85TH ACADEMY AWARDS

Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck and Daniel Day-Lewis: the biggest contenders at the Oscars ready to compete for the gold statue. Photo courtesy of http://oscar.go.com.

The Oscars are one of the most frustrating times of the year because of movies getting the wrong nominations. Example: How is it that Anna Karenina, a movie whose box office revenue is only decent at best, gets four nominations for cinemetography, original score, costume and production design, whereas The Dark Knight Rises fails to get even one nomination?

The nominations at the Oscars aren't even the biggest issue, anyway. The biggest issue is seeing who will win the awards. Whoever wins, it's going to be a stiff competition, with endearing epics such as Les Misérables to suspenseful dramas such as Argo in the mix, it's hard to predict which movie will win which award. 

From best picture to best short film, here are my predictions for the winners of the 85th Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE: Nobody can ignore a winning streak. Ben Affleck’s phenomenal thriller Argo has so far won best picture awards for the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild of America, as well as its recent best picture wins from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. It might also take home the win for best picture.

BEST DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck should win best director, oh but wait a minute, he isn’t even nominated. In that outrageous case, Steven Spielberg should win best director for his brilliant biographical picture that is Lincoln.  

BEST ACTOR: If Daniel Day-Lewis does not win best actor for his breathtakingly powerful performance in Lincoln, I will take a shotgun to my 30-inch flatscreen plasma TV and mail the contents to the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

BEST ACTRESS: I’m split between Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. But I’m going with Lawrence because she’s the youngest nominee here besides Quevenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild.    

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: There are two strong possibilities here: Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln and Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained. I’m going with Tommy Lee Jones solely because his performance was dramatic, passionate and hilarious all at once.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Even though her appearance in the film was very brief, Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Misérables was so powerful and tragic that it brought tears to my eyes. Very few performances of the year were as personal and passionate as Hathaway’s.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Although Zero Dark Thirty is a more worthy candidate, my money is on Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained for being the dark comedy and witty, social commentary that it is.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: It’s a showdown between Chris Terrio for Argo and Tony Kushner for Lincoln. I’m going with Terrio because I haven’t seen a best picture winner not win either best director or screenplay since Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins deserves to win for Skyfall, but he’ll probably get snubbed this year for Claudio Miranda’s conventional camerawork that is Life Of Pi

BEST FILM EDITING: William Goldenberg is nominated for both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, respectively, but he’s probably going to win for Argo. It was quite simply the most masterful film editing of the year.

And here are my picks for the minor categories:

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Wreck-It Ralph

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Searching For Sugar Man

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Life Of Pi

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Skyfall

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Life Of Pi

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Anna Karenina

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Anna Karenina

BEST MAKEUP: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

BEST SOUND EDITING: Argo

BEST SOUND MIXING: Les Misérables

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Open Heart

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Death of a Shadow

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Paperman

Submit your own predictions in the comments section below. If you plan on watching the Academy Awards on Sunday, use the Twitter hashtag #UTAOscars and tweet to @UTAShorthorn.

@dDUnn87

davidadunn@mavs.uta.edu

David Dunn is an aspiring filmmaker, critic, and analyst currently attending the University of Texas at Arlington, and writes for the newspaper, The Shorthorn.

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