Five Oscar winners I'd love to see (but probably won't)

05:00 AM, Feb 22, 2013

Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master.' Phil Bray, AP/


Written By by Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY

I haven’t written much about this year’s Academy Awards nominees for a couple reasons: One, I’m still catching up on the flicks (many of which came out around the time I had a baby). Two, I just don’t feel as passionate about the noms as I usually do.

The Oscars may be film’s Main Event, but they also come at the end of an awards season that grows increasingly longer. By the end of it, many fans are tired of repetitive speeches and can predict most of the winners without a problem.

That said, there are a few nominees I’ll be pulling for Sunday. Here they are … though, frankly, I’d be surprised if any of them won!

1. Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor, The Master). While I realize Daniel Day-Lewis has a near-zero chance of losing the category, I’m pulling for Phoenix, who knocked me down with his intense performance as a struggling World War II veteran. The actor has already lost the Oscar twice before (for Gladiator and Walk the Line), but I’m convinced his talent will be rewarded eventually. (And yeah, he took a little detour to become a rapper. But so what? Celebrities have subjected us to far worse shenanigans.)

2. Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (Best Original Screenplay, Moonrise Kingdom). It’s hard to believe Anderson has never won an Oscar. And while he certainly should’ve gotten gold for Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox, I think he, along with Coppola, deserve it for this gem of a film, which ranks as one of his best. Unfortunately, I think the odds are more in favor of Quentin Tarantino or Zero Dark Thirty’s Mark Boal.

3. John Williams (Best Original Score, Lincoln). Williams has been nominated by the Academy a whopping 48 times; behind Walt Disney, he’s the second most-nominated person ever. So why would I like to see him win? Because it’s been 20 years since his last win (for Schindler’s List), and we may not see the 81-year-old composer nominated many more times. Out of all my faves, he’s most likely to prevail, though Life of Pi’s Mychael Danna took the Golden Globe in the category.

4. Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick (Best Visual Effects, The Avengers). Joss Whedon’s superhero flick offered one of my most enjoyable moviegoing experiences in 2012. That said, I fully expect Life of Pi or The Hobbit to take the stage instead. Harrumph.

5. Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn (Best Documentary Feature, Searching for Sugar Man). I loved this movie so much I bought Rodriguez’s albums before I even finished watching it. I think Academy voters are fond of movies about the entertainment industry, though critical fave The Gatekeepers offers stiff competition.

ABC’s Oscars telecast kicks off at 7 p.m. ET Sunday with a red-carpet special. Head here for a full list of nominees.