Time Out’s Oscars predictions

Ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday February 24, we guess the winners

Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Argo
Argo
Lincoln
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook
Amour
Amour
1/5

Always the source of great hype, hope and controversy, there’s already been a massive upset at this year’s Oscars ceremony, and it hasn’t even happened yet. Ben Affleck may have scored big by winning Best Film and Best Director with Argo at both the Golden Globes and the Baftas, but he’s not even on the Oscar’s shortlist for Best Director. Instead it’s Lincoln and Life of Pi that look set to clean up at the 85th Academy Awards. Ahead of the big day, we predict who’ll be making teary speeches come Sunday February 24.

      

Best picture

Who’s been nominated?
In 2013 the nine-film shortlist makes room for films including Amour, a French-language story of two octogenarians dealing with illness and death, and the US indie Beasts of the Southern Wild – as well as Quentin Tarantino’s violent Django Unchained. The other six nominees are more traditionally suited to the Oscars arena: Steven Spielberg’s 1860s historical drama Lincoln; Ang Lee’s magical literary adaptation Life of Pi; David O Russell’s rom-com with a difference Silver Linings Playbook; Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt-for-Bin-Laden saga Zero Dark Thirty; Ben Affleck’s retro thriller Argo; and Tom Hooper’s big and bold musical Les Misérables.

Who’s going to win?
It’s a two-horse race between Lincoln and Life of Pi, and at this stage we’d give the edge to Spielberg’s historical drama. He last won an Oscar in 1999 (Best Director for Saving Private Ryan).

Best director

Who’s been nominated?
This was the controversial category, with several serious contenders left on the cutting-room floor. Is David O Russell’s work on Silver Linings Playbook really more worthy than Ben Affleck’s Bafta-winning work on Argo? And does Beasts of the Southern Wild first-timer Benh Zeitlin really deserve the award more than a seasoned veteran like Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)? We’re thrilled to see Michael Haneke on the list for Amour – and not remotely surprised to see Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi) alongside him.

Who’s going to win?
It’s too close to call. Lincoln may be the frontrunner across the board, but it’s not exactly a whizz-bang visual experience. Life of Pi is without doubt the most immersive and beautiful of all the films in this category, a real triumph of the director’s art.

Best actress

Who’s been nominated?
This year there isn’t one standout, bells-on frontrunner like Meryl Streep in 2012 or Natalie Portman in 2011. Instead, what we have is the chance for this year’s Best Actress to make Oscar history. Emmanuelle Riva turns 86 on the day of the ceremony. If she wins for Michael Haneke’s Amour she’ll be the oldest ever winner. If the exceedingly cute (and super talented) nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis scoops the prize for Beasts of the Southern Wild, she’ll be the youngest. The other nominees are Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

Who’s going to win?
Jennifer Lawrence’s soulful, screwball funny performance in Silver Linings makes her the favourite. But you can’t help wondering if the Academy might like to indulge in a spot of history-making.

Best actor

Who’s been nominated?
Four people who aren’t going to win – and Daniel Day-Lewis. Joaquin Phoenix might have had a shot with his astonishing performance in The Master, but then he went and called awards a rude word and blew himself out of the water. Denzel Washington is still lurking in the background waving his arms, but Flight simply isn’t a strong enough movie to make a win likely. And neither Bradley Cooper nor Hugh Jackman have paid their dues in ‘serious’ roles yet.

Who’s going to win?
Day-Lewis could pick his nose in front of a camera and get nominated. As it is, his turn as America’s superhero president is one for the ages. If he doesn’t win it’ll be the biggest Oscar upset since Chris Rock said all those nasty things about Jude Law.
Watch the Academy Awards red carpet live on OSN on Sunday February 24 at 3am.

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