I took at look back real quick, at my predictions last year, which was the first time in years that I did so poorly, especially in the acting categories. (I only got 1/4 right, I never do that bad.) Honestly, if I have something real quick, that there's been a lot of talk, about this year, being one of the great years for film of all time; Harvey Weinstein already went on record comparing it to 1939, which most experts consider the Golden Year in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Well, it's gonna take some time before we really, get a sense of these things of course, but I gotta say, I don't see it yet. I haven't gone through every film, but this look like a really weak year to me. When I posted my "Memo to the Academy" blog, last year, the movie clip I posted was for the film "Terri", which was an exceptional film, that should've been considered for lots of Oscar categories. Gave it 5 STARS, still think it's a great film. Of course it didn't get nominated, but at the end of the year, when I gave out my own Awards, the OYLs, it didn't get a single nomination! I considered it, for a bunch of categories, but it was such a good year, that too many categories, filled up to ten nominees, and it was 11 or 20 in some of the categories. So far, this year, I've seen, fewer feature films than I wanted to, but I've been unimpressed. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but compared to last year, I don't get people who claiming, this is a historically great year for film; I don't think it's half as good as last year yet. Anyway, the Oscars are Sunday, and just like last year, I'm going category by category. Remember: These are predictions, not preferences! If I have a preference, I may let it be known of course, but I haven't seen all the films, so for the time being, these are prediction on who I think will win. Alright, let's go, and let's start at the top!
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
I've only seen four of the nominees so far this year, "Beasts...", "Django...", "Life of Pi", and "Lincoln", all four films I highly recommend, but every sign is pointing to "Argo". There's no denying it, except for the fact, that Academy did not nominate Ben Affleck. Every award out there, it has won, if it was eligible and nominated, without a hiccup. Guild Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, you name it, it's won it. Only one film, "Driving Miss Daisy", in the last 80 years, has won Best Picture, without having a directing nomination, but every sign around, is saying that's what will happen. If the Academy, thinks a little otherwise, the only two that I really think have a shot are "Life of Pi", and "Lincoln". I wouldn't be totally shocked if "Amour" snuck in as well, that film, got the right combination of other nominations, and momentum, no foreign language film has ever won Best Picture, I don't see that changing this year. Until something, actually beats it, you gotta presume that it's going to "Argo."
Bradley Cooper-"Silver Linings Playbook"
Hugh Jackman-"Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix-"The Master"
I saw "Lincoln"; it's going to Daniel Day-Lewis. There really isn't much else to talk. He'll become the first actor to win three Best Lead Actor Oscars, that's with Nicholson and Meryl Streep for Acting Oscars alive. (Katharine Hepburn has 4, she's the all-time record holder). I guess there's some talk about Jackman, getting the upset, but that's a stretch. If Denzel somehow pulled it out, he would also, have three Academy Awards. BTW, Day-Lewis, Washington, Sally Field and Robert De Niro, each have a shot at winning their third Academy Awards this year, and there's a change, three of them could do it, in one Award show. How has that, not gotten more press? About 99.9% sure, at least one of them will.
