Our Expert Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominations

Our Expert Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominations

Jan 09, 2013

This year's Oscar nominations moved up two weeks from their usual announce date (and on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, to boot), but in a rare turn of events the nominations are not going to be nearly as interesting as the race to the finish line. With the exception of maybe two of the acting categories, there are no clear-cut locks for the golden statuettes. Thanks to critics in North Texas, Lincoln has recently tied Zero Dark Thirty for the most victories in the first batch of precursors. With it very likely to lead all nominees on Thursday, does it become the favorite? One thing at a time. Let's get through the nominations first.

 

BEST PICTURE

One Guild that did help solidify the major race was that of the Producers Guild. Since 2009 they have also adapted the 10-nominee system that the Oscars have, even if the big boys have backed off a tad and made it a mystery. Maybe you get 10 nominees. Maybe you get six. It upsets the guessers who now have to come up with a number as well the titles that fit within that inexplicable ceiling. If we were looking at the traditional five it would be very easy. In this admittedly small three-year sample size, 10 films have been nominated - in the precursors - for Best Picture by the PGA, the Golden Globes, the BFCA and at least one of the big cities (NY, L.A. and Chicago). All 10 were Oscar nominated, making it hard to bet against Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Substitute the SAG Ensemble category with the cities and you have another four for four, putting Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook firmly in.

The numbers further dictate that three more movies look like decent choices. Django Unchained, Life of Pi and Moonrise Kingdom could join Avatar, Moneyball and War Horse as films nominated by the PGA, the Globes and the BFCA. Now we're up to eight films on the list, all of them with a perfect path as dictated by a short history. Does the list stop there? Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master has the next best figures. A Serious Man, The Tree of Life and Winter's Bone were all nominated by Chicago and the BFCA and got in. Only Drive did not. Beasts of the Southern Wild got a PGA nod along with BFCA/Chicago, which there is no precedent for. Yet. Skyfall got the PGA nod but nothing else. Does that make it this year's District 9? Or this year's Star Trek and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Then there's the wild card of Michael Haneke's Amour, but we'll get to that later.

My prediction:

 

BEST PICTURE

(Note: Since we do not know how many will be, consider this ranking in order of most likelihood.)

(1) Zero Dark Thirty

(2) Lincoln

(3) Argo

(4) Les Misérables

(5) Silver Linings Playbook

(6) Life of Pi

(7) Django Unchained

(8) The Master

(9) Moonrise Kingdom

(10) Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

BEST DIRECTOR

The Directors Guild Nominees shook things up a little, in that it either made things very easy to predict or even more difficult for those of us expecting potential snubs galore. The math is very simple for Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Spielberg. A DGA nod coupled with Globes, BFCA and a major city nomination or win is 24 for 24 the last 10 years. The other two DGA nods went to Tom Hooper (also nominated by BFCA) and Ang Lee (nominated by both BFCA and Globes). That gives Lee the edge as five of six directors put in the running just by those two groups coupled with the DGA. Twenty-nine of 30 if you want to eliminate the big-city edge. 

Hooper? Three for five or 27 for 29. It's hard to bet against any of those numbers until you factor in that the DGA has only matched Oscar five for five twice (2005 and 2009) in the past decade. Somebody has to go, right? Does Hooper get Cold Mountain'd and Dreamgirls'd? Bill Condon is one of the two directors that was in the same boat as Hooper and didn't get nominated for his musical. Can Paul Thomas Anderson pull off the same trick that Terrence Malick did last year or will he just be nominated for screenplay? A winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has been nominated for the Oscar every year since 1990. The last time was Spike Lee for Do the Right Thing. (Olivier Assayas tied with David Fincher in 2010 and was not nominated, but Fincher was.)

My prediction:

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Ben Affleck, Argo

Tom Hooper, Les Misérables

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST ACTORS AND ACTRESSES

There is little that has changed since we posted the rankings back on December 24. We have numbers that can dictate the locks and guts to fill in the blanks. This much we can be pretty much certain on. The following performers are all going to be nominated on Thursday:

Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, John Hawkes, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin, Anne Hathaway, Sally Field and Helen Hunt

In the Supporting categories, it's hard to believe that Robert De Niro and Amy Adams won't be nominated, and how can you keep Hugh Jackman off the list? Marion Cotillard has some very strong numbers behind her precursors even if they are the same ones that snubbed Tilda Swinton last year.

That leaves us four slots and it really is anybody's guess. My strongest assumption is that Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) is going to be in. She may even be a stronger case than Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone) despite the numbers, and if anyone could be left without a chair, perhaps Cotillard goes down in favor of somebody like young Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). Not a firm believer in Helen Mirren (Hitchcock) at this time despite her SAG nomination.

For the male lead, it's coming down to Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook). Everyone knows of the shots Phoenix took at the Oscars. SAG may have taken notice, snubbing him when the nation's critics made him one of the only two other actors to win multiple awards besides Daniel Day-Lewis. Bradley Cooper was the other. The Best Actor SAG nominees have matched Oscar only five times out of 18 years. This will likely be the sixth.

