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Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Animated Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay are all covered. 


Best Cinematography, Foreign Language film, Make Up & Hair Styling, Original Music, Song, Special Effects, Director and Best Picture are covered.

Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
-Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
The 2013 Academy Awards are coming up and our two media opinion makers "BO" & "JR" have their predictions all set for Oscar Night. How close will they be? We'll find out on Sunday February 24th.
BO-The 85th Annual Academy Award nominations have been announced with Lincoln getting twelve nominations; Life of Pi receiving eleven; Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook received eight; Argo seven; Amour, Django Unchained, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty received five and Anna Karenina and Beasts of the Southern Wild got four. The attempt this year for the show will be the same as last years-get the show in under three hours. Seth McFarlane is an interesting choice as host and the show will supposedly have some special presenters. As you can see some films have received multiple nominations and I will predict right now that most of the highly nominated films are going to walk away empty handed.
JR-We come around again to the Super Bowl of cinema. The annual handicapping of potential winners and also-rans. This year, the list for best picture is a good one. Only one is a pulsing sore thumb of a miscue ( Les Miz). The rest, several of which didn't make my 10 best of the year list, are of enough substantive quality that their inclusion is justifiable. The ceremony itself will, hopefully not suffer from the usual sense of molasses pacing, if only due to the presence of host Seth ( Family Guy) McFarlane. But just in case, DVR the ceremony and do like I do: keep your thumb poised over the fast-forward button. So, if you are quite ready, let us begin. And, as always, please no wagering.
Alan Arkin for "Argo"
Robert De Niro for "
Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones for "
Christoph Waltz for "
Django Unchained"
JR-This one is difficult. Each of these actors does expert work here. So I'm torn. Arkin's performance is so effortless and downright enjoyable, that I'm rooting for him. At the same time, Jones has such a command of his time on screen that I can't see his work being passed over.
BO-My pick is Waltz who again delivers a masterful performance in Django. He is charming, droll and perpetually entertaining here. One drawback could be the fact that he already has a supporting Oscar. Jones may also walk away with the statue and in this category all of the actors are worthy.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Tommy Lee Jones for "Lincoln"
2013 WINNER: Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"Wreck-It Ralph"
JR-Pixar takes it again. Even though it's not top rank Pixar. It's good enough and certainly better then either of the Cars films. Yet for me, Tim Burton does easily his best work in a decade in Frankenweenie. A film that audiences rejected out of turn for who knows why: Black and white. Concerns a boy longing for the return of his recently killed pet dog. Either way, there is a sense of a director finally being engaged in the story he is trying to tell. This hasn't been the case with Burton in quite some time. Yet, my favorite animated film of the year, Chico and Rita isn't on the list. With it's jazz score and more adult storyline, it's a tougher sell to the happy meal crowd.
BO-I am going with Burton's latest offering here. The story could have been hard to take but it held attention. It is hard to bet against Pixar but Brave isn't really that good. I have no idea how Pirates made this list.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Frankenweenie"
2013 WINNER: "Brave"
Seamus McGarvey for "Anna Karenina"
Robert Richardson for "
Django Unchained"
Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi"
Janusz Kaminski for "
Roger Deakins for "Skyfall"
JR-Tough call this one. But Miranda takes the prize this year. The use of 3D and color is second to none. It takes a director like Ang Lee ( and for that matter Hugo director Martin Scorcese) to shows us that 3D can be a valid form of artistic expression. Miranda paints a gorgeous tapestry in Pi. But, Roger Deakins work is better in my book. Using a deep and saturated palette, Deakins does bravura work., Take for example the fight scene in a Hong Kong high- rise with a moving billboard as a background. Evocative and lovely all at once. There's a reason the Coen brothers have used him for just about every one of their films.
BO-I will go with fellow Columbia College graduate Kaminski here. He will add another statue to his collection. Lincoln looks wonderful from start to finish and the opening sequence is so well shot to me he had the award right then and there. My dark horse here is Deakins because Skyfall is a beautiful film.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Janusz Kaminski for "Lincoln"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi"
2013 WINNER: Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi"

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Life of Pi"
"Marvel’s The Avengers"
"Snow White and the Huntsman"

JR-Life of Pi is this years winner. My yardstick for the visual effects award is to pick the film that doesn't look like it has visual effects. That tiger in Life of Pi had me completely fooled. While watching it, I asked myself several times how they could possibly get a tiger to perform alongside other animals and a human actor. Then I realized that the tiger and the other animals were digitally created and I was gob smacked. I see a lot of films, kids. I'm not easily shanghaied.

