I wish I could say I did better, but taking a look at this list illuminates that the Academy is evolving. I’ve often said that one can predict the Oscars simply by looking at the Golden Globes and the Guild Awards, but the Oscars seem to stubbornly want to buck that trend. And in daring to be original, some stunners occurred. So here is the official list of nominees and the results of my predictions.
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
FOUR OUT OF FIVE. I was wrong about John Hawkes (The Sessions) but thrilled is that the Academy saw through Phoenix’s bad-mouthing of their annual kudo-fest to do what’s right. His was one of the most powerful performances last year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
THREE OUT OF FIVE. It was with guarded optimism that I followed the Guilds and BAFTA in thinking that Skyfall would represent well, especially considering that the Oscars are doing something special for James bond’s 50th anniversary. Well, nominating past winner Javier Bardem wasn’t part of that. Instead, all five actors are previous winners with Waltz representing Django as opposed to Leonardo DiCaprio, long promoted in this category for his refreshing villainous turn.
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
FOUR OUT OF FIVE. I should have gone with my gut on this one. This the first time in over 15 years I’ve failed to correctly predict all five actress nominees. I knew it was possible for Oscar to nominate it’s youngest (Wallis) or oldest (Riva) actresses ever, just not both. Snubbed: Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
FOUR OUT OF FIVE. I went out on a limb and predicted Ann Dowd from Compliance , knowing that this category is always the one with the surprises. Instead, Weaver pulled down her second nomination inside of three years for Silver Linings Playbook, allowing for history to be made. SLP is the first movie in 31 years to score acting nominations in all four categories.
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
TWO OUT OF FIVE! Whoa, nelly. Who the heck saw this coming? Up until the nominations, Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) were considered front runners and all got snubbed. That leaves previous winners Spielberg and Lee to contend with Russell (his second nod) and first timers Michael Haneke (Amour) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild). My bold prediction all along was that Argo would win best picture and director. Ah well.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Out of the nine pictures nominated, I predicted eight, guessing incorrectly that the Oscars would choose the hopeful Moonrise Kingdom over the dour Amour.
But the big story this year are the snubs, no more than Affleck.
Argo was expertly directed, a $100 million smash, and Affleck previously earned a nod from the Director’s Guild. What’s a guy gotta do? If anything, his snub has engendered a lot of sympathy for the actor – director which means one day he’ll win for directing something half as good, and that’s too bad.
— DENNIS WILLIS