This is the unedited copy of our Annual Oscar Predictions, published 24 February 2013, in Images on Sunday, Dawn Newspaper.
Oscar Punditry – Now in its 8th Year
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid
This is our 8th year predicting the Academy Awards (a trend we are exclusive to introduce), and we have one thing to say about this year’s race: it’s going to be one tough cookie.
Unlike last year’s Oscar predictions, where we collectively aced 19 of 22 total predictions, this year’s ballot has a misleading superficiality to it. Closer pondering, particularly when tallying last minute change of trends, invites a lot of second guessing; some of it is hazardous to one’s initial speculation.
As it happens, people try to calculate 6000 Academy member’s choices by broad-stroking the preceding guild awards. The technique works, and then it doesn’t (of 12,000 Writers Guild members, only 6 percent are Academy members).
A film’s initial reaction fluctuates when people influence preferences and bankable history – especially in certain categories and stages (for example: a Steven Spielberg film has never produced a “Best” actor in any category; a trend bound to break at least once this year). Common sense predictions can also backfire sometimes (eg: Tony Kushner, writer of Lincoln was bested by first time writer Chris Terrio of Argo at the Writers Guild Awards; a possible upset can happen at the Oscars presentation).
Our predictions, after watching all of the nominated films in (almost) all major categories, cover the best bet to pick up the Oscar (Bet), our own predilection and tilt (MKJ is for Mohammad Kamran Jawaid, and FJ is for Farheen Jawaid), possible Upsets (Upset) and those with long odds (Long Shot). In many cases these labels will overlap.
Argo, a definite (and personal) favorite with a grand overall Award season winning streak, and 7 nominations, is set for Best Picture, esp. because Ben Affleck, the winner of the Directors Guild Award, does not have an Oscar nod. Lincoln, with 12 nominations will win some (the bank is Daniel Day-Lewis). So will Ang Lee’s The Life of Pi, which has 11 nods – including Best Visual Effects. Les Miserables and Silver Lining Playbook, share 8 nods each, and will miss out on many, regardless of their intense marketing campaigns. Zero Dark Thirty, with 7 nods, is suffering from exhaustion, because people, after a lot of initial hullaballoo, have realized the film’s inherent problems; however, it will still ace some by our estimates.
The director’s race is divided between Spielberg and Ang Lee. The former is a heavy favorite with his last win in 1998 for Saving Private Ryan. The latter secured a win in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. Michael Haneke, an Academy favorite, has never won an Oscar (he is set to pick up on Foreign Film for Amour).
Oscillations are more prominent in some of the technical categories (people are usually confused about Sound Mixing and Sound Editing). A few ripples are unavoidable in the performing (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor) and writing nods (Original Screenplay). Like we said, this is going to be one tough cookie.
As a rule, we do not cover the Short Films, however, this year, we were fortunate enough to watch the nominees in the Short Film: Animated category. Unfortunately we were not so lucky with the Best Documentary nominees, our analysis, therefore, is based on external punditry; the best we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Regardless of the outcome, tomorrow is going to be fun. Keep this guide handy, that’s all we’re gonna say.
Unanimous: Argo; Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
Upset: Lincoln; Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
Long Shot: Life of Pi; Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
Unanimous: Daniel Day-Lewis; Lincoln
Bet: Jessica Chastain; Zero Dark Thirty
MKJ/FJ: Jennifer Lawrence; Silver Linings Playbook
Upset: Emmanuelle Riva; Amour
ACTOR – SUPPORTING
Bet: Tommy Lee Jones; Lincoln
MKJ: Philip Seymour Hoffman; The Master
FJ/Upset: Christoph Waltz; Django Unchained
Long Shot: Robert De Niro; Silver Linings Playbook
ACTRESS – SUPPORTING
Unanimous: Anne Hathaway; Les Misérables
Upset: Sally Field; Lincoln
Long Shot: Helen Hunt; The Sessions
Unanimous: Steven Spielberg; Lincoln
Upset: Ang Lee; Life of Pi
SCREENPLAY – ORIGINAL
Bet: Zero Dark Thirty; Mark Boal
MKJ/FJ: Django Unchained; Quentin Tarantino
Upset: Amour; Michael Haneke
SCREENPLAY – ADAPTED
Unanimous: Lincoln; Tony Kushner
Upset: Argo; Chris Terrio
Unanimous: Wreck-It Ralph; Rich Moore
Long Shot: Frankenweenie; Tim Burton
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Unanimous: Amour (Austria)
Long Shot: A Royal Affair (Denmark)
MKJ/FJ: Skyfall; Roger Deakins
Bet: Argo; William Goldenberg
FJ/MKJ: Zero Dark Thirty; William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor
Bet/FJ: Anna Karenina; Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Upset: Les Misérables; Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson
Long Shot: Lincoln: Rick Carter, Jim Erickson
Unanimous: Anna Karenina; Jacqueline Durran
Upset: Les Misérables; Paco Delgado
Long Shots: Lincoln; Joanna Johnston and Mirror Mirror; Eiko Ishioka
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
MKJ: Les Misérables; Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell
FJ: Hitchcock; Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel
Unanimous: Life of Pi; Mychael Danna
Upset: Lincoln; John Williams
Unanimous: "Skyfall"; Skyfall; Adele, Paul Epworth
Long Shot: "Suddenly"; Les Misérables; Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
Bet: Les Misérables; Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes
MKJ: Life of Pi; Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Drew Kunin
FJ: Skyfall; Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson
MKJ: Life of Pi; Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton
FJ: Skyfall; Per Hallberg, Karen M. Baker
Upset: Argo; Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn
Unanimous: Life of Pi; Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, Donald Elliott
(Very) Long Shot: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
As we were not able to see the documentaries this year, our prediction is limited to trending speculation.
Upset: How to Survive a Plague; David France, Howard Gertler
SHORT FILM: ANIMATED
Unanimous: Paperman; John Kahrs
Upset: Adam and Dog; Minkyu Lee
Long Shot: The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare; David Silverman
The link to the published version will be placed here later.
The published version is at: http://dawn.com/2013/02/24/oscar-prediction-written-in-the-stars/.
And it looks like this: