My Predictions for the 2013 Academy Awards - UPDATED


Argo 5

The Oscars are only a month away, but with the Golden Globes behind us and the frontrunners falling into place, it’s time to figure out who’s going to win the industry’s most famous prizes. Compared to last year, it’s been a big challenge to decide on some of the top categories. The races for Best Picture and Best Director are particularly contentious, given the debate over Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and Ben Affleck being denied a Best Director nod for Argo.

Even so, after some research and quite a few of educated guesses, I’ve finally drawn up my list of predictions. Below, you’ll find a complete list of who I think will win each of the major awards, as well as who I want to win, and who I think is the “dark horse” in that particular category. If you’d like to play along, draw up your own list and compare it to mine, and then tell me if I’m wrong in the comments!

Best Picture

Who Will Win: Argo (Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers)

In a surprise development this weekend, Argo picked up major awards at both the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild awards. Even though history has shown that few films win Best Picture without winning Best Director, Argo now has a comfortable lead over Lincoln.

Who I Want to Win: Tie between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty

Dark Horse: Lincoln (Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers)

SpielbergBest Director

Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

The director race is one of the more bizarre categories this year. Argo is the favourite to win Best Picture, so Ben Affleck would be the most logical pick here. Oddly, Affleck didn't get a nomination, so that leaves Spielberg as the frontrunner.

Who I Want to Win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

Dark Horse: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Actor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

One of the safer bets in this year’s contest is Day-Lewis for Best Actor. His performance in Lincoln is magnetic because he avoids playing Lincoln as a towering historical figure and makes the Civil War leader into a relatable, fatherly character.

Who I Want to Win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Dark Horse: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Silver LiningsActress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

As much as I loved Jessica Chastain's work in Zero Dark Thirty, it seems the Academy is favoring Jennifer Lawrence's performance as a mentally ill widow in Silver Linings Playbook. Personal preferences aside, Lawrence's role gives Playbook a darker edge that helps balance out the occasionally syrupy script.

Who I Want to Win: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Dark Horse: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Waltz took the Golden Globe in this category two weeks ago, and is the frontrunner for the Oscar, despite the fact that the rest of the nominees are all former winners themselves. Waltz, helped by Tarantino’s crackling script, was a pleasure to watch as Dr. King Schultz in Django.

Who I Want to Win: Alan Arkin (Argo)

Dark Horse: Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

Anne HathawayActress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

Hathaway is another comfortable frontrunner in this year’s Oscars. Her work as the fallen woman Fantine in the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel was brief, but instrumental to the movie as a whole.

Who I Want to Win: Amy Adams (The Master)

Dark Horse: Sally Field (Lincoln)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: Lincoln (Written by Tony Kushner)

Steven Spielberg’s odyssey to find the right script for Lincoln is well-documented; ultimately, Tony Kushner’s work adapting the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln helped the film provide an engaging, often unexpected analysis of the political climate of Civil War-era Washington.

Who I Want to Win: Argo (Written by Chris Terrio)

Dark Horse: Silver Linings Playbook (Written by David O. Russell)

Django UnchainedBest Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: Django Unchained (Written by Quentin Tarantino)

In a way, this might act as a consolation prize for Tarantino missing out on a Best Director nomination. Tarantino’s script for Django (once again) shows off his mastery of dialogue and his often extreme sense of humour.

Who I Want to Win: Moonrise Kingdom (Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)

Dark Horse: Moonrise Kingdom (Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)

Best Animated Feature

Who Will Win: Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)

The animated feature category has a number of very strong contenders this year, but with its box office success combined with its Pixar pedigree and Golden Globe win, Brave will take this award.

Who I Want to Win: Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)

Dark Horse: Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)

AmourBest Foreign Language Film

Who Will Win: Amour (Austria - Michael Haneke, director)

With an unusual number of nominations in other Oscar categories, Amour is easily the frontrunner for the Foreign Language award.

Who I Want to Win: War Witch (Canada – Kim Nguyen, director)

Dark Horse: A Royal Affair (Denmark – Nikolaj Arcel, director)

Best Cinematography

Who Will Win: Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)

Life of Pi is nominated in a lot of the major categories, but with those frontrunners mostly decided, it’s likely the film will claim some of the more technical awards instead. The visuals in Pi are the most discussed part of the film, so a cinematography win is a safe bet.

Who I Want to Win: Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

Dark Horse:  Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski)

Zero 1Best Film Editing

Who Will Win: Zero Dark Thirty (Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg)

The raid scenes at the end of Zero Dark Thirty benefited from some strong action-style editing that allowed the audience to properly grasp how the assassination took place. What’s more, this is another award that will act as a consolation prize for a film that deserved more attention in the bigger categories.

Who I Want to Win: Zero Dark Thirty (Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg)

Dark Horse: Argo (William Goldenberg)


There you have it. I didn’t predict each category because I figure these are the ones most people are interested in (and frankly, the ones that can actually be predicted).

Am I right or wrong about the winners I named above? Will you be playing along to see who wins? Join the conversation about the 2013 Oscars in the comments section below!