Let me start off by saying that had I written my traditional list of Oscar predictions—for which I have a remarkably accurate record. Well, I would have failed miserably this year. This had to have been one of the most unusual, scattered, unpredictable, Academy Awards I have ever seen. That being said, I am prepared to eat a little crow and perhaps do a little Monday morning-quarterbacking.
Best Picture: Argo
Revenge is a dish that is best served cold. Ben Affleck won both the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild award for best director and was unceremoniously—no pun intended—snubbed by Oscar. Well, the Academy members showed the powers that be just what they thought of the affront. Were I a voting member of the academy, Argo would have received my vote.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
This was a lock. I mean, there was an outside chance that Hugh Jackman could cause an upset, but not likely. Daniel Day-Lewis is not only a brilliant actor, he’s the type of guy you root for; you want him to win. He was my pick…and that is where my streak ends.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
OK, I liked Silver Linings Playbook, but come on. It’s a really good romantic comedy, but is it Oscar-worthy? Jennifer Lawrence was terrific; but honestly, if I’m comparing her to Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty or Naomi Watts in The Impossible, I just don’t get it. My pick here was Jessica Chastain.
Best Director: Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Something hit me during the Oscar acceptance speeches. When the visual effects/ cinematography team from Life of Pi received their awards, the group’s designated spokesman commented that it was odd to be winning an award in that category because all the visual effects were fake: They didn’t film it in the ocean, the tiger was computer-generated, and the water was a giant tank on the studio lot. And I realized that’s what bothers me about the film. Yes, there is a dream-like, fairy-tale component, but in the back of my head it just seemed fake. Spielberg had my vote here.
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
It’s possible I have some residual hostility pent up from his mediocre performance hosting Saturday Night Live. Frankly, any supporting member of the Argo cast or the Lincoln cast would have been preferable.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
This was the only other guaranteed win. She gave an incredible performance—and she shaved her head. Give the woman a statue. Just don’t ever let her host the Oscars again.
So, another Oscar season comes and goes. There’s a hint of spring in the air. I guess it’s time to sit back and get ready to enjoy some car chases and alien invasions.