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Tuesday
Jan082013

Final Nomination Predix: Big Day Ahead for Lincoln, Life, Les Miz

And here we are again.

I was amused to find myself named one of the 'Nate Silvers of the Oscar Race' today on Salon but Thursday morning will undoubtedly make the comparison less apt even if though we'll still share a first name (Nathaniel... why do people go by "Nate"?). In my soon-to-be needed defense it's a lot harder to successfully predict 120ish nominees in 24 categories that dozens of different groups are voting on (nominees, though not winners, are determined only by peers: actors voting for actors, directors for directors and so on) than it is to read an electoral map with only two candidates. Nor is their endless polling to guide us. Oscar voters aren't supposed to tell people who they're voting for. And even when they're willing to, filling out a weighted multi-named ballot is a lot different than checking a box for Candidate A or Candidate B when it comes time to let slip your favorites.

But I digress. Whatever the chaotic, agenda-driven, polarizing and exhausting race to Oscar nominations has in common with politics (quite a lot) we'll ditch the analogy now in order to dig in. I've never been one to care too deeply about statistics apart from the generalities they underline. So in the end I play my hunches.

PICTURE
Locks: Lincoln, Argo, Les Misérables, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook

But What Else Will Be Nominated?
 infinite hand-wringing after the jump....

We'd have an easy-to-guess Best Picture lineup this year if we were still operating on the old five-wide rules. But we aren't and anywhere from 5 to 10 pictures will be nominated. Even if we had a solid top ten as we did briefly (2009 & 2010) before the new fluid rule, I think this year would be tricky to pin down. I'd wager that 8 films are still in play for the remaining 0 to 5 slots -- are you still following me?  If the internet could vote you'd see the billion-grossing James Bond outing Skyfall and Tarantino's much-drooled on slavesploitation western Django Unchained among the nominees but I wonder if both aren't too 'genre' for Oscar tastes. If critics could vote you might see Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Amour and The Master finding their footing on the red carpet, but I'm personally suspect that any of them have been helped by the diversity of critical opinion this year -- yes The Master won a lot of regional critics prizes but I've always maintained that the only ones that really catch the ears of Oscar voters are LAFCA and NYFCC (these historic groups represent the two entertainment meccas where most AMPAS voters reside). And neither the LA or the New York critics chose Paul Thomas Anderson's picture as the year's "best".

Finally we need to talk about love... true love. And boy do you need it if you want nominations. Two longshots The Impossible and Moonrise Kingdom definitely have their googoo eyed fans but the former opened far too late to build on that passion (note to smaller films: why Christmas? You'll be buried in shinier presents?!) and the latter doesn't feel exactly "Oscary" for lack of a better word, whatever its considerable charms. So there are a lot of options this year, and many good ones, for voters. My guess is that the sheer degree-of-difficulty and scope-of-message and mainstream-accessibility and critical-approval all combine to make Life of Pi the type of candidate that win votes here, there and basically everywhere if never in concentrated lumps... but enough to make it the sixth and final Best Picture nominee. 

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Locks: Oscar Winners Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin, Robert DeNiro, and Philips Seymour Hoffman

But Who Else? Before the Unchaining of Leo, Christoph and Samuel and the "mommy's been very bad" scene-stealing of Javier Bardem, I had hoped that my doom & gloom hunch about Matthew McConaughey's impending Magic Mike snub was just pessimism and not psychic vision. But those men stole Magic Matthew's already shaky thunder with the precursors, damn them. Though I still wouldn't be shocked to see the very deserving double M on this list I have always had my doubts about the viability of a performance this sexualized in a male acting category. Which is maybe why I'm suddenly bullish on Eddie Redmayne, as my no guts no glory prediction. He's had no precursor support but actors seem to love Les Misérables and it could be argued that he's the safely unthreatening Teen Beat heartthrob alternative to McConaughey's bad news Playgirl centerfold. Yes, yes, I'm reading too much into it and I should just pick between Leo or Christoph like everyone else but here's my overthinking it problem with doing so: I'm betting Leo & Christoph & Samuel are cannibalizing each other's fanbases (our informal poll was hardly a landslide for any of them) and I'm betting Christoph & Javier cause problems for each other in the former winner coasting on charisma sweepstakes "we loved you in ____ and we still love you doing that thing you do!" Plus it's really hard to imagine an all Oscar winning lineup which would be dreadfully dull if Christoph or Javier made it.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lockety-Lock-Lock-Lock: Anne Hathaway
Standard Issue Locks: Oscar Winners Sally Field and Helen Hunt
5 Women Fighting for 2 Spots: Jennifer Ehle, Nicole Kidman, Ann Dowd, Maggie Smith, Amy Adams 


