Nate Silver need not worry about a threat to his prognosticator crown, at least not from us. The 2013 Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and for a change, there were some real surprises! Alas, said surprises (mostly in the form of snubs) canceled out a lot of our predictions and made us feel kind of silly. Still, who saw an Affleck snub coming? I am guessing no one, especially Affleck himself.
Read on to find out which category we predicted with 100 percent accuracy....
BEST PICTURE: “Les Miserables,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Amour,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi."
We incorrectly predicted that the Academy would honor a maximum of eight instead of nine films. (And for a hot minute, we thought that "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was nominated, but it was not (duh) and we have since revised our list.) Among our six sure bets, all were nominated, so that's something.
BEST DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln,” Ben Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Ang Lee, “Life of Pi,” David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook,” Michael Haneke, “Amour.”
We really screwed this one up, along with almost everyone else who thought Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck were both guaranteed to get a nod. We were also wrong (somewhat gratefully) about Tom Hooper. Other than that, we correctly predicted that Quentin Tarantino would be shut out, and listed Michael Haneke as a possible spoiler, which came to fruition. We had considered David O. Russell but ultimately decided against it; and it frankly never occurred to us that Ben Zeitlin would be nominated. But hey, good for him!
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln,” Denzel Washington, “Flight,” Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master,” Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables," Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook."
Not too bad here – the criminal snubbing of John Hawkes for “The Sessions” prevented us from getting a perfect score. We were so sure about our predictions that we didn't include any possible spoilers, but if we had, Denzel Washington would have been it. Honest!
BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook,” Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty,” Naomi Watts, “The Impossible,” Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour,” Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
We totally nailed this one. Perfect score! Congratulations, us.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Robert DeNiro, “Silver Linings Playbook,” Alan Arkin, “Argo,” Phillip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master,” Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln,” Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.”
Four out of five ain't bad: Wishful thinking, in the form of a nomination prediction for Jason Clarke in “Zero Dark Thirty,” kept us from sweeping the Best Supporting Actor pool. That slot instead was given to Alan Arkin for “Argo,” which really we should have known would happen.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables,” Amy Adams, “The Master,” Sally Field, “Lincoln,” Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook,” Helen Hunt, “The Sessions.”
Even though, percentage-wise, our predictions were somewhat embarrassingly off the mark, we still feel vindicated by Jacki Weaver's nomination, which we mentioned as a possible long-shot spoiler, but figured her role would be seen as too small. We are glad we were (sort of) wrong about that, because Weaver is the greatest and we love that she had mascara stains under her eyes throughout the entirety of “Silver Linings Playbook.” We only got three out of five, having figured the Academy would favor Dame Judi Dench over Amy Adams, and also predicted a nod for Nicole Kidman, which in retrospect even we don't fully understand. But none of it matters, because Anne Hathaway is going to win, and that is that. Unless Sally Field does.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: “Amour,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Flight,” “Django Unchained,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”
We really did not see the screenplay nod for “Amour” coming, and thought Paul Thomas Anderson would be nominated for “The Master.” Not sure why, but otherwise we were correct.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln.”
Full disclosure: We did not pay close enough attention to the shortlist and did not even realize that “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was a contender here. How is “Beasts” an adapted screenplay? Adapted from what? More on that later. Fuller disclosure: We were disproportionately influenced by other prognosticators who predicted a nomination for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and figured they knew something we didn't. Still, four out of five.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: “The Gatekeepers,” “Searching for Sugar Man,” “How to Survive a Plague,” “The Invisible War,” “5 Broken Cameras.”
Whoops! Speaking of not paying attention to the shortlist, we predicted that “West of Memphis” would get a nod, which would have been impossible, because it was not in fact on the shortlist. But it totally should have been! Otherwise, we got three out of five correct – including “The Gatekeepers” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” which we think are the docs to beat.
Stay tuned for our forthcoming, in-depth series of Best Picture nomination analysis and predictions, which we predict will be sort of correct.