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.”

If Played by the Book, Could Silver Linings Take the Cake?

Despite Lincoln‘s astounding 12 nomination lead among the rest, is its Oscar sweep really as inevitable as it seems? Maybe not.

Silver Linings Playbook, the David O. Russell directed romantic dramedy, has enough love, support, and similar ritualistic qualities of past winners that make it a serious contender to over take the historical biopic.

In layman’s terms, Silver Linings is the feel-good movie of the year. It’s the film where most people that left the theater held that warm fuzzy feeling that emits when you witness something that touches you, but at the same time fills you with laughter, thanks to the script’s bluntness and the top notch acting performances. The movie simply makes you happy when exiting the theater doors, and in recent past, with films like Slumdog Millionaire, The Artist, and even The King’s Speech, Silver Linings has this certain “genre” has a fairly good reputation.

Perhaps most importantly in terms of nominations, though, is that the film garnered up not only 8 nominations, but one in each major category: Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress. Not since Warren Beatty’s 1982 drama, Reds, has that happened, and for a film to even get so many nominations in such areas, it could be hard for it to not score at least one win. With Jennifer Lawrence being Jessica Chastain’s only real competition for winning the Best Actress prize, that one in particular is possible, but if Chastain beats her out, what else could it win? Most of the other acting categories are either locked for winners or have two other contenders fighting for the role already. So Picture? Director?

Lastly, and likely most important, there is one more major silver lining for this playbook (besides Jennifer Lawrence!): Harvey Weinstein. The executive producer has marked his name under countless films that have either landed in Best Picture noms, and many of them going on to win, such as The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and most of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, including this year’s Django Unchained. The two-time nominee in just this year has a whole lot of voting sway for Silver Linings and is widely known for his leeway in the Best Picture department.

And the tremendously uncanny irony that lies in this years nominations? The similarities it holds to the 1999 Academy Awards, where the favorite to sweep was war-time drama, Saving Private Ryan. Although Spielberg managed to grab his most recent Oscar with his job as director for the film, he lost Best Picture. And to what? The comedy, Shakespeare In Love. And who was one of the winning producers for it? Harvey Weinstein.

Can history repeat itself in this award season? Or is Lincoln unbeatable at this point? Will any other movies be able to top either of these? Maybe the backlash of the Academy for not nominating Argo’s Ben Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow could get them a redemption song. Hard to tell at this point, but stay tuned.

Just always be wary of the menacing eyes of Tiffany. She could be a reason in itself for her film to win.

Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 11.17.02 PM

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 2013 Oscar Lineup: Take 2, A Final Look

January 10th. That’s all that’s left until the morning where the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences reveals the flush of nominees to grace the red carpets for the 85th Annual Academy Awards. So, with one last final tally, find out where I suspect who will rank in each category. One final time.

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

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

Again, with the possibility of the list ending from anywhere between five and ten nominations, it’s hard to determine where the percentages of votes particularly went, but my guess is that the noms will fence in at nine, like last year. If there were any year to somehow manage to fill up all ten spots, though, it could be this year. The horse race still continues between Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and Lincoln, but Silver Linings Playbook should gain a little more momentum over Les Mis, due to the musical’s largely loving audience, yet torn critics which could really hurt its chances. Life of Pi seems to have lost some of its buzz since its not likely for it to garner any acting noms, so Beasts could get the edge depending on how much praise newcomer, Wallis, receives. Although it is still very possible for The Master top The Impossible, or even Moonrise Kingdom, the tsunami dramas recent release and moving tale could take its spot.

Best Director
zero-dark-thirty-kathryn-bigelow
1. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
2. Ben Affleck – Argo
3. Stephen Spielberg – Lincoln
3. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Ang Lee – Life of Pi

The top three are still easily locked in. The last two slots could go to O. Russell, thanks to his great work which would then round in a comedy, Lee, due to the Pi “curse,” or even Hooper, the most recent winner of the bunch for Les Mis. Still, even though the gutsy move to make the actors’ sing live could be a reason in itself to give him the nom over either of the other two, the many critics that found it underwhelming and that could reflect the opinions of the Academy too.

Best Actordaniel-day-lewis-lincoln4
1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
2. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
3. John Hawkes – The Sessions
4. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Don’t get me wrong based on my last two excerpts, Les Mis still managed to receive a lot of love from viewers, which is why Jackman’s portrayal shot him up a lot higher than before. I expect the rest to remain the same, unless Denzel Washington manages to take over Phoenix.

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

Once more, these last two spots are a complete toss-up. Before, I assumed that the Academy would finish up like the Golden Globes and SAGS with Mirren and Cotillard. However, both respective films, especially Cotillard’s Rust and Bone, got a slew of poor reviews, which is why veteran, Riva, should make up for the lack of amour for Amour (sorry, had to do it). Wallis, miles more junior to Riva’s age, could manage to get a nomination thanks to the love the film has, yet seemed to have to be ignored for so many other awards due to qualifications. It is possible for Mirren or Cotillard to take either spot, or perhaps even Maggie Smith for her role in Quartet, who could ride her Downton Abbey success to garner her seventh nom.

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

This category is continuing to keep up its streak of…well. Just not knowing what to do. Nominations have ranged from all of the top three, to De Niro, DiCaprio, Waltz, McGregor. So many different possibilities and still not a clear winner. Expect De Niro, an acting favorite, to still make it, but either DiCaprio or Waltz to take the fifth.

Best Supporting Actress
anne-hathaway-les-miserables
1. Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
2. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
3. Sally Fields – Lincoln
4. Amy Adams – The Master
5. Ann Dowd – Compliance

Top three. Locked. Adams? Well. How could she not? Then comes the last. Does it go to Nicole Kidman? Jacki Weaver? Maybe even Maggie Smith again (don’t ever underestimate Lady Crawley)? Possibly. Throughout all of my guesses in all these major categories though, there hasn’t really been one true wild card that was never gotten on many radars. The most likely candidate? Ann Dowd, for her role as a fast food manager following orders over the phone to question a staff over theft in the movie Compliance, based on an actual court case drama. Getting only a Critics’ Choice and Spirit nomination, Down hasn’t really been on many people’s list, except maybe Entertainment Weekly and their continuing push for her. Almost every year though, there manages to be at least one complete, what some may call, “upset.” For others, it could be a celebration and if anyone has the ability to do that this season, it could be Dowd.

Only a few days left! Make sure to check out the final list here on Thursday, along with some possible surprises and snubs! And for more coverage over this set of names, be sure to check out my Take 1 on it all which has a more in depth analysis of some of the nominations!

One final thing. Even though voting closed today, I can only hope that The Perks of Being a Wallflower will not walk away empty handed this year. Anybody else agree or disagree?

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!