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411’s 2013 Oscar Roundtable Preview: Predictions & More

February 23, 2013 | Posted by Chad Webb

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2013 Movie-Zone Oscar Roundtable

Here we are again folks with this year’s Oscar roundtable. Last year Ben Piper and I tied, but this year has a lot of strong contenders, combined with a bunch of wild card categories. Who knows what will happen? Without further ado, take a look at the picks!

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Django Unchained

Michael Weyer: Argo. Under other circumstances, I’d be going with “Lincoln,” the sort of movie Oscar voters love with fine drama and acting. But due to the absolutely appalling omission of Ben Affleck, the Academy is going to go for “Argo” as a make-up prize. Which works as it is a terrific film already winning several other prizes and at the top of most “best films of 2012” lists so it’s not a hard choice. Overall, a great mix of nominees with a worthy winner here.

Tony Farinella: Argo. This one should be a lock unless something absolutely crazy happens. It was my favorite film of the year as well, so I have no issue with this winner. The other films were really, really good, but “Argo” was great. From the acting to how it properly portrayed the era and to the exciting, nail-biting finish, the film had it all. It was a great big screen experience and it holds up very well on DVD.

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Argo” At this point, I don’t see how this movie loses. It could lose, sure, as Silver Linings Playbook seems to be gaining steam (according to Roger Ebert), but it looks like, in the end, that Affleck’s movie is going to come out on top. It’s won most of the other awards this season.

Wilson: “Argo” – I may have underestimated how much industry folks loved Argo and how riled up they were over Ben Affleck’s “snub,” but I never underestimate how much Hollywood Argo.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Lincoln Argo seems to have some momentum, but what it doesn’t have is a best director nomination. This also hurts Zero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables among other top contenders. Best picture and best director doesn’t always go together, but you’re better off betting for it than against it. I usually say for best picture go with the film with the largest cast, because the actors are the largest voting block of the academy. Since this is the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a historical epic dealing with a dark period in U.S. history in Lincoln will probably trump a musical historical epic dealing with a dark period in French history in Les Miserables.

Jeremy Thomas: Argo. The little film that could will pull off the most memorable win in years. The Academy was really odd in its nomination process and I consider there to be a few different reasons for that; part of it was the switch to online voting and another is the continued pull toward the younger voting block. Whatever the reason, Argo is on a roll and has won with all the major voting blocks, making this more or less a lock to take Best Picture.

John Dotson: Argo. One of my personal favorites from last year is “Argo.” As far as artistic integrity is concern, Ben Afleck has made a tremendous career comeback. Not recognizing his directorial achievements is truly a crime and it appears that most other societies in the industry are beginning to understanding this. I think we’re going to see a huge upset at the Oscars with Afleck walking away with Best Picture this year.

Ben Piper: Argo– It has been steamrolling the competition this awards season, and that momentum won’t be stopped here, becoming only the fourth Best Picture that didn’t receive a nomination for its director.

Webb: Argo – Anything could happen, but Ben Affleck’s film has the strongest momentum. Obviously situations where the director isn’t nominated for Best Director for the Best Picture winner do not happen often, but it has happened before. This seems like that sort of year. I wouldn’t call this guaranteed, but that’s my bet.

Best Actor
Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Michael Weyer: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” The easiest category to call as Day Lewis has had this locked since “Lincoln” opened and more than deserves to be the first-ever three-time Best Actor winner for one of the best performances of an amazing career.

Tony Farinella: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” My choice would be Denzel Washington in “Flight.” It’s a painfully powerful performance that shook me to the core. It’s a tough performance to pull off, but he brings such realism and authenticity to it. With that said, Daniel Day Lewis was going to win this award even before the film was released. An actor like Daniel Day Lewis playing someone like Lincoln, come on, now. That’s something the Academy couldn’t wait to eat up!

Bryan Kristopowitz: Daniel Day Lewis, “Lincoln” Much like Argo, Daniel Day Lewis has been picking up award after award this season, so odds are good that he’ll end up with the trophy at the end of the night. No one else seems to be getting much buzz. Of course, Eddie Murphy was supposed to have a Best Supporting Actor Oscar a few years ago and look at how that turned out.

