Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pencils down

The polls are closed. All that's left to do is for the eggheads at Price Waterhouse Coopers to tally the votes and deliver the envelopes to the Dolby Theatre. But with so little time until the winners are unveiled, there are still so many questions left to mull over.

Amour, for instance, is a puzzler for me. It could win anywhere between zero and three Oscars on Sunday night (although for it to lose Foreign Language Film seems highly unlikely). It will likely come down to who's seen it. Enough members saw it to nominate it in an expanded field, but is that enough to propel it past higher profile competition in Best Actress and Original Screenplay? Either win would make me very happy, even though I'm predicting neither.

Django Unchained is in similar position of being just on the cusp of an Acting and a Screenplay victory. Snubs from the early-out-of-the-gate Screen Actors Guild and ineligibility with the Writers Guild have made it hard to get a handle on just how well the industry likes the film. All we have to go on are its wins at the Critics Choice, Globes, and BAFTA, which don't exactly typify AMPAS' voting body (BAFTA has a slight overlap). Will it win both Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay, or will it only win one, or will it win none?

Best Animated Feature continues to vex like it never has before, offering us the tightest race the category's ever seen. Wreck-It Ralph won big at the Critics Choice, Annies, and Producers Guild, while Brave took home hardware from the Globes, BAFTA, and ACE Eddies. Meanwhile, stop-motion critics darlings Frankenweenie and ParaNorman lurk in the wings, eager to upset. Might the clout of the Pixar name be the x-factor in this tightest of races?

Will the coolly received Anna Karenina have the goods to take home the craft categories it's owed? Or will affection for Best Picture nominees tempt voters to go another way?

And what to make of that Best Director category? Can David O. Russell win by virtue of his film being the presumed runner-up for Best Picture, or will flashier direction in the more prestigious Life of Pi bring Ang Lee his second Best Director trophy without a Best Picture win? Is Silver Linings Playbook even the real threat to Argo after all?

I'll be considering all these questions, and more, as I finalize my predictions in the coming days. You should take them with a grain of salt. There are some close categories for which I will inevitably predict my least preferred of the two frontrunners just as a way of hedging my bets. Either way, there are several categories that will have my utmost attention and extreme interest on the Oscar telecast, and for that, I couldn't be more grateful. What an exciting season it's been!


  1. Indeed. I am on pins and needles to see who will win, and who won't. Every year, I feel that I know who will win and who won't (like last year, it was kind of obvious that The Artist and Hugo were going to be the big winners), but this year, I am clueless. Sunday will be a most adventageous night. One for the ages.

  2. Oh yes! It's been an exciting season. Thanks for accompanying us filmphiles there

  3. I'm half excited to see who wins and half disappointed it's so hard to make predictions (and win various pools). At least Sunday won't be boring. We can chalk it up to a wonderful year for movies. (Last year was kind of disappointing IMO)