- Published on Thursday, January 10 2013
- Written by Katie Marzullo
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
The Big One, the Grand Mother Supreme of award shows, the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards have been unleashed ‘pon the world! Let’s get to it, shall we?
Admittedly, there was no shortage of fantastic, epic films to choose from in the past year to round out the Best Picture category. Argo, Lincoln, Les Misérables, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, and Django Unchained were, as expected, all recognized. Ah, but what’s this? A couple sleeper indies have snuck in! Where one might have supposed to see, say, Cloud Atlas or The Master or even Flight, we instead peep low-budget hit Beasts of the Southern Wild along with a film that I literally just heard about a couple days ago, a geriatric tearjerker from Austria called Amour (directed by Funny Games mastermind Michael Haneke, who also drew a Best Director nod).
For the first time in a long while, there doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut winners here. Lincoln and Les Misérables alone could split the vote considerably, and we might end up with a complete upset from the likes of Zero Dark Thirty or possibly even Django. Even in spite of whoever wins Best Director, I don’t think that will automatically presume the winner of Best Picture, especially since Les Mis helmer Tom Hooper wasn’t even nominated! This could be a very interesting one, folks!
- Obviously, we couldn’t be more excited to see Quvenzhané Wallis’s name on the ballot, and for Best Actress no less! If she were to win, that would make her by far the youngest actress to win in that category and THE youngest actor EVER to win a competitive Oscar, period! And she’s not exactly a long shot either. Her biggest threat is possibly Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and maybe Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), and while both those performances were critically-acclaimed and well-deserved of their nominations, nobody has been exactly falling over themselves for them like they have been for Wallis. The other two nominees – Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible) – feel, quite frankly, like filler. This might actually turn in little Quvenzhané’s favor, you guys!
- Once again, poor Leo DiCaprio finds himself on the wrong end of the Academy’s good graces. At this point, one has to wonder what exactly he has to do to get some Oscar love around here! Did he seduce an Academy member’s wife or something? It’s definitely creeping into conspiracy theory territory now… Meanwhile, Leo’s Django castmate, Christoph Waltz, was recognized in the Best Supporting Actor category. And while the film itself is sitting pretty in the Best Picture category, just as with Les Mis, no love for Quentin Tarantino for Best Director. So, take heart, dearest Leo, you’re in good(?) company… (Tarantino did, however, pick up a nod for Best Original Screenplay.)
- Recently, I reported to you about the Academy’s intention to recognize the James Bond franchise with a special presentation at this year’s ceremony in honor of it’s 50th anniversary, and I also pointed out how the last James Bond film to receive ANY Oscar recognition at all was For Your Eyes Only, way back in 1981! Well, the streak has been broken, and then some… The latest 007 offering, Skyfall, finds itself basking in the glow of a whopping FIVE nominations this year! These include your standard technical achievements, like Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and music (Best Original Score from Thomas Newman, and Best Original Song for Adele’s haunting title theme). However, for the first time ever, a Bond film has cracked the Best Cinematography category! Congrats to Roger Deakins, but he’ll have quite an uphill climb to upset the likes of Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) and Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi). Still… score one for Bond!
- The Best Directing category is definitely one of the more contentious and controversial. While we expected to see Spielberg and Ang Lee in there somewhere, no Tom Hooper (Les Mis), no Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), no Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), and no Ben Affleck (Argo). Huh?? Four of the biggest films of the year, all Best Picture noms, but no love for the directors? Perhaps this is another instance of an extreme vote-splitting. As I mentioned at the top of this article, there were just so many great films this year, maybe too many votes were just spread too evenly across these snubbed directors. But hey, that’s great news for Michael Haneke (Amour), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)!
- I spy with my little eye a severe lack of the name Hitchcock on this year's ballot. I am scratching my head wondering where all the votes for Anthony Hopkins could have gone... did people actually SEE the movie? I guess the Academy chocked up Hopkins's brilliant performance as nothing more than a wondrous make-over, and therefore Hitchcock's one and only nomination is for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Le sigh.
- While The Master didn’t make the cut for Best Picture, its stars were duly recognized – Joaquin Phoenix, (Best Actor), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Supporting Actor), and Amy Adams (Best Supporting Actress) are all on the ballot. You think Joaquin will show up? Well, he might not need to. Daniel Day-Lewis is scoring the Oscar hat trick this year.
- Looking at the ladies who made the Best Supporting Actress list, it’s safe to say that Anne Hathaway is walking away with this one with little struggle. Amy Adams, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, and Jacki Weaver are all brilliant, but I have NEVER seen a performance quite like Hathaway’s on the silver screen. This is hers to lose, and she will not.
So, while the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories have pretty much already been wrapped up with a nice big golden ribbon, all the other categories are really anyone’s guess! It’s a deep field this year, with no clear frontrunners. Upsets are not unheard of, and there are many poised to happen here come Oscar night. Place your bets now! It’s on!!!
The Academy Awards will take place on February 24 on ABC, hosted by Seth MacFarlane.
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor
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