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The Hudsucker Takes on the Oscars: Predictions, Hopes and Snubs

Image Credit: AMPAS

Image Credit: AMPAS

The 85th Academy Awards are this Sunday and as Oscar watchers wait with baited breath to find out which nominees take home the golden statue, here at The Hudsucker we try our hand at predicting the winners in some of the major categories. A few of our lovely writers and resident cinephiles – Drew BryceKaren DatangelBo DietrickCathie DillardKatherine HernandezTania Hussain, and Elizabeth The – also share their thoughts on who they’d vote for if they were members of the Academy and who they feel got snubbed.

Best Picture

Image Credit: Warner Brothers

Amour
Argo

Bo says: “Hollywood saved a band of refugees during a foreign crisis. Why would they not want to make themselves look good?”

Drew says: “I’d Love to see Argo win Best Picture. Ben Affleck did an exceptional job with The Town and Argo. He deserved a nomination for Best Director. If Argo won, it would go a way to righting that.”

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Elizabeth says: “I know it’s a long shot, but I would love to see my favorite film of the year, Les Miserables, win the Oscar for Best Motion Picture. Les Mis successfully merges two of my greatest loves, period pieces and musicals, into an emotionally captivating masterpiece which is stunning and raw, both visually and sonically. Its strength in its ensemble cast, which includes Anne Hathaway (as the tragic Fantine) and Hugh Jackman (as the heroic Jean Valjean), both nominated in the acting categories, alongside rising stars Eddie Redmayne (as the revolutionary Marius) and Samantha Barks (as the sorrowful Eponine), who made their cinematic marks with their heart-wrenching performances.

While the setting takes place in 19th century France, the story’s main messages of courage, redemption, and transformative power of love and kindness resonate with today’s evolving world as well. Les Miserables leaves an everlasting impression by inspiring audiences to Fight, Dream, Hope, and Love.”

Life of Pi

Bo says: “The story is visually spectacular, emotionally deep, and almost flawless in execution. This was the best surprise to come out of Hollywood in 2012.”

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Tania says: “I really love Argo and believe it’s an amazing film that proves how Ben Affleck is a a film-making visionary whose contributions to modern movie making are definitely going to benefit our cinematic palette for years to come. That being said, the Academy hasn’t been to kind to Affleck and if Argo doesn’t win, I would really love to see Silver Linings Playbook win the Academy Award. A lot of people believe a “rom-com” can’t win an Oscar, but calling it a romantic comedy is actually really limiting to the perception of how far this film can go and what it really means for the years to come. It examines mental illness through emotionally unstable characters in a genuinely honest plot and I really believe that gives this “romantic comedy” edge and pathos. With having darker elements to a film like this, it’s sort of reminiscent of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment which explored infidelity, heartache and attempted suicide, but won for Best Picture in 1960. Despite the weighty subject matter like its predecessor, Silver Linings Playbook can be looked back at over the years, offering fascinating complicated characters and still feel fresh and resonate with the growing film audience which is so important to the benefit of cinema.” (Read Tania’s review of “Silver Linings Playbook” here.)

Zero Dark Thirty

Predicted Winner: Argo
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Argo (also receiving votes: Les Misérables, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Cathie says: “It will come to no surprise for anyone who knows me, however I am pleading my case for Bradley Cooper to win Best Actor. Yes, he’s very nice to look at and oozes natural charisma, however, this wasn’t that kind of role. Pat Solitano has issues. Issues. He is in denial, a state of delusion, all while desperate to find a sense of normalcy. Triggers are everywhere. He is determined to get somewhere, though the ultimate destination changes course throughout the of that film. Bradley disappeared in this role, Pat was in the forefront. The potrayal of this extremely vulnerable man is gritty, painful, and humorous all at the same time. You root for Pat to find his way, to reach his silver lining. Bradley’s versatility as an actor is displayed and from the opening scene to the final shot, shows that he is very deserving of Oscar gold.”

Tania says: “I would really love to see Bradley Cooper win the Academy Award for Best Actor! His performance in Silver Linings Playbook was immaculate and the way he portrayed Pat Solitano is impeccable. He has the proper amount of fear, stress, anxiety and never overdoes it in any part of the film. It’s impressive to see him step out of his more common roles to play this emotionally unstable character and it becomes the best performance of his career thus far. What’s great is that throughout the film, you can’t recognize the actor from the character and that’s not always an easy craft. Cooper is definitely underrated and has been one of those actors that has literally studied the craft of acting in the limelight while studying at Pace University under dean emeritus, James Lipton of the Actors Studio Drama School. He was just a student once in the audience asking his role models like Sean Penn and two-time future co-star, Robert De Niro questions about acting and in a beautiful way, he’s come full circle in the business. Cooper has been one of those cases where he literally applied himself and all that he’s learned and I think that’s something to root for and take notice.”

Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Bo says: “He was the only one that could pull off Lincoln.”

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Bo says: “The greatest turn in a career that we’ve seen in recent years. Jackman was always good, but X-Men fans didn’t know he was THAT good.”

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Katherine says: “After a short hiatus from acting, Joaquin Phoenix returned with his best acting performance to date in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. He plays World War II veteran Freddie Quell with complete disregard for himself, physically transforming into the troubled, alcoholic Quell. Phoenix becomes the character so much so that it doesn’t feel like you’re watching a performance; it feels like you’re watching a man’s life unravel on screen. There is no other actor in my opinion who could have captured all of Quell’s nuances and ticks the way Phoenix does, while also making him sympathetic despite being such a seemingly lost and hopeless character.”

Denzel Washington, Flight

Predicted Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

The Hudsucker’s Choice: Bradley Cooper (also receiving votes: Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, and Joaquin Phoenix)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Bo says: “She’s been one of the hottest actresses of the past 2 years, and she played the role of a female CIA agent with more emotional conflict than one would expect.”

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Karen says: “With her gut-wrenching portrayal of a sharp-tongued and anguished young widow in love with Bradley Cooper’s equally troubled character in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence absolutely deserves Best Actress gold. How amazing is it to witness how far she has come in such a short span of time? In 2011, at the age of 20, Lawrence received her first well-deserved Best Actress Oscar nomination as a teen surviving out in the wilderness in the bleakly suspenseful drama Winter’s Bone. In between, she’s also had the chance to star in blockbuster franchises like the X-Men series in X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games, showcasing her versatility and appeal to more mainstream audiences. How does she already have a second nomination under her belt, in two years and at 22? When you see her in Silver Linings Playbook, you’ll be amazed at the maturity she demonstrates in such a complex role. As Tiffany, Lawrence brings authenticity to a snappy yet vulnerable character working and struggling to feel complete again. The young actress has found her wings as the superb leading lady of this moving film.”

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Bo says: “Beasts of the Southern Wild would have only been the shell of the great film that it turned out to be had it not been for the phenomenal performance of its young star.”

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Predicted Winner: Jennifer Lawrence
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Jennifer Lawrence (also receiving votes: Jessica Chastain, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Naomi Watts)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Katherine says: “Philip Seymour Hoffman expertly plays L. Ron Hubbard-esque Lancaster Dodd in The Master. His charisma makes his turn as the leader of “The Cause” believable, but he shows his vulnerabilities in his friendship with Freddie Quell. Hoffman negotiates all aspects of Dodd’s character with ease, and his emotional rendition of the song “Slow Boat to China” with which he serenades Quell near the end of the film is the perfect summation of a man who is extremely powerful but also lonely.”

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Bo says: “Easily the most compelling and believable character in Spielberg’s Civil War epic, Tommy Lee Jones proved that old dogs still have new tricks.”

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Bo says: “Combine the delivery of Christoph Waltz with the script of Quentin Tarantino, and you have an Oscar-worthy performance every time.”

Predicted Winner: Christoph Waltz
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Tommy Lee Jones (also receiving votes: Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Christoph Waltz)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, The Master

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Katherine says: “Amy Adams was absolutely chilling in her portrayal of Peggy Dodd, the wife of “The Cause” leader Lancaster Dodd, in The Master. Adams brought out a quiet intensity in her character, which made her arguably more powerful and terrifying than Hoffman’s character. She was also able to hold her own amongst the chaos surrounding Phoenix’s Quell and Hoffman’s Dodd, which was no small feat.”

Sally Field, Lincoln

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Bo says: “Is this even a contest? How often do you cry 15 minutes into a film from a song that was sung live on set? Come on, she was only in the film for about 10 minutes, yet remained the most memorable aspect of a nearly 3 hour musical!”

Elizabeth says: “Anne Hathaway dreamed a dream, and it is destined to become a reality this Sunday. That’s all there is to it.”

Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Predicted Winner: Anne Hathaway
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Anne Hathaway (also receiving votes: Amy Adams, Sally Field, and Helen Hunt)

Best Director

Amour, Michael Haneke

Bo says: “He’s a shoo-in for a Lifetime Achievement Award someday, and will be remembered as one of the great directors of this generation. Plus, directing a cast with an average age of 90 can’t be easy!”