 Who gets the two free-for-all spots? Super longshots Judi "M" Dench and songbird Samantha "On My Own" Barks are the only true outliers with anything greater than a snowball's chance in hell but basically there are five women still in play. Ann Dowd is super in Compliance and those "character actor makes good" stories are hard to resist but the film is tiny and are voters really watching it given how many of the late year releases were big hits and conversation-magnets? Amy Adams is an Oscar favorite in a slightly against-type role but SAG voters shunned the film apart from her screen husband Hoffman, himself a default awards magnet and that seemed somehow...unsurprising. Plus it's tough for me to imagine her joining the ranks of four time nominees (i.e. the top 51 actresses of all Oscar time) just yet for a movie that so many people find inaccessible. I could totally see Jennifer Ehle popping up out of nowhere (precursor-wise) for a nomination for Zero Dark Thirty. Joe Reid described her in the podcast as an "oasis of personality" and that can really help. But I already used up my "no precursors and suddenly a nomination!" card with Redmayne who has been a lot more active on the campaign trail. So in the end, though I don't normally do this, I'm just going with the SAG lineup. Maggie Smith is riding a huge wave of global love after a decade of Harry Potter franchise and a few years of Downton Abbey mania and people love her as the crotchety racist who (slightly) softens in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- plus she's the popular film's best shot at a nomination. Meanwhile Nicole Kidman still seems like a longshot given the nature of her character and the outre sensibility of her film. But at this point, wouldn't people be disappointed in her if she WASN'T in some manner of weirdness? The question is not really whether they liked The Paperboy but whether that "she's back!" nomination for Rabbit Hole suggests that Hollywood IS really glad to be over that weird phase where people were into hating her for her undeniable artistry which came at the expense of her box office. Maybe this is just wishful thinking but I'm thinking she's in. 

DIRECTOR
LocksAffleck, Spielberg, Bigelow
Who Joins Them? The DGA backed Oscar winners Ang Lee (Pi) and Tom Hooper (Les Miz) and if the Oscar director lineup matches we have an all Oscar-winning lineup on our hands since Ben Affleck has an Oscar already (albeit for screenplay writing). But I'm guessing they don't. I vacillated between Lee and Hooper for a long time and though the DGA is a more Lee-friendly club than AMPAS happens to be I think the recent attacks on Les Miz, being as focused as they were on Hooper's directorial choices, have probably done some damage. That and musicals sometimes direct themselves: Rob Marshall famously lost for Chicago (2002), Baz Luhrmann was famously snubbed for Moulin Rouge! (a movie that couldn't possibly have existed without his existence). So I'm sticking with my early year hunch that Michael Haneke will be capitalizing on a decade of international ardor to win his first (cough) nomination outside of the foreign film category.

ACTOR
Lock: Daniel Day-Lewis

Yep, that's it. Haha. Yes, yes, Denzel Washington, John Hawkes, Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper, and Joaquin Phoenix have all been frequent fixtures at the precursors but guess what? That's five men and there are only four seats next to Daniel. You can literally tie yourself in knots trying to figure out who gets snubbed. Current conversations or rather the lack thereof suggests the surprise snub might be Denzel Washington or John Hawkes (for who is talking about Flight or The Sessions anymore?) but my god there is nothing Oscar loves more than men playing alcoholics or pretending disability. Nothing! Backlash suggests Hugh Jackman could be on the outside looking in but he's a totally endearing celebrity and celebrities that are easy to love are also easy to get behind in voting. (See: human nature). The state of one's filmography suggests that Bradley Cooper is a stretch but precursors have been kind and he really is the best part of his movie. Which leaves Joaquin Phoenix. He'll definitely get #1 votes and if he is snubbed I do believe that it will be wildly misinterpreted as due to his vocal discomfort about the Oscar circus. I think he'll be snubbed but only because the race is very very tight and I just don't imagine that the film will score with Oscar. But on the other hand there's little Oscar loves more than men playing alcoholics.... argh! I'm not confident about this at all! Round and round I go.

