First in a series of articles on the Oscar races
This is an exciting year for predicting the Oscars because except for a couple of mortal locks, it is a wide-open battle in the major races, so let the speculation begin.
I’ve decided to weigh in with a weekly series of articles on the Academy Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday, Feb. 24. This week I’ll look at the ladies in best supporting and best actress; Feb. 14, I’ll look at the gents in best supporting actor and best actor, and on Feb. 21 I’ll round out my predictions with my screenplay, director and best picture choices.
Nominees for Best Supporting Actress
• Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
• Helen Hunt, The Sessions
• Sally Field, Lincoln
• Amy Adams, The Master
• Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Nominees for Best Actress
• Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
• Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
• Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
• Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
• Naomi Watts, The Impossible
One of my favorite online obsessions is the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a Hollywood version of a fantasy sports league. You get to buy shares of performers, movies, movie funds and in the category Hollywood Derivatives, such bets as the opening weekend of a movie, the success or failure of new TV shows and this time of year, Oscar races. Going by the “money” being wagered in the supporting actress and best actress race the prohibitive favorites in those respective categories are Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence.
My personal favorite from the supporting group is Helen Hunt, who was spectacular as a compassionate sex therapist helping a man in an iron lung lose his virginity in The Sessions, but Anne Hathaway looks like a lock to be smiling Oscar night. She was very good in a movie I didn’t like, Les Miserables.
Two-time best actress winner Sally Field is enjoying her return to the Oscar spotlight as Mary Todd Lincoln but she has no chance of winning. Jacki Weaver, who earned an unexpected supporting Oscar bid two years ago for the obscure Australian film Animal Kingdom, was swept into the race thanks to the feel good nature of Silver Linings Playbook, which was the first film to earn nominations in all four acting categories since Reds in 1981. Amy Adams is a talented actress who has been in the Oscar spotlight the last few years with supporting nominations for Junebug (2005), Doubt (2008) and The Fighter (2010), but like those previous years the golden boy will elude her grasp yet again.
Prediction: Anne Hathaway
Preference: Helen Hunt
The best actress nominees provide the most history making possibilities. Emmanuelle Riva, 85, is the oldest nominee in the history of the category and it is her first time in the Oscar race. The most unexpected nomination went to nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, who was only five when she auditioned for the role of Hushpuppy and about six when she did her Oscar-worthy emoting in the fantasy/fable Beasts of the Southern Wild. She is the youngest nominee in the history of the category.
Naomi Watts picked up her second best actress nomination — the first was for 2003’s 21 Grams — for her terrific performance as an Indian Ocean tsunami survivor searching for the rest of her family in The Impossible, based on a true story. These three have to settle for the nomination because the race comes down to two of the biggest rising stars in the business, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain.
There was some history made at the 2013 Academy Awards and if Captain Kirk comes back from the future with an Oscar headline regarding host Seth MacFarlane, it will read: He didn’t suck. This was an Oscar evening that shared the good vibrations around in an appropriate manner.
Here is the finale of my three-part preview of the Academy Awards, which take place this Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC, with Seth MacFarlane as the host.
Last Thursday I handicapped the best supporting actress and best actress races. Now it is time to look at the gents in the running. Most experts assume that Daniel Day-Lewis in going to back up his third Oscar for Lincoln, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t applaud his competition as well as the less obvious supporting actor race.
Director Steven Soderbergh and his screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, Bourne Ultimatum) were inspired to create Side Effects based on their fascination/revulsion with all the drug commercials on TV.
I don’t like the term top movies of the year. Defining them as your favorite movies is more on point, but if you’re a film critic you are not supposed to whine about how movie taste is subjective, not objective.
The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in game-changing performances as two broken people with mental issues who find each other, and while that might sound like a drama, it is so funny it resists being so easily labeled.
Now that the Academy Awards were announced yesterday (Jan. 10), moviegoers locally will finally get a chance to see two of the nominated films, the hunt for bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty and the hunt for survivors after the horrifying 2004 tsunami in The Impossible.
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