Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominations

Clearly the biggest surprise of the day was both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow being left out of the Best Director field. I thought that Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin both had a shot at being nominated – but never dreamed both would get in, and that they would take Affleck and Bigelow’s spots, which I assumed were locks. I thought that if anyone was vulnerable, it was David O. Russell and perhaps Ang Lee, but they both held on. This is a shock that shakes up the Oscar race, as two of the frontrunners (Argo and Zero Dark Thirty) now have almost no chance to actually win the Best Picture Oscar – without being nominated for Best Director, only one recent film (Driving Miss Daisy in 1989) was able to win the Best Picture Oscar. Before that, you have to go all the back to 1932’s Grand Hotel. This is now a three horse race – Lincoln, Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook, with Lincoln as the odds on favorite to win. Shocking.

Lesser surprises included Jacki Weaver getting in for Supporting Actress (really? I love Weaver, but what about that performance merited singling out?). John Hawkes being left out of the Best Actor race was also surprising, but one I’m fine with (big fan of Hawkes, not of the movie or his performance). I am very happy both Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis got into the Best Actress field, but am surprised they left out Marion Cottillard in favor of Naomi Watts for The Impossible. I’m not the biggest fan of that movie, but Watts was pretty good in it.

Not all that surprising, but a relief for me personally, was the fact that Christoph Waltz got nominated for Django Unchained and the entire principle cast of The Master got nominations. I am disappointed though that Paul Thomas Anderson’s film got no other nominations though – I expected him to get snubbed in director, but not original screenplay. And how it didn’t get in for Cinematography, Production Design or Score is a mystery to me. A pleasant surprise on a more minor scale was the awful French film The Intouchables being left out of the Best Foreign Language Film lineup. And although I have not seen it yet (will correct that soon, hopefully), I'm always a proud Canadian when our film does break the lineup - as War Witch did.
For the record, I went 74/107 on my Oscar predictions, or 69%. I'm usually around 75% in the nominating round, so I had an off year. Hope no one places any bets based on my predictions.

If I had to predict the big winners right now, I would choose Lincoln for Picture, Spielberg for Director, Day-Lewis for Actor, Lawrence for Actress, Jones for Supporting Actor (all five nominees have won before in that category!), Hathaway for Supporting Actress, Django for Original Screenplay (perhaps wishful thinking on my part) and Lincoln for Adapted Screenplay. But only time will tell. The full list of nominees is below:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

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

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

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Adapted screenplay
Argo - Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild -  Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi - David Magee
Lincoln - Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell

Original screenplay
Amour - Michael Haneke
Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino
Flight - John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal

Animated Film
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Foreign Language Film
A Royal Affair
War Witch

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

Costume Design
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Film Editing
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Make-Up & Hairstyling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables

Original Score
Anna Karenina - Dario Marianelli
Argo - Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi - Mychael Danna
Lincoln - John Williams
Skyfall - Thomas Newman

Original Song
Chasing Ice – Before My Time
Les Miserables - Suddenly
Life of Pi – Pi’s Lullaby
Skyfall - Skyfall
Ted – Everyone Needs a Best Friend

Production Design
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Sound Editing
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Sound Mixing
Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Achievement, visual effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel’s The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

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