Opinion – “Handicapping the Oscars: Best Picture and Acting” – by Ryan Fecskovics

“Handicapping the Oscars: Best Picture and Acting”

by Ryan Fecskovics

This current Oscar season is one of the most complicated seasons in recent history. There really isn’t a “front-runner.” Many peg Argo as the front-runner. But I am allowed to have some doubt because Ben Affleck was snubbed (WRONGFULLY) in the directing branch. Yes, the directing branch is a very small branch. But only 3 films in Oscar history have clenched Best Picture without a directing nomination. Lincoln is another film pegged as a quote on quote front-runner. But again, I just can’t see it winning. It’s so contrived and dull and lacking that “wow” factor that is needed to win Best Picture. So what will win Best Picture? I am going to guess none. But in all seriousness, I am going to predict Argo. I like Argo, so I am not upset about it’s possibility of winning.

Now, Best Actor is going to be really easy to predict. Daniel Day-Lewis will win. I am 150% positive that he will win. The whole category is a dream. Bradley Cooper, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman and Joaquin Phoenix. None of them will win. One of them should win but they won’t. I think Daniel Day-Lewis did a fine job, but does he need another Oscar? No, no he does not. So, sadly, he will win. He did an ok job but I am not impressed.

Best Actress is a 3-way race between Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva. Now, I think Lawrence will win. Quevenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts should be glad they are nominated and they are, trust me. Chastain starred in Zero Dark Thirty, which she is a nominee for. She was a nominee last year for The Help (in Supporting Actress). Emmanuelle Riva is an 85 year-old French woman. I think Lawrence can take her on and beat Chastain at the same time. Lawrence won a SAG and Golden Globe. It doesn’t hurt that Chastain won a Globe too. But with Zero Dark Thirty’s controversial boycotts, it’ll be hard to pull a win for Chastain at this point (In my opinion.) Amour for which Riva is a nominee for, is nominated in big categories. And if anything they will give the film Best Foreign Language film as a consolation prize. Lawrence will win the prize and I will be happy.

Best Supporting Actor is a 5-way race. Anyone could seriously win this category…. It’s that intense. Phillip Seymour Hoffman won a Critic’s Choice Award, Christoph Waltz won a Golden Globe and Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG. Basically, that doesn’t give a clear indicator. Which is weird. It’s usually easy to call a winner in this category. Robert DeNiro and Alan Arkin are the two actors who haven’t won any of the major awards this year. I think DeNiro is going to win. Jones is grumpy at each of the shows he has attended. Hoffman hasn’t attended a lot of the ceremonies and Waltz’s role to me isn’t buzzy. Arkin, I doubt he will win but he did a good job. I’d like to note that, all 5 of these actors have previously won before. So, it’s anyone’s race. It’s unfair that a winner is going to already win again. But that’s the way the Academy voted this year.

Best Supporting Actress is easy. Anne Hathaway. She WILL win hands down. The other actresses should be grateful to be nominated. Oscar Winners Sally Field and Helen Hunt are in a distant secondplace. Amy Adams and Jacki Weaver are previous nominees who do consistent work, so their nominations are wins for them. In the end, Hathaway is the clear winner. Her work in Les Miserables was Oscar bait from the minute the trailer hit.

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