Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
February 20, 2013
For context about predictions of major entertainment events, Duff Goldman from “Ace of Cakes” correctly predicted the result of this year’s Super Bowl. NFL experts did not.
Likewise, making Oscar predictions can be a bit ridiculous, as frequently the name of the game is predicting what everyone else predicts and going rogue on just a few. Thankfully, this year’s Oscar race is more interesting than usual. Several big categories (Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor, in particular) are far from guaranteed, unlike the Best Supporting Actress category, which will but shouldn’t go to Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables.”
So let’s take a look at the majority pick for the winner, my estimation of its accuracy and the surprises I’d welcome.
Majority: Initial expectations of a “Lincoln” win have given way to Affleck’s “Argo” taking back its frontrunner status.
Accurate? Yep, and while “Argo” is not my favorite of the noms (I prefer “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Zero Dark Thirty”), I’ll be glad to see Steven Spielberg’s overrated “Lincoln” lose.
Surprise: A presenter comments that the Academy probably didn’t understand “The Master,” and that’s why it was snubbed for Best Picture. The presenter gets in trouble; the Academy admits he/she is right.
Majority: It’s up in the air between Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), the oldest-ever nominee at age 85.
Accurate? Absolutely. Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) won’t win, and 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, so good in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” will have to wait until she hits double digits for her Oscar.
Surprise: I prefer Chastain doesn’t win and would be happy with a Lawrence victory. But I was especially impressed by Riva, who could be a way for voters to reward the Academy’s love for “Amour” with more than just nominations and a Best Foreign Language Film win.
Majority: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
Surprise: Day-Lewis acknowledges Joaquin Phoenix’s stand-out work in “The Master,” which will be forever chilling. People’s memories about Phoenix’s anti-Oscar comments won’t last past March.
Best Supporting Actor
Majority: There isn’t one, which is awesome. All of the nominees have won before, which isn’t as awesome for those of us who like rooting for the underdog.
Accurate? Alan Arkin won’t win for “Argo” and I don’t think Robert De Niro should win for being good again in “Silver Linings Playbook” just because he’s spent so much of the last decade giving weak performances. I also prefer it doesn’t go to Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln.”
Surprise: Whatever you thought of “The Master” or “Django Unchained,” you have to admit Philip Seymour Hoffman and, to a slightly lesser extent, Christoph Waltz (in what was really a lead role) are phenomenal in the films. Let’s honor one of them.
Best Supporting Actress
Majority: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Accurate? 100 percent. This is a perfect example of buzz turning into certainty. Hathaway’s pretty good in the role, but has a few over-acted moments. Like nearly all her performances, Hathaway hits it as hard as she can. But even for a character reaching an emotional peak it’s too much.
Surprise: In the biggest Oscar shock of all time, Amy Adams (“The Master”) wins instead. Her speech is neither rambling nor annoying.
Majority: Most people say Spielberg, though it’s not a lock.
Accurate? I don’t think so. In a year when the category was very surprising, I’m thinking (hoping) the winner could be a surprise, too. Maybe the Academy, which clearly loves “Silver Linings Playbook,” goes with David O. Russell?
Surprise: I’d love if Benh Zeitlin, whom no one expected to be nominated for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” shocked the world and showed that young filmmakers with original movies can win a category that doesn’t always favor that sort of thing.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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