Oscar nominees

January 10, 2013

The 85th Academy Award nominations are out, and the surprises are plentiful. I would say the largest surprises would be in the Best Director category, leading to a lot of issues if a Best Picture nominee gets to win the award (it is almost impossible to win Best Picture without Best Director winning, much less not be nominated). The Oscars take place February 24th.

Nomination Totals: (12) Lincoln (11) Life of Pi (8) Silver Linings Playbook (7) Argo, Les Misérables (5) Amour, Django Unchained, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty (4) Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild (3) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Master

With that being said, lets look at the nominees:

Best Picture

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

These were not total surprises. The academy can choose as few as five and as many as ten to be nominated. Nine was what was projected by most prognosticators. Beast of the Southern Wild has been a film that has gained a lot of momentum and Amour was almost viewed as a lock. Some had Skyfall or The Master to get in, but in reality, both were long-shots. A bond film is not looked on as favorable by most old-school Hollywood voters and The Master takes a critical look at the church of Scientology, which well...it is Hollywood. Before, director nominations I would have Zero Dark Thirty as a front-runner, along with Argo and Lincoln, but now...I think it is all about Lincoln. Silver Linings is a dark horse. Let's hope that Cinemark gets Beast of the Southern Wild, Amour, and Silver Linings something soon. The rest have or are playing here.

Best Animated Feature

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

No surprises here. ParaNorman has been racking up the awards. Could come between that and Frankenweenie and Wreck-it-Ralph.

Best Director

Amour - Michael Haneke

Life of Pi - Ang Lee

Lincoln - Steven Spielberg

Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Benh Zeitlin

The biggest shock of a category. The precursor awards heavily favored Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. Now the nominations, and she is not nominated. This all but dooms Zero Dark Thirty. Second in the precursors was Ben Affleck for Argo. Not nominated. Next is Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master. Not nominated. That leaves this, if I were to look at the precursors, as a battle between Ang Lee for Life of Pi, who won the Las Vegas Film Critics Award, and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, who won the Dallas Film Critics. I am willing to bet Spielberg wins. The academy could decide to go foreign with Haneke and Amour.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

Denzel Washington - Flight

No real suprises here. This is really a battle between Daniel Day-Lewis, a huge and deserving front-runner, and Hugh Jackman.

Best Actress

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 big question prior to the nominations was whether Quvenzhane Wallis would be nominated. She is, and is now the youngest best actress nominee ever at the age of 9. Most have this as a battle between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. I am rooting for Lawrence, but my gut tells me Chastain. Actress, unlike supporting actress, stays pretty predictable....well with the exception of last year.

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin - Argo

Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln

Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained

Again fairly predictable in nominees. DeNiro's nomination was a pleasant surprise, but deserved. This will be a battle between Hoffman, Jones, and Waltz. All nominees have won before, so this will be someone getting their second.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams - The Master

Sally Field - Lincoln

Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables

Helen Hunt - The Sessions

Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook

Jacki Weaver was a huge surprise here. Precursors would say this is Hathaway's award, but the academy frequently awards out of left-field here. So do not be surprised if Jacki Weaver wins here.

Best Original Screenplay

Amour

Django Unchained

Flight

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty should win here. It was shocking that Looper, who was leading the precursor race, was not nominated. It was a well-written and strong movie. Maybe too complex for the academy? The academy loves Wes Anderson. I am not a fan of Moonrise Kingdom, but I understand the nomination.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Lincoln

Life of Pi

Silver Linings Playbook

I am a little surprised about Perks of Being a Wallflower not being nominated here, but Beast of the Southern Wild was on a run. This should be a battle between Lincoln, Argo, and Silver Linings Playbook. If Beast of Southern Wild or Life of Pi win here, they are probably winning the whole thing.

Here are the remaining nominees, some comments occasionally included.

Best Original Score

Anna Karenina

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

Again a category that the most awarded precursor, The Master, was not nominated. I'm guessing Lincoln. Though you could see Life of Pi to win if it goes on a run.

Best Original Song

"Before My Time" - Chasing Ice

"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" - Ted

"Pi's Lullaby" - Life of Pi

"Suddenly" - Les Misérables

"Skyfall" - Skyfall

I really like Suddenly from Les Mis, but Skyfall has been the dominate force in the precursors. Do not be surprised if the Academy awards the host here as well with Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted.

Best Editing

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

Here is the second-best spot of determining the Best Picture winner. There are three films here that are nominated for Director and Picture. If one of those win, they probably will win Best Picture. If not, then it could be an interesting night. Only two films have been winning the precursors, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. This could be an interesting night since neither got Best Director nominations.

Best Cinematography

Anna Karenina

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

The Academy mostly got this right. Life of Pi or Skyfall should win here. Any others would be a major upset. The Master not being nominated really showed a major Scientology backlash.

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

The only precursor winner here is Anna Karenina. My vote would be for Les Miserables. The Hobbit is heavily CGI, so I discount it, though I did love it. Lincoln is a strong contender.

Best Costume Design

Anna Karenina

Les Misérables

Lincoln

Mirror, Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman

Anna Karenina has been the only precursor winner here thus far, but my guess would be Lincoln. Les Miserables as a dark-horse. This all depends on if a film really builds momentum.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

This goes between subtle and creature. I like Les Miserables to win here. Though I would not be shocked for Hitchcock. I was extremely surprised to not see Lincoln in here. Really Really surprised.

Best Sound Mixing

Argo

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

Another great Best Picture predictor if there is not some big major technical film. The Sound associations have not given their awards yet. Argo was not nominated by the Cinema Audio Society nor was Life of Pi. If Lincoln wins, it is going on to win a lot. Skyfall probably wins here though.

Best Sound Editing

Argo

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

I am guessing Skyfall....amazing team. Skyfall could be the Bourne Ultimatum of the awards where it is second or third in wins all based on technical.

Best Visual Effects

The Avengers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

Prometheus

Snow White and the Huntsman

Visual effects have been dominated by Life of Pi. While it is more subtle than many think, it also is the type that many Academy voters go for.