85th Academy Awards Preview

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By: Tyler Garling

At the start of every New Year, most people make resolutions such as losing weight or breaking an annoying habit. As for me, I always look back on the previous year’s films and then look ahead to what the annual Academy Awards will bring. This year’s event, the 85th Academy Awards hosted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, will no doubt be a great ceremony with some pretty stiff competition. Thankfully for you, The Husky Headline is here to provide you with a preview of some of the event’s biggest awards and what you can expect. So, strap in, get your Oscar ballot ready, and prepare for what is looking to be a great event.
The biggest award given out at the Oscars is obviously Best Picture. Every actor, director, screenwriter, and producer hopes to win this award at some point in their career. There a nine possible films that can win this award: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. All nine of these films were very well received by critics, but only one can win the award.
The main films that will be heavy hitters in this category are Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Ben Affleck’s Argo, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. I believe that Argo deserves to win this award above its competitors.  The film is intense and suspenseful and provides edge-of-your-seat moments. Argo also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama, beating both Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Zero Dark Thirty does have a healthy chance of winning, but I think much of the controversy surrounding its depiction of torture turned off many Academy members from voting for it. To me, Lincoln, though it was a good film, is not deserving of the Best Picture award. Don’t get me wrong, Lincoln was a fine film, but I don’t think it is Best Picture quality. Spielberg hasn’t made a truly great film in quite some time, and Lincoln is an example of that. It is a possibility that Ang Lee’s adaptation of the Yann Martel novel Life of Pi could win Best Picture, though it is definitely not the Best Picture of the year.
Both Lee and Spielberg are nominated for Best Director; Affleck and Bigelow were both snubbed, which was not very well received by critics and plenty of moviegoers. This is why Lincoln and Life of Pi could be taking home Best Picture along with Best Director. In the past six Oscars, the winner of Best Director has gone on to win Best Picture. Though the exclusion of Affleck and Bigelow doesn’t confirm any winners, it is still very intriguing. Other nominees in this category are Michael Haneke for Amour, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. However, I can only see Spielberg or Lee winning this award.
During the Oscars, I always look forward to the awards of Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the category of Best Original Screenplay, we have Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, and Django Unchained. I would love to see Django win this award, seeing as it was my favorite film of the year. Its writer and director, Quentin Tarantino, is one of, if not the best, writers in Hollywood. Tarantino won the award at the Golden Globes, and I think he may win it at the Oscars. I would also like to see Wes Anderson winning the award for Moonrise Kingdom. Moonrise Kingdom was a sleeper hit of the year and was very well written. You could also throw Zero Dark Thirty into the mix, given that the plot is about the hunt of Osama bin Laden. Hopefully, Tarantino will pull a repeat of what happened at the Golden Globes and take home his second Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
The Best Adapted Screenplay award will also be a very entertaining category. Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook are all nominated. I think this one of the tougher categories to predict, as all the nominees were excellent. If I had to pick one, I would pick Life of Pi, as I think writer David Magee did a wonderful job adapting one of my favorite books onto the screen. Keep an eye on this category because it will be a very interesting battle for the award.
Four awards that everyone loves are Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. I’ll cover all four, but I’ll start off with Best Actor.
The nominees in Best Actor are Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables, Denzel Washington in Flight, and  Joaquin Phoenix in The Master. On paper, this is no contest; Daniel Day-Lewis will most likely win this award for his portrayal of the 16th President. Day-Lewis did do an excellent job, and made it feel like you were actually watching Abraham Lincoln during the movie. Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper will put up a fight, but Day-Lewis will emerge victorious.
Best Actress is also looking to be a pretty interesting category, with Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) all battling it out. Chastain put in a powerful performance as “the girl who got bin Laden,” and could be the winner. I was also dazzled by Lawrence’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Nine year old Quvenzhané Wallis may be the winner if she captured the hearts of the Academy like she did the audiences of Beasts of the Southern Wild. I’d put my money on Chastain to win this category, though.
Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor. Christoph Waltz and Tommy Lee Jones will be the main stars to watch in this category. I would pick Waltz, since I thought his role as Dr. King Shultz in Django was a much better performance than Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, which I saw as more dull and boring, with all due respect. Out of the rest of the competition, Waltz shined above them just like he did in 2009 when he won for Inglorious Basterds.
Best Supporting Actress has one star shining above the rest: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables). I don’t think Amy Adams (The Master), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), or even Sally Field (Lincoln) had a better performance than Hathaway. Her performance of the Les Misérables classic “I Dreamed a Dreamed” was what acting is all about. If Hathaway does not win this award, I have no idea what I will do.
These eight categories are the biggest of the Academy Awards, and are the ones that you need to look out for. This year will be filled with plenty of people worthy of the awards, but only one can win. I have no doubt that this will be an excellent ceremony with its share of shocks. The 85th Academy Awards will air on ABC on February 24th.