Last year, Awards Frenzy continued its remarkable trend of predicting Oscar nominees and winners a year in advance. Awards Frenzy correctly predicted Meryl Streep to take home the Best Actress award for her work in “The Iron Lady” and also predicted that “The Descendants” and “Moneyball” would become Best Picture nominees. This was coming off the previous year when we predicted both Colin Firth and Christian Bale to win Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively. It’s certainly not easy to predict winners almost a year ahead of the Oscars, but that’s what we pride ourselves on. Let’s see if we can continue our good fortune in 2013.
Best Picture Nominees Predictions:
Les Miserables (Universal Pictures)
Tom Hooper (director of The King’s Speech) helms this big budget adaptation of the hit Broadway musical starring A-listers Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe as the sinister, yet sympathetic lawman Javert. We can’t wait.
Zero Dark Thirty (Columbia Pictures)
Another high profile follow-up film from a Best Picture winning director. A director’s first film following a Best Picture win often disappoints but it’s hard to bet against Bigelow, especially with the source material she’s working with – the real life hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It may not be “The Hurt Locker” all over again, but should be good for a nomination.
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros)
Many Oscar experts believe the change from five Picture nominees to ten happened in large part because of outcry over “The Dark Knight” being snubbed in 2008. That being said, it’s hard to imagine Christopher Nolan getting passed over again. Voters will want to award the franchise something, and that trailer looks absolutely mesmerizing.
Django Unchained (The Weinstein Company)
Tarantino’s last film (Inglorious Basterds) scored a Best Picture nomination and this one, about a slave turned bounty hunter facing off against an evil plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio looks captivating. Could Leo finally capture his first gold statue…in a supporting category?
After a disappointing year, Pixar should be back with this adventure tale featuring a strong female protagonist reminscent of Robin Hood. With an original story once again, look for this film to follow in the footsteps of fellow Best Picture nominees “Up” and “Toy Story 3.”
Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)
Most likely the prohibitive frontrunner heading into the new Oscar season, Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day -Lewis as our fearless 16th President facing challenges during the Civil War and within his own “Team of Rivals,” the Doris Kearns Goodwin book it is based on. Spielberg films have drifted a bit too far into the realm of sentimentality to win Best Picture, but they’re still good for a nomination, as “War Horse” illustrated.
Hyde Park on Hudson (Focus Features)
Call this a sleeper. Bill Murray plays FDR in a film about an affair he allegedly had one weekend with a wealthy socialite. Laura Linney co-stars. With potentially dynamic and moving performances, this film could become an actors’ favorite, propelling it to a nomination.
The Master (The Weinstein Company)
If not “Lincoln,” many people will be jumping on the bandwagon of PT Anderson’s follow-up to the critically beloved “There Will Be Blood.” Here, Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a charismatic cult leader in the 50s. Joaquin Phoenix is his prodigy and Amy Adams appears in a supporting role. Plot details are sketchy, but the film is sure to be controversial.
Argo (Warner Bros)
It’s about time underrated director Ben Affleck gets some Oscar recognition. It might happen for this film, a true story about a plan to rescue several Americans during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1980. Academy voters may remember how Affleck got snubbed for the brilliant, yet subtle bank robbery drama “The Town” two years ago.
Just Missing the Cut:
Ang Lee is back with the adaptation of the literary classic “Life of Pi,” featuring Tobey Maguire, but the subject matter may be a little too abstract for conventional Academy voters. Same goes for Terrence Malick, who amazingly has films in back to back years. This time, he directs Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in the romantic drama “The Burial.” Brad Pitt plays a mobster in the gangster drama “Cogan’s Trade,”distributed by the Weinstein Company. It’s hard to underestimate the company that’s just won back to back Best Picture Oscars, although this film may be a little too commercial to strike a chord. Baz Luhmann’s “The Great Gatsby” has the pedigree to be a contender, with a cast featuring DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey McGuire, but after “Australia,” forgive us for being a little skeptical. Finally, we are really looking forward to Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” especially after “Atonement,” but historical costume dramas haven’t been in favor with the Academy for some time now. It’s the true stories that have fared much better.
There are a lot of heavy hitters this year, with past Best Actor winners Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Daniel Day Lewis in contention with “The Master” and “Lincoln.” But the Academy may wish to spread the wealth, and that could favor veteran and well respected actor Bill Murray, who came close to winning an Oscar in 2003 for his understated work in “Lost in Translation.” The wild card is John Hawkes, who plays a disabled man wishing to lose his virginity in the Sundance hit “The Surrogates.” But Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) may not be well known enough to trump Murray.
Keira Knightley could be in the mix for her title role in “Anna Karenina,” but it’s possible Academy voters may still feel that she hasn’t paid her dues, even after a previous nominated turn for “The Duchess.” Then there’s Laura Linney, as the object of FDR’s affections in “Hyde Park on Hudson.” She’s done terrific work over the years and this would be a great way to acknowledge her for being one of the best characters actors out there. We forsee a close race between Knightley and Linney and will give Knightley the edge.
Best Supporting Actor:
This category is loaded. First you have got Russell Crowe singing as the famous detective Javert in “Les Miserables.” Next, you have Leonardo Dicaprio in a villain role for the first time, in a Quentin Tarantino film nonetheless! Who would have imagined Crowe and DiCaprio facing off in Supporting Actor? Still, we’re going to go with Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master.” Phoenix should have won for “Gladiator” and like the rest of our projected winners, we’re going with someone that’s overdue, based on their body of work.
Best Supporting Actress:
Kerry Washington has a turn in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” but with a loaded cast, it may be hard for her to distinguish herself. Another possibility is Helena Bonham Carter, who appears in “Les Miserables.” Rising star Emma Stone may also find herself in consideration in “The Gangster Squad,” but we’re going with Amy Adams in “The Master.” Though we’re not sure the nature of her role at this point, Adams has been up for Best Supporting Actress twice and the Academy often rewards young, talented actresses in this category.
This award usually matches up with Best Picture, and there will be a lot of starpower thanks to past winners Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, and Tom Hooper. Quentin Tarantino will certainly get a look. He’s very overdue and if “Django” is as good as “Inglorious Basterds,” he could be looking at a big night. But don’t count out lesser known directors like Roger Michell and Joe Wright. As past years will tell you, it’s all about how good your film actually is. After all, who would have thought a guy by the name of Michel Hazanavicius would win Best Director a year ago?
Summary of Predictions:
2013 will be an extremely competitive year. You will probably see many pundits jumping on the bandwagons of “Lincoln,” “The Master,” “Les Miserables,” or “Zero Dark Thirty.” While any of those films could easily win, we think it will be hard for each of these movies to match the colossal expectations people will have for them. Therefore, we are going with an underdog, Focus Features’ “Hyde Park on Hudson,” which seems to tell a more intimate story and will be driven by likely magnificent performances. We are also predicting the continuation of a trend started by “The King’s Speech” two years ago, with the eventual Best Picture winner taking down the top three prizes of the evening: Picture, Director, and Actor. And in the tradition of “The Fighter,” we are giving both Supporting acting awards to the same film. So there you have it!
Best Picture: Hyde Park on Hudson
Best Director: Roger Michell, Hyde Park on Hudson
Best Actor: Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
Best Actress: Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
Best Supporting Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master