85th Annual Academy Awards: An Editor’s Predictions

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Take part in the New U’s “Outguess the Editor” Oscar contest for a chance to win prizes (see below)!

“Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Raging Bull,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Star Wars.” From looking at that collection of films, we can generally agree that they are great movies that deserve to be distinguished as some of the best. However, guess what differentiates one from the rest? Only one has won an Oscar for Best Picture, and that’s “The Godfather.” The others were nominated for that same award in their respective years, but didn’t win. Does that fact make them any less noteworthy? Of course not. All of these films are recognized and remembered for their merit, not for the awards that they won.

This is something to keep in mind when we tune into the 85th Academy Awards this Sunday, watching out for our favorite movies from 2012 to see if they will win the coveted statuette in the categories in which they’re nominated. There will be disappointment, triumph and surprise. Yet, in spite of whatever the results will be, our opinion of those films won’t change. In our eyes, they are still great films, regardless of the Oscars they win or don’t win.

Of course, the Oscars are clearly a show. But that’s not always the case; depending on our personal investment in the nominated films, there will be some years where the ceremony may be much more than a show. Yes — in spite of the fact that our own opinions should judge which films are great or not, the Oscars still appear to matter to us.

Why do the Oscars matter? Heck, they’ve been around for nearly 85 years. This shows that they do seem to fulfill their purpose well, that they succeed in rewarding the (right) films in the categories that they are nominated in, even if they do flub every now and then (though this is a very subjective matter, mind you).

And that’s why we can be engrossed in the Oscars —  if the films we’re rooting for get awarded, then our opinions are authenticated and become more official and universally recognized. That’s the hope we hang onto when watching the ceremony. That’s why we become so elated when our favorite film, filmmakers and performers win. Our feelings that they deserve the Oscar wins become reality and get affirmed in the history books. There’s something special in having your opinions shared and accepted and that’s what the Oscars can provide. It’s a show, but at the same time, it’s not.

We’re quite lucky that 2012 turned out to be quite a pretty good year for cinema. Plenty of exceptional films received nominations, most of which are deserved. Though an Oscar nomination is certainly nothing to sneeze at, people are only going to care about the winners at this stage, so it’s time for us to finalize our predictions, place our bets and wait in anticipation until the names are read from those fateful envelopes.

When it comes to Best Picture, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) voting body has lately been opting for films that seem to be the safest choice. Well made, yes, but still safe in that they are universally enjoyed. Look at the past two winners in this category, “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” They are both great films in that they tell good stories, but they aren’t particularly fresh or groundbreaking.

This year, the Best Picture winner will likely continue this trend, and “Argo” will most likely take the top prize, based on all the awards it’s been accumulating in the past month or so. It’s definitely a splendid film (better than “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” in this writer’s humble opinion), but it is the safest film out of the nine nominees, of which the others have their detractors. For instance, “Lincoln” is dull to some and “Zero Dark Thirty” has the torture controversy bogging it down. As for “Argo,” almost no one seems to object to it, so why not go with that?

As for the remaining categories, some can be declared locks, while others are either battlefields or two or three-horse races. Expect Adele to win the Oscar for Best Original Song and Daniel Day-Lewis has Best Actor in the bag. Look for films like “Life of Pi,” “Les Misérables” and “Skyfall” to duke it out in the technical categories. Best Director is one to keep an eye on, ditto Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Indeed, the ceremony this year should be one of the more interesting ones in recent memory.

Regardless of the results come Sunday night, let’s just remember that, as emotionally invested as we may be, an Oscar win or loss for our favorite film doesn’t make it better or worse in our eyes. Every year, the Oscars are a way to celebrate the movies. Whether the films we love or hate walk away with their hands full or empty-handed, know that each and every one were made in the first place for us to watch. That is what we should celebrate on Sunday night.

To participate in the “Outguess the Editor” Oscar contest, you must be a non-New U staff member, and must have a UCI email address.

Email your predictions for all Oscar categories (see below for the editor’s) to entertainment@newuniversity.org.

In addition to your predictions, please predict the answer to this tiebreaker question: How long will the Oscars run for this year? The answer should be exact (ex: 192 minutes).

The deadline for sending in your predictions is Saturday, Feb. 23 at midnight.

Winners will be announced on the New University’s Facebook page next Tuesday, Feb. 26, so you must “like” us to find out the answers.

The four people who are able to accurately predict the most Oscar wins will each receive an AMC movie ticket and a $10 Tacos n Co gift certificate. Anyone else who outguesses the editor will receive a $5 Tacos n Co gift certificate.

Editor’s Predictions (in bold):

Best Picture:

  • “Amour”
  • “Argo”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Misérables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Director:

  • “Amour”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Leading Actor:

  • Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Leading Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Alan Arkin, “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams, “The Master”
  • Sally Field, “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
  • Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
  • Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Animated Feature

  • “Brave”
  • “Frankenweenie”
  • “Paranorman”
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
  • “Wreck-it Ralph”

Best Documentary Feature

  • “5 Broken Cameras”
  • “The Gatekeepers”
  • “How to Survive a Plague”
  • “The Invisible War”
  • “Searching for Sugar Man”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Amour” – Austria
  • “Kon-Tiki” – Norway
  • “No” – Chile
  • “A Royal Affair” – Denmark
  • “War Witch” – Canada

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Argo”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Amour”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Flight”
  • “Moonrise Kingdom”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Film Editing

  • “Argo”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Production Design

  • “Anna Karenina”
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
  • “Les Misérables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”

Best Cinematography

  • “Anna Karenina”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Skyfall”

Best Costume Design

  • “Anna Karenina”
  • “Les Misérables”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Mirror Mirror”
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Hitchcock”
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
  • “Les Misérables”

Best Visual Effects

  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Marvel’s The Avengers”
  • “Prometheus”
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman”

Best Original Score

  • “Anna Karenina”
  • “Argo”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Skyfall”

Best Original Song

  • “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
  • “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
  • “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
  • “Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”

Best Sound Editing

  • “Argo”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Skyfall”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Sound Mixing

  • “Argo”
  • “Les Misérables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Skyfall”

Best Live Action Short Film

  • “Asad”
  • “Buzkashi Boys”
  • “Curfew”
  • “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw”
  • “Henry”

Best Animated Short Film

  • “Adam and Dog”
  • “Fresh Guacamole”
  • “Head over Heels”
  • “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare'”
  • “Paperman”

Best Documentary Short

  • “Inocente”
  • “Kings Point”
  • “Mondays at Racine”
  • “Open Heart”
  • “Redemption”