No fancy introductions here. Let me share my Oscar ballot.
Best Short Film, Live Action
Should win: Henry – Such a moving film and extremely well shot. I will be very upset if it doesn’t win (Although, if it loses to “Death of a Shadow,” I might not be AS upset.)
Will Win: Buzkashi Boys – More of your standard short film that would win this award.
Best Short Film, Animated
Should win: Fresh Guacamole – The animation style is refreshing and, at 90 seconds, the film doesn’t wear out its welcome.
Will win: Paperman – Although it’s a little too warm and fuzzy (read: cheesy), the animation is nice and it’s a fun, little story.
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Should win: Mondays at Racine – Other than “Redemption,” all of these nominees are great. However, “Mondays at Racine” does everything a great documentary should and it is by far my favorite.
Will win: Mondays at Racine
Best Documentary, Feature
Should win: How to Survive a Plague – This is a very interesting look at the gay community’s fight against AIDS from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s. While there are interviews mixed in, most of the content is real footage from rallies, meetings and television news (which I love). A close 2nd place for me would be “The Invisible War.”
Will win: Searching for Sugar Man – This music documentary has been picking up a lot of steam recently, so I’m putting my money on it.
Best Visual Effects
Should win: Life of Pi – All great nominees, but “Life of Pi” should win in most technical categories where it’s nominated.
Will win: Life of Pi
Best Sound Editing
Should win: Skyfall – Action movies usually do pretty well here. I loved “Skyfall” and I think it needs to win in most, if not all of the categories it’s nominated in.
Will win: Life of Pi – With 11 nominations, it’s hard to believe such a technically well-done film would be overlooked here.
Best Sound Mixing
Should win: Life of Pi – This is as much of a toss-up as Sound Editing, but I feel like “Life of Pi” isn’t going to run away with the show.
Will win: Argo – I think this will be one of those categories where voters just choose a movie with the most momentum, so…
Best Original Song
Should win: Skyfall – It’s Adele. Let’s be real.
Will win: Skyfall
Best Original Score
Should win: Life of Pi
Will win: Life Pi – Mychael Danna’s score won at the Golden Globes and it’s really good, so I’m going with it here.
Should win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Will Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – With only 3 nominees, the one fantasy movie should be a lock.
Best Costume Design
Should win: Anna Karenina – Great costumes in a very artsy film. Seems appropriate for the win. And if it doesn’t win, that means…
Will win: Snow White and the Hunstman – There’s always one mediocre/bad movie that wins a technical award. On top of that, Colleen Atwood has 10 nominations and 3 wins at the Oscars, so it wouldn’t really be a shock if her film won.
Best Production Design
Should win: Anna Karenina – Again, a very visually pleasing film that most artsy people loved.
Will win: Life of Pi – I think this is another technical category where “Life of Pi” will sweep up the award.
Should win: Argo – The film’s editing is one of its strong points in the technical area. It certainly felt like a better edited film than the other nominees.
Will win: Argo
Should win: Skyfall – One of the biggest crimes of modern cinema is that Roger Deakins has never won an Oscar, despite being nominated 10 times. Also, I happen to think it’s the best of the bunch.
Will win: Lincoln – Probably my second-favorite of the nominees, but I think “Lincoln” will be winning more awards than just Best Actor.
Best Foreign Language Film
Should win: Amour – Given that it was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, I don’t think the other nominees have a chance at all.
Will win: Amour – Like I said…
Best Animated Film
Should win: Wreck-It Ralph – Really good animation with awesome references to the gaming world.
Will win: Wreck-It Ralph – As much as I liked “ParaNorman” and “Brave,” I liked “Wreck-It Ralph” more.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Should win: Argo – My favorite film of the year and it recently won at the Writers Guild awards. Seems like a safe bet to me.
Will win: Argo – Yep.
Best Original Screenplay
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal won for his last team-up with Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker,” and I think his script is a little better here.
Will win: Django Unchained – I think Quentin Tarantino will get a dark horse win here, just like his Golden Globe win.
Should win: Ang Lee – “Life of Pi” is the most technically masterful film of the year. Combined with the fact that Ang Lee made a hit out of this film without a marketable star and having to satisfy the book’s many fans, it’s hard to argue for anyone else.
Will win: Steven Spielberg – Probably the 2nd best directing job, but I think Spielberg’s prestige will edge him over Lee’s work.
Best Supporting Actress
Should win: Anne Hathaway – This is one of those times where the early favorite is going to take the top prize.
Will win: Anne Hathaway
Best Supporting Actor
Should win: Christoph Waltz – His character in “Django Unchained” is my favorite from the year. My only concern is that people think his character is too close to the role he won for in 2010.
Will win: Robert De Niro – The Oscars love their icons and De Niro did work wonders in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Should win: Emmanuelle Riva – Riva’s performance in “Amour” is hauntingly good and underrated by most.
Will win: Jennifer Lawrence – Lawrence has been tearing up the interview circuit and her performance is very good. The politics of the Oscars will place her at the podium.
Should and will win: Daniel Day-Lewis – If anyone else won this, it would be one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. If it were to happen, Joaquin Phoenix would be the man to do it.
Should win: Argo – This is, in my opinion, the best film of the year.
Will win: Argo – With all of the buzz surrounding this film since Ben Affleck’s snub at Best Director, it would be very surprising if anyone else knocked it out of first place.
Wow, that was exhausting. I’ll be tweeting during the show at @VC_Reviews if you want to follow along. Later this week I’ll review “Snitch.”