Best Picture at The Oscars this year has shaped up to be a pretty impressive ensemble. I have never
purposefully watched nominated films but this year I have inadvertently seen 7 out of the 9 nominees. Trying to predict the winners though is tricky, do I go with what my heart tells me should win and risk losing the game, or do I pick the film I believe will actually win? If this year’s BAFTA is anything to go by of course Argo would take Best Picture, however I think Zero Dark Thirty takes the lead for me. The direction from Katheryn Bigelow together with writer Mark Boal succeeded in making a current, controversial, exciting piece of film that more than deserves this recognition. You can read my review of ZDT here.
Best Actor could see Daniel Day-Lewis swoop in and smugly take the Oscar. But I am hoping for a win from Hugh Jackman in this category. The role of Jean Val Jean in Les Misérables was completely out of the ordinary and not just for his excellent vocal performance. Jackman put his heart and soul into this role which was mentally and physically gruelling, for me he completely stole the show. Anne Hathaway has had a lot of praise for the sacrificing of her hair and brilliantly raw performance, but Jackman was the real driving force behind Les Misérables in my opinion. Fingers crossed he gets the win!
Being diplomatic with these choices is probably not the way forward. But I would like to see Best Actress go to Naomi Watts for Impossible. Although Jessica Chastain would be equally deserving for her fantastic performance in ZDT. Watts has really stayed with me since watching Impossible in the cinema, she brilliantly portrays the sheer strength of a mother who desperately tries to stay in control for her family. Despite constantly fighting against her physical and emotional struggle after such an epic disaster. This being the only nomination for Impossible, I hope that it gets recognition at the Oscars this way. I reviewed Impossible here.
The award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role should hands down to go to Christoph Waltz. Django Unchained had its downfalls but none of them were down to Waltz (read my review of Django). He played a fantastic role that for me didn’t feel like ‘support’ and more like the lead. His charisma and screen presence carried the rest of the film and I truly believe without Waltz I would not have enjoyed Django Unchained. Although I would like to see Silver Linings Playbook win a category and in this case it would be Robert DeNiro for his fantastic performance, but Waltz just sits high above every one else for Best Supporting Actor this year!
Although Anne Hathaway has had a lot of the lime light already for Les Misérables, Best Supporting Actress can only have one winner. It must be Hathaway for her impressively inelegant portrayal of a suffering prostitute. Not because she cut her hair off, although it made for a realistically heart breaking scene, but for how she gave it quite literally every thing and shocked many with her raw talent and intense performance.
Best Animation is a breath of fresh air for the Oscars in my view, all the categories contain the same films more or less – so this one can mix it up a little. The Pirates! is a draw dropping piece of stop-animation that had a brilliant story and great voice talents in Hugh Grant and Imelda Staunton. Just as Brave brought back the old family values that have been some what lacking from recent pictures. However I can’t deny that I enjoyed Wreck-It Ralph immensely and was blown away by the visuals in this film. It’s original characters and story line make for fantastic family fun as well as its humour and nostalgia for the 80’s and 90’s babies. I think it will win Best Animation for its originality and creative story. My review of Wreck-It Ralph.
I am surprised that Argo was not nominated for Best Directing by Ben Affleck, but it has made room for some more films to break into this sought after category. Silver Linings Playbook, although an excellent story with fantastic characters perhaps isn’t worthy of directional acknowledgement. Not as much as Life of Pi which managed to tell a very simple tale with a complex underlying story. The transitions between real life and dream sequence were flawless and the story flowed very naturally despite its bizzare nature. When first seeing Life of Pi I was a little disappointed due it not being the visual spectacular that the trailers had suggested. But upon reflection I can understand the difficult task that Ang Lee took on with the project and how well it translated to film. A full review of Life of Pi here.
Best Writing: Adapted Screenplay in my view should go to Chris Terrio for Argo. The true events were portrayed with class and dignity for those involved. It could so easily have been Hollywood-ised and lost it’s credibility, this was down to the writing even more so than the directing I believe. Argo was still gripping without being in your face drama, and this deserves a pat on the back for not falling into the Hollywood trap. An intricate story written simply and eloquently by Terrio. I reviewed Argo here.
The fact that Django Unchained won the BAFTA for Best Writing: Original Screenplay is a little baffling for me, wasn’t it a remake? I’m sure the Oscar’s have clearly defined remits for what is nominated but I hope it doesn’t take the win here. I wish I had seen Moonrise Kingdom as I have heard brilliant things about it, so it is a potential winner for this category. However I would like to see John Gatis take a bow with Flight as it is a brilliantly told familiar story with original twists. Plenty of people can tell a tale of recovering drug and alcohol abusers, but few can do it and make the audience question their own moral stand point on the issue. Fantastically written and I am glad to see it in this category. You can read my review of Flight here.
So that’s my thoughts on most of the categories for the Oscars this year. Probably didn’t call it correctly but these are what I feel should get the honour of taking home an Oscar. Guess we will find out next week! Any thoughts people?
Tagged: ang lee, anne hathaway, argo, blog, chris terrio, christoph waltz, cinema, critic, Daniel Day-Lewis, film, flight, hugh jackman, jessica chastain, john gatis, Katheryn Bigelow, les miserables, life of pi, Mark Boal, movie, naomi watts, oscar predictions, Oscars 2013, quentin tarantino, Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook, wreck-it ralph, zero dark thirty