It’s that time of the year again, Oscar time! The question everyone is asking (at least in my household) is this – who the heck is going to win Best Director now that Ben Affleck is not in the running? Oh, and what other surprises will ensue.
In this post, we go through the major categories, pick who we think will will, and who has the best chance for an upset. This way, all of our bases are covered (unless, of course, we are wrong). We’ll even give you our odds for an upset. So, here we go!
Best animated feature film of the year
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits
- Wreck-It Ralph
And the Oscar Goes to: Brave
Unless it goes to: The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Chance of Upset: 0.5%
I really don’t see any other film unseating Pixar’s return to form. I only list Pirates! because it is a bit of an left field choice and if there is a major surprise, this would be it.
- Argo, Chris Terrio
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
- Life of Pi, David Magee
- Lincoln, Tony Kushner
- Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
And the Oscar Goes to: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Unless it goes to: Argo or Silver Linings Playbook.
Chance of Upset: 40%
I think Beasts of the Southern Wild will get the award based purely on the unconventional nature of the script and how hard it must have been to translate the original play to the big screen. If the voters go conventional on us, Argo should be the way to go, although I’m afraid that the rampant promotion for Silver Linings Playbook might cause it to win more awards than it deservers, starting with this one.
- Amour, Michael Haneke
- Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
- Flight, John Gatins
- Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
- Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal
And the Oscar Goes to: Django Unchained
Unless it goes to: Moonrise Kingdom.
Chance of Upset: 26%
I think this category will be the “Sorry” category this year. As in, “Sorry, Quentin, we’re not brave enough to give you the Oscar for Best Picture. Here’s Original Screenplay to make up for it.” Or, possibly the same for Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, but with a further apology for not even getting nominated for best picture. Michael Haneke has a slim shot if Academy voters are willing to overlook their guilt.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
- Amy Adams, The Master
- Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
- Helen Hunt, The Sessions
- Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
- Sally Field, Lincoln
And the Oscar Goes to: Sally Field
Unless it goes to: Anne Hathaway
Chance of Upset: 74%
You saw that right. Hathaway has been piling up the hardware over the past few months, but I am picking Field to win the Oscar. It’s a gut feeling brought on by empirical evidence (The Academy often overlooks deserving younger actors if they think they’ll have more opportunities down the line, Field is and Academy favorite, Field’s behind the scenes struggle to get the part could be something voters related to, etc) and I think if Field doesn’t get it Hathaway will. I just think Field will win.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
- Alan Arkin, Argo
- Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
- Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
- Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
And the Oscar Goes to: Christoph Waltz
Unless it goes to: Robert De Niro
Chance of Upset: 39%
I think his second Tarantino pairing will bring a second Oscar to Waltz, and a well-deserved one at that. The only competition would come from De Niro, who could ride his strongest acting job in years and a Silver Linings Playbook media push to an upset. Sorry, Tommy Lee Jones.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
- Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
- Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
- Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
- Naomi Watts, The Impossible
- Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
And the Oscar Goes to: Quvenzhané Wallis
Unless it goes to: Emmanuelle Riva
Chance of Upset: 50%
When the nominations were announced, I though like many other do now that it would be a race between Lawrence and Chastain. Upon further reflection, and knowing how the Academy works, I think it will be a choice between the oldest Best Actress nominee ever and the youngest Best Actress nominee ever. Chastain and Lawrence will have more opportunities in the future, so why not make history? I think voters will be more impressed by Wallis’ lack of experience and giver the award.
Performance by an actor in a leading role
- Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
- Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
- Denzel Washington, Flight
- Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
- Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
And the Oscar Goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis
Unless it goes to: Hugh Jackman
Chance of Upset: 17%
I know, I know, The chance of upset is way too high. That might be what you think. I think Day-Lewis is the overwhelming choice to add an Oscar to his list of awards this season. But I don’t think he’s a dead solid lock. Jackman might not have much of a chance to upset, but he does have a chance (and is the only one who does).
Achievement in directing
- Ang Lee, Life of Pi
- Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
- Michael Haneke, Amour
- Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
And the Oscar Goes to: Ang Lee
Unless it goes to: David O. Russell
Chance of Upset: 7%
This match should be a toss-up between Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow. And you might think that since the Academy was so nice as to not nominate those two for the award, then field is wide-open. It’s not. I think just clears the way for Lee to be honored for making a film out of the what many people thought was unfilmable. But watch out of Silver Lining Playbook starts earning undeserved Oscars early in the night. That might mean upset.
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Django Unchained
- Les Misérables
- Life of Pi
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
And the Oscar Goes to: Argo
Unless it goes to: Silver Linings Playbook.
Chance of Upset: 25%
Django Unchained might be the most deserving but is too edgy for Oscar voters. Zero Dark Thirty is too controversial. Lincoln is too staid and conventional and Beasts of the Southern Wild is too esoteric. Life of Pi is too gimmicky,Les Misérables is too uneven and Amour will probably win Best Foreign Film. That leaves Argo and Silver Linings Playbook. Argo is by far the better of the two, but Silver Linings Playbook is getting a heavy push. My pick: I think Affleck gets his second Oscar.