Oscars 2012: September Predictions

We are a less than four months away from the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, with the Academy recently announcing that it would do so on Jan. 10, 2013. And with the conclusion of this year’s Telluride, Venice and Toronto festivals, the awards season is definitely in high gear. Here is my final batch of predictions in some of the top categories for the month of September. I am also updating this list in real time in the Oscar Tracker page.


Les Miserables

The Master


Silver Linings Playbook

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained


Zero Dark Thirty


Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

John Hawkes (The Sessions)

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Richard Gere (Arbitrage)


Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)

Emanuelle Riva (Amour)

Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)


Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)

Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)

William H. Macy (The Sessions)

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)


Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Amy Adams (The Master)

Sally Field (Lincoln)

Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Samantha Banks (Les Miserables)


Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)

Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)

Ben Affleck (Argo)

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)


The Master

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

Django Unchained

The Sessions


Les Miserables

Silver Linings Playbook



Cloud Atlas

  1. May still be too soon for Tom Hooper to nab another statuette. It’s Paul Thomas Anderson who’s “due” for one this year. And I don’t see Les Miz being a sure thing. Despite having many qualities that earmark it for major success, commercially and in the awards arena, Les Miz could be seen as lacking enough edge or freshness for the big prize. It could be this year’s “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Samantha Banks’ nom is a definite longshot. Eponine may be a beloved character for fans of the musical, but I think that’s more because of one particular song than anything. And Fantine’s “I Dreamed A Dream” is more of an “And I Am Telling You” Oscar-baity song scene than Eponine’s “On My Own”.
    I’m also still really not feeling “Lincoln”. All of Spielberg’s historical prestige period pieces since Saving Private Ryan have kind of underwhelmed both critically and commercially. Also, remember that Lincoln was a Republican. And although things have changed significantly in American politics since then, I’m sure the GOP will be trumpeting this fact more loudly closer to its release, which could impact the film’s reception.

  2. My only problem with The Master / P. T. Anderson is that it seems like The Social Network of this year. Critics darling, but the Academy might find it too obtuse. I think that if the French Revolution angle will be treated well, it can feel more relevant. Of course a lot of these movies are still sight unseens, so it depends how well Tom Hooper does but if Hooper was able to upset Fincher, I think he can pull off another feat this year. But again, it all depends. Agree with you on Lincoln, but Spielberg has some cred with the Academy. If War Horse (yuck) was able to get a nomination, what more a much more “serious” film such as Lincoln?

    • My parallel example for Hooper btw is Spielberg himself, who won two directing Oscars in a span of five years. This is a much shorter time period, but hey, it could happen.

  3. Basically all of your choices are spot-on. But I think it’s PTA’S year for winning Best Director. Like you said, The Master might have gotten too pumped up and celebrated for the Academy’s taste, but they might give it to Anderson for directing the film, than the film itself. And how about Looper nominated for original screenplay? 🙂 Overall, I think come February most of your predictions are going to come true.

  4. Anonymous said:

    I believe the Hollywood old guard will be able to relate better to a thinly-veiled dissection of Scientology than to the rise of then-newfangled social media. And they’ve always been iffy about Fincher, but are relatively warm to PTA.

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