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How to survive awards season

–cscruton@my.apsu.edu

Are you clueless when it comes to movie awards? When small talk at parties reaches Golden Globe winners or Best Supporting Actor nominees, do you feel hopelessly lost?

Well, don’t fear.

Whether you’re a movie buff or you know nothing of the 2013 Oscar lineup, The All State is here to give you a comprehensive guide on how to look like an expert during this year’s awards season.

“Awards season” refers to a stretch of events from December to January in which films are honored in a range of ceremonies, including the Screen Actors’ Guild and Satellite Awards. With the Golden Globes behind us, though, all eyes have turned towards the biggest event of the season, the Academy Awards.

Many Oscar discussions begin with the Best Actor and Actress nominees. A good pick for Best Actor would be Daniel Day Lewis for the title role in “Lincoln.”

Many critics have praised Lewis’ performance as incredibly genuine and convincing, and Lewis is expected by many critics to take the award.

Jessica Chastain is also a good bet to pick up the Best Actress award for her role as Maya, a CIA agent in the war movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”

For Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway’s performance as the ill-fated mother Fantine in the musical “Les Misérables” was widely viewed as outstanding. Despite being on screen for less than half of the movie, Hathaway was praised for both her acting and singing ability in the film.

The Best Supporting Actor award is looking to be a toss-up between two actors in particular. Christoph Waltz already won the Golden Globe for Supporting Actor as Dr. Schultz in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” Also worth noting, Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2009 for his performance in “Inglorious Basterds,” another Tarantino film.

However, Philip Seymour Hoffman — who won the 2005 Best Actor Oscar for “Capote” — is a strong candidate as well. This year, Hoffman is nominated for playing the role of Lancaster Dodd in the critically acclaimed drama  “The Master.”

Ben Affleck, after winning Best Director for “Argo” at the Golden Globes, surprisingly wasn’t even nominated for the award at the Oscars. With Affleck out of the way, the most likely candidates now are probably Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln” and Ang Lee for “Life of Pi.”

Like any good year of movies, the award for Best Picture, arguably the biggest prize at the Oscars, could conceivably go to any one of several films. Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which garnered 12 nominations in all, is a strong possibility, however “Argo,” “Life of Pi” and “Zero Dark Thirty” could all just as   easily win.

Personally, I rather liked “Les Misérables,” and I thought it had several really solid acting performances, though I think a Best Picture award would be a little bit too generous for the musical. Also, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a vastly underrated — and little known — fantasy drama set in a Louisiana bayou. While it’s not the most obvious choice, the film has several nominations and may end up sneaking away with a few awards of its own.

While I have my own opinions regarding the best nominees of this year, some of these categories will have to come down to your personal preferences. Maybe you’re a fan of hard-hitting dramas like “The Master,” and maybe you can’t resist the musical numbers of “Les Misérables.”

Either way, doing research and watching movies are the best ways to keep yourself from sounding like a fool at your Oscars viewing party.

The Academy Awards air on Sunday, Feb. 24, which gives you all plenty of time to see as many nominees as possible.

About Conor Scruton, Managing Editor

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