Talk about predictable: The biggest surprise at this year's Oscars came when Meryl Streep won best actress. Heck, we might as well predict the 2013 Academy Awards right now. Granted, we haven't seen any of the movies (most don't even have release dates), but is that really necessary? We're casting our ballots based on name recognition, subject matter and a bit of caprice -- just like real Oscar voters! Here goes:
The clear front-runner is Daniel Day-Lewis, bearded and stove-piped in "Lincoln," the next big fall-winter release from Steven Spielberg. But don't count out Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role of "The Great Gatsby" or John Hawkes as a disabled man who hires a sex worker (Helen Hunt) in "The Surrogate." The year's truly dark horse is Bill Murray, sporting spectacles and a cigarette holder, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in "Hyde Park on Hudson" -- a rare costume drama for the comedian-turned-actor.
Again, period roles will win the
day, with Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina" battling Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln (a comeback story that already sounds like an Oscar campaign). And while nobody knows anything about Terrence Malick's next project, starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, let's throw them in as well.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing a cult leader (don't say Scientologist!) in "The Master," seems like a smart bet. Then again, twice-nominated Jude Law might be due for a win as the jilted husband in "Anna Karenina." Also duking it out are Amy Adams, as the daughter of an ailing baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) in "Trouble With the Curve," and Carey Mulligan as flighty Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby."
The race has already boiled down to "Lincoln" and "The Great Gatsby," but there are other serious contenders. Look for Ben Affleck's "Argo," set against the 1979 Iran hostage crisis; Kathryn Bigelow's bluntly titled "Kill bin Laden"; Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" (the academy was roundly booed for overlooking Nolan's last Batman film); and the mobster drama "Cogan's Trade," which reteams Brad Pitt with director Andrew Dominik ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford").