Oscars 2013: Analysis & Prediction (Part 5 of 7)

This is the fifth 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 Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina)
Robert Richardson (Django Unchained)
Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)
Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln)
Roger Deakins (Skyfall)

Will Win: Claudio Miranda
Dark Horse: Roger Deakins
Should Win: Roger Deakins

Let's rule out Janusz Kaminski, who has previously won for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), and Robert Richardson, who won last year for Hugo (2011), and previously for JFK (1991) and The Aviator (2004). Kaminski and Richardson are two of the most respected cinematographers of our time, but truth be told, this year the award will probably go to either Claudio Miranda or Roger Deakins. 

Just about anybody who cares about cinematography and the solid work Deakins has done over the last twenty-odd years is desperate for the award to be given to Deakins, who has been nominated for an astonishing ten times, but still without a win. His work in Skyfall is extraordinary, especially his control over the use of light and shadow, making it the most beautiful Bond film ever. 

That being said, Claudio Miranda has the slight edge. His work for Life of Pi is stunning, and being involved in a 3-D production helps. In recent years, Hugo and Avatar (2009) have won Best Cinematography, and like Life of Pi, they made brilliant use of 3-D. Seamus McGarvey would be happy with a nomination, and considering the strength and history of the other nominees, it will be quite a shock if he wins. 

Michael Haneke (Amour)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
John Gatins (Flight)
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)

Will Win: Mark Boal
Dark Horse: Quentin Tarantino
Should Win: Quentin Tarantino

Because Michael Haneke will get his Oscar for Best Foreign Film for Amour, plus the Academy likes to spread the love around, therefore Haneke is unlikely to score wins for Best Original Screenplay (and Best Director). John Gatins' nomination for Flight should satisfy him, especially when films like Looper (2012) get snubbed in this category. Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola will be disappointed that Moonrise Kingdom did not get more nominations. A solitary Best Original Screenplay nod will be immensely sweetened if they can pull out a win. 

But that is quite unlikely with Mark Boal and Quentin Tarantino in the house. Boal's work in Zero Dark Thirty eclipses that of The Hurt Locker (2009), which he won two Oscars for, including Best Original Screenplay. I think the Academy will want to award Zero Dark Thirty for its boldness, and an original screenplay win is most likely for the controversial film. Quentin Tarantino won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay just recently, so it is wise not to rule him out. I will put him in as dark horse. 

It is interesting to note that previously Boal and Tarantino did battle in 2009 when The Hurt Locker was pitted against Inglourious Basterds in the same category. The story was that Tarantino was quite pissed he didn't get the Oscar that time. The drama continues three years on...

Chris Terrio (Argo)
Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
David Magee (Life of Pi)
Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Will Win: Tony Kushner
Dark Horse: David O. Russell
Should Win: Tony Kushner

This is slightly more difficult to predict than the Best Original Screenplay category. The frontrunner is Tony Kushner for Lincoln, and the dark horse is David O. Russell who just won the BAFTA in the same category for Silver Linings Playbook. This category takes on an added significance this year because the winner may foreshadow the winner for Best Picture (and possibly Best Director). 

If Chris Terrio wins for Argo, it will be the strongest indicator of a Best Picture win for Ben Affleck's film. If O. Russell wins, the award will be seen as a triumph for himself as both a writer and director, and to some extent, best picture. Thus, a win for O. Russell will also suggest that Best Picture will go to Argo. It will also suggest that the Best Director category will be a two-way fight between Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. 

If we put Beasts of the Southern Wild out of the equation, a film that has garnered more nominations than expected and should be satisfied with that, we are left with David Magee to spoil the party, though that is quite unlikely. If Magee wins for Life of Pi, it gets interesting. How so? We will only know on Oscar night. In any case, Kushner should win for his excellent adaptation, which may point to an increasingly likely Spielberg win for Best Director, and possibly create suspense over who will eventually win Best Picture - Argo or Lincoln?


Popular Posts