Ali Predicts the 2013 Oscars

Ali Predicts the 2013 Oscars

Well, my friends, it’s that time of year again! I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking, “Ali, the Oscars won’t be until Feb 24th!” This is true. However, the Oscar hopefuls always come out during the 4th quarter of the year. Now, I consider myself a movie buff extreme and have been closely watching and researching the films coming out within the next few months. So today, I thought I’d give you my Oscar nomination and winner predictions for 2013. None of these movies have come out yet (except in film festivals), so I’ll be basing my opinion on reviews, articles, and the movie trailers. Before I start, I’d just like to say that there is some stiff competition this year so I’ll be arguing my case for my predictions. Also, I suggest you watch the trailer before reading my comments. I’ll start first with the Blockbusters. The steamrollers of film that will undoutedly get SOMETHING. Then I’m gonna throw in my Indie Favs, AKA ‘the little engines who could’, followed by the Wildcards.

The Blockbusters:

1. Cloud Atlas

Notable Actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess,  Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Susan Sarandon.

Now, if you are staring at your computer screen asking yourself, “What the heck is this movie about?!”, don’t worry. I’m halfway through the book and am still trying to figure it out. To put it simply (very simply), the movie crosses six timelines/vignettes showing how everything and everyone is inexplicably connected. This movie sports a star-studded cast who play 2 to 3 different characters. Some even change races throughout the film. This movie is already getting Oscar buzz for the acting, cinematography, direction, and screenplay. Best Screenplay may be a given at the Oscars simply because the book was thought to be ‘unfilmable’. As an actual reader, I can tell you this: if they pull this off, this movie is going to take home every single Oscar in every category. Just watch.

2. Lincoln

Notable Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joseph Gordan Levitt, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Harris, and Lee Pace.

 Seriously. This man poops Oscars. I’m already calling him taking Best Actor for his portrayal of the President. I think this movie has a extremely good chance of getting a Best Picture nom as well as nominations for it’s supporting cast. Also, Spielberg will most likely get a Best Director nom. That’s a given.

3. Argo

Notable Actors: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, and Alan Arkin.

Ben Affleck has been really perfecting his craft these last few years. Behind AND in front of the camera. His movie “The Town” recieved a nomination (Best Supporting Actor Nom- Jeremy Renner) in 2010, and he is bringing his same skill and talent to his new film as he fills the role of director, producer, and lead actor. I don’t know if Affleck will get a Best Director nom for this but this film will prove he has come a LONG way from Pearl Harbor and an Oscar isn’t too far out of his reach.

4. Django Unchained

Notable Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson.

I dislike all Quentin Tarantino movies and I probably won’t see this movie unless someone pays for my ticket, however, I know how to appreciate art whether it speaks to me or not. That’s what Tarantino movies are: Art. It’s just the kind that makes no sense to me. So I’m not going to say much more on this movie other than the fact if we can take anything from the success of Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Tarantino’s other cult classics, Django Unchained is a movie to be watched.

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Notable Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchette, Hugo Weaving, and Ian McKlellan.

Just when you thought you saw the last of the Lord of the Rings, they go and make the prequel. The trilogy always had a fair amount of Oscar buzz so it’s safe to assume The Hobbit will garner some as well. My bet is mainly in cinematography and editing.

6. Trouble With The Curve

Notable Actors: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake.

Yes, that’s right, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. I’m a big fan of his SNL appearances but I’m not sure he’ll be able to hold his own amongst Mr. Eastwood (Respect.). Every Oscars needs a sports flick (see Moneyball) and this movie reminds me a lot of Gran Torino, which had a lot of praise. Interesting fact: This is Clint’s first film that he’s NOT directing in years.

7. Life of Pi

Notable Actors: Suraj Sharma

You’ve probably heard of this book. I’ll actually be impressed if you’ve actually read it (though I think some schools required it…). Any movie based on a best selling novel automatically has good odds of getting a nom, though there are exceptions (i.e. The Lovely Bones). They could also pull the “Slumdog Millionaire” card and take a couple of the big awards. Being directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, etc.) gives this film a boost as well.

8. The Master

Notable Actors: Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

This movie will definately get some Best Actor/Supporting Actor noms. Phoenix really has nailed the “crazy guy” character. Well done, sir.

The Independants:

1. Silver Linings Playbook

Notable Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DiNiro, Chris Tucker, and Julia Styles.

This is just a cute film. Plus, anyone movie featuring a character suffering from a mentail disorder automatically gets pitty votes, but if the trailer can tell us anything, I know that this film isn’t going for funny, it’s going for ‘endearing’. If we still had a Best Comedy category, they’d for sure get a nom. My bet is that they’ll garner a lot of Golden Globe success but miss out on the Oscars.

2. The Impossible

Notable Actors: Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

This may be my favorite indie film to come out this year. I think it looks fantastic. So much so, I think it just might have a chance of getting some award buzz. What do you think?

3. The Sessions

Notable Actors: Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, and John Hawkes.

This film has recieved a lot of acclaim from the Sundance Film Festival, especially for Helen Hunt, who I think could nab a Best Actress nom if the movie can enter the mainstream circuit. Plus, sex sells.

4. Beasts of a Southern Wild

Notable Actors: Quvenzhané Wallis

I have heard so many great things about this movie. This little girl should recieve Best Actress nomination if anything. This film is the ultimate little engine that could.

The Wildcards

1. Les Miserables

Notable Actors: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and Samantha Banks.

Musicals are hard. This movie could either epically BOMB or be known as the greatest movie-musical of all time. No pressure.

2. Wreck-It Ralph

Notable Actors: John C. Reilly,Jane Lynch, and Sarah Silverman.

