If films taught us anything, it's that the underdogs that usually seem to win at the end. But when it comes to the Oscars, anything could happen and it is usually one very big mix of events. Apart from of our own predictions, we share the favourites for who will probably win and we also the ones we hope will actually win the golden accolade this 25th February (M'sian/S'pore date) at the 85th Academy Awards. Fingers crossed!
Favourite win: Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln"
The fact that Ben Affleck got snubbed out a Best Director nomination for "Argo", makes this mass favourite pick a little difficult as we would've surely gone with him if we could. Affleck has already swept the floor with Best Film and Best Directing at multiple award ceremonies, and comparably most of the other nominated directors don't seem too exciting. Of course, "Lincoln" was near perfect and a definite Oscar favourite, but this win might be a little too predictable for director Steven Spielberg.
Underdog: David O'Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook"
We see this far from coming true, but we certainly hope that David O'Russell gets the praise he deserves. His "Silver Linings Playbook" is a rare nomination that doesn't carry the standard 'epic' feel to it. O'Russell made a pleasant romantic comedy film, with a strange but extraordinarily revolutionary feel to it, changing rom-coms for the better in the future. What O'Russell gave to us was not only a simple looking film worthy of an Oscar nomination, it also made us think twice about the direction of romantic comedies. The genre is suddenly watchable again!
Favourite win: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln"
Daniel Day-Lewis truly deserves this award if he does win. He has already won Best Actor awards throughout this year's award season and it definitely won't be surprising to see him win a third Academy for "Lincoln". His portrayal as Lincoln is already well mused about here at Cinema Online, as he was exceptionally good in it proving the "There Will Be Blood" actor's credible versatility. It would be really hard for other actors to compete every time Day-Lewis is nominated and we feel sorry for fellow Best Actor nominee Hugh Jackman who delivered his best performance to date in "Les Miserables", as going up against Day-Lewis for the win is surely as tough as nails.
Underdog: Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master"
Our hearts broke a little when Joaquin Phoenix lost the Oscar when he was nominated for his outstanding performance in "Walk the Line" and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for the same film, but it didn't stop him from giving one of the most exceptional performances in "The Master". Director Paul Thomas Anderson wanted to cast him so bad he kept asking him every time he made a film. He might not be the favourite to win this year, but if he does, he truly deserves a standing ovation.
Favourite win: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook"
Jennifer Lawrence's role of a moody and entirely puzzling personality of Tiffany in "Silver Linings Playbook" might be slightly overrated. The character wasn't that unique, but Lawrence did present some very strong key scenes which made it difficult to think about the outcome for this one. The only given sign for us would be the all the awards she swept, and the only one actress this year she could be afraid of losing her second Oscar to would be Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour".
Underdog: Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jessica Chastain deserves an Oscar, which is why we would be rooting for her at the show. Her performance wasn't as strong as Jennifer Lawrence's or Emmanualle Riva's, but her portrayal of the CIA officer in the hunt to find Osama Bin Laden was captivating, to say the least. The rising star worked her bottom off to get to where she is now, receiving good roles in "The Help" and "The Tree of Life" last year, and now in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty". But even if she doesn't win, she still has a bright future ahead of her.
Best Supporting Actor
Favourite Win: Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained"
The Austrian actor may have been described as overrated, but there is a reason to why he is one of the most talked about actors in modern cinema. His delivery of Quentin Tarantino's writing is exciting and interesting to say the least. He stands out amongst the rest in his films either playing a horribly brilliant Jew Hunter or Django's mustache twirling mentor. Even his roles in other non-Tarantino films were extremely entertaining, but teaming up with Tarantino for the second time might just win him a second Oscar, whether you like it or not.
Underdog: Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
Even though we would very much like Christoph Waltz to win, we do admit that Tommy Lee Jones deserves an Academy Award for his brilliantly played out role in "Lincoln" that have brought the toughest to tears. Daniel Day-Lewis might have won the masses, but we know it was extremely tough for Tommy Lee Jones to crack up a smile and have showcased a rainbow of emotions in the film. It was extraordinary to watch, and we would be upset if he did not get good recognition for his work, and hey, maybe Jones will finally crack a smile if he wins!
