Though 2012 may not have been the strongest or most groundbreaking year for movies—very good movies aplenty, sure, but nothing particularly mind-blowing—the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony has the potential to be the most memorable in recent years. And not because Seth McFarlane probably won’t be able to resist doing his Stewie voice on the Oscar stage (#LOLZ, #SMH, #etc.). Rather, for the first time in quite a while, there simply don’t appear to be too many shoo-ins.
Jessica Chastain seemed undefeatable just a month ago, but now Jennifer Lawrence appears to be surpassing her as the favorite as Silver Linings Playbook keeps expanding its audience and Zero Dark Thirty continues to fade in the wake of controversy and Kathryn Bigelow’s directorial snub. Anne Hathaway’s recent wide-eyed theater-kid shtick at every award ceremony may have begin to backfire and all those moments of bowing down to worship at the altar of Sally Field may actually work in Field’s favor. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln seems the easy pick—but is it too easy? Could Bradley Cooper emerge victorious alongside costar Lawrence? It’s pretty clear that Robert DeNiro’s taking home the gold man for his turn in Playbook, and so maybe there’ll be a strange sweep that extends to Best Picture and Best Director for David O. Russell?