2013 Oscar Predictions: Will 'Argo' or 'Lincoln' Win Best Picture?
2013 Oscar Predictions: Will 'Argo' or 'Lincoln' Win Best Picture?
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
The 85th Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars, is being held this coming Sunday, February 24, at 8:30pm ET (5:30pm PT), following the red carpet ceremonies. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is gearing up to host the big night for the very first time. (Though it's going to be hard to top the dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes.)

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Oscar Nominations: Lincoln Rules, Les Miserables Stumbles >>>

Heading into the biggest award show of the year, sometimes it's easy to predict who's going to win many of the awards. But this year, the Academy may leave us with some surprises along the way. With Ben Affleck snubbed for Best Director, can Argo still win against Lincoln for Best Picture? That's one of the many mysteries as Sunday approaches.

Which films, actors and actresses will win at the 2013 Oscars? Take a look at my predictions:

BEST PICTURE:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Amour
Django Unchained
Argo


Prediction: Argo. With nine nominees, you would think it'd be a wide-open race. But over the last several weeks, the focus has come down to Argo and Lincoln. Best Picture and Best Director usually go to the same film. But since Ben Affleck was snubbed in the directing category, that tradition could break this year. My personal pick would be Lincoln, but with Argo receiving the BAFTA, DGA, PGA, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Movie Award and SAG Award, among most likely many others, it seems a given that Affleck will still have much to celebrate.

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis. If I were Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix or Denzel Washington, I would be practicing my losing face in front of the mirror because Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States of America has it in the bag. Unless the Academy goes bonkers all of a sudden, there's no question that Day-Lewis not only looks like Lincoln, but he becomes Lincoln inside and out.

BEST ACTRESS
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhanel Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence. Jessica Chastain has stunned moviegoers as a CIA agent whose life is consumed with finding the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. But then there's Jennifer Lawrence, who is her biggest competitor. The safe bet seems to go with Chastain, but there's been a lot of last-minute buzz surrounding Lawrence, on top of various awards she's been given this year. I kept going back and forth between the two; I leaned toward the Zero Dark Thirty star initially, but I would be so excited to see Katniss Everdeen come out on top. But don't count out Emmanuelle Riva, who would become the oldest ever Best Actress winner if she won.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones. Here, we've got one of the most wide-open races out of any of them. Seriously, any of the above five actors could win. Waltz has the BAFTA and Golden Globe, Jones has the SAG and Hoffman won the Critics' Choice. Most people will probably get this pick wrong because we'll be all over the map in our predictions.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Amy Adams, The Master

Prediction: Anne Hathaway. As with Best Actor, there are four actresses who need to practice their losing face. Anne Hathaway blew audiences away with her portrayal as Fantine in Les Mis. With shorter hair, having to act out an emotional roller-coaster and an "I Dreamed a Dream" performance that left people crying, this is Hathaway's moment.

BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Prediction: Steven Spielberg. As mentioned earlier, Ben Affleck was snubbed (as was Katherine Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty). I think viewers would be happy to see any of these directors win. But my money's on Spielberg. He could keep the tradition alive by also winning Best Picture, or this could be his film's top prize of the night.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Flight
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
Amour
Moonrise Kingdom


Prediction: Django Unchained. Django has been met with some controversy, but the screenplay has been winning awards left and right; everything's pointing in their direction. But don't count out Zero Dark Thirty, which won the Writer's Guild Award. What's going against the bin Laden film is all the talk surrounding a certain scene that leaves us to believe torture was a critical component in finding the most wanted terrorist in the world, even though reports show that's not the case.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Argo
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Life of Pi


Prediction: Argo. I see this as a three-way race between Argo, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. Lincoln could have been dismissed by the Academy when controversy arose over historical inaccuracies that showed two Connecticut lawmakers voting against the amendment to abolish slavery, when in reality they voted for it. 

Slideshow: 2013 Oscar Nominees' Notable TV Roles  

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Frankenweenie
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
ParaNorman
Brave


Prediction: Brave. Pixar always seems to be represented in this category, and that's mostly because the movies the animation company makes are high-quality. But they've hit road blocks before (with Cars and Cars 2, for example). No one really expected Brave to do well at the award shows, but an upset happened when it won at the Golden Globes. Since then, however, the race turned to Wreck-It Ralph and Frankenweenie, with the video game film receiving the most attention. But Brave is still being talked about and could eke out a win yet again.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Amour
No
War Witch
A Royal Affair
Kon-Tiki


Prediction: Amour. After winning the BAFTA, Golden Globe and other awards, along with a Best Picture nomination and critical acclaim, going with Amour is a no-brainer.

BEST DOCUMENTARY -- FEATURE
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man


Prediction: Searching for Sugar Man. This documentary is about Sixto Rodriguez, a singer who never found success in the music business. But he became a hit in South America. Rumors surfaced there that he had died. Two fans go out in search of the truth to find that he's still alive.

