The Oscars: Who’s going to win on Sunday

22 Feb

The only Oscar I'll ever hold is my sister-in-law's dog.

The only Oscar I’ll ever hold is my sister-in-law’s dog.

So, who’s going to take home the big awards on Sunday night? I could use the old cliché that your guess is as good as mine—but is it? Let’s find out. Now while I’ve never been to the Academy Awards in person, or had the pleasure of interviewing ANY of this year’s nominees in the five top categories, I have interviewed some past winners. For example, at Sundance this year, I was even asked to moderate a press conference with Holly Hunter, who won for The Piano in 1993. Kevin Spacey (supporting actor Oscar in 1995 for The Usual Suspects, best actor Oscar in 1999 for American Beauty) granted me a Sundance interview three years ago. Legendary director Frank Capra (winner for It Happened One Night) even spoke a million years ago at my college convocation. So I figure my pedigree of at least having been in the presence of Oscar greatness should count for something.
Still, the image you see here is my sister-in-law’s dog, “Oscar.” I’m not sure I’m allowed to use the real image here, even though this blog has been read in, according to the last count, 93 countries. I’m just one person, a guppy in the big ocean of Movie Fandom, so really, who cares what I think? Okay, I care. So here are my predictions for the Hollywood Hoedown at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night. Let’s see how close I get.
BEST PICTURE: Probably a two-horse race here between Argo and Lincoln, though Silver Linings Playbook could be a darkhorse. I’m going with ARGO. I think director Ben Affleck did a masterful job with this story and this cast, and created a great film. Since he got dissed by the group that nominates best director finalists, this victory will taste extra sweet for him. Just hope he remembers to thank his wife Jennifer this time.
BEST ACTOR: A no-brainer here—DANIEL DAY-LEWIS for Lincoln. While each of the other four nominees turned in solid performances (hurray for Bradley Cooper’s emergence as a fine dramatic actor in Silver Linings Playbook, by the way), none of them captured the essence of their characters like Day-Lewis did with Honest Abe. This is about as sure a bet as you can get at the Academy Awards.
BEST ACTRESS: Somewhat of a tough call, but for me, I think it will go to JENNIFER LAWRENCE for Silver Linings Playbook. While Jessica Chastain was wonderful in Zero Dark Thirty, and I thought Naomi Watts was strong in The Impossible, neither brought to their characters the depth of performance of Lawrence. Granted, her character was better written as well—much more dialogue, for example—but I thought this young actress, who could win a bevy of Oscars in the years ahead, was a bit more deserving.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: What a great group of actors to choose from, but again, I think it will boil down to either Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook (loved seeing the emotion he brought to his character) or Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln. Seriously, it’s a toss-up, but I envision hearing TOMMY LEE JONES from the presenters. Every one of these gentlemen deserves the recognition for their work this year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: ANNE HATHAWAY, without a doubt. The awards community likes her—they really, really like her, for that memorable one-take performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” in Les Miserables. It is the only reason that Sally Field won’t win her third statuette, though she was wonderful in Lincoln. It’s great to see Hathaway, one of Hollywood’s nicest and most down-to-earth actresses, win this honor.
BEST DIRECTOR: Well, Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow both got screwed by those stuck-up Academy voters in this category, which prevented what could have been a very close race. And it’s probably still close between the top three directors of Lincoln, Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. But I’m going with STEVEN SPIELBERG for Lincoln. A wonderfully crafted, very memorable film, one worthy of his third Oscar.
Also, look for Adele and writing partner Paul Epworth to take home the statuette for “Skyfall” for original song. And host Seth MacFarlane should do an adequate job as Oscar host, though he’ll discover as so many fine comedians have before that the Academy Awards might be the toughest gig in Emceeland. He was a good choice for this year’s host.
So, how have I done? Guess we’ll see on Sunday. Regardless, at least I know Oscar (the dog) will still like me, as long as I keep feeding him scraps off my plate at family dinners! So I should win for Best Supporting Enabler.

–Tom Haraldsen

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