24 Feb 2013

Rambling Oscar thoughts

Oscar, Oscar! What is it with this particular awards ceremony that so enthrals us each year? Makes even less sense for me to be obsessed with it, considering I'm a continent and an ocean away, haven't been able to see the ceremony live in years, and until a few years ago it was impossible for me to see all the candidates before the actual ceremony! I don't know... perhaps it's a residual from my childhood/adolescence when I did live in that hemisphere and enjoyed the show a few times with my family... Perhaps it's just another aspect of my obsession with the movies in general! Anyhow, it's always a lot of fun to try and guess who will take home the little gold man, and then to complain and grumble about how someone else was "robbed" each year! :p

I'm not equipped to really judge some categories (or don't have time this year to look into them in detail), and I haven't seen all the films... and so can only "judge" some. I managed to see all the BP nominees except Amour, couldn't find time to make it to the cinema this weekend! *sigh* I'd rather catch it later in French anyway (for some reason dubbing annoys me even more when the original language was French! :p ). In any case, based on those I have seen, 2012 was a really good year for the movies! Lots of really great stuff to choose from, and I'm glad the decision doesn't rest on my shoulders, in most of these categories I truly wouldn't know how to decide!!!
Drop a line in the comments and tell me how your predictions compare to mine (mine have an asterisk), or stop by again "the day after" to rejoice or bemoan the winners/losers! ;o)

Now, without further ado here are my thoughts on some of the contestants for this year's Oscars!  
Edited Feb 25 to add in the Winners in RED.

Best Picture

Let's start BIG, shall we? Nominees:
  • Amour (haven't seen it)
  • Argo* (yay!)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty
I think Argo will win this one (helped greatly in the voting by the fact that Ben Affleck was horribly snubbed when he didn't get a Best Director nom). It's an interesting subject, was a thrilling and fun movie to watch (even though most of us knew the ending before it started), good writing, acting and directing etc... So I think it deserves to win! But I also think that of Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty! If any of these three take it home I'll be happy!
Missing from this list: The Impossible!!! I think it most definitely deserved to be up there! :o(

Best Director

  • Michael Haneke - Amour (haven't seen it)
  • Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Ang Lee - Life of Pi (whaaaaaat?!)
  • Steven Spielberg - Lincoln*
  • David O Russel - Silver Linings Playbook
Ok, I know it seems a bit ridiculous that Ben Affleck wasn't even nominated for B.D. considering he's won just about every other directing award out there this season... but who would you knock off this list to give him their spot??? These five guys did some amazing work!!! The other big snub (imho) was Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. Who will win?  I think I'm going to play it safe and put my money on Spielberg! He managed to make what could have been a boring subject (politics in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment) seem fascinating! Plus it's been a while since his last win (1998), right? Otherwise I'd say David O Russel or Benh Zeitlin.

Best Actor

  • Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln* (bravo but *sigh*)
  • Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables
  • Joaquin Phoenix - The Master (haven't seen it)
  • Denzel Washington - Flight (haven't seen it)
*sigh* I sooooooo wanted Hugh Jackman to finally win the Oscar this year for Les Misérables, he was amazing in it!!! Sadly Daniel Day Lewis was also fantastic as Abraham Lincoln, and he's got a more Oscar-friendly role (epic president version ex-con in a musical? Yeah, we know how that's going to end *grumble*). I can't quite judge them equally as I got to see most of Les Mis in English (since it's 90% song) and Lincoln all in Spanish, and a lot of the actor's original performance is lost in the dubbing... so for now I can't honestly say which I think is the better performance! Also I haven't seen two of the nominees... but from what I'm hearing it's DDL's to lose!

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook* (yippee!!!)
  • Emmanuelle Riva - Amour (haven't seen it)
  • Quvenzhané Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts - The Impossible
Wow! What a lineup! All of these women were AMAZING!!! And how about that little piece of Oscar trivia? Oldest and youngest nominees ever, and in the same year!!! I think the Oscar will go to Jennifer Lawrence, she was the heart of Silver Linings, and she was also brilliant earlier this year in The Hunger Games, so I think that will play in her favour. But then Zero Dark Thirty pretty much rests on Jessica Chastain's shoulders and she nailed it! Plus, Naomi in The Impossible?! OMG!!! I thought Hushpuppy was adorable, but she's too young for us to tell if all the merit is hers or is the director's guiding hand... And Emmanuelle may have been sublime, but I don't think Oscar will go for a foreign language performance, it's only happened a few times and they were (sexy) international stars. *sigh* I'm so glad I'm not the deciding vote!

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alan Arkin - Argo
  • Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philippe Seymour Hoffman - The Master (haven't seen it)
  • Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained* (ha! called it!)
All of these guys have already won an Oscar (wow!), so there won't be any "he should have won before now" sympathy votes. I know lots of people are putting their money on Tommy Lee Jones, but I'm going to go wild and say Christoph Waltz! He really pulled me into Django, more than the protagonist or any of the other characters!

