Emily White ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Life of Pi”
Will Win: “Lincoln” – Leading the nominations with 12 nods, “Lincoln” seems to be a favorite of the Academy voters.
Should Win: “Silver Linings Playbook” – Comedic films have not had a history of success and Academy voters, but this well-crafted and entertaining family dramedy was groundbreaking in its realistic depictions of mental illness. All four main actors are nominated and delivered incredible performances.
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis – With two Best Leading Actor wins already under his belt, Day-Lewis is already a force to be reckoned with, not to mention his brilliant portrayal of one of the most iconic figures in American history.
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis – He gave an amazing and original performance of one of the most well-known and previously played characters in film history.
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Will Win: Jessica Chastain – Academy darling since her big breakout last year, Chastain is the frontrunner as the lead agent in Bigelow’s realistic portrayal of the Osama Bin Laden assassination.
Should Win: Jessica Chastain – She pierces the screen as a dangerous character – both in her attitude and in the fact that she is playing such a conflicted character. She plays a character quite different from herself and must be careful with her portrayal, and she does so beautifully.
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones – As the antagonistic but ultimately loveable Thaddeus Stephens in “Lincoln,” Tommy Lee Jones comes close to stealing the movie from Daniel Day-Lewis, who is also nominated.
Should Win: Robert De Niro – He takes a big turn for himself as an actor in the family drama “Silver Linings Playbook,” which is difficult and amazing at this point in the game.
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Will Win: Anne Hathaway – Critics have been raving about Hathaway’s performance as the unlucky Fantine in “Les Mis,” particularly her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” She is the favorite to win.
Should Win: Anne Hathaway – No doubt about it – she brought us to tears with that song, and the dedication she put into the part off-screen is truly admirable.
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Michael Haneke, “Amour”
Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Will Win: Michael Haneke – Already well-established and talented, Haneke wins by process of elimination. Comedic film directors, like Russell this year, rarely win, Spielberg has had little Academy luck, Lee’s movie has received lots of so-so criticism, and Zeitlin is so new he is a longshot. With his heartbreaking foreign film, Haneke has the best chance.
Should Win: Benh Zeitlin – With a miniscule budget and a cast of unknown and unprofessional actors, straight out of college Zeitlin creates an artful masterpiece. He created one of the most visually appealing and arresting movies of recent years. Even if he doesn’t win he will certainly be on everyone’s radars in the next few years.
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
Will Win: “Wreck-It Ralph” – Disney almost always claims this category, especially Pixar in the last few years. Rave reviews and a star-studded cast give “Wreck-It Ralph” a great shot at the gold statue.
Should Win: “Brave” – FINALLY Disney makes a movie where the princess doesn’t need a man! And she has a good relationship with her mother (at least by the end). “Brave” was revolutionary for every girl and woman who grew up on Disney princesses and longed for one who stood her own.
Foreign language film
“War Witch,” Canada
“A Royal Affair,” Denmark
Will Win: “Amour” – There’s no question that “Amour” is the critics’ foreign darling. With nominations for Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay, one might say it is a shoo-in. However, the Oscars are not known for fulfilling our expectations…
Should Win: “Amour” – With a brilliant cast and a truly touching story to tell, it is clearly a great film.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
“Argo,” Chris Terrio
“Lincoln,” Tony Kushner
“Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell
“Life of Pi,” David Magee
Will Win: “Lincoln” – This is a tough category, with lots of strong contenders, but Tony Kushner is one of the great writers of our time, and this story is an astoundingly compelling one, especially given all that we already know about the 16th president.
Should Win: “Argo” – It wasn’t afraid to tell one of America’s least favorite stories and add a touch of humor to a dark subject.
“Flight,” John Gatins
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Mark Boal
“Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino
“Amour,” Michael Haneke
“Moonrise Kingdom,” Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Will Win: “Zero Dark Thirty” – This is one of the most revolutionary scripts in recent times, creating what some critics have called an entirely new genre of investigative film writing. The speed and proximity with which it was created in relation to the true events it was dealing with is incredible. It’s a cutting edge concept done impeccably well, and is sure to score high with Academy voters.
