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Oscars: Final Nomination Predictions For The 2013 Academy Awards

by Oliver Lyttelton
January 8, 2013 2:00 PM
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Prometheus Ship
Best Production Design

Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer - "Anna Karenina"
J. Michael Riva, Leslie A. Pope - "Django Unchained"
Eve Stewart - "Les Miserables"
Rick Carter, Jim Erickson, Peter T Frank - "Lincoln"
Arthur Max, Sonja Klaus - "Prometheus"

Arguably the toughest of the tech categories, the only one I'm 100% certain on here is "Anna Karenina." "Lincoln" and "Les Miserables" are decent bets, but unlikely winners, while "The Master" missed out with the Art Directors' Guild; not a disastrous sign, but certainly an obstacle. "Argo" has the 70s period factor, but isn't super showy (there's a lot of filing cabinets in there, while "Django Unchained" has a lot of exteriors, but was also the final work of designer J. Michael Riva, who passed away in the summer, which could always be a factor. And tentpoles "Skyfall," "Prometheus" and "The Hobbit" are in the running too. I think "Lincoln" and "Les Mis" are fine, and I think "Django" and "Prometheus" will join them.

Les Miserables, Jackman
Best Original Song

Birdy & Mumford & Sons - "Learn Me Right" ("Brave")
Elisa Toffoli - "Ancora Qui" ("Django Unchained")
Neil Finn - "Song of the Lonely Mountain" ("The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey")
Hugh Jackman - "Suddenly" ("Les Miserables")
Adele - "Skyfall" ("Skyfall")

The Academy are keen to not repeat last year's fiasco (only two films nominated, neither one that great), so have shaken up the rules, with 75 songs on the long list. There are two sure things; Adele's "Skyfall" theme (which had eligibility questions, but made the cut) and the new song "Suddenly" from "Les Miserables." The winner will be one of the two. Beyond that, we'd go with one of the two from "Brave" (the one with Mumford & Sons on it...), the Ennio Morricone-penned track from "Django Unchained" (though with four eligible songs, including crackers from John Legend and Rick Ross, the vote may be again split), and the closing credits "Hobbit" song. But we could also be looking at tracks from "Paul Williams: Still Alive," "Life Of Pi," "Frankenweenie," "Lawless" or "This Is 40" in the cut; this category, as ever, it's hard to tell.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Original Score

Dario Marianelli - "Anna Karenina"
Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
Mychael Danna - "Life Of Pi"
John Williams - "Lincoln"
Jonny Greenwood - "The Master"

Again, there only seem to be two scores that are totally locked in here; "Anna Karenina" and "Life Of Pi" (happily, also the two best scores of the year). John Williams is enough of a fixture that "Lincoln" should make the cut, but there could always be a surprise there. Beyond that, there's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a non-traditional kind of score (plus the branch have been resistant to nominating scores by directors), but with the category somewhat thin, I think it'll get there. I'm honestly a bit baffled on the fifth slot, but my gut says the branch will make up for the disqualification of "There Will Be Blood" by nominating Jonny Greenwood for "The Master" over the scores for "Argo" and "Cloud Atlas."

The Hobbit Dwarves
Best Make Up

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Les Miserables"
"Men In Black 3"

A pretty wide open category, almost any combination of three from the seven on the short list could make it in. "The Hobbit" and "Men In Black 3" have the most variety, with the criticisms of some for "Looper" and "Hitchcock" possibly putting them at a disadvantage, while "Snow White" isn't as immediately showy as its tentpole competition. I'm leaning with "Les Miserables" over "Lincoln" for the third slot, just because it uses the always-popular aging make-up, but you never know.

Argo Airport
Best Film Editing

William Goldenberg - Argo
Tim Squyres - "Life Of Pi"
Michael Kahn - Lincoln
Leslie Jones, Peter McNulty - "The Master"
William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor - Zero Dark Thirty

Beyond the two nominations for William Goldenberg (who cut both "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty," the latter alongside Dylan Tichenor), this is a tougher one to call. Given its dominance elsewhere, I expect "Lincoln" to make the cut, and I can't see how Tim Squyres' work on "Life Of Pi" gets overlooked, given the impressive transitions (and that it's significantly shorter than the others. The work on "The Master" would be entirely deserving, but is a touch and go: "Les Miserables" or "Skyfall" could make more sense, while the well-publicized languidity of "Django Unchained" probably rules that out. I'm gonna lean "The Master" here, just because I think the branch will recognize the craft, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the bridesmaid here either.