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams - The Master
  • Sally Field - Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables**** (YESSSS!!!)
  • Helen Hunt - The Sessions (haven't seen it)
  • Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
Fantine: I dreamed a dream in time gone by.... Enough said! If anyone other than Anne Hathaway wins this I will be seriously pissed off!!!

Best Original Screenplay

  • Amour - Michael Haneke (haven't seen it)
  • Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino (woops! but deserving win)
  • Flight - John Gatins (haven't seen it)
  • Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal*
I always have a tough time calling the Screenplay awards... I think Moonrise Kingdom should win, but if it doesn't I'm hoping it goes to Zero Dark Thirty which gets my "vote" 'cause I think it stands more of a chance. But all are very deserving!

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Argo - Chris Terrio (bravo!)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild - Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • Life of Pi - David Magee
  • Lincoln - Tony Kushner*
  • Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell
I think to truly be able to judge this category you have to have read the source material in order to be able to evaluate properly how well it was adapted to the screen. I haven't read any of these, have you? So it's another tough one for me to call. But I'm going with Lincoln because - like I said above about Spielberg - they managed to make a movie about political manoeuvrings and discussion be fascinating instead of extremely boring!!! ;o)

I don't have time to think long and hard about the other categories, so here are a few quick thoughts (except on the Docs and Shorts):
  • I've only seen one of the Animated Features, so my vote goes to Brave (a film about an wild redheaded Scottish princess who goes bear hunting? What else would I vote for?! lol!). Other nominees: Wreck it Ralph, Pirates! Band of Misfits, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman. (lucky call!!! Pixar rules I guess)
  • I associate "Cinematography" with how a film looks, and since Life of Pi was visually stunning (breathtakingly beautiful is how I felt), well that's who I think will win. Other nominees: Anna Karenina, Django, Lincoln, Skyfall. (like I said: gorgeous film!)
  • Costume Design: Anna Karenina please!!! Otherwise Mirror, Mirror (best thing about that movie). Other nominees: Les Misérables, Snow White and the Huntsman, Lincoln. (yay!)
  • Film Editing I believe has to do with how the movie is actually "pieced together". I think Zero Dark Thirty is the most deserving of the nominees, but I'm going to play it safe and pair it with my Best Picture pick, Argo, because more often than not the Academy gives both to the same film, and with the editing they managed to create a lot of tension in a movie whose outcome we already knew! Other nominees: Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook. (lol! Yup, goes to the BP winner!)
  • I haven't seen any of the Foreign Language Films this year, but considering all the love for Amour, I'm thinking it wins this category! (think of all the voters who say, sorry I can't vote for you as Best Pic, but here - have Best FLF!) (mais bien sur!)
  • Make Up and Hair is a tough choice between Les Misérables and The Hobbit (also nominated is Hitchcok which I haven't seen), but I'm going with the first. (ha!)
  • Original Soundtrack used to be one of my favourite categories, for many years I'd buy soundtracks galore! I don't know why I've lost contact with this one in recent years... Perhaps because I don't spend much time just sitting and listening to music anymore... I really nead to start doing that again! Anyhow I think Dario Marianelli should win for Anna Karenina because that movie often felt like a ballet to me and the score really influenced that sensation! Other nominees: Alexandre Desplat for Argo, Mychael Danna for Life of Pi,  John Williams for Lincoln, Thomas Newman for Skyfall. All great composers!!!! (darn!)
  • Best Original Song - I don't really "get" this category since most of the songs just play over the credits and aren't really "a part" of their movie... but I'm hoping Adèle wins for Skyfall if only to give Bond some love after ignoring its 24 previous songs (which are one of the things the Bond movies are famous for!). Plus it's the only song I can instantly bring to mind in that category! :p (woohoo!!! Finally!)
  • Production Design is another category I have trouble understanding, but I'd say it doesn't get much more original than the varying "stages" Anna Karenina takes place on, so that's got my vote!  Also nominated are The Hobbit, Les Misérables, Life of Pi and Lincoln. (ok I guess)
  • Sound Editing is the special sound effects of a movie (all those sounds they add in, like bullets being shot, explosions, whooshes etc.). I think this usually goes to a "noisy" film, so it's a toss-up between Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty. And since Bond rarely gets any Oscar love, I'm going with Zero Dark Thirty. Other nominees are Life of Pi, Django and Argo. (lol! It's a tie between the 2 I was hesitating with!!!!)
  • Sound Mixing is how they mix together the various sound elements (effects, dialogue, music) and considering the amazing feat of Les Misérables cast singing LIVE, and having to fit that accurately with the pre-recorded score and everything else, well they've got my vote! Other nominees are Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Skyfall. (YES!)
  • Visual Effects are now mostly of the computer generated variety. Let's just say the tiger wins this one! Life of Pi ladies and gentlemen! Pity, it's usually the only category "blockbusters" have a chance to win! :p  Other nominees are The Hobbit, The Avengers, Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman (I don't know how anyone could choose between those others anyway!) (but of course!)

