To quote the great Billy Crystal, Sunday night is going to be a wonderful night for Oscar.
Oscar, Oscar … Who will win?
The easier question to answer may be who will lose, because with so many good movies in 2012, a few categories that are actually competitive, Family Guy and Ted creator Seth MacFarlane sure to crush it as host, and the prospect of seeing Jennifer Garner and Reese Witherspoon looking fantastic again, I’d say we’ll all be winners Sunday night.
But all kidding aside, who will win? Allow me to make a few predictions and share some commentary …
Will win: Argo
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should have been nominated: The Master
Argo has this one sewn up after big wins at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, among others. You can call it a consolation prize, to make up for Ben Affleck’s Best Director snub. But more likely, Argo is going to win because, quite simply, Hollywood loves to pat itself on the back, and one of the heroes of this movie is the movies. Argo is a good movie, but no 20 minutes of it are as gripping and well made as the last 20 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty. That said, for the record, neither movie is as simultaneously beautiful and challenging as The Master.
Will win: Steven Spielberg
Should win: Steven Spielberg
Should have been nominated: Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino
With Affleck and Bigelow both snubbed (Anderson too, for The Master), this will likely go one of two ways. There’s a lot of affection for Silver Linings Playbook, so David O. Russell could be a surprise winner here. My hunch is that this will be a way for the Academy to reward Lincoln, the most nominated movie with 12 noms, with a kind of second-place award. But let’s not short-change Uncle Stevie: Lincoln is a beautifully made movie that’s completely engrossing, even though it’s mostly just a bunch of men debating and talking politics. Anyone who can make that exciting deserves an award, right?
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Should have been nominated: John Hawkes
As sure a sure-shot as there is this year. Everyone else is just happy to be nominated, and they know it. (I just wish Hawkes, so good in The Sessions, was one of those happy people.)
Will win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should win: Someone whose name starts with J
JLaw has all the momentum right now, having picked up a bunch of awards in recent weeks, and she is really good in Silver Linings Playbook (one of the best things about the movie). But it’s a really tough call. If I had a vote, I might have given it to Jessica Chastain for her compelling performance in ZD30.
Best Supporting Actor
Will win: Tommy Lee Jones
Should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
I’d like to think this category is The Master’s best chance to take home some gold. But if not, Jones stands to win. Let’s just hope he smiles when he does.
Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Anne Hathaway
Should win: Amy Adams
Please: Anyone but Anne
By now, everyone is tired of Anne Hathaway and her fake-humble acceptance speeches. And the truth is, her best performance this year wasn’t even in Les Miserables, it was in The Dark Knight Rises. Unfortunately, this category’s a done deal. Get ready for waterworks.
Best Original Screenplay
Will win: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Should win: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Should have been nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
I’d love to see Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola take this for Moonrise Kingdom, or even better, Anderson for The Master, but Boal’s exhaustively researched screenplay was terrific, and I’ll be perfectly content if/when he wins.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will win: Chris Terrio, Argo
Should win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Terrio will likely be the beneficiary of the Argo lovefest. But while there are some scenes with memorable dialogue in Argo, the screenplay isn’t what makes that movie great. On the other hand, Lincoln is all about the power of words; Kushner’s lyrical screenplay is as impressive as Day-Lewis’ folksy, thoughtful performance.
Best Original Song
Will win: Adele, “Skyfall”
Should win: Adele, “Skyfall”
Should have been nominated: John Legend, “Who Did That to You”
No contest here; Adele had this one won the second she recorded the theme song for the latest James Bond film. That said, it’s a real shame Legend wasn’t at least nominated for his song from Django Unchained.
Best Animated Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Will win: Searching for Sugar Man
Should win: Searching for Sugar Man
Admittedly, I’ve only seen one movie in this category. But I liked it a lot, so I hope it wins.
Only one thing I know for sure
If you want a prediction for the other categories, check out Entertainment Weekly, or some other predictor, pundit, or analyst. It shouldn’t be too hard to get some insight — this time of year, everyone has an opinion (yes, myself included).
This much I know for sure: Come Sunday night at 8:30 p.m., I’ll be sitting comfortably in front of the TV hoping for a good show. It’s going to be a wonderful night.
Who do you think will win at the Oscars this year? Share your predictions, or your thoughts on mine, in the comments section below.