Thursday, January 10, 2013

85th Academy Awards Nominations

I like the Oscars. I don't always agree with them (in fact I rarely agree with them 100 percent) but I like them. They allow movies that otherwise just wouldn't get made or seen to get recognition, which is nice. So I was paying close attention to this year's crop of nominations and I have to admit I was...quite surprised. So away we go:

Best Picture:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Life of Pie
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

That is a mixed bag, leaning good. The inclusion of great movies like Beasts, Lincoln, Django, Zero and Argo is enough to make up for mediocre to bad movies like Pi and Les Mis and the lack of things like Moonrise Kingdom or The Master. Given it's number of nominations, I suppose I need to see Silver Linings Playbook and while I'd not heard of Amour until now, I should probably give that look too. The sheer volume of nominations for Lincoln means we're probably looking at a juggernaut, which is...fine with me actally.

Best Director:
Michael Haneke for Amour
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

I may not have seen Amour but Michale Haneke did the excellent Funny Games a few years back, so I like seeing him up. Pi looks nice enough that I'm willing to forgive it being up despite it's mediocre quality. Since Affleck and Bigelow aren't up, smart money is probably on Spielberg. But none of that really matters, because I'm just so fucking happy Tom Hooper isn't up.

Best Actor:
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Denzel Washington for Flight

Honestly wasn't expecting Denzel. The rest is fairly predictable stuff. Hugh wasn't always great, but he was trying his ass off, so we'll forgive his nomination. I'm betting on Daniel Day-Lewis, with Joaquin as an upset, but I'm rooting for Joaquin.

Best Actress:
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Souther Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible

The big 'wait, what?' for this one is The Impossible, as I've not heard anyone even talking about this movie. Jessica Chastain pretty much has this locked down, which is fine with me, but I'm just excited for Hushpuppy being up, and probably the closest thing this category has to an upset. It's also kinda cool that this year has both the oldest (Riva) and youngest (fucking guess) actresses ever to be nominated.

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

That is...a damned good category. Okay yeah, Samuel L. Jackson or Leonardo DiCaprio would be better choices for Django, but it's still a good category. It's also a little too close to call right now, though gun to my head, I'd say Tommy Lee Jones. Don't quote me on that though.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Well Silver Linings Playbook better be fucking great given that it's in all of the big categories. As for this category, everyone thinks it's gonna be Anne Hathaway and I can't think of a reason to argue. Hence, it's boring to talk about. Next.

Best Original Screenplay:
Django Unchained
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

Honestly, unless Amour or Flight are terrible, there are no bad choices in this category. I'd have to say Django is probably the most likely, although Moonrise and Amour aren't outside the realm of possibility. 

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

This one is probably going to Lincoln although the purist in me is a little annoyed that Life of Pi made it in despite it's pretty crap screenplay. Argo is probably the reliable upset and it's just generally nice to see Beasts up for so many things.

Best Animated Feature:
The Pirates: Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

With so many well received animated films this year, I'd honestly expect the obligatory Pixar nomination to not grab it, especially given that it only got middling reviews. But then that's what I said about Rata-whatever a few years back, and it still managed to beat out Persepolis of all thing, so never underestimate the Academy's fetish for all things Pixar. And honestly, with so many other good options, the non-Brave vote might be split enough for Brave to grab it.

Best Foreign Film:
A Royal Affair
War Witch

Do I even need to tell you that Amour is gonna get it? Didn't think so. The only other thing I can think of to say is to ask whether Kim Nguyen, director of War Witch is related to James Nguyen, director of Birdemic? Seriously, wouldn't that be the greatest piece of irony ever.

Best Documentary:
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

I've not seen any of these, but based on my research, I'm assuming How to Survive a Plague is the probable winner. Upset is probably Searching for Sugar Man or The Gatekeepers.

In the technical awards, I keep seeing Lincoln and Life of Pi, so those are probably the big ones. I'm personally rooting for Skyfall when it comes to Best Original Song and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed to see a complete lack of Cloud Atlas anywhere (not surprised though).

The ceremony is on February 24th, I'll be over at a friend's house to watch and live tweet it, and I'll have my official predictions up before then. Enjoy your betting.  

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