Sunday’s telecast of the 85th Annual Academy Awards is guaranteed going to give us some surprises.
Could Ang Lee top Steven Spielberg for best director considering he took a novel widely considered to be unadaptable and turned it into an Oscar-nominated triumph?
Could best supporting actor go to Robert De Niro for a veteran actor who hasn’t seen a good role in years?
The screenplay categories are also very much up in the air. In adapted, either David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook” or Chris Terrio for “Argo” could grab the win away from assumed front-runner Tony Kushner for “Lincoln.” And in original, don’t be surprised if the love for “Amour” sneaks into a win out from under Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
And speaking of “Amour,” there’s always the possibility of votes for Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence canceling each other out allowing Emmanuelle Riva in for the win.
In spite of all the crazy dark horse possibilities, I’ve nailed down my final predictions below.
Best Picture: All signs point to “Argo.”
Director: With Ben Affleck down for the count, looks like Steven Spielberg is the favorite to take it for “Lincoln.”
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting Actor: Tough call between Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained” (BAFTA win) and Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln” (SAG win), but I’m going with Waltz.
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables”
Animated Feature: Kind of open, but recent Annie wins say “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”
Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner for “Lincoln”
Sound Editing: “Skyfall” because respected action movies always take it.
Sound Mixing: “Skyfall” for the same reason.
Film Editing: “Argo” because it’ll validate the best picture win.
Documentary Feature: “Searching for Sugar Man”
Foreign Language Film: “Amour”
Cinematography: Claudio Miranda for “Life of Pi”
Makeup & Hairstyling: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Costume Design: “Anna Karenina”
Visual Effects: “Life of Pi”
Original Song: “Skyfall” by Adele
Original Score: Mychael Danna for “Life of Pi”
Documentary Short: “Inocente”
Live Action Short: “Curfew”
Animated Short: “The Paperman”
With only two wins, “Argo” will take the top prize of best picture along with best editing — funny because it’ll tie “Anna Karenina” for two wins. It will be topped by “Lincoln,” which I predict will win three awards: best director, supporting actor and adapted screenplay. This also means “Skyfall” and “Life of Pi” will each land at three wins for technical awards.
Tune in to watch the telecast of the 85th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.