PREDICTION: Daniel Day-Lewis-"Lincoln"
Jessica Chastain-"Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence-"Silver Linings Playbook"
Quvenzhane Wallis-"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts-"The Impossible"
The only one of these performances I've seen is Quvenzhane Wallis's in "Beasts...", she's the youngest nominee in this category ever, at age 9, and she was six, when she was acting in the film, and it really is a special performance. She is going to be around for awhile, but she is not going to win this time. Neither will Naomi Watts, the nomination is her Award here. Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest person, ever nominated, she'll be 86 on Oscar Sunday, and there's a decent chance she can win this. She won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress. The pendulum has been swinging in this category a bit. Jessica Chastain was the favorite, for awhile, and then it switched suddenly to Jennifer Lawrence, who won the SAG Award. Chastain won the Critics Choice Award, it's definitely between those three. Sympathy vote, leans to Riva. Boy, "Zero Dark Thirty", went from heavy favorite to heavy underdog in almost every category, almost overnight, it's so weird. My mind is telling me, that somehow, Chastain is gonna pull this out, but I can't figure out the mathematical scenario where she pulls ahead, especially not that Emmanuelle Riva has momentum. (Just so you guys know, I've rewritten this prediction
PREDICTION: Emmanuelle Riva-"Amour"
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Robert De Niro-"Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman-"The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones-"Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz-"Django Unchained"
I predict that the winner, of the Supporting Actor Oscar, will be, a previous Oscar winner! Okay, that wasn't that much of a prediction, was it? Yea-up, for the first time ever, every nominee in an acting category, is a former Oscar winner! Which only makes the category, that much harder to predict! There's nobody who can be left out completely here, and the Awards, have been all over the map. Tommy Lee Jones, won the SAG Award, Phil Hoffman won the Critics Choice, Waltz won the Golden Globe, and the BAFTA, and keep in mind, he wasn't eligible for the SAG, and didn't get a Critics Choice nod. This one is all over the map, and there's no counting out De Niro, who's won twice before, but hasn't won since "Raging Bull", and hasn't been nominated in two decades. Gut instinct tells me, that this may be the one place where "The Master" could steal the Award. The Actors, loved the movie, nominating it for 3 Acting Oscars, but nothing else however, and since Phoenix and Adams, are up against shoe-in winners, they may consider giving it to Phil Hoffman here. However, the two co-favorites, have to be Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph Waltz. 2 very different kinds of performances, but both are equally exceptional. Some are wondering if they may pass over Waltz, who won just a couple years ago for another Tarantino film, but I don't know, I think he may just have it. His performance, is basically a co-lead with Jamie Foxx, and requires lots of exposition, the toughest kind of dialogue to act, and especially so, Tarantino exposition. This is one of those times, where I wish the Oscar would reveal the vote totals.
PREDICTION: Christoph Waltz-"Django Unchained"
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams-"The Master"
Anne Hathaway-"Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt-"The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver-"Silver Linings Playbook"
Jacki Weaver's name showing up, might have been the biggest Oscar nomination shock, outside of the directing category this year. The only nominee of these I've seen is Sally Field's, and there's a lot of split opinion on her performance, so I doubt she's got much of an upset chance. Helen Hunt's nomination is somewhat hindered by her co-star John Hawkes, not getting a Lead Actor nods, as predicted, but it's pretty much Anne Hathaway's to win. Despite "Les Miserables", being the most polarizing of the nominated films, practically every award has been given to Hathaway, nobody else seems to have a shot. (Wouldn't be shocked if Amy Adams's name finally gets called though.) I think it's a bit of a makeup, because she should've won the Oscar a few years ago for "Rachel Getting Married," the year Sandra Bullock won, so if this is a makeup for that, than-I guess that's fine to me.
PREDICTION: Anne Hathaway-"Les Miserables"
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
The only one of these I haven't seen is "Wreck-It Ralph," so I have a little bit of a true opinion here. This has to be considered a weak year in the category overall, and frankly, I don't think "Frankweenie" or "The Pirates!..." should be here. I'm especially confused by "Frankenweenie"'s popularity, but there is a certain group of Tim Burton fans, who are just going to vote for him, and he's probably the sentimental, even though I though the film was spreading a 45-minutes movie into an 85-minute film, but it's got it's moments. Personally, I would vote for "ParaNorman", which I thought was an exceptional film, one of my favorite films, animated or live action so far this year, but I think it's a longshot. You can't count out "Brave", Pixar rarely loses, and while "Brave is a subpar effort for them, it is quite a good film, overall, and has picked up a couple Awards, including the Golden Globe, but "Wreck-It Ralph", won the Annie Awards, the major Animation Award, so it's a bit of a toss-up here, between "Brave", "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It Ralph".
