David Onda’s 2013 Oscars Diary: Day 5

by | February 22, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Movies, Oscars

Jean Dujardin holds his Oscar (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty)

Today is a bit of a work day here in Hollywood, as there are no press events. I have to pick up my tuxedo (all press attending the Oscars must dress in formal wear) and then scope out the progress at the red carpet.

Last year, on the Friday before Oscars night, crews had removed the plastic from the carpet and began placing the giant gold statues along Hollywood Blvd. Follow me on Twitter @David_Onda to get up-to-the-minute updates and photos of Academy’s preparations for the big night.

Last night, I attended the “Oscar Celebrates: Animated Features” event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Much to my delight (although it shouldn’t have surprised me), director Tim Burton was in attendance and did a Q&A with actor Rob Riggle about his nominated film “Frankenweenie.” I’ll post more from the event later, but thought I’d mention that when Burton was asked if he considered casting Johnny Depp in the movie, he replied, “He does do good barking sounds, but, no.”

Today’s Oscar prediction will surprise no one, and it’s probably the easiest category to predict: Best Actor. The nominees are Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook“), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln“), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables“), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master“) and Denzel Washington (“Flight“).

WHO SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis

WHO WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis

No other actor in this category led his film with the same commanding presence, fully immersed in his character and the story, as Mr. Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. In terms of a performance in a leading role, it just doesn’t get better – particularly in a dialogue-heavy film where the most fascinating aspect is how (and how incredibly well) the star delivers his lines.

But I don’t want to take anything away from the other actors in this category. Hugh Jackman is a revelation as Jean Valjean in the movie musical “Les Miserables,” and would win the runner-up trophy, if it existed. “Silver Linings Playbook” has elevated Bradley Cooper to an entirely new level in Hollywood and has proved that, yes, he can act. Denzel Washington was highly affective as troubled pilot Whip Whitaker in “Flight,” although it did not stand out as being any better (or any worse) than his other acclaimed performances. Denzel is Denzel. Is it possible that being “great” in every one of his movies has made him less special?

As for Joaquin Phoenix, any hopes he had of winning the Oscar went out the door when he called the awards “the stupidest thing in the world” and said he wanted no part of it. Way to go, Joaquin. He was lucky he got nominated.

That’s all for today. Enjoy your Friday and make sure you’ve prepared for the Oscars by following my Five-Step Plan. I leave you today with the red carpet’s first gold statue, which made its debut on the red carpet yesterday. For more awards coverage, visit the XFINITY Awards Season special.

The BIG gold man arrives (Photo: David Onda)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.