This Sunday is every cinephile’s Super Bowl. People will throw parties, invite friends over to talk about the on-screen action and even make bets. That’s right, in many circles the Academy Awards are just as big, if not bigger, than the NFL championship.
So who will be the big Oscar winners this year? With such an evenly matched Best Picture field and the wins in the Golden Globes and other races, I turned to Kimball Bayles, owner of Kimball’s Peak Three Theater, for assistance.
The Biggest Wild Card
Terry Terrones: Aside from first-time host Seth MacFarlane, it has to be “Argo.” The film took home several trophies at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, but Ben Affleck’s Best Director snub may indicate that academy voters don’t view his film with nearly as much enthusiasm. It could win Best Picture or just win several minor categories instead.
Kimball Bayles: The last film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination was “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990, but there is a passionate groundswell of support for Ben Affleck. Smart money is on “Argo,” if the academy comes to its senses.
Terrones: “Argo” seemed to be forgotten about since so many Oscar contenders were released after it. However, after winning so many recent awards, it proved it just may be poised to take home some hardware.
Bayles: You could argue Ben and “Argo” for this category for the above reasons, but I’m watching “Silver Linings” build at Kimball’s. Also, it has earned nominations in each of the acting categories, the first film to do so since “Reds” in 1981. And don’t forget the clout of one Mr. Harvey Weinstein.
Terrones: I’m not sure if it’s due to some of the controversy caused by the use of torture in the film or something else, but “Zero Dark Thirty” seems to have lost some mojo after appearing to be an Oscar favorite early on.
Bayles: I agree with Terry here; “Zero” has been lost in the voting maze of the academy. Some blame the politics, but frankly there just isn’t any buzz on “Zero.”
Nominees: “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Terrones: This is a great group of films, but I’m going to go with my heart and hope that “Les Misérables” wins. Jean Valjean’s rollercoaster life was so emotionally compelling. Of course, I’m a big sap.
Bayles: I’m hoping the academy sees the error of its ways here and “Argo” wins. Out of all the nominees, it is easily the best film. Affleck could become the new Bruce Beresford, the last director not to be nominated to see his film win. But in the real world, it will probably be Mr. Lincoln.
Nominees: Michael Haneke (“Amour”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)
Terrones: Spielberg (and screenwriter Tony Kushner) did what no politician ever could — turn the ratification of an amendment into a fascinating story. That said, I’m going with David O. Russell, who did something even more impressive. He made me actually enjoy a Bradley Cooper movie, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Bayles: If someone had a clue at the academy, hands down it would be Ben Affleck. In lieu of that choice, the Oscar will most likely go to Mr. Spielberg for his historical opus.
Nominees: Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”)
Terrones: There’s no way I can pick against Jennifer Lawrence, who showed her range as a flirty, angry and emotionally damaged widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.” I can’t think of a more talented actress under 30. She’s this generation’s Meryl Streep.
Bayles: I’ve been impressed with Jennifer Lawrence ever since we played “Winter’s Bone.” She’s the real deal. Jessica Chastain could be a contender, but the way “Silver Linings” is rising, I have to go with Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Amy Adams “(The Master”), Sally Field (“Lincoln”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables”), Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”), Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”)
Terrones: Anne Hathaway was brilliant in “Les Misérables” and is the likely winner, but I’m going to go with my gut and pick Sally Field. She was fantastic in “Lincoln,” and respect for her long career may just generate enough votes to pull off a win.
Bayles: I think Anne Hathaway owns this category, even though she has only about 15 minutes of screen time. Sally Field is a definite contender, though.
Nominees: Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), Denzel Washington (“Flight”)
Terrones: Can this award really go to anyone else besides Daniel Day-Lewis? The man is the greatest actor of this generation. The man was so immersed in the role that he made me truly believe he was Abraham Lincoln.
Bayles: This is one of the easier predictions, of course. It’s got to be Daniel Day-Lewis for his brilliant portrayal of the 16th president. He is in a league of his own and easily deserves the Oscar.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Alan Arkin (“Argo”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”), Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”)
Terrones: I loved Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained.” The man delivers dialogue so smoothly I’d pay to listen to him read a phone book. Although Tommy Lee Jones is virtually typecast as himself in “Lincoln,” I think Jones will take the Oscar.
Bayles: I’m going with my friend De Niro, who’s gone since 1981’s “Raging Bull” without an Oscar. He surprised everyone with his role in “Silver Linings,” reminding us that he can really act, not just spoof himself in bad comedies or collect paychecks.