I remember my first “Oscar Party” in 1979. Coming Home and The Deer Hunter were the top films. I don’t remember who hosted, and I know there was no award for Best Animated Feature, but I’m sure controversy still played a part.
Oscar – Best Actress
I think Cate Blanchett will take this one for her role as Jasmine French in Blue Jasmine. With a SAG, Critics Choice, and Golden Globe under her belt, in this role, Blanchett’s skills are drawn to a fine focus. The story seems stripped from the headlines; a wealthy socialite suddenly caught up in a tragic downward spiral. While the controversy over director, Woody Allen’s past molestation charges casts a shadow, Blanchett is handling it well. And after all, we can’t ignore the reason for the award – great acting. This is her tour de fource and she deserves recognition. Amy Adams is incredible in American Hustle, but is unfortunately gaining practice as a nominee running against some equally amazing and talented women. She is associated with three films in 2013, but has more coming soon and will no doubt have another chance waiting in the wings..
Oscar – Best Supporting Actress
While Jennifer Lawrence appears to be on a roll, winning last year for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, and being nominated for her performance in this year’s American Hustle, I believe 2013 is newcomer Lupita Nyong’o year. In 12 Years a Slave, Nyong’o fills the role of Patsey with spirit, strength and dignity. To be cast as Patsey was a blessing, but Nyong’o took it beyond blessing and immersed herself in the character. She brought the pages of Solomon Northrup’s book and his memories of Patsey to living, breathing, bleeding and dreaming life. The story is one to test the spirit and faith, but Nyong’o doesn’t turn from it or try to change the raw vibrancy of the part to something softer. She deserves to be honored for the grace and soul she has shared.
Oscar – Best Animated Feature
No question, the winner is Frozen. While Disney also had a hand in the success of The Wind Rises, I believe Frozen, a original Disney story complete with engaging characters (human and animal), glorious illustrations, and beautiful music, will win the Oscar this year. Frozen is everywhere, and gets a thumbs up from the audiences, as evidenced by Forbes Magazine listing it as the highest earning non-sequel animated film of all time, expected to top $1 Billion on earnings worldwide. Disney may have taken a risk with an unknown story, but it was a calculated risk following a tried and true formula, and will no doubt pay off on Oscar night.
Oscar – Best Costume Design
OK, so once long ago, I was “Costume Designer” in a summer stock theater. I get hung up on the costumes no matter the film. This year is tough though. Should I pick Catherine Martin, award winner for her work in Moulin Rouge! and who stuns us once again in The Great Gatsby, or Patricia Norris, who’s been around for years designing for TV, movies, and most recently, 12 Years a Slave? 12 Years a Slave is the film everyone’s talking about, and while I’m a sucker for a flashy period piece, especially from the 20’s, I know that the costuming in 12 Years a Slave is also outstanding. I would love to see Norris take the Oscar, both for her incredible work in “12 Years”, and her entire body of work. But I believe when costumes increase the depth of the character, they deserve an award, and for me that’s Catherine Martin and The Great Gatsby.
I won’t be hosting an Oscar Party this year, but will definitely be watching to see if my predictions are correct!