Anna Karenina-Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained-Robert Richardson
Life of Pi-Claudio Miranda
Roger Deakins has become the Susan Lucci of cinematography; this is his tenth nomination but he's yet to win., despite multi ASC Awards (Cinematographer Guild), including winning again this year. There's a decent chance that this might be the one category where "Skyfall", would pull off the upset. Robert Richardson won last year for the third time for his work in "Hugo", so he's well liked. However, despite this, the favorite still has to be Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi". He's been the favorite, he's won the majority of Awards so far, kinda hard to bet against him. "Anna Karenina" is probably stronger in Set Design or Costume Design than here. Kaminski, of course you can never rule him out, but I really think it's between Miranda and Deakins. Last year though, I thought Emmanuel Lubezki for "The Tree of Life" winning was a sure thing, so this is a category has a tendency to surprise, so I won't through anybody completely, but I think it's a safe bet between Miranda and Deakins. I think "Life of Pi", is too great of a technical achievement, to overlook it though. ASC Award is not that reliable. (Sigh.) Sorry, Roger, again. You'll get it next time.
PREDICTION: "Life of Pi"-Claudio Miranda
Anna Karenina-Jacqueline Durran
Les Miserables-Paco Delgado
Mirror Mirror-Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman-Colleen Atwood
To a lot peoples' surprise, both "Snow White..." movies snuck into the Costume Design category, most were especially surprised by "Mirror, Mirror", but I did predict that one. (I did not "Snow White and the Huntsman" getting and a few other technical nominations. In fact, "Mirror, Mirror", won the Costume Designers Guild Award for Fantasy Film, over "Snow White...". I wasn't surprised myself, that people might be overlooking it. The costumes in that film, were spectacular, which is the case in all of Tarsem Singh's films, who loves using Eiko Ishioka, who creates some amazing and startling visuals with all of her designs, helping make Tarsem one of the best visual stylist directors around. That said however, "Anna Karenina" won the Guild Award for Period Film. ("Skyfall," the winner for contemporary film, wasn't nominated, and they really should nominate more contemporary films in this category, but oh well...) I guess "Les Mis...." and "Lincoln" have outside shots here, and deserved as well, especially for "Lincoln", Joanna Johnston's been an exceptionable for decades, with films like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", "Forrest Gump", "Saving Private Ryan", "The Sixth Sense", "War Horse", "The Polar Express", etc. Amazing work, and this is her first ever nomination for some reason. She's been really overlooked for awhile. I'd like to see either her or Ishioka, but I think it's all but written here.
PREDICTION: "Anna Karenina"-Jacqueline Durran
Ang Lee-"Life of Pi"
David O. Russell-"Silver Linings Playbook"
Benh Zeitlin-"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
I've seen some oddmakers that still have Ben Affleck, at 10-1 odds to win Director. (BTW, the Academy doesn't allow for write-in votes anymore.) So that won't, but since every Award and Guild, has given Affleck the Award, this is a bit of a crapshoot who's going to win this year. No foreign language film has ever won in this category, but it's hard to gauge just how well liked "Amour" is, but Haneke will probably win Foreign Film, and possibly screenwriting, I have a hard time picturing him winning here. Zeitlin's first film, first nomination, one of the youngest to ever get nominated, but he's not gonna win. I don't quite know how to judge David O. Russell's space yet, he has a shot an writing too, might be a better shot at winning there. I think it's between Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. Both former winners, Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain", he's also won Foreign Language Film for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (One of his three nominations in that category), and of course, Spielberg, multiple wins for "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan", and many other nominations. Hasn't won since "...Ryan", he's got the publicity machine behind him, but Ang Lee, has the technical side for him, for that reason, I think Lee is going to win, and he should win. To not consider "Life of Pi", one of the greatest of all directing achievement, would've been a bit strange, even if Affleck was nominated, I think it's going to him. It's got nine other nominations, most of them in technical categories, it should push him over-the-top.
