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Friday September 19th 2014

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Get Ready for the Academy Awards


By Jennie McKeon

Award season is big, but nothing is bigger than the Oscars. The clothes, the mass amount of celebrities jam-packed into one place, the censored swear words—gotta love live television. Maybe you flip channels, waiting for the “big” awards to be called, or maybe you just wait to see the list of winners the next morning. But for those of you who love movies and feel like you have a vested interest in the awards show, here’s your own Oscar ballot. Tear out, circle your predictions and match them up throughout the show. And as an added bonus, I’ve included my picks in the categories I actually had an opinion on. I have no credentials except that I love movies, so feel free to disagree.

Best Picture:

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

My Pick: To me, this was a pretty hard year to choose a favorite, but I’m sticking with the first movie I saw of the bunch, “Lincoln.” It’s an obvious choice, I mean come on it is Steven Spielberg, but it’s also a great story about a great historical figure.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

My Pick: I wouldn’t argue if Daniel or Bradley got the gold man, (I haven’t yet seen “The Master” or “Flight”). However, Day-Lewis already has two Oscars and I don’t think Cooper will ever get another chance to shine like he did in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Give him an award now before he signs up for another “Hangover” movie.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

My Pick: Quvenzhane Wallis hands down. You cannot take your eyes off that little girl. She could be mute and still display all of the emotions of her character, “Hushpuppy.”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, Argo

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

My Pick: Tommy Lee Jones. You can argue that he was just playing himself, but his role as Thaddeus Stevens was just plain fun to watch.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, The Master

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

My Pick: Anne Hathaway. She was a double threat in “Les Mis” by singing and acting and nailing both. Her role, while small in the realm of the three-hour film, haunts you throughout.

Best Animated Feature Film

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

My Pick: I’m going with the only one I saw in this category: “Wreck-It Ralph.” It was really cute, any video gamer will appreciate the references.

Short Film, animated

Adam and Dog

Fresh Guacamole

Head over Heels

Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

Paperman John Kahrs

My Pick: Again, the only one I saw was “Paperman.” It was before “Wreck-It Ralph.” But it truly was such a beautiful short. The music and the adorable ending moved me so much I forgot that I was essentially watching a cartoon.

Music, Original Song

“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric by J. Ralph

“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane

“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri

“Skyfall” from Skyfall, Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

“Suddenly” from Les Misérables, Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

My Pick: “Skyfall.” Adele never loses. Unless Beyonce sang something for “Lincoln,” there’s really no competition.

Music, Original Score

Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli

Argo, Alexandre Desplat

Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

Lincoln, John Williams

Skyfall, Thomas Newman

My Pick: John Williams. This is the man who came up with the catchy “Star Wars” theme song. I think any music nerd would agree he’s an easy choice.

Costume Design

Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran

Les Miserables, Paco Delgado

Lincoln, Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

My Pick: I’ve seen all of the above movies except for “Anna Karenina”—but you can tell just from the trailers that these period costumes were gorgeous. My favorite was “Mirror Mirror.” The costumes were whimsical and the swan number worn by Lily Collins, was exceptionally beautiful.

Directing

Amour, Michael Haneke

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi, Ang Lee

Lincoln, Steven Spielberg

Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

My Pick: I bet you thought I’d say Spielberg. While I wouldn’t disagree with him winning, I‘m rooting for David O. Russell. I think for actors to tap into their “crazy” side, they need a director whom they trust. Whatever Russell did to get his actors to give such great performances, worked.

For a complete list of award categories and nominees, visit oscar.go.com/nominees

THE 85TH ACADEMY AWARDS

WHEN: Airing live at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC

DETAILS: oscar.go.com