I love Oscar season. It’s the cinephile’s Super Bowl. It showcases the best and brightest actors, directors, producers, and writers who give us joy on the big silver stippled screen. Granted, they are a stuffy and pretentious, but they’re an institution that’s older than my grandfather and he’s 70… So, yeah, think about that.
All right, enough of the boring introduction and boring old cliches, let’s get down to brass tacks (see what I did there?): The Oscar Predictions.
I do my Oscar pool a little differently because I want to cover all bases regarding the most important night ever. I lost last year, but this year I’m certain I can win the majority.
I have three categories: Who I Want to Win, Who Should Win, and Who’s Going to Win. I discovered over the years that my personal tastes vastly differ from the majority, but there will always be movies that should’ve won over what the Academy voters’ selection.
So, with the Big Five (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress) I gave my predictions with reasons. The other categories I’ve given my predictions and hopes. I can only do so much, let alone talk about movies before I run out of analogies and start to pace the room for one more good idea.
Also, I left out some of the categories I know don’t know a lot about. Namely the documentaries, makeup and hairstyling, sound editing and mixing, short films live action, film editing, and foreign language films because I’ve never gotten those right, and don’t want the reminder that I don’t know what I’m doing.
- Best Picture
- Amour Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
- Argo Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
- Beasts of the Southern Wild Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
- Django Unchained Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
- Les Misérables Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
- Life of Pi Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
- Lincoln Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
- Silver Linings Playbook Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
- Zero Dark Thirty Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers
Who I Want to Win: Tie: Django Unchained/Silver Linings Playbook
I love them both equally but for different reasons. Silver Linings Playbook is the one of the rom-coms I’ve ever seen without being forced to go and probably one of those few that I enjoyed the message of because it applies to everyday life. It’s nothing outlandish or ridiculous, it’s just an honest story of people coping with change. That’s a very watered down summary, but accurate. As for Django Unchained, I love Tarantino films and this is right up there with Inglourious Basterds. It’s long with false endings, but I thoroughly enjoyed Christoph Waltz’s performance and I really want a sequel. Django Unchained 2: The Reckoning.
Who Should Win: Les Miserables
As a fan favorite and film contender, Les Miserables as made the world of musicals and Broadway more accessible and entrancing. The inclusion of live-singing was simply phenomenal; it’s a film that digs into your core and makes it okay to weep openly in the theater. My only big complaint with Les Mis is ALL THE GODDAMN SINGING. A ridiculous claim, I know, but when you’re sitting there for 157 minutes by yourself and all you want is for the revolutionaries to take six minutes to talk things over before using furniture to defend themselves against canons, it’s not a stretch. Plus, a pee break would’ve been nice.
Who’s Going to Win: Argo
It’s already won a Golden Globe, an AFI award, a Critic’s Choice Award, and a BAFA. The list goes on and on. Given, there are some complaints about historical accuracy, which is going to happen with any film “based on a true story,” but overlooking that, it’s visually stunning, well casted and acted, and made me sit literally on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, eyes wide-opened and ready for the most tense 30 minute ending of my life. I’ve had job interviews that weren’t that intense, but none that were that rewarding. That, and Ben Affleck has an awesome beard. Right there, that’s enough of a reason.
- Actor (in a Leading Role)
Who I Want to Win: Bradley Cooper
He’s been typecasted as the “glamorous hunky douche” for most of his film career and it’s nice to see break out of that niche into a more relatable character who I would love to go jogging with and later watch the Eagles play. I don’t even like football, THAT’s how much I liked Cooper’s character.
Who Should Win: Hugh Jackman
To put into Mad Men terms: Hugh Jackman is basically the film version of Don Draper. He sings, dances, he plays Wolverine, and puts his focus and drive into every performance. As Jean Valjean, he was the one character I was rooting for that didn’t die, but somehow found the Fountain of Youth and decided to become a baker. That would’ve been amazing.
Who’s Going to Win: Tie: Hugh Jackman/Daniel Day Lewis
This is a tough one to call. Hugh Jackman gave a great performance as Jean Valjean, but Daniel Day Lewis was Abraham Lincoln, who was a real person and one of my favorite presidents. (He’s number three on the list, right behind James K. Polk, but before Bill Clinton.) Jackman gave an astounding performance, but Lewis has quality about his portrayal of the 16th President that’s going to be discussed in film classes at later dates. I’m giving the lead to Lewis, but it’s a slim lead.
- Actress (in a Leading Role)
Who Should Win: Quvenzhane Wallis
When I was nine, I was learning my multiplication tables. Wallis is off making movies, getting great praise, and Oscar nominations. Granted, I haven’t Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I reiterate: she’s nine and nominated for Best Actress. Why not give it to her? He acceptance speech would be adorable.
Who I Want to Win/Who’s Going to Win: Jennifer Lawrence
This is unfair to the category because I’m openly in love with Jennifer Lawrence and I have no shame in admitting that fact, but Silver Linings Playbook is her best performance. Like Cooper’s character, it’s nothing outlandish or irrational about her character: she’s relatable, she’s honest, heartfelt, and you want to hug her and tell her that everything is going to be fine. I wanna do that regardless, but she deserves it… Yup, no way to back out of that corner.
- Actor (in a Supporting Role)
Who Should Win: Robert De Niro
I originally put Alan Arkin, but I decided that De Niro has a much more earthy and better atmosphere about his character, one that I appreciate more than Arkin’s. He’s a struggling dad just trying to keep his son from going back to the asylum, what’s not to love?
Who I Want to Win/Who’s Going to Win: Christoph Waltz
I love Christoph Waltz and I’m surprised he wasn’t casted as a leading actor because the focus of the film felt more on him than Jamie Fox’s Django. Anyway, there’s an intrinsic quality that makes Waltz the perfect companion as a bounty hunter and overall awesome dentist. He’s light-hearted, yet driven. He’s easy, but fierce with aggression. He just sends shocks through my body. And again, awesome beard, good enough reason for me.