ACTRESS
Locks: Jennifer, Jessica, Naomi
5 Women Fighting For 2 Spots: Marion, Rachel, Emmanuelle, Helen, and Quvenzhane

Presenting... the most confusing category ever! First the locks. Jennifer has maintained a long strange lead despite limited screentime and a manic dream girl cliche of a character ('she's crazy. but she's hot!')  Jessica was then suddenly (maybe) in it to win it though her character remains an enigma, and Naomi amassed such a celebrity fanbase (Angelina! Reese! Nicole...presumably!) that she might have been considered a frontrunner if the film had opened in a more reasonable season for this type of film (say September?) and gotten a stronger push. Now it could be too late since Jennifer has settled in so completely as the frontrunner.

Little Quvenzhane Wallis would be the youngest person ever nominated in the Best Actress category and Beasts of the Southern Wild, gets much of its emotional immediacy from her expressive naturalism. And yet... with child actors it's difficult to know who to credit for a performance this solid (the director or the actor) which surely pulls some votes away from her. And her film, a very indie effort, mostly remains on the fringe of awards season, which is a mainstream corporate circus however "niche" it may feel to Oscar fanatics dealing with puzzled looks from their friends whenever they try and discuss it. I don't think the Beasts nomination will happen but here's why I can never say never: Keisha Castle-Hughes got a nomination at 13 for crying beautifully aand Qu'venzhane is yet more bewitching than that Whale Rider.)

Helen Mirren sailed through the precursors without problems mystifying many who know she can do the sassy disgruntled wife in her sleep. Can she really win another nomination so close on the heels of The Last Station for another film and performance that no one seems particularly enthralled with?

Marion Cotillard also sailed through the precursors but her case was weirder since she's in a difficult foreignfilm playing a largely unlikable character where the focus is often not on her at all. Are people voting on her star appeal or this performance? It's not that the performance isn't special... just that it seems so unOscary, disability factor aside.  

Rachel Weisz seemed like an entirely unlikely candidate at first given The Deep Blue Sea's early release, her own position in the industry (famous but hardly A list or 'automatic-buzz ' generating on her own), and the cool character nature of the film. But people refused to quit talking about her no matter how unlikely she seemed indicating real unwavering passion (i.e. #1 votes). Emmanuelle Riva, the star of Amour, didn't do much in the way of campaigning but hers is the sort of performance that's impossible to deny once you've seen it. So in the end it's kind of a toss up. I've always believed in Riva's chances so I'm sticking with her to the bitter end despite the relative cold shoulder from the mainstream end of precursors. For the fifth spot I think it's going to be extremely tight (wouldn't you die to see vote totals?) between Weisz and Marion Cotillard. I'm predicting Cotillard because it's a toss up and because of the precursors and because it'll be neat to have two foreign language performances nominated in Best Actress again for the first time since the 70s. But I firmly believe that if they hadn't rushed the nominations I'd have predicted Rachel Weisz who seems to gain more fans each month while the other performances have long since settled.

And now I must sleep! More tomorrow.

FINAL PREDICTIONS

That's the chart of all categories. I'm pulling various pages for reconstruction for tomorrow morning but that's the last guesses. I already know this shan't be my finest year of predicting both for the depth of most of the fields, my own rough personal year (jesus christ was I glad that 2012 ended!) and weird issues like "wow, did i really predict almost nothing for Django Unchained (not intentionally)" and other oddities. 

