Oscar Predictions include more ‘Beasts,’ ‘Master,’ and Dowd!

Short Oscar Circuit this week folks!

As LAFCA, NYFCO, and BSFC all proved yesterday, you can’t keep a good ol’ film when its down.  The Master resurrected after being nearly shut out thus far and won Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress with the prestigious Los Angeles Film Critics.

Normally, and I mean in any other year, I wouldn’t put so much stock into these awards but with SAG ballots due today, Critics Choice Nominations being announced tomorrow, followed by Golden Globes and SAG, Oscar will be looking for some validation of their choices.  AMPAS ballots are due January 10 and they’ll be looking for some guidance in places where they can.  DGA won’t announce until after the Oscar nominations.

I’ve made some updates to the Oscar Predictions and most notable is the change in Supporting Actor.  Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tommy Lee Jones all still seem good for nods.  The big win for Dwight Henry yesterday from LAFCA and the many runner-up mentions for Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained have started a buzz that only seems deserving.  The latter performance I’m not allowed to comment on until Wednesday but I’ll say it’s something that many can get behind and in THE RIGHT category.  Ann Dowd makes her appearance in the top five for Compliance and if you heard our Awards Circuit Power Hour yesterday, she’s very likable and will play the awards circuit very well.  

The big question is if Zero Dark Thirty and the many wins captured thus far means it’s a serious threat to win Best Picture?  While I’m a HUGE fan of the film, it becomes a question if AMPAS will want to reward the stunning filmmaking or stay clear of the obvious political issues the film brings to light?  My gut feeling is the latter  happens but that shouldn’t hurt Lead Actress frontrunner Jessica Chastain.

Kathryn Bigelow joins the ranks of the Director’s lineup at the cost of David O. Russell or Ang Lee more than likely.  With the big win for Amour at Los Angeles, Michael Haneke is a contender that can easily unseat one of the bigger directors ahead of him.

A lot of early word on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey criticizes its filmmaking aspects as well as the poor reception of the film itself.  May not be a shoo-in for Visual Effects and other categories as we all once thought.

Another film making its way up the ranks is Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, a film that did very well in Boston and should with many of the major guilds this week.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it pop up on a Best Picture lineup.

The Best Actor race is still the headache of the season as at least ten capable men are vying for a spot in the top five.  At this point, only Daniel Day-Lewis is assured to get nominated with Joaquin Phoenix as the spoiler.  I find it very difficult to see Les Miserables rake in so many nominations and Hugh Jackman not make the cut.  I think he’s semi-safe.  John Hawkes or Denzel Washington could end up on the sidelines in favor of National Board of Review winner Bradley Cooper, a performance that many, including myself, have championed as the best of the film and his career.

Check out all the updates and include your own predictions in the comment section!