In less than a month's time the red carpet will be rolled out for the 85th Annual Academy Awards, and after the Screen Actors Guild Awards last Sunday, the frontrunners for the Academy Awards are becoming clearer and clearer. Predictions of who or what will win the Oscar in the top six categories have been argued and altered for many months now, however now as the award show nears my picks are now concrete.
Will Win/Should Win: Argo. Ben Affleck's intensely suspenseful drama about the CIA agent who came up with an elaborate plan to rescue six Americans trapped in Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis is the best film of the year. The film manages to shed light on a topic that many people either have not heard of before or have not thought about in a while, and does it with taste. The film blends humor, drama and suspense to create an amazing cinematic experience for its audience, while also informing them about what one man did to save six.
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Will Win/Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln . In Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis does not merely portray Abraham Lincoln, he becomes him. Day-Lewis fully embodies Lincoln's mannerisms whether through the way he walks or how he talks, Day-Lewis brings a familiar face to one of America's most beloved presidents. While Day-Lewis has been nominated numerous times and won an Oscar twice (My Left Foot (1989) and There Will Be Blood (2008)) his tremendous performance of a president struggling to not only keep his country united, but his family as well, tops every list this awards season.
Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Will Win/Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. While there has been much speculation over which actress, Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) will win the Oscar, this past Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards elevated Jennifer Lawrence as the frontrunner for the Academy Awards. Her performance of a mentally unstable widowed woman struggling to come to terms with herself and life is breathtaking. The deep emotional levels she hits with her character are tremendous, especially for an actress only 22 years old. Lawrence's humor, raw emotion and pure acting talent are just a few things audience's take away from Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln.
Should Win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master. While Tommy Lee Jone's performance as the Congressman Thaddeus Stevens is tremendous, Phillip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of a deeply passionate leader of a philosophical movement was by far the best performance by a supporting actor this year. Never for one moment do you think Hoffman is merely playing a role in the film -- you see him transform into this powerful leader that will stop at nothing to spread his message and to help a deeply disturbed World War II veteran. Although Hoffman was merely a supporting actor in the film, he stole the scene with is mesmerizing performance.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Will Win/Should Win: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables. Hathaway's brilliant performance of factory worker and single mother turned prostitute Fantine was no doubt the best performance by a supporting actress this year. Although she has a very short amount of screen time, Hathaway dominates the screen time she gets and leaves a tremendous impression on the film, especially after her beautifully haunting rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream." Hathaway not only has a beautiful singing voice, but she conveys her characters emotions so breathtakingly that audiences have no choice but to be in awe.
Will Win/Should Win: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. Spielberg does it again; he creates another beautiful cinematic masterpiece this time with Lincoln. From the shouting matches in Congress, to Lincoln's struggles with his family, to Lincoln's intimate meetings with his cabinet, Spielberg captures it all while allowing the audience feel as if they are sitting in the room with the historical figures on-screen. Although very few war sequences were included in the film, Spielberg still manages to capture the audience's attention and never let go as he takes them through the riveting story of President Abraham Lincoln's tumultuous last months in office.