TSR Blog: The Winners and the Should-Be Winners of 2013 Oscars

argoIf you’re a fan of Back to the Future II, then you know the value of having the answers ahead of time. So, in this weekend of ballot making, last minute movie watching, and finding the silver linings in some of Oscar’s least agreeable nominations, we here at TheScorecardReview like to share our priceless movie guru foresight as to who will be going home with gold on Sunday night. We do so with “Oscar Bowling,” a unique method for guessing the night’s winners, while also keeping it competitive as our editor Jeff Bayer likes it.

While my list is undoubtedly the most correct, you can still read the lists of Jeff and writer Shane T. Nier below:

READ Jeff Bayer’s “Oscar Bowling” List
READ Shane T. Nier’s “Oscar Bowling” List
READ Nick Allen’s “Oscar Bowling” List

With my list as a guide, below some of my insight into the top categories for Sunday night, concerning those who will win, along with those who should be winning instead.

Also, while you’re at it, don’t forget to vote in our 11th TSR Awards, which features much more involving categories than any other award group out there! Please share it with your friends and fellow movie lovers.

11th TSR Awards – VOTE NOW

Best Picture
Nominees:
Amour (2012): To Be Determined (SHOULD WIN)
Argo (2012): Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney (WILL WIN)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald
Django Unchained (2012): Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone
Les Misérables (2012): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
Life of Pi (2012): Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
Lincoln (2012): Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison

Reason: Congratulations, Benny Boy. After a tough season, it looks like you’ve come out on top. You’ve won the challenge of releasing an Oscar-ready movie before the season started, while telling a story that hardly has any strong, strong performances (Goodman > Arkin), and even losing that “Best Director” bid. (People may forget, you’ve already won an Oscar, but I just remembered this yesterday!) Whether the “Best Director” non-nomination became a martyr or not for the boost of Argo’s overall big kahuna chances, you did it. Your film may not be as worthy as Amour, which is more than just “Oatmeal: The Movie,” but I welcome you on that stage more than Richard Parker from Life of Pi, or even worse, Quentin Tarantino for his ugly Django Unchained.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:

Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (WILL WIN, SHOULD WIN, OBVIOUSLY)
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Denzel Washington for Flight

Reason: This one is pretty simple. Daniel “Dizzle Dazzle” Day-Lewis makes Lincoln work most of all, with an actor’s presence as big as a president’s. Without Day-Lewis, this movie would be a collection of Grandpa Abe stories, people with beards voting, and a dumb ending. This performance is just a HINT better than those of his fellow nominees, however, as Denzel Washington too drove a film that required his large “DENZEL” presence, while playing someone who doesn’t need to be shouting all the time to show intensity. Phoenix is also really striking in The Master, as odd and crooked as the film he acts in.

zerodarkthirtyBest Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees:

Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty (WILL WIN, SHOULD WIN)
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible

Reason: This is the accolade for Zero Dark Thirty that I am most fine with the film getting. After all, Zero Dark Thirty is like this year’s Michael Clayton (the two films even share the same type of final shot), and Chastain is all kinds of workplace intense as Bin Laden hunter Maya.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:

Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (SHOULD WIN)
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln (WILL WIN)
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Reason: I heard Tommy Lee Jones won a SAG award for Lincoln or whatever, so he gets to have my confidence vote that such will carry over even Waltz, who dazzled the HFPA, etc. We all know it should go to Hoffman, if just for the scene in which he says “pig f*ck.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees:

Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (WILL WIN, SHOULD WIN)
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Reason: Yes, it is that great of a scene.

amour-posterBest Achievement in Directing
Nominees:

Michael Haneke for Amour (SHOULD WIN)
Ang Lee for Life of Pi (WILL WIN)
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Reason: Of all the main categories, “Best Director” seems to be the biggest issue where all the voters lost their minds; everyone canceling out each other’s votes, leaving people like Bigelow, Hooper, Affleck, and probably even Tyler Perry in the sacrificial wreckage. Vote Spielberg again for Lincoln? Russell for Silver Linings? It doesn’t make sense. And neither does my support for Lee’s Oscar, but it seems like that’s where the nutty tides of “Best Director” are heading. Haneke and Zeitlin are just favorites, but everyone apparently loves a guy who make religious mumbo jumbo out of mo-cap.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Nominees:

Amour: Michael Haneke (SHOULD WIN)
Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino
Flight: John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal (WILL WIN)

Reason: Considering the whole “timely” thing, I’m sure Boal will pull this one through; his script is a solid piece of journalism. As for really affecting writing though, one can’t do better than the specific and simple script of Amour. Just please, please, please no Tarantino.

lincolnBest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Nominees:

Argo: Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi: David Magee
Lincoln: Tony Kushner (SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN)
Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell

Reason: This is tough. Maybe the Academy should go and recount their “Best Adapted Screenplay” votes, as none of these are even really worthy of the gold. Kushner will get it though, in the same way Boal will, for providing a solid history lesson, and for writing a part that Dizzle Dazzle Day-Lewis is going to take with him to Disney World.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Nominees:

Brave: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton
ParaNorman: Sam Fell, Chris Butler (WILL WIN, SHOULD WIN)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits: Peter Lord
Wreck-It Ralph: Rich Moore

Reason: Here’s hoping the Academy sees through the airiness of Brave and Frankenweenie and sees how much ParaNorman is an overall success, along with one of year’s best films.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Nominees:

Amour (Austria) (WILL WIN)
War Witch (Canada)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)

Reason: I haven’t seen all of the nominees here, so I can only state the obvious: if your film is nominated for “Best Picture,” “Best Screenplay,” and “Best Director,” it’s no doubt that your supporters are going to at least throw a “Best Foreign Language Film” as a consolation prize.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Nominees:

Anna Karenina: Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained: Robert Richardson
Life of Pi: Claudio Miranda (WILL WIN)
Lincoln: Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall: Roger Deakins (SHOULD WIN)

Reason: When will the Academy fully recognize Roger Deakins? Isn’t he due for one of those “Lifetime Achievement” Oscars, like Christopher Plummer got last year in the form of “Best Supporting Actor”? Alas, Life of Pi will scoop this one up, because Mauro Fiore did with Avatar a few years ago, etc.

annakareninaBest Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Nominees:

Anna Karenina: Dario Marianelli (SHOULD WIN)
Argo: Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi: Mychael Danna (WILL WIN)
Lincoln: John Williams
Skyfall: Thomas Newman

Reason: I’m assuming the Life of Pi aesthetic express will also scoop up “Best Score,” right over the exquisite (I’m using the word exquisite!) music from Anna Karenina. Yes, I just made an Anna Karenina joke.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Nominees:

Chasing Ice: J. Ralph(“Before My Time”)
Les Misérables: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer(“Suddenly”)
Life of Pi: Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree(“Pi’s Lullaby”) (SHOULD WIN)
Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth(“Skyfall”) (WILL WIN)
Ted: Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane(“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”)

Reason: “Skyfall” is a good Bond theme, but it’s certainly not one of the franchise’s best. Plus, the lyrics are flat pop. However, I don’t understand the lyrics of “Pi’s Lullaby,” but damn if that chorus melody couldn’t bring about world peace. Or, at the very least, peace to this rather tumultuous award season year.

Don’t forget to vote in our 11th TSR Awards!

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