The (very early) morning that the Oscar nominations were announced, I had no trouble coming right up with predictions (or perhaps pronouncements is the better word) on just who was going to win what.
Based on my thorough knowledge of filmmaking technique and Academy Award politics with just a pinch of personal bias thrown in for good measure - or perhaps owing to the early hour and my lack of sleep from the night before - I fearlessly put forth the following list:
Best Picture - LINCOLN
Best Director - Steven Spielberg, LINCOLN
Best Actor- Daniel Day Lewis, LINCOLN
Best Actress - Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Supporting Actor - Robert DeNiro, SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway, LES MISERABLES
Well, actually, looking at it now it's not really a bad list at all. However, between then and now, there have been a number of those other award shows, the ones that lead up to the Oscars and certain trends have become evident.
In the first place, despite the early buzz for ARGO, once its director Ben Affleck was snubbed for an Oscar nomination, that film's chances at gaining Best Picture seemed pretty slim indeed. It isn't impossible, but it is very rare for a film to win Best Picture if the director isn't nominated for Best Director.
However, as the award show season has rolled on with the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild, etc, etc a funny thing has been happening. Ben Affleck has been going home with quite a few awards.
And, while all of us in Sacramento are rooting for one time El Camino High School Student Jessica Chastain to win Best Actress for ZERO DARK THIRTY, have you been paying attention to how Jennifer Lawrence of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK has been faring lately?
She took home the SAG award and since actors make up most of the voting members of the Academy, that is often a pretty strong sign.
Now, I also know that a lot of pundits are saying Tommy Lee Jones will win as Best Supporting Actor for LINCOLN, but that's where I draw the line. I'm still holding out for Robert DeNiro and all my other predictions remain intact!
by Jonathan Mumm firstname.lastname@example.org