Lake Area actress gives her Oscar predictions

By By Julie Ann Fay / Special to the American Press

Editor’s note: Julie Ann Fay is a member of the Lake Area Film Group. She has acted in three independent feature films, one Travel Channel episode and countless short films.

To watch videos of Ms. Fay's Oscar reviews go to www.youtube.com/scribegirl10.

Oh, the Oscars! They were the original

awards show on television when I was a kid. Now that I’ve grown up, I

love the Oscars

more than ever. In my opinion, this year’s choices offer many

delights for many tastes. So let’s start with a film Southwest

Louisiana folks can identify with.

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

The film was shot in the New Orleans area and is set in a fictional Louisiana community called “The Bathtub” on the wet side

of a levee. This film made me boiling mad during the first 10 minutes. The trailer promised me a magical, fairy-tale bayou

and instead I was immersed in extreme poverty and hopelessness. But the film won me over as its fable unfolded to reveal a

savage and poetic story about our place in the world.

Prediction:

While I give kudos to the young Quvenzhane Wallis for being the

youngest Oscar nominee ever in the Best Actress category,

I don’t think her fierce portrayal of Hush Puppy will win. Alas, I

predict that “Beasts of the Southern Wild” will find itself

on the flooded side of the levee without an Oscar.

‘Django Unchained’

Moving on to another film set in the Deep South, “Django Unchained” is also savage but there’s more blood than poetry. While

I found director Quentin Tarantino’s story about a slave’s vengeance thoroughly entertaining it’s hard to pinpoint exactly

what makes the movie so good. Was it the quirky characters? The unique storyline? The acting? All of the above?

Prediction:

I don’t think Oscar voters will be able to defend why they would choose

“Django” as the ultimate winner. Which ironically,

might make it the perfect Best Picture, but they didn’t ask me. I

think “Django Unchained” will also leave the Oscars empty-handed.

‘Les Miserables’

I’m not sure if I’m the best person or

the worst person to review “Les Miserables” as I had never seen it

onstage. What I

can say is that the sound of moviegoers sniffling into their

tissues was abundant. I enjoy movies that really get my emotions

pumping, and “Les Miserables” didn’t disappoint.

Prediction:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more raw, gut-wrenching performance

onscreen than actress Anne Hathaway’s. She pretty much

stole the show, which is saying a lot because her character is

only onscreen during the first quarter of the film. I’m placing

my bet on Anne Hathaway for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. It

may also get kudos in the Costume Design category.

‘Life of Pi’

It’s one thing to have a movie that explores different religions without choosing one for you, but it’s quite another to do

it when the main character is in danger of being eaten by a tiger. My favorite part of this movie is the ending, which is

designed to leave you debating in the parking lot, “Did it happen or didn’t it?”

Prediction: Even with the tiger, “Life of Pi” is quieter than other more emotional films. I predict it will be in third place for Best

Picture but will score in visual categories like Cinematography.

‘Lincoln’

Grand and historical, Stephen

Spielberg’s “Lincoln” fascinated me with all the political maneuverings

it took to abolish slavery.

I was fully engaged on an intellectual level.

Prediction: There was a lot of Oscar buzz about this one at first, and “Lincoln” has the most nominations, so it could sweep. But I predict

it will win a scattering of awards but won’t walk away Commander in Chief.

‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Is it a drama? Yes, but I laughed a

lot. Is it a comedy? Yes, but I also cried. Is it about mental illness,

football and ballroom

dancing? Yes! What makes this patchwork film weave together

wonderfully are the characters. Mentally ill or not, they remind

us of our neighbors, co-workers, family members and sometimes even

ourselves.

Prediction:

I’d love to see this little film sweep every category and run onstage

yelling “Touchdown” while giving Oscar host Seth McFarlane

a high five. Realistically, though, I’d like to see Jennifer

Lawrence win for Actress in a Leading Role, Robert De Niro win

for Actor in a Supporting Role and the film win in the Adapted

Screenplay category.

‘Zero Dark Thirty’

This is an impressive film. The legwork

to do all the investigating into the tracking of Osama bin Laden from

Sept. 11 to

his final breath is mindboggling. Controversial torture techniques

were shown and the film’s final image was pitch perfect.

But the film was way too long in my opinion before its tense final

showdown.

Prediction: It won’t win Best Picture. Jessica Chastain might win for Actress in a Leading Role. I also think it will do well in Film

Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

‘Argo’

It’s a true story so nutty, it sounds like fiction. “Argo” starts off as a serious film about rescuing the Iranian hostages

in the 1970s, takes a comical turn in Hollywood and leaves our heart pounding during the final act of the film.

Prediction: I saved “Argo” for last because it’s my best bet to win Best Picture. It’s historical, it’s about Hollywood, it’s entertaining,

it’s intellectual and it’s emotional. All things Oscar loves rolled into one movie.

‘Amour’

Here’s my disclaimer: I was not able to watch “Amour” before the Oscars. Thus, it could very well walk away with a slew of

awards. It could be the wild card that turns the tables on everything tonight.