2013 Oscar predictions Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Daniel Day-Lewis
Joaquin Phoenix and Daniel Day-Lewis look like the two shoo-ins for the 2013 Best Actor Oscar at this stage. Phoenix’s nod will be for Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing The Master; Day-Lewis’ will be for Steven Spielberg’s generally well-received Lincoln, in which the two-time Oscar winner plays the title role. (Image: Joaquin Phoenix The Master.)
2013 Oscar predictions Best Actor: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Anthony Hopkins, and …
Who else for the 2013 Best Actor Oscar shortlist? How about veteran Jean-Louis Trintignant for Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner and inevitable Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee Amour? Trintignant, 82 next December 11, has never been nominated for an Academy Award and Amour is likely to be his very last film.
Anthony Hopkins for Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock. Hopkins has earned four Academy Award nominations, two of which for playing real-life characters: Richard Nixon in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995) and John Quincy Adams in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997). Unless Hitchcock bombs with critics and audiences (it’ll premiere at Los Angeles’ upcoming AFI FEST), Hopkins will likely get his fifth Oscar nomination – his first in 15 years – for his performance as the Psycho director.
Philip Seymour Hoffman will be plugged in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance as a sort of L. Ron Hubbard in The Master. But the Academy’s Actors Branch members may decide that, like Kate Winslet in The Reader, Hoffman is as much a lead in The Master as Joaquin Phoenix. If so, expect a Best Actor nod for Hoffman, who won for Capote in early 2006.
Else, (for the time being) we predict that slot no. 6 will go to … Well, if this awards season U.S.-based critics’ groups fall for John Hawkes in The Sessions, the Winter’s Bone actor will have an excellent chance of getting his second Oscar nod. Hugh Jackman, for his part, has a showy role in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, which promises to be major Oscar bait in just about every category. And then there’s Denzel Washington, whose performance in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight has earned positive reviews at the New York Film Festival.
More 2013 Oscar predictions Best Actor: Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Garrett Hedlund et al.
Other possibilities include Tom Hanks for Clout Atlas; Richard Gere for Arbitrage, in case Gere is remembered by critics’ groups; Bradley Cooper for the well-received Silver Linings Playbook; Brad Pitt for Cannes 2012 entry Killing Them Softly; and Garrett Hedlund in On the Road.
Also: Sean Penn in The Weinstein Company’s This Must Be the Place; Matt Damon for Promised Land; Suraj Sharma for Life of Pi; Bill Murray for Hyde Park on Hudson; Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained; and Matthias Schoenaerts in Rust and Bone.
Ben Affleck is another 2013 Best Actor Oscar possibility – for Argo, which he also directed and co-produced. However, Affleck has a much better chance of being shortlisted in the Best Director category.
Joaquin Phoenix The Master picture: The Weinstein Company.
Robert Pattinson and Clint Eastwood 2013 Best Actor Oscar chances are slim
We’re frequently asked: “Does Robert Pattinson have a shot at a Best Actor Oscar nomination?” Well, Pattinson for Cosmopolis – and Clint Eastwood for Trouble with the Curve – were two early Oscar 2013 possibilities that have since lost favor. At this stage, Oscar chances for either actor are just about nil. (Image: Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis.)
Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis
Robert Pattinson earned his best reviews to date for his performance as an egocentric Manhattan billionaire in David Cronenberg’s bizarre comedy-drama. However, Cosmopolis itself received mixed reviews in North America, and bombed at the box office: the $20 million production has earned only $763,556 (plus an estimated $5.3 million overseas).
Pattinson’s Oscar chances could be resurrected only – and that seems unlikely at this stage – some influential critics’ group singles him out during awards season. Golden Globe chances are also iffy; but having said that, if Cosmopolis is considered a “comedy” then Pattinson’s chances increase dramatically (bad pun intended). Also worth noting is that Pattinson is a star and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves movie stars.
Robert Pattinson: Best Actor Genie Award nomination?
Now, although Robert Pattinson’s awards-season chances aren’t the greatest in the U.S., bear in mind that Pattinson has a good chance of being shortlisted for Canada’s Genie Awards. Oftentimes, non-Canadian performers have been nominated for their work in Canadian productions or co-productions, e.g., Annette Bening for Being Julia, Ian McKellen for Émile, and, in David Cronenberg movies, Jeremy Irons for Dead Ringer, Michael Fassbender for A Dangerous Method, and Viggo Mortensen for both A Dangerous Method and Eastern Promises.
Boosting Robert Pattinson’s Genie Award chances is the fact that, unlike Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television loves David Cronenberg. The Cosmopolis filmmaker has been nominated for eight Best Director Genies, winning five times (including one tie), in addition to five nominations in the screenplay categories, winning three times.
