– “Life of Pi” is one of this year’s Oscar nominees.
Image: Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) takes in the bioluminescent wonders of the sea in “Life of Pi,” one of this year’s Oscar nominees.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox © All Rights Reserved.


By Cate Marquis, Film Critics for The Current

The 2013 Academy Awards take place Sunday, February 24. Who seems likely to win, who should win and what is a toss-up is a favorite topic of film fans and film critics alike.

The Current wants to weigh in too. The expected winners were drawn from a variety of sources and reflect my own best guess on how the Academy will vote.  Those predicted winners are listed below, along with my picks for who should win, for some of the top Oscar categories.

The Oscars will be broadcast on ABC on Sunday, beginning with the red carpet at 6 p.m. and followed by the awards at 7:30 p.m. If you are looking for a fun way to watch the Oscars, the Tivoli Theater is hosting a free Oscar broadcast screening, with trivia games during commercial breaks hosted by the St. Louis Film Critics Association.



Will win: Argo – This is the widely acknowledged favorite, having edged past Lincoln

Should win:  Life of Pi –  The momentum is with Argo, which is an excellent film but Ang Lee’ astonishing accomplishment in adapting a book that was considered un-filmable is topped by the fact that the film is such a mythic and entertaining adventure, and the best use of 3D effects yet. A close second is the moving drama Amour, a gripping story of love at the end of life that unfolds with the tension of a suspense film.



Will win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) – Ben Affleck was not nominated for Argo, this leaves Spielberg as the leader.

Should win: Ang Lee (Life of Pi) – As stated above, Ang Lee deserves recognition for this remarkable accomplishment.



Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) – The front-runner from the start.

Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) – There were many great performances this year but Day-Lewis’ transformation into Lincoln stands above all others.



Will win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) – This one is less clear but Lawrence and Jessica Chastain have been the leaders. With Zero Dark Thirty’s buzz fading and Silver Lining Playbook’s rising, I’ll go with Lawrence.

Should win: Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) – This powerful drama rests on the performance of its two main actors but to a great degree on Riva’s remarkable portrayal of a cultured, intelligent woman fading away, a performance that must be seen.



Will win: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) – This may be the category most up in the air but there is strong support for Jones and with Lincoln’s Best Picture prospects dimming, the Academy may want this to go to its cast.

Should win: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) – As good as DeNiro is in his against-type role, Waltz’ comic yet dramatically riveting performance makes his film.



Will win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) – The front-runner from the beginning.

Should win: Sally Field (Lincoln) – Hathaway’s solo is amazing but her role is small. Field delivers a tour-de-force performance, conveying layers of complexity for a historic figure, Mary Todd Lincoln, too easily misrepresented.



Will win: Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) – I think this will be Oscar’s nod to this film, but it’s not a clear winner.

Should win: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom) – Anderson’s film is a near-prefect representation of the transition point of age twelve and the best-ever cinematic portrait of a child’s eye view of the mid-sixties, a transition point for this country.



Will win: Chris Terrio (Argo) – This likely will be part of the take for Argo but really it could equally go to Kushner.

Should win: Tony Kushner (Lincoln) – Kushner skipped the bio pic approach to craft a portrait of Lincoln as political statesman, creating an insightful story at a pivotal moment in his presidency and our history.



Will win: Amour (Austria) – The clear top contender for the Oscar.

Should win: Amour (Austria) – An amazing film but if I had to pick a runner-up. it would be A Royal Affair, which is a wonderful film based on real events in Sweden, as the ideas of democracy and rights of the common man swept Europe and inspired our Founding Fathers.



Will win: Searching for Sugar Man – A must-see, touching and amazing story filled with twists and a soaring human spirit.

Should win: Searching for Sugar Man



Will win: Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)

Should win: Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina)  – The photography in Life of Pi is lovely but the film is really about the visual effects. Anna Karenina uses cinematography, sets and costumes to re-fashion this classic into a magical, theatrical l fantasy.



Will win: Life of Pi

Should win: Life of Pi  – The best uses of 3D yet, and a true visual feast.



Will win: Anna Karenina

Should win: Anna Karenina – See above.


©  The Current