Tonight is the 85th Academy Awards, and for all intents and purposes it should be a good one. Look at all those serious films, and the one movie by Quentin Tarantino! And with big snubs for Best Director for both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, does that mean one of them will be be sweeping up the Best Picture Award as a consolation prize? And most importantly, is it too late to write in a ballot for Javier Bardem in Skyfall? Because he was great.
This year we’re making our predictions in order of the film and/or celebrity, not the award. That’s because this time … it’s personal. No, seriously: between Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck being iced out of Best Director, the Weinstein Bros. not having a snowball’s chance in hell of scoring a big win and the fact that we’re practically giving an award to Anne Hathaway just to make her stop sing-crying, there’s going to be a lot of sore losers tonight. But don’t worry; we’re using a time-tested formula for predicting the bitter ceremonies, including taking all of the guesses on Twitter and averaging them against Nate Silver’s predictions. Then we throw those out the window and get ourselves angry over Lincoln’s inevitable windfall of awards that should be going to that movie that had all those great New Yorker articles written about it and stars a 9-year-old who wasn’t even an actress when she started the film, which is about 50 percent more method than Daniel Day-Lewis’s decision to become an Italian cobbler every time he’s taking a hiatus from Hollywood.
So enjoy, and don’t forget to tune into our live chat on the Oscars, starting at 7 p.m.!
We just feel bad for the big studio winners of last year, when The Artist swept with five Oscars—including Best Picture—for an entirely silent movie made by French people. But unfortunately karma is a bitch: despite having some incredible features this year—The Intouchables was supposed to be the duo’s hot ticket back into the good graces of France, but despite its excellence, it never got off the ground here in America; Lawless was dismissed because we liked Tom Hardy better as Bane; and who the hell knows what happened to Sean Penn as a drag queen in This Must Be the Place—they all fell majorly short of critical expectations. (Except for Bully, which people loved but wasn't nominated for anything.) So much potential in those films for a Best Actor, and yet it was The Master that was begrudgingly given two nods for its leading and supporting men and one for Amy Adams. And yes, Harvey Weinstein likes to refer to his company as “the house that Quentin built,” but unless Waltz can produce another Best Supporting for what was essentially a nicer, less interesting version of Col. Hans Landa, the best the brothers can hope for is Best Original Song (except that it’s going to Adele and Skyfall) or that it somehow winds up with the Best Original Screenplay because the n-word.
No, we know what Nate Silver said about it winning Best Picture. But we just can’t imagine the Academy—which really prefers films that only a handful of people on the coasts have seen—would choose a Ben Affleck movie over the critical and presidential darling, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Plus, Argo has been pity-sweeping all the other awards this season, so there’s really no way. The two statuettes that Argo might smuggle out would be Chris Terrio for Best Adapted Screenplay and Alan Arkin for Best Supporting Actor. And the former may even go to David O. Russell, because we know what kind of director that man is, and he deserves no awards.
It’s going to clean up. Best Director for Spielberg, maybe Best Picture, probably Best Actor and Best Supporting as well. By the way, was Lincoln any good? We assume it was a real movie and not some brilliant attempt at a viral marketing hoax. Because honestly, you get that many grand names in a cast, you’re going to get a bunch of medal winners. You don’t even need to make the movie ... just release a bunch of somber posters, say it’s about war and America and that Spielberg’s directing, and you have a guaranteed hit. Existing or not.
Even if she doesn’t get Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, she’ll always have tied for first place in District 11. And she got to hook up with Bradley Cooper. We hope the Academy considers outsiders like Emmanuelle Riva or Quvenzhané Wallis ... although, hell, we’d give it to Jessica Chastain for being such a beautiful badass in every film she’s in. (Lawless, The Debt, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted ... the list goes on.) But the only way Chastain’s getting it is if Zero Dark Thirty loses in every other category. Which it very well might.
Ugh, Hathaway and Les Mis
So no one is even going to pretend that Sally Field has a shot? Fine. We’ll give it to the former Academy Awards host—even though this was her Natalie Portman knockoff year. But we do expect Sound Mixing to go to Les Mis, just because of the unusual way Tom Hooper decided to record the soundtrack: on set during filming, and not dubbed over in a studio. Too bad the Best Original Song won’t be going to “Suddenly” from the film adaptation of Claude-Michel Schönberg’s operatic score ... if there’s one play that didn't need yet another number during its two-and-a-half-hour run time, it was the one based on a Broadway musical. Also, no Hugh Jackman. You are in line after Bradley Cooper in the event that Day-Lewis doesn’t get Best Actor.
Ang Lee has nothing to complain about.
He’s sweeping Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Visual Effects. Hell, he might even get Best Director, according to The Carpetbagger over at The New York Times. Though once Silver weighed in with his math formulas, all the fun was taken out of predicting winners this year.
Sorry fellas, you get nothing this year. You don’t even get the booby prize of being the most controversial film of the year, and the best performance in the feature—Samuel L. Jackson’s—was snubbed entirely. No go.
If you get passed over for Brave or Frankenweenie, we will turn off the television and pick up a book.