Predicting Every Oscar Category Correctly, Dammit

The Oscars are on Sunday night and the most important part of them is not the fashion or the prestige of the Award. It is, of course, trying to predict the winners in each category no matter how obscure. These are foolproof, locked-in picks for every award presented – even best documentary short. For the “lesser” awards, picking them is almost as accurate as closing your eyes and pointing randomly, but they will be picked with unyielding confidence.

So fill out your ballot, put some money down and enjoy the show.


Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

It’ll look really bad if Argo doesn’t win this. Argo has won the best picture (or the equivalent of that) in basically every awards ceremony from the Golden Globes to the Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards. Lincoln exemplifies the typical Oscar-winning movie: it stars past Oscar winners, the main characters either gain or lose weight, there are accents involved, it’s a period piece, it involves American history, it’s about a historical figure. The voting pool is full of old people who loves that crap. Lincoln has OSCAR WINNER written all over it. Argo has won everything for which it has been nominated but Argo’s director Ben Affleck – who has also won pretty much everything himself – didn’t even get nominated. Other than 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy, no film in 80 years has won best picture without the director nominated as well. Life of Pi is amazing visually, Zero Dark Thirty is too controversial, Beasts of the Southern Wild was seen by 23 people, Amour will play to the age of the Academy voters but not like Lincoln will, and there are too many N-words and too much blood in Django Unchained to clinch the Award. The smart money is on Argo, the up-and-coming sleeper pick is Silver Linings Playbook, but I have to go with Lincoln.


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

No Affleck (Argo), no Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and no Tarantino (Django Unchained) means one thing – Steven Spielberg.


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

When Daniel Day-Lewis was cast to play Abraham Lincoln, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences started engraving his name onto this award. Hugh Jackman did well, as did Bradley Cooper, but any year that Day-Lewis decides to act in a film, everyone else should start practicing their losing faces.


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

I feel sorry for whoever is presenting this award if Quvenzhané Wallis wins, but she won’t. Early in the “awards season,” Jessica Chastain’s performance as the Bin Laden hunter in Zero Dark Thirty was winning her awards. Since then, though, the Weinstein Machine has kicked into gear and the all-around favorite has become Jennifer Lawrence. There really are no losers in this category, especially sentimental sleeper-pick Emmanuelle Riva, but Harvey Weinstein wins his people awards. Jennifer Lawrence takes it.


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

Does anyone really want to see the amount of vicious apathy that a Tommy Lee Jones acceptance speech would bring? De Niro and Jones are old Oscar stalwarts that some believe will win based on the fact that, “the Academy should give them this because they’ve been around for a long time.” I’d love to go with Christoph Waltz here but didn’t think his Django Unchained character was even close to the quality of his previous Oscar-winning Inglorious Basterds character. As boring as the speech will be, Tommy Lee Jones wins it.


Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Anne Hathaway sang live, got her head shaved and cried while singing live and getting her head shaved. She also died in the movie. Ding-ding. Winner, winner.

Now, the rest will be rapid fire picks.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Chris Terrio.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin.
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Winner: Lincoln

Best Original Screenplay: Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Winner: Django Unchained

Best Animated Feature: BraveFrankenweenie, ParaNormanThe Pirates! Band of Misfits, Wreck-It Ralph

Winner: Wreck-It Ralph.

Best Foreign Language Film: AmourKon-TikiNoA Royal AffairWar Witch

Winner: Amour. It’s nominated for Best Picture too. Beating the other foreigner’s films should be a guarantee.

Best Cinematography: Anna KareninaDjango UnchainedLife of PiLincolnSkyfall

Winner: Life of Pi. It’s amaaaaaazing. The colorrrrsssss.

Best Film Editing: Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty

Winner: Argo

Best Original Score: Anna KareninaArgoLife of PiLincolnSkyfall

Winner: Life of Pi

Best Original Song: “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice, “Suddenly” from Les Misérables, “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, “Skyfall” from Skyfall, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted

Winner: “Skyfall” is the best Bond song since “Goldfinger” and Adele is singing it. Adele wins anything she enters these days. It will win, though the Norah Jones song from Ted is a great little song.

Best Production Design: Anna KareninaThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyLes MisérablesLife of PiLincoln

Winner: Anna Karenina

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: HitchcockThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyLes Misérables

Winner: The Hobbit

Best Visual Effects: The AvengersThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyLife of PiPrometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman

Winner: Let’s take a moment to reflect upon the fact that The Avengers was nominated for an Oscar, but Life of Pi wins.

Best Costume Design: Anna KareninaLes MisérablesLincolnMirror MirrorSnow White and the Huntsman

Winner: Anna Karenina

Best Sound Editing: ArgoDjango UnchainedLife of PiSkyfallZero Dark Thirty

Winner: Skyfall

Best Sound Mixing: ArgoLes MisérablesLife of PiLincolnSkyfall

Winner: Les Misérables wins. Didn’t you hear? They sang live!

Best Documentary Feature: 5 Broken CamerasThe GatekeepersHow to Survive a PlagueThe Invisible WarSearching for Sugar Man

Winner: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Documentary Short: InocenteKings PointMondays at RacineOpen HeartRedemption

Winner: Open Heart

Best Animated Short: Adam and DogFresh GuacamoleHead Over HeelsMaggie Simpson in The Longest DaycarePaperman

Winner: Paperman

Best Live Action Short: AsadBuzkashi BoysCurfewDeath of a ShadowHenry

Winner: Curfew


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