Oscars Predictions: who will win?

Ben Conniff and Ryan Pait

In the spirit of awards season, Herald columnists Ben Conniff and Ryan Pait have chosen their winners. Here are the films they can agree on:

Best Picture: “Argo”

The movie that started out as a dark-horse contender has become the frontrunner, eclipsing even “Lincoln.” And deservedly so — “Argo” was the best picture of 2012, and it’ll receive the official honor on Oscar night. — Ryan

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”

Day-Lewis embodies his role on a level far above any other actor this year. After he wins, I’m calling the U.S. Mint. I want a Day-Lewis $5 bill. — Ben

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables”

Like Day-Lewis in the Actor category, this one is no question. Hathaway went all in for her portrayal of the fallen prostitute Fantine in “Les Mis,” and it’ll pay off when she wins on Sunday. Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln in “Lincoln” is her only competition. — Ryan

Best Animated Film: “Wreck-it Ralph”

Loads of fun with colorful animation and classic video-game characters. A nostalgia trip with something for the kid in all of us. — Ben

Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour”

This category is as easy as Actor and Supporting Actress this year: “Amour” is nominated both for Best Foreign Language Film and for Best Picture. It won’t win Best Picture, but it’ll clean up here, no questions asked. — Ryan

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”

Tarantino sadly doesn’t have much of a chance in the Best Picture category, but his fun and creative script for “Django” could be a winner in this tough category. “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Amour” are his other big competitors. — Ryan


Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”

This is a tough category this year, especially because all five performances are so different in nature. While the race seemed pretty tight between Lawrence and Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) for some time, it looks as if Lawrence has edged slightly ahead. Lawrence should still be wary of Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”).

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln”

This is the most scattershot category of the bunch: each nominated actor in this category already has an Oscar. While the award could truly go to anyone, I’m expecting Tommy Lee Jones to win for his extremely sympathetic performance in Lincoln. Jones should keep an eye on Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) and Robert de Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), however.

Best Director: Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”

Luckily for Spielberg, he doesn’t have the very-deserving Ben Affleck to contend with in this category, so this is pretty much a one-horse race. Ang Lee of the astoundingly beautiful “Life of Pi” is his only real competition.

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for “Argo”

This is yet another tough category. Terrio has some stiff competition in the form of Tony Kushner (“Lincoln”) and David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), but the general goodwill toward “Argo” should propel him to the win.


Best Actress: Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”

She gave me the feeling that there was a storm of emotions brewing underneath that steely exterior, and I never felt like I knew what she would be doing next. That kind of unpredictability is refreshing for such a familiar, fact-based drama.

Best Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman for “The Master”

I wish Samuel L. Jackson had been nominated for his scene-stealing turn in “Django”, but Hoffman’s been garnering lots of accolades for his captivating performance in “The Master”, including the Critics’ Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination.

Best Director: Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”

Lee was confronted with the most daunting task any director faced this year: giving cinematic life to Yann Martel’s “unfilmable” novel. For his efforts in pioneering state-of-the-art 3D technology, selecting stunning cinematography, and garnering A-list performances from a cast of relative unknowns, Ang Lee should take the top prize for pulling off what many said was impossible.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner for “Lincoln”

Kushner is the man responsible for crafting the foundation for Daniel Day-Lewis’s bone-deep performance. “Lincoln” wouldn’t be the consistently engaging period piece that it is without Kushner’s fine interpretation of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book.