EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 24, 2013

He says, they say: Our critic makes his picks for Oscars

(Continued)

BEST ACTOR

Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”

Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”

Denzel Washington, “Flight”

WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis

SHOULD WIN: Joaquin Phoenix

LEFT OUT: Jamie Foxx

Essentially this is a pointless category, because Daniel Day-Lewis played a U.S. president pretty much flawlessly and will become the first man in history to win three Oscars for Best Actor. So an advanced congratulations to him and to Joaquin Phoenix, who notoriously called the Oscars “bull----” in an interview from last year. This means he will probably be thrilled not to be a part of the Oscar’s pony show, even though he indubitably gave the most daring, unhinged, and complex performance of this year and of recent years.

I don’t disagree with any of these nominations, but I would have loved to see Jamie Foxx’s name up there for his understated performance as the titular hero of “Django Unchained.”

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

WILL/SHOULD WIN: Emmanuelle Riva

Another acting category I don’t have too many problems with, except for the fact that Oscar buzz has been incessantly promoting the fact that Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest Best Actress nominee ever for “Amour” at age 85, and “Beasts of the Southern Wild’s” Wallis was only 6 when the film was shot, making her the youngest. So either win would be a history-making one, and I’m guessing a well-deserved will go to the remarkably moving performance of Riva as an elderly woman slowly dying as her loving husband cares for her. Another bonus? Her 86th birthday is the day of the Oscars. That would be quite the gift.

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