Oscar Winners Revisited: Who Should’ve Won in 2013

By @DJansick
Oscar Winners Revisited: Who Should’ve Won in 2013

This Sunday night everyone will know who the real 2015 Oscar winners are and that person who hasn’t watched a single nominated film this year will probably win your office pool. In our recent Oscar Winners Revisited columns, we’ve gone back to discuss who should have won back in 2011, and 2012. Now we revisit the 2013 Oscars and discuss why we think Best Picture should have gone to Silver Linings Playbook and not to Argo, as well as our picks in the other 5 major categories that year.

Who Should’ve Won An Oscar in 2013

Best Supporting Actress

Who Won – Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Who Should’ve Won – Amy Adams, The Master

Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams at the Oscars

Amy Adams’ understated performance as the reserved but grounded wife in The Master seemed to have been overshadowed by the thunderous performances from leads Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. But she had an essential role in shaping The Master into the brilliant and well-acted film that it became. After Adams walked away empty-handed three previous times at the Oscars (nominated for Junebug, Doubt, and The Fighter), I thought she’d finally receive the shiny gold trophy she deserves. Yet somehow Anne Hathaway received more votes from the Academy with her imperfect singing in the classic musical remake of Les Miserables. One day you will win Ms. Adams, one day. [Dustin]

Best Supporting Actor

Who Won – Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Who Should’ve Won – Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Christoph Waltz and Philip Seymour Hoffman Oscars

2013 felt like a real “anything goes” year for the Best Supporting Actor category. On one side, there was the trio of living legends Alan Arkin, Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones all playing pivotal roles in films that won elsewhere in major categories. On the other were two men better known as character actors: Christoph Waltz and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Waltz picked up his second win in two nominations (both for Tarantino movies) despite some critics noting Leonardo DiCaprio’s superior performance in Django Unchained. All in all, the overlooked nominee in the bunch was Hoffman. Though we didn’t know it then, The Master would be Hoffman’s final Oscar nomination, his strongest collaboration with his friend, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. Playing Lancaster Dodd, the cultish leader of The Cause, Hoffman illustrates the charisma necessary to recruit a legion of followers while also depicting Dodd as a man, “a hopelessly inquisitive man.” It’s a staggeringly complex character made knowable through an honest, vulnerable performance. Lancaster Dodd exhibited Hoffman at his best: charming, empathetic, and exceedingly truthful. He deserved a win. [Zach]

Best Actress

Who Won – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Who Should’ve Won – Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain Oscars

Nobody was surprised to hear Jennifer Lawrence’s name called for Best Actress in 2013. She was terrific in Silver Linings Playbook, a film that had Oscar wins written all over it, which made this victory feel like an easy lay-up despite the talented group of nominees that year. Emmanuelle Riva nearly broke us down to tears with Amour, Quvenzhané Wallis won our hearts in Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Naomi Watts left us emotionally stirred in The Impossible. But it was Jessica Chastain who shocked us with her bravery in an unapologetic portrayal of CIA agent in charge of tracking Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. Unlike other Hollywood roles for women, Chastain got the chance to play an intelligent, uncompromising heroine, and she did it extremely well. This might have been one of the better years for lead actresses in recent memory, but Chastain’s electrifying performance stood above the rest—perhaps just a touch above Wallis and Lawrence. [Dustin]

Best Actor

Who Won – Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Who Should’ve Won – Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Daniel Day-Lewis Joaquin Phoenix Oscar

With all due respect to the World’s Greatest Actor™ Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Freddie Quell creates a character far beyond imitation. The enigmatic Quell is noticeably disturbed, speaking out of the side of his mouth and prone to sudden, violent outbursts. Phoenix is said to have used a rubber band to tie his teeth together on a side of his mouth to contribute to Quell’s odd speech pattern. But beyond his vocal choices, Quell is likely Phoenix’s most physical performance. The actor contorts himself, throwing his body into walls and at others with an animalistic quality. This type of performance could feel over-the-top in a lesser production but guided by Paul Thomas Anderson, Freddie Quell is both frightening and sympathetic. More than that, he’s simply unforgettable. [Zach]

Best Director

Who Won – Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Who Should’ve Won – Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Ang Lee and Benh Zeitlin Oscars

Obviously nobody at the time knew that Ben Affleck‘s Argo would go on to win Best Picture, a strange thing since he wasn’t even nominated in this Best Director category. While people were scratching their heads trying to figure out why he and Kathryn Bigelow were snubbed, some were pleasantly surprised (myself included) to see Michael Haneke on the list for Amour (foreign films don’t often get recognized in this category), as well as first-time filmmaker Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Though the race seemed to be between David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee walked away with his second Best Director award. Remarkably, it was the new kid on the block, Zeitlin, who impressed me the most. He shot Beasts of the Southern Wild on location using mostly local actors, and created a poetic fairy tale most seasoned directors couldn’t produce. Even though he didn’t win, Zeitlin should have felt honored to be in such great company. [Dustin]

Best Picture

Who WonArgo
Who Should’ve WonSilver Linings Playbook

Argo Silver Linings Playbook 2013 Oscars

This is probably one of my least favorite years for Best Picture, a lot of brilliant films didn’t make the cut while a couple mediocre ones did (cough Les Miserables cough). But I’ll take Silver Linings Playbook over the wondrous Life of Pi, the heartbreaking Amour, and the endlessly moving Beasts of the Southern Wild. Silver Linings is one of the most charming movies of the decade and a delightful throwback to the zany screwball romantic comedies of the ‘30s and ‘40s, a better tribute than the previous years Best Picture winner The Artist. David O. Russell’s chaotic and jumpy style perfectly suits this story of a man suffering from bipolar disorder trying to correct his life amidst an unusual romance, a temperamental football-obsessed father, and any other type of everyday drama that can stand in the way of a positive and happy life. There’s a lightning-in-a-bottle feeling of success to Silver Linings Playbook which the uninspired mess of American Hustle only makes me appreciate more. [Ryan]

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