Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar Winner Buzz and Predictions - Picture & Director

     We're almost there, my little tadpoles.  In less than thirty-six hours, another Awards will have come and gone, and the cycle will start anew (well, it already did at Sundance, but we'll talk about that next week).  This will be my final category by category analysis article, but these are still not my official predictions and I still have a few more posts to go before the ceremony.  With all that I still have to do in mind, lets's get started...

Best Director
     The buzz says...
  1.(1) Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
  2.(2) Ang Lee - Life of Pi
  3.(5) David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook
  4.(10) Michael Haneke - Amour
  5.(9) Benh Zeitlen - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  Leaving the Rankings: Ben Affleck - Argo, Katherine Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper - Les Miserables, Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master, Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained
     And my thoughts...
  1. Steven Spielberg - Lincoln...I'm pretty shaky on this call, but it DOES seem like the most logical choice. Two previous wins should not be as prohibitive to Spielberg as they might seem, considering the length and depth of his body of work.  The quality of his final product is (while not MY favorite film represented here) inarguable.  Even in the filmography of one of the greatest, it is a stand out.
  2. Michael Haneke - Amour...Any other year, I would never be putting the foreign language film director second, but I think that the votes will be widely split here, and passions for both the director and his film run high.  We'll just have to see.
  3. David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook...Mostly because he seems to be gaining momentum and you should never count out the influence of producer Harvey Weinstein.
  4. Ang Lee - Life of Pi...Just a few short weeks ago, I would have placed Mr. Lee's odds much higher, and the director's buzz and accolades were everywhere just last month.  Since then...????
  5. Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild...I would LOVE to have placed this brilliant young newcomer higher on the list, but even a big old "Beast"iac (I'm coining it) like me has to admit that of all the nominees in this category, his victory would surprise me the most.

Best Picture
     Buzz would have it...
  1.(2) Argo
  2.(1) Lincoln
  3.(5) Silver Linings Playbook
  4.(3) Zero Dark Thirty
  5.(4) Les Miserables
  6.(6) Life of Pi
  7.(7) Beasts of the Southern Wild
  8.(11) Amour
  9.(10) Django Unchained
  Leaving the rankings:  The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Flight, Anna Karenina, The Dark Knigt Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Impossible, The Sessions, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Skyfall, Hitchcock
     And of course, I go my own way...a little...
  1. Argo...It won the Globe, the Critics Choice, SAG ensemble, the Producers Guild, the Director's Guild and the Writer's Guild.  Yes, it would be first film in a long time (since Driving Miss Daisy) to win Best Picture without a corresponding directorial nomination, but it would the first one ever to win all the awards I just mentioned and not win the Oscar.  Plus, everyone feels really bad for director Ben Affleck after his snub and this is the only way they have to honor him.
  2. Silver Linings Playbook...The only thing that MIGHT upset this basket is the influence of papa Weinstein, so I'm going with this as the alternate...for now.
  3. Lincoln...It has the most nominations, but that doesn't mean as much as it used to.  Also, it is a film that most people respect more than they passionately love and that could hurt in preferential voting system like the one used for this category.
  4. Amour...Again, passions run high for both the film and director and it is quite possibly the most critically acclaimed movie represented, so...
  5. Life of Pi...This film obviously has widespread support (with 11 nominations), but it is far more likely to be honored for its technical achievements.
  6. Django Unchained...Again, its a passion vote, and Tarantino is well loved, but it probably won't happen this year.
  7. Beasts of the Southern Wild...I put it this high on the list only because the film has few detractors and those who love it do so absolutely.
  8. Zero Dark Thirty...After making out like a bandit in the early critics award, the film seems to have quietly slipped out of competition immediately.
  9. Les Miserables...Of all the films, this is the only one that has actually elicited great disdain from some.

    And that's all the categories.  Expect me to return shortly when I will be giving you my buzz-meter's final prediction, then I'll give picks based on how I would vote, and finally you'll be getting my final predictions.

Related Articles:  Oscar Winner Predictions & Buzz: Of Snubs and Triumphs (preview), Musical Techs (Score and Song), Noisy Techs (Sound Editing & Sound Mixing), Pretty People Techs (Costume Design & Make-Up and Hairstyling), Pretty Picture Techs (Cinematography & Production Design), Finishing Touch Techs (Editing & Visual Effects), Toons of Any Length (Animated Feature & Animated Short), Docs of Any Length (Documentary Feature & Documentary Short), Screenplays (Adapted & Original), Supporting Players (Supporting Actor & Supporting Actress), Actor and ActressForeign Films (also covering Short Live-Action), "Lincoln" PerksBest That the Summer Wields? (Beasts of the Southern Wild review),  Acting Master Classes in Private "Sessions"Didn't Quite Take "Flight"Can You "Master" Your Nature?"Impossible"y Well CraftedAnna Conundruma (Anna Karenina review)

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