Keith Simanton: Oscars have creepy parallel to 1998

This year’s Oscar derby gives Keith Simanton (IMDB) a creepy feeling. “It kind of reminds me of when ‘Saving Private Ryan’ lost to ‘Shakespeare in Love'” back in 1998, he says in our webcam chat, noting that this year’s race pits “a Spielbergian, historical drama vs. something essentially about putting on a show.”

Simanton calls Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” “a masterwork — it’s unimpeachable, great filmmaking,” but “Argo” — a film about sneaky Hollywooders putting on a campy sci-fi show in order to fool Iranians — suddenly seems to have the mojo, according to the predictions of 22 of the 25 pundits (including Simanton) polled by Gold Derby.

He believes Anne Hathaway has Best Supporting Actress in the bag and “Best Actor is Daniel Day-Lewis unless the Mayan apocalypse happens a couple months late.

“I think Best Supporting Actor is still pretty open,” he adds. “I don’t really understand the Tommy Lee Jones brouhaha. To me, it was a very one-note performance.”

He also believes the widely perceived “Jennifer Lawrence lock may not be such a lock” considering how often the Oscars do not repeat the SAG champ for Best Actress. Last year, for example, SAG voters went for Viola Davis (“The Help“) while academy member embraced Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady“).

See Simanton’s predictions here. See how they stack up against the prophecies of 24 other top pundits. See the rankings and racetrack odds of all pundit predictions when they’re combined.


7 thoughts on “Keith Simanton: Oscars have creepy parallel to 1998

  1. I’m glad he said that about Tommy Lee Jones. I feel the same way. I think that race is wide open between at least four of the candidates. Five, if Arkin is lifted up by the Argo juggernaut. So…anyone could take it, really. If Christoph Waltz can pull off the BAFTA win in addition to the Golden Globe, then he’ll happily be my pick for sure. But I’m still leaning a tiny bit towards Philip Seymour Hoffman being the winner. I think this is the category I’m having the hardest time narrowing down. That and original screenplay.

  2. While I do agree with most of the article, in terms of the Best Actress race I believe it is a lock for Jennifer Lawrence from here on out. Yes! The SAG awards are not always a predictor on who will win at the Oscars with reference to Viola Davis’s lose however; you have to see the big picture. Jennifer Lawrence was awarded the Best Actress at the Golden Globes and Best Actress for a comedy at the Broadcast Critics Awards show. The only reason she lost the Best Actress award at the Broadcast Film Critics is because it was very clear she was going to win in the Comedy and Action Categories, which she did. This being said, Lawrence winning at the Golden Globes, as well as, the SAG makes it very much so in her favor as this same pattern of winning worked for Hilary Swank, Natalie Portman & Charlize Theron.

  3. Whatever the results, there are as many things wrong with “Lincoln” as there were with “Saving Private Ryan,” and there are as many things right and even great about “Argo” as there were with “Shakespeare in Love.” A strange not-so-parallel: in 1998, a great playwright’s (Stoppard’s) touch on a script was enhanced by a director (Madden) who knew how to stay out of a production’s way. This time around, a great playwright’s (Kushner’s) script was enhanced yet ultimately overshadowed by a director (Spielberg) who needs to relearn how to stay out of a production’s way.

  4. Tom, for future reference, after Lauren Bacall, here are the other Globe + SAG winners who lost the Oscar:
    2001 — Russell Crowe (lost to Denzel Washington)
    2002 — Renee Zellwegger (lost to Nicole Kidman)
    2006 — Eddie Murphy (lost to Alan Arkin)
    2007 — Julie Christie (lost to Marion Cotillard)

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