Huh. So much for me keeping it brief! lol!

If you have a post with your Oscar thoughts/predictions leave us the link in the comments! Otherwise what do you think of mine?
And report back Monday morning to compare how we all did with our predictions! ;o)

Monday morning edit: I got 16/21! (I'm giving myself a win for that tie), not bad at all! Totally missed on the screenplays though... How'd you guys do?
Other winners:
Best Documentary - Searching for Sugarman
Best Documentary Short - Inocente
Best Animated Short - Paperman (available on YouTube! beautiful!)
Best Live Action Short - Curfew


  1. I finally saw "Lincoln" last night. Epic. Now I finally have seen all of the Best Picture Nominees and I have to still go with Silver Linings Playbook :)

    1. Much as I liked SLP, I still think Argo is more deserving of BP, and I was right! ;o)

  2. I have to confess I don't get the love for Silver Linings Playbook, I liked it, but no more than that. I'd love for Les Mis and Hugh Jackman to win, but it'll be Daniel Day Lewis, and Argo to make up for the directing snub. Anne Hathaway deserves Supporting Actress though :)

    1. Really? It was a lovely, quirky romcom, in a class way above most other romcoms! For me that gives it extra points!
      You're right on the other points... ;o)
      Isn't it extra ridiculous now that Affleck didn't get the Best Director nom?! And I can't believe Ang Lee won!!! He was my LAST choice! :o(

  3. You did well with your choices! The biggest shock for me was Supporting Actor, but you nailed it. Guess you think like the Academy does.

    Here's to another year of great movies.

    1. I just did the count: 16/21! I think it must be my best year ever! :p

      Hear! Hear! May 2013 bless us with plenty of excellent cinematic fare! :o)

  4. So I've updated the post to list the winners (I did GOOD in my predictions!), now I've got to see how much of the actual ceremony I can find online... 'cause from what I'm reading it appears to have been a good Oscar night! ;o)

  5. I was happy with most of the wins, but I just can't quite see how Argo is a better picture than Lincoln, for example. It was a fairly good ceremony, and I was only wishing that Riva would have won Best Actress. She was incredible in that movie! :-)

    1. I don't know... you're probably right about Argo vs Lincoln, but there's also the "enjoyment factor" that probably weighs in the balance and I think many people enjoyed Argo more! Then there's the undeniable fact that Affleck was totally snubbed for best director (he won every other award out there this season!), so I think he might have gotten quite a few extra votes to overcompensate...

      I really need to see Amour! But since the rush to watch it in time for the Oscars has passed, I'm going to wait until I can get hold of it in French! Dubbing has always driven me nuts, but for some reason even more so when the original language was French! Perhaps it's because I don't get to hear as much French as I used to and I miss it...

  6. Great predictions ! I unfortunately was not able to watch the Oscars, must have been a great show.

    1. I thought the show was a lot of fun! A few "ugh" moments, but that's inevitable in a 3h event. But for the most part I really enjoyed it! :o)

  7. ugh I so need to finish silver linings playbook. I also wanted Hugh Jackman to win! He had so much more to do than DDL. I mean, his performance of Lincoln was excellent, but he was so one note. THat's not an insult to him, it's just the script wasn't the tour de force of emotion Les Mis was.

    SO happy Anne Hathaway won. I don't get the whole Hathahater thing. Get over it, loser freaks who have nothing better to do than insult people you don't even know. Lame.

    1. Hey Sunbunny! :o)

      Finish Silver Linings? Do you mean the book? Or did you leave the movie halfway through?

      I agree with you on Jackman vs DDL, although I can't be really fair in judging the two as I saw Jackman's performance mostly in English ('cause of the singing) and DDL in Spanish, and a lot is lost in the dubbing... But Jackman didn't stand a chance against such an Oscar-baity role brought to life by an excellent actor who only appears every few years and then knocks it out of the park!

      Hathahater??? Nothing like that on this side of the Atlantic! I've admired her work for years and think she's a fabulous actress and am really glad she got the Oscar! I think she also did great as Catwoman, so double-great year for her!

  8. I didn't know it was a book! I need to finish watching the movie. I *might* have a very slightly illegal screener of SLP. I can't imagine Lincoln speaking Spanish. That seems...weird.

    Yeah so there's this whole thing where people call themselves 'Hathahaters' and just hate on Anne Hathaway for random nonsensical reasons. Like, she smiles too much and she's just too precious. It's ridiculous. I adore her and I think she's a fabulous actress.

  9. Years ago, I was a big fan of the Oscars, but I only having a passing interest (at best) now.

    1. There were only a few years when I lost interest in the Oscars... in the early 2000s when I hadn't seen the movies and had no chance of watching the show and there wasn't much info online. But other than that period I think I've always been kind of fascinated by the whole event! :p


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