Oscars Predictions 2022

Following the ratings freefall last year (in what was a spectacular flameout of an awards show), 2022’s Oscars feels like the watershed year – the one that truly decides the future of the Academy Awards and the Oscarcast. Unfortunately, this year’s Academy Awards have not been smooth sailing, and right up to the telecast tomorrow, is still seeing controversies play out, the most prominent of which is the odd decision to pre-tape the awarding of 8 “craft” awards and to edit them into the live Oscarcast. We’ll see – given how bad the ratings were last year, one can optimistically hope that the only way is up.

Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: The Power of the Dog

Prediction: CODA

It almost seemed like The Power of the Dog had this in the bag, but the little movie from Apple TV+ has seen a very tremendous last minute surge in support, and with CODA bagging SAG, PGA and WGA awards, the odds are now suddenly in its favour. I feel there are far better films deserving of the award in this category, but it probably is wrong to bet against CODA at this point.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Will Smith, King Richard

Prediction: Will Smith, King Richard

One of the strongest-contended categories of the night, but Will Smith is much loved in the industry and has basically won every award so far leading up to the Oscars. It’s hard to see him losing out in the final leg.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Prediction: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

All signs point to Jessica Chastain being the favourite to win, but Cruz’s performance in Parallel Mothers is a superlative one and one of the best I have seen in a long while. Though Cruz has not seen much award action, I am hoping she will be the dark horse here and clinch a deserving win over Chastain.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Prediction: Troy Kotsur, CODA

It again seemed like Kodi Smit-McPhee’s nuanced performance in The Power of the Dog was a clear winner, until suddenly he wasn’t, and Troy Kotsur seemed to have supplanted his place in all the awards shows post Golden Globes. A strange turn of tides to be sure, but Troy winning here checks off a lot of boxes.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Prediction: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

There are a few unexpected nominations in this category, and coupled with DeBose’s suite of wins this awards season, her winning the Oscar as well feels like a shoo-in.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Prediction: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Probably the most locked category of the night, and with CODA not even being nominated here, it would be truly surprising if Campion isn’t the winner here. Spielberg has a very small chance of pulling off an upset, but this is pretty much a done deal.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Licorice Pizza

Prediction: Belfast

A very hard category to predict – given Belfast is unlikely to win major awards despite the number of nominations it garnered, this is likely to be Kenneth Branagh’s consolation prize. Licorice Pizza is one of my favourite movies of the year, however, and it would be a pleasant surprise if it could win here.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Drive My Car

Prediction: CODA

I would love for Drive My Car to score a win here, but the likely “consolation” prize for that film would be Best International Feature, to be honest. CODA’s last minute surge included the screenplay category (it won the BAFTA as well as the WGA) and it will also be the first female winner in a long while, plus Sian Heder didn’t even get a nomination in the Best Director category, so this is yet another win that checks off a lot of boxes.

Best Achievement in Cinematography


Should Win: Dune

Prediction: Dune

Dune is definitely one of the most technically well-made movies of the year, and should win a slew of awards in the technical categories. Greg Frasier’s cinematography is excellent and given Denis Villeneueve’s similar penchant for in-camera effects (akin to Christopher Nolan), makes the achievement even more impressive. Every nominated DP this year deserves to win though, to be very honest.

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: King Richard

Prediction: Dune

King Richard’s editing work is more subtle but as important as Dune’s, though I am still favoring Dune in the technical awards. This is one of the categories that I feel quite unsure of, but perhaps the Academy voters would feel the same as me and go for the “big” movie instead.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Dune

The Academy voters are either going to favor the production design that went into crafting Dune’s massive worlds and environments, or Nightmare Alley’s much more intimate film noir elements. I am again favoring Dune’s largesse to outclass Nightmare Alley and the other contenders here.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Cruella

One of the highest points in Cruella are the fantastic costume designs by Jenny Beavan (it is a movie revolving around fashion, after all), and given it has already won at the Costume Designers Guild Awards, seems likely to repeat the feat here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

It’s the typical “transformed star” story for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and given Chastain is already a best actress nominee, gives the film a good head start in the awards race here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Dune

It’s hard to believe despite Hans Zimmer being behind so many memorable scores, that he has only won the Oscar once. I believe Zimmer’s excellent score for Dune would help deliver him his second Oscar.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: No Time to Die

If “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was the nominated song from Encanto, this category would be the firmest lock of the night. That’s not the case, however, which means there’s a good chance it will go to Billie Eilish and bro’s “No Time to Die”, though we should never underestimate Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose win here will make him an EGOT alumni.

Best Achievement in Sound

Prediction: Dune

Dune’s sound design and sound editing were both top notch and really helped in creating an immersive world for the massive film. West Side Story similarly boasts great work in both aspects, but I am still leaning towards Dune in the technical categories.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Dune

Unless the Academy wants to give a populist award to the box office behemoth that was Spider-Man: No Way Home, this award is really Dune’s to lose.

