A Student’s Guide to the 2013 Oscars

By Eric Minzola

Every year, it’s the same song and dance. Oscar season comes around, seven or eight movies are nominated for best picture; Hollywood’s brightest stars vie for the coveted best actor/actress (or supporting actor/actress) award; and directors pray to win the very honorable best director award. On February 24, it will likely be more of the same. The one that I want to win does not, and my favorite actor always comes up short.

This year’s a little different; I gave the movies a shot. I was impressed. I did more research, finding countless critics out there, putting out their opinion on who’s going to win gold in February. So I’ve compiled a bit of a list to help you navigate through this year’s very deserving nominees.

Daniel Day Lewis and the film he stars in are considered frontrunners for Oscars at the 85th Academy Awards
Daniel Day-Lewis and the film he stars in, Lincoln, are considered frontrunners for Oscars at the 85th Academy Awards

Best Actor: This category seems like a clinch win for Daniel Day-Lewis for his incredible portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln. Most sites and blogs are leaning towards Day-Lewis, however: Hugh Jackman, coming off of his Golden Globe win for the musical Les Miserables, could be an upset and is a close second. Other nominees (including wildcards) are: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), and Denzel Washington (Flight).

Best Actress: The Best Actress category is a bit more of a toss-up. According to the critic world, two frontrunners have emerged: Jessica Chastain, for her portrayal as Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, the hunt-for-bin Laden movie vs. Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany in the mental illness/sports superstition film, Silver Linings Playbook. Other potential wildcards include Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), the nine-year-old “revelation” (according to Lawrence in this past week’s SNL monologue), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Best Director: The academy is known for loving old-time biographies, so Steven Spielberg is supposed to triumph the competition for Lincoln. Most critics are leaning to Spielberg, calling him a “master of his craft.” He’s supposed to “easily” take down David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Michael Haneke for Amour, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Best Film: This year, a whopping nine movies will be vying for Best Film. I’ve heard wonderful things about every single one, and have seen most of them. Sticking true to the trend, Lincoln seems to be leading the pack, but there are a few others begging for the upset. Les Miserables, the musical, has won the hearts of millions with the classic tale, and is a strong contender, alongside Silver Linings Playbook, Argo (Ben Affleck’s war/hostage drama), and Zero Dark Thirty. Rounding out the rest of the pack is: Amour (A French romance), Beasts of the Southern Wild (An indie adventure film), Django Unchained (Tarantino’s latest effort), and Life of Pi (A book-based adventure drama).

This year, I’m praying for an upset, but, unfortunately, The Academy can be a little predictable. Other than that, it’s always great to see Hollywood get together for a lavish night-out to appreciate the fine art of filmmaking. Tune in February 24 to ABC

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