PREDICTION: Ang Lee-"Life of Pi"
5 Broken Cameras
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man
The Documentary Feature category, is miles better than last year's bumbling list, which included many suspiciously absent films on both the nominations, and the shortlists. This time around though, in what's becoming a really good year for documentaries (Despite, not including "The Queen of Versailles" on shortlist), there seems to be a lot more legitimacy to the category this year. I've seen three of the nominees, "5 Broken Cameras", "The Invisible War" and "Searching for Sugar Man", which is the presumptive and has been winning the majority of Awards, so far; in fact, it's pretty much won every Award, but that doesn't mean it's a walk into the Oscar. "5 Broken Cameras" was a surprise nominee, and it's story of the filmmakers, in engrossing. One of them Emad Burnat, is a farmer who started videotaping the Palestine-Israel conflicts on his front door, and the titles refers to the different cameras he used to do over five years time, each of which got destoyed, and in some cases, shot at. (He was also just detained by LAX police, but got bailed out by Michael Moore). "The Invisible War", by the great Kirby Dick, ("This Film is Not Yet Rated," "Outrage") would be my favorite, and there's a lot of support for "How to Survive a Plague," which documents the AIDS epidemic in the '80s; that movie currently has a 100% rating on rottentomatoes.com, but "Searching for Sugar Man," a wonderful story about a man who for a quarter-century, didn't know he was a giant rock star in South Africa, still remains the favorite, at least until someone beats it. It any movie has a chance, I'd go with "...Plague", but I'm going with the patter.
PREDICTION: "Searching for Sugar Man"
Monday at Racine
I haven't discussed much of the Short categories until now, for obvious reasons, I haven't seen any of the nominees, and most of you haven't either. Not to mention, they're aren't a lot of other Awards given out to compare the nominees, so generally, these Awards are an absolute guess. Taking a look at some of the odds on goldderby.com, who does this, all year believe it or not, "Ope Heart", about Rwandan children who travel to Sudan for live-saving heart surgery, seems to be the topper. "Inocente" about a homeless teenage illegal, who dreams of being an artist, is the close second choice. "Inocente", "Mondays at Racine" and "Redemption", are all films by former nominees, and in "Mondays..." case, a former Oscar winner in Cynthia Wade, who won for "Freeheld" a few years back. This film, about a group of chemo patients, who get their head shaved, at this beauty salon, looks interesting, but I think it's a bit of a longshot, as it "Kings Point", about the residents of a nursing home. "Redemption" is about the growing group of New York City can collectors, and looks like the most unrelatable film to me, but I was thinking, before I looked at the odds that "Open Hearts", was probably the favorite, as the Academy has a tendency to go with the most thought-provoking and emotionally-important and in some cases, political story. Not always unjustifiable so, but still, and in some cases, they overlook for biographical documentaries, like "Inocente", although, in the short category, biodocs like "King Gimp," have pulled off the win occasionally.
PREDICTION: "Open Heart"
Life of Pi-Tim Squyres
Silver Linings Playbook-Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty-Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
"Silver Linings Playbook", has to be considered the most surprising entry in this group, replacing, what I thought was one of the presumed favorites "Skyfall". It's very rare for a comedy to get this Award, (The notoriously famous editing of "Annie Hall", for instance, wasn't even nominated) but this Award is one of the greatest predictors of the Best Picture winner, even more accurate than director many years. When there's an exception to that, it's often action movies, which required the most difficult of editing, especially when we're discussing chase scenes, unbelievably difficult to edit. This would leave, two films, "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" as the likely winners. Oddly, both of which were films edited by William Goldenberg, so he's up against himself, a rarity in this category. Of course, you can never count out Michael Kahn, the legendary editor, who literally wrote the book on editing (Well, him and Walter Murch, but still), and he's one of the few editors who doesn't use Final Cut Pro, and still edits, the old way, with a splicer, since Spielberg, is still one of the few directors, who shoots on film, instead of digital. (He's also one of the few directors who cuts-in-camera, which in this day and age, is practically insane, but...) Ironically, my issue with Lincoln, was an editing issue, in that, I thought the movie could've ended, just a couple scenes before it actually did, but I doubt that's a Michael Kahn issue and more of a Spielberg issue. "Silver Linings..." won the Comedy Editing Eddie (The Editors Guild [ACE] Award), but "Argo", won the dramatic film award, against most of this competion, including "Zero Dark..." Oscars, rarely go against the Editing Guild anyway, I think if "Argo"'s going to win Best Picture, it's likely to win here too.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Amour-Michael Haneke (Austria)
Kon-Tiki-Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg (Norway)
No-Pablo Larrain (Chile)
A Royal Affair-Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark)
War Witch-Kim Nguyen (Canada)
If there's one rule I'd like to change about the Oscars, it's that, the director should get an official Foreign Language Film nomination, and not just, accepting the Award, on behalf of the country, which is actually what happens here. (Others would like countries to not have just, one eligible film, but let's face it, that wouldn't be fair since France and Italy some years could sweep the category.) Anyway, "Amour" is not only a Foreign Language Film nominee, it's the first film to get this, and a Best Picture nomination since "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", in 2000. While, because the voting committee is slightly different in this category than others, there's always a chance for an upset, I don't think it's really likely here. Oh, and congratulation to Chile, their film "No", means that country gets it's first ever nomination in this category, so that's worth celebrating.
