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Article posted: 2/20/2013 4:26 PM

Gire talks Oscars with Arlington Heights Chamber

By Melissa Silverberg

With Hollywood's biggest night only a few days away, Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire shared some of his predictions Wednesday for who will take home the top honors with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Gire discussed Sunday's 85th annual Academy Awards during a Chamber lunch event at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. It is the second consecutive year Gire has spoken about the Oscars before the group.

"This was one of the most popular events we had all of last year," said Shannon Scanlan, co-chair of the Professional Women's Council, which organizes the monthly lunch meetings with different topics and speakers.

The Academy Awards are a time for glitz and glamour, but as Gire said, it's also a time to see often-controlled celebrities act a little bit more human.

While some categories such Best Supporting Actress seem already sewn up, with Anne Hathaway from "Les Miserables" receiving accolades throughout award season, others are still up for grabs, he said.

With a number of big-name films at the top of the pack, Gire predicted that the 2013 award show will be "the nuttiest shake up in years."

Nearly 85 percent of the time it's the movie with the highest number of nominations that wins the Best Picture award, Gire said, but that might not be true this year.

Steven Spielberg's historical epic "Lincoln" has the most nominations at 12, but Gire said the film was at times too self-aware.

"It doesn't deserve to win Best Picture, but it could," he said.

Oscar watchers shouldn't discount "Argo," which has been riding what Gire called a "tsunami of support" since Ben Affleck was left without a nomination in the Best Director category. "Argo" has won the top prize at nearly every award show this season, including the Golden Globes, Screen Actor's Guild and Writer's Guild of America.

Only three times in Oscar history has a film won Best Picture without the director also being nominated, Gire said -- the others were "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1990, "Grand Hotel" in 1932 and "Wings" at the inaugural Academy Awards in 1929.

The fight for Best Supporting Actor will come down to Tommy Lee Jones for his role in "Lincoln" and Robert DeNiro in "Silver Linings Playbook," said Gire, who's giving the edge to Jones.

Gire will be discussing the Oscars at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at the Arlington Heights Library.

His full predictions and analysis will appear in Friday's Time Out section in the Daily Herald. Gire also will be commenting on his predictions at 11 a.m. Friday on ABC 7 News and 7:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS 2.

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