2013 Oscar Preview – The Acting Categories

By D.G. McCabe

And so we have the four acting categories.  While, unlike the technical categories, voters may not pay deference to the technical guild awards, actors represent a huge segment of academy voters, so the Screen Actors Guild isn’t a bad place to start when looking for a gauge on who’s going to win.  Anyway here’s my preview:

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

It’s hard to beat Daniel Day-Lewis when he’s up for something, and this year is no different.  He’s been cleaning up this award season and no one’s been talking about any of the other nominees as having much of a chance.  Let’s face it – he’s probably going to win.

Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook; Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty; Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Naomi Watts, The Impossible; Emmanuelle Riva, Amour)

Also cleaning up this awards season is Jennifer Lawrence.  Everyone else except Jessica Chastain has an “honor just to be nominated” feel and Zero Dark Thirty will probably get snubbed overall on Sunday night.  Once again, we have a clear favorite.

Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams, The Master; Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables; Sally Field, Lincoln; Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook)

This preview is getting a bit dull.  I just don’t think anyone other than Anne Hathaway  has much of a chance here.  If there was a ton of momentum for a sweep by Silver Linings Playbook I could see an upset, but there doesn’t seem to be that kind Return of the King style uber-buzz this year.  Hathaway is the safe choice.

Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin, Argo; Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln; Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook; Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Master; Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)

Finally!  We have something to talk about!  Argo has a lot of momentum, the buzz around Lincoln seems to be dissipating, and DeNiro and Hoffman are legends.  The only one I couldn’t see winning this category is Waltz – there just isn’t enough talk about Django Unchained to make me think that he’ll get the upset.  Jones won the SAG award, but I’m going to go with Arkin here.  If Argo wins best picture it’s going to take some other high profile awards too, and this is the only acting category with a nomination.

(c) 2013 D.G. McCabe