PREDICTION: "Amour"-Michael Haneke (Austria)
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I don't know why Academy rules have dictated only three nominations in this category, I think that's a bit stupid, but, oh well. I think we can safely rule out "Hitchcock", which is only the one impressive makeup job of turning Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock, so it's between "The Hobbit..." and "Les Mis..." There is a Makeup Artist Guild, but they don't give out Awards anymore. The not-even-making-it-on-the-shortlist-f***-up of the Year Award, has to go to not having "Cloud Atlas", and I guess the film's controversy, involving the makeup, and the different actors, in multiple difference races, must've left them nominee out. Well, "Les Miserable", won the BAFTA, and since the Critics Choice went to "...Atlas", that's the only Award I can really look at. The goldderby.com odds have "The Hobbit..." as the favorite however, barely. I don't think there's an immediate need to give an Award to "Les Miserables", just because it's the only Best Picture nominee in the bunch, however, "The Hobbit..." was not that well-liked, only getting a couple technical Awards. Tough call, but when I looked at the nominees in their trailers awhile ago, my though was that "The Hobbit..." was the one to beat, so I'll stick with it.
PREDICTION: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Anna Karenina-Dario Marianelli
Life of Pi-Mychael Danna
Okay, I've only seen "Life of Pi", and "Lincoln", but let's face it, sometimes it can be hard to recall a score from a movie, so I've listened to a few of them online. I'm not impressed with Marianelli's work for "Anna Karenina", he's done better scores. Out of context, it's always tricky. I like the main theme from "Lincoln", and btw, John Williams, this is his 48th Oscar nomination, the guy is friggin' amazing, but sometimes it's hard to tell whether they're just nominating him out of habit or not. Anyway, I wouldn't be shocked if he gets his sixth win here, but I didn't much of the music, outside of that main score from "Lincoln", and half-the-time, they just nominate him for the hell of it. "Life of Pi", won the Golden Globe, the Critics gave it to "Lincoln", the Satellite Awards gave it to "Argo", and most of the other Awards have been split between "The Master" and "Cloud Atlas", so those aren't any help. And, my personal choice, which would've been "Moonrise Kingdom" btw, didn't get nominated either. "Skyfall"'s nominations is kinda interesting, called James Bond movie have that quintessential score in place, so went with a bit of a new direction here, but it still echoes of Bond, and actually, it's quite good, if not, 100% original, which doesn't bother me so much, but it might annoy some. If I'm leaning personally anywhere, it's probably "Life of Pi", cause that had a really cool score, with a lot of unusual music in it, and Mychael Danna's nominated for Best Song, and it's very unlikely he'll win that as well. Alexandre Desplat has never won yet either btw, so there's something to that. He's been up five times, probably should've won something by now, I go through "Argo" out of it, either. Tough call.
