Months of speculation will soon be over. This Sunday night, we will see whether those who applied Nate Silver math-y prediction techniques like Huffington Post and the website The Credits’s Social Oscars were any more accurate than those who simply relied on hunch or personal choice. (Though people should remember that Silver only got four out of six correct in his 2009, New York Magazine predictions.
This year, I did a little of both. Based on nominees’ award wins this season, the history of how well certain awards (BAFTAs, SAGs, Golden Globes, and guild awards) correlate with Oscars, and my opinion, here are my picks for who will come out on top. Don’t agree? If you think Best Picture will be Argo or Lincoln or maybe Silver Linings Playbook, take the quick poll below. And then follow me on Sunday night as I take over Philly Post’s Twitter feed (@ThePhillyPost) starting at 6:30pm. We’ll see just how well I did with my picks.
Will Win: Argo
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
The greatest thing that happened to Argo’s award prospects was Ben Affleck not receiving a directing nomination. Before that time, Lincoln was the presumed front-runner and would go on to earn 12 Oscar nominations (more than any other film). But the apparent snub turned the tides: Since then, it has topped Lincoln at the Golden Globes, SAGs, BAFTAs, and Critic’s Choice. It will do the same at the Oscars.
Actor in a Leading Role
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
What more can possibly be said about Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance? He is one of our greatest working actors beautifully portraying one of America’s greatest legends.
Actress in a Leading Role
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Since 2008, the Best Actress BAFTA winner has gone on to win the Oscar four out of five times, the exception being in 2011 when Carey Mulligan (An Education) won the BAFTA over eventual Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side). This year will be another exception. While this year’s BAFTA winner Emmanuelle Riva gave a brave, utterly heartbreaking performance, Jennifer Lawrence—a previous nominee in this category for Winter’s Bone and starring in the blockbuster Hunger Games movies—will come out on top.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Will Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Should Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Like Day-Lewis, this category is seen as a done deal, Anne Hathaway will certainly win the Oscar. She’s already won the SAG, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice awards.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Should Win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Until a few weeks ago, the category seemed a lock for Tommy Lee Jones (the surprise winner for 1993’s The Fugitive). But after Christoph Waltz’s Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for Django Unchained (who previously won for Tarantino’s last film, Inglourious Basterds), he shouldn’t be counted out.
Animated Feature Film
Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Should Win: ParaNorman
Many think Pixar will walk home with its seventh Best Animated Feature Oscar for Brave. But for all its beauty, its story left a lot to be desired. (And with a 78% rating on RottenTomatoes, it’s Pixar’s third worst-rated film—ahead of Cars and Cars 2.) And though I would love to see it go to quirky-wonderful, claymation ParaNorman or Frankenweenie, the winner will be Wreck-It Ralph. A movie very much steeped in classic Pixar DNA.
Will Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Should Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
The last time Spielberg was nominated was in 2006 for Munich, which he lost to this year’s fellow nominee—and a possible upset—Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). Expect Spielberg to walk home with the award, his third, for his archetypal film filled with extraordinary performances.
Original Screenplay: Amour
Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln
Documentary: Surviving a Plague
Foreign Language Film: Amour
Original Score: Life of Pi
Original Song: “Skyfall,” Skyfall
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Art Direction: Lincoln
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Makeup: The Hobbit
Film Editing: Argo
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Sound Editing: Skyfall
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Documentary Short: Inocente
Animated Short: Paperman
Live Action Short: Curfew