Friday, February 22, 2013

A night at the Oscars

The nominees least likely to go home empty-handed

by Rachel Diebel, A&E Writer

    Every year, pretty people in fancy dresses and tuxes gather together in a mystical land called Hollywood and receive shiny golden awards.
    Everyone agrees that the Oscars are voted on primarily by old white men and don’t necessarily represent the best movies of the year, but we keep watching them anyway.

    We can’t get enough of the splendor of this swanky event, the enjoyment of seeing what the crazy celebrities will say next or the fun of trying to predict who will win.

    This year, there is the usual mix of some categories that are considered “locked” and some that will be up in the air until the moment the envelope is opened onstage. 

    Best Actress falls into the “locked” category. 

    Jennifer “I Can Do No Wrong” Lawrence has won the category in every major award show so far and will likely clinch it again come the big night.  She portrays Tiffany, a widow with a lot to say in “Silver Linings Playbook.” 

    Quvenzhané Wallis won’t be winning for her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” this year, but she set a record as the youngest actress ever to have been nominated in the category. 

    Anne Hathaway, nominated for her role in “Les Miserables,” is a probable winner in the Best Supporting Actress category.  Hopefully “Les Mis” will win for makeup and hairstyling too, considering that Hathaway’s stylist had to dress in drag to appear on camera in order to shave her head in real time. 

    Less certain are the male equivalent awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. 

    Daniel Day Lewis and Hugh Jackman took home the prizes at the Golden Globes for “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables” respectively, where dramas and musicals are judged separately, so it’s a good bet that one of them will win at the Oscars as well. 

    Day Lewis has received the Oscar love previously, winning twice in the past, most recently for “There Will Be Blood.”  Jackman, however, is a first-time nominee, which could work in his favor. 

    The other nominees — including Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington — haven’t received much buzz and will likely come home empty handed.

    While the award for Best Picture isn’t exactly a lock, “Argo” has been receiving a late push, winning several awards and showcasing Ben Affleck’s directorial skills enough to win him a Golden Globe. 

    Ironically, Affleck didn’t even get nominated for the Best Director category at the Oscars, making him one of the most talked-about snubs at this year’s awards. 

    “Argo’s” late success, combined with Affleck’s Golden Globe, will probably give the film the boost it needs to win Best Picture. 

    “Lincoln” is a close runner-up.  Academy voters tend to love historical dramas, and Lincoln has been getting mostly positive hype. 

    The awards ultimately don’t matter and some of the winners will sink back into obscurity as soon as they have their statuettes — name one past winner for best documentary short for example.

    However, The Oscars continue to provide generations of people with an escape into the glamorous fantasyland of Hollywood.
The Oscars air on Feb. 24 at  4 p.m. PST on ABC.