BEST DOCUMENTARY -- SHORT SUBJECT
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption


Prediction: Mondays at Racine. This category is full of doom and gloom. You've got a 15-year old homeless girl who finds solace in art in Inocente. Kings Point focuses on a retirement home. Racine in Mondays at Racine is a beauty salon that opens their doors for people with cancer who have to shave off their hair -- the heartbreak and bonds that form are beautiful. Conducting heart surgeries in Rwanda is at the heart (pardon the pun) of Open Heart. And Redemption follows those in poverty who collect cans and bottles on the streets of New York City. Seeing this, you want them all to win -- I'd be fine with any of them -- but only one can.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"
Paperman


Prediction: Paperman. While it's unclear if Brave will be Pixar's latest winner, everyone online is talking about the short film made by Walt Disney Animation, Paperman. A man and a woman meet, and after they part ways, the man keeps thinking about her and soon sees her through the window of the other building across the street. He tries to get her attention with paper airplanes and such, and it's a very charming and cute story. Fresh Guacamole is very attention-grabbing and ingenious, about guacamole being made out of ordinary objects, as is Head Over Heels, about a husband who lives on the floor and the wife that lives on the ceiling.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death of a Shadow
Henry


Prediction: Buzkashi Boys. Just because. This is one of those categories with little to no buzz surrounding it, so it's hard to tell where the Academy might be leaning, but there are some good stories in here that take place in Somalia and Afghanistan, one taking place during World War I and another about an altar boy.

BEST SCORE
Anna Karenina
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall


Prediction: Life of Pi. Some fantastic composers are behind these nominated scores: Dario Marianelli, Alexandra Desplat, John Williams, Thomas Newman and Mychael Danna. Williams has a special place in my heart because of not only his work on Harry Potter, but all the other recognizable themes he's created over the years. But I think Danna will give a win for Life of Pi.

BEST SONG
"Before My Time," Chasing Ice
"Pi's Lullaby," Life of Pi
"Suddenly," Les Miserables
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend," Ted
"Skyfall," Skyfall

Prediction: "Skyfall." I listened to all five songs. And nothing -- I repeat, nothing -- compares to "Skyfall." It's miles and leagues above the rest. Not only is it the theme for the most critically-acclaimed James Bond film, but it's performed by freakin' Adele. Just give her the award already and be done with it.

BEST ART DIRECTION
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln


Prediction: Anna Karenina. This one could go to either Anna Karenina, Les Mis, Life of Pi or Lincoln. (Sorry, Hobbit.)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall


Prediction: Life of Pi. This film is such a visual spectacle, and the cinematography is part of what helps elevate it to that level. But I won't count out Skyfall, since it did win an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) award recently.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman


Prediction: Anna Karenina. Between Art Direction and Costume Design, here's where Anna Karenina has the best shot at taking home the gold. In the past 10 years, this category has honored Memoirs of a Geisha, Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Duchess and The Young Victoria, among others. The Keira Knightley starring film will be in good company.

BEST EDITING
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty


Prediction: Argo. With Argo as the front-runner to win Best Picture, it seems likely that it'll also take the prize here. It won the BAFTA, as well as the Eddie (for editing).

BEST MAKEUP
Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables


Prediction: Les Miserables. There's only three nominees, but we can safely narrow it down to The Hobbit and Les Mis. The most obvious choice would be to go with the musical, though I would love to see the Academy show some love for all the work that goes into making humans turn into hobbits.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty


Prediction: Skyfall. Sound Editing and Sound Mixing don't necessarily go to the same film, even though it's hard to tell what the difference is between the two. (Editing has to do with recording the sound effects, creating the various sounds and all that; mixing is exactly that -- mixing all the sound together into what we hear in the final product.) For editing, I think it'll be either Skyfall or Zero Dark Thirty.

BEST SOUND MIXING
Argo
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall


Prediction: Les Miserables. Again, there's multiple options here, including Argo and Life of Pi. Les Mis did win the BAFTA for Sound Mixing, so to me it's got the edge.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman


Prediction: Life of Pi. As with Best Cinematography, here's another area where Life of Pi has a strong shot at winning. I have to say, I feel so bad not predicting any wins for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; I feel a loyalty to that franchise not just for personal reasons, but because Peter Jackson is a genius when he's working in Middle Earth and I grew up with the original Lord of the Rings films. But Life of Pi is certainly a deserving contender, though I would be thrilled to see The Hobbit take home even one Oscar.

Do you have any predictions? If so, share them in the comments below.

The 2013 Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24, at 8:30pm ET (5:30pm PT) on ABC.

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(Images courtesy of Warner Bros. and Touchstone)



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