Best Animated Feature Film

Prediction: Encanto

While I am also a huge fan of The Mitchells vs the Machines, it’s hard to bet against both Disney AND Lin-Manuel Miranda, especially given the social resonance Encanto has enjoyed since its release (no, no, no).

Best International Feature Film

Prediction: Drive My Car (Japan)

Given its nominations outside of Best International Feature Film, it does seem most likely for Drive My Car to earn the nod here. I don’t foresee it being able to pull off a massive coup like Parasite to take most of its other nominations, however.

Best Documentary Feature

Prediction: Summer of Soul

Best Documentary Short Subject

Prediction: The Queen of Basketball

Best Animated Short Film

Prediction: Robin, Robin

Best Live Action Short Film

Prediction: The Long Goodbye

Standard

Oscars Predictions 2021

What a strange year (actually 14 months for the Academy Awards, since the broadcast was delayed by 2 months) it has been for the movies. The pandemic that doesn’t seem to end had put a stop to most movie releases, so the majority of nominees this year have been titles that either launched on streaming services or saw very limited exposure at the cinemas. It begs the question of whether anyone would actually care much about the Oscars this year, given that far fewer people have actually seen anything that’s been nominated. Still, the show must go on, and from what I have read, Steven Soderbergh has pulled out all the stops to make this not a “Zoom with friends” awards ceremony like every awards ceremony since the pandemic, so here’s hoping.

Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Nomadland

Prediction: Nomadland

Nomadland is a beautifully shot movie that resonated during the pandemic because it focuses on the need for human connection. The timeliness of its release and the fact that it has won basically every major award so far means it will stand the best chance for this category, even though there are several potential dark horses like Promising Young Woman and Minari.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Prediction: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins turns in an astonishing performance in The Father and in other years would have probably clinched the award with ease. However, it’s hard to imagine the Academy voters not awarding it posthumously to Chadwick Boseman, especially since Hopkins has already won before.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Prediction: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

This could be the most hotly contested category of the night, and could really go any of a few ways. I suspect the Academy is not going to give McDormand her third statuette so soon, so it would likely go to a very promising young woman with a very memorable role, or more likely, Viola Davis because of the physical transformation that took place in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – the Academy seems to love these roles more than anything else.  

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Prediction: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

It’s unlikely the award would go to anyone else but Kaluuya, and his SAG, BAFTA and Globes wins practically seals the deal. It’s unlikely that the presence of Lakeith Stanfield in the same category would split the votes too much.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Prediction: Yun-Jung Youn, Minari

It was quite an open category but the deal was sealed with her SAG win and the memorable acceptance speech during her BAFTA win.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Prediction: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

One of the most locked categories of the night in my point of view, and deservedly so.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Promising Young Woman

Prediction: Promising Young Woman

A very captivating screenplay that somewhat fizzled out near the end, but still it will be the consolation prize for Promising Young Woman as it has much lower chances of winning anywhere else.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: The Father

Prediction: The Father

While Nomadland would be a safe bet here, I believe The Father’s late resurgence will lead to it at least getting the consolation screenplay prize here.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Nomadland

Prediction: Nomadland

By far the most beautiful film I’ve seen this awards year, and I would be surprised if anyone else manages to win, despite this being Joshua James Richards’ first nomination.

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Prediction: The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 has the most visible editing touches amongst those nominated. While Sound of Metal won at the BAFTA I don’t think the feat would repeat itself at the Oscars.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Mank

While I wasn’t a fan of the movie, it’s easy to see Mank eke out a win in this category given it’s essentially a love letter to a golden age in Hollywood.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Given that the film has won multiple awards in this category, plus a chance to make history by having Ann Roth be the oldest woman to win an Oscar, the choice seems quite clear to me. It’s not period in the strictest sense (that would be fellow nominee Emma), which usually wins this award, but the odds are still in Ma Rainey’s favour.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Viola Davis’ transformation would not have been possible without the magicians in hair and makeup, and I don’t think any other film would be able to steal the win.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Soul

That Soul has built up an incredible amount of word of mouth and goodwill, plus it being a story about musicians, gives it a clear edge over the other nominees in the category.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: Speak Now, One Night in Miami

I would love for Husavik to win this category but it seems safer to stick with best supporting actor nominee Leslie Odom Jr’s performance in One Night in Miami (since it’s clear he will not be able to win in the acting category).

Best Achievement in Sound

Prediction: Sound of Metal

The Academy had collapsed two categories back into one (it was the norm for the same movie to win both awards anyway), and a film dealing with a musician’s loss of hearing and relationship with sound seems like a shoo-in for the category.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Tenet

It’s the nominee with the flashiest visuals, and given that it’s really one of very few blockbusters to actually make it to the cinemas this awards year, feels like the clear frontrunner in the race.  

Best Animated Feature Film

Prediction: Soul

Given the strong word of mouth and resonance it had, this award is Soul’s to lose.

