The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and I continued my usual tradition of sleeping through them. Fortunately, my mom was watching and between her notes and a later visit to the internet for further detail, I am ready for the real award season to commence. (We won’t count last night’s People’s Choice Awards, even though I ended up watching them as usual and hating myself for it, also as usual.)
BEST PICTURE: There were nine picks this year (Lincoln, Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty) and I’ve currently seen seven of them. I’m so happy that Amour was nominated (more on that at the bottom of this post) because I think it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.
MY THOUGHTS: I think Lincoln will win pretty much everything it’s up for this year. In a perfect world, it would be Amour (the best movie of the ones I’ve seen; I still need to see Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained) but this is far from a perfect world. Of the seven I HAVE seen, though, all are excellent movies and this is the first year where there isn’t a single movie where I’m like, “THAT got nominated for Best Picture?” I’m surprised they didn’t go to ten and throw in a popular choice (Skyfall, for example, or The Dark Knight Rises, but I’m okay with that.)
BEST DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
MY THOUGHTS: I’m pretty sure Spielberg will win for Lincoln. But I think it’s interesting that Tom Hooper didn’t get a nod for Les Miserables. It’s almost conventional wisdom that, since the Academy has gone over five nominations, the Best Director picks show you what the five “real” Best Picture contenders are and they aren’t the five I would have chosen, necessarily.
BEST ACTOR: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight).
MY THOUGHTS: If Lincoln only wins one award, it’ll be this one. Daniel Day-Lewis absolutely embodied Lincoln to an almost creepy degree and I can’t believe he won’t be rewarded for that here. He’s also only won Best Actor twice I think and, like Meryl Streep last year, it’s time for #3.
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). This is noteworthy because it’s got both the oldest nominee ever (Riva) and the youngest (Wallis).
MY THOUGHTS: This is the one category I’m not sure of. I keep thinking Jessica Chastain but I’ve heard excellent things about Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts (I plan to watch both movies very, very soon) and I think Emmanuelle Riva gave the best acting performance I have ever seen, ever, and I want her to win but I don’t think she will. And Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful in The Silver Linings Playbook and she’s very “in” right now. So honestly, field wide open.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained).
MY THOUGHTS: I’m leaning toward Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln but an Alan Arkin win wouldn’t surprise me. Or, honestly, a Robert DeNiro one. He’s probably owed something by now. ;)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).
MY THOUGHTS: Anne Hathaway. I love Sally Field in general and for her work in Lincoln, but Anne Hathaway was just on another level entirely. I can’t believe she won’t win. I’m thinking Lincoln will take everything else, so I hope that Anne Hathaway gets this.
AMOUR: This movie is not for the faint of heart. It’s a bit over two hours long, almost relentlessly depressing and to top it off, in French. (I don’t mind foreign films but I know many people do.) It’s about an elderly couple in their eighties. They’re going along really well until she has a medical emergency. Surgery is supposed to be able to fix it but it doesn’t and leaves her wheelchair-bound instead. Things get worse from there. I was expecting it to get nominated for Best Foreign Film but I’m happy it’s been picked for Best Picture. And I’m so happy that Emmanuelle Riva got a nomination for Best Actress.