Last week, following the tossing around of Golden Globe statues to middle weights like Ben Affleck and Lena Dunham, I wrote a ScreenTime column that was kinda/sorta about the Golden Globes. A beautiful poem it was not. Mostly, I said that I liked co-host Amy Poehler’s goofy performance a whole lot and was bummed that PT Anderson’s The Master wasn’t better represented or awarded. At the end of said column I promised that, in my next column, I would give my thoughts on the recent Oscar nominations. So here we go, easy peasy …
Best Picture: My two favorite films of 2012, PT’s The Master and Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, weren’t nominated for Best Picture. Of the nine films that were nominated I’ve seen, thus far, seven. I’ll most likely never watch Les Miserables and look forward to seeing Michael Haneke’s Amour. So, of the flicks I’ve seen, I’d probably call David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook my favorite – if only because I’ve only seen Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln once each. What movie do I think will take the statue? Probably Lincoln. And if not Lincoln, maybe Zero Dark Thirty. That said, I’d loved to see Benh Zeitlin’s Beats of the Southern Wild steal the show.
Best Actors: I’m almost certain that Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis will win his third Oscar trophy. He won the Golden Globe a couple of weeks ago and is, I think, the hands-down best actor of his generation (R.I.P. River Phoenix and Heath Ledger). While I found Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in The Master to be more memorable and Denis Lavant’s (Holy Motors) to be more interesting, it’s hard to argue with the mastery of DDL’s turn in Spielberg’s new epic. Also, Bradley Cooper’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook was ridiculously impressive and, most years, probably award worthy. As far as the Best Supporting Actor category goes, I think Lincoln’s Tommy Lee Jones will probably win. Me? I live in a reality where Philip Seymour Hoffman is the no-brainer pick for his probably legendary performance as Lancaster Dodd in The Master.
Best Actresses: There are three maaaaajor contenders for this year’s Best Actress in a Leading Role statue, starting with Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence – a gal I think will win a few of these shiny things before its all said and done. She’ll have to beat out much loved performances from Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain and Beasts of the Southern Wild hero Quvenzhane Wallis. And she will. The Best Supporting Actress category seems to be a lock this year for Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway. I’ve not seen the film but I do believe in the on-screen power of the Hathaway. That said, there’s an outside chance Lincoln’s Sally Field will slip in and win her third statue.
Best Director: The biggest, most pleasant surprise at this year’s nomination show was the announcement of indie dudes Michael Haneke (Amour) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts) as a Best Director nominees. Neither will win. Not unless Beasts ends up somehow taking the show by storm, which is very unlikely. Spielberg will almost certainly win yet another Best Director award. Or, I suppose, maybe Silver Linings will somehow win Best Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. But probably not. My guess is that Sunday, February 24 will be all about Lincoln.
Best Screenplays: Best Adapted Screenplay will probably go to Lincoln writer Tony Kushner or Silver Linings Playbook writer David O. Russell. Both are deserving of the highest praise, if in much different ways. Best Original Screenplay, I think, will probably go to Mark Boal’s epic Zero Dark Thirty script. Wouldn’t it be sweet, though, if Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained or Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom somehow won? Yes, yes that would be sweet. But all signs point to ZD30.
Best Other Stuff: Some of the best living cinematographers – including Robert Richardson, Roger Deakins and Janusz Kaminski – are nominated this year. All did beautiful work, surely, but I think Life of Pi DP Claudio Miranda will probably win. Oh well. Best Editing should go to Lincoln editor Michael Kahn, but won’t. It’ll most likely go to Argo editor William Goldenberg. Brave will almost certainly win Best Animated Feature Film over two far superior films, Tim Burton’s Franenweenie and Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s ParaNorman. Last and certainly not least, we have the Best Foreign Language Film category. Since the year’s two best Foreign Language Films, Holy Motors and Rust and Bone (both from France), aren’t nominated, I’m pretty sure Austria’s Amour will win. Actually, I’m certain it will. Other big 2013 Oscar snubs: Marion Cotillard (Best Actress, Rust and Bone); Mohamed Fellag (Best Actor, Monsieur Lazhar); Stephen Chbosky (Best Adapted Screenplay, The Perks of Being a Wallflower); Eva Green (Best Actress, Womb); and Mihai Malaimare, Jr. (Best Cinematography, The Master).