Oscar Nominations – Initial Reaction

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Every year I can’t help but get a bit excited about the Oscars, but I really don’t know why, as they always end up being tedious and predictable. And the nominations this year show no signs of changing this. At least though, there isn’t one film that’ll obviously win best picture the way there have been these last few years.

So here’s this year’s batch, there’s a good number I haven’t seen yet (including Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook) but here are my initial thoughts. (I haven’t commented on the short categories as I have no idea about any of them)

BEST PICTURE

Amour
Argo
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life Of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook

No surprises here, except possibly Amour, Lincoln seems to be the front runner, but think all the major ones this year are likely to be between that and Life of Pi.

Of course the two best blockbusters of the year – Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises – don’t get nominated.

BEST DIRECTOR

Life Of Pi – Ang Lee
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Amour – Michael Haneke
Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
Beasts Of The Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin

More interesting, as you can be pretty sure that any best picture nom without a director one isn’t going to win. Ben Affleck’s absence is unexpected, as he seemed like a sure thing, ditto for Kathryn Bigelow, but Benh Zeitlin I don’t think deserves to be there. And Amour really didn’t work for me either. Spielberg and Lee are both previous winners and I think it’ll go to one of them. Maybe whichever one doesn’t win best picture.

BEST ACTOR

Denzel Washington – Flight
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Does anyone else stand a chance? Maybe Joaquin Phoenix or Hugh Jackman but this is very likely to be Daniel Day-Lewis’s third statue

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Arkin – Argo
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

All previous winners, could go any way, probably Hoffman.

BEST ACTRESS

Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible

As I suspected but hoped against, Quvenzhané Wallis has been nominated. This is fairly ridiculous to me, she was 6 years old when filming. I teach kids this age and they are not capable of playing roles in the same way adults are. I’m fairly confident that she will have just been being herself carefully guided by the director and it’s not really fair to compare her to the other actresses. If I were, say, Marion Cotillard in ‘Rust and Bone’, (who gave an excellent performance), and my work was deemed inferior to that of a six year old I don’t know how I’d feel. I hope anyone else but she wins this. The Oscars have always overpraised child performers and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon. They simply shouldn’t be placed in competition with adults.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – The Master
Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Sally Field – Lincoln
Jacky Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Two previous winners, all previous nominees, will probably go to Anne Hathaway. Judi Dench for Skyfall should be there, and I kind of wish Anne Hathaway had been there for The Dark Knight Rises instead of Les Mis

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
Wreck-it-Ralph

Yes! Go ParaNoram! It probably won’t win but should.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Chris Terrio – Argo
Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
David Magee – Life Of Pi
Tony Kushner – Lincoln
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

No surprises here, I could potentially see this going to BotSW if they give Lincoln or Life of Pi the more top prizes

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Michael Haneke – Amour
Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained
Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola – Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal – Zero Dark Thirty
John Gatins – Flight

I imagine Michael Haneke could win this. Though yet again problems with the system show, Zero Dark Thirty being an ‘original’ screenplay despite being based on well known true story.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Anna Karenina – Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained – Robert Richardson
Life Of Pi – Claudio Miranda
Lincoln – Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall – Roger Deakins

From those, Skyfall should win, though Life of Pi probably will and isn’t undeserving. The Hobbit should definitely have been nominated.

COSTUME DESIGN

Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables – Paco Delgado
Lincoln – Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror – Eiko Ishioka
Snow White And The Huntsman – Colleen Atwood

I just don’t care, probably Les Mis or Lincoln will take this.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How To Survive A Plague
The Invisible War
Searching For Sugar Man

I can’t believe that The Impostor wasn’t nominated here, well I’ve only seen one of them but it’s one of my favourites of the year, Searching for Sugar Man

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays At Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

N/A

BEST FILM EDITING

Argo – William Goldenberg
Life Of Pi – Tim Squyres
Zero Dark Thirty – Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg
Lincoln – Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook – Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers

A curiously important category, as it’s nearly always shared with the best picture, so probably Lincoln or Life of Pi will get it

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Amour – Austria
Kon-Tiki – Norway
No – Chile
A Royal Affair – Denmark
War Witch – Canada

I hope ‘A Royal Affair’ wins, ‘Amour’ probably will but might divide voters as its got a best picture nod as well.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Hitchcock – Julie Hewett, Martin Samuel, Howard Berger
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
Les Misérables – Lisa Westcott

Hobbit should get this

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Anna Karenina – Dario Marianelli
Argo – Alexandre Desplat
Life Of Pi – Mychael Danna
Lincoln – John Williams
Skyfall – Thomas Newman

I think this’ll go to Life of Pi. Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight Rises and Howard Shore’s Hobbit scores should definitely have been nominated, though were probably disqualified for using previous themes. Most surprisingly Beasts of the Southern Wild doesn’t show up here, the one category it was really deserving in.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

‘Before My Time’ from Chasing Ice
‘Everybody Needs A Best Friend’ from Ted
‘Pi’s Lullaby’ from Life Of Pi
‘Skyfall’ from Skyfall
‘Suddenly’ from Les Miserables

This should not be a category. I wish they would drop it. Seth MacFarlane is hosting the Oscars so he’ll probably win for Ted

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life Of Pi
Lincoln

Hobbit deserves this, but I think it’ll be another Lincoln/Life of Pi contest

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson In “The Longest Daycare”
Paperman

N/A

BEST LIVE FILM SHORT

Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death Of A Shadow
Henry

N/A

BEST SOUND EDITING

Argo
Django Unchained
Life Of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty

BEST SOUND MIXING

Argo
Les Miserables
Life Of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Sound ones could go to Skyfall, as they tend to not might spreading out the awards on technical categories. Probably Life of Pi though

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life Of Pi
Marvel Avengers Assemble
Prometheus
Snow White And The Huntsman

Nice to see Prometheus get recognised here, will probably go to Life of Pi, not undeserving, but the Hobbit would be just as much so.

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