PREDICTION: "Life of Pi"-Mychael Danna
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Before My Time"-Chasing Ice-J.Ralph
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend"-Ted-Music: Walter Murphy; Lyric: Seth MacFarland
"Pi's Lullaby"-Life of Pi-Music: Mychael Danna; Lyric: Bombay Jayashri
"Skyfall"-Skyfall-Adele Adkins and Paul Upworth
"Suddenly"-Les Miserables-Music: Claude-Michel Schonberg; Lyric: Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
I'm going through the same process with the songs as I did with score, and I'm listening to as all of them before predicting, even though I think, almost everybody knows who's gonna win this one. I'm relatively happy that there's a five nominations requirement now, after the atrociousness of last year's two nominations in the category, but there's still some work to do with the nominations, the big one being, none of the five eligible songs from "Django Unchained" got nominated, it should've gotten at least two, which is the maximum; it could've filled up the category had they not inserted that rule in a few years ago. For the second time in three years, the host of the Oscars is nominated, as Seth MacFarland, lyricist, gets a nomination, from his film, "Ted", and I applaud the Oscars for that choice, 'cause not only is it a good song, good singer to perform it, but also, they used it really well in the movie, using it as a refrain that came back a few times, very well done. (BTW, MacFarland already has an Emmy for lyrics, for "Family Guy"'s song "This House is Freakin' Sweet", so there's precedent for this. He should've gotten an Emmy nod for "Bag of Weed", but that's a whole other story.) If "Before My Time" wins, it'll be the first time a song from a documentary's won since '04 when Melissa Etheridge won for "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth", (Although strange that a song got nominated, but not the documentary itself, that's a little weird.) but it's sung by Scarlet Johansson, and beautiful raspy vocal she has is always intoxicating. "Suddenly" really shouldn't be nominated. Not an important song, a tacked-on song to a musical adaptation to make it eligible, not good, not memorable; I think will see through that. Anyway, none of this is important, we all know Adele's gonna win, and Adele should win. That's suck a perfect silky song for a James Bond movie, none of which have ever won a Best Song Oscar, which is a travesty; it's the 50th Anniversary of James Bond..., yeah, if they're smart at all, they'll makeup for it here.
PREDICTION: "Skyfall"-'Skyfall'-Adele Adkins and Paul Upworth
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
I have a feeling that this is a decent spot for "Anna Karenina"; I've heard some critics calling it "Production Design: The movie". I haven't seen it, so I can't judge that, but it is funny. They changed the name of this category, for some reason, from Art Design, to Production Design this year, I don't know why, but whatever they want to do, it's the same thing. "Anna Karenina" and "Life of Pi", each won Guild Awards in Period Film and Fantasy Film, respectively, so they have to be considered the favorites, although the Production team on "Lincoln", getting a lot of Lincoln's actual items to use in the film, should be heavily considered here. There's always some iffy thoughts when a movie that's predominantly CGI like "The Hobbit..." get in here, so I don't think that's too likely. "Life of Pi", might suffer a bit of the same, although I think it is deserving. "Les Miserables" is also an outside shot here. A check of goldderby.com shows it neck-to-neck between those three. "Les Mis..." but "Anna Karenina's won most everything else, can't think much difference here, but I don't know, I think I'll take a shot and say "Les Mis..." here.