Clint Eastwood: Trouble with the chair
Now, Clint Eastwood, at one point a “likely” Oscar candidate is now about as “likely” as Adam Sandler for That’s My Boy. True, Eastwood may be a Hollywood icon and all, but his embarrassing performance at the Republican National Convention – talking to an empty chair – created much more interest (granted, for all the wrong reasons) than his work in the baseball family flick Trouble with the Curve.
Though not a no-holds-barred box office disaster, Trouble with the Curve is an undeniable box office flop: budgeted at a rumored $60m, the comedy-drama has taken in an estimated $32.74 million to date in North America. Worse yet, critics were unimpressed – Trouble with the Curve turned out to be nothing like last year’s Moneyball. And Oscar 2013 competition in the Best Actor category is stiff.
Only a miracle could bring Clint Eastwood his third Best Actor Oscar nomination. But the empty chair didn’t talk back, so I don’t believe Eastwood can actually work miracles. And in case you’re wondering, his previous Best Actor nods were for Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), both of which went on to win their respective year’s Best Picture Academy Awards.
Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis picture: Alfama Films.
Oscar 2013 predictions Best Actress: veterans and newcomers
Unlike recent years, when there have been a whole bevy of strong awards-season contenders in the Best Actress category, the Oscar 2013 Best Actress race has so far been quite subdued. We’re now in late October, and most of the strongest possibilities for the 2013 Best Actress Oscar are performers whose movies haven’t opened in North America yet. They are – and remember, none of these is a shoo-in: Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone, Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour, and Naomi Watts for The Impossible.
The other two strongest possibilities at this stage are Helen Mirren as Alfred Hitchcock’s wife and collaborator Alma Reville in Hitchcock, and Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Gotham Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, who is nine years old. More on Wallis and the Oscar in a follow-up post. (Image: Marion Cotillard Rust and Bone.)
Two Frenchwomen and the Best Actress Oscar 2013: Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Riva
Exit Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, enter Marion Cotillard and Emmanuelle Riva, two likely Oscar 2013 candidates following their accolades at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Neither Cotillard nor Riva won the Best Actress prize – the winners were Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan for Romania’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission Beyond the Hills – but both actresses received glowing reviews.
As a plus, Cotillard, who plays a handicapped former killer whale trainer in Rust and Bone, boasts a high Academy Likability Quotient (ALQ) – in early 2008, she became only the second Best Actress winner in a non-English-language movie (Sophia Loren was the first back in early 1962) – while Riva, who plays a handicapped elderly woman in Amour, is a respected film veteran. In fact, if the 85-year-old Riva gets nominated, she’ll be one for the record books. (Jessica Tandy currently holds the record; Tandy was 80 when she won for Driving Miss Daisy.)
Two young possibilities: Jennifer Lawrence, Keira Knightley
As for Jennifer Lawrence (the only American on the list), Silver Linings Playbook has already earned some positive early reviews, while Lawrence managed to get a Best Actress Oscar for the little-seen Winter’s Bone nearly two years ago. That was quite a feat. And let’s not forget that this year, Lawrence also has the generally respected blockbuster The Hunger Games to her credit. A 2013 Best Actress Oscar nomination for the more “character-driven” Silver Linings Playbook is thus all but inevitable.
Not at all like your parents’ or grandparents’ Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh film adaptations, the buzz surrounding Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina is strong, while competition in the Best Actress category is considerably less so. Hence, Keira Knightley, who was shortlisted by the Hollywood Academy (but not by the British one) for Wright’s Pride & Prejudice seven years ago, will likely be shortlisted again – at least in Hollywood, that is.
Two English-born women and the Best Actress Oscar 2013: Naomi Watts, Helen Mirren
Despite consistently good work, Naomi Watts has only one Oscar nomination to her credit: for Alejandro González-Iñárritu’s 2003 gritty drama 21 Grams (but not for her phenomenal heroine / villainess in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr.). Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible is already a major box office hit in Spain; whether or not it will also become a commercial hit in North America, Watts will quite possibly get an Oscar nod, for hers is a showy role in a dramatic spectacle – The Impossible‘s story is set during and after the devastating 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
Helen Mirren has received four Oscar nods, including a win for Stephen Frears’ fluffy 2006 political / family drama The Queen. If Hitchcock, which will premiere at Los Angeles’ AFI FEST, is well received, expect Mirren to get her fifth Oscar nod. (That would probably mean another year without an Oscar nomination for Naomi Watts.)
Marion Cotillard Rust and Bone photo: Why Not Productions.
