2013 Oscar Predictions: After the SAGs and PGAs, 'Argo' Takes the Best Picture Lead

Argo dummy posterI admit, I didn't see it coming and to look at the nominations it's even harder to see Argo making the recent move in the Best Picture race as it has now won Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Awards, Golden Globes and with the Producers Guild and won Best Ensemble last night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With a track record like that, it's pretty hard to consider anything else the Best Picture front-runner. Yet, some are sticking to their Lincoln. guns.

Now I'm not saying Lincoln is out of it. In fact, last night I think Lincoln got a small bump thanks to the win for Tommy Lee Jones. Jones had no major wins to his credit until last night and the support shown from the body of his peers, which totals over 100,000 voters is a good sign for his chances at the Oscars.

Last night's win for Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) was also a big one as the question of whether it would be her or Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) would go into the Oscars the favorite seems to have finally been answered officially.

Then you have Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) as your two locks for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

So now let's get back to Argo and a question a lot of folks have been asking since it became the preeminent front-runner. What else is it going to win?

Nominated in seven categories, I currently have it winning in two -- Best Picture and Best Film Editing. I also have it in second, behind Lincoln, for Best Adapted Screenplay, which is becoming an increasingly interesting race, but I think I'll be sticking with Lincoln. I will, however, be paying close attention to the Writers Guild Awards on February 17 for a hint as to any shift in the winds.

Affleck, of course, was not nominated for Best Director, which is the #1 reason Argo was considered to not have much of a chance at Best Picture. Only three times has Best Picture gone to a film without a Director nomination, but it's beginning to seem as if Affleck is getting his share of recognition in that category elsewhere and should he win with the Directors Guild this Saturday, February 2, I'm pretty sure even the naysayers will move Argo to their top line.

So who will win Best Director in that case? And that becomes a rather curious question, though at this point I can't see it going to anyone other than Steven Spielberg (Lincoln). David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi) are certainly in the running, but Spielberg seems like the smart prediction at this time. I wouldn't mind, however, seeing either Michael Haneke (Amour) or Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) sneak in there and take it, just to mix things up a bit.

All that said, you can see all of my current predictions right here, where I made changes to the Best Picture, Supporting Actor and Animated race, the latter of which I'm having a hard time choosing between Brave and Wreck-It Ralph. I mean, I know which one is best, but does the Academy?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    if Lincoln could win DGA and WGA i think it will still win, in fact if it only wins WGA it could/will win. because of the fact the academy probably likes Lincoln more than the other guilds are liking it so far.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

      well that isn't really a fact, but the academy is the academy and they pick winners like Lincoln..

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Currently, I have Argo winning

    Best Picture
    Best Film Editing
    Best Sound Editing
    Best Sound Mixing.

    The Sound categories are weird, however. I think of Argo wins those it's just because they thought it needed some more awards. Skyfall and Life of Pi (especially since it could sweep the technical awards) are potential spoilers. The only way I'll move it to the top of Adapted Screenplay is if it wins the WGA, which it very well could. However, even if it doesn't win the WGA, it still has a chance for adapted Screenplay at the Oscars.

  • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

    The DGA will be very interesting this Saturday. The question is, what will happen if it doesn't go to Affleck or Spielberg? And if it does go to Affleck, then are the odds still in Spielberg's favor come Oscar night? Truly a very interesting awards race, even though I will be beyond pissed if Argo wins Best Picture. But, then again, I guess all I can ask for from the Oscars is excitement, not necessarily quality winners. And in that regard, this year is a success.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

      If Affleck wins the DGA, the Lscar may be a toss up, with Steven Spielberg being predicted by most because... He's Spielberg. And his film also had the most nominations. If Spielberg does win, that gives Lincoln a boost and it might be able to take Best Picture.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    I do still think Lincoln has a chance, pending what happens at the DGAs. I'm honestly expecting Affleck to win, which would seal the deal on Best Picture but leave Director all kinds of open. If Spielberg wins the DGA he probably wins the Oscar and improves Lincoln's BP chances in the process. But I also think Lee could win, and I could see the Oscar going to Haneke if Affleck wins the DGA.

    As far as Argo's win totals...we'll see what happens at the WGA, but it's pretty rare to win BP and not screenplay (just 3 of the last 10 BP winners haven't won screenplay). At this point I give Argo the edge, but I'll just follow the WGA ultimately. It's probably the best bet to win film editing as well, and could take one or both sound awards. I really don't see it winning BP and nothing else as some have argued.

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    No need to have a hard time with Brave and Wreck-It Ralph Brad, I'd be deciding over Brave and Frankenweenie. Haha, you must really hate Brave with that last little comment!

  • Dj

    Don't forget last year viola won the sag but lost the oscar and it was a tight race that year.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

    Which other races is tight after last night's sag results?
    I definitely dont think best actress is locked. What is the consensus among you cinema files?

    • Alex Thomas

      Supporting Actor is definitely impossible to predict confidently. I tend to agree with you that Lawrence doesn't have Best Actress locked up but she's certainly warm favourite now. I'd say 70/30.

  • Jesse3232

    I guess this is considered a listner question on the Podcast but why Argo? Especially considering Silver Linings Playbook got 4 oscar noms for acting alone and the only one Argo got was Arkin which nobody seems to be taking seriously. I do like the film but with the exception of Marigold Hotel every other film had at least two Oscar nominations with looking like at least one win each

  • Jesse3232

    ^ Day-Lewis (possibly Jones), Lawrence (possibly De Niro) and Hathaway are considered locks to me at this point

  • Art

    Aside from Affleck getting snubbed at Director, like you mentioned the total wins is also very small for a best picture winner. I also have it only taking editing right now. Looking back at recent years (have only gone as far as 97) only Crash won with two other wins. Which Argo may get if it gets screenplay, and again as you mentioned the WGA will be key.

  • Paul Lynch

    Lawrence is the front runner, but here are some reasons Chastain can pull it off (which I hope!): 1) SAG voters never got screeners for ZD30. Last year they didn't get Streep's movie either 2) The Academy skews older than SAG, and often prefer the more serious movie 3) The Oscar race dynamic is different, with Riva and Wallis in the race 4) The controversy over ZD30 may have died down a little by the time voting starts 5) Chastain has the better performance in the better movie!!

    I'm probably just clutching at straws...

    • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

      All valid points, it's certainly not over yet!

    • Newbourne

      It was a good performance, but it was a childish annoying character. Writing the number of days on her boss' window was just immature. And her tantrums were outright disrespectful. The character's ridiculous nature will be Chastain's undoing.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      Frankly, although chastian in the lead and there is strength in her character, the performance is not gripping.The film itself was. I left high on adrenaline. But my thoughts weren't "wow, she was amazing". More what an incredible film and portrayal of an important point in our history.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Satu/ Satu

        I was "wowed" by Chastain's performance. Just saw ZD30 on Monday. It'll be interesting to watch Silver Linings Playbook on Friday and finally seeing how Lawrence is doing (I'm so hoping she'll be better than Chastain because I adore her).

        I always had Argo as my number one (though, I still hadn't seen all the films) but I changed it to Lincoln after nominations but surprisingly I changed it back. Before the nominations I had it winning Picture, Director (...) and Screenplay but because the middle one is not going to happen, I guess it'll take editing too. And I wouldn't mind, I really liked the film.

  • ben

    Daniel Day-Lewis ,Tommy Lee Jones,Sally Field,Steven Spielberg ,best picture ,best screenplay, best score for Lincoln and Emmanuelle Riva best actress are best choices.