PREDICTION: "Les Miserables"
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Adam and Dog
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"
The Academy has warned the nominees in the short film category to take their films off of youtube, until after the ceremony, somewhat foolhardily I may say, but I understand, but they better figure out soon too, that the internet is going to be the home of short films for awhile. This all started after Disney themselves, posted "Paperman" on youtube, as a promotional tool a few weeks ago. They've been out of this category and they want back win, and the good thing for them is that "Paperman", is quite a great animated short. I was able to see "Paperman", "Adam and Dog", and "Maggie Simpson..." online, and I can't wait to wait "Fresh Guacamole" after seeing it's trailer. I'm so obtuse and bizarre, what little of it I saw, but boy was it fascinating. I don't know who PES is, the credited nominee for the short, but they have a lot of short films on youtube, I'm gonna see more of them some time. "Maggie Simpson..." was funny as hell too, and I like that "The Simpsons" did get a nomination here; they should've been nominated for their feature film a few years ago and weren't, but this short a fun little homage to the great classics of old. "Head Over Heels" looks touching and intriguing, with a couple trying to survive, despite one being on the ceiling, while the other on the floor. I liked "Adam and Dog", the hand-drawn animation is cool, but not a great cartoon. Not much fun in this reimagining of Adam and Eve, I was more luke-warm to it. I'm looking at the odds, and just as I suspected, "Paperman" is the heavy favorite, and it should be; that is a special cartoon. Black & white, computer-animated, tale of love, that's like a six-minute version of "Brief Encounter", I think it's really good. BTW, one curiosity none of the nominees have any dialogue? I don't know why that is, I like dialogue myself, but I guess it helps appreciate the animation, but I would've appreciated some quick wit or banter. Maybe Bugs Bunny will come back with something soon.
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Death of a Shadow (aka Dood Van Een Schaduw)
Haven't seen any of these so far. Watched all the trailers though. I was actually to find, four minutes of "Buzkashi Boys" on youtube, but that's it. Checking goldderby.com, they have "Curfew" as the odds on favorite, the heavy favorite, which is pretty much where I was leaning. The only American film nominated, looks like a more fun film that some of the other nominees, but that doesn't always mean victory here. "Asad" has a decent chance, it's directed by Bryan Buckley, the famous commercial director; he's starting to move towards films the last couple years, and is an intriguing subject, dealing with the struggles with Somali kids, as more of them look into the pirate trade as they grow up. Also, "Henry" which is directed by TV actor Yan England, could also be a sign; there is a tendency for famous people to win Awards in this categories for some of their more artistic side projects. Steven Wright, Christine Lahti and Dyan Cannon, names come-to-mind for instance; last also with "Hotel Rwanda" director, Terry George, winning in this category. Henry's a German film, about an elderly musician, looking for missing wife, while others experiment on him, I don't much belief in that. "Curfew", by an another actor/director, Shawn Christensen, looks more promising to me. A story about a suicide uncle who suddenly has to babysit his niece. I've heard good things about that film, over all the others, although "Death of a Shadow" looks special as well. That's one about a guy, who's on a mission to steal and collect shadows, it has a Jean-Pierre Jeunet-like quality to it, definitely looks interesting. Total speculation here, I think it's between "Curfew" and "Death of a Shadow", but the rest do seem overly dreary, and I can easily see going with "Curfew" which looks like the most entertaining and fun of the shorts.
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
It's a little technical explaining the differences between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, but it's a slight difference. Sound Editing, is when new sounds are created for the movie, it's actual recording of sounds. For instance, I about how rats were used to ironically makes the sound of snakes in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", that's Sound Editing. Sound Mixing, is the way sounds are put together in the film, which doesn't always mean, creating new sounds (Gunshots and screams for instance are used repeatedly, for decades in many cases.) In this, the Sound Guild (MPSE) Awards are all over the map. "Life of Pi", won two of the Awards, while "Skyfall" also won something, as actions movies often do in this category, which are known for relying heavily on sound. "Zero Dark Thirty", and "Argo", have to be considered strong possibilities too. I don't know about "Django...", it's the one nomination here that didn't also get Sound Mixing, so it'd be a little unusual if it won here. Although "Zero Dark Thirty", didn't get a Sound Mixing either and it's the odds on favorite, but "Life of Pi", probably had to deal with a more challenges, in post, so I'm actually leaning towards either "Life of Pi" or "Skyfall". Yeah, I'm going towards the upset here.