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, Ang Lee

Bo says: “He will be remembered for works like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain. Maybe even Hulk. But this is the film that Ang Lee SHOULD be remembered for.”

Lincoln, Steven Spielberg
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Predicted Winner: Steven Spielberg
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Ang Lee and David O. Russell – tie (also receiving votes: Steven Spielberg)

Best Animated Feature Film

Brave

Image Credit: Disney Pixar

Bo says: “It’s a well-known fact that Pixar and the Oscars are best friends, even if this was not one of the studio’s best.”

Elizabeth says: “This tale about a headstrong princess in medieval Scotland strikes a winning chord with someone like me who advocates for strong heroines in movies! I have several more reasons as to why Brave deserves a big Bravo in my Hudsucker article from June 2012.” (Read Elizabeth’s review of Brave here.)

Frankenweenie

Bo says: “This is the crown jewel of Tim Burton’s love affair with stop-motion animation.”

ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Image Credit: Disney Pictures

Katherine says: “Wreck-It Ralph is the perfect combination of stunning animation, top-notch voice acting, and a heartwarming story about a video game villain who just wants to be good. The video game setting is unique and the cameos of characters from actual games is the icing on the cake. Disney really hit it out of the park with this movie.”

Predicted Winner: Brave
The Hudsucker’s Choice: Brave and Wreck-It Ralph – tie (also receiving votes: Frankenweenie)


Best Original Song

Image Credit: Columbia Records

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

Bo says: “Only Adele could take a Bond song back to the days of Shirley Bassey with such ferocity. It’s Adele. Can she do no wrong?”

Elizabeth says: “In honor of the 50th anniversary of 007, “Skyfall” encapsulates the mystery and drama which surrounds the legendary secret agent. With the outstanding orchestra instrumentation and epic soaring vocals from Adele, the song raises the hype and intrigue for the latest installment in the James Bond franchise. This rousing recording is the best Bond theme in recent years and deserves to be rewarded as such! Plus, I really want to see Adele add an Oscar to her massive collection of awards.”

“Suddenly” from Les Misérables

Predicted Winner: “Skyfall”
The Hudsucker’s Choice: “Skyfall” (also receiving votes: “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” and “Suddenly”)

Snubs:

Best Picture – The Master

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Katherine says: “This year the Academy only nominated 9 out of 10 possible films for Best Picture, but I think they should have used that 10th spot on Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The acting is top-notch with Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams up for three of the major acting awards, and Anderson’s script makes the story of a drifter World War II veteran who takes up with religious cult bizarre, interesting and emotionally compelling. The visuals are absolutely stunning and I’d dare to say that Anderson was robbed of a cinematography nomination as well. The Master is one of Anderson’s best films as well as one of the best films of the year, and it’s a shame it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.”

Best Picture – Moonrise Kingdom

Katherine says: “Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best films and is definitely deserving of a Best Picture nomination. At its heart it’s very much a “Wes Anderson film” but has enough of a mainstream feel to appeal to those who normally don’t like his films. As always, Anderson gets the exceptional performances out of his cast including those by Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. Though I believe he deserved a nomination for The Royal Tenenbaums as well as some of his other films, Moonrise Kingdom is one of his best – a sweet tale of young that everyone can enjoy.” (Read Katherine’s review of Moonrise Kingdom here.)

Image Credit: American Empirical Pictures

Tania says: “I was majorly disappointed that the Academy nominated only 9 out of 10 films for Best Picture this year and seriously forgot to add one more: Moonrise Kingdom. Though it may be an independent film by acclaimed director Wes Anderson and picked up the Best Original Screenplay nomination, it is an incredibly heartwarming picture that audiences in the years to come will definitely enjoy. It’s simple but did a great job capturing an adventurous and fairytale-type love story that bursts with charm, innocence and the complexities of love. It had a great cast and cleverly written dialogue, which is always a highlight in Anderson’s films. He’s known to be a critics favorite but with the Academy, he’s only ever received two nominations for his seven feature film contributions. The fact that Anderson doesn’t make a lot of films and is under the radar a lot of the time could be the reason as to why the Academy decided to overlook Moonrise Kingdom as the voters who chose him for the Best Original Screenplay are probably a smaller percentage in comparison to those whose films and personalities are always in the limelight. That being said, I always believe it’s the quality of films you produce over the quantity and Anderson does such an exquisite job with every film he creates. They each personify a different world, capture such bright and lovable characters, all while taking you on an interesting journey through his various plots. Moonrise Kingdom was a great film from this past season and one of my favorites that I recommend you check out along with his other works.”

Best Director – Ben Affleck, Argo

Cathie says: “I cannot get beyond the fact that Ben Affleck did not receive a nomination for Best Director. This will most likely be a popular choice, as the shockwave rippled across after the nominations were announced and Ben’s name wasn’t included. Argo is a critical hit, and a popular film. It’s directed by an actor who previously nabbed an Oscar for writing. Ben Affleck is a man who loves the art of film, and the process of making films no matter his role. This is reflected, without question, with Argo. Under his direction, the film takes the delicate subject matter of the Iran hostage crisis and the slick banter of Hollywood to draw us in to the story within the story as it unfolds on the big screen. He may have been omitted from the Best Director category, however Ben has been faring well this awards season. Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics awards.. Oh Oscar, you have dropped the ball.”

Image Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

Tania says: “I’m pretty sure the majority can agree with me but if you disagree and bring up the J. Lo era or Gigli as an argument, I will literally fight you on this because I honest to God believe Ben Affleck was snubbed majorly from the Best Director category. As a fan of his work and watching him evolve from screenwriting during the days of Good Will Hunting alongside Matt Damon, to this amazing director, it was a blow to my heart when watching the announcement of the nominations last month. He really should have been nominated for Argo as it shows how excellent of a director he is when crafting together a story of this magnitude and being able to carefully pace this true story and mount enough tension to keep viewers at the edge of their seat. The Academy has literally tried their best over the years to pigeon-hole his efforts into oblivion and limit how much acclaim he rightfully deserves. By now, the Oscar snub has probably already been schooled though by his multiple wins at every major and minor award ceremony this past season such as a few like, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the San Diego Film Critics, the Golden Globes, The Directors Guild and most recently, the BAFTAS. The beauty of Affleck’s films is that his style evolves through every directorial venture and this one should have been acknowledged. Argo was one of my favorite films from this past season and I enjoyed everything about it. When it comes to true stories (like Lincoln), the films get long and at times drag the plot in between, but Affleck has this great ability to keep things lean and mean; be concise when capturing the attention of the audience and that is directing at its finest. Shame on you, Academy!”

Elizabeth says: “The man has been grabbing trophies left and right this awards season for his directing efforts, but yet he was glaringly left out of the running for the Oscars race. What on earth happened there, Academy?”

Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Karen says: “While I’m on the “Ben Affleck was totally snubbed” train, I think Kathryn Bigelow being left out for Zero Dark Thirty in the Best Director category is painful. It especially doesn’t make sense considering her win in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. Bigelow is an admirable representative for women in film, particularly for those behind the camera, and I enjoy her ambitious takes on culturally relevant cinema.”

Image Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

Best Director – Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises

Drew says: “Christopher Nolan has never won a Directing Oscar. In fact, Christopher Nolan has never even been nominated for a Directing Oscar. Memento; Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy were all worthy of a nod. The Prestige shouldn’t just have gotten him nominated, it deserved to be a win. Don’t get me wrong, I Loved the Departed, and Scorsese was exceptional. But for my money, he has Chris Nolan’s trophy in his house.”

Various Awards – Django Unchained

Image Credit: The Weinstein Company

Bo says: “Everyone involved with Django Unchained got the snub aside from Christoph Waltz. Sure, Tarantino will probably walk away with Best Original Screenplay, but that should be a given. After writing a dramatic comedy unlike anything we’ve seen, he still had to direct a 2 and a half hour western! This is definitely one where Best Picture and Best Director nominations should go hand in hand. And then there’s the rest of the cast. No Supporting Actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio? I’m pretty sure he took on the role because it was one that could at least get his foot in the door. And he absolutely nailed it! Many might disagree, but I actually found the most compelling role of the film to be that of Samuel L. Jackson as the elder slave who is not to be trusted. This character was presented with both humor and a sense of danger, adding an element to the story that had not been there before. We could go on and on about how Django Unchained didn’t get its due-deserve but, hey, that’s politics. See you again in 3 to 4 years, Quentin Tarantino and friends.”

Those are our picks for Oscar night, but what about yours? Think we’re completely off base? Who would you like to see take home the golden statue on Sunday? Tell us in the comments! In addition, tell us about your Oscar night traditions. Do you go to Oscar parties or do you prefer to watch from home and live tweet the ceremony? Let us know and feel free to visit us again on Monday morning to discuss the results!

The Oscars air live on Sunday February 24th at 7pm EST/4pm PST on ABC.

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. From Musicals to Michelle: Karen’s Favorite Moments from the 2013 Oscars | The Hudsucker - April 4, 2013

    […] The Hudsucker’s pre-Oscars piece, I wrote about why Jennifer deserved to win Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, […]

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