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2013 Oscar Preview: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

February 24, 2013  |  4:56pm

For a while, it looked like Argo was the film to beat. Then Lincoln came along and it was a two-film fight. But once Zero Dark Thirty hit theaters, it made Argo look a bit light, a bit frothy, and it took over as the favorite. But the debate over the film’s treatment of aggressive interrogation techniques soon endangered its frontrunner status (we came down on the side of Bigelow and company here). A few outside-the-box-thinking publications (ahem) proclaimed Life of Pi to be the year’s best film. And in all the confusion, there’s even word that Harvey Weinstein might pull a rabbit out of the hat for Silver Linings Playbook. On Sunday night, the wildest Oscar season in years comes to a close. Here’s our best guess as to where everything will stand once all the confetti has flown.

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Production Design
Who’s Nominated:
Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration) – Anna Karenina
Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration) – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration) – Les Misérables
David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) – Life Of Pi
Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration) – Lincoln

Who Will Win: Greenwood/Spencer, Anna Karenina
Who Should Win: Greenwood/Spencer, Anna Karenina

Comments:
Anna Karenina has many (noble) failings as a film, but it’s hard to deny that it’s the most gorgeous film of the year.

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Cinematography
Who’s Nominated:
Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
Claudio Miranda, Life Of Pi
Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Roger Deakins, Skyfall

Who Will Win: Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Who Should Win: Claudio Miranda, Life Of Pi

Comments:
The consensus seems to be that Miranda wins here for Life of Pi, and indeed he turned in our favorite cinematography of the year. But something tells us that in a year without a runaway favorite, the Academy may choose to finally reward Roger Deakins, possibly the finest cinematographer alive. It must be a sense of continuing embarrassment that they’ve never found him worthy before.

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Costume Design
Who’s Nominated:
Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado, Les Misérables
Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood, Snow White And The Huntsman

Who Will Win: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Who Should Win: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina

Comments:
To repeat: Anna Karenina has many (noble) failings as a film, but it’s hard to deny that it’s the most gorgeous film of the year.

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Documentary (Short Subject)
Who’s Nominated:
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays At Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

Who Will Win: Inocente

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Film Editing
Who’s Nominated:
William Goldenberg, Argo
Tim Squyres, Life Of Pi
Michael Kahn, Lincoln
Jay Cassidy And Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
Dylan Tichenor And William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

Who Will Win: William Goldenberg, Argo
Who Should Win: William Goldenberg, Argo

Comments:
Goldenberg deserves this award for the first fifteen minutes of Argo alone. There is the distinct possibility that Argo wins some awards we’d rather it not win tonight, but this isn’t one of them. He and Tichenor also deserve credit for their incredible, and in some ways even more impressive, work on Zero Dark Thirty, where they had a less traditional plot to guide them.

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Foreign Language Film
Who’s Nominated:
Amour (Austria)
Kon-tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)

Who Will Win: Amour (Austria)
Who Should Win: Amour (Austria)

Comments:
Amour has an outside shot at winning Best Picture (it’s nominated). It would be a shocking upset if it didn’t win Best Foreign Language Film, but the category is strong this year.

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Makeup and Hairstyling
Who’s Nominated:
Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, Hitchcock
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Misérables

Who Will Win: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Misérables
Who Should Win: Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Comments:
Overall we liked Les Miserables much more than The Hobbit, but let’s give credit where credit is due—amazing work on the residents of Middle Earth.

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Original Score
Who’s Nominated:
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Mychael Danna, Life Of Pi
John Williams, Lincoln
Thomas Newman, Skyfall

Who Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Who Should Win: Mychael Danna, Life Of Pi
Who Really Should Win: Johnny Greenwood, The Master

Comments:
It’s been a Desplat kind of year (he also scored Zero Dark Thirty and Moonrise Kingdom), and he’s overdue. But the real star this year was Johnny Greenwood’s eerie score for The Master, which somehow wasn’t even nominated.

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Original Song
Who’s Nominated:
“Before My Time” From Chasing Ice
(Music and Lyrics: J. Ralph)
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” From Ted
(Music: Walter Murphy; Lyrics: Seth Macfarlane)
“Pi’s Lullaby” From Life Of Pi
(Music: Mychael Danna; Lyrics: Bombay Jayashri)
“Skyfall” From Skyfall
(Music and Lyrics: Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
“Suddenly” From Les Misérables
(Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil)

Who Will Win: “Skyfall” From Skyfall
(Music and Lyrics: Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
Who Should Win: “Suddenly” From Les Misérables
(Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil)

Comments:
“Skyfall” is a truly great song, and we won’t begrudge it winning. But a new Schönberg/Boublil collaboration is like a gift from the gods, and “Suddenly” doesn’t disappoint.

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Short Film (Animated)
Who’s Nominated:
Adam And Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson In ‘The Longest Daycare’
Paperman

Who Will Win: Paperman

Comments: This delightful tale has no dialogue but plays like a happy Missed Connections story of love in the big city.

Live Action Short.jpg
Short Film (Live Action)
Who’s Nominated:
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death Of A Shadow (“Dood Van Een Schaduw”)
Henry

Who Will Win: Curfew

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Sound Editing
Who’s Nominated:
Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van Der Ryn, Argo
Wylie Stateman, Django Unchained
Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton, Life Of Pi
Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall
Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

Who Will Win: Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty
Who Should Win: Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall

Comments:
The only likely Zero Dark Thirty award that we would have given away to another film. Skyfall was a bit overrated as a serious film, but it sounded wonderful.

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Sound Mixing
Who’s Nominated:
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia, Argo
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, Les Misérables
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin, Life Of Pi
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins, Lincoln
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson, Skyfall

Who Will Win: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, Les Misérables
Who Should Win: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, Les Misérables

Comments:
Skyfall and Life of Pi are worthy competitors, but the primary thing many casual fans know about Les Miserables is the groundbreaking way in which it was recorded. Mixing an orchestra after the fact to match vocal tracks is an amazing feat.

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