Wilson: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln” – Day-Lewis joins historical, elite company becoming only the third actor to win 3 Academy Awards and the first to win each of them as Lead Actor. He’s won everything else this awards season, so why would anyone think he won’t close it out for the perfect game. Lock of the night.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln Even if Daniel Day-Lewis wasn’t an academy darling and a previous multiple time winner and nominee, he would still be the front runner here. He reportedly devoured every historical account he could of Lincoln in order to give the most realistic and true to life portrayal of a man no one living knows what was like. He humanized the legend without destroying it. Playing a real life person, and one so famous in President Abraham Lincoln, is always good Oscar bait.

Jeremy Thomas: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln. Is there any doubt at all? Day-Lewis is the safest bet this year in his quest to break the record for Leading Actor wins. This is absolutely a no-brainer and there will be utter shock if he doesn’t take this one home.

John Dotson: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” This category is almost a guaranteed lock. Daniel Day Lewis once again has proven that he’s a worthy contender for this award. As good as everyone else is in this section, I can’t see Mr. Lewis not being recognized for his performance.

Ben Piper: Daniel Day-Lewis, . This generation’s finest method actor will make history by becoming the first three-time Best Actor Oscar winner.

Webb: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln. I think when the first off-set picture of day-Lewis as Honest Abe surfaced I tweeted something to the effect of “Give him the Oscar now!” but I can’t confirm that. He should win and he will win. Nothing more to say.

Best Actress
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Michael Weyer: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty.” I know there’s this sudden push for Riva but she’s only gotten the BAFTA, wasn’t even nominated for the SAG and zero presence in Hollywood, which will work against her. Lawrence has the lead but still young and her rather independent and anti-fame attitude can cost her votes. What I think will happen is Riva siphons votes from Lawrence which allows Chastain to slip through, not just for her fine performance but also the Academy honoring “Zero Dark Thirty” after Bigelow’s snubbing. Tight race and Lawrence might still pull it off but Chastain seems a better chance now than a few weeks ago.

Tony Farinella: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty.” This award is between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, and it’s a very, very close race. However, Chastain knocked it out of the park in “Zero Dark Thirty,” and she brought such ferocity to the performance. She lights up the screen and owns “Zero Dark Thirty.” I really enjoyed Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook,” but I give a slot nod to Chastain. I can’t wait to watch her performance again on DVD.

Bryan Kristopowitz: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” Lawrence won the SAG award, so she’ll probably win here, too. Chastain has buzz, sure, but I have a feeling she’s just going to be happy to have been nominated.

Wilson: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” – Quvenzhané Wallis was the early sentimental pick, Jessica Chastain was her early competition, and Emmanuelle Riva has undoubtedly come on strong towards the end by winning at the BAFTAs. In the end though, Jennifer Lawrence has been the favorite through it all. The Academy has tended to go for the bombshell/ingénue in the past couple decades (minus Mirren & Streep) and this remains Silver Linings Playbook’s best chance at winning an Oscar.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty Emmanuelle Riva, 85, and Quvenzhané Wallis, 9, make for good stories, but their films were little seen to give them much chance here. I think the academy one day would like to award Naomi Watts and Jennifer Lawrence, but this isn’t the year or the roles to do so. Jessica Chastain has won many preliminary awards, including the Golden Globe, and has buzz going into Oscar night. It’s the type of strong, three-dimensional part women in Hollywood are always saying aren’t out there enough for actresses. Unless the academy decides to get cute, Chastain should take this.

Jeremy Thomas: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook. Lawrence caps off a stellar year with a win here, cementing herself as one of the finest actresses in Hollywood whether young or old. She did a fantastic job and while Chastain and Riva in particular turned in Oscar-worthy performances, it just isn’t their year.

John Dotson: Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” This is a contest that is fair game for everyone involved. That being said, Wallis sticks out like a sore thumb among the ranks. Not only is she the youngest actress ever nominated for this award, but her performance is just amazing for someone her age. I have a feeling this is going to be a highlight win for this year’s Oscars.

Ben Piper: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook. I’m nervous about a possible upset in this category with Emmanuelle Riva swooping in to take the prize away from the 22 year old. However, with her being the front-runner all throughout this awards season I’m going to stick with her in this instance. *holds breath*

Webb: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook. This is a touch one. Personally I hope Jessica Chastain takes it because Lawrence has and can do better to warrant an award, but I think Chastain has lost a great deal of steam. I commented when the noms were announced that I thought the Academy had a hard-on for Silver Linings Playbook and I think one of their wins will come from this category.

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Michael Weyer: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln.” Really tough to fix the right nominee here with so many pre-Oscar awards scattered about but I’ll go with Jones, a veteran quite respected who had one of his juicest roles in years and more than deserving of another Oscar after so long. Plus, be great to see the usually gruff and reserved man at the winner’s podium again.

Tony Farinella: Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook.” De Niro’s performance was my personal favorite out of the bunch here. He did so many little things right with this role, and it’s his best performance in a long, long time. He’s funny, dramatic, tortured, and he nails all of those sides of his personality. This is a category filled with tremendous actors, but De Niro’s performance is the one that I’m still thinking about and talking about months later.

Bryan Kristopowitz: Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook” I guess Tommy Lee Jones and Alan Arkin have a shot at this, too, but since, in some respect, De Niro’s performance is almost seen as a kind of return to “serious” movies, and the serious movie artist people like that kind of thing.

Wilson: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” – The year’s most open, topsy-turvy category, with all five nominees having won Oscars previously (the first time that has occurred) remains interesting to the very end. I could see 4 of the 5 as possible winners. However, Christoph Waltz has been gaining ground fast and is working Academy voters overtime. While he failed to garner a SAG or Critics Choice nomination, he won at both the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. In fact, Christoph Waltz has won every single major award he has been nominated for. He’s obviously nominated here and I think he pips Jones and De Niro for the win.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln This is an amazing category as everyone nominated is a previous winner and, except for Christoph Waltz, also have other nominations under their belts. I think Lincoln is going to roll and that will favor Jones. He took the Screen Actors Guild best supporting actor trophy and that helps him too. Anyone could take it, but Jones has the most positive signs in his favor.

Jeremy Thomas: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook. Every year there is one category that is a completely open field among the “Big Six.” This year it is Best Supporting Actor and I could see any of the nominees winning; I think that De Niro has the most going for him though. Waltz won very recently which (fair or not) is a handicap; Hoffman is hurt by The Master’s lack of other nominations. Argo‘s other wins will leave Arkin out in the cold and Jones, who is probably the second-most likely to win, is overshadowed by Daniel Day-Lewis. That leaves De Niro who has a comeback performance here to take this one.

John Dotson: Philip Seymour Hoffman. Without a doubt, my favorite performance in this category is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of Lancaster Dodd. I know the ambiguous nature of Paul Thomas Anderson films often frustrates viewers but Hoffman is great in this movie. Definitely the best performance since Capote.

Ben Piper: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained. This is the most competitive category this year, in that it is one that anyone can conceivably win, and indeed, all the nominees have won previously. When I originally started making my picks, I went for Tommy Lee Jones, due to his SAG Award win. But due to his chilly gloomy Gus demeanor, (and don’t think for a second that won’t come into play or consideration) I’m picking Waltz instead. Several of my fellow staffers are falling in line for De Niro, but seeing as he hasn’t won any of the precursors leading up to the big dance? I don’t see it happening.

Webb: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln – I’m not sure why some of my fellow staffers are going with Robert De Niro here. He’s a legend, but if he (or Arkin) wins it will a great injustice. Christoph Waltz won fairly recently and while I loved him in Django Unchained, I don’t see him winning his 2nd so quickly after his 1st. Personally I preferred Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master, but no one cares about that film anymore. Jones strikes me as the logical choice here. I could list reasons why I think so, but it matters little. This one is a toss up and will be one of the categories that decided who wins with our predictions.

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Amy Adams, The Master

Michael Weyer: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.” Sure, Academy might go for veteran Field or a make-up Oscar for Adams. But come on, Hathaway has had this in the bag since her movie opened, she doesn’t lose here.

Tony Farinella: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.” The minute I finished watching her performance, I knew she was the winner. It’s exactly what a supporting actress should do in a film. She comes in, makes an impact, and you can’t stop thinking about her. She hits the audience right in the heart and I never recovered from it. Her pain and her agony are brought to life, and it’s heartbreaking.

Bryan Kristopowitz: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” I think it would be so cool to see Sally Field win another Oscar as she would, no doubt, deliver an interesting acceptance speech. However, Princess Mia “gave an amazing, heartfelt, serious, incredibly important” performance in the “groundbreaking” Les Miserables, so she’ll probably win. I guess Jacki Weaver could give Mia a run for her money, though.

Wilson: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables” – She won this award the day the first trailer for Les Misérables arrived. In a divisively-received movie, Hathaway and her show-stopping number are what most can agree on.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables In 2009 when we were still doing the Movies Zone Podcast, I said Anne Hathaway would not win best actress for Rachel Getting Married, but that she would take an Oscar within 10 years. Chad Webb said I was an idiot. It’s just four years later and it looks like I’ll make good on my prediction and best Webb once again. She’s pretty much swept the preliminary awards and looks like the only thing close to a sure bet in the major categories this year. Judi Dench for Shakespeare in Love proved it doesn’t take a long performance to win and Jennifer Hudson for Dream Girls showed sometimes all you need is one really strong vocal performance.

Jeremy Thomas: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables. Singing Catwoman is the second-biggest lock this year to take this one home. And I can’t disagree either; while the other nominees all did exceptional work, Hathaway stole the entire film and deserves this win.

John Dotson: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.” I’ve been hearing so much about Hathaway’s performance that it appears she has this on lockdown this year. I still have not seen “Les Miserables,” but from what I’ve heard, the few moments she’s in the film are quite riveting.

Ben Piper: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables– Hathaway cemented her status as a front-runner by taking the musical’s signature song and making it wholly her own. This one’s in the bag.

Webb: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables– I do recall saying something similar to what Leonard mentioned above. I’m glad I was wrong. I do like Hatheway. She was outstanding in her small role, but I don’t think she deserves the award over Sally Field. That being said, Hatheway is the strongest right now so I’ll go with her.

Best Director
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Michael Weyer: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln.” It’s a shame that whoever wins this will always have the stigma of taking the award meant for Affleck or Bigelow. Thus, I’ll lean to Spielberg, long overdue for another Oscar and reward him for “Lincoln” no doubt losing to “Argo.” Plus, Spielberg is always great for Oscar speeches and should be rewarded for his fine achievement.

Tony Farinella: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln.” This is not my choice, but I’m trying to win this thing, so I have to go with the obvious choice. Personally, I would vote for Benh Zeitlin. What he accomplished with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” with no-name actors and on the budget he had, it was quite a feat. “Lincoln” is a good film, but I don’t think it’s a great film. I respect the film and Spielberg’s direction, but it didn’t wow me. However, knowing the Academy, they love big historical pieces and this seems right up their alley.

Bryan Kristopowitz: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook” Spielberg seemed like a lock for this a few weeks ago, but with Playbook apparently gaining all kinds of ground within the Academy, Russell looks like a better bet. At least at the moment anyway.

Wilson: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln” – This was a year which was always going to see major snubs for Best Director. Unfortunately, those snubs have continued to overshadow the race and will likely define this year’s awards for years – probably decades – to come. It’s an unfortunate disservice for 5 genuinely talented, acclaimed and deserving nominees. It’s been an interesting race – made more interesting by the exclusion of a certain Argo helmer who has won almost all of the major precursor awards. While I could feasibly see any of them but Zeitlin winning, I tend to lean towards this being something of a consolation prize for the Lincoln team and for Spielberg. Lee could definitely cap off Life of Pi’s night of technical awards with a win and Haneke remains an intriguing dark horse, but in the end I’ll bet we see Spielberg walk away with Oscar #3.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Stephen Spielberg for Lincoln My comments here are similar for best picture. The two awards don’t always go together, but do so more often than not. There are a lot of noticeable snubs here, which could forecast a best picture upset. However, Stephen Spielberg is Hollywood royalty and a great ambassador for film making. The Oscars haven’t always been kind to him, but after rewarding smaller films the past few years, I think the pendulum is shifting back toward Hollywood blockbuster epics and Lincoln is a good example of what I think the academy would like to see Hollywood get back to making.

Jeremy Thomas: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln. This is the oddest category due to snubs to Affleck, Bigelow and Tarantino. I think that this is where the older-skewing voters will get their way and you can’t really fault Spielberg for winning here as he did an exceptional job. His closest competition is Russell who may be a dark horse, but not enough to take this one away in my estimation.

John Dotson: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln.” My heart wants Ang Lee to pull a surprise win here, but my gut tells me that Spielberg has this sucker in the bag. Mainly, because this is the kind of film the Academy typically gets all “gooey” over. Also, the fact that Afleck and Bigelow got snubbed leaves me to believe that all roads lead to Spielberg.

Ben Piper: Ang Lee, Life Of Pi. With Affleck out of the competition, yes, Spielberg is considered the frontrunner. However, Ang Lee has a long storied career and with this movie he stepped greatly out of his comfort zone to direct an effects laden adaption of a novel that was long considered unfilmable. I think he will be rewarded for his efforts. Upset of the night. *fingers crossed*

Webb: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln – Unless the Academy favor a different title, Spielberg is the logical pick here. I would do a backflip if Haneke won, but that won’t happen. Spielberg is a master filmmaker and he did a wonderful job with this picture. Obviously Affleck’s absence tarnishes this category, but Spielberg is a fine selection.

Best Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
John Gatins, Flight
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

Michael Weyer: “Moonrise Kingdom.” Yeah, I’m going out on a limb here as “Django” isn’t one of Tarentino’s best and “Zero” has arguements over its validity. So I think the Academy will throw a bone to “Moonrise,” critically acclaimed for its clever wit and warmth and a way to reward the movie overall.

Tony Farinella: “Amour” I confess to not having seen “Amour,” but it has been receiving a lot of Academy attention lately and it seems like the best bet to win it. “Flight,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “Django Unchained,” I don’t see them winning this award. “Zero Dark Thirty” could very well be the winner, but all of the buzz I’m hearing is telling me to vote for “Amour.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Moonrise Kingdom” If Zero Dark Thirty was going to win anything it would be in this category, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Moonrise Kingdom got good reviews, and it seems like the kind of movie that wins this kind of award.

Wilson: Michael Haneke, “Amour” – I don’t have a great handle on this category, but no one should doubt the strength of Michael Haneke’s Amour. It has 4 major nominations (including a Best Picture nod) and has a very good shot at winning 3 of them (Best Foreign Film, Lead Actress and this). I wouldn’t rule out Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained or Moonrise Kingdom, but I would say the first two (ZDT in particular) have been crippled by controversy – something that generally doesn’t fly at the Academy Awards. The latter is a beautiful film with a fantastic screenplay written by a celebrated director (Anderson) and an Academy legacy (Coppola, but it might be too weird and whimsical for the Academy’s tastes.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty The screenplay awards are where the academy will honor films that might be a bit controversial or challenging. Zero Dark Thirty took the writer’s guild trophy, so that gives it the edge here.

Jeremy Thomas: Amour. This, along with Supporting Actor, is the toughest pick. I was leaning toward Django but I don’t think the Academy will be comfortable awarding the prize to a film with that many N-bombs. Unfair but true. That leaves Haneke primed to take this one home for a gripping and powerful drama.

John Dotson: “Django Unchained” I honestly do not have faith in my selection but I think it’s quite possible we might see Tarantino walk away with this award. I say this because he’s long overdue since the release of “Pulp Fiction.”

Ben Piper: Django Unchained. While Zero Dark Thirty seems like the more obvious choice, its prospects have been falling fast the last few weeks. Couple that with the fact that Tarantino hasn’t won an Oscar since Pulp Fiction? It may very well be his night. Again, several of my fellow staffers have picked Amour to take this, but historically, foreign language films rarely win in the screenplay categories.