Best International Feature Film

Prediction: Another Round (Denmark)

It was a well-liked film featuring a known actor (Mads Mikkelsen), making it front runner for the award.

Best Documentary Feature

Prediction: My Octopus Teacher

Best Documentary Short Subject

Prediction: Colette

Best Animated Short Film

Prediction: If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live Action Short Film

Prediction: Two Distant Strangers

Standard

Oscars Predictions 2020

What a difference a year makes – not only does 2020 herald the return of an Oscarcast to local free-to-air TV after ten years, it’s also the first time I am doing this on the inside looking out (so to speak). With the new job comes an actual Oscar pool this year, which means I will be predicting all award categories for once. It is a relatively “easy” year for predictions given the clear paths many of the potential winners have enjoyed on the road to the Oscars, but the big question is if Parasite will buck tradition by clinching any awards outside of Best Foreign Film. It’s literally the only dark horse amongst the major categories, and I am keeping it safe by betting on the surer horses in the predictions below – hope this doesn’t come back and bite me in the proverbial ass.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Parasite

Prediction: 1917

1917 has been winning every possible award thrown its way and it’s hard to see the Academy voting otherwise. However, Parasite has seen what seems like a pretty major uptick in noise level over the past month plus, and could potential be the big upset of the night. Parasite is my favourite movie of 2019 and I would not be sad if it stole the award from 1917.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Prediction: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

This is a shoo-in for Joaquin, and like or dislike the film, it cannot be denied that he put in a powerful, memorable performance.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Renee Zellweger, Judy

Prediction: Renee Zellweger, Judy

While her portrayal of the late Judy Garland is occasionally too on-the-nose and too forced an impression, there’s again no denying that it’s definitely the most memorable performance amongst those nominated. The Academy loves these roles, and Renee has been winning every award along the way as well.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Prediction: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

It’s a hugely enjoyable performance, and his various acceptance speeches along the way have been nothing short of inspired. This one is about as hard a lock as the other main categories.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Prediction: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Florence Pugh’s performance in Little Women outshone Saoirse Ronan’s despite being a supporting role, and was easily the best thing in the film. Unfortunately, Laura Dern has again had a clear runway from the start of awards season and there’s no reason the Academy would vote otherwise.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Prediction: Sam Mendes, 1917

While 1917 is a great concept piece, Bong Joon Ho’s sublime direction of Parasite really should take top honours. However, even if Parasite wins best picture, it’s hard to see Sam Mendes not getting the “consolation” prize of Best Director. I feel that this is quite the lock but will again be happy to be proven wrong.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Parasite

Prediction: Parasite

It’s hard not to root for Parasite in this category, even though I also dearly loved what Tarantino did in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. QT seems to have lost some steam in this category but it will be a close fight for sure.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Jojo Rabbit

Prediction: Jojo Rabbit

I enjoyed all 5 screenplays very much but I think Taika’s star status will improve his odds immensely here.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: 1917

Prediction: 1917

Roger Deakins has to win this for the amazing work in 1917. If not for the immaculately planned camerawork throughout the film, the incredibly lit night scene in the middle of the movie would clinch this award on its own.

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: Ford v Ferrari

Prediction: Ford v Ferrari

Editing is everything in a racing film, and since 1917 didn’t get a nomination here, FvF would most assuredly take home the trophy instead.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

There’s a lot of thought put into the production design of Once Upon A Time, and the period details in every scene are spot-on. While Parasite has equally impressive production values, I am doubtful of the number of statues Hollywood would cede to essentially a foreign film.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Little Women

When in doubt, vote for the period drama with the most period gowns and frocks.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Bombshell

It would be a bombshell (hur hur) if Bombshell did not clinch the award for disappearing Charlize Theron into Megyn Kelly.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Joker

The score for 1917 is too spare to really be in consideration for the award, even if it’s by Thomas Newman (his cousin Randy is also nominated this year for Marriage Story). So Joker it is.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman

Given the lukewarm awards season Frozen 2 has seen this year, it’s highly unlikely the statuette would end up with the Lopez duo this time. It seems that all signs point to Elton and Bermie bringing this one home, capping a successful awards run.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: 1917

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: 1917

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: 1917

The camera and the sound are the main actors in 1917, and I believe the Academy will not think otherwise.

Best Animated Feature of the Year

Prediction: Toy Story 4

It’s a surprisingly wide category this year and Toy Story 4 could easily be upset by Klaus or even Missing Link. I would like to think that the Academy still gives a Pixar film more leeway than usual so Toy Story 4 seems like a safe(r) choice.

Best Animated Short of the Year

Prediction: Hair Love

It just seems like the type of short film that would win the award, even though I really liked Kitbull as well.

Best Documentary Feature of the Year

Prediction: American Factory

For Sama is a very powerful documentary and stands a good chance to be the black horse winner, but given that the Obamas have a hand in American Factory, plus it’s a pretty universal theme, it’s hard to place my prediction elsewhere.

