I've updated six categories in my Oscar predictions for the first time since the nominations were announced, and while a lot of the races remain the same, the lack of a Best Director nomination for Ben Affleck (Argo) and the fact it won Best Picture and Director at the Critics' Choice Awards and Golden Globes makes predicting those two categories incredibly difficult.
Had Affleck been nominated for Best Director I don't think there's a pundit out there right now that wouldn't have Argo on line on for Best Picture and Affleck on line one for Director. However, the Affleck absence is glaring as is the fact Argo has no support in the acting categories (outside of the Alan Arkin nomination, which no one is taking seriously). To that, only three times in history has a film won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination.
For the longest time Lincoln seemed like the sure-thing, but now not so much. This isn't to say I'm counting Lincoln out altogether, but at this point in the race it's hard to make it the front-runner in any category other than Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and a tentative hold on Best Adapted Screenplay where Chris Terrio (Argo) and one other film are looking to come on strong... That other film...
Silver Linings Playbook scored the third most nominations alongside Les Miserables and let's recount those nominations. Nominations in all four acting categories, Best Picture, Best Editing, Director and Screenplay. If it wasn't such a light-hearted and easy-to-digest film this would be the front-runner on every pundit's ballot. With the might of Harvey Weinstein in its corner and memories of 1999, it probably should be.
All that said, I have updated three major categories in my predictions and have those updates listed below along with some brief thoughts on the latter two.
You can check out all of my current predictions in the top 21 categories right here and keep an eye on the Awards Calendar as Saturday, January 26th will bring the Producers Guild Awards and then Sunday, January 27, the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards take place, which we will be live-blogging at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT).
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Django Unchained
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
It's looking like a year where a Best Director and Best Picture split is more and more likely, but even here I am torn between three names -- Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi). Curiously enough, had Ben Affleck (Argo) been nominated these predictions would be much easier, but as it is, the whole thing gets thrown out of whack.
- Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
- David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
- Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
- Michael Haneke (Amour)
- Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Best Supporting Actor
Silver Linings Playbook is slowly emerging as the front-runner in many categories as competitors fall by the wayside and looking at this field I'm more and more convinced Robert De Niro is about to add a third Oscar to his mantle.
- Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
- Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
- Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
- Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
- Alan Arkin (Argo)
Again, you can check out all of my current predictions in the top 21 categories right here.