Webb: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained – This is probably the most difficult category to predict, but I just can’t envision an Academy awarding this to a foreign language film (although that would be terrific). Tarantino won this for Pulp Fiction and I think Django Unchained should win something, so go ahead and give QT his 2nd. It will come down to how much the Academy cares about the controversy between Zero Dark Thirty and Django.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Chris Terrio, Argo
Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
David Magee, Life Of Pi
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Michael Weyer: “Lincoln.” For the ability to condense a massive 950-page book into a tight, compelling, amazingly well done movie, I think this drama takes it despite some talk of historical inaccuracies.

Tony Farinella: “Lincoln.” I’d go with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” here if I had my own pick, but sadly, I do not. I would be a fool to pick against “Lincoln” considering its story and all the work that went into it. It was not an easy task, that’s for sure. Again, I’m in the category of respecting but not loving “Lincoln.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Argo” I’m going to go with Argo here because the movie needs to win awards, and since Affleck didn’t get a Best Director nod, it should win this one.

Wilson: Chris Terrio, “Argo” – Tough call between three strong contending screenplays, but while Kushner was the favorite through much of this awards season, Lincoln has slid and Argo has utterly dominated, sweeping through the guild awards like few films ever have. Terrio rides Argo’s tidal wave of awards and Best Picture strength to a win here, Kushner and David O. Russell finish with silver and bronze.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Chris Terrio for Argo
Copy and paste what I said for best original screenplay. Argo might get snubbed for some of the bigger awards and it does have the WGA win to boost it.

Jeremy Thomas: Lincoln. Tony Kushner shouldn’t have too much of a problem taking this one home. The script for Lincoln balances drama with historical accuracy quite well and should be able to get by the great scripts by Chris Terrio and David O. Russell to give Spielberg’s film one of its consolation wins for losing out in the Best Picture category.

John Dotson: “Life of Pi” I haven’t read the novel but many have said that the story was “unadaptable.” This may end up being a surprise win this Sunday.

Ben Piper: Argo. It’s a loaded field once again with Tony Kushner’s Lincoln script, and David O. Russell’s take on mental issues with Silver Linings Playbook. But I’m picking the night’s eventual Best Picture winner taking this one.

Webb: Tony Kushner, Lincoln – This too is a tough category. While Chris Terrio has a good chance as well, I think Kushner gets the statue here because Argo’s success was less about screenplay than it was about direction and editing. Kushner’s script was sublime and I think it is the front-runner.

Best Animated Feature
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Michael Weyer: “Wreck-It Ralph.” It’s long past time a non-Pixar Disney movie got this prize and “Ralph” deserves it with its terrific humor and wit and be a pleasure for video game geeks as well.

Tony Farinella: “Wreck-It Ralph.” “Wreck-It Ralph” has been a big hit and seems to have captivated audiences and critics alike. The reaction to the film is very positive and it’s the kind of film that puts a big smile on your face. Plus, Disney is hard to bet against at the Oscars. “Brave” didn’t seem to get as much love universally as “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Wreck-It Ralph” It would be cool if Frankenweenie won so Tim Burton could win an Oscar, but Ralph made a lot of money, had good reviews, and has already won some major awards. I don’t see that trend changing here.

Wilson: “Wreck-It Ralph” – Anybody but Brave please. It’d be a nice win and return to glory for Disney Animation, finally getting out from sister studio Pixar’s shadow. They could also pull off the double with a Animated Short win for Paperman. My only concern is if the older Academy voters don’t “get” the humor and charm of Wreck-It Ralph. Brave did seem to win over older bodies with wins at the Globes and BAFTAs.

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Wreck-It Ralph

Jeremy Thomas: Wreck-It Ralph. Don’t discount the power of Pixar, but I think that they get shut out for the second year in a row. Wreck-It Ralph is the younger-skewing film and I can’t deny the strength of the younger voting this year. And frankly, Ralph was the better film.

John Dotson: “Wreck-It Ralph.” Amazingly, Disney earned this award recognition this year for such a creative animated film. Major kudos to the Mickey Mouse corporation.

Ben Piper: Wreck-It Ralph. Yes, everyone is betting on this title, but still, never count out Pixar. This is the stodgy old Academy after all.

Webb: Wreck-It Ralph – What makes this a toss up is that all the animated films here were good, but not great. Wreck-It Ralph and Brave are about even in terms of quality, but I’ll give Ralph the push because it stands out a bit more. I honestly don’t know. This could go either way.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
A Royal Affair
War Witch

Michael Weyer: “Amour.” Without question, this amazing French drama is the best of the lot and will get this prize despite the Best Picture nod.

Tony Farinella: “Amour.” “Amour” is a lock here, just like “Argo” for the Best Picture.

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Amour” Best Foreign Feature is always a tough category to pick, but I’ll go with Amour since it’s nominated for Best Picture and clearly won’t win there, but it has to win something. Why not this?

Wilson: “Amour” (Austria)

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Amour

Jeremy Thomas: Amour. The foreign-language category is always a bit odd and the front-runners rarely win, but I don’t think that Haneke can be denied on this one.

John Dotson: “Amour.” Haven’t seen it, but I’m not ignorant enough not to pick it. I’m almost certain with all the acclaim it has received that ‘Amour’ has sealed the deal with this one.

Ben Piper: Amour

Webb: Amour

Original Score
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Mychael Danna, Life Of Pi
John Williams, Lincoln
Thomas Newman, Skyfall

Michael Weyer: “Lincoln.” You don’t bet against John Williams scoring a Spielberg film.

Tony Farinella: “Lincoln.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Life of Pi”

Wilson: “Life of Pi”, Mychael Danna

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: John Williams for Lincoln

Jeremy Thomas: Life of Pi.

John Dotson: “Lincoln.” John Williams… That is all.

Ben Piper: Life Of Pi

Webb: Mychael Danna for Life of Pi

Best Original Song
“Before My Time” From Chasing Ice (Music and Lyrics: J. Ralph)
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” From Ted (Music: Walter Murphy; Lyrics: Seth Macfarlane)
“Pi’s Lullaby” From Life Of Pi (Music: Mychael Danna; Lyrics: Bombay Jayashri)
“Skyfall” From Skyfall (Music and Lyrics: Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
“Suddenly” From Les Misérables (Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil)

Michael Weyer: “Skyfall.” Tempting to go with the new “Les Miz” number but Adele accepting should be one of the best speeches of the night.

Tony Farinella: “Skyfall.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”

Wilson: “Skyfall,” Skyfall; Music and Lyric by Adele and Paul Epworth

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Jeremy Thomas: Adele – “Skyfall” from Skyfall

John Dotson: “Skyfall.” One of the best songs from the Bond franchise ever. I think it’s going to surprise everyone and beat out “Les Miserables.”

Ben Piper: Skyfall

Webb: Skyfall

Best Achievement in Production Design
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Michael Weyer: “The Hobbit.”

Tony Farinella: “Lincoln”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Les Misérables”

Wilson: “Anna Karenina”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Les Miserables

Jeremy Thomas: Lincoln.

John Dotson: “Lincoln”

Ben Piper: Les Miserables

Webb: Anna Karenina

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

Michael Weyer: “Lincoln.” I’d love to see “Skyfall” take it but when it comes to camera work, always go with who’s working with Spielberg.

Tony Farinella: “Life of Pi” Again, if we are talking about visuals, “Life of Pi” is hard to compete with.

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Life of Pi”

Wilson: “Life of Pi”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Life of Pi

Jeremy Thomas: Life of Pi.

John Dotson: “Skyfall” Roger Deakins is long overdue to win in this category. His archive includes “A Beautiful Mind,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “Shawshank Redemption.” Just give him the damn award already.

Ben Piper: Life Of Pi

Webb: Life of Pi

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Michael Weyer: “Anna Karenina.”

Tony Farinella : “Les Miserables”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Les Miserables”

Wilson: “Anna Karenina”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Les Miserables

Jeremy Thomas: Anna Karenina.

