The 2013 Oscar Lineup: Take 1

Despite the fact that the new set of Academy Award nominations have yet to be revealed, it’s always exciting to not only guess who the winner is going to be, but also who else is going to fill up the other slots in each category. So, I will be posting weekly updates on the main categories (Picture, Director, Leading and Supporting Actor and Actress) where I think they fall at that moment and then follow-up with an explanation of each.

With other various prestigious awards, such as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, releasing both the nominations and winners, the race and place of each can change in a coming second.

But that’s what my job is going to be. It’ll be like gambling. Without the cash, of course, but the possible the bragging rights of getting them right!

Best Picturezero-dark-thirty-releases-a-uk-poster-121641-00-1000-100 (1)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Argo
3. Lincoln
4. Les Misérables
5. Silver Linings Playbook
6. Life of Pi
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. Django Unchained
9. Moonrise Kingdom
10. The Impossible

This is going to be a pretty tight race in terms of nominations this season. There hasn’t been an all around great year for movies since a couple years ago during the time of The King’s Speech and Black Swan, but this time around, there’s a whole slew of fantastic filmmaking. With Zero Dark Thirty becoming a Critic’s Prize fan favorite, and on top of that, gaining great reviews and growing anticipation for the audience to see Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s return after their The Hurt Locker wins, it has easily taken over the momentum built up for Ben Affleck’s Argo. The top, major six films are all obvious nominations, with the top four truly being the only ones competing for the title. For the remaining slots, though, it’s harder to determine. With last year’s rule change to where there can be any amount of Best Picture nominations, ranging from five to ten, and then there being a surprising nine total this year should be no exception to a higher number of noms. Following Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, the charming and dark indie story starring an almost entirely new cast of stars, could sneak in with its devoted fan base. Never count out a Tarantino film either, so his new bloodbath thriller could crack in, too. Then comes the final two out of then. It’s a toss up between this summer’s comedy favorite, Moonrise Kingdom, the true storry of tsunami survival, and then The Master. With the strong love for Kingdom, and performances leading The Impossible (plus a true story never hurts for the Academy), I think those two will make it in first, even over the surprise top honor nominations The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel received from both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild this past week.

Best Directorkathryn-bigelow-and-mark-boal-clarify-zero-dark-thirty-political-controversy
1. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Ben Affleck – Argo
3. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
3. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
5. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

The top three are for sure to get nominated, with Bigelow racking up her second win for Zero Dark Thirty. But if there were any year where the Best Picture didn’t match up with Director (with the actual last one being with Ang Lee), it could be this year, easily between any of those three. Then, Lee will probably make it due to the unfilmable curse of Life of Pi. The last spot could go to recent winner Tom Hooper for Les Mis or even Tarantino, but Russell, who snuck in with The Fighter two years ago, should bring in one director for an indie dramadey.

Best ActorCCSpielbergLincoln1280x960_460x329
1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
2. John Hawkes – The Sessions
3. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
4. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
5. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Three words. Daniel. Day. Lewis. No one will beat this guy and the three following him are for sure to get nominated. The last slot will probably go to Phoenix in his first major film returning performance that has gained a lot of buzz, even over Denzel Washington in Flight.

Best ActressSUB-24ZERO-articleLarge
1. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Naomi Watts – The Impossible
4. Helen Mirren – Hitchcock
5. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone

For the top two spots, it has gone back and forth between Lawrence’s hilarious turn as the mentally unstable, sex addict Tiffany. However, Jessica Chastain, who has proven her acting chops in all of the great films she’d made in the past two years (including her first nominated role for The Help), could continue her Critic’s Prize winning streak to take in her first win. Expect Naomi Watts to make it, but the last two are up for grabs. With the SAGS just released this past week, it’s possible the Academy will go for Mirren and Cotillard, an exact replica of the that list. Emmanuelle Riva, for the beloved Amour, or even the young, newcomer Quevanzhane Wallis could sneak in depending on the love that Amour or Beasts obtains.

Best Supporting ActorTommyLeeJones
1. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
2. Alan Arkin – Argo
3. Philip Seymore Hoffman – The Master
4. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Ewan McGregor – The Impossible

This is the only category that doesn’t even come close to having a real, clear winner. It’s all a tie between Jones, Arkin, and Hoffman. Personally, I do not want to see Arkin win his second Oscar for a performance that was an exact replica for which he won his first, which could be taken into account for many voters. Then, since De Niro was snubbed from the Golden Globes noms over Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz for their parts in Django Unchained, they could both sneak in over him. But the love held for him as an actor (we all know the Academy loves veterans!) should lock him in. The last spot is tricky, because it could go to either DiCaprio, Waltz, or even Javier Bardem in Skyfall (which I would love to see, but find it hard to believe that the Academy would reward a James Bond film with a nom, even though it was a spectacular film). This is why I give it to McGregor, who hasn’t gotten a whole lot of love from other major awards lists, but voters have had a past of spontaneously rewarding actors who did well in much-loved movies.

Best Supporting Actresshathaway_les_mis_49097505-4_3_r560
1. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
2. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
3. Sally Fields – Lincoln
4. Amy Adams – The Master
5. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

The top two are not only lock ins, but most likely the ones to battle over the prize. With that said, Hathaway, who has proven her feats as an actor since her Princess Diaries beginnings with her first nominated role in Rachel Getting Married, will most likely win for her transformation into the role of the tragic Fantine. The Academy loves stories of actors changing themselves, whether physically or mentally, for a part, and with Hathaways dramatic drop in weight, it seems likely, especially seeing that many other Critic’s prizes have agreed. Field is for sure to get a nomination for her great performance (here’s to Veterans!), and Amy Adams, who has racked up three nominations in the past, should sneak in like she has once before. The last spot, again, is a quite tricky. Nicole Kidman surprised and gave huge upsets when her name was seen not only on the list for the SAGS, but even the Golden Globes for the infamous role she played in The Paperboy where she ends up peeing on teen heartthrob Zac Efron (now does the movie sound familiar?). But, even though Jacki Weaver hasn’t gotten barely any attention in many awards, I’m going to bank on her for now to fill out the category for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, just like she did for Animal Kingdom, rounding out every single major category with someone from the film.

Fairly long list, huh? Well, let me know what you think. Have any agreements? Or more importantly, disagreements? Or even your own suggestions? Let me know in the comments to see if your arguments win over into the next 2013 Oscar Lineup!