Columnist weighs in on this year’s Oscars


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:

Best Director

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.

Best Actress

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.

Best Actor

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.

Best Picture

Amour                                                            Life of Pi

Argo                                                               Lincoln

Beasts of the Southern Wild                  Silver Linings Playbook

Django Unchained                                   Zero Dark Thirty

Les Miserables

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.

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