- Actress (in a Supporting Role)
Who I Want to Win: Jacki Weaver
I just wanna see her win. She’s every football and dysfunctional family’s savior. It’s tough to maintain sanity while you’re trying to keep the peace between bickering family members and somehow she does.
Who Should Win: Sally Field
She played the loon that was Mrs. Lincoln. She played it well, too. She played it so well, that it’s alarming she was committed after production had wrapped.
Who’s Going to Win: Anne Hathaway
For the whole 20 minutes she’s on screen, she’s an emotional typhoon of that spirals downward and further into the most basic human instincts. She sells her hair, her teeth, her very body just so little Cosette wouldn’t live in poverty. And she makes you feel every emotion while watching it. It’s beautiful and tear jerking. I can’t adequately describe how she made me feel because honestly, she didn’t, but I did enjoy watching her downfall.
- Animated Feature Film
Who I Want to Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Who Should Win: Brave
Who’s Going to Win: Tie: Brave or Frankenweenie
Who I Want to Win: Django Unchained
Who Should Win: Life of Pi
Who’s Going to Win: Lincoln
- Costume Design
Who I Want to Win/Who Should Win: Les Miserables
Who’s Going to Win: Lincoln
Who I Want to Win: David O. Russell
Who Should Win: Ang Lee
Who’s Going to Win: Steven Spielberg
- Music (Original Score)
Who I Want to Win: Argo
Who Should Win: Skyfall
Who’s Going to Win: Lincoln
- Music (Original Song)
- “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice Music and Lyric by J. Ralph More Information
- “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
- “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
- “Skyfall” from Skyfall Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
- “Suddenly” from Les Misérables Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
Who I Want to Win/Who Should Win/Who’s Going to Win: Adele, “SkyFall.”
- Production Design
- Anna Karenina Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)
- Les Misérables Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)
- Life of Pi David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
- Lincoln Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)
Who I Want to Win: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Who Should Win: Anna Karenina
Who’s Going to Win: Les Miserables
- Short Film (Animated)
Who I Want to Win: Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
Who Should Win/Who’s Going to Win: Paperman
- Visual Effects
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
- Life of Pi Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
- Marvel’s The Avengers Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
- Prometheus Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
- Snow White and the Huntsman Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
Who Should Win: Life of Pi
Who I Want to Win/ Who’s Going to Win: Marvel’s The Avengers
- Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Who I Want to Win: Silver Linings Playbook
Who Should Win: Argo
Who’s Going to Win: Lincoln
- Writing (Original Screenplay)
Who I Want to Win: Moonrise Kingdom
Who Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Who’s Going to Win: Django Unchained
I hate this time of year. I never realized how awful February is as a month until now. It’s not even a real month; 28 days, what is that nonsense? But I digress.
It’s Oscar season and I’ve been procrastinating on my Oscar pool and selections.
Not a shocker for those who know me really well, but I have to have it ready by tomorrow morning and I haven’t seen five of the movies up for Best Picture. But, I’ve seen the ones I wanna see and the performances I’ve wanted to see and based on articles and reviews, I think I’ll have a pretty good Oscar pool once I see “Django Unchained” tonight.
I’m not gonna bother with “Amour” or “Life of Pi,” they look interesting and ill eventually see them once they’re on DVD. I’m gonna try and sneak in “Beats of the Southern Wild” and “Zero Dark Thirty” between now and Sunday. Oddly enough, the one I really wanted to see was “The Master” but that comes out Tuesday.
Here’s a preview of my future pool:
Batman swoops in with Adele and they win every f**king award. They then put on sunglasses and take off in the Batmobile.
I finally saw “Silver Linings Playbook” and I’m quite impressed with it.
Not so much with the jerky camera work and the moments of awkward laughter from theater patrons, but with the message of the movie.
I had an idea what it was about, mainly it starred Bradley Cooper and my future ex-wife Jennifer Lawrence (if she ever sees this one day, it’s gonna be a really awkward conversation… Okay, all my conversations are awkward, but endearing at the same time) as they try and readjust to their new lifestyles after going through some pretty traumatic events.
Cooper’s character, Pat, was admitted to a mental institution after nearly beating his wife’s lover to death after he caught them in the shower playing their wedding song. The song ends up being a trigger for brash and violent emotional outbursts. He’s an undiagnosed bipolar, which was discovered when he was admitted to the hospital.
J.Law’s character, Tiffany, is coping with the loss of her husband and trying to stay afloat from her old ways while dipping into them now and again. She’s a reformed sex addict who finds new outlets to express herself, namely dance.
Throughout the film we see Pat’s feeble attempts to reconnect with his estranged wife using Tiffany as middle-woman while Tiffany is using Pat to enter into a big dance competition in Philadelphia that her dead husband would’ve never entered. It’s a series of emotional ups and downs, will they, won’t they, screaming matches, and these tender moments that make you sad, but kinda happy.
Albeit the story a little predictable, it’s a predictable ending that you want to happen. It’s still a well-crafted uplifting movie. It’s one of the few times I was mad at myself for leaving the theater not having wept like a small child.
It’s a movie about loss and what to do after that loss is gone – and I don’t mean gone and you can get it back, I mean gone and you’re never seeing it again. It’s like Taylor Swift was a consulting producer on the set.
It’s beating into your head that a silver lining exists no matter how rough or bad the situation may be, that’s an awesome message to deliver unto the masses of people who may feel beaten after the past couple of months.
It’s a reminder that things get better, but only if you work at them and want them to happen.
Oh, and awkward dance moves will always score big with the Russian judge.