By Christian DiMartino
For the first time ever, I have seen all of the Best Picture nominees before the big night (The Oscars airs Sunday, Feb. 24), so I consider myself a bit of an Oscar expert. This year, the competition is tough, and only two of the awards seem to be a sure thing. Here is what I think is going to win, and what should win:
Michael Haneke – Amour
Ang Lee – Life of Pi
David O’Russell- Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg- Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Will Win: Steven Spielberg
Since both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow are excluded from the ballot, Spielberg is almost a sure thing. It is been 15 years since he won an Oscar for Saving Private Ryan, and 20 years since Schindler’s List. He is overdue. If anyone is going to stop him, it is Ang Lee, but it will most likely go to Spielberg.
Should Win: Steven Spielberg
Again, he is over-due. I choose Spielberg mainly because the academy snubbed him of awards for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and Saving Private Ryan (he won best director, but best picture went to Shakespeare in Love for some reason), so I think it is time. Also, he is my favorite director on the list, and Lincoln is my favorite movie nominated [Read: Best Picture]
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams- The Master
Sally Field- Lincoln
Anne Hathaway- Les Miserables
Helen Hunt- The Sessions
Jacki Weaver- Silver Linings Playbook
Will Win: Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway has been sweeping all of the award shows for her performance as the tragic Fantine. I do not think she has lost a single award.
Should Win: Sally Field
Hathaway is great, but she is only in a small amount of a long, long movie. She does not quite deserve it yet because she has been better, such as in Rachel Getting Married and The Dark Knight Rises. My vote goes to two time winner Field, who does such a wonderful job as Honest Abe’s sad, supportive wife.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin- Argo
Robert De Niro- Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman- The Master
Tommy Lee Jones- Lincoln
Christoph Waltz- Django Unchained
Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones
Each actor in this category already has an award. Alan Arkin, Christoph Waltz, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are more recent winners, so it is down to De Niro and Jones. De Niro has not been getting many nominations for this movie, so I think it will be Jones.
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
By using the “eanie, meanie, minie, moe” system, my vote is for Hoffman. This is a difficult category because each nominee is so good. Hoffman is not getting any love for this movie, and the movie is not getting any love either, and it is outrageous. It is better than any of the movies nominated. The Master is a bizarre movie, but that is part of its hypnosis. This may not have worked without Hoffman’s suave, sophisticated performance.
Jessica Chastain- Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence- Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva- Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis- Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts- The Impossible
Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva
Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain seem to be winning a lot, but Riva is the oldest best actress nominee in Oscar history, it is her first nomination, and her birthday is on the night of the Oscars. I rest my case.
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence
This is another difficult one, but I have to go with J-Law. She is incredibly sexy in Silver Linings Playbook. She brings so much life to her character, Tiffany. Tiffany is feisty, neurotic, wild, mysterious, bizarre, and I loved watching her. When someone outdoes Robert De Niro, then that proves Oscar worthy.
Bradley Cooper- Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
There is absolutely no competition. Daniel Day Lewis is winning every award under the sun and he is a lock-in for a third Oscar. If anyone has a chance, it is Joaquin Phoenix. But not even his career-best performance can take down Lewis.
Should Win: Daniel Day- Lewis
A part of me wants to choose Phoenix, but I have to choose Lewis. He is the best actor alive. He always sinks deep into his roles, and he is nothing short of magical in Lincoln. If I did not know any better, I would of thought that he was possessed by the ghost of Lincoln himself. He is freaky good. Every performance of his feels so authentic. His performance here makes you feel as if you are in a room with Lincoln, listening to him tell a story. This award has his name written all over it.
Amour Life of Pi
Beasts of the Southern Wild Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained Zero Dark Thirty
Will Win: Lincoln
Argo seems to be taking home the top prize at a lot of award shows, but Ben Affleck is not nominated for Best Director. Since 2006’s The Departed, every movie that wins Best Picture wins Best Director. They could switch it up a bit, but do not count on it. Argo is out, Lincoln is in. Lincoln has 12 nominations, which is the most this year, and it most likely will not go home empty handed.
Should Win: Lincoln
Lincoln is not my favorite movie of the year, but it is the best of the nominees. It’s a powerful, sharply written biopic that ranks up there Spielberg’s best films and other great biopics. Dryly funny, fascinated, and acted to perfection, this is Spielberg’s best work in some time. The academy loves movies like this, and it could and should win Best Picture.