Best Documentary Short Subject of the Year

Prediction: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

It’s a pretty good documentary with an excellent title, which means it should stand a pretty high chance here.

Best Live Action Short Film of the Year

Prediction: The Neighbors’ Window

While there are some very strong contenders here (Brotherhood and A Sister are both masterful short films), The Neighbors’ Window is the most accessible and also a great short.

Best International Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Parasite

This really cannot possibly go to another film in contention and is probably one of the most locked categories of the night. Unless (and possibly even if) the film goes on to win Best Picture, I would be extremely surprised if the Academy voted any other way.

Standard

Oscar Predictions 2019

It’s been a busier than usual start of the year at work in 2019, and this is actually the first time I’ve put “pen” to “paper” since the year commenced. Of course I’ve tried to cover as much Oscars ground as possible, and finally, just hours to the ceremony itself, I have managed to complete viewing of all the major contenders for the year. Phew. Given the difficulty it had taken me to get to access a live telecast of the ceremony this year, it’s probably going to be one of the last times where I can actually get to watch the show live – so hopefully my tally this year would be a decent one! 

Since I am not involved in any Oscar pool or viewing party (the norm these days), I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions: 

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Blackkklansman

Prediction: Roma

The only possible thing in Roma’s way of winning Best Picture this year is that it’s still a foreign language film. Of the 8 there are some really iffy contenders this year, and personally while Roma is a beautiful film, Blackkklansman is the one that truly stirred something in me. It’s quite a wide open category this year and even Roma isn’t a sure thing, but it should still stand the best chance of coming ahead the rest of the pack (and honestly, some of the films here don’t seem to be truly deserving of the accolade). 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Christian Bale, Vice

Prediction: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

This award is almost surely going to Rami Malek given his hot run so far, even though I felt Bale’s performance as Dick Cheney in Vice is the far more masterful one. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Prediction: Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman’s performance in The Favourite is one of my (ahem) favourite performances of the year, but Glenn Close seems poised to finally walk away with the award after a seventh nomination. I personally didn’t think that highly of Lady Gaga’s performance, and I don’t think she will be able to beat the odds on this one. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book 

Prediction: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

This is the most locked-in category of the night. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Prediction: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emily Blunt seems to have been robbed of a nomination here for the unforgettable performance in The Quiet Place, but Regina King’s short but powerful scenes in If Beale Street Could Talk and the relatively higher number of wins in the awards season should swing this her way. Rachel Weisz was also very memorable in The Favourite and could be a dark horse here as well. 

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

I honestly think no one else stands a chance in this category, although all the directors nominated here put in amazing work this year. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: The Favourite 

Prediction: The Favourite 

As Yanxi Palace has proven, everyone loves women behaving badly in period dramas. Green Book is a close second though I think The Favourite would have left a far deeper impression on the voters in the Academy. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Blackkklansman

Prediction: Blackkklansman

Although the WGA gave the award to Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the movie has made minimal impact in the Oscar nominations, which leads me to believe Blackkklansman would be the screenplay to walk home with the statuette instead. 

Best Achievement in Cinematography


Should Win: Roma

Prediction: Roma

Even though I wasn’t entirely taken by the film, there’s no denying Roma is gorgeously lit and shot. 

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Prediction: Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody (to me) is a film riddled with problems and I genuinely do not understand the awards love for the film, but if there’s one other award that it probably deserves, it would be for the editing, especially the Live Aid sequence. 

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Favourite

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Favourite

While I think Roma has a chance of pipping The Favourite in Production Design, the Costume Design nod is almost certainly going to be a shoo-in. While Mary Poppins had some truly inspired costume designs as well, the film just didn’t make much of an impact overall. 

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Vice

Honestly I thought it was quite a strange omission to leave out The Favourite (especially when Mary Queen of Scots isn’t), I hope the excellent work on Vice would be given due recognition and also the win. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: If Beale Street Could Talk 

The two major lead-up winners (First Man and A Star is Born) aren’t nominated for the Oscar, so amongst the five here, Nicholas Britell’s lush, beautiful score for If Beale Street Could Talk seems to stand a good chance to win. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: Shallow, A Star is Born

This is almost a dead lock – the song has definitely had the most airplay leading up and into awards season.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Roma

Sound mixing played an important role in setting the mood for many scenes in Roma, but there’s no clear winner here, with each nominee all having different but equally compelling cases to win the award. 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: A Quiet Place

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Avengers: Infinity War

This is pure guesswork, though I am sure Christopher Robin is not going to win this one. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

Yes, it’s a non-Disney, non-Pixar film that I’ve bet on this year, despite there being both a Pixar AND a Disney film nominated this year. Into the Spider-verse is honestly the freshest animated film I have seen in years and it would be such a miss if it didn’t win here. 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Roma

Wondering if the same film can win both Best Foreign Film AND Best Picture, but this would probably be the most likely year such an occurrence would take place. 

