I have a wife and two daughters and we love the movies. This Sunday we’ll finish dinner early to pop some popcorn, curl up on the couches, and root for our favorite movies and actors. The Oscars are like the Super Bowl in my house. Granted, like last year, I was only able to see half of the movies nominated. But last year I was 5 for 6 in my predictions, so my algorithm has some merit. For the record, our kids are rooting hard for Les Miserables – across the board. Girls.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
I hate to say it, but this is Lawrence’s award to lose. Not that she was terrible, but man – I was completely let down by this movie and felt *nothing* for her character. Nothing. Still, there’s a ton of buzz around this movie and her role – so it feels like she’s going to win. Granted, this is one category I didn’t get to see too many of the nominees, but I did see Quenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild – and as I watched her on screen I told my wife, “This is Oscar worthy.” If I had a pick, it would be Wallis. But this post isn’t about who I want to win. If Lawrence doesn’t get it, look for Emmanuelle Riva from Amour.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
One scene. Four minutes. Chills and tears. This award is a lock for Hathaway the same way it was for Dame Judi Dench’s brief portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love when she won this category at the 1999 Oscars. Side note: I might be in love with Amy Adams.
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
Is there really any doubt about this? I didn’t see Lincoln, but Lewis is an acting chameleon in the same vein as Meryl Streep. I thought Hugh Jackman’s role as Jean Valjean was brave and enjoyable. Denzel Washington’s role in Flight looks intense. And my guess is that I’ll love Joaquin Phoenix when we get around to seeing The Master. But this is all about DDL. Lock.
Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
As mentioned earlier, I didn’t enjoy Silver Linings Playbook. Chiefly because I felt nothing for any of the characters. That is, except for Robert De Niro’s Pat Sr. This isn’t De Niro in Raging Bull or Taxi Driver – it’s De Niro as a regular guy in Philly. And he’s brilliant. His little speech at the end of the movie provided the only bit of emotion I felt for two hours. If De Niro doesn’t win, it’ll be Alan Arkin in ‘Argo fuck yourself.’
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
I don’t know. I just don’t. I mean, I think Argo is going to win Best Picture (justification below) but Affleck (Director, Argo) isn’t even nominated in this category. Which is as amazing as it is confusing. Obviously Steven Spielberg is a front runner because he did an epic about the most popular president in US history featuring the best actor in Hollywood as the lead. And I would love to say that Benh Zeitlin will win for Beasts of the Southern Wild because it was the most beautiful, poetic, romantic, and haunting movie of 2012 – but that just won’t happen. Lee’s Pi was stunning to watch. It will be the movie on all the HD TV screens at Best Buy this summer. And it was a great story. That said, look for Michael Haneke of Amour to win Best Director. Yup, it’s that confusing.
Best Picture: Argo
Argo was really, really good. Even though I knew the ending, I was on the edge of my seat for pretty much the whole movie. But that’s not why it’s going to win Best Picture. It’s going to win Best Picture for the same reason The Artist won last year: Hollywood likes celebrating itself (note: The Artist WAS the best movie in 2011, as it turns out. I highly recommend renting it.) Which is what makes it so strange that Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Director. Argo will win here, even though the best movie I saw in 2012 was Beasts of the Southern Wild.