Predictions For the 85th Annual Academy Awards Best Picture Category (Flack’s Predictions)

Posted on | January 5, 2013 | Add Comments

Daniel-Day Lewis riding a horse in Lincoln (2012)This year’s Oscars are getting particularly heated. While last year (and the one before, and the one before, and the one before, and so on and so on) there was a clear front runner, this year seems to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. I’ll admit the Oscars are, to varying degrees, filled with suspense each and every year. But this time there are more question marks in the air than before. So now, until the Oscar ceremony is over, join Flick and Flack as they bring you on a journey through this year’s awards season.

One more note… The voters, who determine the Oscar nominees and then winners, are made up of critics and moviemakers!

Here are my predictions for the Best Picture category:

Best Picture:

Just like last year, the 2013 Oscars will allow for 5-10 movies to be nominated for Best Picture. Voters will fill out ballots with their 10 favorite movies of the year. Movies with at least 5% of the number one votes (last year the number of ballots was projected to be around 240) to get a Best Picture nomination.

I’m guessing the following 9 films will get Best Picture nominations:

1. Lincoln Steven Spielberg’s historical epic is talky, intimate, bold, and ambitious. Impressing in all categories, this phenomenal crowd pleaser is also a critic’s darling. The Academy loves to award films that are old fashioned, feature historical true stories, are surprise box office smashes, and are loved by all kinds of audiences. Believe it or not, this is all of these. Hello, podium!

2. Zero Dark Thirty The academy generally doesn’t give awards to people who won recently, with a few exceptions. But nominations for recent award receivers is normal. Kathryn Bigelow directs this true tale thriller about researching, searching, and killing Osama Bin Laden. It’s been making headlines for it’s contreversial ideas but critics call it pulse pounding, well done, and fascinating. Expect strong w support from women voters (And voters in general), thanks to Bigelow and Jessica Chastain in the lead role. Plus being a modern story may give the film a needed little boost (though if the film does better at the box office it’ll have a better chance because the Academy tends to skew towards succesful films, though The Hurt Locker was the lowest grossing Best Picture winner ever).

3. Argo Ben Affleck emerged as a world class director, and to a lesser extent, actor when his third film behind the camera was released three months ago. It’s another real life story of excitment, sadness, and, in this case, odd heroics. Affleck has said “I had very low expectations for Argo’s performance“. But the film shockingly became a box office hit, reeling in $164 million worldwide (doubling it’s $44.5 million budget, and then some!). To top it off audiences and critics can’t stop buzzing, though thanks to realeasing the film in mid October the positive talk has slowed down a bit.

4. Les Miserables The musical sensation came to the big screen on Christmas Day, featuring a boatload of big talent. While reviews have been notoriously iffy on it, audiences seem to be going mad for the film. So combine succesful box office results and great work from cast and crew members that will win over reluctant voters, because they poured their hearts out and into the production, then the movie may become a force to be reckoned with.

5. Silver Linings Playbook The romantic dramedy stars Bradely Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in sure to be nominated performances. David O. Russel has also been getting raves for his direction, and Robert DeNiro has been getting acclaimed for his best performance in years. Still despite positive reviews, the movies has been doing pretty poorly at the box office. Luckily an upcoming expansion should help it.

6. Beasts of the Southern Wild Few people who have seen the indie favorite dislike it. That said, few Oscar predicters think it’s a top contender. But I’m taking a risk by saying it is a top contender. A favorite at both Sundance and Cannes, (two of the most prestigous film fests in the world) the movie is miraculously directed by first timer Benh Zeitlin and stars breakout wonder Quvenzhane Wallis (a 6 year old while filming, now 9!). So-so box office numbers don’t matter when a movie this powerful comes around though it’s not without it’s flaws.

Suraj Sharma as Pi, by himself out at sea in Life of Pi (2012)7. Life of Pi Ang Lee. Based on a bestselling novel. Visually astonishing. A peeing 3-D tiger. What speaks Oscar more than that (okay, maybe not that last one…). But this terrifically sentimental, totally gorgeous epic (based on Yann Martel’s fine yet problematic book) is not a 5 star film. And yet at one point Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar expert Anthony Brenzican called the number one best picture frontrunner of the year. And Roger Ebert called it his third favorite 2012 movie. And British magazines Empire and Total Film both gave it 5 stars. And it was the opening night movie at the New York Film Festival (which just celebrated it’s 50th birthday this year). And that festival called it a ”classic”. But despite this praise, there have been mixed review and mediocre box office numbers. Still it’s a lock for a nomination, but not a win.

8. Moonrise Kingdom Wes Anderson’s delightfully funny, dramitically moving teenage romance is another indie favorite. It was the opening night movie at Cannes and it was a big moneymaker, for an indie movie. Critics and audiences were also huge fans. While it might not have the weight of a winner, it’s got the fun of a breakout summer indie. That is one that’s soon to be nominated for Best Picture.

9. Amour Michael Haneke’s old age romance tragedy won Best Film at this year’s Cannes fest. It got amazing reviews and audiences will likely be captivated, too, when it opens into more areas this month. The big problem is the Academy only nominates foreign films for Best Picture if they’re really, really good. But since most people (who’ve seen it) are saying this one is… Well then I’ll say it has a pretty good shot.
While the following movie could get nominated, I’m predicting there will be only 9 nominees this year:

10. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel This retiree rom-com has been picking up some nominations (most notably Best Musical or Comedy, from the Golden Globes, and Best Performance by a Cast, from the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards). But I’m thinking it’s too lighthearted for a nomination.

The next 5 movies are, to varying degrees, possibilities for a nomination:

11. Django Unchained Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revenge Western was a box office hit when it opened on Christmas Day and got an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes (though it’s one of those cases where the reviews were more mixed than the RT percentage might suggest…). But the contreversial action drama maybe a bit overlong and over bloody for the Oscars.

12. Skyfall After recently sneaking into the Producers Guild version of Best Picture, the 23rd James Bond flick has been having it’s Oscar chances rethought. Since it is the 50th anniversary of the franchise the Academy might give the movie some leeway, but don’t count on it!

13. The Impossible The tsunami thriller has gotten rave reviews and the performances seem great. But in a year of soooo many great movies, it’s often the ones the ones that do something altogether original that make the cut. So a tragic, terrific disaster drama might not make the cut because, as amazing as it may be, it’s been seen before in one way or another.

14. The Master One of the most critically adored movies of the 2012, this Paul Thomas Anderson drama wasn’t a smash with audiences. Also, in every article I’ve read about it’s Oscar chances it’s been called too confusing, weird, and original for the Academy. Still it’s highly praised actor’s should give it a big boost (though it should be noted that, in a recent interview, the movie’s star Joaquin Phoenix talked about his strong disliking of the awards season)

15. Flight Denzel Washington starred in this mystery thriller, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Audiences and reviewers, overall, loved it… But Washington could be the film’s only shot at a nomination (let alone a win!). Still it’s unconventional plot mechanics and fantastic buzz might win over voters. Nonetheless other awards have not been doing many favors to the film, so a total Oscar takeoff seems unlikely.

A Flick and Flack Oscar central will soon be on the website, where you’ll find more articles by us and others! So check back soon. And tune in to find out the real nominations, not my silly guesses on January 10th, this coming Thursday.


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