Should Win: “Django Unchained” – Tarantino’s snappy script addresses one of the most difficult times to portray in American history that forces viewers to come face-to-face with America’s sordid past. It isn’t afraid to cross boundaries and push the limits in its depiction of racism and slavery, and it never stops being damn entertaining, despite its length.
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” music and lyrics by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted,” music by Walter Murphy and lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” music by Mychael Danna and lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” music and lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables,” music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
Will Win: “Suddenly” – Writing a new song to a well-known and long-existent musical is no easy task. But this song fit so well into “Les Misérables” that one could barely tell it wasn’t there to begin with.
Should Win: “Skyfall” – It’s Adele. You hear it on the radio every five minutes. What’s more to say?
Dario Marianelli, “Anna Karenina”
Alexandre Desplat, “Argo”
Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi,”
John Williams, “Lincoln”
Thomas Newman, “Skyfall”
Will Win: “Life of Pi” – It is the beautiful, dramatic, inspirational type of music that usually inspires Academy voters.
Should Win: “Life of Pi” – Simple, expansive, beautiful, the score matches the simple, spiritual nature of the story.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Life of Pi”
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”
Will Win: “Life of Pi” – Director Ang Lee won heaps of praise for turning a seemingly impossible to film novel into a great movie. This was mainly possible through the use of special effects, particularly the tiger, which was one of the greatest challenges of the movie.
Should Win: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – “The Hobbit” seemed to lack on many accounts where “The Lord of the Rings” franchise always delivered. One department where it did not skimp was in visual effects. In fact, it was one of the best parts of the movie. With Andy Serkis’s motion-captured Gollum, Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion-captured Necromancer and Smaug, and many incredible feats of magic, it was a delight to watch.
Makeup and hairstyling
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Will Win: “Hitchcock” – Anthony Hopkins’s incredible prosthetics made him look just like the iconic movie great, which was no easy feat.
Should Win: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – Those hobbit feet were no easy feat. And the many beards and prosthetics worn by the dwarves, orcs, etc. created entirely different races among a race of mere humans.
Seamus McGarvey, “Anna Karenina”
Robert Richardson, “Django Unchained”
Claudio Miranda, “Life of Pi”
Janusz Kaminski, “Lincoln”
Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”
Will Win: “Life of Pi” – The book everyone deemed “unfilmable” turned out to be a great success, and much because of its stunning visual imagery, particularly the cinematography.
Should Win: “Django Unchained” – “Django”’s Western-inspired look was visible and tangible in every shot. From gritty slave trade marches to beautiful and expensive plantations, this cinematography delivers.
Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina”
Paco Delgado, “Les Misérables”
Joanna Johnston, “Lincoln”
Eiko Ishioka, “Mirror Mirror”
Colleen Atwood, “Snow White and the Huntsman”
Will Win: “Anna Karenina” – Historically, romantic historical dramas reign over this category. The luscious costumes of Tolstoy’s 19th century Russia are sure to captivate the eyes of the Academy.
Should Win: “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Yes, it was over-the-top and utterly ridiculous, but there’s no denying those costumes were cool and creative.
“5 Broken Cameras”
“How to Survive a Plague”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”
Will Win: “Searching for Sugar Man” – A critical success, if not a mainstream one, it tells the strange but true story of the search for musician Rodriguez.
Should Win: “How to Survive a Plague” – A groundbreaking documentary about an extremely relevant and important subject: the fight against AIDS.
William Goldenberg, “Argo”
Tim Squyres, “Life of Pi”
Michael Kahn, “Lincoln”
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Will Win: “Lincoln” – Although it was a lengthy movie, “Lincoln” was by no means boring. This was no easy feat considering just how intricate and complex the legal plotline was and the fact that it was based on historical nonfiction. It depended on editing to make it look like a cinematic drama rather than a well-written, well-acted history film.
Should Win: “Lincoln” – The editing was an essential part in creating a picture that was understandable and entertaining to audiences despite its intricate and confusingly detailed plot.