Predicting the 2013 Oscars

by The Listener / 24 February, 2013
With the Oscars just around the corner, Listener reviewer David Larsen and NZ Herald blogger Dominic Corry boldly tip some winners.

David Larsen's picks


BEST PICTURE


Film review - Argo
Argo


Should win: Amour. A vanishingly rare instance of the Academy nominating an actual masterpiece in this category, but since it's a harrowing, slow-paced, French language masterpiece, it will have to be content with winning Best Foreign Language Film. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the next-best film on the ballot. It won't win either.

Will win: a month ago I would have said Lincoln, and I would have said it happily, because despite a bit of Spielbergian patriotic over-egging, it's a great film. But the Academy's failure to nominate Argo's Ben Affleck for best director appears to have won him a massive sympathy vote, and at time of writing I'd give this likeable, competent thriller about 50/50 odds of winning. Which would be absurd, but no more absurd than Oscar's norm; it isn't the worst film on the ballot (that would be Les Misérables), and I don't know anyone who saw it and didn't more or less have a good time.

BEST DIRECTOR

Should win: Michael Haneke, for Amour. The absolute control with which this film deploys raw emotion has to be seen to be believed. It could so easily have felt rigid. It could so easily have overflowed its bounds. Haneke's touch is completely sure throughout.

Will win: Steven Spielberg, for Lincoln. Which, should Argo then win best picture, will produce some enjoyable split-screen head shot moments.

BEST ACTRESS

Should win: Emmanuelle Riva is extraordinary as a woman facing death in Amour, and it isn't really fair that I'd be just as happy if Quvenzhané Wallis won for her powerhouse turn in Beasts of the Southern Wild. But there you go, I would be. And although Silver Linings Playbook dresses timid sentimentality up as brave, issue-

Zero Dark Thirty


confronting drama in a way that ought to annoy me, the film is kept afloat by a stellar performance from the divine Jennifer Lawrence. If I have to choose, then Riva deserves this award, but if Lawrence were to win I'd be much happier than I will be when it goes to...

Will Win: ...Jessica Chastain, who's perfectly fine in Zero Dark Thirty, and is the only major nominee for that embattled film Academy members are going to feel politically able to vote for. (Is the torture controversy a beat-up? No, it isn't: the film claims the authority of being fact-based, and it's quite straightforward about presenting waterboarding and other torture techniques as necessary evils, i.e. not really evils. I would also comment that I found it rather boring, but in this I'm very much in the minority).

BEST ACTOR

Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, for playing Lincoln in Lincoln. The film has a lot more than this performance going for it, but if it didn't, I'd still tell you to go see Day-Lewis. Acting as whole-body alchemy. I'll have his Lincoln's voice in my head for the rest of my life.

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis, for playing Lincoln in Lincoln. This year's one sure thing.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Should win: Amy Adams, for playing the scary power behind the cult leader's throne in The Master.

Will win: Anne Hathaway, for being very very sad in Les Misérables. I dreamed a dream that I wasn't watching this film. But then I woke up, and Hathaway's wronged-mum-turned-prostitute still wasn't dead yet.

The Master
The Master


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, for an astonishingly nuanced performance as a man mostly - or somewhat? - convinced by his own charismatic brand of bullshit, in The Master.

Will win: I actually have no idea. There isn't a weak performance on the list. Robert De Niro's is the least substantial part - tied with Alan Arkin's film producer in Argo, maybe - but it's also De Niro's first really decent bit of acting since Stardust in 2007, and before that you have to go back a full ten years to Wag The Dog. There may be a sense at the Academy that they should grab the chance to award the great man while they can.

 

Dominic Corry's Picks


Best Picture: Argo - In a crowded field of legitimate contenders, this film's momentum should take it across the line.

Best Director: Ang Lee - Feels like anyone's prize at this point, but Lee deserves it most.

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence - Late surge for Amour's Emmanuelle Riva won't overcome Lawrence's Cinderella story.

Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis - Unstoppable at this point.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway - Focal point for all the love for Les Miserables.

Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro. He's the best he's been in years and results should reflect that.

Read Dominic's NZ Herald movie blog here.

What film would you vote for? Vote in our poll or add your comments below.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-General
85835 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z World

The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-Gen…

by Bernard Lagan

The relatively young Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has a track record in law and order that unsettles many.

Read more
The film-maker who risked death by sugar is fighting fit again
85890 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z Health

The film-maker who risked death by sugar is fighti…

by Nicky Pellegrino

For his documentary That Sugar Film, Damon Gameau consumed 40 teaspoons of the sweet stuff a day.

Read more
Auckland's best cafes 2018
84457 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z Dining

Auckland's best cafes 2018

by Metro

A swarm of new entrants elbow their way onto Metro's annual list of outstanding places for coffee and so much more.

Read more
Does anyone really know how to cut the number of deaths on our roads?
85708 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

Does anyone really know how to cut the number of d…

by The Listener

The road toll for 2017 was 380 – 53 more than for 2016 and the highest figure since 2009.

Read more
How trauma incident data can be used to prevent future injuries
85876 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

How trauma incident data can be used to prevent fu…

by Donna Chisholm

On a map are hundreds of brightly coloured dots, each colour signifying a type of incident: red for assault, cyan for motorbike crashes.

Read more
Donald Trump appears to have the wits of Homer Simpson
85895 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z World

Donald Trump appears to have the wits of Homer Sim…

by Bill Ralston

Trump may be “stable” and “smart”, but Americans need to decide whether to fire their leader.

Read more
The often-windswept Neil Oliver is headed indoors for a live NZ show
85873 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Culture

The often-windswept Neil Oliver is headed indoors …

by Russell Baillie

Neil Oliver's live shows are based on a prolific career of making the past come alive on television and in print.

Read more
Hilary Barry takes Mike Hosking’s spot on Seven Sharp
85857 2018-01-15 13:40:27Z Television

Hilary Barry takes Mike Hosking’s spot on Seven Sh…

by Katie Parker

Hilary Barry takes over Seven Sharp and ex-Green candidate Hayley Holt replaces her on Breakfast. But not all are happy at the seat shuffling.

Read more