Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

oscars3 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

The 85th Academy Awards are being presented this Sunday night, and while we will have full coverage of the show and winners for you then, I thought it would be good to set the stage before the big event with my personal predictions for the awards.

The Oscars are, despite what some may tell you, always ridiculously easy to predict. Given some of the Best Director oddities and depth of this year’s nominees, this is a tougher year than others to call, but given the sheer number of guild and critic awards the precede the eventual Academy Awards, there is still plenty of evidence to make plenty of confident, informed predictions.

Apart from the shorts category, which I do not feel qualified to predict, I have included every award in this article, and most include some commentary on the logic behind my choice. I will be back on Sunday night to cover the main event, and we shall see then how I did. Feel free, of course, to offer your own predictions in the comments.

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Best Original Score

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Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli

Argo, Alexandre Desplat

Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

Lincoln, John Williams

Skyfall, Thomas Newman

Though Lincoln is unlikely to win Best Picture, I do think the Academy loves it enough to propel it to victory in many of the below-the-line categories, starting with Best Original Score. It has been a long damn time since John Williams won an Oscar, and his work on Lincoln, some of the best of his career, would be a great opportunity to give him another trophy. He’s the most deserving and likely contender of the five, but if the Academy really, really loves Life of Pi, I could see its completely forgettable score getting the win, and the same goes for a lot of the technical categories.

Will and Should Win: Lincoln, John Williams

Best Original Song

skyfall adele banner Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice

“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted

“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi

“Skyfall” from Skyfall

“Suddenly” from Les Misérables 

I am going to predict Adele’s exquisite “Skyfall” song for the win here – it is certainly the best in the category – but I would be lying if I said I was confident in that choice. This is always an erratic, loopy category, and a very tough one to call, and I think there are plenty of scenarios where “Suddenly,” “Pi’s Lullaby,” or “Before My Time” win instead. Once again, if the love for Life of Pi is just out-of-control, which it very well might be, it wins here, even though most people, upon hearing of the nomination, did not recall Life of Pi having an original song. If voters are in a ‘show-tunes’ vibe, “Suddenly” wins. If they are in activist mode, “Before My Time” gets the trophy. And if every voter was severely hammered when casting their ballots, the Ted song wins. Luckily, I don’t think that is a very likely option.

Will and Should Win: “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Sound Editing

Life of Pi2 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Argo

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: Django Unchained

Best Sound Mixing

Argo Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Argo

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

Will and Should Win: Les Miserables

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Best Cinematography

B23 05762 r Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey

Django Unchained, Robert Richardson

Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda

Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski

Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Another strong category, albeit one where the winner is bound to annoy me. There is a slight chance Roger Deakins, the deserving winner, finally receives his first Oscar for his incredible work in Skyfall, but Life of Pi, however overrated I feel the film’s cinematography is, has always been the favorite in this category. A flashy, effects-heavy drama with creative use of 3D, the film’s visuals are more than loud enough to overwhelm the competition, even if every single one of the other nominees are arguably more impressive as feats of pure cinematography (given the sheer amount of digital content, Life of Pi is more of an effects achievement). A safe bet if ever there was one.

Will Win: Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda

Should Win: Skyfall, Roger Deakins 

Best Film Editing

zero dark thirty 5 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Argo, William Goldenberg

Life of Pi, Tim Squyres

Lincoln, Michael Kahn

Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers

Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

I cannot imagine the Academy’s technical love for Life of Pi will extend all the way into editing, but it is certainly possible, and if the film sweeps all the other technical awards, it may win here. Nevertheless, I think one of William Goldenberg’s nominations is the most likely winner, and since Argo is the Best Picture favorite – big winners often get an editing win as well – I am relatively confident it will take this award.

Will Win: Argo, William Goldenberg

Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg 

Best Visual Effects

Life of Pi5 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

The Avengers

Prometheus

Snow White and the Huntsman

Life of Pi all the way. No matter how much I may find the visuals overrated, this is the VFX favorite of 2012. It would, to be fair, be the film’s most deserving win, as the admittedly impressive visuals are almost entirely a result of very strong VFX work.

