Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Best Picture Predictions (as of 11/13/12)

Last year the rules changed so that there could be anywhere from five to ten movies nominated, last year only nine made it in.  This year I am predicting that it will be around 7, but here are the top ten in consideration.

Pros: Universal good reviews, surprising box-office, chances for multiple wins and nominations.
Cons: Early release dates don't always translate to wins, other films such as Lincoln or Les Mis may be fresher in voters minds by January.
Pros: Excellent word of mouth, baity cast and crew, political in nature
Cons: War Horse was built up for months until its release and it ended up a dud (a nominated-dud, but a dud nonetheless).  Spielberg has not made a great movie since Munich.
Silver Linings Playbook
Pros: A lot of long, heavy, epic movies this year, the smaller, lighter fare may come across as a relief.  David O. Russell had just made the Academy's radar, great word of mouth
Cons: People may not take Bradley Cooper seriously, may make fun of mental illness too much
Les Miserables
Pros: Beloved classic stage musical with a cast to die for and an Oscar winning director.  Incredibly ambitious in the way they are doing the songs and the source material is the stuff Oscar voters love
Cons: Looks to deviate from the musical by incorporating spoken word, Russell Crowe's voice may not be up to snuff, musicals have not been a guarantee in a long time, may not live up to the source material
Life of Pi
Pros: A big-budget 3D spectacle helmed by a solid, dependable director with a lot of heart behind it.  This one could get voters' heartstrings
Cons: A bomb at the box-office could harm its chances, not up for acting nominations, been a while since Ang Lee was a threat
Zero Dark Thirty
Pros: A topical follow up to The Hurt Locker in familiar territory, has the makings of a great thriller
Cons: Topical isn't always what AMPAS likes, has to walk a fine line with its politics, may be overshadowed by Argo
Moonrise Kingdom
Pros: Good box-office and better reviews, a sentimental contender.  They could acknowledge Wes Anderson like they did Terence Malick last year
Cons: Very early release, not up for acting nominations
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Pros: This year's little indie film that could.  Emotional, provocative and beautiful, it is one of the best movies of the year and has been recognized as such
Cons: Unknown cast and director, early release date, may be too small, uncomfortable for some viewers
The Master
Pros: Has the internet behind it, an Oscar worthy cast, potential original screenplay nomination, the prestige of PTA
Cons: Early release and this movie did not make much of a splash.  Nobody has been talking about it, seems to have been eclipsed by other movies.  Also we'll see if the association with Scientology has a positive or negative effect on it.  Not a sure thing, but then again not many are this year
Pros: The return to form for both Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington.  Features great acting, special effects and writing.  Decent box-office
Cons: Not really an Oscar movie, definitely a quality one but it could easily be forgotten or not receive enough votes to make it in

The Next Ten
These are the movies to keep an eye on, have less of a chance but you never know where surprises come from
Django Unchained
Pros: Up for a few acting nominations, going to leave an impact and be a unique movie for sure
Cons: Never know how Tarantino is going to be received, this movie is still unseen, having fun with slavery may not go over well with some
Pros: Movie nostalgia seemed to be present in many Oscar films last year, this could be a way of finally rewarding Alfred Hitchcock
Cons: The makeup looks incredibly goofy, may be too late of an entry, doesn't have a known director behind it
Anna Karenina
Pros: The material is Oscar bait, a unique telling of the story, potential for a best actress win, usually a British film makes the cut
Cons: Has not been received the best, may not be very good
The Avengers
Pros: Every one in Hollywood is either working on a Marvel movie or is trying to, this movie was a giant collaboration featuring several Oscar voters, also a box-office to be reckoned with
Cons: Won't be up for any other nominations in main categories, may split votes with Dark Knight Rises and it is a fun, superhero movie not an Oscar movie
Promised Land
Pros: Topical, could resonate with the heartland, Damon is usually dependable
Cons: Very political, not a movie most voters can relate to, may be seen as too light-weight, too late of an entry
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Pros: Terrific box office, veteran British actors, has had some remarkable staying power
Cons: Early release, light-weight, small film
The Hobbit
Pros: Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth, one of the only big-budget franchises to be rewarded by the Academy
Cons: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was influential, but that was ten years ago this may not seem as fresh now, big-budget fantasy doesn't seem to be in the zeitgeist anymore, competition with Avengers and others
The Sessions
Pros: Three potential acting nominations and a screenplay nominations keep it in consideration
Cons: Decent word of mouth, but hasn't made a huge impact, could easily be forgotten
Pros: Getting a late push, Academy loves actor turned directors
Cons: Very light-weight, won't be widely seen
Pros: 50th Anniversary of Hollywood's favorite franchise and this entry has been received surprisingly well
Cons: It is a Bond movie and as good as it is there are plenty of flaws

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