2012 - Oscar Nominations Reactions
The time to place your bets will come soon enough but today is a day for first reactions so I figured i’d put my two cents in on most of the nominees. Enjoy!
Best Original Song
"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" (Music and Lyric by J. Ralph)
"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi" (Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri)
"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" (Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil)
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted" (Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall" (Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
Reaction: Does anyone know or remember any of these songs? I saw Les Miserables and for the life of me I can’t even recall a song called “Suddenly”. I’m surprised one of the better ones like “One Day More”, “Master of the House”, and especially “I Dreamed a Dream” didn’t get nominated instead. That being said I thought that Adele’s “Skyfall” was sultry and incredible and I’d love to see her win this. But in the meantime, I guess I have some other songs to listen to.
Best Animated Film
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
Reaction: I’m partial to “Wreck It-Ralph” here. Sure it’s “Toy Story” for the video game generation but I thought it had more heart than “Brave” and “Frankenweenie” combined. “Paranorman”, the darkest of all these films, may have the best shot though as it got widely praised for its view of what it’s like to be a kid faced with alienation.
Best Foreign Language Film
"War Witch" (Canada)
"A Royal Affair" (Denmark)
Reaction: This is a lock for “Amour”. “A Royal Affair” didn’t get much traction here in the states and “No” hasn’t even come out here (it hits theaters here Feb 15) but even so everyone has been talking about “Amour” and not being able to get to one of the few theaters (currently) that’s playing it before I had to put in my ten best list is a regret on my part.
Best Original Screenplay
John Gatins, "Flight"
Mark Boal, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, "Moonrise Kingdom"
Reaction: “Flight” oversimplified addiction while “Moonrise Kingdom” is another nice but not exactly funny Wes Anderson film featuring detached characters. It’s a surprise that Rian Johnson’s “Looper” or Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” didn’t get those spots. I think that this is mainly a race between the other three.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Chris Terrio, "Argo"
Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"
David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"
David Magee, "Life of Pi"
Reaction: Here is where I’ll start my praise to the Academy for finally giving “Beasts of the Southern Wild” its due. Kushner did a nice job adapting “Team of Rivals” for “Lincoln” while not many are going to argue that Russell made one of the better romantic comedies in recent memory off “Silver Linings”. What surprises me here is that Chris Terrio’s script, lacking any emotional resonance and turning a real life situation into a thriller, was nominated while Ben Affleck missed out for direction. I would have liked to see Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” in this category and possibly Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” as well.
David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Reaction: It’s very surprising that Ben Affleck and Quentin Tarantino missed the boat on this one but probably most striking of all is no Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty”. Less than a month ago this movie was considered to be one of the best war movies of all time but now I’m starting to wonder if the Academy wants to back away from all the controversy, as they often do (see “Brokeback Mountain). But on to the nominees at hand, of the four I’ve seen it appears to be a close race that I think may come down to the old veteran (Spielberg) and the young up-and-comer (Zeitlin).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Amy Adams, "The Master"
Reaction: I already said it in the first paragraph of my “Les Miserables” review, Anne Hathaway will win this thing. But what’s always laughable about this category is that it plays like a back door for lead actresses who weren’t flashy enough for the Best actress category. Adams, Hunt, Hathaway, and Field were all the top billed female stars in these movies but somehow they’re supporting. Anyway, Hathaway 2013! That’s a certainty.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Reaction: Oh how I wanted to see Samuel L. Jackson (Django) and Mathew McConaughey (Magic Mike) duke this thing out with Hoffman. McConaughey in particular had such a great year and even though he was great in “Killer Joe”, “Mike” really offered him the chance to steal a movie and he made off like a bandit. And everything about Jackson from the way he furrows his brows, to his mannerisms, and the animosity he has in his voice made him such a loathsome villain. Waltz and Jones are the right calls, they won’t beat Hoffman but they were right calls. Arkin and DeNiro were comic relief and pretty much lightweights for this category.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild
Reaction: More “BOTSW” love! I love it. And this one was more deserved than anyone else. At just six years old, I think Wallis gives the best breakthrough performance I’ve ever seen anyone give in a fierce and powerful portrayal of coming of age in the bayou. Over the past months she’s gotten the “Best Breakthrough Star Award” and “Best Young Star” but oddly not many “Best Actress” honors. This Oscar nomination is well deserved. This is the category that the Academy truly got 100 percent right in all ways and I can’t wait to see who comes out on top here but I’m pulling for this young star.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"
Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Reaction: So Daniel Day Lewis and some other guys got nominated for Best Actor. I wonder who is going to win? Oh that’s right, Daniel Day Lewis. “Lincoln” lead the way with 12 nominations this year and while the others may be rough competition, this is a win that’s in the bank as the actor completely disappears behind our 16th president. I don’t even care to think about who got snubbed here because they weren’t going to win anyway. Daniel Day-Lewis 2013!
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Life of Pi"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"
Reaction: So many great films this year that I’m surprised the Academy didn’t splurge and go with a full 10 nominations. My love for “Beasts” has been well documented and most of the others are excellent selections. Again I’m wondering how the controversy will effect “ZDT”, if “Django” is too bloody for Award consumption, if i’m one of the few who are bothered by “Argo’s” short-comings, and the underdeveloped “Les Miserables”. This is definitely something for voters to think about as they go forward but it’s a close race here, mirroring perfectly the competitive film year that was 2012. Enjoy Awards night everybody!