Jan. 16 2013 11:43 AM

Our absolutely brilliant choices for the top awards

Daniel Day-Lewis and Lincoln should win big.

The Golden Globes are behind us, and the Oscars are just a few weeks away (Feb. 24). I've looked at the nominations announced last week and done my best to give you a crib sheet for your Oscar pool.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Who will win: Tony Kushner agonized over his Lincoln screenplay for years, eventually crafting a complex look at legislation and the nation's greatest president. Who should win: The story behind Argo is a great idea for a movie. Credit Chris Terrio for taking a terrific idea and running with it. Dark horse: Don't count out Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook. Here's where voters can give them some love without giving them Best Picture.

Best Original Screenplay: Who will win: The screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom, by director Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, is whimsical and clever, taking audiences back to happier times. Who should win: The backlash against Zero Dark Thirty will probably carry over to this category, even though Mark Boal's screenplay is epic, nuanced, intricate and had to be adapted in the midst of shooting, after the real-life killing of Osama bin Laden. Dark horse: Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is about 20 minutes too long, but his dialogue crackles like no other.

Best Supporting Actress: Who will win: Anne Hathaway is the best part of Les Miserables, and the Academy just loves her. Who should win: This one is totally justified. Hathaway is the only actor whose work in Les Mis transcends the live performance, giving the fairly sterile adaptation a degree of humanity. Dark horse: Helen Hunt has kept a low profile in recent years, but she bares it all in The Sessions.

Best Supporting Actor: Who will win: It's hard to see anyone but Tommy Lee Jones winning. Christoph Waltz won the same award while working with the same director (Tarantino) a few years ago. Who should win: Waltz is even better in Django Unchained than he was in Inglourious Basterds, taking what could have been a caricature and turning it into the movie's heart. Dark horse: There isn't one. Two-horse race.

Best Actress: Who will win: It doesn't get much more appealing than Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, in which she plays a young widow who puts her emotional money on the mentally ill Bradley Cooper. Who should win: There was no better piece of acting this year than Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. During the course of a decade, her CIA analyst grows into an angry, insubordinate, socially awkward pit bull whose single-minded dedication to her work leaves her friendless and leads the world to bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. Dark horse: It'd be great to see the award go to Emmanuelle Riva, whose performance in Amour is savagely heartbreaking.

Best Actor: Who will win: This is the slam-dunk of them all. Daniel Day-Lewis brings Lincoln to life and makes him so great that even his political conniving and manipulation makes sense. Who should win: No one else comes close. Dark horse: If the voters are tired of rubber-stamping DD-L, they could look to Bradley Cooper, who does the best work of his career in Silver Linings Playbook.

Best Director: Who will win: Steven Spielberg's biopic hit all the right notes, and he was ably aided by a terrific production design, solid cinematography and Day-Lewis. Who should win: How about Kathryn Bigelow, whose Zero Dark Thirty is hands down the best-directed film of the year? Oh, wait, she didn't get nominated. Dark horse: The biggest upset we're likely to see is if the Academy crowns Benh Zeitlin Best Director for Beasts. And it could happen.

Best Picture: Who will win: Since Bigelow and Ben Affleck weren't even given Best Director nominations, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo probably aren't going to win. And since those would have been Lincoln's main competition, well, you get the idea. Who should win: Sure, the torture sequences in Zero Dark Thirty generated controversy, but it's the best-made film of the year, absolutely enormous in scope, and it's generated real debate about our country's very recent history. Dark horse: Once again, the only film that has a shot of dethroning the anointed king is the little movie that could, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Write to anders@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28