If you haven’t heard it already, Duncan and I riff about the Oscars and make our final predictions on the latest episode of the Film Misery Podcast. Listen to us analyze Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and the Screenplay categories. Then ignore everything I say about Best Actress.
With only a few hours remaining until the Oscar ceremony, it feels like a big risk to make amends to any of my predictions at this point. However, one last review of my predictions and tuning in to the Oscar trends and conversations, I have decided to make a few minor adjustments. These could completely ruin my Oscar pool, but this is such a bizarre and unpredictable year that I wouldn’t mind being totally wrong. Below are the categories that I gave a second look and my final hopes for the Oscar telecast.
Duncan made his case for Emanuelle Riva winning the Best Actress award for Amour in our podcast conversation, but I stubbornly said that longtime frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence would win. My argument was that the Best Actress award usually goes to young actresses, Lawrence has been very active in publicity for Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games, and most of all she has Harvey Weinstein on her team. Weinstein brought a surprise victory for Meryl Streep last year when most people were predicting Viola Davis and he has certainly brought his magic to secure acting nominations in every category for the Silver Linings Playbook cast. He could very well be the reason that Lawrence wins the award, but I am officially switching to team Duncan and choosing Emanuelle Riva.
Duncan was right when he mentioned how Lawrence will be back for another Oscar opportunity in her career while this may be the last chance for voters to recognize Riva. However, what really made up my mind was the late game winning streak for Riva. While Lawrence swept early awards like the Golden Globe and SAG award, Riva came in late and won the BAFTA. This is probably because voters didn’t catch up with Amour right away, but the screeners are out and people are coming over to her side. In past years we have seen late season surges for actresses like Tilda Swinton and Marion Cotillard and both of those times I have been among the few who held steadfast with their original predictions and been wrong both times. When I picked up my Sunday paper this morning, Riva’s picture was the first thing I saw and I took it as a sign that I didn’t want to be wrong again.
Best Production Design
There very well could be a Life of Pi sweep in the technical categories like Hugo had last year. However, I suspect there is a lot less love for Ang Lee’s fantasy film than there was for Scorcese’s ode to silent cinema. This leaves room for other films that have strong design elements to earn individual awards such as Skyfall, The Hobbit, or Anna Karenina. The latter film was already my prediction for Best Costume Design, but I have opted to predict that it will double dip in the major design categories and take Best Production Design as well. Voters have proven to be more open to CGI crafted designs in recent years, but I think there is still more respect for hand-built sets. Duncan also gets credit for making this prediction before I did.
When we first started our Oscar Countdown series I predicted that Zero Dark Thirty would win Best Sound Editing because the film was so well-loved by critics that it had to win something, right? Well, no, it certainly doesn’t. The Academy doesn’t care what critics think and when a few of their powerful members claim the film endorses torture, that’s all it takes to get it shout out at Oscars. Instead I am going to predict Life of Pi since it has become the default pick for technical categories that are up in the air. This award could very well go to Skyfall as well, but I am almost certain it will not go to Zero Dark Thirty.
Most Hopeful Win
Even though Skyfall is not the best exhibition of his skills, I sincerely hope that Roger Deakins will finally receive his first Oscar for Best Cinematography tonight. The legendary director of photography has shot most of the Coen brothers’ films along with many other brilliant works of cinema. He has been nominated 10 times, but never won and he is more deserving than any of the other nominees in this category.
Most Hopeful Loss
This is probably incredibly insensitive of me to root against independent filmmakers who managed to get their low-budget short film seen by enough people that the Academy nominated it, but I really disliked Bushkazi Boys. This is the first year that I have seen all of the Best Live-Action Short Film nominees and any of them are more deserving than that manipulative and phony story about two boys in Afghanistan. Currently I am predicting Curfew will win the prize, but in this category anything can happen.
Biggest Shocker Brewing
I can’t shake the feeling that Silver Linings Playbook is going to surprise everybody with a Best Picture victory. Obviously the Academy isn’t that head over heels for Argo or they would have nominated Ben Affleck for Best Director, so there is a definite chance that another film takes the award. I keep talking about Harvey Weinstein, but there is a reason he has such a strong reputation for his abilities as an Oscar strategist and the last two Best Picture winners prove that. If Silver Linings Playbook upsets Argo for Best Adapted Screenplay early in the night, look for Twitter to start jumping on the David O. Russell bandwagon.
Those are my final thoughts! Check out the final 2013 Oscar predictions and look for the Live-Blog to begin around 6:00pm CST tonight!