Just one month ago, when Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane were reading off the nominees, Ben Affleck’s name was not mentioned in the directing category. Without a directing nomination, everyone was quick to rule “Argo” out as a Best Picture contender.
How things have changed since then.
This year has been the most thrilling Oscars race in many years. This late in the season, it’s usually pretty easy to tell who will win based on who won all the other awards: Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, BAFTAs, etc. But things are a bit more complicated, so without further adieu:
“Argo” went from a non-contender to the most likely winner come Feb. 24. Academy members seem to have it set in stone. “Argo” has swept every single major awards ceremony, which will translate into it becoming the Best Picture of 2013. Just to show you how crazy this year has been: “Lincoln” was the early favorite since it was nominated for all the categories for which previous Best Picture winners had been nominated (Editing, Directing and Screenplay), plus it leads with 12 nominations. “Silver Linings Playbook” received a nod in each of the four acting categories, which hasn’t been accomplished in 30 years. “Life of Pi” was nominated for all seven technical categories, as well as Directing and Screenplay.
One of the most difficult categories to pick this year seemed like it was an easy bet for Steven Spielberg. However, Ben Affleck has so far won every single directing award, but since he is not nominated here, it makes it an open field. I think it’s between Spielberg for “Lincoln” and Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” but I am picking Spielberg to win for the first time in 15 years.
I’ll keep it short. Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in “Lincoln” will win.
Another one of the most challenging categories: I had Jennifer Lawrence here for “Silver Linings Playbook” since I saw it back in November. I had her over Jessica Chastain’s performance in “Zero Dark Thirty” and to be quite honest, I had her as my pick until last week. As much as I love Lawrence and her role as Tiffany, my gut is telling me to pick Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour.” She is the oldest ever Best Actress nominee at 85 (will be 86 on Oscar night), plus she won the BAFTA, which was the indicator of last year’s Best Actress category, in which Meryl Streep won over the favorite Viola Davis.
Best Supporting Actor
This without a doubt is the hardest category to pick. All five nominees are all previous winners, and all share an equal shot at winning. I’m sticking with my early pick of Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln,” though Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” has been heating up.
Best Supporting Actress
And the Oscar goes to… Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables”!
Best Adapted Screenplay
Between “Argo” and “Lincoln,” with the latter as the favorite, until “Argo” took the Writer’s Guild award on Feb. 17. Since it is the Best Picture favorite, chances are it will win this award, too.
Best Original Screenplay
“Zero Dark Thirty” has been the favorite since nominations were announced, but I think “Django Unchained” will take it, since it has won virtually every screenplay award.
Between “Brave” and “Wreck-It Ralph” here, I choose the latter, since it won the Producers Guild, and that winner usually takes the Oscar as well.
Don’t forget to watch the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday at 5 p.m. MST.
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Correction: Because of a reporting error, “Silver Linings Playbook” was said to be the first film to receive a nomination in each of the four acting categories in 40 years. The film is actually the first to receive these nominations in 30 years.