Best Supporting Actress
Favourite win: Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables"
Her win is as predictable as Daniel Day-Lewis' "Lincoln" situation, but she will certainly deserve her win if she does. "Les Miserables" director Tom Hooper's idea of getting actors to belt out well known broadway songs on film without dubbing sounded like a recipe for a huge disaster, but the idea stuck out and it wasn't tragic at all. The main cast like Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried had great voices that we knew existed from their previous gigs (OK, well maybe not Seyfried), but if any actor in the film needed an Oscar bestowed for their portrayal, it would be Hathaway.
Underdog: Sally Field for "Lincoln"
To be quite honest, the other choices besides Anne Hathaway's was really boring, as far as secondary character goes, but Sally Field is a force to be reckoned with as she might actually beat Hathaway and win instead. Either way feels like a great win, it's just that one is more hyped up than the other and Sally Field's underrated performance will also be something to root for.
Best Original Screenplay
Favourite win: Quentin Tarantino for "Django Unchained"
It is actually exciting to see him being the frontrunner of the Screenplay category, because if fans know Quentin Tarantino well, they would know his main passion he wants to pursue is to write screenplays. And he does a fine job with it, with an exceptional script for his movie "Django Unchained". More known for his directing, Tarantino would be stoked to score a win for his writing, and he does deserve the award for his highly controversial yet entertaining work of art.
Underdog: Mark Boal for "Zero Dark Thirty"
We would be absolutely surprised, disappointed and crushed if Tarantino doesn't win, but we also know that there is a chance he won't, as the movie isn't really considered Oscar material compared to "Lincoln" and "Argo". Sure this is just for the script, but people might not take his excessive use of the 'N' word or the excessive violence too kindly. So if we had to pick an underdog, we would go for "Zero Dark Thirty's" Mark Boal, an Oscar winner who also collaborated with director Kathryn Bigelow before for "The Hurt Locker", but that does not mean we'll like it!
Best Animated Feature
Favourite win: "Brave"
The mother-daughter storyline for "Brave" was heartwarming, and the art was spectacularly beautiful. Even Merida's hair needed an award. The film was wonderfully Disney, with its enchanting storyline of a royal family and the extra fantasy feel to it, it is a crowd favourite to win and if it does many people would be really satisfied with the win. Admittedly the film does miss a couple of points story wise. It isn't perfect, but the art surely made up for it.
Truthfully, it is a very strong contender besides "Brave", and it makes us happy to think about how director Tim Burton might finally win something from the Academy Awards after his standout films like "Big Fish" and "Edward Scissorhands" to name a few. Of course the films need to watch out for another favourite "Wreck It Ralph" which had received rave reviews. "Frankenweenie's" story about a boy and his beloved canine is definitely the underdog to root for. Pun not intended.
Favourite win: "Argo"
The film is a definite favourite to win at the Oscar's this year with all the talk, the controversy, the hype and the awards. The moment where Ben Affleck sheds a single tear as he thanks his wife Jennifer Garner for being his inspiration can already be visualised and predicted. It will be one of the very few films to win an Academy Award and not have a Best Director nomination.
Underdog: "Lincoln" or "Life Of Pi"
As much as "Argo" might actually be able to win, it is still in danger of "Lincoln" taking over. "Lincoln" is expected to steal the show with a handful of awards, but if we had to root for a movie to beat a Spielberg creation, we would root for "Argo". The other films don't have that much of a chance than "Lincoln", but the Ben Affleck film just might be able to do that. Also, we know that audiences in Malaysia and Singapore really liked "Life Of Pi" which is also nominated in this category, but the chances are just as slim as Pi finding a slice of pie at sea.
Cinema Online, 19 February 2013