I love awards shows. I really do. I've been an awards show junkie since middle school. The Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the SAG Awards, and of course the Oscars are big television events for me. I DVR not just the ceremonies, but the red carpet on E!. I buy the issue of People that comes out after the Oscars, showing everyone all dressed up. I check off the winners as the awards are given, and I try to make predictions and see whether I’m right.
Every year before the Oscars, the two Boston Globe film critics list, for each category, who should win, who will win, who was robbed, and who shouldn't be in the category. I think it's coming out tomorrow.
This year, I’m doing my own version of that post. It was a great year for movies, so I'm especially excited this year. I've seen all of the movies nominated for Best Picture and all but one of the movies that have acting nominations, so here are my thoughts on this year’s Oscars.
Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Should win: Les Mis. Duh. I will admit that I am a bit biased.
Will win: I’m going to go with Lincoln. It’s rare for Best Picture and Best Director to be split and even rarer for a movie to win Best Picture when the director wasn't nominated. So that rules out Les Mis, Argo, and Zero Dark Thirty, although I would have said that all three of them had good shots before the nominations came out. Lincoln was nowhere near my favorite of the nominated movies, but seeing as it has the most nominations, I’d say it has the best shot at winning. I don’t think Best Picture has been this wide open in years.
Was robbed: Moonrise Kingdom! WTF? That was such a great movie. I can’t believe Best Original Screenplay was its only nomination. I also would have nominated The Sessions, a really underrated movie that I found deeply touching. (Uh…no pun intended.)
Shouldn't be here: All nine movies are good movies that I enjoyed, which doesn't always happen. If I had to drop one, it would be Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was decent but very weird and, for the most part, overrated.
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
Should win: Hugh Jackman, and that’s not just my Les Mis bias speaking. Although, like I said, he doesn't sing the role as well as most of the stage Valjeans, he does an amazing job carrying the whole movie while embodying a complex, heroic character and singing live on camera.
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis. I think what Jackman accomplished was harder, but Day-Lewis does a great job capturing the essence of a historical icon. He’d definitely be my second choice.
Was robbed: John Hawkes for The Sessions. He plays a man in an iron lung who hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity, and it’s an incredibly appealing, moving performance. I didn't expect to like that movie as much as I did, and he was a big reason why.
Shouldn't be here: They were all pretty good, actually. If I really had to pick one to drop from this category, I’d say Joaquin. Although it is nice to see him move on from that whole fake-rapping-career fiasco.
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Should win: J. Law wins at life and should be my new best friend, but while I really wanted to say her, I think I have to go with Jessica Chastain, who was just riveting in Zero Dark Thirty. She’s the very smart, driven CIA agent who has to fight to be heard but whose hard work eventually leads to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. She clearly has lots of emotions pouring through her, but she never overplays the role. The scene where they’re briefing everyone on the compound and the CIA director looks at her and asks who she is, as if seeing her for the first time, and she retorts, “I'm the motherfucker who found this place!” was awesome.
Will win: Toss-up between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, two actresses whose career trajectories have really shot up in the last couple of years. I would be fine with either of them winning.
Was robbed: Hmm…I don’t know. I can't really think of anyone, actually!
Shouldn't be here: Hard to say. I haven't seen The Impossible, so I have no idea about Naomi Watts. The other four should definitely be here, though.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Should win: This isn't a category I have a strong opinion about, but I'm actually going to go to with a less popular choice. I thought Robert DeNiro was pretty great in Silver Linings Playbook, although at this point in his career he certainly doesn't need any more awards.
Will win: Tough call, but I’m going to say Tommy Lee Jones. Every single nominee in this category already has an Oscar, which is another reason I don’t care much about who wins.
Was robbed: Eddie Redmayne! If you can make me like and sympathize with a character I didn't think I could ever like, you definitely deserve an Oscar nomination.
Shouldn't be here: Alan Arkin. He was good comic relief in Argo, but nothing Oscar-worthy.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Should win: Anne Hathaway. No one else in this category comes remotely close. If I really had to pick a second choice, I’d say Sally Field.
Will win: I will be shocked if anyone other than Hathaway wins. She’s won basically every other Best Supporting Actress award this year.
Was robbed: SAMANTHA BARKS. Arrgh! My standards for Eponine were pretty high, and she surpassed them. She actually DOES come remotely close to Anne Hathaway.
Shouldn't be here: Amy Adams and Jacki Weaver. I feel like the Academy got it in their heads that they need to nominate Amy Adams for every movie she's in—she was great in Junebug but just average in Doubt, The Fighter, and now The Master. Also, a pet peeve of mine with this category is how many roles nominated for Best Supporting Actress are “wife-of” roles for characters defined almost solely by their relationship to the leading man. This year, Amy Adams and Sally Field are nominated for “wife-of” roles and Jacki Weaver, who definitely didn't impress me as much as everyone else in Silver Linings Playbook, is a “mother-of.” And Helen Hunt, like so many actors do, totally butchered the Boston accent in The Sessions. Basically, they should have just handed Hathaway the award and not bothered with everyone else.
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Stephen Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Should win: Honestly? Ben Affleck should win, but he inexplicably wasn't nominated. I don’t know if the Academy’s still holding a grudge over Gigli or what, but hopefully he’s satisfied with winning basically every other award out there. I don't have a strong preference among the actual nominees.
Will win: Since I think Lincoln’s going to win Best Picture, probably Spielberg.
Was robbed: Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, Kathryn Bigelow. Seriously, it's like they threw the Best Picture nominees in a hat and randomly picked five to nominate for Best Director. I've heard criticism of Hooper's directing of Les Mis, so although I'm disappointed that he wasn't nominated, I'm not surprised. But Kathryn Bigelow? She won for The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty is a much better movie.
Shouldn't be here: Michael Haneke.
What do all of you think? Who would you say should win, will win, was robbed, and shouldn’t be here for all of these categories this year?