Oscars 2013: Analysis & Prediction (Part 6 of 7)

This is the sixth 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 four categories: Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

(Part 4 of 7: Best Production Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Costume Design)
(Part 5 of 7: Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay)

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Dark Horse: Joaquin Phoenix
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

This is the category that you can bet your entire house for. Daniel Day-Lewis will make history as the first actor to win three Best Leading Actor Oscars ever. There is truly no dark horse, but if you are pressing for one, go for Joaquin Phoenix to create an upset. But that upset won't materialize because Phoenix previously (and infamously) discredited award ceremonies, so why give it to him if he thinks awards are meaningless? What I am trying to say is that the close race between Day-Lewis and Phoenix all but evaporated after the latter made some comments that were not in his own interests. All the other three nominees will have zero chance whatsoever in usurping the great DDL. And if I may add, John Hawkes was snubbed big-time for his brilliant performance as a paralyzed man intending to lose his virginity in The Sessions (2012). By golly, Hawkes could have been that dark horse. 

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Dark Horse: Jessica Chastain
Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva

Personally, I think the Oscar should go to Emmanuelle Riva for her delicate and heartbreaking performance in Amour. She surprisingly won the BAFTA in the same category, though much to everyone's delight. Let's hope that is enough momentum for her to become the oldest Oscar winner ever. Quvenzhane Wallis deserves her nomination, but like Abigail Breslin (for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)), it feels way too premature for her to win. The underrated Naomi Watts finally gets her second acting nomination at the expense of Marion Cotillard (for Rust and Bone), but this doesn't feel like Watts' year. Perhaps her portrayal of Princess Diana in Diana (2013), to be released at the end of the year, might just potentially land her that elusive Oscar.

This brings us to the two frontrunners: Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. It seems to be 50-50, but my gut feeling is that the Academy will go for Lawrence. I personally would go for Lawrence over Chastain, as the latter's performance was not exactly memorable even though it was consistent with the dark, no-nonsense tone of Zero Dark Thirty. Lawrence's performance for Silver Linings Playbook was far more memorable. She was not afraid to act 'ugly', and her strong delivery and chemistry with Bradley Cooper, and the rest of the supporting cast made writer-director David O. Russell's screenplay tick precisely like clockwork.

Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Will Win: Christoph Waltz
Dark Horse: Tommy Lee Jones
Should Win: Robert De Niro

This is probably the most intriguing category this year because all nominees are past Oscar winners. With the exception of Alan Arkin, it appears that the other four nominees have good chances to snatch the Oscar. Django Unchained is not released here yet, so I can't decide if Christoph Waltz should win. Waltz does have the momentum though, winning the Golden Globe and the BAFTA in the same category. The fact that the prospect of split votes (with fellow Django Unchained nominee Leonardo DiCaprio) did not put Waltz at a disadvantage at the Globes meant that he should be taken seriously at the Oscars, despite his recent win in the same category for Quentin Tarantino's previous film Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Before Waltz snatched those awards, the frontrunner was actually crabby-faced Tommy Lee Jones. On that account, I will put him as dark horse. Personally, I would vote for Robert De Niro. His performance in Silver Linings Playbook is underrated and is both poignant and funny at the same time. It is arguably his best performance in years. On a more curious note, Phillip Seymour Hoffman should have been nominated in the Leading Actor category (I mean after all The Master is based on his character). He deserves a win too. So fingers crossed, I hope to see a De Niro win, but the star seems to be shining most brightly at Waltz at the moment.

Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Will Win: Anne Hathaway
Dark Horse: Sally Field
Should Win: Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway, by far the popular favourite, has a lock in this category. Even Sally Field, who I will put as dark horse (just for formality sake), is very, very unlikely to create an upset. She has already won two Oscars for Best Actress in the 1980s anyway. Helen Hunt, Amy Adams, and Jacki Weaver gave good performances, but are far from memorable, paling in comparison to Hathaway's show-stopping performance. Truth be told, it is her emotional rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" captured in a close-up long take that will earn her the Oscar.


Not much suspense at this year's race, eh. I can safely twitter-watch without spoiling myself anything heheh.. Just curious though, who do you think snubbed Hawkins' position in the Top 5? (My vote would be Hugh Jackman)
Eternality said…
Hmm maybe Denzel Washington? The Best Supporting Actor race will be most intriguing I think. Also Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. The rest of the categories seem to have their frontrunners.

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