Seventy-nine percent: 27-of-34.
And if you counted my sleepers in categories where I didn’t nail all the nominees (Supporting Actor), I would only have missed four total nominations—three in the Best Director category. I’m most happy about Hushpuppy, Quvenzhane Wallis, getting her nom. Amazingly she was just six when filming Beasts of the Southern Wild. And how about Emmanuelle Riva snagging a Best Actress nod? That means that the 85th Academy Awards will feature both the youngest and oldest nominees to vie for an acting statuette. And that Riva will celebrate her 86th birthday at the Oscars. (Can’t wait to see those two pose together on the red carpet!) Perhaps what I am most proud of, though, is not only guessing the exact amount of Best Picture nominees (nine), but also identifying eight of them correctly. My only miss I blame on my love for the best 007 film in decades—Amour conquered all.
Perhaps what I am most proud of, though, is not only guessing the exact amount of Best Picture nominees (nine), but also identifying eight of them correctly. My only miss I blame on my love for the best 007 film in decades—Amour conquered all.
Beginning with my apéritifs, I’m still in the running (i.e. the winners I chose were actually nominated) with everything but Best Documentary. I’m very surprised that in this country where bullying has taken a nasty, feral turn—and seems far worse and much crueler than we were all kids—that the heartbreaking Bully was not at least nominated. With Best Animated Feature, Foreign Film, Score, and Screenplays (both original and adapted) my predicted winners made it through. Ditto for my projected victors in the major categories—Hathaway, Jones, Chastain, Day-Lewis, Spielberg, and Lincoln—to find glory in Oscar gold.
Going category-by-category, I got four of the five best supporting actresses right, having Maggie Smith in my final five over my sleeper, Silver Lining Playbooks’ Jacki Weaver. No such trouble with the Supporting Actor category where I nailed all five: Alan Arkin, Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Tarantino darling Christoph Waltz. Lead Actress mirrored its supporting category, where I correctly prognosticated four of the five ladies, but chose Rust and Bone’s Marion Cotillard over my sleeper, Amour’s Riva. My sleeping sickness struck again with Lead Actor when the now unretired Joaquin Phoenix surprisingly took the spot of previous nominee John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) and his memorable performance in The Sessions.
As for Best Director? Wow. Sure my sleeper was a nominee—I should have gone for David O. Russell’s deft direction of Silver Lining Playbooks over Tom Hooper’s more, well, odd choices in the enjoyably bombastic Les Misérables—but besides he, Ang Lee, and Steven Spielberg, nothing went to form. The nominations of Michael Haneke for Amour—and, of course, its Best Picture citing—all but guarantees its win for Best Foreign Film. And big ups to Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Benh Zeitlin on making such an otherworldly, yet crushingly human, film.
The absence of Ben Affleck is a travesty. Argo was as taut and relevant a thriller than anything in years. And it looks like it is Steven Spielberg’s—and Lincoln’s—Academy Award to lose after Kathryn Bigelow failed to be nominated for Best Director for Zero Dark Thirty. By far my worst category, I got only two of five correct.
But Best Picture is the biggest prize. And on that front I shone. Nailed the exact amount of movies and only missed one film. All-in-all a fantastic showing.