe for this role as well. It cannot be ignored that Tommy Lee Jones played a strong historical role in Lincoln that is often become the second tier of discussion when talking about the  film.

Acress in a Supporting Role: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Prediction: Amy Adams/ Sally Field This is a time when I’m going to go against the Golden globes winner Anne Hathaway. While I do contend that she has done a great job over the last year in Les Miserable and Dark Knight Rise, the Oscar voters look more at the drama that can be developed by a Supporting Role Actress as well as the aspects produced by their male equivalents. Where Tommy Lee Jones was the second tier in the Lincoln discussion, Sally Field is the third as the mentally unstable wife of the president. I believe this to be the year of Amy Adams when it comes to the voting as her role in the Master has shown this actress to be capable of being a serious drama actress as it matched her with Joaquin Phoenix and in a way becomes the retroactive award for The Trouble with the Curve and even The Muppets.

Animated Feature: Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates!:Band of Misfits, Wreck it ralph

Prediction: Brave/Wreck it Ralph While it must be noted that three of this year’s five nominees are Claymation,this year comes to a tie with both of Disney’s cgi entries. The true division here comes to what the voters wish to see. Brave is the technical winner in its amazing use of lighting and the technical complexity of its character design. One only needs to realize that each of Mirada’s curly hairs are individually animated to truly notice the hard work and amazing outcome that is Brave. Wreck it ralph is a different category as while it is technically amazing it is at the same time of the best written and thought out movies both animated and live action that I have seen in a long time. It leaves the audience either laughing or crying the entire time. It also is more demanding in its set design as there are really five separate worlds that had to be thought out and filled with characters as well as corresponding jokes.

Directing

Nominees: Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook

Prediction: Life of Pi I always hate having to vote against Spielberg but this year has to go to Ang Lee and his great directing with the Life of Pi. Lee is able to bring vision to a great journey in a lifeboat in a film that has been praised for its solid interaction between characters and visual effects and the joining of the two crafts Ang Lee as my choice as Life of Pi demands vision to a level beyond drama.

Documentary Feature

Nominees: 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War,Searching for Sugar Man

Prediction: 5 Broken Cameras Five Broken Cameras is what people look for in an Oscar winning documentary. First it is rooted in a deeply controversial issue. Many of the films this year have that quality. 5 Broken Cameras is about the conflict between Israel and Palestine as told from the Palestinian side. How to Survive a Plaid is about the aids epidemic among the gay community of the 80s and 90s. Invisible War is about rape within the US military. The Gatekeepers is about the Israel intelligence community from the point of view of its former director. The only non-controversial documentary this year is the music documentary of lost musician Sugarman. What bring 5 Broken Cameras to notice is that it is documentary quality work that originally was not meant to be a documentary. These were home movies that were shot using five different cameras. Each of these cameras finds themselves broken due to the conflict around him. This raw drama that is technically great as well are what make great Oscar documentaries.

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