Haven’t seen the films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards? Let these kids reenact the crucial plot details of the Best Picture noms for you, however hilariously inaccurate. Don’t have an opinion on who will win Sunday night? Let Joel Pavelski be your anti-Ted, Chenoweth Corgi guru.
Ted will make an appearance, and it will be a groaner.
Billy Crystal was occasionally awkward and outdated last year, but it’ll be nothing compared to Seth MacFarlane. Oscar producers always have a problem appealing to young people (remember when Anne Hathaway and that super-high creeper resembling James Franco hosted?), and this year MacFarlane and his obnoxious Family Guy voices are their hope and prayer for a fresh take. But, come on, this guy made a really stale Nazi joke when announcing the nominations. He’ll try, and his foul-mouthed teddy bear will be around to present an award, but it will be terrible and amazing and in the end we’ll all just be waiting for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host the big show next year. Get your tweet fingers ready.
It will be an orgy of musical numbers.
Oscar producers have said they’re “taking a risk” by packing the broadcast with music. Expect Adele to blow us away with a sexy espionage-themed number for James Bond’s 50th anniversary (and her obviously adorable acceptance speech for Best Original Song). The cast of Les Miserables will team up with Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones on a tribute to movie musicals of the past decade, while Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones will try to conceal that they haven’t been relevant at all during that time period. Rumor has it MacFarlane’s also prepping a finale number with Kristin Chenoweth, and there’s nothing to hate about that since she’s basically a human corgi.
What a year! Two of the Oscar’s favorite ingénues are nominated for the second time, alongside the oldest nominee ever (Emmanuelle Riva, at 85) and the youngest (Quvenzhané Wallis, now 9). And there’s not a single throwaway performance in the bunch. Jessica Chastain went from nutty southern belle in ‘The Help’ to balls-of-steel-terrorist-destroyer in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.” Naomi Watts turned what could have been a made-for-TV-movie into a heart-wrenching thrill ride in ‘The Impossible,’ and Wallis emerged as a pint-sized force of nature and carried ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ on her tiny, resilient back.
Will win: Jennifer Lawrence. Her endearing performance as a young widow in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ makes this decision pretty easy. And she’s going to give the best acceptance speech of the night.
Should win: Emmanuelle Riva. No disrespect to my girl JLaw, but did you see ‘Amour?’ Not many actresses could have delivered the same performance. I couldn’t breathe. Plus, Riva is 85. She’s not going to get another chance.
This one’s a no-brainer. Hugh Jackman picked the wrong year to be nominated for an Oscar. No sentient being who’s seen ‘Lincoln’ could possibly give the award to anyone but DDL.
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis. He breathed life into Lincoln and created a masterpiece.
Best Supporting Actor
If you read about the Oscars a lot like me, you’d probably think this category is a toss-up. It’s not. Alan Arkin, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz can’t contemplatively touch their foreheads without the academy throwing a nomination at them, and Robert De Niro’s been the lucky benefactor of a smart Oscar campaign by Weinstein. But the winner’s clear.
Will win: Tommy Lee Jones. If Lincoln doesn’t win Best Picture or Best Director (and it probably won’t), academy voters will want to throw the brilliant film another bone. Fetch, Tommy!
Should win: Robert De Niro. The guy nearly stole ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ with a scene he mostly improvised, tearing up in the attic with Bradley Cooper, just like a dad really would. The guy’s a pro.
Best Supporting Actress
So … does anybody know who’s nominated in this category besides Anne Hathaway? Exactly.
Will win: Anne Hathaway.
Should win: Anne Hathaway. Sigh.
As a seven-time nominee and two-time winner, Steven Spielberg is the obvious juggernaut, but the Academy doesn’t ever seem to give him the prize unless it’s beyond inevitable. There’s been a lot of chatter about Ang Lee winning for ‘Life of Pi’ because of the movie’s technical difficulty, but I doubt I was the only one intensely underwhelmed by that film. David O. Russell is the dark horse, thanks to a very strong campaign by the ineffable Harvey Weinstein.
Will win: David O. Russell. This is an out-on-a-limb choice, but if you saw Robert De Niro cry on Katie Couric, you know how effective little Oscar campaigning can be. Especially for a movie about mental illness.
Should win: David O. Russell. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is the first film in more than 30 years to have nominations in all four acting categories. And any time you have an ensemble performing at that level of excellence, it’s the director’s fault.
How amazing is it to actually have a race for Best Picture? Winners of the big prize have seemed all but inevitable for years (did anyone think ‘The Artist’ wasn’t a shoo-in?), but this year it’s a toss-up. Lincoln was the early favorite, as the most technically solid of the contenders, but ‘Argo’ has a lot of momentum. And, call me crazy, but I think ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is a real dark horse, with all those acting noms. Plus, it has Weinstein.
Will win: Argo. The Academy loves films that glorify the movie-making process, and Ben Affleck has more than made up for his Best Director snub at other award shows.
Should win: The top contenders are all worthy films. Can we just have a Mean Girls moment and split the crown into five or six pieces?
Joel Pavelski runs social media at the New York Post and purposefully makes friends with people named Oscar. Follow him @joelcifer.