Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Oscar Nominations

A million people have done this already; posted and reposted the Oscar nominations and predictions. All I'm going to do, quite blandly, is add my two cents on what I think of awards and then mention which films I've seen, which I intend to see, and based on what I know whether I think someone can or should win.

And honestly I'm only covering the categories I care about.

For the most part I like the Oscars. Regardless of whatever politics are involved it's a chance to recognize movies with real artistic merit.

"But they never get it right!"
What does that mean?
"I hated The Artist. It was stupid. It shouldn't have won!"
Oh, hold on, let me get Hollywood on the phone. Cletus here didn't like The Artist, take it off the ballot. Are there any other movies out there that someone in the world didn't like?  We can remove them from the list also.

Get over it. Awards are ultimately someone's opinion on what is good. That's all it is. If you think only popular movies should get recognition I have a surprise for you.... click HERE to see who won the award for most popular movie of 2012!

There's no argument there, no discussion. The Avengers was the most popular movie of the year. Numbers don't lie. But, in your opinion, or in the opinion of a bunch of people at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was it the best movie of the year?

And in that lies the sport of awards season.

Look at The Oscars in a positive way. It's a chance for drooling idiots to hear about movies that otherwise don't get the publicity and push of films like The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises. Look the films up, see if the plot interests you, and then take a chance. You may like what you see. Or maybe you don't want to be engaged by a film, you just want to slouch back, shovel popcorn (or nachos or pretzels or candy or taco bell) into your face and just turn off your brain for two hours. That's fine. If that's the case accept that The Oscars isn't for you.

There's a reason I don't watch The View. It's not for me. I just get on with my life rather than moaning about how The View never covers erotic video games or the latest in Mongolian child fashions.

On to the nominees. I will mark in BOLD the films I have seen and in Italics the films I'd still like to see, followed by a little comment.

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

I have reviews coming for Life of Pi and Lincoln, but have already posted my summaries on Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I'll prioritize my next summary, yanking it out of alphabetical order to get those up next.

I want to see Django Unchained, but don't believe it belongs in the same category as these films. None of Tarantino's films belong in this category, and I have liked a few of them. He's just not a compelling film maker. Quirky, a bit of fun, but not compelling.

Zero Dark Thirty hasn't even come out yet, so that explains me not seeing it. I really liked The Hurt Locker, so I expect big things from this one.

The nominations for Silver Linings Playbook peaks my interest, but I just don't know if I'll get around to it. And Amour, did that even play anywhere?

I have no interest in Les Miserables. I know a few people that have seen Les Miserables, one of whom hated it, the other loved it. But ultimately it's a musical, and therefore does not belong in the same category as legitimate film.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Reviews coming for The Master and Flight, as mentioned above I'll prioritize them. Even having not seen the other two films this has to be a lock for Daniel Day Lewis. He was outstanding in Lincoln, despite the film as a whole being rather bland.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

As is always the case I miss most of the best female films. Maybe I'm just sexist, or maybe Hollywood thinks I (and the rest of the popcorn shoveling plebs) don't care about these movies and so they don't play. But this year all but Amour will have gotten major distribution (if not already, soon).

So the short version is I don't have an opinion here.

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

Philip Seymour Hoffman is my pick here, though that may change when I see Django Unchained. Yes, I may not like Tarantino's films or consider them "best picture" material, but Christoph Waltz turned a phenomenal performance in Inglorious Basterds.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Amy Adams was great in The Master, so she's my pick here, but that's not fair, I've not seen three of the other movies. I can say, however that Les Miserables is a musical, so nobody should even be nominated there, sorry Anne. And Helen Hunt took all her clothes off in The Sessions, that's reason alone for her to be banned from making another movie for the rest of her life.

Best Original Screenplay
Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

I just want to say I am shocked to my core that this is the only nomination for Moonrise Kingdom, it was such a good film.

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

I sincerely hope that the award goes to Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi only so he can be brought on stage and scourged for turning such wonderful material into schlock by filming it in 3D.

Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

I actually saw one of these!!!  That has to be a first, not counting the big sensational ones like Bowling for Columbine or Super Size Me (assuming those got nominated back in the day?)

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour, Austria
Kon-Tiki, Norway
No, Chile
A Royal Affair, Denmark
War Witch, Canada

So... what happens if Amour wins best picture, but not best foreign language film?  Of course that isn't going to happen. This whole category, much like best animated feature, is a joke. Those other four films know they aren't as good as Amour, because they weren't nominated for best picture. Just like in the past when some of the Disney and Pixar stuff gets a best picture nod, it marginalizes the other nominees for best animated feature.

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman,

Am I seeing this right. Is The Hobbit nominated for best visual effects?  I assume this is the Rankin and Bass animated version from 1977, somehow re-released and made eligible for the awards in 2013?  It can't be the new one, because that movie looked like utter garbage (more on that when my review goes up).

Ok, seriously between the four I've seen this has to go to Prometheus. I wasn't a huge fan of the film, but it looked great.

And what, no nominations at all for Battleship?


  1. No one saw Silver Linings Playbook? Well, this is a classic example of the studios trying to get people to see its movie by promoting it in its trailer as "the perfect date movie" with all the lovable quirkiness of "When Harry Met Sally..." That's like saying, "Mom! You'll love 'The Shining,' it's about a family who works through their problems while on vacation." This movie is great. Wouldn't you want to see this movie if the tagline was, "A man drowns in madness, beats his dad and others into a pulp, and his only salvation lies in the utter slutiness of a sex addict." Oh, did your crotch just wake up? The movie is probably "too cute" for this crowd, but I liked it.

    1. I wouldn't say "nobody saw it". It's earned $35M as of this post.

      I did not see it. I represent approximately 0.00000001%
      of the world's population, though I may be a greater percentage of people who had access to see this movie. I wouldn't mind seeing it, but it's not high on my priority list. I'm not a film critic. I have to pay to see films. This movie went into wide release right after Christmas. I've seen one film since then, at the discount theater, Flight, which I had really wanted to see, but didn't have time when it was in first runs.

      Have you seen Zero Dark Thirty yet? Well, why not? What are you waiting for, you lazy fool? Why do you hate movies about the military? Do you hate freedom? Do you hate America?

      Back to sitting alone in a dark room torturing kittens while I wait for the next installment of Saw, Hostel, or The Human Centipede.

    2. Oh, torture! You should submit a review for the 2002 french film "Irreversible" !

    3. The best movie about torture, by far, is Moulin Rouge. Most movies just show you people getting tortured, that film takes the additional step of torturing its audience.

    4. The 2nd best movie about torture is "Martyrs." You may not want to eat before watching it.

  2. And yeah, how the hell is Moonrise Kingdom not nominated for best picture or best director? It's captivating, charming, brilliantly shot, superbly edited, well acted. What more do they want?

    1. I would use the argument that it's quirky and not a traditional narrative, but neither is Beasts of the Southern Wild. So there goes that argument.