Yes. An anminated movie. Sometimes, though rare, an animated movie has entered the ring for Best Picture (Toy Story 3 and Up). I think this film will defeinately be nominated for Best Animated film, but if it could go farther remains to be seen. As long as it beats Brave, I’ll be happy (I did not like that movie).

3. Looper

Notable Actors: Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt.

Maybe, just maybe, this movie has a shot. I’m a huge sci-fi/Bruce Willis fan (rent Twelve Monkeys) and this movie seems to be pretty legit. It will atleast grab a nom for best makeup for JGL’s portrayal of a younger Willis, but does it have what it takes to contend with the Blockbusters? Sadly, I find it unlikely.

I Like Old Dudes

I Like Old Dudes

I love old movies. Most of the movies that come out now-a-days are crappy. Some are even crappy remakes of awesome old movies.  So in an effort to properly educate my generation on quality film, I give you my favorite classic leading men:

Steve McQueen


If you haven’t seen The Great Escape, stop reading this right now and go rent it, but it, pirate it, whatever. Just WATCH it. It is one of the best movies of all time (see AFI Top Movie List and any other list). Steve McQueen was a butt-kicking leading man who was rough around the edges on and off the screen. He spent his youth in reform schools and served in the U.S. Marine core. He spent his life living for himself but when he was diagnosed with cancer he found God.

“When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it”.

Suggested Films: The Great Escape, Papillon, The Magnificent Seven,  Bullit


Charlton Heston
It’s Easter weekend, which means you’ve probably come across The Ten Commandmentswhile channel surfing. Well, I’d like to introduce you to Moses. Charlton Heston not only starred in some of the greatest movies but played a huge role in the world in which he lived. Heston became President of the National Rifle Association after spending his adult life promoting the “God-given right” for men to defend themselves. He was a strong advocate for civil right many years before it became fashionable, and has been a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, plus the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award. He also fought in World War II.  Heston married his wife in 1944 and they remained married until his death in 2008 from Alzheimer’s disease. One heck of a guy.

“For an actor, there is no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can’t part with you, which is why I won’t exclude you from this stage in my life . . . For now, I’m not changing anything. I’ll insist on work when I can; the doctors will insist on rest when I must. If you see a little less spring to my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you’ll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway.”
-Heston on his Alzheimer’s

Suggested Films: The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, Planet of the Apes 

Gregory Peck
Most famous for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Peck almost always played courageous, nobly heroic good guys who saw injustice and fought it.In 1967 Peck received the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He was also been awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom. Always politically progressive, Peck was active in such causes as anti-war protests, workers’ rights and civil rights. He even marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Not to mention, while studying at UC Berkeley, Peck was a houseboy for the school’s chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Imagine that? Though I disagree with his politics and his personal beliefs, I respect him for being a man of principles who stood up for what he believed in.

“Faith is a force, a powerful force. To me, it’s been like an anchor to windward – something that’s seen me through troubled times and some personal tragedies and also through the good times and success and the happy times.”

Suggested Films: To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, Roman Holiday, The Omen

Kirk Douglas

For those of you who don’t know, that Spartacus TV show you’ve been watching? Well, its a remake of a frick’n awesome movie with this guy: Kirk Douglas. Now for those of you who are thinking, “Man… this guy looks familiar!” I’ll let you in on a secret (AKA: a well-known fact). This guys is the father of Michael Douglas: famous actor and husband of Catherine Zita Jones. Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky. No wonder he changed his name. He came from a russian-jewish background and had two bar-mitzvahs. One at 13 and one at 83, when he recommitted his life to his faith. He saw growing up in extreme poverty a huge advantage and reason for his success, claiming, “There was nowhere to go but up”. Unknown to many, Kirk has long been involved in humanitarian causes and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the US State Department since 1963. His efforts were rewarded in 1981 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1983 with the Jefferson Award.

“In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail.”

Suggested Films: Spartacus, Paths of Glory

John Wayne
Need I explain the awesomeness that is John Wayne? Wayne is a man’s man.  The Duke. Known for his westerns and his war films. Many of you know him from Ryan Stiles impression of him of Whose Line is it Anyway?but did you know that he was born Marion Robert Morrison? Yep, that’s right. John Wayne has a girl’s name, which explains the stage name… ha. Wayne holds the record for the actor with the most leading parts (142), was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and was a Free Mason. He believed in all things “American” which inspired a lot of his movies. He had a hardcore drinking and smoking problem which claimed his life.

“Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway.”

Suggested Films: The Searchers, The Alamo, True Grit 

Clint Eastwood
LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE HIM. If you don’t know who Clint is, then you live under a rock. Not only is a famous for his acting, but he directs, produces, writes, and even wrote and sang a song for his movie Gran Torino, which won an Oscar in 2008.  His characters have been said to often be men struggling to overcome their past and atone for their crimes, which leads to epically long movies which I love. I love long movies with lots of character development. He likes to keep his films as real as possible, even asking for as little make up to be used on the actors as possible. He weighed 11 lbs at birth! So came out of the womb proclaiming he was kind of a big deal. He hates films that push a political agenda and has always maintained that all of his films are apolitical and what he has in mind when making a film is whether it’s going to be entertaining and compelling.

“I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead”

Suggested Movies: Dirty Harry, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby


Sidney Poitier

Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of a dirt farmer and had little education. Growing up in the Bahamas, the racial disparity in the U.S. was a big shock for him. He was determined to find and/or create opportunities for African Americans.  He bombed his first audition due to his thick accent and stage fright but went on to being the first African American to win an Academy Award. He received the SAG Life Time Achievement Award and is a prostate cancer survivor.

“I had chosen to use my work as a reflection of my values.”

Suggested Films: To Sir With Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?,  Lilies of the Field

Nick Cage
Just kidding. HA.