Here are a few things I'm curious about

SCREENPLAYS
Both of these categories feel fairly set in stone but I'm wondering if Perks of Being a Wallflower might surprise in Adapted. It certainly has its partisans. But at the expense of what? I'd say Life of Pi but the book is so famous and the movie more "Important" feeling than Perks and unfortunately that counts for a lot with voters.

COSTUME DESIGN
This is my favorite craft category but I usually do a crap job of predicting it. I assume my problem is overthinking it. I'm guessing Anna Karenina and Les Misérables are safe but from there god only knows... I'm predicting Lincoln, Snow White and the Huntsman and A Royal Affair. BUT... I could easily see Lincoln missing (Joanna Johnston has weirdly never been nominated) or Argo jumping in there. And what of Hitchcock's old hollywood or Mirror Mirror or Django Unchained or... the list goes on

CINEMATOGRAPHY
I'm currently predicting a nod for Les Misérables which may sound insane given the frequent attacks on the camera work. BUT. I can't help but remember that The King's Speech, which in no way shape or form had what one might call typically nominatable cinematography (and in a strong field at that) was nominated so whose to say that sort of thing won't happen again?

FINAL NOMINATION TOTAL PREDICTIONS: Lincoln (12), Life of Pi & Les Misérables (10),  Zero Dark Thirty (8), Argo (6), Silver Linings Playbook & Skyfall (5), Django Unchained (4), Anna Karenina & Amour (3), Avengers,  A Royal Affair, The Sessions, The Master (2), and with single nominations: Marigold Hotel, The Impossible, Flight, The Paperboy, Beast of the Southern Wild, Cloud Atlas, and Snow White and the Huntsman... and yes I think I'm overestimating Life of Pi but can't figure out where to drop it. I think I'm about right on Skyfall though several other pundits are predicting a lot more. But given the historical resistance to Bond with the Academy it'd be so weird to see it with 7 or 8 noms including ACTING. 

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References (2)

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    Final Nomination Predix: Big Day Ahead for Lincoln, Life, Les Miz - Blog - The Film Experience
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    Final Nomination Predix: Big Day Ahead for Lincoln, Life, Les Miz - Blog - The Film Experience

Reader Comments (45)

Hi Nat, great post, excited about the more to come.

I say: ZDT, Les Miz, Argo, Lincoln, SLP (sweet, we agree so far) - Django, Amour, BOTSW & Life of Pi.

If there is a 10th, I say Skyfall, never underestimate their desire for ratings haha - Sadly Moonrise & The Master just don't have the Oscar love I don't think, critics for sure and in MY book both The Hunt and Holy Motors would be in in a flash.

Not sure if you're interested/have the time but I posted my best supporting actress nominees (basically stealing your filmbitch idea, hope you don't mind - its inspiring!) http://soverymiddleclass.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/supporting-actress-of-year.html

Keep up the good work, mucho looking forward to your top ten :D

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermorganisaqt

The mention in Salon is very deserving. The Film Experience is one the first blogs I remember to start following, probably in A Beautiful Mind's year.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake

my final predictions...

Locks:

Lincoln
Argo
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi
Django Unchained

Will get in but with uncertainty...

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Wild-cards

The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Skyfall
The Impossible

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergbocampo

I still think DiCaprio is getting in - this is some of his best work to date. If voters fail to nominate him, it will show Django just peaked too late. In fact, according to Nate's early predictions, Django won't get nominated for...well, anything. Interesting.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Travis

I do love that the actor that got his breakthrough playing the son in Edward Albee's The Goat (in London, nominated for the Olivier) and playing Julianne Moore's son/lover (also Hugh Dancy. And I think he romanced Stephen Dillane's lover in that film too) is viewed as the sexually non-threatening one in this topsy-turvy world (though Nathaniel, your point is a salient one).

And can we not nominate Robert De Niro for merely not phoning it in?

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let them nominate Matthew Mccon just for sake of seeing which clip they'd use lol :)

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Nat, I totally agree with you re: supporting actor in that I took Christoph and Leo off a while back and subbed Javier Bardem.