Anna Karenina Jude Law Keira Knightley
Best Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran - "Anna Karenina"
Sharen Davis - "Django Unchained"
Paco Delgado - "Les Miserables"
Eiko Ishioka - "Mirror Mirror"
Manon Rasmussen - "A Royal Affair"

As ever, the period pieces are looking good for nominations, and as such, "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" should all make the cut. Beyond that, it's trickier to tell. A posthumous nod for Eiko Ishioka and "Mirror Mirror" is a good bet, but far from certain. And then, will the less-than-showy 70s wear of "Argo" get a "Milk"-style nomination? Will "A Royal Affair" be this year's "Young Victoria?" Or will the "Lincoln" ship keep going? Any of those (plus "The Master" and "Snow White & The Huntsman" could sneak in. My money's on "A Royal Affair," but it honestly could be any of them.

Life Of Pi
Best Cinematography

Seamus McGarvey - "Anna Karenina"
Claudio Miranda - "Life Of Pi"
Janusz Kaminski - "Lincoln"
Roger Deakins - "Skyfall"
Greig Fraser - "Zero Dark Thirty"

Probably the most high-profile category where the Best Picture contenders aren't necessarily the front-runners. "Life Of PI" might lead the field, even though the film isn't going to mount a real challenge to actually win Best Picture, but just behind are Roger Deakins' work for "Skyfall" and Seamus McGarvey's on "Anna Karenina." Behind them are the three more serious Best Picture films, in the shape of "Django Unchained," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty," with "The Master" hanging around the fringes too. Janusz Kaminski and Robert Richardson, as multiple winners, are 'in the club' more than Greig Fraser and Mihai Malamaire Jr, but that's not everything. My gut says that Kaminski and Fraser get in, but any two of the four would make some degree of sense.

Moonrise Kingdom Jason Schwartzman Kara Hayward Jared Gilman
Best Original Screenplay

Quentin Tarantino - "Django Unchained"
Rian Johnson - "Looper"
Paul Thomas Anderson - "The Master"
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola - "Moonrise Kingdom"
 Mark Boal - "Zero Dark Thirty"

In contrast to some, this is relatively locked down; Mark Boal, Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino all feel pretty likely to make the cut. Paul Thomas Anderson is less rock solid, but this feels like a category where he gets a consolation nomination to me. That leaves a few competitors for that last slot. It may be that my skepticism that enough Academy members watched "Amour" is my undoing this year, but I don't think that's likely to change in this category. That puts it down between two WGA nominees, "Flight" and "Looper," and I think the originality of Rian Johnson's script will see him through here.

Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence
Best Adapted Screenplay

Chris Terrio - "Argo
David Magee - "Life Of Pi"
Tony Kushner - "Lincoln"
Stephen Chbosky - "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower"
David O. Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"

As with Original Screenplay, there are a few more locked in here than in many of the other categories; "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook" are all certain, and will duke it out for the statuette (we could see it going to any of the three). Beyond that, it's more fluid. As Best Picture contenders, some would favor "Life Of Pi" and "Les Miserables," but the former often got pointed to as the weak link (unfairly I'd say) in reviews, and the latter is dismissed by some as a simple adaptation job. The non-WGA eligible "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" is certainly in the hunt, but may be less as less of a writer's film than some; namely, "Perks of Being A Wallflower," which did get the WGA nod. And "The Sessions," "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and even "Skyfall" shouldn't be totally dismissed. We think Pi will make the cut, with 'Perks' joining it (a consolation prize for a film that lots of people like, but no one wants to vote for in anything else), but I wouldn't be surprised if 'Beasts' replaced one or the other.

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  • Vitamin168 | January 21, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    Looking into the final prediction provided from so called experts in this field from Indiewire, I can only see so many US critics obviously under-estimated the potential of Life of Pi. Before its premiere, many people talked about the potential of losing big money like what has happened in the case of Hugo and how brave Fox was to take on this art-house project. Who would have guessed it has become such a commercial success, exceeding all expectation by resonating a universal appeal. And then before the Oscar nomination, who would have thought it would garner 11 nods from Oscar and 9 nods from BAFTA. Well, it only serves to say that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and those so call critics are no more accurate in predicting just about anything.

  • zack | January 11, 2013 1:58 AMReply

    So, Oscar, one of your films stars an insane bat-vigilante who beats people to a pulp and your plan is to snub this person? Good luck.

