We weren't expecting much from Seth MacFarlane as our Oscar host anyway (full disclosure: a "Family Guy" fan this writer is not) but now that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did such an excellent, just-risky-enough, high-energy, downright-adorable job as our co-emcees during the Golden Globes, the hosting bar has been set impossibly high and we'd be shocked if the director-writer-voice-actor (non-comedian) is able to pull off such a crowd-pleasing feat when he takes the stage February 24.
He'll probably sing - he's up for Best Original Song for a tune from his movie Ted - make some bathroom-humour jokes and a few that completely disregard good taste (again "Family Guy"), while a permanent grin is stretched across his face but typically the host opens the shows and then only pops up periodically so the focus shall be, as it should be, on the night's winners.
Now that the Globes are said and done and have somewhat blurred our crystal ball - even Tarantino didn't think he was going to win for screenplay and Affleck's haul was above and beyond expectations - we're ready to make our Oscar predictions and determine who we think will win and who we think should win. This year, there's no frontrunner a la The Artist, although our money is on Lincoln to represent, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook to get some smaller dues and foresee a major-category shut-out for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Check out our 2013 Oscar predictions below and leave your own in the comments! Need a refresher on who's nominated - go here, get our thoughts on who was snubbed and don't forget to visit our Awards Race HQ.
Will win: Lincoln
Though the Best Picture, Drama Globe went to Argo and Steven Spielberg is a three-time Oscar winner, his movies haven't won gold since 1993, for Schindler's List, and he'll be rewarded for making an unconventional biopic that humanized a legend who is near and dear to the hearts of many Americans.
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
It may not seem so on the surface but Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden-huting drama shares a similar tone with Lincoln, favouring a procedural approach to something flashier with equally thrilling results but the torture controversy means it will miss out on the Oscar.
Will win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Again, this will be Spielberg's night and it'll be the first time since 1999 that he'll take the stage to say his thank-yous for a directing Oscar.
Should win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Deserved. Especially with Kathryn Bigelow (somehow) not in the running.
Acting in a Leading Role
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
This man is an unstoppable force and considering how selective he is with his roles, and how wholly he commits once he signs on, there's little the other nominees in this field can do but applaud and nod their heads in acceptance of his superior talent.
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln OR Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
If DDL wins, we'll be pleased as punch but if Joaquin picked up the prize for his portrayal of a noxious, damaged vet looking for a love, a father figure and a bucket to make his semi-poisonous mash-liquor, we'd be over the moon.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Will win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
The permanently-soured actor had what we're going to deign to call "fun" as progressive political force Thaddeus Stevens, delivering pages of dialogue with an energy and conviction he rarely gets to display.
Should win: Any of them
This category is full of previous winners and from Christoph Waltz to Philip Seymour Hoffman to Alan Arkin, and okay sure, Robert De Niro, it could go to anyone and we wouldn't protest.
Actress in a Leading Role
Will win: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
The red-headed beauty's win seems like a lock so we hope she's writing an equally sincere and moving acceptance speech as the one she delivered at the Globes.
Should win: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty or Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Though momentum is a hard thing to overcome, the eldest Oscar nominee's thoroughly warts-and-all performance in a unrelentingly unsentimental movie that's hard among the saddest we've seen could cause a upset in this category.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Will win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
The less said about this in-the-bag win the better, since Hathaway will suck up all the air in the room during her time at the mic by having her mouth open, acting as if she doesn't know how in the world she got up there?
Should win: Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Playing a real-life sex surrogate to a real-life, polio-stricken 38-year-old virgin required a certain grace and maturity that Helen Hunt achieved with seeming ease, making her performance feel authentic and lived-in.
Foreign Language Film
Will win/Should win: Amour (Austria)
One of those not-for-the-weak, confront-the-aging-process-and-your-own-mortality films that emerges from Europe and cleaves everyone's hearts in two and then makes them, for a moment, thankful for what they have and the people in their lives, Amour stands out as something special. Though we're on record as saying we can never watch it again.
Animated Feature Film
Will win: Frankenweenie
It's rather poetic that the very film that resulted in Tim Burton being let go by Disney and deemed too weird is one of his most successful movies to date and will earn him his first Academy Award.
Should win: Wreck-It Ralph
If the Academy wasn't into paying dues and figuring out who is owed an Oscar, the statue would go to Rich Moore's inventive, clever, wondrous and visually daring video-game mash-up that will genuinely tickle those of all ages.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Will win: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
The Academy has a big crush on this actually-very-conventional pseudo-quirk fest and will use this category to reward its writer-director.
Should win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
His script, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, started out as a tome but then Tony Kushner pared it down to focus on just the passing of the 13th amendment and emerged with a relevant story that looked back as it acknowledged the present.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Will win: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
It's original, as in how many super-bloody slave redemption epics are there really?, and though QT freely borrows from the Western tradition and superhero genre, it's a wild time at the movies and bears his unmistakable touches.
Should win: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
An orphan, a rebel, Khaki Scouts, a pair of left-handed scissors, French pop albums and so much yellow. This first-love tale was one of our picks for the year's best and if we cross our fingers really tight, maybe the Academy will see it our way.
Share YOUR Oscar predictions! Will Lincoln triumph or will the Academy Awards offer some real surprises? Sound off below!
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