He snagged the SAG because SAG is HUGE and most people had probably seen it. I had Redmayne months ago when the first Les Mis buzz arrived, but I'm suddenly seeing your argument here. A smaller acting crowd who tend to love Les Mis across the board (imo the critics are underestimating how much the industry peeps differ from their hate and not only like, but LOVE the film and its performances) would likely go for Redmayne, as he carried the film for a spell while Valjean was waiting in the wings.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

So glad you're predicting Eddie Redmayne! I've been predicting it since I saw Les Mis, and I'm sticking with it. If Oscar goes Les Mis crazy, which I honestly think (and hope) they do, they'd almost have to nominate Eddie, right? He's basically the lead of the entire last of the movie.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

If the Internet could vote, Eddie Redmayne would be a lock. The Redmayne/Marius tag on Tumblr has gone pretty crazy as of late. Fingers crossed -- would LOVE it if he was the surprise. But I'm biased, I've loved his previous work in a lot of period dramas (Tess of the D'urbervilles, anyone?)

I think Amy Adams is actually a lock. But I would prefer if she didn't get one, actually. Count me among the ones worried that this nom would actually diminish her appeal.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

I can't help myself, I'm predicting Kidman AND Dowd, though it's probably wishful thinking. Maggie Smith is definitely a 'darling' and a much more likely choice. I'm hoping that reverence for the craft pulls Kidman and Dowd in (and maybe a bit of the awww/pity vote for Dowd though she should get it on merit alone).

I think supp actress is a category where they're willing to shake things up with some bold choices. Or more willing than the others rather. Crossing my fingers.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

In terms of supporting I go waltz, redmayne, Hoffman, TLJ and Arkin. I don't think they're done forgiving de Niro yet. And waltz is so lead, he'll of course be nommed in supporting.

Ladies it's hunt, Hathaway, Field, KIdman and Dowd I do believe/hope

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorganisaqt

I don't know. I'd love it if Redmayne got nominated, but if Andrew Garfield didn't get nominated for Social Network, I don't see Redmayne getting in here. No real basis to compare the two, of course, other than them being my future husbands, but there you go.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Ha, I love your frustration in picking Actor. I've had epiphanies where I've suddenly realized every one of those five guys is out. My most recent was Hawkes, just because buzz for the film seems completely gone, as you mentioned. I'm still amazed Cooper seems so solid - that seemed like crazy talk right after I saw the film. I'm actually betting against Phoenix at the moment too, but ask me in five minutes.

Since I'm not buying the Redmayne thing (though I did like him - I just think Django love will be strong enough for one measley acting Oscar nod), I'm really thinking Dench could be the out-of-nowhere surprise. After watching that film, her and the Cinematography seemed like the Oscary elements. (Now watch, it'll be Bardem.) Good on you for taking Ehle seriously though - I could definitely see that happening.

I can't wait for you to tackle the clusterfuck that is Actress. Oh, and interesting call on Director - after DGA Russell seems surprisingly weak, but I just can't decide who might take his place. For now I'm just leaving him in - better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised. :)

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Best Actor is killing me. I'm really tempted to stick my neck out for Joaquin, but if I do that, I have to figure out what gent to bump off the list. And as Nathaniel says, other than DDL, that gent could be anyone. Cooper in a Giamatti-like snub because he's in a comedy? Jackman because he's viewed as a great singer more than a great actor? Denzel because his movie will most likely get no other nominations? Hawkes because The Sessions just never really took off? Very tough. It's just so difficult for me to imagine that Joaquin will get left off from a ballot that's tallied based on #1 votes...but then signs somewhat indicate AMPAS didn't warm to The Master. So, um, round and round on the hamster wheel I go.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert A.

I seriously just have to predict Joaquin for best actor. I just cannot see him being left off the list, therefore Denzel Washington is out for me (which is stupid, because he is so beloved by the Academy). At the same time I would be shocked, but not too shocked, if they snubbed Hugh Jackman, but I think he will ride the Les Miz wave to a nomination. So Cooper, Day-Lewis, Hawkes, Jackman, Phoenix.

