Final predictions for the Critics Choice Awards

The Critics Choice Awards can determine who will go home happy on Oscar night.

Thursday night is big because the race to the Oscars will officially begin with the 18th annual Critics Choices Awards. The Broadcast Film Critics Association will formally announce their selections for the best and brightest achievements in movie making for the past year. The highlights of the Critics Choice Awards include a record setting 13 nominations for Steven Spielberg’s biopic “Lincoln.” A while back, I posted my selections for the big eight; the screenplay categories, the four acting categories, best director and best picture. Since the ceremony is just around the corner, and I think it is time to update my picks for the big eight starting with the screenplay categories.

Best Original Screenplay:

My pick: Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained.” Tarantino has delivered one of the most impressive films of his career and his extraordinary vision for “Django Unchained,” was only possible because of his excellent and well-nourished screenplay. (Previous Pick: Rian Johnson, “Looper.”)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

"Silver Linings Playbook" is a true one of a kind motion picture

“Silver Linings Playbook” is a true one of a kind motion picture

My pick: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.” What made “Silver Linings Playbook,” so wonderful is the blueprint David O. Russell had for Matthew Quick’s story about a silver lining in every situation. Russell constructed this movie beautifully to compliment his vision as director and it was simply sublime. (Previous Pick: unchanged)

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams-“The Master”
  • Judi Dench-“Skyfall”
  • Ann Dowd-“Compliance”
  • Sally Field-“Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway-“Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt-“The Sessions”

My pick: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.” Anne Hathaway found all the right ways to deliver a heartbreaking performance as the downtrodden Fantine. Hathaway possibly delivers the the best performance of her career and 2012 should be highlighted as one of her best years as an actress. (Previous pick: Amy Adams, “The Master”)

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Alan Arkin-“Argo”
  • Javier Bardem-“Skyfall”
  • Robert DeNiro-“Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman-“The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones-“Lincoln”
  • Matthew McConaughey-“Magic Mike”

My pick: Robert DeNiro, “Silver Linings Playbook.” DeNiro was the consummate professional actor in “Silver Linings Playbook.”The patriarchal Pat Sr, was the ultimate underdog to root for by the time the falling action took place. This role is another star-performance in Robert DeNiro’s amazing career. (Previous pick: unchanged)

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Jessica Chastain-“Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Marion Cotillard-“Rust and Bone”
  • Jennifer Lawrence-“Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva-“Amour”
  • Quevenzhane Wallis-“Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts-“The Impossible”

My pick: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook.” If anyone is rising to become one of my favorite actresses it is Jennifer Lawrence. She was a total superstar in “Silver Linings Playbook” as Tiffany, the widowed aspiring dancer going through a difficult time herself to balance Bradley Cooper’s character. (Previous pick: unchanged)

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Bradley Cooper-“Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis-“Lincoln”
  • John Hawkes-“The Sessions”
  • Hugh Jackman-“Les Miserables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix-“The Master”
  • Denzel Washington-“Flight”

My pick: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” This category is completely loaded with quality actors who delivered exemplary performances but at the end of the day, Daniel Day-Lewis is a master-class actor. He completely brought life to Abraham Lincoln and delivered the best acting performance of the year. (Previous pick: unchanged)

Best Director:

  • Ben Affleck-“Argo”
  • Kathryn Bigelow-“Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Tom Hooper-“Les Miserables”
  • Ang Lee-“Life of Pi”
  • David O. Russell-“Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Steven Spielberg-“Lincoln”

My pick: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln.” I dare anyone to name a contemporary director who is as prolific as Steven Spielberg. So far, “Lincoln” has been one of the better best motion pictures of the year and Spielberg’s amazing direction is a major reason why. (Previous Pick: unchanged)

Best Picture:

  • “Argo”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “The Master”
  • “Moonrise Kingdom”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

Considered one of the finest films of the year, “Lincoln” deserves all of the praise thrown its way.

My pick: “Lincoln.” “Lincoln” is a motion picture that immediately grabs the audience’s attention and never lets go. Its value transcends beyond the history books into something rich, powerful and profound and the whole piece just excels. (Previous Pick: unchanged)

The full list of nominees can be found here. The 18th Annual Critics Choice Awards will be broadcast on the CW Network on January 10, 2013 at 8:00 ET/PT.

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