Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominations: Ah Hells Yes, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying That the Academy Might Not Love Beasts of the Southern Wild

Ok, I'm just gonna preface this by saying that this year is wacky as all get-out. It's been a great year for movies, and whenever a ton of different films are loved, it makes predicting crazy difficult. But right off the bat I need to commend the academy for not going with the most boring choices across the board. Sure, they certainly made a couple snooze-y picks, but I feel like that's been overshadowed by what they did right. So, without further ado:
(I'm gonna put an asterisk next to the ones I predicted right, so y'all can see how I did.)

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained*
Les Miserables*
Life of Pi*
Silver Linings Playbook*
Zero Dark Thirty*
My hands still hurt from the amount of clapping I did when Beasts of the Southern Wild was called. Oh hells yes. Really, the Academy has done something remarkable by nominating no bad movies here, and quite a few fantastic ones. Life of Pi and Les Mis aren't my cup of tea, but those were unavoidable. Wonderful to see Amour here as well.
Early Winner Prediction: Lincoln

Michael Haneke-Amour
Ang Lee-Life of Pi*
David O. Russell-Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg-Lincoln*
Benh Zeitlin-Beasts of the Southern Wild
This category might make me happier than any other. Benh Zeitlin?! Michael Haneke?! I can die now. Even though I'm not a fan of Life of Pi, I totally understand its directorial achievement and am fine with it here. Not thrilled to see Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck miss the cut, but really I would have thrown anyone under a train to make room for Beasts in this category. And no Tom Hooper! The movie gods were kind and just today.
Early Winner Prediction: Steven Spielberg-Lincoln

Bradley Cooper-Silver Linings Playbook*
Daniel Day-Lewis-Lincoln*
Hugh Jackman-Les Miserables*
Joaquin Phoenix-The Master
Denzel Washington-Flight*
Yet again with a hell yes, this time for Joaquin Phoenix, who is terrific, but I figured wouldn't make it. Another hell yes for John Hawkes missing out for the overrated The Sessions. Sure, Hugh Jackman got in for his watery-eyed Jean Valjean, but I can deal with that.
Early Winner Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis-Lincoln

Jessica Chastain-Zero Dark Thirty*
Jennifer Lawrence-Silver Linings Playbook*
Emmanuelle Riva-Amour*
Quvenzhane Wallis-Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts-The Impossible*
Guess who gets another hell yes? Quvenzhane Wallis, that's who. This is such a deserving nomination. Really, this is a great category. I'm not even gonna complain. Fun fact: At 9, Quvenzhane Wallis is now the youngest nominee ever in this category, and at 85, Emmanuelle Riva is now the oldest.
Early Winner Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence-Silver Linings Playbook

Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin-Argo*
Robert De Niro-Silver Linings Playbook*
Phillip Seymour Hoffman-The Master*
Tommy Lee Jones-Lincoln*
Christoph Waltz-Django Unchained*
Probably one of the most boring categories, even though I predicted them all correctly. Arkin, De Niro, and Waltz can all do better. Too bad they got in instead of other, more interesting options (Fassbender? Jackson? Dicaprio? Redmayne? etc.?)
Early Winner Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones-Lincoln

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams-The Master*
Sally Field-Lincoln*
Anne Hathaway-Les Miserables*
Helen Hunt-The Sessions*
Jacki Weaver-Silver Linings Playbook
Another underwhelming category. Disappointed that Nicole Kidman missed out for the trashy, glorious, Paperboy, as well as Anne Dowd for Compliance. And Jacki Weaver? I'm confused. All she does in that movie is bake crab cakes and stand in the background. As an aside, Silver Linings Playbook was nominated in every acting category this morning, which is the first time that's happened since Reds in 1981.
Early Winner Prediction: Anne Hathaway-Les Miserables

Original Screenplay
Django Unchained*
Moonrise Kingdom*
Zero Dark Thirty*
I hate, hate, hate seeing Flight's stupid, ham-handed script get in here, but it's fun seeing Amour, Moonrise, and Zero Dark Thirty. Though the Academy obviously didn't love that film the way the critics did (no directing nomination?), I still think it's got the juice to pull a win here.
Early Winner Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Adapted Screenplay
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi*
Silver Linings Playbook*
AHHHHH BEASTS. I'm so happy that the Academy apparently loved this movie almost as much as I did. It's so deserving. Life of Pi's screenplay is kind of horrible, which makes it sad that it pushed out the fantastic Perks of Being a Wallfower, but oh well.
Early Winner Prediction: Lincoln

(note: from here on out, the early winner predictions become increasingly useless.)