My wtf nomination in supporting actor has been Ewan McGregor for awhile. I just finally saw the film and it's a terrifically moving performance, and if Naomi is nominated, I can definitely see the actors marking his name down as well. The Academy is averse to young men (I think the Andrew Garfield parallel is apt, as somewhat said earlier, as well as Emile Hirsche and Ryan Gosling for the past two years for Drive and Blue Valentine), so I don't see Redmayne making the cut, and if a gun was pointed to my head and I had to put one of the Django actors down, it would be Christoph since it's basically a lead role, but I see all three of its actors cancelling each other out. And Matthew McConaughey just doesn't seem to have the buzz in my opinion. So I'm sticking with Ewan McGregor.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I know Strep Throat requested that she not be campaigned for with HOPE SPRINGS but that doesn't mean Tommy Lee Jones can't make it in for Actor! Double nominee, guaranteed to win for Supporting, and he joins not only the double winners club but the five-time nominee club which the Academy starts counting as an accomplishment for an actor, even if said actor never wins, Close etc.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Aaron--I actually have McGregor lurking just outside of my predictions, and part of me actually thinks I should put him in. I'm among those who think the Django actors will cancel each other out, yet I can't quite see them going for Bardem either. And I just have this crazy hunch that The Impossible might be more liked within the Academy than we realize, so McGregor is probably as good a choice as any if you're going to make a no guts, no glory prediction.

I've read a few people's final predictions, and they all seem to be making a few bold, "no guts, no glory" type predictions. At this point, I think the boldest prediction would be to predict no surprises at all, because it seems like we're all expecting the unexpected. Which is exciting.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I think Ewan is going to surprise on Thursday morning, and I believe that by the time Oscar night rolls around the corner, Naomi will be benefit from love-accumulation for her film AND JLaw and JChastain splitting, thus winning the Oscar (although I also think it's possible for Riva to benefit from the J-split, and more so if Haneke is nominated).

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Also, wouldn't it have been stupendous if Joan Allen had gotten the same kind of love back in 2005 that Rachel Weisz is getting this year, since both actress had their film released in the first half of the year? It's even more dubious to me that Weisz is getting such attention and Allen didn't, given that this year is so competitive and 2005 was so weak. Hmmmmm. makes you wonder WTF

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I hope the voters are actually watching the Compliance screeners Ann Dowd has been sending out. I did not expect to engage with the film nearly as much as I did. Yet there I was, sitting on the edge of my seat, fighting the urge to shout back at the screen or just walk away as everything got worse and worse. Dowd is very good, though I don't know if the role is flashy enough to stand out in this category this year. A nomination for her will mean a bunch more people seeing the film, ala Animal Kingdom, and that's a great thing.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Weisz needed Bafta too stay in this race I think. Cotillard is in IMO, as is Watts. I think 5th will be Riva, Mirren 6th, Wallis 7th.

I hope that's the five. Cotillard and Riva together would be awesome.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBroooooke

@ Brooke.

Rachel Weisz was ineligible for BAFTA sincer her film was released in the UK in 2011. Outside of Lawrence, Chastain, Watts, and Cotillard, if the Academy isn't feeling Amour, I'd say Weisz and Mirren are neck and neck for that fifth spot. Although I do think (ok, praying) that Riva makes it. BAFTA through her a bone, so hopefully the Academy will follow suit.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I feel like a lot of pundits just overinflate things where there's no true enthusiasm, in Hollywood or critics circles or otherwise. That isn't as extreme of an example, but I feel like Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild doesn't have any real shot at Best Actress. I mean, yes, she was totally lovely in the movie. But she's still 5 in it. 5!!!! And you have an industry where the majority of its workers struggled into mid- or even late adulthood in obscurity, under-rewarded for their talent and labor. I just don't see it. And yet she's still considered one of the top 5 or 6 on so many punditry sites I've visited.

Also, is Helen Mirren actually that good in "Hitchcock" that she's beating out all of these other actresses for Best Actress, or was just Naomi Watts also ineligible? The movie and its performances just look SO trite. Does she have some kind of awards reel moment in it?

