The 2013 Oscar Lineup: A Final Take

Here we are. The Academy Awards are a reality. And only an hour away! Check out these last minute guesses and hopes before the night’s show!

Best Picture

1. Argo
2. Lincoln
3.  Silver Linings Playbook
4. Life of Pi
5. Amour
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild
7. Zero Dark Thirty
8. Les Misérables
9. Django Unchained

Who Will Win: Argo. Rarely does a movie sweep every single major award, both Best Picture and Director, including the SAG, DGA, WGA, BAFTA, and Golden Globes. Nothing can stop it. Even if Ben Affleck missed out on a Director nod, which hasn’t happened since since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy.

Who Should WinArgo is great, as are many other films this year, but Silver Linings managed to mold together so many genres, yet tie them together to make a heartwarming comedy that was beautifully made.

Best Director
1. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
2. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
3. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Michael Haneke – Amour
5. Benh Zietlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Who Will Win: This is one category that is probably the biggest toss-up considering how the two main sweepers of this season, Affleck and Bigelow, aren’t even nominated. Spielberg could be the favorite, but just like his last win, Lee could take the win.

Who Should Win: David O. Russell. Not since Warren Beatty’s Reds has a film gotten a nomination in every single major category and thanks to O. Russell, it managed to happen with Silver Linings Playbook.

Best Actor

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
2. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
4. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
5. Denzel Washington – Flight

Who Will and Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t only destined to win for his method-acted portrayal as Abe Lincoln, he rightfully deserves it.

Best Actress
1. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
2. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
3. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
4. Naomi Watts – The Impossible
5. Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Who Will and Should Win: 2012 was the year of Jennifer Lawrence, and not until her win at the SAGs did her Oscar win seem more believable than ever. Chastain, too, deserves it, especially even for that last shot of her in Zero Dark Thirty, while Riva, whose birthday is today, could also win, but Lawrence has gained so much momentum, she should best it.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
2. Philip Seymore Hoffman – The Master
3. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
4. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Alan Arkin – Argo

Who Will Win: In another toss-up category, still to today, I’ll give it to Tommy Lee Jones, the SAG winner.

Who Should Win: Christoph Waltz, the winner of the Golden Globe, and also a huge fan favorite, shined in his role from Django Unchained.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
2. Sally Fields – Lincoln
3. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
4. Amy Adams – The Master
5. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Who Will and Should Win: Anne Hathaway, although in Les Miz for only a short amount of time, is a deserving shoo-in for this category, even for only her “I Dreamed A Dream” performance.

Documentary FeatureSearching For Sugar Man.

Documentary Short: Inocente.

Foreign Film: Best Picture nom tonight, Amour.

Animated FeatureWreck-It Wralph.

CinematographyLife of Pi.

Makeup and HairstylingLes Miz.

Production DesignLincoln.

Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for Django.

Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Argo, although Daviod O. Russel could win for Silver.

Animated Short FilmPaperman.

Live Action Short FilmHenry.

Visual Effects: Hands down, Life of Pi.

Costume DesignAnna Karenina.

Film EditingArgo.

Sound MixingSkyfall.

Sound EditingSkyfall.

Original ScoreLincoln.

Original Song: Adele and Paul Epworth, for “Skyfall.”

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Nominations, please! Literally…

85th-academy-awards

As the sun was just beginning to rise on this early morning, actors, directors, and filmmakers alike anxiously watched the 85th Annual Academy Awards’ live simulcast to announce the new bunch of nominees. Emma Stone, who had a fairly big year with The Amazing Spiderman and the recently released, Gangster Squad, co-hosted with this years Oscars’ host, Seth MacFarlane, which marked the first time since Charlton Heston’s turn in 1972 where the year’s host declared the nominees as well. Saying only the major categories, many shocks, snubs, and pleasant surprises filled the California hosted room of film. Check them out below!

Best Picture
1. Amour
2. Argo
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Django Unchained
5. Les Misérables
6. Life of Pi
7. Lincoln
8. Silver Linings Playbook
9. Zero Dark Thirty

Most of the inclusions, including the total number of nine nominations, weren’t all too surprising. Even Amour, although not included in either of my Takes, or many others, isn’t too off the wall considering it picked up a lot of prizes for Best Picture recently. Despite the fact that it’s a foreign film, it got a lot of attention this year. Moonrise Kingdom, which only gained an Original Screenplay nod, and The Master, picking up three acting noms in the acting categories, are most likely the biggest snubs of the bunch.

Best Directorben-affleck-directing-argo
1. Michael Haneke – Amour
2. Behn Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
3. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
4. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
5. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

And here it is. The one that every blogger, filmmaker, and critic have raved about since they set their eyes on the nominations this morning. Where are Ben Affleck andKathryn Bigelow in 2012 Kathryn Bigelow, the two tour de forces considered to be the top contenders of the 2012 year of movies? Not on many’s radars, apparently. Instead, Haneke and Zeitlin (who ended up being a personal, pleasant surprise, although the previously mentioned really disappoint me) beat the other two out. Tom Hooper and Les Mis’ mixed reviews haven’t given him much of a “snub” title, especially due to the outrage put forth by Affleck and Bigelow’s cuts. This could really affect the outcome of this year’s Best Picture win since many penned Argo and Zero Dark Thirty as top favorites for the top prize and since only three films in past have gone on to win it without garnering a Director nod (such Driving Miss Daisy), it’s chances could dwindle.

