Going for the Gold

By Fallon, Kevin | Newsweek, February 22, 2013 | Go to article overview
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Going for the Gold


Fallon, Kevin, Newsweek


Byline: Kevin Fallon

Time again for Hollywood to prepare those acceptance speeches! From 'Lincoln' to 'Les Miz,' we weigh this year's biggest contenders.

And the Oscar Goes to ...

With Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony fast approaching, Newsweek scopes out the Vegas odds for the major contenders in the Oscars' top categories. To cast your own ballot picks, visit The Daily Beast for an interactive guide to the ultimate red-carpet viewing experience.

BEST PICTURE

Argo

At various points over the awards season, Lincoln, Les Miserables, and Zero Dark Thirty each sprinted to the front of the horse race, only to lose momentum eventually. Argo, however, has been the steady steed through it all. It's rare that a film wins Best Picture when its director is not nominated, but it's precisely the outrage over Ben Affleck's snub that's given Argo the turbo boost needed to win.

2013 Wins: Golden Globe/SAG/Critics Choice/BAFTA

Lincoln

Lincoln's bona fides seem tailor-made for Oscar glory: a film about the beloved 16th president directed by Steven Spielberg, written by the prolific Tony Kushner, and with Daniel Day-Lewis donning the stovepipe hat. Praised for its noble and tense depiction of Abe's principled crusade to get the 13th Amendment ratified, Lincoln could be the night's big spoiler.

2013 Wins: None so far

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Day-Lewis

That Daniel Day-Lewis would craft an impeccable Abraham Lincoln is expected. But that he turns this figure--so often portrayed as an oracle, philosopher, and mythically infallible leader--into an actual, real man is a delightful surprise. As his reward, Day-Lewis has taken home what seems like four score and seven Hollywood awards.

2013 Wins: Golden Globe/SAG/Critics Choice/BAFTA

Hugh Jackman

Few actors are as beloved in Hollywood as Hugh Jackman, and Jackman is rarely as beloved as when he's in song-and-dance mode. Perfect, then, is his casting as the indefatigable hero Jean Valjean. While the Aussie actor strained for a few of Valjean's highest notes, there's near-universal admiration for his dedication to bringing Les Miz to the screen.

2013 Wins: Golden Globe

BEST actress

Jennifer Lawrence

In their flurry of love letters to Jennifer Lawrence's performance as a straight-talking widow-turned-sex-addict in Silver Linings Playbook, critics have used adjectives like "fiery," "spunky," "complex," and "wickedly funny." In their assessments of her acceptance speeches thus far during awards season, they've used many of those same words, hinting at a star-is-born win on Oscar night.

2013 Wins: Golden Globe/SAG

Emmanuelle Riva

In Amour, Riva plays an octogenarian enduring the agony of aging and the reality that the end of life is near.

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