Will Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: The Avengers

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Best Production Design

HBT 005538r1 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Another category where I just assume the Academy’s love of Life of Pi’s visuals will lead them to give it an Oscar. It is far from the most deserving of the five – again, the film is an achievement of effects more than anything else – but among the likely winners, it is the flashiest. Still, I cannot imagine anyone actually watching The Hobbit and not giving it the win; Jackson’s Middle Earth is a masterful feat of production design if ever there was one.

Will Win: Life of Pi

Should Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Best Costume Design

Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina 33 512x360 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran

Les Misérables, Paco Delgado

Lincoln, Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

Anna Karenina certainly did not ‘clean up’ at the nominations, but the Academy obviously loves the film’s visual palette, and this seems like the easiest place to award it, as well as the category’s most likely winner.

Will Win: Anna Karenina

Should Win: Lincoln 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

movies les miserables still 7 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Will Win: Les Miserables

Should Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Best Animated Feature:

Wreck It Ralph 539x360 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph 

Apart from Brave, I really like all the films in this category, and all of them have their own passionate fanbases. Still, it is undeniable that Wreck-It Ralph is the film with the most widespread adoration, and that universal love will almost surely propel it to a very deserving win.

Will and Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph 

Best Foreign Language Film

Amour1 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Amour, Austria

Kon-Tiki, Norway

No, Chile

A Royal Affair, Denmark

War Witch, Canada

A very easy one to call. Amour is the only one of the five to garner a Best Picture nomination, and gained a healthy amount of other nods as well, indicating that it has more than enough love to carry it to victory here.

Will and Should Win: Amour 

Best Documentary Feature

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5 Broken Cameras

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man

Will and Should Win: Searching for Sugar Man

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Best Original Screenplay

Django Unchained4 639x360 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Amour, Michael Haneke

Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino

Flight, John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

A very tough category to call, especially since there is so little overlap between this category and its WGA equivalent. Zero Dark Thirty would have been the favorite once upon a time, but the film was not a powerhouse player within the Academy. I would also, under different circumstances, predict Moonrise Kingdom, given the sheer quality of the screenplay and the industry’s respect for Wes Anderson, but that film too lacks the necessary momentum. I think it comes down to Django Unchained or Amour, and for me, it is mostly a coin-toss between the two. Considering Amour is a lock to win Best Foreign Language film, it has the momentum needed to win. But Django Unchained has won a ton of screenplay awards this season, and is clearly a major achievement in writing that should appeal to the Academy, so I believe it ultimately has the edge.

Will and Should Win: Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay

Silver Linings Playbook8 512x360 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Argo, Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi, David Magee

Lincoln, Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Given that Argo is a lock to win Best Picture, there would be little precedent for it losing this award. Then again, the film’s failure to garner a Best Director nomination does throw all the film’s other nominations in at least a small bit of doubt. If the Academy winds up giving Lincoln the lion’s share of the awards (minus Best Picture), it is very possible Tony Kushner wins here. And if the Academy wants to consummate their love for Beasts of the Southern Wild beyond nominations, this would be its most likely win. My personal favorite script of the category, Silver Linings Playbook, is probably on the outs no matter what. In any case, Argo is the likely winner, although I will not necessarily be surprised if it loses.  

Will Win: Argo, Chris Terrio

Should Win: Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

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Best Supporting Actor

22610 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Alan Arkin, Argo

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Waltz being in this category is a bit of a cheat – he was a co-lead in Django, and therefore had much more to do in his film than his colleagues in the category did – but I would still love to see him win, given what incredible work he once again turned in. But I would be fine with any of these men winning (with the possible exception of Alan Arkin, whose work in Argo seems a bit slight compared to the other four), and everybody appears to have a pretty decent shot. Tommy Lee Jones is the favorite thanks to his SAG win, but Waltz’s recent BAFTA victory indicates he is probably a close second. We shall see.

Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Should Win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress


Les Miserables3 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Amy Adams, The Master

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Hardly worth writing more than a sentence about. This has been Anne Hathaway’s Oscar since the film debuted, and there is absolutely no way she loses. As much as I like many of these performances, it will be an extremely deserving win as well, for her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” in Les Miserables stands as one of the defining movie moments of 2012.

Will and Should Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

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Best Actor

Lincoln DDL 548x360 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

A very strong crop of actors, four of whom are already mourning the fact they gave these great performances the same year Daniel Day-Lewis played Abraham Lincoln. Yes, Day-Lewis will win; SAG, BAFTA, and dozens of other wins not withstanding, he is the most renowned actor in this category, playing one of the most recognizable figures of all time, and giving one of the best performances of his career in the process. He will win. Obviously. And that will make me happy; he more than deserves it.

Will and Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Actress


Jennifer Lawrence1 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

A race that seemed fairly set has been shaken a bit in recent weeks, for although Jennifer Lawrence did take home the SAG award and numerous other titles on this year’s circuit, Emmanuelle Riva’s recent BAFTA win has some pundits thinking momentum may have shifted in her favor. It is not a bad theory, given the sheer amount of love the Oscars clearly have for Amour and the fact that Lawrence was not competing with her at the SAG awards, but in the balance, I still think this is Lawrence’s race to loose. As much as the Academy respects Amour, they clearly love Silver Linings Playbook as well – it is the first film in a very long time to get nominations in all four acting categories – and Lawrence appears to be their one serious shot to give it a win. I think that consideration, combined with the industry-wide admiration for Lawrence – both as an actress and in this performance – will give her the win this Sunday.

Will and Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

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Best Director

20121123 steven spielberg Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Michael Haneke, Amour

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild 

One of the toughest categories to call due to Ben Affleck’s absence; usually, Best Director and Best Picture go hand in hand, but that will not be the case this year, and as such, my money is tentatively on Spielberg. The Academy clearly adores Lincoln – if Argo did not exist, it would be this year’s big winner – and Spielberg has more than enough clout, respect, and admiration within the voting body to win another Oscar. It will be well deserved, too, though I personally think, of the five nominees, David O. Russell’s film and direction is the best. If Life of Pi dominates the evening early on, there is a chance Ang Lee slips in here, and I would not count out Michael Haneke entirely, but I think it is safe to assume we will see Spielberg on stage at the end of the night.

Will Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Should Win: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

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Best Picture


ARGO 510x316 Full Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook


Zero Dark Thirty

There may have been some doubt before the nominees were announced, when Zero Dark Thirty appeared to have the momentum, or after the nominations left Ben Affleck himself out in the cold, but after sweeping the SAG, DGA, Golden Globe, BAFTAS, and every other significant film award on the planet, there is absolutely no way Argo loses this one. Yes, there is little historical precedent for a film winning Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. Doesn’t matter. At this point, it is simple math; the Academy is comprised of voters from other guilds, all of whom have chosen Argo as the year’s best picture, and if it loses the big award come Sunday night, we will officially have entered an alternate dimension. I personally would love to see something else win – I like Argo, but feel it is fairly vastly overrated – but that’s not going to happen. Argo has this one tied down.

Will Win: Argo

Should Win: Django Unchained

Sound off in the comments with your own predictions, and be sure to join us Sunday night for our full Oscar coverage!

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  • Kenneth Serenyi

    I’m a big fan of John Williams music so I’m very biased in regards to this award. Even though long-time Williams fans will recognize some of his Aaron Coplandesque themes in ‘Lincoln’ from movies such as “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Patriot”, and his Oliver Stone scored films, it’s been 20 years (Schindler’s List) since John Williams has won the golden statue. This would be his 6th win (5th for ‘Original Score’).