And The Oscar Goes to… Predicting the Unpredictable

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The nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were announced on January 10. The show, which will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane, is scheduled to air on Sunday, February 24. As the date of the event comes closer and closer, it is always fun to guess which nominees will go home winners. These are my predictions as to who will win this year in some of the major categories.


Best Picture: Argo

Even though Ben Affleck did not even get nominated for Best Director for this movie (which is just wrong), this film has already won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama) and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Film. It was also immensely popular with both critics and audiences, which is always a good sign for a Best Picture winner. Ben Affleck’s snub was probably a result of his perceived arrogance.


Best Director: Ang Lee for Life of Pi

This is an odd situation. Normally I would say that Ben Affleck would win, but he wasn’t even nominated. This is the category that I am most unsure of because so many expected nominees weren’t nominated (the others being Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Tom Hooper for Les Miserables). I’d rather call this a guess than a prediction, and my guess for Best Director is Ang Lee because Life of Pi was both artistic and powerful.


Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

This is probably the most obvious category. None of the other actors nominated in this category disappeared into their roles as much as Daniel Day-Lewis did. Also, he’s playing a real person, which tends to help actors win.


Best Actress: Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty

At first, it seemed obvious that Jennifer Lawrence (star of The Hunger Games) was going to win this award for her portrayal of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook. But Zero Dark Thirty came out late, and critics have been raving about Jessica Chastain’s performance. She’s also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress, as well as the Golden Globe.


Best Supporting Actor: Phillip Seymour-Hoffman for The Master

This is another tough category. So far, Hoffman has won the Critics’ Choice Award, but lost the Golden Globe to Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained. However, Waltz just won an Oscar two years ago for another Tarantino film, so I’m going with Phillip Seymour-Hoffman.


Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

This is another obvious one. Anne Hathaway has been winning almost every Supporting Actress award for her role in the film. She has all of the aspects of an Academy-Award-winning performance (those being tears, desperation, and general pathetic-ness), as well as a solo that is apparently flooring. She’s also been in the movie industry for a while, so the Academy will probably agree that it’s time to honor her.


Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

Even though it was considered a surprise that Tarantino won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, I think he deserved the award. He was robbed when Pulp Fiction did not win Best Director and Picture in 1994 (Forrest Gump did instead), so perhaps the Academy will try to pacify him here. Also, his screenplay has inspired a lot of conversation (see the Editor-in-Chief column), which is something that Oscars love.


Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Argo

Argo was one of the most well-made films of the year, hands-down. It thrilled audiences, and the reason behind that, beyond Ben Affleck’s direction, was Chris Terrio’s terse script. He brought to the screen a story that most people did not know that was strange, intriguing, and suspenseful. If Ben Affleck can’t get an Oscar for this, at least the screenwriter can.


Best Score: Michael Dynna for Life of Pi

I have an issue with the Best Score category. For whatever reason, the actual best score of the year almost never wins, and many times it isn’t even nominated. It’s sort of like the Academy just chooses five adequate scores from the Best Picture nominees. For instance, last year, War Horse had the most well-written score, but The Artist’s frankly annoying score only won because people really liked the movie. I just chose Life of Pi because it’s a nice score that’s been winning the other awards. I’m still mad that The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t nominated.


Best Original Song: Adele and Paul Epworth for “Skyfall”

I usually have the same issue with the Best Original Song category. Last year, only two average-quality songs were nominated, and “Man or Muppet” won, which was just a strange choice. However, this year, some pretty awesome songs are nominated. The competition is pretty stiff, but I think it’s safe to say that Adele’s “Skyfall” will win the award — after all, it’s a great song, and it’s the only one on the list that was #1 on the Billboard Top 100.

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