Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Tickets For... Our Oscars Analysis & Predictions: Best Actor & Best Actress

Andrew: Hello readers! We're back with day four of our analysis and predictions for this Sunday's 85th Academy Awards! Yesterday we discussed the supporting half of the actingcategories, and today we're going to tackle the lead acting categories. Just like yesterday, Sarah, one of these categories is far more of a certainty than the other one is, so let's get that one out of the way first. 


The nominees for Best Actor are:

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

A: Okay, Sarah, it's pretty obvious to people who have been following award season that there's only one nominee here who should be expecting hear his name be read from a card on Sunday. And that is...?

S: Bleh, Daniel Day-Lewis. Yeah, he's probably the best actor of our age and the fact that he apparently didn't break character the whole time of filming is admirable, I suppose. But this was the most boring characters of the year! Yeah, Lincoln was an amazing president and did so many good things for our country, but a three-hour movie on it?! Unnecessary. I think what bothered me the most about this character was that he just seemed to ramble and drone on. I think it actually made one of our greatest presidents look a little foolish at times. I would love to see Bradley Cooper win this one as this was his best movie ever.

A: I'm right there with you. I was impressed with Daniel Day-Lewis's ability to totally become his character, but I wasn't blown away by it. Like you I was far more impressed with Bradley Cooper's performance, and in any other year he might be the front-runner. But as it is, Day-Lewis has won every award under the sun for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln and he is literally the surest thing in the whole show. So yeah, I predict Day-Lewis wins Best Actor. Going out on a limb, I know.

S: Yes, I have to predict Daniel Day-Lewis will win, too. Ugh. Lame. Know what would be funny? If they gave the award to Joaquin Phoenix just out of spite!

Ok, moving on...


The nominees for Best Actress are:

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

A: The Best Actress category is another acting category that is full of competition and fun trivia. For example, Quvenzhane Wallis (pronounced “kwa ven jenay”) is the youngest actress to ever be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, and Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest actress to ever be nominated for the award. And then you have a very real and very strong competition between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain for the award, with Riva a close third in my opinion. What's your take on this category?

S: So this is a tough one. I think that the two front-runners are pretty obvious in Lawrence and Chastain. They have both won awards for their roles this year so we can't really go by that. It's definitely not a sweep for either lady. Lawrence gave a powerhouse performance in Silver Linings Playbook and it could possibly be the defining role of her career. Her grieving widow is unnerving with a lot of quirky and plays off Cooper perfectly. I loved that it was different than anything else we have seen her in. 

Chastain on the other hand gave a very different performance. It was restrained and calculating. Compared to her role as Celia in The Help which she was Oscar-nominated for, this one was much more Oscar-typical. I loved watching this CIA agent go through ten years of searching for a man and the subtle way she starts to get obsessed as the years go by. It was also impressive because she didn't have a ton of long dialogue, she was mainly talked to and that was pretty cool.

Who do you think the two front-runners are?

A: For the most part I completely agree with your assessment of Chastain and Lawrence. I think they are, by far, the two leading candidates in this category. Wallis and Watts are just happy to be here. I think Riva will get some support because by all accounts Amour is all about her character facing death. But it's really Chastain vs. Lawrence for the exact reasons you stated.

So between the two, who do you think SHOULD win and who do you think WILL win?

S: I really have no idea who will win. They were both nominated for very different reasons, so at this point I really think it's anybody's game! I think Chastain should win but there's a very good chance that Lawrence will take home the prize. It's a close race and both of these women deserve Oscars in their bathrooms during their careers, but for this one I’m going to predict Lawrence wins.

A: If I had a vote, I'd vote for Lawrence in a heartbeat. Chastain was great, don't get me wrong, but Lawrence was electrifying. So I think Lawrence should win and will win.

Okay readers, that’s all for this penultimate edition of our 85th Academy Awards analysis and predictions! Come back tomorrow when we discuss and then predict which of the nine Best Picture nominees will take home the big prize. We’ll also be posting our full predictions that will include the ones we’ve discussed this week plus all the technical categories.

S: And don’t forget we’ll be LIVE-BLOGGING the Oscars on Sunday night! I’ll have a work meeting that night so I might join a little late, but Andrew will be starting up at little before show-time, so come back Sunday night for that! And thanks for reading!

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