Thursday, January 10, 2013

And the 2013 Oscar Nominees Will Be...

'Tis the season to be... way way behind. But what's an Oscar season without a mad dash to cram a bunch of movies into the home stretch? This year seems to be worse than usual. Maybe it's just that the nominations are being announced too early. Whoever heard of the Academy Award finalists being unveiled on January 10, before the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards are even handed out?

Although there are still a number of key movies I've yet to see (Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty, among them), this year's Oscar predicting has the kind of anything-can-happen feel that I love but haven't seen in years, possibly decades. Daniel Day-Lewis's almost guaranteed Best Actor nomination and eventual win for Lincoln aside, there doesn't seem to be any clear consensus among the critics groups, and the precursor nominees have been lined up so near-perfectly, that Oscar is certain to throw us some curve balls just to be spiteful. At least that's what I'm hoping for in a few hours when the latest Oscar race is officially on.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Naomi Watts for The Impossible

For your consideration: Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea A nomination for Weisz is looking far more impossible than a Watts win (which I began predicting weeks ago, even before I saw The Impossible), but I'm still praying that Weisz -- who touched my soul without a single manufactured emotion -- edges out Cotillard (who really should be in the supporting category) and holds off Helen Mirren, who, judging from the Hitchcock trailer, is basically playing her unhappy housewife in The Last Station transported 50 years into the future. We've already seen her do this stuff two nominations before (in The Last Station and The Madness of King George).

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
John Hawkes for The Sessions
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables
Denzel Washington for Flight

For your considerations: Jean-Louis Trintignant for Amour and Matthias Schoenaerts for Rust and Bone Their leading ladies are getting all of the attention, but these guys are the ones who, for the most part, carried their respective French-language films.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams for The Master 
Judi Dench for Skyfall
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions

For your consideration: Ann Dowd for Compliance If anyone snatches Dame Judi's spot, it'll probably be Dame Maggie Smith for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but Dowd would be so much more deserving. Though I still don't really buy her movie's premise, she made me believe that someone actually could be that dumb in real life.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin for Argo
Javier Bardem for Skyfall
Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

For your consideration: Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike I'd love for Les Misérables' Eddie Redmayne to get in instead of Arkin or Hoffman, but the surprise nod really should go to McConaughey for finally living up to all of his early hype 15 years later.

Best Director
Ben Affleck for Argo
Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke for Amour
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

For your consideration: Terence Davies for The Deep Blue Sea Water was a major character in so many Oscar-caliber films this year (The Impossible, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone and even Les Misérables, which featured Russell Crowe jumping to his death in it), but ironically, not the one that actually has water in its title. The acting in The Deep Blue Sea was remarkable, but it was Davies who made it the most gorgeous film of the year not to feature a single special effect.

Best Picture
Argo
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

For your consideration: Moonrise Kingdom In a year packed with films anchored by child actors/characters, this was so much more artful and essential than the hackneyed religious parable that was Life of Pi.

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