Column by Olivia O’Hea
O’Hea is a first-year law, politics and society and journalism double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — awards season! The Academy Awards air Feb. 24 and it’s shaping up to be a tight race. I’m hoping that host Seth McFarlane (“Family Guy,” “Ted”) will lighten up the occasionally stuffy program — however, he has big shoes to fill. Last year’s host, Billy Crystal, kept the show running with witty monologues and sketches, which was a huge improvement from the flat Hathaway — Franco team in 2011.
Critics predict that Daniel Day Lewis will carry Best Actor for his role as former president Abraham Lincoln, Jessica Chastain will take home Best Actress for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Anne Hathaway, who brought a collective tear to America’s eye as the role of Fantine in “Les Misérables,” will receive her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
All the nominations can be found on www.oscar.go.com, though Best Picture is the race to watch this year. “Amour,” “Argo,” ”Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty” are all nominated and they range in style, genre and tone.
“Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” are strong frontrunners for Best Picture, though I also think (and hope) “Argo” or “Django Unchained” might take it. Though enjoyable, “Silver Linings Playbook” would definitely be a wild card. It has the backing of the Weinstein Company and David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) yet lacks the grit of dramas like “Amour.” Though “Les Misérables” and “Life of Pi” proved popular with audiences they’re long shots for Best Picture — obstructed by some negative reviews from industry critics.
I usually find the Academy’s snubs just as interesting as the nominations. For instance, Christopher Nolan went unnoticed for his direction of “Dark Knight Rises,” surprising critics and audiences alike. Leonardo DiCaprio joins Nolan on the list of infamously ignored with no nomination for “Django Unchained” (in the past he’s been overlooked in “Inception,” “J. Edgar” and “Revolutionary Road.”) Finally, “Moonrise Kingdom,” the indie darling with an all-star cast (Bill Murray), was only recognized for Best Original Screenplay.
You can go online to make predictions of your own — enjoy the show!