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercici

^That's in reference to Mirren's BAFTA nom. Is she just being nominated for being Helen Mirren?

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercici

I would be so happy if your predictions for Haneke, Kidman and Redmayne became true. Matthew McConaughey would be the icing on the cake.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

As long as there's no suprise Hunt snub I'm cool with the acting noms.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYoyo

Oh thanks for that.

Although I still think it means that she is out, if her movie came out THAT long ago I can't see her getting too muich of the Brit vote....and she'll need every vote she can get.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBroooooke

Brooooke, Rachel Weisz is may not get in because The Studio behind "The Deep Blue Sea" does not have the money to really back her in a Oscar Campaign. Word of mouth is what got her this far and rightly so because her performance is that damn good but compared to the other actresses whose studios were campaigning since the middle of last year and has money to burn in advertising, Music Box does not. In fact, Music Box did not sent out screeners until after Rachel won New York.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

Interesting to note that Maggie Smith is not nominated for a BAFTA but Judi Dench is. I agree Helen Mirren gets nominated for being Helen Mirren, but for me that;s enough! All in all I think this year's oscar nominations are difficult to call, really looking forward to tomorrow.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe U.K.

Here's hoping The Impossible gets more than Watts nominatiion. Even if the opening dates were not the best ones, it's got Angelina's support for McGregor and Whiterspoon's for Watts, so hopefully voters will have seen it. I don't know why Watts nomination is a sure thing, but the conversation about McGregor seems to be almost over. He even has an Oscar clip, while she really hasn't one. And both have the narrative, they're both due for past snubs and this year they 're in their most Oscary material they have ever been (at least, McGregor)

Go, Ewan, go!!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

iggy -- Ewan's Oscar clip is sooo good! (the cell phone call, I assume). I wish he could make it.

I pretty much agree with everything except one thing: Having Bardem among the nominees would be anything but "dull".

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I LOVE 2012. There's certainly never been a more exciting award season in my lifetime, at least. I'd agree with most of your assessments (including a Redmayne nomination!) but in what world is Watts a 'lock'? I'm not predicting her, and neither are a lot of people.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDylan E

This is what I've [kind of] settled on ...

Picture:
Lincoln
Argo
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Mis
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi
-----
Beasts
Django
Amour
Moonrise Kingdom

Director:
Spielberg
Affleck
Bigelow
Lee
Hooper

Actor:
DDL
Jackman
Cooper
Washington
Hawkes

Actress:
Lawrence
Chastain
Cotillard
Watts
Riva

(Wish I could say Wallis or Weisz with confidence ... I will be LIVID if Mirren steals a spot from someone so much more deserving -___-)

Supp. Actor:
Jones
Hoffman
De Niro
DiCaprio
Redmayne

(I know there's like no way in hell this will happen, but I chose this lineup a while back, and why not? Haha)

Supp. Actress:
Hathaway
Field
Hunt
Smith
Dowd

(This category shall be interesting ... Kidman and Adams probably stand a better chance than Dowd, but ... well, read what I said for supporting actor)

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

I like to see both Jackman and Cooper get a nom that can only help raise their prestige since unless DDL throws a phone at someone or some such other untoward behavior which seems both unlikely and completely out of character he's as good as got that third trophy in his hand.

Still hoping for Rachel Weisz to make the list since I think she should be the winner. But it wouldn't be the first time a worthy performance gets pushed aside, Tony Perkins in Psycho, Linda Darnell in A Letter to Three Wives and Don Cheadle in Talk to Me come to mind. Hell Ida Lupino was never even nominated once! As much as I love Helen Mirren the academy does seem to be falling into the trap of nominating her just for being Helen Mirren, something they did with Judi Dench before, so when she gets a role really deserving they might skip her so as not to seem to be over rewarding her, crazy!