Best Actor
1. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
2. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
3. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
4. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
5. Denzel Washington – Flight

This category probably holds the second biggest shock: no John Hawkes for his turn in The Sessions? Some considered Day-Lewis’ main competition to be Hawkes and with the likes of Denzel Washington’s takeover (or even Joaquin Phoenix, perhaps), it now seems that President Lincoln has this win in the bag.

Best Actressamour-emmanuelle-riva-michael-haneke
1. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
4. Quevenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Not any surprises here (in fact, this is the only category out of my Take 2 that I got all the guesses correct). Something notable though: this batch includes the oldest Best Actress nominee in the history of the ceremonies, 85 year old Riva, and also the youngest ever nominee, being 9 year old newcomer, Wallis.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Alan Arkin – Argo
2. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
4. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
5. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Most were predictable, except the last spot which was a toss up between Christoph Waltz (who many consider to be a more leading role of Django) and Leonardo DiCaprio for the same film. Waltz, a recent winner for another Tarantino film, Inglorious Basterds, managed to top the yet-to-win DiCaprio.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Amy Adams – The Master
2. Sally Field – Lincoln
3. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
4. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
5. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Again, most were expected, minus that same, final spot. In my first Take, I penned all of the following the same as this list, but later included Ann Dowd over Weaver. But just like in her last nomination, yet this time with more buzz, Jacki Weaver snuck in.

So a lot of records were broken. Oldest Best Actress. Youngest Best Actress Time. Then, although it’s not a record, for the first time since 1982’s Reds, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook managed to gain a nomination in every major category: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress.

Anything that surprise you? Is there a missing nom that you so desperately wish were included? Speak out!

Watch the full simulcast below, too, and then catch the rest of the nominees, including screenplays, other films, and more of the technical categories at the Oscars’ website.

The Slow and Steady Rise of Argo

01_argo_iphoneWith a few weeks out in theaters under its belt, it took a total of three for Argo to finally rise to the box office following its release. The Ben Affleck directed tale of how a CIA agent teams with filmmakers to stage the production of a movie in order to save six captees in Iraq.

Sound dramatic enough? Well the direction done and the executed intensity throughout many scenes only adds to Affleck’s growing repuation as a much better director than he is actor (even though he does do a fine job in Argo). After the critical success of Gone Baby Gone and even more so, The Town, Argo will easily make up for the award snubs Affleck recieved in the past.

Despite the fact that there isn’t a distinct acting performance deserving of the award, except for the more than likely to be nominated Alan Arkin (see where I rank him and why in my first Take on the 2013 Oscar Lineup), Argo works as a cast instead of individuals. The chemistry held by the fugitives and the humor that evokes from them, and even Arkin and John Goodman’s character, is welcomed and surprisingly suiting for such a serious drama.

That is all thanks to great writing and directing. Without it, the intensity that balances with that humor and seriousness wouldn’t be as successful as it felt.

Be sure to catch this wartime drama before the big Oscar night, because it is bound to grab some serious attention just like it has for the Golden Globes and SAGS. A-

The 2013 Oscar Lineup: Take 1

Despite the fact that the new set of Academy Award nominations have yet to be revealed, it’s always exciting to not only guess who the winner is going to be, but also who else is going to fill up the other slots in each category. So, I will be posting weekly updates on the main categories (Picture, Director, Leading and Supporting Actor and Actress) where I think they fall at that moment and then follow-up with an explanation of each.

With other various prestigious awards, such as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, releasing both the nominations and winners, the race and place of each can change in a coming second.

But that’s what my job is going to be. It’ll be like gambling. Without the cash, of course, but the possible the bragging rights of getting them right!

Best Picturezero-dark-thirty-releases-a-uk-poster-121641-00-1000-100 (1)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Argo
3. Lincoln
4. Les Misérables
5. Silver Linings Playbook
6. Life of Pi
7. Beasts of the Southern Wild
8. Django Unchained
9. Moonrise Kingdom
10. The Impossible

This is going to be a pretty tight race in terms of nominations this season. There hasn’t been an all around great year for movies since a couple years ago during the time of The King’s Speech and Black Swan, but this time around, there’s a whole slew of fantastic filmmaking. With Zero Dark Thirty becoming a Critic’s Prize fan favorite, and on top of that, gaining great reviews and growing anticipation for the audience to see Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s return after their The Hurt Locker wins, it has easily taken over the momentum built up for Ben Affleck’s Argo. The top, major six films are all obvious nominations, with the top four truly being the only ones competing for the title. For the remaining slots, though, it’s harder to determine. With last year’s rule change to where there can be any amount of Best Picture nominations, ranging from five to ten, and then there being a surprising nine total this year should be no exception to a higher number of noms. Following Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, the charming and dark indie story starring an almost entirely new cast of stars, could sneak in with its devoted fan base. Never count out a Tarantino film either, so his new bloodbath thriller could crack in, too. Then comes the final two out of then. It’s a toss up between this summer’s comedy favorite, Moonrise Kingdom, the true storry of tsunami survival, and then The Master. With the strong love for Kingdom, and performances leading The Impossible (plus a true story never hurts for the Academy), I think those two will make it in first, even over the surprise top honor nominations The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel received from both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild this past week.

