2013 Oscar Predictions

The 85th Academy Awards are held tonight so I figured I’d throw in my predictions as to who will win and who should win some major categories. It’s not Oscar night without a few predictions to go wrong, am I right?

I’m glad this year’s Oscars fall on the unpredictable side – there’s no absolute frontrunner in most of the categories so the night should be interesting to say the least.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Best Picture Academy Awards Oscars 2013

  • Who Will Win: Argo
  • Who Should Win: Amour

Amour (review) is, hands-down, the best movie of the year. It won’t win because of the way the Oscars are run. So we are left with the movie that has been picking up best picture awards here and there: Argo (review). I don’t get it really. There are two other movies on that list that I believe are more deserving (Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook) but you cannot underestimate momentum.

Best Director Academy Awards Oscars 2013


  • Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg
  • Who Should Win: Michael Haneke

Out of all the nominated directors in this category, Haneke managed to turn a simple story of old age into a spellbinding movie that captured everyone’s heart and mind. With little special effects, a Parisian apartment, his camera and two great leads, Haneke created Amour. But seeing as his nomination was a surprise by itself, expecting him to win what he deserves is far-fetched. So Academy Award-darling Spielberg with what is arguably his best movie in years will take it.

Best Actor Academy Awards Oscars 2013


  • Who Will Win: Daniel Day Lewis
  • Who Should Win: Daniel Day Lewis

I don’t believe this needs any explanation. What a brilliant performance.

Best Actress Academy Awards Oscars 2013


  • Who Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva
  • Who Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva

Next to the Best Picture race, this will be the night’s most interesting. What started out as a two-horse race with Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence battling it out for coveted awards soon turned into a three-way race as veteran actress Emmanuelle Riva took the BAFTA and later on the French César. At an age of 85, many voters will probably go for Riva because it’s now or never for her. Chastain and Lawrence will get their shot one day. The mere fact that Emmanuelle Riva is present on that list means there are enough Academy members who want her. It’s also her birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMANUELLE!

Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards Oscars 2013


  • Who Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones
  • Who Should Win: Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones gave what is, in my opinion, the best performance out of the bunch. Pre-Oscar awards have been spread around this bunch of nominees in a balanced way so no clear frontrunner has emerged but I think Lincoln‘s (review) momentum will help Jones take another Oscar. Every single nominee in this list has won before.

Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards Oscars 2013


  • Who Will Win: Anne Hathaway
  • Who Should Win: Anne Hathaway

There’s no denying Hathaway deserves this. She owned the entire Les Misérables (review) with her chilling performance of “I Dreamed A Dream.” The movie starts dying when her character dies. No one else in this category is as deserving and she has basically won every single pre-Oscar award there is.

Original Screenplay Academy Awards Oscars 2013

  • Who Will Win: Quentin Tarantino
  • Who Should Win: Michael Haneke

There’s something understated about turning a simple story into a work of art, which is what Haneke did with his story in Amour. But unfortunately, that’s not the kind that usually triumphs. I expect Tarantino to come out triumphant for Django Unchained (review).

Adapted Screenplay Academy Awards Oscars 2013

  • Who Will Win: Argo
  • Who Should Win: Silver Linings Playbook

Argo has the momentum. Silver Linings Playbook (review) has the superior quality and the charm. Momentum wins.

Animated Film Academy Awards Oscars 2013


Who Will Win: Frankenweenie

Who Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph

I found Wreck-It Ralph to be one of the most charming – and best – movies of the year. It is what I expect from an animated movie to be. Frankenweenie, on the other hand, is what plays on the Academy’s strings: homage to classics, daring technique, etc. It’s obvious who’d  win in such a match-up.

Original Song Academy Awards Oscars 2013

  • Who Will Win: Adele
  • Who Should Win: Adele

I can’t wait to hear her acceptance speech.

Foreign Language Film Academy Awards Oscars 2013

  • Who Will Win: Amour
  • Who Should Win: Amour

The fact that it’s nominated for best picture, best actress, best director and best original screenplay is hint enough.

Michel Hayek & Layla Abdul-Latif’s 2013 Predictions

You know what’s worrying? It seems that many of our politicians are seeking out private sessions with Mr. Clairvoyant over here to determine how they will proceed with the country’s business.

Michel Hayek might be slowly becoming the man who’s running everything in this country – he might as well tell a politician to act like a monkey and I’m sure that politician will do it.

Anyway, Hayek graced MTV yesterday with a set of “predictions” for 2013. I watched them. I wasn’t sure if I was watching Michel Hayek or reading an obituary but hey – Batroun, my district, seems to be coming to an economic boom (which I already told you about here) so I guess it all must be good. He also hinted that the elections will be postponed as some part of a deal between Hezbollah and Bkerke.

