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Premature Oscar Picks

It’s not that time of year again, but I am starting my Oscar coverage early this year!  “Why?,” you may ask.  Well, basically I am obsessed with the Academy Awards/Oscars.  Not sure if it’s the glamour, the prestige, or just getting to watch who wins/loses, but I adore it all!

Last year’s Oscar race lack any sense of surprise, which is why I am dying (and probably all the other Oscar lovers) to guesstimate how this year’s race will pan out.  The biggest question every year is whether or not the films from the first half of the year will have enough momentum to carry them to the awards in February.  But there are also a number of other questions that I am already itching to know that answers to:

The two highest grossing movies (Avatar and Titanic) scored multiple Oscar nominations and wins, will The Avengers (the third highest grossing movie) be able to follow in suit?

With so few Sundance and Cannes breakouts, how will the fall film festivals fare?

Is Moonrise Kingdom this year’s Midnight in Paris?  If so, will it do as well at the Oscars?

All these questions and many more are already building up.  The Oscars, in February, are still a long ways away but it is never too early to start throwing around ideas for the next ceremony.  Well, without further ado, here is my stab in the dark at the possible nominees for the upcoming 85th Academy Awards.

Here we go:

Best Picture:

Much has happened in this grand category since it’s beginning in 1928.  Some of the greatest films of all time have been snubbed while others have swept the ceremony.  One memorable instance in recent memory took place at the announcement of the nominees for the 81st Academy Awards.  There was a bit of a scuffle among fans at when The Dark Knight was not given a Best Picture nod.  So after much debate the Academy decided to expand the number of nominees in that category from five to ten in order to nominate more commercial friendly films, i.e. Inception and The Blind Side.  However, last year the category underwent yet another alteration.  Depending on how many #1 votes a movie receives, at least five and at most ten nominees could be in the category.  This shakes things up a lot and makes this category that much more difficult to predict.  Last year nine movies received nominations, and this year there should be around the same.  Here’s my guesses:

Highly Probable:  

Les Misérables

The Master

Anna Karenina

Moonrise Kingdom

Hyde Park on Hudson

Dark Horses:

Beasts of the Southern Wild 

The Dark Knight Rises

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 

The Avengers 

Game Changers:

The Great Gatsby 

Lincoln 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

My Wishful Thinking Nominee:

Cabin in the Woods 

Best Director:

The French underdog, Michel Hazanavicius, took down the top dogs in the business when he won Best Director last year.  Could this year be just as surprising?  With former winners and even more newbies in the mix, anything could happen.  Will the Academy honor an up-and-coming director (like they did the past two years)?  Or would they rather salute a veteran?  Only time will tell.

Highly Probable:

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master 

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom 

Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises 

Joe Wright, Anna Karenina 

Dark Horses:

Ang Lee, Life of Pi 

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty 

Game Changers:

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained 

Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby 

Tom Hooper, Les Miserables 

Best Actor:

This may be the Oscars’ most frustrating category.  As of late, the Academy has gotten into the habit of honoring acting veterans for their entire body of work rather than the performance nominated, i.e. Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges.  Last ceremony, however, they got it right and give it to the most deserving nominee, Jean Dujardin.  Now Academy, if it’s not too much to ask, could you nominate someone who doesn’t have grey hair?  It would be nice to have a glimpse of our next generation of leading men.

Highly Probable:

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln 

Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson 

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby

Clint Eastwood, Trouble With The Curve 

Dark Horses:

John Hawkes, The Sessions 

Denzel Washington, Flight 

Game Changers:

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master 

Ben Affleck, Argo 

My Dream Winner:

Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Best Actress:

After Meryl’s win this past Oscars, I think it is safe to say that she won’t be nominated this upcoming ceremony.  I love you Meryl, but after seventeen nominations and three wins, I think it is time to let some other actresses get some loving.  With Meryl’s usual spot freed up we may be able to get five nominees who all have a shot at winning.  It’s been a weak year for female performances so far, but in this highly competitive category there is no telling who will shock and who will flop.

Highly Probable:

Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina 

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Viola Davis, Won’t Back Down 

Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby 

Dark Horses:

Amy Adams, Trouble With The Curve 

Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone 

Game Changers:

Maggie Smith, Quartet 

Nicole Kidman, Stoker 

My Wishful Thinking Nominee:

Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin

 Who do you think will get the gold?  Best way to decide is to get out to the theatre and watch those movies!  Happy moviegoing!


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