Oscar 2013 Predictions Best Actress: Judi Dench, Anne Hathaway, Laura Linney, Maggie Smith
Oscar 2013 Predictions Best Actress: Marion Cotillard and (Mostly) Other Europeans.”] Besides the aforementioned Quvenzhané Wallis, other Oscar 2013 Best Actress possibilities include the following: Five-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner Judi Dench as a recent widow in the surprisingly popular The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman in the blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises; Gotham Award nominee Emayatzy Corinealdi as a woman whose husband is sentenced to jail in Middle of Nowhere; and Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Smashed – as long as Winstead gets lots of year-end critical attention, for Smashed has come and gone all but unnoticed by most everybody else. (Image: Judi Dench The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.)
A few more: Greta Gerwig in Noah Baumbach’s comedy Frances Ha; Laura Linney as U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cousin (and possibly lover) Margaret Suckley in Hyde Park on Hudson; and Maggie Smith for Quartet, in which the two-time Oscar winner plays a retired opera singer under the direction of Dustin Hoffman. (This is not to be confused with another “Maggie Smith in Quartet” role; that was back in 1981, under the direction of James Ivory.)
Oscar 2013 dark horses
Less likely bets include Meryl Streep for Hope Springs, which received mixed reviews and moderate box office returns; Michelle Williams for Sarah Polley’s Canadian-made Take This Waltz; Barbra Streisand for The Guilt Trip, a film whose buzz has been quite low-key so far; and Elle Fanning, who has earned solid notices for Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa.
In the “Who Knows?” group are: Amanda Seyfried as porn star Linda Lovelace in Lovelace (in case it does indeed get released in December); Bette Midler in Parental Guidance; Zoe Kazan as a fantasy come true in Ruby Sparks; Gotham Award nominee Melanie Lynskey as a jaded divorcée who finds a new love in Hello, I Must be Going; Halle Berry in a variety of roles in the unusual Cloud Atlas; and Leslie Mann in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up follow-up This is 40.
Little-to-no chance despite major roles: Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror, Rachel McAdams in The Vow, Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman (however, Stewart is a possibility in the Best Supporting Actress category for On the Road), Taylor Schilling in The Lucky One, Reese Witherspoon in This Means War, Blake Lively in Savages, Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect, Amy Adams in Trouble with the Curve (though Adams is a Best Supporting Actress possibility for The Master), and Emma Watson for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Judi Dench The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel photo: Fox Searchlight.
Oscar 2013 predictions: Quvenzhané Wallis to become the Academy Awards’ female equivalent to Jackie Cooper?
Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhané Wallis, a possible (some say inevitable) 2013 Best Actress Oscar nominee alongside the likes of potential nominees Marion Cotillard, Helen Mirren, Emmanuelle Riva, Judi Dench, and Naomi Watts, has her age working both for and against her. In other words, some Academy members will see the nine-year-old Wallis as a precocious thespian, a she’s-so-cute Sarah Bernhardt in the making. Others, however, will surely wonder, “Can a nine-year-old really get inside the mind and heart of a character, or do such young actors merely react to their directors’ performance-eliciting tricks and commands?” (Image: Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild.)
The youngest Best Actress Academy Award nominee to date is Keisha Castle-Hughes, 12 years old when Whale Rider had its public premiere, and a surprise contender in early 2004. But there have been younger Oscar nominees in other categories: Jackie Cooper was eight when he starred in Skippy in 1931; he would eventually be nominated for that period’s (1930-31) Best Actor Academy Award. (Academy members were surely impressed by Cooper’s ability to cry on cue; little did they know that his uncle, eventual Best Director Oscar winner Norman Taurog, threatened to shoot the young actor’s dog to get him to “act.”)
Justin Henry vs. Melvyn Douglas
Newcomer Justin Henry was also eight years old when he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance as Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s son in the eventual Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer. At the time, fellow Best Supporting Actor nominee Melvyn Douglas, who had been making movies since the time Jackie Cooper got his nomination, pulled a Joaquin Phoenix by telling the media, “The whole thing is absurd, my competing with an eight-year-old.” (Phoenix, by the way, should take heart: Douglas, who didn’t even bother going to the ceremony, turned out to be the year’s Oscar winner for Being There.)
But nothing beats Victoire Thivisol’s Best Actress Volpi Cup win at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In Jacques Doillon’s Ponette, Thivisol plays a young girl attempting to cope with her mother’s death. She was four at the time the movie was made.
Melvyn Douglas quote via Damien Bona and Mason Wiley’s Inside Oscar.
Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild photo: Fox Searchlight.