Oscar Predictions Who’ll Be Nominated?

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HOLLYWOOD—The Oscar race is on.  In less than a week, the pinnacle of all awards will unleash the names of those vying for the coveted prize inHollywoodknown as Oscar.  The Critics Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globes and countless others have named their nominees, but now I’ll share my thoughts on who will likely hear there names called Thursday, January 10.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Best Picture race.  This is perhaps one of the most competitive fields in years.  2012 saw some of the best films in my opinion in a few decades.  With the chances of anywhere between 5-10 pictures running in contention, last year we saw 9, this year I’m thinking of 7 as the lucky number.

It’s a given that “Lincoln,” “Argo,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Les Misérables” and “Django Unchained” will garner nominations.  That’s six best picture nominees already.  The remaining spot is quite competitive for “Life of Pi,” “The Master” and personal fave “The Impossible” could sneak into that race.   While “The Impossible” to me is a much better picture, I see “Life of Pi” taking that final slot.

Best Actress is indeed a competitive field.  There are many women from pictures that have yet to be seen that are deserving of a nomination, but absolute locks at the moment include Naomi Watts “The Impossible,” Jennifer Lawrence “Silver Linings Playbook” and Jessica Chastain “Zero Dark Thirty.”  If any of these women are not nominated it will be a travesty.  The remaining two slots is a tight-race between Marion Cotillard “Rust and Bone,” Quvenzhane Wills “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Ann Dowd “Compliance.”  My prediction is the last two slots will go to unknown actresses Wills and Dowd.  While I think Cotillard does a fine job in the picture, its sorta has come and gone already.

Best Actor is another tough race with surefire nominations for Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln,” Denzel Washington “Flight,” Bradley Cooper “Silver Linings Playbook” and John Hawkes “The Sessions.”  The last spot is a toss-up between Joaquin Phoenix “The Master,” Hugh Jackman “Les Misérables,” Jamie Foxx “Django Unchained” and in my opinion Tom Holland “The Impossible.” Hollandshould garner the nomination, but I think he’ll be edged out by Jackman as his musical is surely wowing audiences at the moment, but Foxx is a dark horse as well so anything is possible.

Best Supporting Actor this race has so much competition its hard to even think of the surprises come nomination day.  The only locks in this race would be Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln” and PhillipSeymourHoffman “The Master.”  Everyone else has a fair chance including Robert De Niro “Silver Linings Playbook,” Alan Arkin “Argo,” Christoph Waltz “Django Unchained,” Leonardo DiCaprio “Django Unchained,” Samuel L. Jackson “Django Unchained,” Tom Holland “The Impossible” and Ewan McGregor “The Impossible.” That’s seven actors vying for three spots.

While I loved Waltz in Tarantino’s Western classic, DiCaprio edges both his co-stars with his villainous turn so expect a nod for him.  As well as De Niro with some of his best work in quite some time, so expect a nomination for him also. Arkin is likely to take that last spot as a consolation prize for “Argo” which is likely to be shut out of the other acting races, butHollandor McGregor could be dark horses in the race; looking forward to the nominees in this category, as surprises are sure to happen.

Best Supporting Actress sees nominations for Anne Hathaway “Les Misérables,” Sally Field “Lincoln” and Helen Hunt “The Sessions” and Amy Adams “The Master.”  That final slot is anyone’s taking; there has been a dark horse in this race from Nicole Kidman for her work in “The Paperboy.”  I’m almost certain that last spot belongs to her.

Nominees for Best Director is another tough race as the category tends to mirror Best Picture nominees, but only five directors can compete in the category.  So indeed expect a nod from Kathryn Bigelow “Zero Dark Thirty,” Steven Spielberg “Lincoln,” David O. Russell “Silver Linings Playbook” and Ben Affleck “Argo.” That final spot will be a battle between Quentin Tarantino “Django Unchained,” Ang Lee “Life of Pi” and Tom Hooper “Les Misérables.”  That final spot will end up going to Tarantino for his controversial, yet crowd-pleasing picture.

So those are my picks for Academy Award nominations be sure to check my column next week when the nominations are unveiled to see if my predictions are right as well as who was snubbed.

By LaDale Anderson