Mac’s Oscar Ballot 2012

It’s that time of year again.  I made my top 10.  I’ve caught up on documentaries and foreign.  Now I venture forth into the upcoming Oscars with expectation for them to make the wrong decisions and a tiny little hope that they won’t.  Unlike previous years, I did not complete all the nominees–I just had too much on my plate this winter to sit through The Hobbit or the few others that I just had no real interest in watching.  But nevertheless, I’ve seen most–so here..we..go…

Best Picture

What Should Win (by ranking):
1) Zero Dark Thirty
2) Lincoln
3) Beasts of the Southern Wild
4) Argo
5) Django Unchained
6) Les Miserables
7) Amour
8) Silver Linings Playbook
9) Life of Pi

What Will Win: Argo
What Should Have Been Nominated: The Master

Two masterful, complicated, ruminating pics on American history will most likely go down to the solid but simple Argo.  Not a surprise given the organization that picked The King’s Speech over The Social Network and The Artist over The Descendants.  However, I hope they will take back the bolder mantle of the Oscars of The Hurt Locker and No Country for Old Men.  That Academy seem a world away.


Best Actress

Who Should Win:
1) Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
2) Naomi Watts, The Impossible
3) Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
4) Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
5) Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Best Actress loves an ‘it’ girl in her 20’s, no matter how one-note or shrill the performance (see Natalie Portman, 2010).  Despite great work from Chastain and Watts, I’m assuming they’ll go for Lawrence’s pretty quirky crazy girl.

Best Actor

Who Should Win:
1) Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
2) Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
3) Denzel Washington, Flight
4) Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
5) Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths

I’m totally good with a third Daniel Day-Lewis win.  If in some backward universe Bradley Cooper pulls an upset, look for my TV heaved onto 46th Street.


Best Supporting Actress

Who Should Win:
1) Amy Adams, The Master
2) Helen Hunt, The Sessions
3) Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
4) Sally Field, Lincoln
5) Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will Win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

They went with the most safe, boring slate of nominees in this category that I’m already over Supporting Actress this year.  Adams is the only one who would have made my top 5.  And while I’m not Anne Hathaway’s biggest hater (I liked Rachel Getting Married, and thought she was solid in TDKR) I’m just not ready for her to be an Oscar winner.  I would give this song an Oscar though—my philosophy is that when crying on film, less is more (and Prince is a better songwriter than Boublil & Schonberg.)


Best Supporting Actor

Who Should Win:
1) Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
2) Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
3) Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
4) Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
5) Alan Arkin, Argo

Who Will Win: Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Christopher Walken, A Late Quartet

It’s a shame that Hoffman won’t win for the best performance of his incredible career.  Tommy Lee Jones is the safe bet.  I’m predicting an upset here for the late-surging Silver Linings Playbook and the veteran actor who doesn’t have a Grumpy Cat disposition toward Oscar campaigning.


Best Director

Who Should Win:
1) Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
2) Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
3) Michael Haneke, Amour
4) Ang Lee, Life of Pi
5) David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Wes Anderson, Stephen Chbosky, Leos Carax

These 5 completely missed my top list.  While I love Lincoln, it’s more an achievement of screenplay and performance than a director’s vision.  I’m split 50/50 between predicting Spielberg or Haneke.  So I’m going with wishful thinking

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Should Win:
1) Tony Kushner, Lincoln
2) Lucy Alibar & Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
3) Chris Terrio, Argo
4) David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
5) David Magee, Life of Pi

Who Will Win: Chris Terrio, Argo
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I am afraid the genius Tony Kushner will be passed over for a competent screenplay of Argo.  If you hear cheers and delight coming from Queens, that might mean Lincoln pulled it off.

Best Original Screenplay

Who Should Win:
1) Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
2) Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
3) Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
4) John Gatins, Flight
5) Michael Haneke, Amour

Who Will Win: Michael Haneke, Amour
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

This one is a true toss-up, I could see it going to Amour, Django or Zero Dark Thirty.  I’d give a slight edge to Amour.

