the staff reacts to the Oscar nominees …
The nominations for the 2013 Oscars are in … and are not with out a little bit of controversy. And that’s why we love awards season — there’s always plenty of room for debate. Pop-Break’s Bill Bodkin, Jason Stives, and Brent Johnson will weigh in on the nominations throughout the day. We’ll give you our views on the nominees — both the surprises and the snubs as well as some really early prognostications.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
The nominees played out pretty much the way most had predicted — except for Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Much like its predecessors, The Artist and The Hurt Locker, Beasts is the early-year indie darling that the critics have been in love with since Day 1. However, unlike these two films, I don’t think Beasts will be taking home the trophy for best picture in 2013. No, if I had to guess, it’ll go to Zero Dark Thirty, the film no one can seem to stop talking about. Argo seems to have lost a lot of its juice. while the other films, just recently released (Django, Pi, Les Mis). all still seem to be getting their footing. If we’re talking snubs this year, why isn’t Moonrise Kingdom in there? Or Skyfall? Did they have to stop short at nine this year? Both films were deserved of a nom. Also, kinda glad The Dark Knight Rises didn’t get a “make up” nom to placate those in an uproar of The Dark Knight‘s non-nom years ago.
This year’s batch of 10 nominations (a ruling that I’m still 50/50 about depending on what gets picked) was full of a few surprises and some expected and maybe unfortunate picks. The films that would be considered proverbial Oscar bait like Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, and Lincoln were given nods but hopefully none of them will read. I have yet to see Life Of Pi although I have heard good things even if it’s not the most amazing film, Les Mis while a good adaptation isn’t really worthy of the top prize, and Lincoln feels like parliamentary procedure because Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis are involved. The big surprise for me was Beasts Of The Southern Wild which I have been championing for quite some time even if it doesn’t win. All other nominations are expected, but compared to the above mentioned, they feel right.
Only once since 1932 has a film won Best Picture without scoring a nod for Best Director: 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy. That doesn’t bode well for Argo. Or Les Mis. Or Zero Dark Thirty. All three appeared to be possible winners at one point. Now, it seems, Lincoln is the frontrunner. Steven Spielberg’s historical drama scored the most nominations this year, with 11. Don’t count out Silver Linings Playbook. It’s a smart, wonderful, quirky little film — with the support of the powerful Weinstein Company. But big, sweeping dramas often do much better in this category.
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
I guess you can say the Oscars are complete B.S. and you’ll still get a nod. Joaquin Phoenix was the big surprise here … not based on performance; he was wonderful in The Master. But when you come out, guns hot, putting down the awards, you’d think there’d be a comeuppance. It’s nice to see Bradley Cooper, ever the comedic pretty boy, get a nom for what many are saying is his finest work. It’s a strong category this year when you have both Daniel Day and Denzel nominated. If there’s a snub here, it’s for John Hawkes’ work in The Sessions, who many considered a lock to get nominated.
Considering how he almost burned his bridges in Hollywood, I’m very surprised Joaquin Phoenix got a nomination. but since it was such a great performance. I’m glad it still happened. I’m quite surprised that Denzel Washington received a nomination, but from what I heard, it’s probably not undeserved. While I expected Daniel Day-Lewis to get nominated for playing the 16th President of the United States, I really hope he doesn’t come out the winner. Compared to his previous wins, this would feel like a forced victory just because of its uniqueness even though it was a very good performance. Also kudos goes to both Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman for racking up nominations. although of the two, Cooper has more in favor than Jackman, despite a very moving performance in Les Miserables.
Hawkes’ snub here is one of the biggest of the day — maybe the film was too small? But it doesn’t really matter. Day-Lewis should have his acceptance speech written by now.
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
The Academy has gone all-in on Beasts Of The Southern Wild, giving Quvenzhané Wallis the nod over near-lock Marion Cotillard. This makes the pint-sized, 9-year-old actress the youngest woman ever to be nominated for this honor. Everyone one else’s noms were predicted and understandable … just wondering if Chastain and Lawrence, both so young in their careers, will take home the statue, or will the Academy get to a seasoned vet like Riva.
All five best actress nominees feel right to me, and of the films I’ve seen of those nominees, they are all riveting performances. So this is a strong category with possible tough competition. Odds are, based on the reception she has received, I would pencil Jessica Chastain in for her performance in Zero Dark Thirty as the eventual winner.
Oscar history: Riva (at 85) becomes this category’s oldest-ever nominee and Wallis (at 9) becomes the category’s youngest-ever. Lovely. But look for Chasatin and Lawrence to battle this out — and Lawrence now has the slight edge since Zero Dark Thirty didn’t get as much love as some expected.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
This was a layup to predict, and it’s turning out to be one of the strongest categories this year, as all of these nominees have taken home Oscar gold before. If there’s a snub here, it’s that Leonardo DiCaprio, who was delightfully devilish in Django, was once again shown no love by the Academy.
Outside of Tommy Lee Jones’ nod, this is another category I can’t disagree with — although I have yet to see Silver Linings Playbook. Again another note-worthy nomination for both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz, but from what I have heard, Robert De Niro is an odds-on favorite for this category. Still, the competition is stiff and I will be very intrigued by the outcome.
