Oscar Watching: It Isn’t Over
Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone unveiled the Oscar nominations last Thursday. MacFarlane will also host the ceremony, which takes place on Feb. 24, but with several major organizations still doling out nods and wins, the Oscar race is far from over since voters have until Feb. 19 to turn in their final ballots.
Like the Oscar nods, the winners of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, voted on by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), were announced last Thursday. Word on the ceremony, which was broadcast on The CW Network, paints it in a negative light, but despite how the events of the night may have transpired, Ben Affleck’s Argo rallied somewhat from its disappointing Oscar showing, winning the BFCA’s prizes for best picture and best director.
The thriller also picked up the best director and best motion picture – drama awards at the Golden Globes, the annual awards shindig voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), on Sunday. Between the fantastic banter of hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and the amazing speech Jodie Foster gave upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award for her career, it was a terrific event. But what does it mean for Oscar?
The Globes always seem like a big deal, at least where press is concerned, but keep in mind that the HPFA consists of less than 100 foreign journalists. It’s neither a large group nor one that consists of people who actually work in the film industry. Like I said, though, the Globes get loads of press, so an extra spotlight shines on the work of the winners, such as Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Hugh Jackman.
We can continue to look at Oscar’s omission of Affleck in the director race as nothing more than a fluke – especially considering his and Argo’s big wins with the BFCA and HFPA – but it’s not that simple. Oscar voters had a longer time to see Argo than they did Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook, and the little Beasts of the Southern Wild and foreign film Amour scored in the director category over Affleck’s acclaimed box-office hit. I wouldn’t count on Argo pulling off an upset even with a surge of support, but, of course, anything can happen in a crazy race like this.
Globes’ comedy or musical race went as expected, so the results there mean nothing. Sorry, Les Misérables fans, but the film’s win over Silver Linings Playbook factors little into the framework of the season since the HFPA loves musicals. David O. Russell’s comedy could have used this win, but this feels like 2006 in that the musical (Dreamgirls) won the Globe over the comedy (Little Miss Sunshine) despite the latter presenting a bigger Oscar threat (namely in that it was actually a best picture nominee). Can we also expect Silver Linings Playbook to take the ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) for that same reason?
I’m standing by Lincoln for Oscar at the moment, but surprises are right around the corner, I’m sure.
2. Silver Linings Playbook
3. Life of Pi
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild
7. Zero Dark Thirty
8. Les Misérables
9. Django Unchained
The BFCA and HFPA clearly didn’t help us pick a likely winner, so I’m sticking with Steven Spielberg.
1. Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
2. Ang Lee for Life of Pi
3. David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
4. Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Michael Haneke for Amour
Best Actress in a Leading Role
The Globes pulled no surprises with those lead actress wins for Chastain and Lawrence. The former also took the BFCA’s prize, but Oscar is less keen on Zero Dark Thirty than it is on Silver Linings Playbook. Perhaps voters pass over Hollywood’s newer faces for veteran Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest best actress nominee ever, whose birthday falls on the day of the Oscars. If that isn’t a great narrative for voters, I don’t know what is.
1. Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
2. Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
3. Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
4. Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Naomi Watts for The Impossible
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jackman prevailed at the Globes over Bradley Cooper, but it hardly matters since Day-Lewis, who won a Globe and with the BFCA, sealed up his third win long ago.
1. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
2. Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
3. Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables
4. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
5. Denzel Washington for Flight
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Anne Hathaway won with the BFCA and the Globes. Her dream of awards glory will continue with BAFTA, SAG, and Oscar, won’t it?
1. Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
2. Sally Field for Lincoln
3. Amy Adams for The Master
4. Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook
5. Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz may have shaken up the race – one that was already up in the air – with his Globe win. Of course, the HFPA loves Quentin Tarantino, so it’s quite possible that voters wanted to give Django Unchained more than its screenplay prize. An upset from Robert De Niro might be in the cards – especially if Harvey Weinstein can work a “He deserves a third Oscar!” narrative – but I’m still calling Tommy Lee Jones to nab this prize despite his lack of enthusiasm at the Globes. If not De Niro or Jones, it might be Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won with the BFCA.
1. Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
2. Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
4. Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
5. Alan Arkin for Argo
Best Original Screenplay
Might Tarantino win his first Oscar since Pulp Fiction? Sure, the Globes love Quentin, but Django Unchained poses a serious threat in this race since it’s one of the three original screenplay nominees also present in the best picture race.
But what about the other two, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty? Mark Boal just won for 2009’s The Hurt Locker. It might look like a long shot, but I expect Michael Haneke’s poignant drama to take this category since he’s also nominated for best director.
1. Michael Haneke for Amour
2. Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
3. Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty
4. Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom
5. John Gatins for Flight
Best Adapted Screenplay
Tony Kushner still leads, I think, but Russell might win if Oscar voters want to give Silver Linings Playbook a prize somewhere (assuming that Lawrence’s lead in the best actress race isn’t as solid as we think it is). Speaking of consolation prizes, Chris Terrio might win if there really is an abundance of goodwill for Argo in light of its omission from the best director race. Still, this feels very much like a battle between Kushner and Russell.
1. Tony Kushner for Lincoln
2. David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
3. Chris Terrio for Argo
4. David Magee for Life of Pi
5. Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar for Beasts of the Southern Wild