He didn’t coordinate with Layla Abdul Latif who went on LBC and disagreed with Mr. Hayek on the elections and on the matters of Israel. She thinks we won’t be facing much trouble with our enemy to the South. He thinks all hell will break loose. He says Mikati will resign – she says he’ll stay. On previous occasions she said the law to be used during the elections is the 1960s law, he says it will have “Fouad Boutros ideas.”

So which is it? Color me confused.

They do agree though on swine flu reaching Lebanon – not that’s any surprise seeing as swine flu has claimed a casualty in Palestine already.

Anyway, you can find the first set of Layla Abdul-Latif’s predictions here and her newest ones here. On the other hand, you can take the time and watch Michel Hayek and his excellent Arabic reading skills in the following videos – I had no idea تحالفاته  was such a hard word to pronounce:

There’s also Mike Feghali’s beard which went on OTV. But no one takes him seriously.

Oh and happy new year everyone!

2012 Oscars Predictions: Who Will Win & Who Should Win

With the Oscars only a day away, and even though I won’t be tuning in, I figured I’d throw away some predictions just for the fun of it.

Best Picture:

Who will win: The Artist (my review)

Who should win: The Help (my review)

The Artist is more “artistic” perhaps, with it being a silent movie and all. But The Help is just so much more. The Help is a movie with a very deep and real story and it makes the book upon which it was based even better. The acting in both movies is phenomenal but The Help, as an ensemble, rises above The Artist. It ultimately goes down to this: if your preference is for out of the box movies, and by out of the box in this case we mean going retro, then you will go with The Artist. If your preference is for movies that will tug on your heartstrings and leave you, at their end, reflective on your life, then go with The Help. Which one has the momentum? The Artist. Which movie is the most prone to upset The Artist? The Help.

Best Actor:

Who will win: Jean Dujardin

Who should win: Jean Dujardin

I think with the momentum The Artist is garnering across award shows, and with his recent wins, Jean Dujardin should have enough momentum to snag his first Oscar. And quite frankly, the only thing working against him here is that Academy voters may be wary of voting for someone they’re not familiar with. But he was able to get audiences to connect with his character without uttering a single word. And that, by itself, is an achievment when compared with his fellow nominees.

Best Actress:

Who will win: Viola Davis

Who should win: Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara, in her chilling portrayal of Lisbeth Salander, has my vote for best actress. She wore her character like a glove and Lisbeth is definitely a much more difficult character to wear than say Aibeleen or even Margaret Thatcher. But Rooney Mara’s chances are next to zero. It’s all between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep. I think Academy voters take Meryl Streep for granted, that’s why Davis will have an oh-so-tiny edge over Streep and snag her first Oscar. Streep will be satisfied with breaking yet another of her records for most Oscar nominations.

Best Director:

Who will win: Michel Hazanavicius 

Who should win: Michel Hazanavicius 

To make a successful silent movie in 2012 is commendable. Michel Hazanavicius pulls it off. This puts him way above his fellow nominees who are only there before of their name, not because of the quality of their movies. Yes, I’m looking at you Terrence Malick and Alexandre Payne.

Best Supporting Actor:

Who will win: Christopher Plummer 

Who should win: Christopher Plummer

He has the momentum. His performance in the Beginners as a gay father who comes out late in life only to be diagnosed with terminal lung cancer after is quite chilling. And at 82, it’s high time he get his Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress:

Who will win: Octavia Spencer

Who should win: Octavia Spencer

As much as I want Jessica Chastain to take this, for The Help, I can’t but be delusional in wanting so. Octavia Spencer has almost had a flaw-free award season with her portrayal of Minnie and the Oscars will be her night. Regardless, I’d be more than happy with either of the women from The Help taking this. Berenice Bejo might be in for an upset though, depending on how big of a sweep The Artist is preparing. Either way, all three of them deserve it.

Best Animated Feature:

Who will win: Rango

Who should win: Puss in Boots

*cat in the background saying ouuu* – enough said, right? Puss in Boots is entertaining, funny and charming. Rango appeals to Oscar voters more with its more serious tone. You know where their votes are going.

Best Foreign Movie:

Who will win: A Separation (my review)

Who should win: A Separation

A Separation is an absolutely captivating tale of two Iranian families and how their lives intertwined due to some incidences all the backdrop of modern day Tehran. The screenplay is very well written, as is obvious by it being nominated for an Oscar as well. A Separation has also won every major award for foreign movies this year. Asghar Abbasi’s movie has this in the bag.

Other categories: 

Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (my review)

Original Score: The Artist

Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Cinematography: War Horse (my review)

Art Direction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Costume Design: The Artist

Film Editing: The Artist

Sound Editing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (my review)

Sound Mixing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball (my review)

Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris (my review)

2012 Grammy Predictions

I may not be staying up to watch the Grammy’s but I figured I’d give in my 2 cents as to what will be awarded big time tonight. Some of the categories are a lock, others are more of a toss-up. Either way, it should be interesting.

The night, however, will be tainted by the passing of Whitney Houston. I’m not sure if a last minute tribute will be planned for her.