Standard

Oscar Predictions 2018

It’s been a very tumultuous year in Hollywood, as the industry was rocked by a seemingly never-ending list of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power, and many men of power and renown were toppled from their once very secure positions. While this is unlikely to affect the voting process (and hence the results) this year, one wonders if the issue would get much airtime during the ceremony. While The Shape of Water leads the nominations, I am skeptical of its winning chances apart from some of the key categories. Since I am not involved in any Oscar pool or viewing party (the norm these days), I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: The Shape of Water

Prediction: The Shape of Water

The determination of the Best Picture winner is a very elaborate system, and without going into details here, it means that the second and third choices of voters who didn’t go for the popular vote also matter. The Shape of Water is a romantic, beautiful yet political movie, which I feel still stands a better chance because it will still be the top few choices of voters who go for the other potential frontrunners, namely Three Billboards and Get Out.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Prediction: Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour

This one should be pretty locked for Oldman, especially when the alternate votes will be split between Timothee Chalamet’s excellent performance and Daniel Kaluuya’s riveting turn in Get Out.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This to me is the most locked category of the night. While I personally didn’t really enjoy Three Billboards, the fine acting by the cast is undeniable, especially McDormand (and Rockwell). I also hugely enjoyed Margot Robbie’s performance in I, Tonya, but this award is McDormand’s to lose.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sam Rockwell has been winning the precursor awards so there’s no reason to think otherwise here, though Willem Dafoe’s career-best performance in The Florida Project could prove to be the dark horse.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

Prediction: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

It’s a great list of nominees, all deserving, but Alison Janney really left an indelible impression for her performance in I, Tonya. Laurie Metcalf is almost as key an actress as Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, but my preference here still goes to Janney.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Guillermo del Toro

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro

Of the five directors nominated, Jordan Peele may be the dark horse for Get Out, but I believe the nod will still go to del Toro for a more mainstream effort.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Get Out

Prediction: Get Out

I believe this will be Jordan Peele’s consolation prize for missing out on the big categories, though every nominee here are great efforts, and Three Billboards is a very strong contender particularly.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Call Me by Your Name

Prediction: Call Me by Your Name

James Ivory’s adaptation is excellent and heartfelt, and then there’s the father’s monologue at the end, which should help gain even more votes.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049

Prediction: Blade Runner 2049

Please just let Roger Deakins win already.

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: Baby Driver

Prediction: Dunkirk

While I personally prefer the editing bravura in Baby Driver, Dunkirk is still the more likely winner in the category.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Shape of Water

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Phantom Thread

Although The Shape of Water beat out The Phantom Thread in the Costume Designers Guild Awards, it’s still very hard to see Phantom Thread losing out here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Darkest Hour

Hard to beat out a Best Picture contender, especially when the makeup and hairstyling is largely centred on the frontrunner for Best Actor.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Shape of Water

The only other potential contender apart from Alexandre Desplat would be Hans Zimmer’s booming score and audio signatures for Dunkirk, but that score seemed to be a bit more divisive.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: This is Me, The Greatest Showman

I would prefer Coco to win for Remember Me, and it may still clinch the award, but The Greatest Showman is most memorable for its songs and choreography, which may just be enough to push it past Coco.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Dunkirk

I would not be unhappy to see Baby Driver win this one, though the war films tend to win by default.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Dunkirk

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Blade Runner 2049

I don’t know if enough people would care enough about War of the Planet of the Apes to give it their vote here, but Blade Runner 2049 would likely have the better showing.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Coco

It’s Pixar and Coco is a great film. Enough said.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: A Fantastic Woman

Pure guesswork as I have not seen a single one of the five films here, unfortunately.

 

 

 

Standard

Oscar Predictions 2017

With such a diverse nominee list this year, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of last year seems to be pretty much laid to rest. This season’s nominees are a particularly illustrious bunch, but there seems to be quite a number of categories where the winners are pretty locked. La La Land is the belle of the ball with an astounding 14 nominations, and is likely to walk away with a handful of statuettes, but the overly effusive love from the industry is a little puzzling to me, honestly. Sadly I am once again bereft of any Oscar pool or viewing party and so will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: La La Land

Moonlight is easily the best movie of 2016 for me, and if it was any other year, it would easily have clinched the award, but with La La Land in the fray… This is a category where I would love to be proven wrong in.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Prediction: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

This is Casey Affleck’s award to lose this year. Denzel Washington could have an outside chance with his mesmerizing performance in Fences, but it’s also a difficult role to identify and empathize with.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Prediction: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Emma Stone is likely to win here, especially when it isn’t decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, which likely explained Isabelle Huppert’s win for the Globes. Stone managed to turn in yet another impressive performance in La La Land, cementing her position as one of the best younger actresses of our time, and it should finally be her moment in the sun this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Honestly not a very inspiring list of performances to pick from, but I believe Mahershala’s performance just slightly edges out Jeff Bridge’s role in Hell or High Water.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Viola Davis (Fences)

Prediction: Viola Davis (Fences)

The African American actresses in this category are simply superb, and it’s a tough choice between Naomie Harris’ devastating turn as a drug-addled mother in Moonlight and Viola Davis’ equally impressive performance in Fences. Viola Davis has a more “Oscar-winning” performance and should win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Prediction: Damian Chazelle (La La Land)

It would be foolish to bet against Damian Chazelle in this category, but once again I feel Barry Jenkins deserves the nod more.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: La La Land

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land should be able to win here, unless they decide to give Kenneth Lonergan a consolation prize here for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: Moonlight

Every nominee here is deserving of the win, honestly, but the beautiful story and handling of Moonlight would hopefully give it the nod.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Should Win: Bradford Young, Arrival

Prediction: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Bradford Young did amazing work in Arrival, but Linus Sandgren manages to display a lot of breadth and depth in the lensing of La La Land.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land is a love story to Old Hollywood, and so should be an easy win here.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Jackie

Perhaps the only other that impresses in Jackie apart from Natalie Portman’s performance is the costume design, and this should be one category that La La Land can’t clinch.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Star Trek Beyond

When in doubt, root for the movie with aliens in it.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: La La Land

A pretty locked category in my opinion.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: City of Stars, La La Land

An insane earworm and another lock for La La Land – would be extremely surprising if any other song managed to win here.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

It’s Disney’s award to lose here, as the two most likely winners would be The Jungle Book and Rogue One. Star Wars got snubbed last year so this year it may stand a higher chance of winning.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Zootopia

Honestly I hope Kubo and the Two Strings will win here, but it seems silly to bet against Disney.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: The Salesman

Full disclosure that I have not watched any of the movies in this category, so this is an educated guess based on Oscar buzz.

 

 

Standard

Oscar Predictions 2016

The Oscars have been hit with controversy this year, but the actual nominations themselves aren’t particularly surprising. It’s pretty clear that The Revenant is likely to be taking back a bunch of the major Oscars, and Mad Max will end up with a good number of technical Oscars. Once again, given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Prediction: The Revenant

Mad Max is hands down one of my favourite movies of 2015, and it had the surprise factor – no one actually thought it would be so good or do so well at the box office. However, The Revenant is more likely to win in this category

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

This is Leonardo’s award to lose this year. The most locked category of the night for sure.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Prediction: Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling did an incredible job in 45 Years, but arguably the momentum that has been building for Brie Larson is likely to give her the win for this category. It’s a pretty strong list of nominees this year unlike the last, so much so that two actresses were shafted into the Supporting Actress category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

This is not a strong category in my point of view, and my vote would have gone to either Stallone or Mark Rylance (for Bridge of Spies).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Alicia Vikander has had a particularly bountiful year, and honestly her performance in The Danish Girl was the best part of the movie (sorry Eddie). Both her and Rooney Mara rightfully should have been contending for Best Actress, but since they are in the Supporting category, in my opinion Vikander has a better chance.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Prediction: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (The Revenant)

Innaritu’s work on Birdman (to me) was far more exciting than The Revenant, and in all honesty Miller created a modern masterpiece with Mad Max: Fury Road. The odds are still not in Miller’s favour though, and Innaritu is likely to clinch the statuette for a second year running.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Inside Out

Prediction: Spotlight

Inside Out was just such an original and well-written movie I feel it should win, but Spotlight is likely to get the “consolation” award here as it is unlikely to win any other major award despite the number of nominations.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: The Big Short

Prediction: The Big Short

Almost all the nominees in this category are deserving, but The Big Short is so uniquely written that it stands out from the rest of the field.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Ed Lachman, Carol

Prediction: Emmanuel Luzbeki, The Revenant

Carol is one of the most beautifully lensed movies of the year, and is my favourite. However, any of the nominees here are hugely deserving, and The Revenant’s more challenging vistas mean that Luzbeki stands a better chance here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

It could not have been easy to edit a coherent two hour film from the constantly moving footage of Mad Max: Fury Road, and Margaret Sixel did a really great job here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The unforgettable production designs in Mad Max should ensure it a win in the category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Cinderella

Although I think (again) that Jenny Beavan did an excellent job for Mad Max, Sandy Powell’s costume designs for Cinderella are solid and more traditional, which is likely to give her the edge here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

I honestly don’t think The Revenant can win here, and The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is simply not as high profile as the other two nominees.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

The very fact that Ennio Morricone had never actually won an Oscar for Original Score (apart from his honorary Oscar) means his chances here are high.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: ‘Til It Happens to You

I had thought Furious 7’s hugely popular “See You Again” would have been a shoo-in for this category, but it was strangely snubbed. Personally I felt Sam Smith’s theme song for Spectre was a particularly weak entry, and the combined star power of Diane Warren and Lady Gaga should be sufficient to give the song a win.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The technical difficulties of Mad Max in terms of a good sound mix and edit means the film is likely to win for both categories.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: The Revenant

While Mad Max was impressive for its restrained use of visual effects, that is likely also likely to reduce its chance of winning in this technical category. Sorry Star Wars, but I think The Revenant stands a better chance here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Inside Out

It’s a really good mix of nominated animated films this year, but Inside Out ranks amongst one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2015, not just in the category of animated films. It would be a travesty if it lost out to any of the other nominees here.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Son of Saul

I have not seen any of the movies nominated for this category, but the Academy always has a preference for movies about the Holocaust.

