Oscars tonight. Most of the big awards have clear favorites, but there are a few categories--especially Best Picture--where it looks like a fight (mostly between Lincoln and Argo, though with the vote-counting methods a dark horse could sneak through), so the evening might be pretty interesting.
Anyway, there are some decent nominees I'll be rooting for, even though most will lose. Here are my votes (in categories where I've seen enough of the nominees) if I were in the Academy:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
MY PICK: Zero Dark Thirty
"Amour" Michael Haneke
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi" Ang Lee
"Lincoln" Steven Spielberg
"Silver Linings Playbook" David O. Russell
MY PICK: Ang Lee (due to lack of competition--I can name a number of better jobs of direction this year not nominated)
Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"
Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"
Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"
Denzel Washington in "Flight"
MY PICK: Daniel Day-Lewis (who hasn't always deserved it in the past)
Alan Arkin in "Argo"
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"
MY PICK: Alan Arkin (the others performances in this category are generally overrated)
Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"
MY PICK: Jessica Chastain. Not a great performance, but she did what she had to do.
Amy Adams in "The Master"
Sally Field in "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway in "Les Misérables"
Helen Hunt in "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver in "Silver Linings Playbook"
MY PICK: Helen Hunt in a comeback (and is better than she's been before)
"Brave" Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
"Frankenweenie" Tim Burton
"ParaNorman" Sam Fell and Chris Butler
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" Peter Lord
"Wreck-It Ralph" Rich Moore
MY PICK: Franenweenie (where Tim Burton returns to his roots)
"A Royal Affair" Denmark
"War Witch" Canada
MY PICK: A Royal Affair
"Argo" Screenplay by Chris Terrio
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
"Life of Pi" Screenplay by David Magee
"Lincoln" Screenplay by Tony Kushner
"Silver Linings Playbook" Screenplay by David O. Russell
MY PICK: Tony Kushner. Getting across a fairly complex political battle without being completely boring takes some doing.
"Amour," Written by Michael Haneke
"Django Unchained," Written by Quentin Tarantino
"Flight," Written by John Gatins
"Moonrise Kingdom," Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
"Zero Dark Thirty," Written by Mark Boal
MY PICK: Mark Boal
"Anna Karenina," Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
"Les Misérables," Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
"Life of Pi," Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
"Lincoln," Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson
MY PICK: Life Of Pi
"Anna Karenina," Seamus McGarvey
"Django Unchained," Robert Richardson
"Life of Pi," Claudio Miranda
"Lincoln," Janusz Kaminski
"Skyfall," Roger Deakins
MY PICK: Life Of Pi
"Argo" William Goldenberg
"Life of Pi" Tim Squyres
"Lincoln" Michael Kahn
"Silver Linings Playbook" Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
"Zero Dark Thirty" Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
MY PICK: Zero Dark Thirty, though I don't see how Argo can lose.
"Hitchcock," Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
"Les Misérables," Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
My Pick: Les Miserables
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
"Life of Pi," Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
"Marvel's The Avengers," Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
"Prometheus," Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
"Snow White and the Huntsman," Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
My Pick: Life Of Pi--gee I'm giving this film a lot of awards when I didn't even like it that much.