As for the rest of the pack, The Hobbit looks like any high end video game. The Avengers visual effects, though competent seem like warmed over Transformers. Snow White is adequate. Prometheus is my second choice. The effects are not only evocative of what could be perceived as great sci-fi novel covers but also uses 3D very effectively. But hand the gold statue to that tiger!
BO-I am going with Avengers. Juggling multiple elements involving multiple characters isn't easy but here they are seamless. Life of Pi is a dark horse but if a film makes as much money as Avengers did it has to be rewarded with something.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Marvel’s The Avengers"

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Les Miserables"

JR-Les Miz? Does rubbing dirt on actors faces constitute makeup? Anywho, a weak category. Take you pick: a fat suited Anthony Hopkins, dirty faces or rubber noses and beards. Hard to care
BO-Even though I have avoided every Lord of the Rings film like the plaque I know that Hobbit is going to win hers.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
2013 WINNER: "Les Miserables"

"Amour" - Austria
Kon-Tiki" - Norway
"No" - Chile
"A Royal Affair" - Denmark
"War Witch" - Canada

JR-Director Micheal Heneke's film is also up for overall best picture. But this is where he gets his win. An unflinching masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
BO- I will agree with JR and pick Amour.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER:  "Amour" - Austria
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Amour" - Austria
2013 WINNER: "Amour" - Austria
Amy Adams for "The Master"
Sally Field for "
Anne Hathaway for "
Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt for "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver for "
Silver Linings Playbook"
JR-This has been Hathaway's year. Her turn as Selina Kyle in Dark Knight Returns was far better then anyone envisioned. But even though Les Miz as a whole is a slog, Hathaway brings the only emotional gravity to the film. She isn't in it for long, and when she's gone you can feel the air leaving the balloon. Her song, I Dreamed a Dream is everything you have heard. The director keeps the camera stock still on her and allows her to fly. Her performance made the hair on the back of my neck stand out. Always the truest signal of epic work.
BO-This has been a great year for Hathaway but the massive amount of negativity following Les Miz may kill her chance here. I will go for Hunt in a performance that was stellar as a sex therapist. Hunt has also been off the radar for a while but has always been a favorite in Hollywood. Field could sneak up and win here if there is a Lincoln barrage.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Helen Hunt for "The Sessions"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables"
2013 WINNER: Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables"
Dario Marianelli for "Anna Karenina"
Alexandre Desplat for "
Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi"
John Williams for "
Thomas Newman for "Skyfall"
JR-A toss up for me between Williams and Danna. Williams has aged into an even greater composer. His scores offer more complex variations then the Star Wars days. But I do think Danna's score is the one that people are more likely to be drawn to after seeing the film. As an aside, my one and only nitpick with Skyfall is that I wished that Thomas Newman's score was more evocative of the late John Barry's work on the previous Bond films.
BO-John Williams has been nominated so many times he probably doesn't even wake up early so he can see he has been nominated. To me the mark of a good score is that you don't really notice it but want to pick up the CD afterwards anyway. We will see a fair amount of Oscars head Lincoln's way and this is another one.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: John Williams for "Lincoln"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi"
2013 WINNER: Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi"
"Before My Time' from "Chasing Ice", Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
'Everybody Needs A Best Friend' from "
Ted", Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
'Pi's Lullaby' from "
Life of Pi", Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
'Skyfall' from "
Skyfall", Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
'Suddenly' from "
Les Miserables", Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
JR-This is generally the category that brings the most pain to everyone. But for once, these are decent songs. Except for Suddenly. Wasn't Les Miz just one long song? But it's Skfall by a mile. With a great viceral vocal from Adele, this sounds and feels like a Bond theme
BO-The general rule for most songs nominated by the Academy is that no one remembers most of them and the Academy has a hard time coming up with more than three songs. Skyfall is a song that drew so much attention before it was even released and happens to be a damn good song.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: 'Skyfall' from "Skyfall", Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER:  'Skyfall' from "Skyfall", Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
2013 WINNER: 'Skyfall' from "Skyfall", Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"Argo" by Chris Terrio
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi" by David Magee
Lincoln" by Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook" by David O. Russell
JR-Another fantastic category. It always comes down to the writing and this group knows how to craft a story. Kushner will win and I'm good with that. It's a tremendously solid screenplay. That is for 98% of the time. The last scene doesn't need to be there and dulls what could have been an understated but powerful ending. So my personal vote goes to Alibar and Zeitlin for creating something that is effective on so many levels. Part Huckleberry Finn, part E.T., part ecological fable, and completely remarkable.
BO- A category filled with quality films. Adapting a book into a film isn't easy and a non fiction film is even harder since you have to decide what parts to leave out. Lincoln is based on a massive book so Kushner had to make cuts that had to have been difficult. Argo is gaining a nice momentum and could sneak in under the wire.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Lincoln" by Tony Kushner
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Beasts of the Southern Wild" by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
2013 WINNER: "Argo" by Chris Terrio
"Amour" by Michael Haneke
Django Unchained" by Quentin Tarantino
Flight" by John Gatins
"Moonrise Kingdom" by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty" by Mark Boal
JR-This will be the one major category that Zero Dark Thirty will get some love. It's a film that deserves more recognition than a single nod but it's the nature of the Oscar animal. Boal's screenplay is even better then his work in The Hurt Locker. In turns, intense and intellectually challenging. It's a piece of writing that walks a fine line. It never makes the characters efforts to be jingoistic. It pays close attention to the way life does work; it combines ruthlessness and humanity in a manner that is paradoxical and disconcerting yet satisfying as art.
BO-Boal worked on this screenplay the same way a journalist did. He did a great deal of research and turned in a script that in some hands could have been dry and mind numbing. We know how this story ends but as you watch the film it comes off as the perfect thriller that it is. There are lines here that wander thru my mind every day; the only other nominated film that has the same feel is Django.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Zero Dark Thirty" by Mark Boal
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Zero Dark Thirty" by Mark Boal
2013 WINNER: "Django Unchained" by Quentin Tarantino