Really hope Ann Dowd makes it, a nomination for an actress at her level can really push a career forward like it did for Melissa Leo of course it can also do nothing which was the case for many actresses, for instance Candy Clark or Penelope Milford. Her financing her own campaign however shows a lot of ambition so I think she'd follow it up aggressively.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I've a strange feeling that Helen Mirren may get a Best Supporting nomination for Hitchcock, and not a Best Actress nomination, given what happened a couple of years ago with The Last Station.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

@ Peggy Sue. Yes, that one, or even the encounter with the children could work. There're oscar winners who did much less difficult work (ahem, Sandra). I consider this kind of scene, where the actor has to build the emotion - that intense emotion- from scratch, not reacting to another actor, one of the most diffcult things for screen actors, together with listening and doing nothing while the other actor is speaking. And McGregor masters both.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Nate - 0 nominations for Django? Really??

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik Anderson

My predictions in acting:

ACTOR:
-Ben Affleck
-Bradley Cooper
-Daniel Day-Lewis
-Hugh Jackman
-Joaquin Phoenix
Alt: Denzel Washington

Maybe too handsome? - Well at least 2011 was full of handsome men. If Affleck got a surprising Oscar nom in the acting category -Like the BAFTAs-, it will seal the deal for Argo.

ACTRESS:
-Jessica Chastain
-Marion Cotillard
-Jennifer Lawrence
-Emmanuelle Riva
-Naomi Watts
Alt: Helen Mirren

After BFCA + GG + SAG + BAFTA noms, Chastain, Cotillard and Lawrence are relatively safe. Mirren, Watts and RIva are fighting for the last two spots. I only hope Mirren will pull off.

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
-Alan Arkin
-Javier Bardem
-Philip Seymour Hoffman
-Tommy Lee Jones
-Ewan McGregor
Alt: Christoph Waltz

If "The Impossible" is more likely by AMPAS voters, McGregor will be this year's Maggie Gyllenhaal/Michael Shannon. I think Bardem/Waltz fight for the spot.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
-Amy Adams
-Sally Field
-Anne Hathaway
-Helen Hunt
-Maggie Smith
Alt: Nicole Kidman

Kidman and Dowd have the same problem -The film-, so I will go to the safe lineup. If Jennifer Ehle have this nomination, well excellent news for Chastain

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleon

@David: MM's Oscar clip has to be the one where he's teaching the new guy how to dance. That scene was fire! It got my, uh, attention raised.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaulie

If anyone cares about yet another random commenter's Oscar predictions, I decided to put mine up on my little-used blog rather than take up so much space here. (No, I'm not doing this to direct traffic to my blog. I established it almost three years ago and it has all of two posts on it.) So if you're interested:

http://yesimstillalive.blogspot.com/2013/01/2012-oscar-nomination-predictions-all_9.html

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

So why is Nate not predicting Django for any categories? He has to be the only expert in the mainstream doing this- but I always look to him for the predictions. Does he know something we don't? Are voters turned off by the violence, or Spike Lee backlash? Any ideas? It would be a true shame if this film was snubbed for safer fare, simply because it's more daring.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Travis

Dont you people know by now that Nat has his biases like anyone else. He's pro-Les Miz (a B- at best) and anti-Django.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

Suraj Sharma for Life of Pi. You read it here first.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRC

I would love to see an Ewan McGregor nomination, and am glad to see so many people mention him. If either he or Matthew McConaughey get in, it would totally make my Oscar year. I'm surprised to see so many people mention Rachel Weitz, I thought Keira Knightly was better in a similar role.
This is an exciting year with all the unknowns, and I really hope the academy surprises us by leaving out the same old people they always nominate (Mirren, most of the supporting actor lineup).

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdaisy5

I think, hope, no think, no hope, oh I'll just say it.
I think/hope The Master will surprise in Pic, Actor, S Actor and S Actress. It reminds me of The Tree Of Life and will have enough #1's to ensure it gets in for Best Picture. Seymour Hoffman and Adams are academy defaults in terms of nominating and Phoenix's work will one day make all time lists.
I also think/hope that Amour will surprise in Director and Actress.
Finally, I HOPE that Helen and Maggie get left out, I'm a Brit and should be flying our flag but the only Dame who deserves to be nominated in Judi.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

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