Standard

Oscar Predictions: 2015

Truth be told, the Oscar nominations this year have been rather unexciting, with few surprises and a number of movies and performances that I liked getting the snub. Fortunately, it’s not all clear-cut and there are a small number of categories in which there are no front runners. Given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I have reverted back to the practice of abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Although Boyhood has a good chance here, it’s not as flashy and exciting as Birdman, and feels a bit more like improv. Birdman is one of the most original films I have seen in years and wins my vote here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The Academy loves performances like Eddie Redmayne’s, plus he even got an endorsement from Stephen Hawking himself. It’s an astonishing physical transformation for sure, but in terms of actual acting, I feel Michael Keaton did a better job. If Jake Gyllenhaal had been nominated for Nightcrawler, it would have been a closer race, but alas that was not to be.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Prediction: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

This is not a particularly strong category – most of the performances here are good but not great, which means Julianne Moore’s outstanding performance in Still Alice will likely give her a win. Rosamund Pike’s performance in Gone Girl was certainly a career-best one, but it’s still not good enough to beat Moore.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Prediction: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Honestly, this category is J.K. Simmons to lose. Not only is he a veteran in the industry, the performance he gave in Whiplash is unforgettable and well worth a win.  I loved Edward Norton’s performance in Birdman as well, but I don’t think he has a chance to win when pitted against J.K. Simmons.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Prediction: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

The amount of time invested in Boyhood is tremendous, and I think the fact alone that Arquette has more or less devoted 12 years to the movie will make her the front runner in this category. I really liked Emma Stone’s performance as well, but don’t think she has a chance to win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Birdman)

Prediction: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Birdman is such an amazingly conceived and technically capable film that I feel Innaritu should get the nod here. However, Linklater has also crafted one of the best films of the year, and the fact that the labour of love took a dozen years means he stands a better chance here.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is a strong category and my personal preference is for Birdman. However I believe the quirky screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel is likely to win out.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Whiplash

Prediction: Whiplash

This has been one of the most divisive categories in the awards race this year – I am giving it to Whiplash because Damian Chazelle both wrote and directed the film, but really it can feasibly go to any nominee here and wouldn’t be too surprising.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki’s work in Birdman is stunning to stay the least, and the oft-nominated Roger Deakins will likely have to sit this one out again.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Boyhood

Editing 12 years of footage down to a coherent film is an immense, daunting task, and Sandra Adair totally deserves a win here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The quirky and standout production design in The Grand Budapest Hotel stands out from the rest.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This category sees a number of deserving nominations but I believe The Grand Budapest Hotel will beat out Maleficent and Into the Woods to clinch the statuette.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Based on the wins so far this awards season, it seems likely that The Grand Budapest Hotel will win here as well.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Theory of Everything

I felt Hans Zimmer overdid it a little for Interstellar, and virtually no one saw Mr Turner. There could be a chance it would be either of Desplat’s nominations, but the possibility of split votes makes Johann Johannson the likelier winner here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me)

This is a particularly flat category for me this year, without a favourite to root for.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: American Sniper

I have a feeling Interstellar would not be taking any awards home despite being the more deserving winner for both sound categories, so I’m predicting American Sniper for both.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy

This category is wide open since none of the Best Picture nominees ended up here, so for me it’s going to be either Interstellar or Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Guardians is likely to be the more popular vote here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Big Hero 6

The Lego Movie is a truly shocking omission here – I may not have loved the movie as much as many critics and moviegoers, but I would have expected it to be a shoo-in for the nomination at the very least. In the absence of The Lego Movie, it’s likely the “bigger” commercially-released animations will win out here, and my vote goes to Big Hero 6.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Leviathan

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here, unfortunately. Leviathan has been the critics’ darling so I will go with that here.

Standard

Moving over to WordPress…

Since Posterous is closing down at the end of the month, I’ve finally gotten off my behind to move the blog over to WordPress. Relatively pain-free migration, thankfully. It seems that my last entry is 24 February for my Oscar predictions so this means that I’ve somewhat not managed to keep to my New Year resolution of keeping this blog more updated. Vowing to change that in the coming months! I’m still contributing sporadically to incinemas.sg so at least I’ve not stopped writing completely, but the inertia is incredibly overpowering… 