Michael Haneke for "Amour"
Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Ang Lee for "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg for "
David O. Russell for "
Silver Linings Playbook"

JR-Going back to my best picture notes, here is where the split takes place. In other words, the best film film of the year is not directed by the best director of the year. I've never understood how the Academy can manage the dichotomy of that. As it is, I'm a Spielberg appreciator and given the sheer amount of talent both in front of and behind the camera on Lincoln, Spielberg does not fall back on his usual touches. He allows the screenplay and the actors to make this biopic breathe and live. Yet, I have to give the award to the director that I felt made the best film and that's Zeitlin. Interestingly enough, Zeitlin's touch is very reminiscent of Spielberg's. Beasts is about a young girl, from a broken family that internally creates a fantasy world in order to make sense of her unfortunate reality. She is Beasts of the Southern Wild's Elliot.
BO-This award will go to Spielberg because Lincoln is one of the best films of the year. The major issue this year is that only five directors are nominated even though the Academy picked ten films. So some directors were snubbed such as Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow. I would have their names in this category instead of Haneke and Zeitlin. The general rule is that the person who wins the Directors Guild wins the Oscar. Affleck won that and so for the first time in a while the Oscar winner will be different from the DGA winner. This may be a problem for a while since the Academy isn't going to cut the film options back to five.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln"
2013 WINNER: Ang Lee for "Life of Pi"
Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence for "
Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis for "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts for "The Impossible"
JR-What an incredibly strong category this is. This is the one category this year that contains the most stem to stern sublime work. Chastain is now at the top of her craft. Riva is on the back-end of a long and illustrious career. Wallis is at the beginning of hers but shows will and confidence. Watts shows us again that she can give A -list in any role. But it's Jennifer Lawrence that takes it this year. She's rude, dirty, funny, foulmouthed, sloppy, sexy, vibrant and vulnerable, sometimes all in the same scene, even in the same breath. A gathering storm and a bit of a miracle all at once.
BO- Chastain is perfect here as the driven CIA agent who pushes everyone she encounters to give her the order to kill Bin Laden. She draws your attention in every scene and her intensity demands that you do. However, if Lawrence won I wouldn't be hurt. She holds her own in every scene she is in. 
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook"
2013 WINNER: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook"
Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis for "
Hugh Jackman for "
Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master"
Denzel Washington for "
JR-One word on this category: Duh! The Academy might want to consider renaming the best actore award from Oscar to Daniel
BO-Day-Lewis has this hands down again. His speech will be gracious and likely brilliant.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln"
2013 WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln"
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Django Unchained"
Les Miserables"
"Life of Pi"
Silver Linings Playbook"
Zero Dark Thirty"
JR-If you would have asked me to choose 2 months ago, I would have said Zero Dark Thirty. A month later and I would have said Lincoln. What changed? At first, the popular consensus was for Zero. But then word starting filtering down that the voters were skittish about handing the gold to a film that depicts torture. As for Lincoln, Oscar's history says that 99% of the time, whoever wins the DGA award ( Directors Guild) wins the Oscar for best film. Whoever wins the directing Oscar for best film, that film wins best picture. This year, the DGA went to Ben Affleck for Argo. Considering that he is NOT nominated for the Oscar, ( don't get me started) that means that this year, we are going to get the ultra- rare director/picture split. As for who I think should win, please see my top 10 of 2013.
BO-I am going with Thirty because it was my number one film for 2012. The controversy about torture is supposedly hurting it but that is such a small part of the film it came off as much ado about nothing. Lincoln may win since Spielberg will walk away with the best director so the Academy may want to match that but with voting still out Argo is making a major run and if it wins I will not mind at all. The other films in this category will come up far behind Argo, Lincoln and Zero.
BO'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Zero Dark Thirty"
JR'S PICK FOR WINNER: "Argo" ("Beasts of the Southern Wild" should win)
2013 WINNER: "Argo"
BO PICKED: 4 of 15
JR PICKED: 10 of 15

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