The Oscars: A student's predictions


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For 85 years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given awards to the best in film and will do so again this year with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane hosting the show.

Strong female characters dominated the Best Actress category as the women landed in varying roles such as a Central Intelligence Agency officer hunting Osama Bin Laden, two characters weathering a storm, an unemployed young woman befriending a mentally ill man and an elderly paralyzed woman.

In the Best Actor category, this group of men is comprised of an alcoholic pilot, an American president fighting to end slavery, a bipolar man, a released prisoner and a World War II veteran battling Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Denzel Washington may not prevail as a winner this year for “Flight,” but he will not go down as a loser in Oscar history because he has won the award in previous years for movies such as “Glory” and “Training Day.” Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) should be optimistic for these awards in the future, just not this year.

Joaquin Phoenix has been nominated previously for his work in films including “Walk the Line” and “Gladiator.” Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) is tough to beat for his scene-stealing role as the infamous Jean Valjean, but Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln will gain all the votes necessary to win.

This year the Best Director category snubbed quite a few potential nominees including Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”).

However, the Best Director category still includes five leaders in film: David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Michael Haneke (“Amour”), Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”) and Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”). Russell, Haneke, and Zeitlin may be joining Lee to taste defeat because Spielberg may be welcoming a third Oscar to his award collection.

Spielberg has continued to provide historical authenticity in his movies.

He previously has won for acclaimed historical motion pictures including “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Before they close the curtain on the evening, they will end with Best Picture of the Year, which includes nine nominees.

This year, the variety of films made it difficult to pick the best from such diverse genres including musical, drama, historical, comedy and suspense. Famous Broadway-to-screen musical “Les Misérables” showcased the vocal talents of Jackman and Anne Hathaway (who is slated to be the winner of the Best Supporting Actress award this year).

Comedies are not common winners at the Academy Awards, which is why “Silver Linings Playbook” may not win. The fantasy film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” may roar at a loss because this picture, did not receive as much media attention as the other nominees in the category. “Django Unchained” will not be “shackled” to the Oscar; however, director and original screenwriter Quentin Tarantino could hook a Best Original Screenplay award for his story of a journey taken by a slave and a German bounty hunter.

“Zero Dark Thirty” will most likely celebrate a Best Actress trophy, but not much else.
“Life of Pi” is a fantasy drama that takes audiences on a young boy’s travels in the middle of the ocean after a shipwreck.

Meanwhile the true story “Lincoln” chronicles the 16th president as he strove aggressively to pass the 13th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, which eliminated slavery in America.

It’s believed that “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” will be knocked out of the competition by “Argo.”

The Affleck-directed film received critical acclaim this year as a picture that could keep viewers on the edge of their seats, even if they already knew the ending.

“Argo” will escape with the 85th Academy Award for Best Picture.


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