I’ve seen eight of the nine Best Picture nominees but ended up light on the acting categories, so take all of this with a huge grain of salt. I’m just throwing my opinions out there for discussion, and because it’s fun to talk about this stuff before we get all serious by talking baseball. All links go to my reviews of the films.
Everyone’s assuming Argo will win after it has won most of the major predictor awards, defying the previous conventional wisdom that a film can’t win Best Picture if its director isn’t even nominated for Best Director. It’s a solid movie, not a terrible choice in the abstract, but not the best movie I saw from 2012. Zero Dark Thirty was better across the board for me – better written, better acted, better staged, and tackled a more serious subject.
I’m not even sure how to consider these five directors; Kathryn Bigelow would have been my choice, but she, Quentin Tarantino, and Ben Affleck were all snubbed despite outstanding efforts on their respective films. Tarantino may have been omitted for that awful Australian accent, though.
DDL has had this in the bag since the movie came out, but I thought Jackman’s role was more demanding while it was just as central to his movie as DDL’s was to his. I’m still irritated that Richard Parker didn’t even get an nomination, however. Note that I’ve only seen three of the five nominated performances.
She just edges out Jessica Chastain for me, but I think the actual voting won’t be that close. Lawrence’s performance lacked the gravitas of Chastain’s but it was no less convincing or essential to her film’s success. Again, I’ve only seen three of the five performances here.
Best Supporting Actor
I think De Niro gets the “hey, thanks for finally making another decent movie” award, and I can’t argue that much with the choice. Waltz had far more screen time in a role that recalled the meticulously malevolent character he played in Inglorious Basterds, but this time with more emotional depth. I have not seen The Master among the five films involved here.
Best Supporting Actress
Of the three performances I’ve seen here – Hathaway’s, Weaver’s, and Field’s – this is a no-brainer. I will see The Sessions at some point soon, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Hunt deserved this one more.
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
I could see Argo pulling this off, but I think the more erudite language of Lincoln will resonate more with older voters. That said, if Silver Linings Playbook hadn’t ended with that silly parlay, it would have been my pick here.
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
My choice: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
I’ve only seen two of the five nominees here, so I’m just including this category for the sake of completeness.
Include your own picks and predictions below. Anyone who nails every winner gets a free one-year subscription to the dish.