Standard

Oscar Predictions 2013

Better very very late than never – a last minute Oscar prediction tally, in a year where once again writing about movies has taken a back seat to work commitments. Have ponied up for a one month subscription to Fox Premium Movies since no free-to-air channel or basic cable channel (again!) are broadcasting the Awards live this year. It’s a clear sign that the Awards are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the typical viewer. Anyway. Like last year, I will not be predicting the documentary and short film categories since they are blind guesses (although I am definitely rooting for Paperman to win the Animated Short Film category, much as it pains me that The Simpsons will miss out because of this). This year is a particularly interesting one because there are no clear front runners for some of the major award categories, which makes for what hopefully would be a more fun viewing experience: 

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should win: Argo
Prediction: Argo

Argo has become the lead contender in this race, judging from the lead up awards to the Oscars. Deservedly so, but it will face stiff competition from Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty, with Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook being potential outliers. Still, it does seem that while most of the other movies will gain some statuettes from other categories, Argo’s best chance lies in clinching Best Motion Picture (especially since Ben Affleck was unjustly snubbed from the Directing category).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

It’s a really good performance and it will take a serious upset to deny Day-Lewis his third Best Actor nod. Honestly I feel it’s next to impossible. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Should win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Jessica Chastain may have gotten a lot of buzz for Zero Dark Thirty but I felt Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook put forth the better performance. Plus, Chastain reminded me of Claire Danes in Homeland and I couldn’t have been the only one who felt that way. The only other contender would be Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, but the two young ladies probably still stand a better chance. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Should win: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

An interesting category where all five nominees have won Oscars before – but my vote goes to Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. Christoph Waltz has won for a similar role just three year prior so even though he’s also a frontrunner I foresee Tommy Lee Jones winning the nod here. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Should win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) 
Prediction: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

This is another locked-in category. Personally I really disliked Les Miserables but there’s no denying that Anne Hathaway put forth a very powerful performance that has won awards left right and centre. 

Best Achievement in Directing
Should win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Prediction: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

It’s a shame that both Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck were snubbed in this category, but this does clear the way for Steven Spielberg. Potentially Ang Lee stands a chance to be the dark horse, but the subject matter and cachet attached to Lincoln is likely to swing votes its way. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Should win: Moonrise Kingdom
Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Personally, Moonrise Kingdom told one of the best stories this past year on the silver screen, but the nod is likely to go to Zero Dark Thirty as a consolation prize, as is often the case for the two writing categories.  

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Should win: Life of Pi
Prediction: Argo

Life of Pi was seen to be an unfilmable novel, but the end results proved that it could be a great film in the right hands. However, Argo is probably the more compelling story and is just as accomplished, which means it stands a higher chance to win here.  

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Prediction: Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)

Skyfall was one of the most handsome movies I’ve seen in 2012 (and is Deakin’s tenth nomination to boot), but the fact that Life of Pi was such a visually stunning movie and worked so well in 3D means Claudio Miranda has better odds here. 

Best Achievement in Editing
Prediction: Argo

It’s a toss-up between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty (though it seems kind of moot since both would honour William Goldenberg), but I will go with the masterfully edited Argo for my prediction. 

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Prediction: Lincoln

There’s two more years for The Hobbit to compete so I doubt it would win this year, especially since everything looked so visibly CGI-ed in the case of The Hobbit (and to a lesser extent, Life of Pi). Lincoln seems to be the safe choice here. 

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Prediction: Anna Karenina

Sumptuous period costumes usually win in this category, and Anna Karenina is chock-full of such costumes. Was not too impressed by the two Snow White variants nominated, and of the three period films, Anna Karenina seems to be ahead. 

Best Achievement in Makeup
Prediction: Les Miserables

I disagree with Hitchcock’s nomination here because the makeup was easily the weakest link in the film. Again, The Hobbit has another two years to be in contention, so by default we are left with Les Miserables. Much as I am loathe to say it, the production values in the movie musical were mostly top notch. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Prediction: Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)

It’s a tossup between Mycheal Danna’s world music influenced score for Life of Pi and the excellent old school-new school James Bond score that Thomas Newman created for Skyfall. I think Life of Pi edges ahead by a very small margin. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Prediction: Skyfall (Skyfall)

There’s almost no contention here – Adele has been winning numerous awards for Skyfall and it should be no different come Oscar night. 
 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Prediction: Les Miserables

I can’t envision how difficult it must have been to record the actors singing live during the shoot instead of lip syncing during post production, so this Oscar should deservedly go to the Les Miserables team. 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Prediction: Skyfall

The only “true” action movie in the mix is Skyfall, which means it should stand the highest chance of a win here. 

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Prediction: Life of Pi

Richard Parker is probably the best visual effect I’ve seen all year, and given the tiger’s persistence in more than half the movie, it’s nearly impossible to imagine even an effects-heavy movie like Marvel’s The Avengers trumping the film in this category. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Brave is a “lesser Pixar” and Wreck-It Ralph is simply put the far more accessible animated feature. 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Prediction: Amour (Austria)

This is such a lock – unless Amour wins the Best Picture nod, which will mean all bets are off (full disclosure: I’ve not seen any of the other films nominated here). 
Standard