Monday, November 26, 2012

The Road to the 2013 Oscars

Having taken a break from movie watching during the Thanksgiving holiday, I have to get in gear for the stretch run to the 2013 Oscars on February 24th, 2013. Up until that Sunday evening, we should expect many changes to occur in each of the 6 major races. And with big time Oscar hopefuls such as Les MiserablesZero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Promised Land, Hitchcock, and The Impossible yet to reach major audiences, every category remains anyone's game. But as it stands, here's how I see the major categories shaping up:

Best Picture: Les Miserables

Although it is WAY too early to call it a sure thing, Tom Hooper's Les Miserables appears to be a formidable frontrunner for the Best Picture race. With a release date set for Christmas Day, Les Miserables will have a head of steam to live up to. But if it does meet expectations, Tom Hooper and company will be singing their way to a golden statue.

Other Major Contenders: Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi

Other Possibilities: The Sessions, The Master, Zero Dark Thirty and Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Director: Ben Affleck (Argo)

Ben Affleck has found himself at the top of the pack with the director's latest effort, Argo. Since Steven Spielberg and Tom Hooper having already reached the pinnacle of success with Oscar wins of their own, perhaps this will be Affleck's year to claim the highly regarded prize. 

Other Major Contenders: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)

Other Possibilities: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

If you're wondering just how good Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of the iconic figure Abraham Lincoln was, it was THAT good. With two Oscar wins already under his belt, Day-Lewis' performance was so superior that I find it almost impossible to deny him the hat trick. The resemblance was uncanny and I would expect to hear his name called during the 2013 Oscars.

Other Major Contenders: Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Denzel Washington (Flight)

Other Possibilities: Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

While many of the teenyboppers will recognize Jennifer Lawrence for her role in The Hunger Games, more mature audiences will appreciate her efforts in David O. Russell's mental disorder comedy Silver Linings Playbook. Lawrence out-shined her co-star Bradley Cooper and left her mark as the most outstanding aspect of the Best Picture contender. Her performance was so strong that I see her as a legitimate leader in the Best Actress race if it were to end right now. But with most of her competition coming from films that have yet to be screened, it's still too early to call.

Other Major Contenders: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Other Possibilities: Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)

Best Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Whether you loved it or hated it, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master was a tantalizing piece of work. Thanks in large part to its brilliant cast which was headlined by a trio of Oscar worthy performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman seems to be the most likely winner from the bunch, as one of them clearly deserves a statue.

Other Major Contenders: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Alan Arkin (Argo) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)

Other Possibilities: Russell Crowe (Les Miserables), Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas) and Hal Holbrook (Promised Land)

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Anne Hathaway appears to be quite impressive from early glimpses into Tom Hooper's Les Miserables trailers. And since we all know she can sing (i.e.  when she hosted the Oscars) and we all know she can act (i.e. just about everything she's ever done), it's a safe bet to double down on her as the frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress category. However, a very late release date can prove to either make or break a film/performance. Therefore, we'll just have to wait and see.

Other Major Contenders: Amy Adams (The Master), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Sally Field (Lincoln)

Other Possibilities: Ann Dowd (Compliance), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) and Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)

Remember to keep checking back for news and the latest updates on these major Oscar races.

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