Final 2013 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Well, it’s been a while. A couple people have asked if I was going to do Oscar predictions like I have in the past. Clearly, it won’t be as in-depth as previous years, but I thought I’d at least post a few last-minute predictions (with a little bit of commentary) ahead of Thursday’s big announcement.

Best Picture

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Lincoln
  3. Les Miserables
  4. Silver Linings Playbook
  5. Argo
  6. Life of Pi
  7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  8. Django Unchained
  9. The Master
  10. Moonrise Kingdom

The first five are shoe-ins, I’d say. And of course, the Academy can pick anywhere between five and ten nominees. I feel like there are enough critical darlings from 2012 that they’ll go for the full ten, though. #6-10 on my list have pretty much no chance of wnning, but I feel like they have enough supporters to score nominations. The only other movie I could really see potentially getting in other than these ten is The Hobbit.

Best Director

  1. Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
  3. Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
  4. Ben Affleck, Argo
  5. Ang Lee, Life of Pi

This is the list I had before the Director’s Guild nominations, and today’s announcement more or less cemented my feelings. This is a bit of a weird category, though, since my predictions leave out a number of very respected directors with big Oscar contenders. I think The Master is too inaccessible to earn Paul Thomas Anderson his second Director nod. Silver Linings Playbook is loved, but may not be seen as the same kind of “achievement” as the five listed above. Tarantino’s Django may be too “niche” or campy for voters to embrace to this degree.

Best Actor

  1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  2. Denzel Washington, Flight
  3. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  4. Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  5. John Hawkes, The Sessions

So who is getting left out in the cold? My guess right now is Joaquin Phoenix, since the SAG nominations spelled trouble for The Master. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him bump out Hawkes (whose buzz is waning) or even Cooper, though. Is the world really ready for “Academy Award Nominee Bradley Cooper”?

Best Actress

  1. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  2. Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  3. Naomi Watts, The Impossible
  4. Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
  5. Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

This is still a very unsettled category, isn’t it? The only two who I’d say are truly safe are Lawrence and Chastain. I could see Cotillard pulling a Tilda Swinton and getting shut out despite precursor support. And is the Academy really going to nominate young Wallis? Helen Mirren would be a much more typical pick. Even Emmanuelle Riva is a dark horse, though I suspect she will become one of those critical favourites who misses at the Oscars. (Michael Shannon, Lesley Manville, and Elizabeth Olsen feel your pain.)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
  2. Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  4. Alan Arkin, Argo
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained

This has the potential to be a really fun category…or a really boring one. Jones and probably De Niro are locks, but what about the rest. We’ve got campy villains (Bardem and DiCaprio), handsome heroes (Redmayne, McGregor), quirky eccentrics (Waltz and Hoffmna), and some old dudes (Arkin, Goodman) all in the running. And is it possible Django could actually get multiple Supporting Actor nominations? Or will that just lead to vote-splitting and cause everyone from that film to miss out? Despite what I thought early on in the race, this might be the most interesting cateogory.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  2. Sally Field, Lincoln
  3. Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
  4. Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  5. Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hathaway seems to have this category sewn up. But as for the other nominees, Field is a lock, Kidman has become a surprisingly strong force, and Hunt’s chances are pretty good (but could take a hit if Hawkes misses out). But that fifth spot? I’m going with Smith, but Amy Adams could definitely still sneak in, and critical favourite Ann Dowd isn’t completely out of the running, either.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Django Unchained
  3. The Master
  4. Moonrise Kingdom
  5. Looper

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Lincoln
  2. Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Argo
  4. Life of Pi
  5. The Perks of  Being a Wallflower

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