Production Design
Anna Karenina*
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables*
Life of Pi*
I never should have bet against The Hobbit in this category. I took it out at the last minute, and regretted doing it. Glad to see it make it anyhow; the film's not perfect, but the design is always lovely. Also slightly perplexed by Life of Pi here. Erm, all those shots of open water were really well design too, I guess?
Early Winner Prediction: Lincoln

Costume Design
Anna Karenina*
Les Miserables*
Mirror Mirror*
Snow White and the Huntsman
I meant to predict Lincoln here, I really did. I'm so happy for Mirror Mirror: the late great designer Eiko Ishioka was really one of the best in the business, and I'm glad they recognized her swan song. Also fun to see the other Snow White movie here: granted, I hate the film, but boy were those costumes pretty.
Early Winner Prediction: Anna Karenina

Visual Effects
The Avengers*
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey*
Life of Pi*
Snow White and the Huntsman*
Five for five again. Sad to see Cloud Atlas miss out, but I guess no one liked that movie but me.
Early Winner Prediction: Life of Pi

Makeup and Hairstyling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey*
Les Miserables
Whhhhhhyyyy did Hitchcock's gooey neck prosthetics and Les Mis's community theater sideburns make it here? Stupid. Especially at Lincoln's expense. Oh well. At least it clears the way for another Middle Earth Oscar.
Early Winner Prediction: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Film Editing
Life of Pi*
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty*
Boy, the Academy sure loved Silver Linings, didn't they? I wonder if I should be considering that it the dark horse in the big race. This category's a little bland, but all the choices are good enough, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Early Winner Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi*
Anna Karenina! Django! Skyfall! Three really beautiful movies, and one perfectly nice one (Pi). Sure, Lincoln is pretty boring here, but it was always going to be nominated anyway. Too bad it happened at the expense of The Master and Zero Dark Thirty.
Early Winner Prediction: Life of Pi

Original Score
Anna Karenina*
Life of Pi*
This is inarguably the most boring and disappointing category. Argo and Lincoln are terribly bland, Skyfall is passable at best, and Anna Karenina and Life of Pi can be beautiful, but are more frequently just uneven.  No Cloud Atlas or The Master is sad. Even sadder is the absence of Beasts of the Southern Wild, which the Academy clearly loved and is so obviously the best score of the year.
Early Winner Prediction: Life of Pi

Sound Mixing
Les Miserables*
Life of Pi
Man, I always suck at the sound categories. A little surprised to find Argo here, and a little annoyed to find Lincoln, but the others are fine choices. Confused that Zero Dark Thirty and The Avengers didn't make it, but yay for no Dark Knight Rises!
Early Winner Prediction: Les Miserables

Sound Editing
Django Unchained
Life of Pi*
Zero Dark Thirty*
Even more surprised to find Argo here, and even more even more surprised to not find The Avengers. Come  on! The sound work on that movie is gorgeous. And yay again for no Dark Knight. I just need to go on record saying that film is terrible and I'm glad the Academy didn't validate it.
Early Winner Prediction: Skyfall

Original Song
"Before My Time"-Chasing Ice
"Everybody Needs a Friend"-Ted
"Pi's Lullaby"-Life of Pi
"Suddenly"-Les Miserables*
Erm, okay. This category is always a little weird. Hello Ted! Who saw that coming? Always thrilling to see that Les Mis' little musical belch was nominated here. And hey, Chasing Ice! Scarlett Johannson might be singing at the Oscars, which would be strange. Fun fact: with 5 nominations, Skyfall becomes the most Oscar-nominated James Bond movie ever. Not a bad way to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Early Winner Prediction: "Skyfall"-Skyfall

Animated Film
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph*
I haven't seen Ralph, but the others are good enough choices, I suppose. Frankenweenie and Pirates both leave me cold, but at least ParaNorman got in. In a just world it would win this award in a walk.
Early Winner Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Foreign Language Film
A Royal Affair-Denmark*
War Witch-Canada
I can't comment too much on these, in that I've yet to see any of them, but allegedly at least 4 of them are actually very good, artistically challenging movies, which is something of a rarity in this category. The big news is France's submission The Intouchables missing out, which was kind of perceived as the frontrunner, but was also apparently pretty sappy and manipulative. At least we have Kon-Tiki to represent those adjectives in this race.
Early Winner Prediction: Amour

Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers*
How to Survive a Plague*
The Invisible War*
Searching for Sugar Man*
I love that How to Survive a Plague got in here, but other than that I don't really have any opinion about any of these.
Early Winner Prediction: The Gatekeepers (I guess)

Note: Of the main nominees (i.e. not foreign, animated, or documentary), I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, or Amour. Given that I'm probably seeing the first two this weekend, and I'll be seeing Amour when it comes out next weekend, this might be the first year since 2008 when I'll be able to see all the nominees before Oscar Night! Wild.

This was actually a pretty good prediction session for me, going 5/5 in a few categories, and really only doing atrociously in Director and Original Song (though I'm really happy to have done poorly in Director, as it's the nominations that I didn't predict that make me happiest).

Here's a list of the top 10 nominated films:
1. Lincoln-12
2. Life of Pi-11
3. Silver Linings Playbook-8
4. Les Miserables-8
5. Argo-7
6. Amour-5
7. Zero Dark Thirty-5
8. Django Unchained-5
9. Skyfall-5
10. Beasts of the Southern Wild-4

And here's a list of some notable films that didn't get any nominations: Arbitrage, Bernie, Hope Springs, Rust and Bone, The Deep Blue Sea, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Middle of Nowhere, The Paperboy, Compliance, Looper, Magic Mike, Seven Psychopaths, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, The Amazing Spider-Man, Men in Black III, End of Watch, On the Road, The Intouchables, Rise of the Guardians, Holy Motors, The Cabin in the Woods...I'm sure there are others, but that's what I've got for now.

Final summary: Generally, the Academy did pretty darn well this year. Massive points for embracing Beasts of the Southern Wild, and almost-as-massive points for giving The Dark Knight Rises the finger. Whee!

What say you? Good? Bad? I know someone out there's got an opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment