The ballots are all in!
After months of speculation, whining, theorizing, the Oscar ballots have been turned in and the nominations will be announced this Thursday, January 10 @ 8:30 am Eastern Time. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the staff and I will be broadcasting a LIVE Nominations Edition of Power Hour on Thursday morning. We will likely jump on at about 8:00 am ET, talk about last minute theories and give our reactions from the curve balls that Oscar is sure to throw.
As the Writers Guild of America announced their nominations yesterday, I tried to think like an Oscar voter and try to assess which films or performances could someone be passionate about on the last day of voting. Did AMPAS really look to Critics Choice, Golden Globes, and SAG for recognition? As Best Picture looks like a five-horse race, which film will be the most nominated film of the day?
- I keep wondering which film will be the most nominated film of the group. Based on campaigning and pulse of the season thus far, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln could and should be good for about eleven nominations. Feasible tech award misses would include Kaminski’s Cinematography and one or both of the Sound categories. If the film would nab those three, Lincoln would tie as the most nominated film in Oscar history with 14 assuming it doesn’t miss the other categories it seems to be locked up in.
- Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables is going to be a unique thing to watch because it could range anywhere from eight to thirteen nominations come Oscar morning. When Terence and I have our frequent pow-wow’s off the air, we talk about the possibility of Anne Hathaway being the sole representation of the actors from the film and the possibility of Tom Hooper missing out on a Directing bid.
- What has seemed like a down year for the Weinstein Company, Silver Linings Playbook has become the full focus for the company. Just yesterday, I received a small box of Raisin Bran cereal to remind me of one of the memorable scenes from David O. Russell’s film. Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter currently has faith (or possible knowledge) that Jacki Weaver could surprise as a nominee in the Supporting Actress category. If Weaver were to be nominated, along with the other presumed locks, Silver Linings Playbook would be the first film since Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) to be nominated in all the acting categories.
- Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty has been under the umbrella of controversy since it opened in limited release in December. While the reviews have been incredibly positive and the film has won the lion’s share of critic’s awards, Oscar may find themselves limited in their embrace of the picture. While Jessica Chastain remains a formidable contender in Lead Actress against Jennifer Lawrence, it’s going to be tough to find room for Jason Clarke and Jennifer Ehle. The film may have a respectable showing with seven or eight nominations.
- The film with the consensus from 2012 is Ben Affleck’s Argo, a film that many voters may be coming back to as the best of the year. While Alan Arkin seems locked and loaded for his nomination, a spike in love for either John Goodman and star Ben Affleck could result in two surprise inclusions on Thursday. While it seems that the best Affleck’s film can do is about six nominations, if the film’s buzz sustains and grows over the next few weeks, on February 24th we could have an Argo night at the Oscars. I’ve started to accept the possibility of an Argo sweep occurring.
The five films listed above seem virtually sound for nominations especially in Best Picture and we could have surprises filling out the rest of the category. Ang Lee’s Life of Pi seems ready to go for an Oscar bid but standing next to other juggernauts of the awards season, Pi may not do as well as some might think. It’s WGA and PGA nomination do prove otherwise. What seems like an emotional roller coaster, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master has seemed to be full of life, then dead, and then magically resurrected. While the Golden Globes cited Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the Screen Actors Guild passed on their performances. The only thing that has been constant is co-lead Philip Seymour Hoffman who has nabbed all key mentions to assist with his Supporting Actor campaign. In a similar boat as Les Miserables, Anderson’s film could land anywhere from one to ten nominations. If Django Unchained and Moonrise Kingdom didn’t pick up as much as pundits think they did, then a Best Picture nomination seems more than likely.
We’ve also have been flirting with the possibility of the return of the lone director this time around. Two likely candidates for this distinction would be Paul Thomas Anderson and Michael Haneke for Amour. The two directors are very respected in the industry and after key misses along the way, anyone from the Director’s branch could throw them a bone if the 5% doesn’t come into play for either of their films.
Final Oscar Predictions will be published on Monday by the Staff Writers while on Tuesday, the final Oscar Circuit and official Oscar Predictions from myself will be unveiled, leaving any last minute jitters to rest soundly.
What surprises are any of you foreseeing this upcoming week?!