Without further ado, and after checking out the nominees, here are my predictions for some of the categories:

Record of the Year: Rolling In The Deep – Adele

This it the year’s biggest hit. None of the other nominees comes close in terms of critical acclaim and public reception. Add to it Adele’s contestants being Bruno Mars and Katy Perry and she becomes more than a lock. Sure, the Grammy’s do not always reward the most successful act. But Adele managed this year to bridge critical acclaim with commercial success. It will translate in a few trophies tonight, this being the first.

Album of the Year: 21 – Adele

With other nominees including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Rihanna’s Loud and Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans, not only is Adele’s critically acclaimed and biggest selling album of the year a lock for this, but it would actually be absurd to think anyone else has a chance. What gives Adele an edge over any of the other nominees in this is that she is an artist the Grammy’s can feel safe in showering with awards. She has album of the year in the bag.

Song of the Year: Rolling in the Deep – Adele

As I said, the Grammy’s this year will be Adele-domination night. She will be winning everything. End of story. The fact that this was the biggest crossover hit in the United States in the past 25 years will only add fuel to Adele’s dominating fire.

Best New Artist: The Band Perry

Country acts usually have an advantage when it comes to being awarded best new artist at the Grammy’s because they are usually the ones with the most secure future ahead. Case in point: in the last five years, 2 country acts have won this award: Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band. Other winners include Adele, Amy Winehouse and last year’s Esperanza Spalding. Why I think The Band Perry will win is because the Grammy’s tend to overlook pop/hip-hop acts that make it big (Nicki Minaj) and The Band Perry have a great hit under their belt in the form of If I Die Young. A very close second would be Bon Iver.

Best Pop Solo Performance: Someone Like You – Adele

Seeing as this is a category that rewards the vocal performance of a song, it’s easy to see how one can overlook Katy Perry’s Firework. Among the other songs/artists, no one has as big a momentum as Adele. Therefore, it should be an easy win for her – not to mention that Someone Like You is a stunning song as it is.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Body and Soul – Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse

You know the Grammy’s will want to award Winehouse a final time, four years after choosing her for Best New Artist, through her last studio recording.

Best Pop Vocal Album: 21 – Adele

She’s going to win album of the year. There’s no way she won’t win this.

Best Rock Performance: The Cave – Mumford & Songs

The fact that this is nominated for both record and song of the year gives this category away. My favorite is Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, though.

Best Rock Album: Come Around Sundown – Kings of Leon

This album may not have found the success proportions of their previous offering but I still see it winning this category.

Best Alternative Album: Torches – Foster The People

Although I prefer Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, it’s easy to see how the success of Pumped Up Kicks would translate into a win here.

Best Rap Performance: Look At Me Now – Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Because Busta Rhymes’ verses are almost impossible to sing?

Best Country Solo Performance: Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is what they call a Grammy’s darling. She has performed five times at the Grammy’s in the past six years, four of those being in four consecutive years. And when she attended, she never left empty-handed. With the Grammy’s merging several country vocal categories and Mama’s Song finding its way to a nomination, I think Carrie will win this. It doesn’t hurt that Mama’s Song is a great performance.

Best Country Album: My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Following a win at the CMAs for this award and beating the same nominees, Jason Aldean should win this as well.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson

Similarly to the album category, this duet has won this same category at every country award show. Those wins should carry over here.

Best Folk Album: Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars have this in the bag. Their album has garnered critical acclaim and found its way to mainstream success, despite being part of an indie label.

Michel Hayek’s 2012 Predictions

When I was younger – way younger to be exact – I used to get excited about New Year’s Eve when Michel Hayek came up on our TV sets to give us a “glimpse” through his “gift” of what the coming year held.

As I grew up, I became more critical of the “information” he gave us through his “visions.” I began to think of them as bland, useless, very obvious…. 2012 wasn’t any different.

If you thought this post is a list of his predictions, you won’t be very disappointed because his predictions can be compared to the following story that I was once told by an old man I know:

“I once met a man that you know but I won’t tell you who. He rolled up in front of a store whose name I cannot mention in a black, big car. I won’t tell you the make. That man told me a very interesting story. I can’t tell you that story. He was also very funny. I can’t tell you the joke either. But then something happened – a very dark, mysterious thing whose nature I cannot divulge. And the man became very sad, the kind of sadness I cannot describe. But somehow, things got better. He got into the car which I cannot give you more details about and drove away from the store. But let me tell you this, that conversation was hilarious.”

Did you get anything out of that story? No? Well, those are Michel Hayek’s 2012 “predictions” for you – unless you’re too keen on believing our national currency, the lira, won’t collapse and that the oil we’ve discovered off our shores will solve our national debt in the long run and that the political situation will remain troubled and that there will be sadness for the arts in Lebanon (Isn’t Sabah 90 and very ill?) Except those are obvious things anyone can deduce.

But if you are still adamant on checking them, here you go.

Well, till 2013 I guess. At least we’ll have elections then.