  • Mark | January 9, 2013 11:59 PMReply

    I respectfully disagree with my fellow film lover, Tom, below on his assessment of Quvenzhane Wallis' performance in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I hardly think it was 90 minutes of a kid acting cute. She simply is a very darling and cute little girl. But her performance was much more than just that. As Hushpuppy, Wallis is alternately steely and quiet, precocious, and heartfelt. Hers is the Oscar nomination I am most hopeful for when they are announced Thursday morning.

  • SON | January 9, 2013 6:53 PMReply

    There are a few things to consider. You wrote for instance that Inception won because of CGI. When it's the opposite. Inception won because it had a complete and total lack of CGI and used very authentic visuals. There is almost no CGI. Christopher Nolan is notorious for NOT using CGI. You know the biggest amount of CGI Nolan ever used was? Harvey Dent's face in The Dark Knight. To make him Two-Face. That's the most amount. I don't think it's unreal to think The Dark Knight Rises could get a nod in visual effects. I mean, to me The Avengers is more likely to get the actual trophy because some of that stuff (the floating fortress) is just impossible to ignore. The Dark Knight Rises is also likely to get a lot of stuff for sound mixing, sound editing and sound effects. The technical stuff... yeah, The Dark Knight Rises has a shot. It seems unreal that anyone would think otherwise.

  • Jon | January 9, 2013 7:14 AMReply

    Why would you shut out The Dark Knight Rises for all the technical categories? Get real now, Snow White and the Huntsmen for best visual effects? I highly doubt it. Hans Zimmer deserves some recognition now, his score was outstanding.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | January 10, 2013 9:39 AM

    Oh, look, the nominations are out, and The Dark Knight Rises got nothing, and Snow White got a visual effects nod.

  • Liz | January 8, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    This year is very interesting, as many of the categories seem very uncertain. The Best Supporting Actor category is particularly interesting, a coworker at DISH and I are still debating on whether Javier Bardem or Alan Arkin will take the slot. I can’t wait to find out on Thursday, and to see the overall winner when the awards premiere. I’ve watched them every year, so I’m glad that even with my late work schedule this year, I won’t miss anything with my DISH Hopper. The 2,000 hours of storage space is more than enough room, and I love that because it’s a recording, I will be able to fast forward through the commercials. I can’t wait to find out the official nominations, but until then, I agree with a majority of the picks on this list.

  • jdub | January 8, 2013 10:01 PMReply

    Here is hoping the impossible happens and The Impossible gets nominated for Best Picture!!

  • Paul | January 8, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises sure to be nominated for Best Sound Mixing/Editing and Visual Effects, believe me.

  • serpico | January 8, 2013 6:43 PMReply

    If people don't like "The Master", fine, but Phoenix was a revelation. That "processing" scene, my god, I mean really. And I hope TDKR isn't nominated for best picture. What a mess that was. I honestly don't know why people love that movie. But then again most Nolan fans have their minds made up already before even seeing his movies.

  • Melissa | January 10, 2013 12:07 AM

    I haven't seen The Master yet, but I agree about The Dark Knight Rises. I did not like that movie at all, even though it was full of great actors (albeit acting badly). Someone on here once called TDKR a "bloated mess" -- and that's EXACTLY what it was. My teenager, a very mature and seasoned film watcher, felt the same way.

  • SON | January 9, 2013 8:14 PM

    Actually The Dark Knight Rises also has a lot of fans. The internet just gave everyone a voice. And with that the people who say "negative" things about a movie is more likely to get attention than those who don't. Look on IMDB and the people who say a movie is overrated in the top 250 always get more hits and discussion than those who really love it. This is because of how it's rated. For instance, "Everyone hates the Dark Knight Rises" is a really dumb statement in and of itself. It's got an 8.7 on the IMDB. This puts it higher on that list than more than half the top 250. It has a pretty decent average customer rating on It has a decent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Box Office Mojo etc.

