Friday, January 4, 2013

Dec Oscar Buzz & Predictions - Conclusion

     So this is gonna wrap things up with the top two categories.  This is going to be the last category by category series of in-depth posts that I will do prior to the announcement of nominations.  I will be posting a simple list of the buzz's predictions on January 8th, and my own predictions for nominations on the ninth.  On the tenth, we'll see how things turn out.  Let's wrap this up...

Best Director
     First the buzz, with former rankings listed in parenthesis...
  1.(3) Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
  2.(6) Ang Lee - Life of Pi
  3.(2) Ben Affleck - Argo
  4.(7) Katherine Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty
  5.(5) David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

  6.(4) Tom Hooper - Les Miserables
  7.(1) Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master
  8.(8) Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained
  9.(9) Behn Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  10. Michael Haneke - Amour
  Leaving the Rankings:  Joe Wright - Anna Karenina
     This category is starting to really shape up.  I would only make a couple of alterations here...
  1. Ben Affleck - Argo...I still don't think that Ben's Big Success Story of 2012 has capped out yet.  I knew that Argo peaked too early not to have a lull in buzz at some point, but I still think that Affleck's "comeback kid" story is too difficult for Oscar to resist.
  2. Steven Spielberg - Lincoln...Of course, this film is pretty universally lauded as well, and the Academy does love Spielberg (not to mention that after War Horse, this is a small comeback as well).  Still, I just don't feel like this is his year.  Time will tell.
  3. Katherine Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty...I'm not seeing a win for her, she JUST won, but the film has too many ardent supporters (and she, too many accolades) for me to see a scenario where she doesn't get a nomination.  She's my final lock.
  4. Ang Lee - Life of Pi...Things were looking a little iffy for Mr. Lee's chances not too long ago but nods from the Critics Choice and the Golden Globes are a good sign.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that he crafted one of the year's finest films.  I say he's in.
  5. David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook...He might have missed out at the Globes to Tarantino, but it's the Globes and Tarantino is a lot more famous.  Out of the two directors who made the Critics Choice list only, he appears to be the more likely candidate at present, however...

  6. Tom Hooper - Les still a contender as well, and could easily manage to slip in.  As I said before, the star power of...
  7. Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained...cannot completely be discounted.  I do, however, believe that these seven candidates constitute the field from which the final five will be chosen.
  8. Behn Zeitlen - Beasts of the Southern Wild...It is a shame that there is probably no chance that Mr. Zeitlin's brilliance will be rewarded here.  Still, dozens of Best First Film awards from critic's groups and film festivals should keep his name in the conversation.
  9. Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master...PTA is sort of in the Malick slot this year.  Many critics and film bloggers feel that his is the most masterful work of any director in the race.  However, the film bombed at the box office AND failed to gain consensus support.  Of course, passions do run high about this flick.
  10. Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom...Maybe one day Wes Anderson's singular vision will be rewarded by the Academy, but I don't think this is the year.