This one’s interesting because all five men have won statues before — Arkin for 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine, De Niro for 1974’s The Godfather, Part II; Hoffman for 2005’s Capote; Jones for 1993’s The Fugitive; Waltz for 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. Special cheers to De Niro, who gave his best performance in two decades. And good for Waltz, who has an incredible knack for charming deliver of Tarantino’s great dialogue. But this one will likely become to Jones, so scorchingly good in Lincoln that he was easily the most exciting part of a largely languid, long film.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Again, this was an easy category to predict, with the exception of the fifth and final spot, which many believed would go to one of the ladies from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (which got shut out). Jacki Weaver, someone who I wasn’t a fan of when she was nominated for Animal Kingdom, gets the nod here. Yawn.
Unlike the Best Actress nominees, there is a bit of grumbling on my part for this category, as both Sally Field and Anne Hathaway’s nominations are really up for debate. Both actresses did display memorable performances in their respected roles, but neither stood out to me as spell-binding and award-worthy — especially Hathaway, who is only in the film less than 40 minutes (oops, spoiler). Her nomination reminds me greatly of Alan Arkin’s Best Supporting Actor nod and win for Little Miss Sunshine years back in that while a strong performance never struck me as being worthy of an honor. I also must send out much love to Amy Adams for getting a nomination for The Master, although the likelihood of her taking home the prize seems less than likely.
Except to see Hathaway’s name called to the podium. You try singing and sobbing at the same time. So hard to do at all. Much harder to do well. And on, a historic note, Weaver’s surprise nomination makes Silver Linings Playbook the first film since 1981’s Reds to be honored in all four acting categories. (Only 14 films have achieved that in the Academy Awards’ 85 years.)
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life Of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Here’s where the snubs and head-scratchers truly are. First, no Ben Affleck? Are you serious? His best work to date and no love whatsoever? Hogwash … complete and utter. No Tarantino? Again, looking at some of his best work to date, and he gets nothing. No Kathryn Bigelow? Yes, she’s won before, but isn’t she also one of the minds behind the film that’s destined to win Best Picture? But we nominate Steven Spielberg — for a movie most have panned for its direction? Or the director of Amour, a small, intimate drama? The Beasts Of The Southern Wild love was in full force, and I’m glad it was recognized. But let’s cut Spielberg and Michael Haneke for Affleck and either Bigelow or Tarantino.
Of any of the categories of importance, this one sticks in my side a bit. If you are going to expand the Best Picture category to 10 possible nominations, that should be an option for the Director category, as well. I think it’s a shame that Ben Affleck has been robbed of a directing nomination when Argo has been nominated everywhere else in some fashion. Wouldn’t logic dictate that if your film is heavily nominated, then your directing is worthy of a nod, too? Spielberg’s nomination feels forced, and I hope that he doesn’t take this one home. If anything, throw Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and Tom Hooper in there to even out the Best-Picture-to-Best Director ratio. Actually, don’t nominate Hooper because his directing on Les Miserables was terrible.
Affleck’s snub is criminal. It reminds me of how the Academy ignored Christopher Nolan’s work on Inception two years ago. Is it possible the Academy has an issue with big-name directors making mainstream films? It can’t be. They nominated James Cameron in 2010. They nominated Steven Spielberg for the 400th time this year. I don’t get it. Good to see Russell get a nod here for my favorite film of the year, though. It’s possible he could eke out a win over Spielberg in the end. (Note: Often, the Oscars and the Directors Guild Awards match up with at least four or five nominees. This year, only two DGA honorees — Lee and Spielberg — made the Academy’s cut. The other three — Affleck, Bigelow, and Hooper — were left out. Odd.)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
John Gatins, Flight
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
The only slight snub here is Rian Johnson’s much-praised creative script for Looper — although the Academy has never had a penchant for sci-fi. And while the frontrunner appeared to be Boal early on, it’s possible this award could go to Haneke based on the Academy’s warm reception for his film.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Chris Terrio, Argo
Ben Zeitlin & Lucy Alibar, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
David Magee, Life Of Pi
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
This award is Kushner’s to lose. Although if anyone can pull an upset, it probably would be Russell.
Just going to consolidate this one for the sake of space. Very happy that Moonrise, Django and Beasts received nominations, but alas they probably won’t win. My bets down the line would be on Argo for Best Adapted and Amour for Best Original considering what I have heard about the latter.
-Only four actors (Cooper, Jackman, Riva, Wallis) and two directors (Haneke, Zeitlin) are first-time nominees. I can’t remember that number being so low at the Oscars.
-Tim Burton — one of the best directors of the last 30 years — scored only his second career Oscar nod, with Frankenweenie among the Best Animated Feature contenders. His only other nom came in the same category, for 2005’s Corpse Bride.
–Skyfall cinematographer Roger Deakins scored his 10th career nomination. He still has yet to win, despite a distinguished career — especially for his gorgeous work on films by the Coen Brothers.
-It may be hard to believe, but the Best Animated Feature nominees — Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, Wreck-It Ralph — are very solid this year. And while my love of Pixar always runs rampant, I think Wreck-It Ralph feels like the strongest contender.
-“Skyfall” for best Original Song? If Adele wins this one, I think she can just quietly retire because she will have conquered everything.