By: Zach Stone / Karson & Kennedy Producer

Ever wonder why the Oscar’s or acting in general is a sham.  A 9-year-old child can be considered better than everyone else at their profession and a complete equal with an 86 year-old woman.  That being said lets continue discussing the Oscar ballots and figure out who gave the best lead performances.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

Before Oscar season started it was looking like the leading actresses category would be the weakest in the field.  But then December rolled around and out came Silver Lining Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty and all of a sudden it became competitive again.

Jennifer Lawrence has been blowing it up recently.  She has a huge blockbuster under her belt with three more movies coming out in the Hunger Games series and a returning role as Mystique in the X-men series.  She has also proven to her peers that she is a forced to be reckoned with having previously been nominated for an Academy Award.  Plus she is cute as a button and JLaw is what we have been waiting for in the newest generation of young actresses.  She is absolutely amazing in Silver Lining Playbook and holds her own against Bradley Cooper and puts Robert De Niro in his place in one of the stand out scenes of the movie.   She is also stunning in the role and pulls off being desirable while also being certifiably insane.  And she does all of this in a comedy which Oscar normally hates which makes the performance all the more impressive.

But Jennifer Lawrence had a lot of help around her.  Silver Lining Playbook has nominations in all four of the acting categories, meanwhile in Zero Dark Thirty the weight of the movie rests solely on Jessica Chastain.  Much like Lawrence, Chastain has blown up in the past few years and these two women represent an elite class of actress for the new generation that I can only hope will outlast the likes of a  KStew.  She carries the movie with a fierce stoicism and while there is a great supporting cast around her, the movie succeed or fails by her performance.  The last image of the movie may be more powerful than any previous scene, but what may cost her the award are some of the images in the movie.

Zero Dark Thirty got a lot of heat due to some of the graphic nature of their torture scenes in the movie.  And while I didn’t think it was anything over the top or something to be viewed as overly politicized it is what people who didn’t see the film were judging the movie on.  In a tight race like this, and I do believe this is a coin flip between these two actresses, something like the offensive nature of the content may be enough to give one actress the edge.  And while I think Chastain did a better job I believe that Lawrence will walk away with the win.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman – “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
Denzel Washington – “Flight”

This is how unfair the best actor award may be.  Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper have arguably never given a better performance in their lives, and they aren’t even in the realm of discussion for the award.  Daniel Day-Lewis killed it as honest Abe and there is no doubt he will make Oscar history on Sunday night as the first man to win the Best Actor Award three times.  It is an unfair fight really, the Academy loves them some method acting and this man became Lincoln.  He just walked around the streets and chilled on set as a dead president.  He even sent texts to Sally Field in character and signed them “Yours, A” I’m not sure he won’t walk on the stage still in the hat and coat.  Any other year we’d be be talking about a bipolar former teacher, or an alcoholic pilot, or a singing Hugh Jackman.  But not this year.  This year it’s all about D-D-L.

Do you think any of the men did better than Daniel Day-Lewis?  Feel free to let me know so I can tell you just how wrong you are, no matter how badly I wish I could agree with you.  What about the women? Which lady do you think walks away with the award, think the Oscars will get sentimental and pick the old lady just because her birthday is Oscar Sunday?  Let me know what you think and tomorrow we’ll discuss just how robbed Ben Affleck got (spoiler alert: super robbed).


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