    See, the thing about The Dark Knight Rises is that it had the unfortunate task of following up the incredible "Dark Knight." A film that was, in many regards, almost exactly like it in its construction. A very oddly messed up plot that most of us were willing to accept as such because Heath Ledger's Joker was just that amazing that a lot of things we'd have normally criticized the movie for we let slide because we were enjoying the ride. And yeah, The Dark Knight is a good movie. The thing is this, though: It was the biggest movie of the the previous decade. From 2001-2010 no movie was heaped upon with nearly as much praise. The Lord of the Rings trilogy couldn't muster that much critical praise, reception or rabid, "We have to see that again!" There was absolutely no way for The Dark Knight Rises to really live up to that. The fact that the reception is as warm as it is surprises me a lot. The Dark Knight Rises disappointment people don't surprise me at all. That always happens. And people always pay more attention to those guys on the internet. Because that's where the action is on the forums. You see websites do that sort of stuff to get hits ALL THE TIME!

    After a couple of years you probably won't see as much contempt for The Dark Knight Rises because it'll be out of the news and out of sight in that regard. And then it just might come back later with a warmer reception. Remember, The Empire Strikes Back wasn't exactly well regarded when it came out either. In fact, the reception was lukewarm back then. If there was an internet then you'd have seen people exploding with a lot of things they didn't like. Including possibly even the whole, "That twist sucked." But there was no internet so you sort of didn't have everyone having a voice. Except, of course, critics. Who... back then, tore The Empire Strikes Back to pieces.

    So at this point, The Dark Knight Rises might end up having better reception in the future than it does now. But... the reception now (at least if we're going by regular people rating it and whatnot) is not exactly bad if we're going based off of Amazon reviews and IMDB and all those other places. The public seems to be more receptive than people let on. Like I said, it's easier to pay attention to the negative stuff. And because it's easier to pay attention to we tend to think that's the majority. In reality the real majority is people who... sort of don't care. They actually make up the most of it. But because they don't care they typically don't post about it. For as many people who saw The Dark Knight Rises there are likely to be tons and tons who saw it and just thought "Eh..." They might've thought it was good... might've thought it was bad but really didn't care too much to jump online and let people know. If an article online gets 1,000,000 views and only one thousand comments that's still a lot less than 1%. And that's not even counting the guy who comes back and comments again and again and again and replies to one comment after another. Meaning that of the 1,000,000 people who read there are still tons who simply kept their thoughts to themselves.

    The reception of movies is pretty similar. Especially for ones like The Dark Knight Rises. It gets out there because it's got some huge reception behind it. But it's also so diverse. The same thing, ironically, happened with The Dark Knight. Where the people who said negative things about it got a lot more attention than the people who said so many positive things. With The Dark Knight it got to the point where critics were uh, covered in News Stories. And yeah, a lot of Batman fans (not actually Nolan fans, mostly just Batman) jumped on any critic or dared to do so (in contrast: Nolan fans didn't jump all over anyone who dared to criticize Inception... but you'll always have fans of a particular director who will jump up to defend their director--The Hobbit, anyone?)

    So FLARE, the reason you see more opposite opinions is that they're the ones that people promote. That's the thing that will whip people up into a frenzy. That garners hits to websites and blogs. And let's not forget that there were some who were "disappointed" in the movie while still thinking it was quite good. Or were disappointed but didn't hate it. Or who may have thought it was overrated but didn't think that was bad. It doesn't seem like a lot of people hated it. And to say "everyone" is a bit of a stretch. That wouldn't explain the repeat business or the warm reception it has on those websites.

  • pmanzana | January 8, 2013 11:27 PM

    Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Beast, RollingStone, The Denver Post, The New York Post, Richard Roeper, and The AFI all named the Dark Knight Rises one of the year's best. These people hardly constitute comic book fanboys. Also, FLARE, looking at comments on specific film blogs hardly is representative of the greater movie going public-It's just a small piece of people who watch movies.

  • Paul | January 8, 2013 11:02 PM

    I doubt it:

    And many more.
    Everyone loves TDKR but he internet has given the opportunity to those who hated their voices heard.

  • Flare | January 8, 2013 8:55 PM

    Actually everyone hates TDKR. I see way more comments like your than the opposite on blogs and forums.

  • MAL | January 8, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    While I don't disagree with your logic and think your pics (for the most part) are reasonable, I hope Moonrise Kingdom gets more love. It was the most affecting film I saw all year and I hope that it sees noms for Production Design, Cinematography and (long shot I know) Director. What I absolutely do not understand is why Silver Linings Playbook has been soooo well liked. The leads were charming enough (Jennifer Lawrence was a standout) but listening to the characters yell at each other about football, etc., for two hours (sorry, but De Niro was insufferable) was grating as hell. Put that family in crisis film next to Amour and there's no contest! (And before anyone calls me a film snob -- I believe The Dark Knight Rises definitely deserves a nod.)

