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By Dave Steele
Now that we all know who brought home the big prize in football, movie lovers can finally look forward to their version of the Super Bowl, the 85th annual Academy Awards. In just under three weeks, we will get to witness all that makes the Oscars, well, the Oscars. Host Seth MacFarlane will try to land some cracks on a crowd that is notoriously tough, wardrobe malfunctions and slurred acceptance speeches will warm our hearts, and the sound of Leonardo Dicaprio’s teeth grinding through forced smiles will all but tie together America’s favorite awards ceremony.
Here are my picks for the top four categories in this year’s Academy Awards.
Best Picture: “Argo”
Even though Ben Affleck was snubbed for the Best Director nomination, this powerhouse picture has received universal acclaim while at the same time pulling in a fat $118 million purse at the box office. Every dimension of this film was created with an incredible attention to detail that flowed perfectly with Chris Terrio’s up-and-coming talent for writing.
Best Director: Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”)
This could very well be Spielberg’s third time bringing home the golden bacon for this category. Much like his work in “Saving Private Ryan,” Spielberg is working with a cast as stacked as the Miami Heat. With stars like Tommy Lee Jones, Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, posting up as the big three, Spielberg is more than deserving of this coach of the year award.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”)
What gives Chastain the edge is the emotionally draining yet authentic journey that she took audiences on. The development of her character from a jittery rookie into a stone-cold CIA veteran should definitely be rewarded.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”)
Daniel Day-Lewis is somewhat of an enigma. He doesn’t make very many movies, but when he does, he completely blows you away. Being tasked with portraying one of the most important figures in world history was no easy task, especially when there is little to no footage of his mannerisms to go off of. This win should be a cakewalk.
Correction: This article was corrected on Feb. 5, 2013, after an error regarding Best Actress nominees. Actress Anne Hathaway is nominated for Best Supporting Actress.