Oscar Preview – Best Picture and Director

By D.G. McCabe

Now we’ve come down to the last two awards that will be given out tomorrow night – Best Picture and Best Director.

Best Director (Michael Haneke, Amour; Steven Spielberg, Lincoln; Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Ang Lee, Life of Pi; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook)

Of course most of the talk of this category revolved around who wasn’t nominated (Ben Affleck, Katherine Bigelow).  Affleck won the DGA award, so forget using that as a gauge.  It’s really between Lee and Spielberg for the award.  Russell is a bit of a dark-horse pick, Zeitlin is too green, and Haneke doesn’t have enough notoriety in Hollywood circles.  My gut tells me Spielberg wins his third Best Director Oscar slightly over Lee winning his second.

Best Picture (Argo, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty)

Let’s make this fun and take these one at a time.  Argo has been winning everything in sight and is the clear favorite, especially after Affleck was snubbed in the Best Director category.  Foreign language films don’t win Best Picture, so that takes care of Amour.  Beasts of the Southern Wild has a “honor just to be nominated” feel to it.  Lincoln could upset Argo, but I feel like the buzz around the film has subsided.  Les Miserables is fun but, just like the musical, a lot of professional musicians/actors, etc. don’t seem to care for it.  Django Unchained is too much like other Tarantino films, until he does something unique or different from his previous work I don’t see him winning a Best Picture Oscar in the near future.  Life of Pi is a bit of a sleeper, but I don’t think there’s enough buzz around it.  Silver Linings Playbook has made a late run as a potential upset winner, but I think its buzz peaked too late.  Zero Dark Thirty has gotten a bad rap from a lot of people that haven’t event seen it, so even if it’s worthy of Best Picture it won’t get it.

So that leaves Argo or Lincoln.  I’ve seen both films, and while Lincoln is a fantastic film (and probably should win in my opinion), I’d say Argo wins the big prize tomorrow.

(c) D.G. McCabe