It's the supporting categories where one has to be ready to take a leap of faith this year. Imagine the roars of the enthusiastic publicists in the room when their horse gets announced on the big board. Happens every year. Will it be for the James Bond series? Could it be for someone from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel actually grabbing a slot or even Ann Dowd (Compliance) breaking through - even if it's in the wrong category? Maggie Smith has the weakest odds at the moment. Dench has a 66% chance. Who imagined it when they saw it at Cannes, but Nicole Kidman has a 75% chance for The Paperboy and I'm rolling with it. Can't wait for the only person ever that morning to cheer for the Lee Daniels film.

Finally, in lieu of what I believe could be a split on nominating Leonardo DiCaprio or Christoph Waltz from Django (the latter again being in the wrong category), I believe the biggest holler will come when Kidman's Paperboy costar Matthew McConaughey gets his first nomination. Not for that film and not for far superior films Bernie and Killer Joe, but for Magic Mike.

My predictions:

 

BEST ACTOR

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Denzel Washington, Flight

 

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin, Argo

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, The Master

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

 

BEST SCREENPLAYS

There are four screenplays that you should be shocked if you do not see them nominated Thursday - Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. No-brainers. Despite not getting a Writers Guild nod (because it was ineligible), the next best odds go to Django Unchained. And we're halfway there. Of the 10 scripts to receive a WGA nod and a BFCA nod and a nod from NY, L.A. or Chicago - eight of them have been nominated. That gives an edge to four more - Looper, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Have we established the five Original Screenplays? Or is Amour just waiting to sneak in there? 

Since 2002 The Pianist, Y tu mamá también, City of God, Finding Nemo, Vera Drake, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Away from Her, Frozen River and The Messenger have all been Oscar-nominated without getting one of the aforementioned precursors. That's seven of 10 years at least one has snuck in. If Amour gets in though, what loses? Poor Looper? Part of a complete shutdown of The Master? Plus we still have one adaptation to fill. The candidates are Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild -- 50% and 28% respectively based on their respective precursors. If you don't count the late-inning 2005 category switch of Syriana, you would know that the WGA is not prone to match the full Oscar list. Which metaphorical beasts will get the final slot? 

My predictions:

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Haneke, Amour

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Chris Terrio, Argo

Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Tony Kushner, Lincoln

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

 

Here's a full list of all of my Oscar nomination predictions ... 

 

 

BEST PICTURE

(Note: Since we do not know how many will be, consider this ranking in order of most likelihood.)

(1) Zero Dark Thirty

(2) Lincoln

(3) Argo

(4) Les Misérables

(5) Silver Linings Playbook

(6) Life of Pi

(7) Django Unchained

(8) The Master

(9) Moonrise Kingdom

(10) Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

 

BEST ACTOR

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Denzel Washington, Flight

 

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin, Argo

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, The Master

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Ben Affleck, Argo

Tom Hooper, Les Misérables

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Haneke, Amour

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Chris Terrio, Argo

Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Tony Kushner, Lincoln

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Brave

Frankenweenie

Paranorman

Rise of the Guardians

Wreck-It Ralph

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Bully

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man

 

BEST FOREIGN FILM

Amour

Beyond the Hills

The Intouchables

Kon-Tiki

A Royal Affair

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Life of Pi - Claudio Miranda

Lincoln - Janusz Kaminski

The Master - Mihai Malaimare Jr.

Skyfall - Roger Deakins

Zero Dark Thirty - Greig Fraser

 

BEST EDITING

Argo - William Goldenberg

Les Misérables - Melanie Ann Oliver & Chris Dickens

Lincoln - Michael Kahn

Skyfall - Stuart Baird

Zero Dark Thirty - Dylan Tichenor & William Goldenberg

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

Anna Karenina - Sarah Greenwood & Katie Sp

Cloud Atlas - Hugh Bateup & Uli Hanisch

Les Misérables - Eve Stewart & Anna Lynch-Robinson

Lincoln - Rick Carter & Jim Erickson

Moonrise Kingdom - Adam Stockhausen

 

BEST COSTUMES

Anna Karenina - Jacqueline Durran

Cloud Atlas - Kym Barrett and Pierre-Yves Gayraud

Django Unchained - Sharen Davis

Les Misérables - Paco Delgado

Lincoln - Joanna Johnston

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Anna Karenina - Dario Marianelli

Argo - Alexandre Desplat

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi - Mychael Danna

Lincoln - John WIlliams

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Abraham's Daughter" - The Hunger Games

"Learn Me Right" - Brave

"Skyfall" - Skyfall

"Suddenly" - Les Misérables

"Who Did That to You?" - Django Unchained

 

BEST SOUND

Argo

The Impossible

Les Misérables

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

The Avengers

The Dark Knight Rises

Life of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST MAKEUP

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Lincoln

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Avengers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

John Carter

Life of Pi

Prometheus

 

TOTAL NOMINATIONS

12 - Lincoln

9 - Les Misérables

8 - Zero Dark Thirty

7 - Argo

6 - The Master

5 - Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall

4 - Django Unchained

3 - Amour, Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Moonrise Kingdom

2 - The Avengers, Brave, Cloud Atlas, The Impossible, The Sessions

Categories: Features, News, Awards
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