2013 Oscar Nominations: Let's Start Speculating

Lincoln leads the nominations and is likely to lead the wins as well.
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'Tis the season for Oscar forecasting, so let's get started. This year I've held off of seeing most of the candidates, so my speculation is purely fueled by best guesses of how the votes will likely go down based on traditional patterns of the Academy.  

Oscars

At first glance, it appears that the results this year will largely be determined by how the Academy feels about Lincoln. If the uncanny performance by previous winner Daniel Day-Lewis is enough to override general exhaustion about Spielberg's return, this is going to be a year dominated by Lincoln wins. Aside from that juggernaut, a few other films and performances are now falling into the "it's an honor just to be nominated" camp, most prominently among them Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, and Argo. Without a Weinstein campaigning for any of them in the coming weeks, that's not likely to change. The biggest question marks are reserved for Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook, as either of them could pull off some wins but could also be completely shut out. They both have Harvey in their corner though, so they're going to be strong contenders.

Best Picture - Looks like Lincoln to me, with its combination of history, drama, and a powerful lead performance acting as catnip to the Academy voters.

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

Director - With no other knockout candidates here, Spielberg is likely to bring it home in spite of Academy sentiment to avoid honoring him. It's not that voters don't like him; it's that he's too obvious a choice so our poor voters feel like they lose credibility by awarding him. Seriously, he could make the equivalent of a new Citizen Kane at this point and just elicit a "meh" from the Academy. As a result, Russell and Lee have outside shots.

Michael Haneke - Amour

Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild

Ang Lee - Life of Pi

Steven Spielberg - Lincoln

David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

Frankly, at this point it's not even necessary to watch the nominated acting performances to get a pretty good feel for how the votes will come in, right? We know that if a veteran gets nominated and has never won before, they're likely to win as a career achievement even if their performance wasn't all that notable. We also know that if somebody is playing a role with a disability they get a handicapped parking space assigned at the podium. Surprisingly, nobody qualifies for either of those unfair advantages this year, making the acting races all about the performances this time around. We know that if they nominate an actor who most people have never heard of that person won't win and won't ever appear again on Oscar radar. Nice to meet you, Quvenzhané Wallis, enjoy the rest of your life and say hi to Demián Bichir, Hailee Steinfeld, and Gabourey Sidibe, your compatriots from the last three Oscars. OK, in fairness I was going to use Jacki Weaver as my example from 2011 instead of Hailee Steinfeld, until she went and ruined things by getting nominated again this year for Silver Linings Playbook!

Lead Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis is a sure thing , everyone else should just stay home.

Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Denzel Washington in Flight

Lead Actress - This is a tough category with well, really, no compelling nominees, but will likely fall to Jessica Chastain.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva in Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts in The Impossible

Supporting Actor - Another really close category filled with nominees who are all previous winners. This is anyone's game, but Lincoln sentiment is likely to carry Jones over the top.

Alan Arkin in Argo

Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master

Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln

Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Supporting Actress - we haven't "really liked" Field since 1985, but I'm not feeling much sympathy or career-achievement favoritism here in spite of Lincoln power. I say Hathaway.

Amy Adams in The Master

Sally Field in Lincoln

Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables

Helen Hunt in The Sessions

Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook

As for a few of the rest of the categories, looks like Pixar will return to the winner's circle for Brave as Best Animated Feature, Amour will avoid its shutout by taking home the trophy for Best Foreign Language Film, and Adele will move one step closer to her EGOT with a win for the Skyfall title song.

Animated Feature

Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman - Brave

Tim Burton - Frankenweenie

Sam Fell and Chris Butler - ParaNorman

Peter Lord - The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Rich Moore - Wreck-It Ralph

Adapted Screenplay

Chris Terrio - Argo

Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild

David Magee - Life of Pi

Tony Kushner - Lincoln

David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

Original Screenplay

Michael Haneke - Amour

Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained

John Gatins - Flight

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola - Moonrise Kingdom

Mark Boal - Zero Dark Thirty

Cinematography

Seamus McGarvey - Anna Karenina

Robert Richardson - Django Unchained

Claudio Miranda - Life of Pi

Janusz Kaminski - Lincoln

Roger Deakins - Skyfall

Foreign Language Film

Amour - Austria

Kon-Tiki - Norway

No - Chile

A Royal Affair - Denmark

War Witch - Canada

Best Documentary - Feature

5 Broken Cameras - Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers - Nominees to be determined

How to Survive a Plague - Nominees to be determined

The Invisible War - Nominees to be determined

Searching for Sugar Man - Nominees to be determined

Best Documentary - Short Subject

Inocente - Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

Kings Point - Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider

Mondays at Racine - Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan

Open Heart - Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern

Redemption - Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill

Film Editing

William Goldenberg - Argo

Tim Squyres - Life of Pi

Michael Kahn - Lincoln

Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers - Silver Linings Playbook

Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg - Zero Dark Thirty

Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran - Anna Karenina

Paco Delgado - Les Misérables

Joanna Johnston - Lincoln

Eiko Ishioka - Mirror Mirror

Colleen Atwood - Snow White and the Huntsman

Makeup and Hairstyling

Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel - Hitchcock

Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell - Les Misérables

Original Score

Dario Marianelli - Anna Karenina

Alexandre Desplat - Argo

Mychael Danna - Life of Pi

John Williams - Lincoln

Thomas Newman - Skyfall

Original Song

"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric by J. Ralph

"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane

"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri

"Skyfall" from Skyfall, Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

"Suddenly" from Les Misérables, Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Production Design

Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer - Anna Karenina

Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson - Les Misérables

Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock - Life of Pi

Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson - Lincoln

Animated Short

Adam and Dog - Minkyu Lee

Fresh Guacamole - PES

Head over Heels - Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare - David Silverman

Paperman - John Kahrs

Live Action Short

Asad - Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

Buzkashi Boys - Sam French and Ariel Nasr

Curfew - Shawn Christensen

Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw) - Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

Henry - Yan England

Sound Editing

Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn - Argo

Wylie Stateman - Django Unchained

Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton - Life of Pi

Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers - Skyfall

Paul N.J. Ottosson - Zero Dark Thirty

Sound Mixing

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia - Argo

Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes - Les Misérables

Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin - Life of Pi

Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins - Lincoln

Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson - Skyfall

Visual Effects

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott - Life of Pi

Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick - Marvel's The Avengers

Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill - Prometheus

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson - Snow White and the Huntsman

So what do you think? Feel free to offer your take in our comments, and enjoy Oscar campaign season leading up to the ceremony on February 24th.

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