Best Cinematography

Who Should Win:
1) Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
2) Roger Deakins, Skyfall
3) Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
4) Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
5) Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

Who Will Win: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master

Best Production Design

Who Should Win:
1) Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer, Anna Karenina
2) Rick Carter & Jim Erickson, Lincoln
3) Eve Stewart & Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Miserables
4) David Gropman & Anna Pinnock, Life of Pi
(Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent & Simon Bright, The Hobbit)

Who Will Win: David Gropman & Anna Pinnock, Life of Pi
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Florian Sanson & Emmanuelle Cuillery, Holy Motors

Best Costume Design

Who Should Win:
1) Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
2) Paco Delgado, Les Miserables
3) Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
4) Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
(Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman)

Who Will Win: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Kasai Walicka-Maimone, Moonrise Kingdom


For your consideration: Cinematography, Costume and Production Design–the stunningly beautiful Anna Karenina.

Best Film Editing

Who Should Win:
1) William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty
2) William Goldenberg, Argo
3) Michael Kahn, Lincoln
4) Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
5) Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will Win: William Goldenberg, Argo
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Andrea Chignoli, No



Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Should Win:
1) Lisa Westcott & Julie Dartnell, Les Miserables
2) Howard Berger, Peter Montagna & Martin Samuel, Hitchcock
(Peter King, Rick Findlater & Tami Lane, The Hobbit)

Who Will Win: Peter King, Rick Findlater & Tami Lane, The Hobbit
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Bernard Floch & Olivier Seyfrid, Holy Motors


While the bizarre Holy Motors was never going to be the Academy’s cup of tea–the fact that it didn’t get nominated for (and win) the  Makeup/Hairstyling category is a joke.

Best Original Score

Who Should Win:
1) Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
2) John Williams, Lincoln
3) Thomas Newman, Skyfall
4) Alexandre Desplat, Argo
5) Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

Who Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Who Should Have Been Nominated: Jonny Greenwood, The Master

Best Original Song

What Should Win:
1) “Skyfall” from Skyfall
2) “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted
3) “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice
4) “Suddenly” from Les Miserables
5) “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi

What Will Win: “Skyfall” from Skyfall
What Should Have Been Nominated: “Who Were We” from Holy Motors (as well as this Dolly Parton gem)

Best Sound Editing

What Should Win:
1) Zero Dark Thirty
2) Skyfall
3) Argo
4) Django Unchained
5) Life of Pi

What Will Win: Skyfall
What Should Have Been Nominated: The Dark Knight Rises

Best Sound Mixing

What Should Win:
1) Argo
2) Skyfall
3) Lincoln
4) Life of Pi
5) Les Miserables

What Will Win: Les Miserables
What Should Have Been Nominated: Zero Dark Thirty

Best Documentary Feature

What Should Win:
1) Searching for Sugar Man
2) The Invisible War
3) How To Survive A Plague
4) The Gatekeepers
5) 5 Broken Cameras

What Will Win: How To Survive A Plague
What Should Have Been Nominated: Queen of Versailles and Central Park Five

Best Animated Feature

I dropped the ball on this one, and only saw Frankenweenie and Brave–didn’t much care for either one.

What Will Win: Brave

Best Short Film, Animated

What Should Win:
1) Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare
2) Paperman
3) Head Over Heels
4) Fresh Guacamole
5) Adam and Dog

What Will Win: Paperman

Best Short Film, Live Action

What Should Win:
1) Curfew
2) The Buzkashi Boys
3) Asad
4) Death of a Shadow
5) Henry

What Will Win: The Buzkashi Boys

Best Short Film, Documentary

I didn’t catch any of the doc shorts this year either.

What Will Win: Inocente

All in all, a pretty good solid crop of nominees this year.  Sure, I would have Zero Dark Thirty win 5 Oscars, and it will be lucky to scrape out one.  I also would have nominated The Master for 11–so clearly we don’t line up in taste.  The bigger fun in this is seeing things I may not have the motivation to watch otherwise.  From searing documentaries like Searching for Sugar Man and The Invisible War, to the gorgeous Anna Karenina which got past my ambivalence toward costume drama.

If you haven’t seen most of these movies, a lot of them will be available to rent or on Netflix soon–check them out!

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