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

  11.(13) Amour
  12.(18) Flight
  13.(11) Anna Karenina
  14.(12) The Dark Knight Rises
  15.(14) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  16.(20) The Impossible
  17.(15) The Sessions
  18.(17) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  19. Skyfall
  20. Hitchcock
     I'm having more trouble coming up with the number of films that I think will get in than I am with the order of likelihood.  It COULD be as few as six, but I think number seven gets in for sure too (although that could be wishful thinking).  I think eight nominees seems most likely, but I could easily see one or two of the films in slots nine through eleven getting in as well.  Oh yeah, at the moment, I'm predicting a weird picture/director split as far as the winner goes.  Of course, there's still a LOT of time for that to change...
  1. Lincoln...Yeah, I'm going with Affleck for the win in directing, but it's still difficult for me to see anything else winning Best Picture at the moment...
  2. Argo...although Argo is still the film that I feel will be Lincoln's greatest competition.  They both have excellent box office for live action dramatic films, they are both well loved with few detractors, and they still seem relevant to the times in which we live in a way that seems a little more palatable than the torture controversy surrounding...
  3. Zero Dark Thirty...if critics picked the Oscars, this film would win.  However, critics do not.  The film's chance of actually winning is also hindered by the fact that The Hurt Locker (also directed by Bigelow and written by Boal) just won three years ago.
  4. Silver Linings Playbook...This film may actually be a stronger contender than a lot of people are giving it credit for.  It's the very rare romantic comedy that even gets a Best Picture nomination, though, so Russell and company should be congratulated just on securing the nomination...and they will.
  5. Les Miserables...Mixed critical response has knocked this picture's chances down a peg or two, but the nomination should still be a gimme.
  6. Life of Pi...Even though there could be only five nominees, I find it difficult to imagine that there won't be room to accommodate at least these six candidates.
  7. Beasts of the Southern Wild...Although this film was pretty much ignored by the Globes and SAG, I choose to believe that the Academy is smart enough to know better.
  8. Django Unchained...I also suspect that Tarantino's general popularity (not to mentions nods from the Critics Choice and the Globes) will be enough to expand the field to eight.
  9. The Master...Like Beasts, The Master has only gotten a Critics Choice nod.  However, divisive but passionately loved Tree of Life got in last year.  The preferential voting system employed only in the Best Picture category actually makes this category easier for a love it or hate it film like this to crack.
  10. Moonrise Kingdom...And we COULD wind up with a tenth nominee.  In all likelihood it would either be this, or..

  11. Amour...Every great once in a while, a foreign language film gets into the Best Picture race, but the film has failed to break out of Best Foreign Language Film at the other awards shows, so (despite director Haneke's popularity) I'm going to leave it just outside of my ten for now.
  12. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...Even though this movie's SAG ensemble nod indicates that it IS very popular in the industry, it's hard for me to imagine it getting enough number one votes to get in.
  13. The Impossible...The trailer for this looks fantastic, and reviews have been very positive for the most part, but I think they held its release too late to break into such a crowded field.  We'll see...
  14. Skyfall...It may be the best Bond film ever, but it will still be a tough Best Picture sell to the AMPAS.
  15. The Dark Knight Rises...I can dream.  Maybe there are still enough Academy members angry enough about The Dark Knight...but I doubt it.  Look for it in my top ten.
  16. Cloud Atlas...Another love it or hate it film which might have gotten enough passion votes if it hadn't been such a box office nightmare.
  17. The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey...Largely being perceived as "Lord of the Rings Lite".
  18. Middle of Nowhere...This is the little indie with grass roots that got planted a little too late for 2012.
  19. Flight...The film is good, but a little "TV movie of the week"ish.  Missing all the precursor awards makes it seem highly unlikely.
  20. The Sessions...Like Flight, this film will have to settle for acting recognition.

     And that is that.  Have a very Happy New Year and make sure to check back on the eighth and ninth.

Related Articles: Nov/Dec Oscar Buzz and Predictions: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (preview), Musical Techs (Score and Song), Noisy Techs (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing), Pretty People Techs (Hairstyling and Make-up & Costume), Pretty Picture Techs (Production Design and Cinematography), Finishing Touch TechsToons of Any Length (Animated Short and Animated Feature), Docs of Any Length (Documentary Feature and Documentary Short), Screenplays (Adapted and Original), Supporting PerformancesActor and ActressForeign Films (and Live Action Shorts), Fantasy Life of Pi?I Think You "Argo"ing to Love It!Can You "Master" Your Nature?Best That the Summer Wields? (Beasts of the Southern Wild review), Promarlius Kingdom (Moonrise Kingdom review), The Best Huntsman's Shadow (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel review), The Dark Knight TranscendsActing Master Classes in Private "Sessions"The Best Huntsman's Shadow (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel review), 23? You Don't Play Like a Sequel Over 2 (Skyfall review), Cloudy Connections (Cloud Atlas review), October Oscar Buzz and Predictions: Best DirectorBest Picture

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