PREDICTION: "Life of Pi"
Life of Pi
Sound Mixing is the combination of sounds, which is essentially why "Les Miserables" has to be considered a favorite here, as music, in of itself, is a combination of sounds, and the fact that this movie, specifically recording the music on set, makes the sound mixing a real challenge. It's already won both a Sound Editing and the Sound Mixing Guild Award, and the BAFTA, so it's gotta be considered the big favorite. "Lincoln"'s nomination here is somewhat curious, the sound is, not what you'd recall as memorable from "Lincoln", although that's partly the idea of Sound, so I guess it makes sense. I'm not gonna blindly count out "Skyfall", since action movies have to be considered favorites as well, but this award's leaning pretty clearly towards "Les Mis..."
PREDICTION: "Les Miserables"
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel's The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman
The only one of these I haven't seen is "The Hobbit...". I'm a little bit surprised that "The Avengers" snuck in here, (And "Snow White..." as well, but I do get that one.) but I'm glad "Prometheus" got in here. I gave it one of my most lukewarmest of positive reviews, but the special effects in that film, were quite special. Not as special as "Life of Pi", which is gonna win, and easily so, but still, glad to see that snuck in. "The Hobbit..." might have a shot, but it's long. Nobody liked the 48 fps (frames per second) appraoch Peter Jackson took, and despite popularity, I can't imagine the film, getting special effects, especially since "The Lord of the Rings" got all those awards before, that seems really unlikely. I guess I understand why "The Avengers" got nominated, but still, longshot. This is the nomination in recognition that the movie was popular.
PREDICTION: "Life of Pi"
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Beasts of the Southern Wild-Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi-David Magee
Silver Linings Playbook-David O. Russell
In a bit of a shock, and another sign that "Argo" is the Best Picture favorite, "Argo" won the WGA Award, over the favorite "Lincoln". I have to call into question "Lincoln" as a favorite. Tony Kushner's screenplay was over 400 pages long, and Spielberg only shot about, maybe a 1/4 of the film. Now, that's not to say that it isn't good, or even Oscar-worthy, (Screenplays are different that the films oftentimes.) but I think a part of how good a screenplay is, is how easily filmable it is. So, I'm wondering why that script is getting, so much attention. "Life of Pi"'s script for instance, a script for a movie that many considered, and for awhile, seemed unfilmmable, might be just as impressive. Anyway, I think it's between "Argo" and "Lincoln", and this might be a precursor of how the show goes, however, don't rule out "Silver Linings..." here. David O. Russell, made a very personal film, that's beloved, but might not be as strong in other categories, I wouldn't be shocked by him getting a win here.
PREDICTION: "Argo"-Chris Terrio
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Django Unchained-Quentin Tarantino
Moonrise Kingdom-Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty-Mark Boal
Well, "Moonrise Kingdom" should've gotten more nominations, but I'm glad it came up here, but probably doesn't have much chance at winning unfortunately. "Zero Dark Thirty" won the WGA Award, but he won the Oscar just a couple years ago for "The Hurt Locker", and also, a couple of the favorites in this category, "Amour" and "Django Unchained", weren't eligible for that Award. ("Amour" being a foreign film wasn't eligible, and for some reason, QT has never joined the Guild, and that made him ineligible. Goldderby.com, ranks "Django..." and "Zero Dark..." at a dead hear, and I'm actually thinking, "Amour" might have a great shot at an upset here. It's got the momentum behind it, and it's not unusual for a foreign language script to pull of a win. (Last year's "A Separation" got a surprise nomination in the category, and I think "Amour" seems more popular.) I'm not quite sure where Tarantino stands, but he did win the BAFTA and Golden Globe win, so there's some groundswell for him, and possibly some makeup for him not winning for "...Basterds", but there's just as many people who think he's been making the same film over and over. I don't know, I think this award is closer than people think.
PREDICTION: "Amour"-Michael Haneke
Well, those are my predictions. I've suddenly starting having some computer trouble this week, so if for some reason, I can't post my Post-Oscar Analysis as quickly as I'd prefer, just know that it'll be posted ASAIC, but it, and possibly some future blogs may be a little late for the time being. I'll be trying to avoid that, but.... Anyway, time to get fitted for my suit, and watch the Oscars.