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2013 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: One Year Out

This is an annual rite of passage that I both love and hate. I love it because it’s fun to look ahead at films I can’t wait to see. I also love it because, frankly, it’s great SEO (2013 Oscar Predictions, 2013 Best Picture Predictions, 2013 Oscar Movies).

On the other hand, I hate it because it’s so damn stupid. Last year at this time, no one even knew a movie called The Artist existed. And for the most part, the movies people thought would be big Oscar plays were disappointments.

But alas, here I am with a list of movies I think could score big time next year. I’ve ranked them in order of likelihood for a Best Picture nomination on the assumption that no major rule changes go into effect. And below that (as well as along the right rail), I’ve got nominee and winner predictions for the six major categories—Best Picture, Best Director, and the acting categories.

What will be the next The Artist or Hugo? Here are some possibilities:

10.) Brave
Pixar seems poised for a comeback after the monumental disappointment that was Cars 2. Brave is the studio’s first original story since Up (a Best Picture nominee), and the injection of fresh blood in directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman and star power (voice actors Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, and Kelly Macdonald) hopefully equals a great movie.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

9.) Life of Pi
Ang Lee is a tremendous director, though his name doesn’t always mean Oscar. Taking Woodstock proved that three years ago. But his latest (which is scheduled for a very Oscar friendly December release) is based off a beloved book, has a very unusual premise, will need great technical features to succeed, and sounds like it could be a real tearjerker.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Visual Effects

8.) Untitled Bin Laden Film
Last time director Kathryn Bigelow tackled the War on Terror, The Hurt Locker happened. For her follow-up, she’s focusing on Seal Team Six. No word on just how action-oriented this one (which is still untitled, though once known as Kill Bin Laden) will be, but anything Bigelow does at this point should be in the Oscar conversation—especially this far out.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

7.) The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann last released a film in 2008. It was Australia, and this far in advance, everyone expected it to clean up at the Oscars the following year. It didn’t even come close, actually. But The Great Gatsby strikes a different chord. Yes, it could fall flat on its face, but the cast is extremely strong (Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire), and the Christmas Day release speaks of a studio’s confidence.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Makeup, Best Picture

6.) Argo
It’s time for Ben Affleck to join the big leagues, and this might be the project to do it. Based on a true story, Argo follows a group of CIA agents tasked with rescuing a group of hostages trapped in Iran. All eyes will definitely be on Affleck, as he’s directing, writing, and starring in the film, but don’t count out Bryan Cranston, who feels poised for some recognition after a few great supporting roles over the last year or so.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor

5.) Hyde Park on Hudson
This year’s The King’s Speech? Might be. The film boasts a familiar but relatively inexperienced director (Morning Glory’s Roger Michell), a historical subject (FDR) and a potentially towering lead performance (courtesy of Bill Murray). The only thing missing is that inspirational hook that sent Tom Hooper’s film over the top in 2010. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t present; we don’t know enough about it yet. Based on what we do know, however, it’s a contender.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress

4.) Les Miserables
Speaking of Tom Hooper, his The King’s Speech follow-up is this supremely baity musical starring some hot young stars, as well as a few of Oscar’s favorite sons and daughters—Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Sascha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Makeup, Best Original Song, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress

3.) The Dark Knight Rises
If The Dark Knight couldn’t get a Best Picture nomination, its sequel probably won’t, right? Well, The Dark Knight came out in a year with only five Best Picture nominations, and if the rules had been what they are now, there’s little doubt it would have been in. There’s also sentiment on this film’s side—it’s Nolan’s last go-around in the series, and the previous film’s snub was one of the most infamous in recent memory. All this speaks in the film’s favor, and even though it’s highly unlikely a third film in a superhero franchise can win Best Picture, it definitely can and probably will be nominated. And even if it doesn’t, it’ll absolutely be a major technical contender.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects

2.) The Master
Five years ago, director Paul Thomas Anderson broke into the Oscar conversation for the first time in his young but prolific career with the epic neo-Western There Will Be Blood. His long-awaited return sounds like it could be similar in a number of ways—including a potentially marvelous lead performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a Scientology-esque religion. What this film has that Anderson’s last didn’t: The backing of “King” Harvey Weinstein, who no doubt has a third consecutive Best Picture win on his mind.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress

1.) Lincoln
Prediction: This doesn’t win Best Picture. By most accounts, it’s the frontrunner, but this far out, the frontrunner NEVER win (too high of expectations). But how can one not put Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln on a list like this. It has absolutely everything a big Oscar movie needs: a big-time leading performance (Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular President), an all-star cast, a master director, some real talent behind the scenes, and a juicy, Oscar friendly subject matter.

Possible 2013 Oscar nominations: Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Makeup, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress

Best Picture
Argo
The Dark Knight Rises
Hyde Park on Hudson
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Life of Pi
The Master (predicted winner)

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master (predicted winner)
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
Roger Michell, Hyde Park on Hudson
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Surrogate
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson (predicted winner)

Best Actress
Helen Hunt, The Surrogate
Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson (predicted winner)
Julianne Moore, The English Teacher
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed

Best Supporting Actor
Bryan Cranston, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained (predicted winner)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lincoln
Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages
David Strathairn, Lincoln

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master (predicted winner)
Samantha Barks, Les Miserables
Sally Field, Lincoln
Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook
Kerry Washington, Django Unchained

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