Sunday evening will see many of us Brits stay up until the wee small hours trying desperately to find an unbroken, coherent video link on Ustream to watch the 2013 Academy Awards (or SKY MOVIES if you’re lucky *blows raspberry*). I will be amongst them, fighting doziness by drinking copious amounts of tea and chatting to just about anyone awake at 3am (just me, then). And this year there’s a reason to be more excited than most – it’s the most open awards season to date, with just a few categories locked down with an almost certain winner. Many are still up for grabs, the results of the Golden Globes and the recent BAFTAs changing the favourites almost daily. So bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 different awards that will be dished out this weekend, and who – in my eyes – should walk away with the tiny golden man.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David Magee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo
For me, it’s got to be Life of Pi. Not only is it an extraordinary film that will most certainly come away from Sunday’s ceremony overlooked, it’s a film based on an unfilmable book. Surely writer David Magee deserves some credit, and recognition, for achieving the impossible? Honourable mention is Lincoln, for turning a short segment of a book into a fully formed feature.
Best Original Screenplay
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
John Gatins, Flight
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
This is a tough one for me, as I had problems with the script for the first three on this list but loved both Amour and Django Unchained for different reasons. Amour for the power it delivers from silence and actions, and Tarantino’s joyous wordplay in Django Unchained. I may have to just pip for the latter for this one.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Here comes the controversy! For me, it has to be Amy Adams for The Master. She won’t win it of course – Anne Hathaway is polishing her speech off as we speak – but her performance is the most compelling out of the five for me. She has such a depth and resolution to her character that we never fully understand, and she more than holds her own against two very strong male lead roles.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert de Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
I’d love to say Hoffman, as he’s a tour de force in The Master, but I was so utterly charmed by Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained that it can be no one else but the German actor for me here. Astonishing to think he could win the award for the second time in four years, both in Tarantino films. He sure has a lot to thank him for!
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
This is the strongest field for me of the main categories, as all five actresses could potentially, given any angle, win this award. But it has to go to Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. She is astonishing in that role, and at the age of 85 she may never be in this position again. I thought it may be a long shot but her surprise win at the BAFTAs has reignited by campaign. Riva for the Oscar!
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
This is another one that’s already been sewn up in many minds by Daniel Day Lewis, who is formidable inLincoln. But I would love to see Joaquin Phoenix nick it for The Master. It’s such a physical and all-encompassing performance – out of the five his is the one that lingers the most.
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg , Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Here, by definition of the nominees, is where I believe we will get our Oscar surprise. There’s always one win every year that comes slightly out of left field to the genuine delight of everyone watching. Whilst I don’t think the winner will be as left field as Benh Zeitlin, I’d personally love this award to go to Michael Haneke for Amour. It would raise the roof, and be so well deserved. But still, I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces when the award goes to Ben Affleck.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
And here’s where I profess my love for Argo. Back in November, I boldly claimed that this film would be Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards – “you mark my words” (oo-er). But I stand by it. Argo is a wonderfully gripping, entertaining, intelligent and funny third offering from director Ben Affleck, and I believe it has all the hallmarks to charm the Academy into giving it the most important award of the night, even if its presence is largely lacking in the other nestling categories. It’s strong run up to this point means it has an excellent chance of succeeding, and I’m sure I’ll be there at 3.40am biting my nails as the envelope is ripped open desperately hoping for the most surprising of underdogs to win.
But what do the other film writers think will win the Best Picture award? Here are their picks…
Stewart Scott: “I’d love Life Of Pi to get the nod for Best Picture. All of the nominees I’ve seen have been great – and I think this is one of the best Best Picture ‘classes’ in recent memory – but I think Life Of Pi is the best of the bunch. It appeals to everybody, it has a great range of emotion throughout, not to mention a great story. It’s also the best looking film I think I’ve ever seen, everything just looks magical and every scene leaves you amazed.”
David McGregor: “I couldn’t separate between Life of Pi, Argo and Les Miserables. Think I will need to see them all twice before deciding…if I was pushed I would probably lean towards Les Miserables.”
Stuart Ross: “Django Unchained - it was the most enjoyable film out of those nominated, it had the best overall cast performance, and the writing was fantastic.”
Kate Milner: “I’m going to say Les Miserables should win cause it’s been too long since a musical won (I don’t count Slumdog Millionaire, even if it had a song at the end).”
Alan Redman: “I’ve only seen two as it’s not really my sort of films, but I gave Lincoln 10/10 so that’s my choice. Life of Pi was a bit meh…”
The 85th Academy Awards take place Sunday 24th February 2013 – red carpet from 23:00 and the ceremony itself from 01:00 (times GMT).
Kate McCall – @_culturemouse