Best Directorkathryn-bigelow-and-mark-boal-clarify-zero-dark-thirty-political-controversy
1. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Ben Affleck – Argo
3. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
3. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
5. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

The top three are for sure to get nominated, with Bigelow racking up her second win for Zero Dark Thirty. But if there were any year where the Best Picture didn’t match up with Director (with the actual last one being with Ang Lee), it could be this year, easily between any of those three. Then, Lee will probably make it due to the unfilmable curse of Life of Pi. The last spot could go to recent winner Tom Hooper for Les Mis or even Tarantino, but Russell, who snuck in with The Fighter two years ago, should bring in one director for an indie dramadey.

Best ActorCCSpielbergLincoln1280x960_460x329
1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
2. John Hawkes – The Sessions
3. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
4. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
5. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Three words. Daniel. Day. Lewis. No one will beat this guy and the three following him are for sure to get nominated. The last slot will probably go to Phoenix in his first major film returning performance that has gained a lot of buzz, even over Denzel Washington in Flight.

Best ActressSUB-24ZERO-articleLarge
1. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Naomi Watts – The Impossible
4. Helen Mirren – Hitchcock
5. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone

For the top two spots, it has gone back and forth between Lawrence’s hilarious turn as the mentally unstable, sex addict Tiffany. However, Jessica Chastain, who has proven her acting chops in all of the great films she’d made in the past two years (including her first nominated role for The Help), could continue her Critic’s Prize winning streak to take in her first win. Expect Naomi Watts to make it, but the last two are up for grabs. With the SAGS just released this past week, it’s possible the Academy will go for Mirren and Cotillard, an exact replica of the that list. Emmanuelle Riva, for the beloved Amour, or even the young, newcomer Quevanzhane Wallis could sneak in depending on the love that Amour or Beasts obtains.

Best Supporting ActorTommyLeeJones
1. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
2. Alan Arkin – Argo
3. Philip Seymore Hoffman – The Master
4. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Ewan McGregor – The Impossible

This is the only category that doesn’t even come close to having a real, clear winner. It’s all a tie between Jones, Arkin, and Hoffman. Personally, I do not want to see Arkin win his second Oscar for a performance that was an exact replica for which he won his first, which could be taken into account for many voters. Then, since De Niro was snubbed from the Golden Globes noms over Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz for their parts in Django Unchained, they could both sneak in over him. But the love held for him as an actor (we all know the Academy loves veterans!) should lock him in. The last spot is tricky, because it could go to either DiCaprio, Waltz, or even Javier Bardem in Skyfall (which I would love to see, but find it hard to believe that the Academy would reward a James Bond film with a nom, even though it was a spectacular film). This is why I give it to McGregor, who hasn’t gotten a whole lot of love from other major awards lists, but voters have had a past of spontaneously rewarding actors who did well in much-loved movies.

Best Supporting Actresshathaway_les_mis_49097505-4_3_r560
1. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
2. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
3. Sally Fields – Lincoln
4. Amy Adams – The Master
5. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

The top two are not only lock ins, but most likely the ones to battle over the prize. With that said, Hathaway, who has proven her feats as an actor since her Princess Diaries beginnings with her first nominated role in Rachel Getting Married, will most likely win for her transformation into the role of the tragic Fantine. The Academy loves stories of actors changing themselves, whether physically or mentally, for a part, and with Hathaways dramatic drop in weight, it seems likely, especially seeing that many other Critic’s prizes have agreed. Field is for sure to get a nomination for her great performance (here’s to Veterans!), and Amy Adams, who has racked up three nominations in the past, should sneak in like she has once before. The last spot, again, is a quite tricky. Nicole Kidman surprised and gave huge upsets when her name was seen not only on the list for the SAGS, but even the Golden Globes for the infamous role she played in The Paperboy where she ends up peeing on teen heartthrob Zac Efron (now does the movie sound familiar?). But, even though Jacki Weaver hasn’t gotten barely any attention in many awards, I’m going to bank on her for now to fill out the category for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, just like she did for Animal Kingdom, rounding out every single major category with someone from the film.

Fairly long list, huh? Well, let me know what you think. Have any agreements? Or more importantly, disagreements? Or even your own suggestions? Let me know in the comments to see if your arguments win over into the next 2013 Oscar Lineup!