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80th annual Academy Awards: Who will win, who should win

Best Adapted Screenplay
Who will win: “Lincoln”
Who should win: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

“Lincoln” will win quite a few Oscars simply because it’s designed to win Oscars. It’s a biopic, with a villain(s) that lacks moral ambiguity, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Steven Spielberg. It will steamroll the Academy. While “Argo” and “Silver Linings Playbook” are fantastic films with absolutely amazing stories, they don’t compete with the depth and beauty of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” “Life of Pi” is only on the list to get an even five.

Best Original Screenplay
Who will win: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Who should win: “Moonrise Kingdom”

The Academy does not hate edgy movies, but they like a certain type of edgy movie, and “Zero Dark Thirty” fits into the dark protagonist type of film they like, as well as having a villain that lacks moral ambiguity. Flight will certainly tempt them, but it simply isn’t as good of a screenplay as “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Amour,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” or “Django Unchained.” I could have easily picked any of the other choices for who should win, I chose “Moonrise Kingdom” only because I felt the unsettling atmosphere of the film that still maintained a whimsical nature came more from the script than anything else, whereas the other films are primarily the agent of direction or acting.

Best Supporting Actress
Who will win: Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
Who should win: Amy Adams – “The Master”

Anne Hathaway’s big scene in “Les Miserables” was completely set for the purpose of winning her an Oscar. The “I Dreamed a Dream” scene was a short burst of incredible passion and a dramatic amount of emotion. However, her role lacks power outside of that single scene. As an entire performance, Amy Adams did a much better job at giving a supporting character a big role in the movie. However, I could also see Sally Field winning simply because she’s in “Lincoln.”

Best Supporting Actor
Who will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
Who should win: Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

Philip Seymour Hoffman is a highly recognizable veteran actor appearing in what is mostly an Oscar film that will be lacking in actual awards. Philip Seymour Hoffman was incredible, but he will be winning this award more for the sake of the movie than for his own role. Waltz is becoming a force in film acting, despite his roles being mostly restricted to a single director. It’s certainly possible Waltz will win (he won a best supporting actor Oscar for “Inglorious Basterds”), but on the whole, the Academy doesn’t like the provocative style of Tarantino and tend not to give awards to his films.

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Best Actress
Who will win: Quvenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Who should win: Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

All of the nominated Actresses are well deserving, but Quvenzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva blew the stars away. Both these roles and both these movies are among the most powerful I have ever seen in film. I believe that Riva’s role as a dying woman was slightly more emotional and impactful, but I do think that Wallis deserves the award as well, and the fact that she was just six years old during the filming will edge the award towards her. Hopefully, both will have success in the future, as they are both stunningly great actresses.

Best Actor
Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”

As I said before, the Academy is in rapture over “Lincoln,” and they would literally throw awards at the movie if they could. However, in this case I can’t argue with it. The only other nominee who comes even close to Day-Lewis is Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master.” Both method actors are almost unidentifiable in their role, yet their presence is extraordinary. Daniel Day-Lewis beats Phoenix because of how well you feel that he fills the role of Abraham Lincoln as a real life role model and master politician.

Best Director
Who will win: Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
Who should win: Michael Haneke – “Amour”

Since “Lincoln” was an obvious collective effort to rig the Oscars without actually rigging the Oscars, it’s a pretty safe bet that Spielberg will win best director. On the other hand, Haneke is the best choice to win. “Amour,” despite its incredible screenplay, powerful story, and preposterously good acting, would be half the movie it was were it not for the direction. Some of the unsettling shots reminded me of “Paranormal Activity,” which was absolutely perfect for this movie. The camerawork and cinematography are brilliant, and made the movie complete. Without Haneke, we probably would have never heard of “Amour.”

Best Picture
Who will win: “Lincoln”
Who should win: “Amour”

“Amour” will be remembered as one of the best films of all time, certainly in the top 50, and probably will be a peer of “Citizen Kane” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” All the other nominees (except for “Life of Pi”) are great movies, but none of them compare to the quality and style of “Amour.” It will probably be completely overlooked in favor of “Lincoln” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and dismissed as a token foreign language film nomination, but the beauty and quality of “Amour” cannot be overstated. I highly recommend seeing “Amour” over any of the other films even if the Academy doesn’t. If “Amour” wasn’t a nominee, I would probably choose “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

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