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Oscar Watching: Do You Hear the People Sing?

Best Director

Like the picture race, I imagine Lincoln prevails here as well. If voters throw us an upset, it could very well come in the form of Affleck, whose competence behind the camera has been mistaken for directorial greatness. There’s also Bigelow, whose film carries more weight in the race at this point than Affleck’s, to consider for the win. Ang Lee should join the race, and I think Michael Haneke sneaks in over Hooper.

On a lesser note, Robert Zemeckis joins my list as he might contend for Flight. Who knows? The film might pull off a surprise picture nod, and Zemeckis hasn’t been recognized since 1994’s Forrest Gump.

1. Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

2. Ben Affleck for Argo

3. Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty

4. Ang Lee for Life of Pi

5. Michael Haneke for Amour

6. Tom Hooper for Les Misérables

7. David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

8. Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

9. Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom

10. Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master

11. Robert Zemeckis for Flight

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain leads Zero Dark Thirty, a massive critical hit that could upset for best picture if Lincoln falters. Jennifer Lawrence goes against type with Silver Linings Playbook, tackling a comedic role for the first time in her cinematic career. The actresses, both previous nominees who are relatively new to the Hollywood scene, look like the main contenders for this Oscar, and I’m guessing that it’s Lawrence despite recent surges for Chastain.

1. Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

2. Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty

3. Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild

4. Naomi Watts for The Impossible

5. Emmanuelle Riva for Amour

6. Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone

7. Helen Mirren for Hitchcock

8. Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea

9. Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

10. Meryl Streep for Hope Springs

11. Maggie Smith for Quartet

Best Actor in a Leading Role

We’re still expecting Daniel Day-Lewis to win, right? The next six listed compete for the remaining four spots, and the precursors highly suggest that Joaquin Phoenix and Richard Gere sit this one out. However, I have trouble thinking the former actor loses out on a nomination to Bradley Cooper, but that’s the way it is at the moment. Anthony Hopkins feels like a long shot, but there might be some surprise support for Hitchcock.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

2. Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables

3. John Hawkes for The Sessions

4. Denzel Washington for Flight

5. Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook

6. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master

7. Richard Gere for Arbitrage

8. Anthony Hopkins for Hitchcock

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Anne Hathaway steals Les Mis and should just as easily snatch the supporting actress Oscar, but Sally Field still poses a threat for Lincoln. Beyond that, it’s less of a competition than it is a list of actresses who’ll be happy for their nods: Helen Hunt and Maggie Smith look like safe choices, and the wild card Amy Adams, who could get in despite the SAG omission, fills out my top five at the moment. Of course, given how oddly the volatile supporting actress race has shaped this year, I’ve added six more performances to the mix since last week. Anything can happen.

1. Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables

2. Sally Field in Lincoln

3. Maggie Smith for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

4. Helen Hunt for The Sessions

5. Amy Adams for The Master

6. Ann Dowd for Compliance

7. Nicole Kidman for The Paperboy

8. Judi Dench for Skyfall

9. Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

10. Jennifer Ehle for Zero Dark Thirty

11. Samantha Barks for Les Misérables

12. Helena Bonham Carter for Les Misérables

13. Amanda Seyfried for Les Misérables

14. Kelly Reilly for Flight

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

If I had to compare this race to any in recent memory, it’d likely be the supporting actress race of 2007, in which there was no clear front-runner. I assume Tommy Lee Jones leads for Lincoln, though stiff competition from Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master might keep that from happening.

They’re the only two locks, though Robert De Niro’s also in the mix for Silver Linings Playbook. However, I still think his return to the Oscar scene will be short-lived, and as I pointed out last week, Oscar voters might see promos for The Big Wedding and think similarly. Expect Alan Arkin and DiCaprio to fill out the top five. Lastly, I’ve thrown Russell Crowe on the list (despite his disappointing Les Mis performance) because he’s a highly respected previous winner with his first Oscar hit in several years (we’re assuming).

1. Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln

2. Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master

3. Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook

4. Alan Arkin for Argo

5. Leonardo DiCaprio for Django Unchained

6. Javier Bardem for Skyfall

7. Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

8. Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild

9. Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike

10. Eddie Redmayne for Les Misérables

11. John Goodman for Argo

12. Russell Crowe for Les Misérables


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The Author

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.