I’ve seen the movies… and I’ve tracked the movement of the wind… and listened to the rumblings in the ground... and here are my Oscar Predictions.
by David Davila (playwright / songwriter)
ARGO is a great movie. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was so stressed out I think my blood pressure was on the fritz. It was intense, and rightfully deserves a Best Picture win if it comes to that. The early favorite, LINCOLN has lost almost all of its steam, and my personal favorite, LES MISERABLES (which several of you despise) has lost ALL of its steam because the haters (aka you) were much louder than the fans.
Yes, I'm upset about that. I'm mostly upset for Hugh Jackman because this might be his one and only chance to win an Oscar and I think he actually gave a better performance than Day Lewis, but more on that later.
Here are my predictions for the winners in the major categories this Sunday, which are based on a combination of my own thoughts, the buzz on the web, and my predictions of how actual Academy voters would vote when considering their friends, colleagues, and business investments. Yep, this game is as much political as ANYTHING else!
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Duh! Anne Hathaway! No one could take this away from her. This is the one sure thing of the ENTIRE night. Sally Field gave a great performance too, but nowhere near as good as Anne's, and Sally already has two Oscars so we should spread the love.
(That last line was me being a political Academy member... see how that works?)
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
This category is anybody's to win, every single actor in this group has already won an Oscar, and no particular performance stands out against the others, so the award will more than likely go to an actor in a movie that doesn't win any other prizes that night. If Jennifer Lawrence loses the statue, then expect Robert De Niro to win, if for some reason Daniel Day Lewis lost, then Tommy Lee Jones would win this award. See how it works? Since Django isn't favored to win ANY categories of the night, this might be the one award that it could pick up, as a "thank you for playing." My personal favorite performance was Robert De Niro, in his honest and hilarious portrayal of a father with a gambling problem supporting his mentally unstable son, but based on my gut that Jennifer Lawrence will win Best Actress I am going to go with Christoph Waltz.
Jennifer Lawrence is Hollywood's golden girl right now. She stars in not one, but two of the biggest blockbuster franchises currently on the screen; X-MEN and THE HUNGER GAMES. Add a smart romantic comedy to the mix and you can guess that Hollywood is counting their bank rolls. Her performance as a bipolar woman getting over the death of her husband through sex, dancing, and friendship is quite touching and definitely enough to win an Oscar. The Academy will vote for her solely as an investment in their future interests. Yes, it's about the money, and this is her second nomination so she's already paid her dues. Jessica Chastain shimmers in Zero Dark Thirty, especially in the last ten seconds, Quvenzhane brings you to tears, and Emannuelle gives the overall best performance, but her buzz came too late in the game. Academy members have already crowned Lawrence.
I've mentioned in previous blogs that Hugh Jackman is breath-taking in Les Miserables. Most people agree, but few seem keen to give him an Oscar which frustrates me. Daniel Day Lewis is always great, and gives a solid performance in Lincoln but I do not see what everyone else is seeing in the Lincoln he created. Though he transformed himself into some kind of character for Lincoln, it lacked the emotional depth that Jackman brought to the table in the first ten minutes and throughout LES MISERABLES. Add to the fire that this is probably Jackman's one and only chance at an Oscar and my frustration boils. This will be one of those years when people look back and see that Jackman should have won. If he's lucky, he will give a mediocre performance in a supporting role one day that will be good enough to win him a "right award - wrong year" Oscar, but we'll have to wait and see. Day Lewis has this one all but wrapped up, based on his sweep of every previous award this season.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
This could be ZERO DARK THIRTY's one and only award of the night unless they win a sound editing award (which they might.). Tarantino blew his chances with his string of crazy interviews, though MOONRISE KINGDOM might sneak in - most people expected it to get a best picture nomination.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
As much as I want Tony Kushner to win an Oscar, I think this one is going to Chris Terrior for ARGO. ARGO has been building a huge late in the race buzz over the last month and a half as it swept every precursor to the Oscars. Add to the mix, the fact that everyone is angry that Ben Affleck wasn't nominated, and you've got yourself a real front-runner.
Who cares? Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, Katherine Bigelow, and Tarentino were all left out of the race this year. Personally I think Tom Hooper did an amazing job with LES MIS. Bigelow did a fine job as well, but Ben Affleck has proven once again that he is an amazing story teller, and an even better director. His third film, after the brilliant thrillers GONE BABY GONE and THE TOWN, was a powerhouse that kept us guessing until the last second. This reminds me of when Spielberg wasn't nominated for THE COLOR PURPLE. Of course he would go on to win several Oscars later (possibly another this year) but it still felt like a slap in the face. If anything, this will challenge Affleck to keep making great films. As far as a winner I would have to say Spielberg by default, unless voters are so pissed at LINCOLN that they decide to choose a wild card. Your guess is as good as mine.
I've said it three times and I'll say it again; personal favorite is LES MISERABLES, but the odds are not in its favor. LINCOLN lost most of the early buzz it brought in as audiences began saying the movie was boring. ARGO is the only one that seems to have enjoyed a nice box office, and showed its perseverance in this long race. It was the early favorite back in the summer and has pulled ahead just in time to win the race.
It's a great movie, and I'm glad that Ben Affleck will be rewarded for the chances he's been taking in film. I would love to be shocked and see LES MISERABLES win but I let go of those hopes weeks ago. All we can hope for at this point is a few shockers to upset our ballots and make our Oscar parties fun. Speaking of which...
I still haven't been invited to any... hint... hint...
...and now for the 90's jam of the week. One of my favorite songs of all time, by one of my favorite songwriters of all time. Written by Janet Jackson for the film POETIC JUSTICE, and nominated for an Academy Award in 1993 I just can't resist singing along. Janet lost the award to Bruce Springsteen but in the long run I think this song will be remembered much longer, I mean it's just freaking brilliant.
DAVID DAVILA is half of the song-writing duo Havrilla & Davila, author of the Tex-Mex plays ADAN Y JULIO, MEN OF GOD, CREDO, REQUERDOS OF MY LIFE, and AZTEC PIRATES AND THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF LIFE ON MARS. He is a self proclaimed Voxist, a Diva enthusiast, and founder of Lone Star Theatre Co. Wanna talk about it? www.daviddavila.net
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