  • jdub | January 8, 2013 10:10 PM

    Finally someone else is on here slamming Silver Linings Playbook!! I completely agree with you! De Niro better not get a nomination for that ridiculously unrealistic character and I'll go a step further and say Bradley Cooper was nothing special either.

  • jengamo | January 8, 2013 3:50 PMReply

    Adams will take the Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine" slot in the supporting category (critical darling, but snubbed by the pretentious SAG and ultimately Oscar nominated), Phoenix will take the Oldman/Mara route (snubbed but so highly praised he has to be nominated), and The Master will be nommed for BP instead of... um idk I hope Les Miz. TOM HOOPER IS A HACK.

  • Wash | January 8, 2013 3:44 PMReply

    A total shut-out for Dark Knight Rises? Wouldn't that be a first for a Nolan film?

  • Jackson | January 8, 2013 3:42 PMReply

    This auhor obviously thinks The Master is trash and not serious about being a contender. PSH will take Supporting Actor. I don't think they will give Best Actor and Supporting Actor to Lincoln. The Master has been a complete darling for critic awards this year. To think it won't be serious on anything, well that is just plain stupid. Come on Oliver, have a little common sense.

  • Michael M. | January 8, 2013 9:23 PM

    Because film appraisal has always been about the critics? that one made me laugh.

  • serpico | January 8, 2013 6:40 PM

    I don't care about his antics, if Phoenix isn't at least nominated for Best Actor, then he is never going to win. But, again, it's not like he cares anyways.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | January 8, 2013 5:55 PM

    Calm down. What I think of The Master has nothing to do it (I'm not its biggest fan, but I would definitely take it over a few of the more likely films). It hasn't been a darling at the critics awards; it missed out from the SAG, the DGA and the PGA (which all tend to match up well with the Academy), and both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty have significantly more critics' groups prizes to their name (six and eight, respectively, to The Master's two). I'm not sure what your evidence of 'common sense' is, but it doesn't appear to be 'looking at the evidence on hand.'

  • Tom | January 8, 2013 3:39 PMReply

    Quvenzhane Wallis was fine and all, but I disagree that it was the amazing performance critics are raving about. It's a little kid acting cute for 90 minutes. Big deal.

  • Melissa | January 10, 2013 12:00 AM

    I'm glad I am not the only one who feels this way! A cute little black girl portraying a cute little black girl doesn't take a lot of acting chops. If she gets a nom, it will be robbing someone else of a hard-earned, well-deserved chance. Her time will come if she is indeed a good actor, but it's definitely too soon to tell if she is or not.

  • Nathan Duke | January 8, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    If the milquetoast Academy doesn't at least nominate Phoenix and Riva, I might be tempted not to even watch this year.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:35 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    As for the Best Actress Award, I cannot believe that the Academy would miss the opportunity of honouring Emmanuelle Riva, also in view of the complexity of the role played.

  • Lou | January 8, 2013 3:43 PM

    I humbly apologize for the multiplication of my comment.

  • Franka | January 8, 2013 2:17 PMReply

    i think the DGAs prolly just proved you wrong about David O Russell.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | January 8, 2013 5:56 PM

    Could be. I was on the fence before the DGA, but my gut still says O Russell.

  • Dood | January 8, 2013 2:28 PM

    Sorry don't know why my comments show up multiple times.

  • Dood | January 8, 2013 2:26 PM

    Sorry don't know why my comments show up multiple times.

  • Dood | January 8, 2013 2:25 PM

    Sorry don't know why my comments show up multiple times.

  • Dood | January 8, 2013 2:16 PMReply

    FYI: You said Pixar's 'Paperman,' it should be Disney's 'Paperman'

  • Haven | January 8, 2013 2:14 PMReply

    "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"? Serioulsy?

  • Ellen | January 8, 2013 2:14 PMReply

    Good picks

  • Dood | January 8, 2013 2:14 PMReply

    FYI: You said Pixar's 'Paperman,' it should be Disney's 'Paperman'

    Further proof that Pixar is synonymous with good animation. Not true. haha

  • Dad Playlist | January 8, 2013 2:13 PMReply

    Yep, fixed, thx,

  • Jesse | January 8, 2013 2:13 PMReply

    Tommy Lee Jones has got in the bag for Lincoln

  • jdub | January 8, 2013 10:14 PM

    He deserves it!

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