It wouldn’t be the L.A Beat without an acknowledgment of our town’s biggest party, the Academy Awards. Honoring the best films of 2012, it will be held tomorrow night at the Dolby Theatre. Los Angeles is Mecca for a film junkie and we took full advantage of it last year with a stronger selection of films than we have seen in many years.
We begin the Oscars vigil every November by trying to see each and every nominated film. This includes the especially entertaining short films, which are released in local theaters and iTunes.
Here are our predictions for this year’s winners:
Best Picture – Argo
With so much momentum and pre-Oscar awards going to Ben Affleck’s masterpiece, it’s hard to see this film being upset. Affleck can probably thank the Academy for the shameless snub in the directing category. Lincoln probably would have run the table, but for the sympathy vote Affleck received from the Golden Globes that propelled it through the Awards season.
Lincoln had more elements, and while Argo was great, it wasn’t perfect. As a period and history piece, I take issue with the historical accuracy of Argo and especially the cliché Hollywood ending. By contrast, no one can accuse Spielberg of fudging his history. Still we would be happy with either film prevailing.
Best Director – Steven Spielberg
With Affleck gone, Spielberg is a virtual lock. Though Ang Lee could be an upset winner.
Best Actor – Daniel Day Lewis
Really, do I need to explain? If Daniel Day were not in the field John Hawkes and Denzel were also brilliant.
Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence
How can you not love Jennifer Lawrence? This young actress went toe-to-toe with the great Robert DeNiro and won. She wins because, well, her performance was great. I’m just not drinking the Jessica Chastain Kool Aid.
Best Supporting Actor – Tommie Lee Jones
Tommie Lee is long overdue and in many ways carried good parts of Lincoln. The late push for DeNiro could prove a surprise, but Tommie Lee’s performance outweighs the need for DeNiro to get another Oscar for posterity alone.
Best Supporting Actress- Anne Hathaway
I confess I refused to see Les Miz. Hathaway has swept all of the awards going in to Oscar. But watch out for Amy Adams.
Best Animated Film- Brave
It’s a close call with Wreck-It Ralph. In the end the loveable Queen/Bear wins the day.
Best Foreign Film – Amour
Didn’t see it. Didn’t have to. It wins.
Best Original Screenplay- Django Unchained
The Writer’s Guild gave their award to Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty and that was my original vote. But Oscar tends to give awards where they can for the body of work overlooking the actual category and this is why I give the edge to Tarantino.
Best Adapted Screenplay- Argo
This was the tightest story of all the films this year, in large part due to the amazing Screenplay.
Best Costume Design – Anna Karenina
A dreadfully boring, but beautiful looking film. It’s all costume. Les Miz could also snatch this one.
Best Production Design – Lincoln
Best Original Score – Life of Pi
Best Original Song – Skyfall
C’mon it’s Adele.
Best Makeup – Les Misreables
This had to be an incredibly good looking film and is so cast oriented that it gets the edge. One has to assume there was an awful lot of labor put into making up lots of actors into dirty looking French people.
Best Documentary – Searching for Sugar Man
One of my overall favorite films of the year.
Best Film Editing – Argo
Argo succeeds as a film because it had no flaws. There were no visible errors and was incredibly tight. It’s no mistake that Best Pictures almost always have the Best Editing. Editing is key to what makes a good film a great one and a potentially great one a crap film. See, Gangs of New York.
Best Cinematography – Life of Pi
A stunningly beautiful film. Has to win the visual categories.
Best Visual Effects – Life of Pi
Best Short Film Live – Curfew
If you watch any short film this year, watch Curfew. It was GREAT.
Best Short Film Animated – Paperman
I wasn’t wowed by any of the Animated Shorts this year. This one was a little better than the rest, and all were very different styles. Apples and Oranges in this category this year.
Best Documentary Short – Mondays at Racine
Couldn’t find the Documentary Shorts anywhere.
Best Sound Editing- Life of Pi
Just won the Golden Reel Award for Sound Editing giving it the edge to take home Oscar.
Best Sound Mixing – Les Miserables
The Oscar Red Carpet begins at 4pm PST on ABC with the awards to air at 5:30pm PST.