Brace yourselves: The Oscars are coming

Brace yourselves: The Oscars are coming

Contrary to popular belief, February is not grey and shit. It is actually a brilliant month, for two reasons: pancake day (self-evident) and Hollywood awards season. If, for film fans, January is a month of birthdays (the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the DGA Awards) February is one big, excited lead up to Christmas, which of course, in this poorly constructed analogy, symbolises the Oscars.

This February 24th, movieland’s best and brightest (and, er, Seth MacFarlane), will assemble in LA’s Dolby Theatre to find out who’ll be taking home the 85th Academy Awards’ all-important, weirdly genderless statuettes. Here’s how the race looks to be shaping up…

When the nominations were announced last month, the smart money for Best Picture was on Lincoln, but since then Ben Affleck’s Argo has been stealing the show, with a slurry of top-accolade wins at the DGA and SAG Awards, as well as a hard-won Golden Globe. Unfortunately for awards pundits everywhere, however, the Academy snubbed Affleck for a Director nomination, which could be an indication of great things to come in the Picture category or of a general distaste for the movie (you never know with the Academy. Bloody Academy), so we’re basically back in the dark, where we started. Don’t rule out Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo or the dark horse and supposed Academy hit Silver Linings Playbook.

This year’s best actress category features its oldest and youngest ever nominees (Emanuelle Riva, who is 85, for Amour and Quvenzhané Wallis, who at just nine years old has been nominated for Beasts of the Southern Wild). Neither will take the Oscar though (as much as I’d love to hear an acceptance speech by the world’s sassiest pre-teen) – this season’s ceremonies indicate a win for Jennifer Lawrence’s film-stealing performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Of the five main categories, this is the one I’d bet on.

“Could it be a record-breaking third Best Actor award for Daniel Day Lewis?” I ask my Oscar-predicting Magic 8 ball. “Signs point to yes”, it replies (sadly for Bradley Cooper and Joaquin Phoenix, who, any other year, would have battled to the death over this for Silver Linings Playbook and The Master).

The Academy loves a musical, and it often shows that love in the form of a secondary acting prize (see: Jennifer Hudson’s 2006 storming of this category at literally every awards show for her role in Dreamgirls aka the greatest film ever made). I predict – based on SAG/Golden Globe wins combined with my tingling spidey senses – that the same will happen this year for Anne Hathaway’s Les Miserables performance, which, despite being really depressing, is also quite good.

With a Golden Globe win for Christoph Waltz’s deliciously funny Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained and an SAG award for Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln, it looks to be a contest between these two for the big one, though I’ve got my fingers crossed under the table for Robert De Niro for his return to form in Silver Linings Playbook. The most uncertain of the five major categories, this could deliver the shock of the evening.

There’s my two cents, but to get the facts tune in (probably illegally) at about 1am on February 24th. I’ll be watching, most likely overcome by the sight of Ryan Gosling in a tuxedo. See you there.

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