Oscars 2013: Analysis & Prediction (Part 2 of 7)

This is the second of seven parts devoted to my analysis and prediction of each category for the Academy Awards 2013 celebrating films from 2012. This section will cover three categories: Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song.

(Part 1 of 7: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Animated Feature, Best Documetary)

The Avengers 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman

Will Win: Life of Pi
Dark Horse: Prometheus
Should Win: Life of Pi

The weakest of the lot is Snow White and the Huntsman. I am quite surprised it got nominated in the first place. The Avengers and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will split voters looking to reward a major blockbuster that has made good use of visual effects, so it is likely neither will win. Prometheus is an interesting case though. Much had been anticipated of Ridley Scott's film prior to its release, and while there were flaws in its narrative, the look and style of the film were stunning. As a sci-fi film, Prometheus delivers with aplomb in terms of production design and visual effects, and is the category's dark horse. But... there's Life of Pi this year. The CG rendition of the tiger in Lee Ang's film alone is worth the Oscar in what is one of the most visually breathtaking films of the year.

Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Argo (Alexander Desplat)
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Lincoln (John Williams)
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

Will Win: Life of Pi
Dark Horse: Argo
Should Win: Argo

This is likely to be a two-way fight between Desplat and Danna, both delivering scores that are deserving of an Oscar. Both have never won before, so I suspect it will go to either nominee. Danna has the slight edge after winning the Golden Globe in the same category. But do not discount Desplat who had another bumper year once again with scores for Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, Rise of the Guardians, and Rust and Bone. Argo sees the prolific composer at his most versatile and vibrant. My vote goes to him. But my gut feeling is that the Academy is likely to go for Life of Pi. Marianelli previously won for Atonement (2007), also directed by Anna Karenina's Joe Wright, so he is unlikely to be recognized again. As for maestro Williams, he is officially America's greatest living composer, so whatever he does earns him a nod. His score is good enough to win, but I am sure he doesn't really mind if one of his fellow nominees picks up the award instead. Lastly, the underrated Newman is most unfortunate to have been nominated 11 times and still yet to win. I personally feel that his score for Skyfall is nowhere near his best, so his unlucky streak will continue for some time.

"Before My Time" -Chasing Ice
"Suddenly" - Les Miserables
"Pi's Lullaby" - Life of Pi
"Skyfall" - Skyfall
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" - Ted

Will Win: "Skyfall"
Dark Horse: "Pi's Lullaby"
Should Win: "Pi's Lullaby"

Adele's rendition of the title song from Skyfall will win her the Oscar. She is the popular choice, and her Golden Globe win in the same category pushes her even further ahead in the pack. However, do not discount Life of Pi's enthralling opening song "Pi's Lullaby". It is the category's dark horse, and voters who are split between nominating Mychael Danna and Alexander Desplat in the Best Original Score category may vote for Danna in this category instead as a consolation. "Before My Time" is a beautiful piece, but I can't see it pulling an upset on "Skyfall". "Suddenly" and "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" are the fillers in a category previously known to consist of only two or three nominees.



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