So let's get right down to the business of the day. Here are the nominees AND my early picks for who will win and who I'll be rooting for. As I said in yesterday's post, the prediction thing is fairly pointless so why not pick them early and avoid all of the anxiety? And besides, if I get anything right, I'll look like a movie savant.
The nominees are...
Leading Actor: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight).
And the Oscar goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln - because the man has become acting royalty among fellow actors and directors. (I think he may be blackmailing all six Hollywood studios, but I'm only guessing.) I don't have a favorite here and I kinda think this will be the least interesting award of the night. Much more drama in who will take home the prize for makeup and hairstyling.
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained).
The Oscar goes to: Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master. I'm rooting for Tommy Lee Jones just because he'd be more fun to have a beer with.
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.
The Oscar goes to: Naomi Watts in The Impossible. I'd love to see a tie between Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest nominee ever and Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest, just to see them on stage together making Oscar history.
Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).
The Oscar goes to: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables. I'll be rooting for Ms. Hathaway simply because her gut wrenching turn as Fantine, even in trailers, was enough to make me think I didn't want to upset myself by actually going to see the movie. A reaction I usually only have to the goriest horror flicks.
Animated Feature: Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Wreck-it Ralph.
The Oscar goes to: Brave. But picture this - how great would it be to have Sir Anthony Hopkins in full character as Alfred Hitchcock announce Frankenweenie? Now that's entertainment.
The Oscar goes to: Steven Spielberg - Lincoln. Let's face it, he knew in his heart that in the some alternate Hollywood reality, L-I-N-C-O-L-N spells O-S-C-A-R. It would be fun if Michael Haneke won for Amour just so millions of people watching would simultaneously wonder out loud "what the hell was Amour?"
Best Picture: (there are 9 nominees this year) Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.
And the big, marketing blitz, bragging rights, re-release pending, winner is: wait for it... Les Misérables. This will be the gasp out loud YES! of the evening. At least if you're a Les Mis' fan.
And how great would it be to see Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis whip their folded Oscar programs into the heads of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway as the winner is announced?
For true movie fans, the rest of the categories are listed below. But picking a winner for best live action short likely only interests the film makers and Oscar partygoers who need a tiebreaker to win the microwave popcorn and free movie passes. There are some great movies nominated here too, so pay attention. This may be where you find a movie that could become a lifetime favorite. My picks are underlined.
Feature Documentary: 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, Searching for Sugar Man.
Short Subject Documentary: Inocente, King's Point, Mondays at Racine, Open Heart, Redemption.
Film Editing: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.
Foreign Language Film: Amour (Austria), Kon-Tiki (Norway), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), War Witch (Canada).
Makeup and Hairstyling: Hitchcock, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Misérables.
Original Score: Anna Karenina, Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall.
Original Song: Before My Time (Chasing Ice), Everybody Needs A Best Friend (Ted), Pi's Lullaby (Life of Pi), Skyfall (Skyfall), Suddenly (Les Misérables).
Production Design: Anna Karenina, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln.
Animated Short: Adam and Dog, Fresh Guacamole, Head over Heels, Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare", Paperman.
Live Action Short: Asad, Buzkashi Boys, Curfew, Death of a Shadow (Dood van ten Schaduw), Henry.
Sound Editing: Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty.
Sound Mixing: Argo, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall.
Visual Effects: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Life of Pi, Marvel's The Avengers, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman.
Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook.
Original Screenplay: Amour, Django Unchained, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty.
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln leads all other films with 12 nominations. The 85th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24th and telecast live on ABC television.