John Dotson: “Les Miserables”

Ben Piper: Anna Karenina

Webb: Anna Karenina

Best Documentary Feature
Searching for Sugar Man
How to Survive a Plague
The Gatekeepers
5 Broken Cameras
The Invisible War

Michael Weyer: “The Gatekeepers.” Stunning look at the workings of Israeli intelligence from the men who work it, quite timely for today.

Tony Farinella: “Searching for Sugar Man”. They won’t have to search far for an Oscar on Oscar night.

Bryan Kristopowitz: “How to Survive a Plague”

Wilson: “Searching for Sugar Man”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Searching for Sugar Man

Jeremy Thomas: Searching for Sugar Man.

John Dotson: “Searching for Sugarman” I’ve heard tons of buzz about this film from various websites and I think this is going to be the victor.

Ben Piper: Searching For Sugar Man

Webb: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Documentary Short Subject
Open Heart
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Snow White and the Huntsman

Michael Weyer: “Inocente.”

Tony Farinella: “Open Heart”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Redemption”

Wilson: “Inocente”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Open Heart

Jeremy Thomas: Inocente.

John Dotson: “Inocente.”

Ben Piper: Open Heart

Webb: Inocente

Best Achievement in Film Editing
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Michael Weyer: “Argo.”

Tony Farinella: “Zero Dark Thirty”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Argo”

Wilson: “Argo”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Lincoln

Jeremy Thomas: Argo.

John Dotson: “Argo.”

Ben Piper: Argo

Webb: Argo

Best Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Michael Weyer: “Les Miserables.”

Tony Farinella: “Les Miserables.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Les Miserables”

Wilson: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Jeremy Thomas: Les Miserables.

John Dotson: “Les Miserables.”

Ben Piper: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Webb: Les Miserables

Best Animated Short Film
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare’

Michael Weyer: “Paperman.” As much as we’d all love to see Matt Goerning with an Oscar (especially with Seth McFarlane hosting), “Paperman” was an absolute gem that warmed audiences everywhere, it can’t lose here.

Tony Farinella: “Paperman”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Paperman”

Wilson: “Paperman”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Paperman

Jeremy Thomas: Paperman.

John Dotson: “Head Over Heels” As much as I love “Paperman”, this short has so much greater depth within its story. If you haven’t seen it, look for it on YouTube.

Ben Piper: Paperman

Webb: Paperman

Best Live Action Short Film
Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)

Michael Weyer: “Curfew.”

Tony Farinella: “Curfew.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)”

Wilson: “Curfew”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Curfew

Jeremy Thomas: Curfew.

John Dotson: “Curfew.”

Ben Piper: Curfew

Webb: Curfew

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Michael Weyer: “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Tony Farinella: “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Argo”

Wilson: “Life of Pi”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Skyfall

Jeremy Thomas: Skyfall.

John Dotson: “Life of Pi”

Ben Piper: Zero Dark Thirty

Webb: Skyfall

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Michael Weyer: “Les Miserables.”

Tony Farinella: “Les Miserables.”

Bryan Kristopowitz: “Argo”

Wilson: “Les Misérables”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Skyfall

Jeremy Thomas: Les Misérables.

John Dotson: “Les Miserables”

Ben Piper: Les Miserables

Webb: Les Miserables

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Life of Pi
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

Michael Weyer: “Life of Pi.” Sure, the other films boast aliens, super-heroes, goblins, orcs and more but the amazingly realistic tigers, fish and whales blew you away more than any of that and deserves the prize.

Tony Farinella : “Life of Pi.” It’s the only film out of these five to be nominated for Best Picture, and what they accomplished visually in the film was breathtaking and stunning.

Bryan Kristopowitz: “The Avengers”

Wilson: “Life of Pi”

Leonard Hayhurst Winner: Life of Pi

Jeremy Thomas: Life of Pi. Animated tigers beat Chitauri, prototype Xenomorphs, trolls and witches.

John Dotson: “Life of Pi.” The visuals and 3D aesthetics are some of the best since “Avatar.” Everyone involved deserves to be rewarded for their achievements in this film.

Ben Piper: Life Of Pi

Webb: Life of Pi

Enjoy the ceremony and thanks for reading!


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Chad Webb

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