2013 Oscar Nominations
As I give every year, here's my thoughts on the recently announced Academy Awards Nominations:
Best Picture is about what I expected it to be. The Master had some steam a few months ago, but I'm not surprised that it got omitted from this category.
Best Actor is good, even with Denzel in there for a bad movie.
Best Actress is about what I expected, except for Naomi Watts in that movie I just reviewed. I don't think she was anything that amazing in it.
Best Supporting Actor is a loaded category! No love for Leo DiCaprio, but it's hard to argue with the other guys in there. I was wondering if DeNiro was gonna get a nom, I'm happy he did!
Best Supporting Actress is all solid.
I'm going to be angry if Wreck It Ralph doesn't win best Animated picture. Though, I've heard Pirates is actually good. Paranorman is only OK. I didn't like Brave very much. I doubt I'll ever see Frankenweenie, because well... screw Tim Burton.
I was really expecting The Master to be in best Cinematography. I didn't think Lincoln had particularly great cinematography. Cool nod to Skyfall.
Directing is the weirdest category ever this year. No love for Tarantino or Bigelow. I hope David Russell wins this one. At least Tom Hooper didn't get nominated, I was worried about that. I like all the love for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Whoa, no Ben Affleck either I'm just realizing...
A song from Ted got nominated...? I assume this was part of Seth MacFarlane's contract for hosting the show?
I can't think of it right now, but there HAS to be a better visual effects movie than Snow White and the Huntsman, right?
Both screenplay categories are awesome. A little appreciation for Moonrise Kingdom. I doubt they will give Django an award, but I feel like they owe Tarantino one for screwing him over for the Inglourious Basterds screenplay. Wait, Flight got a a screenplay nomination? Blech. Some other more deserving film got robbed by that one. Wait, where's Looper?!?!?!? How is Flight a better screenplay than Looper?!?!
I'm with you on a lot of this Scott. I think everyone is surprised as you in the director category. Personally I would have loved to see more of Moonrise Kingdom, but it wasn't expected. I did expect a nomination for Lincoln in makeup, the subtle wrinkles under DDL eyes looked real. Sure I'm weird, but I thought about that during the movie. You are right, I think the Best Supporting categories are some of the most competitive in years.
[Scott Roberts] "A song from Ted got nominated...?"
Hey, "Man or a Muppet" won last year. Eminem has an Oscar. You never know...
Now I'm excited to go check out the short films...
And we can now say the Simpsons finally got a nomination.
Here is an article The Hollywood Reporter put out this morning on some fun facts and statistics about this years nominations.
One thing it didn't mention that jumps out at me: they mention that Pi is only the 5th 3D movie to be nominated as best picture, but this is the second year in a row that one has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Hugo won both last year, Pi will win neither. LOL
I keep thinking that Deakins has a shot for Skyfall -- his 10th nomination with no wins, and he was truly robbed a couple of times along the way. And being fair to Pi, it really did look amazing.
I couldn't be happier for all the SLP Oscar love. Jennifer Lawrence felt like a lock for nomination, and I'm having a hard time picturing her not winning, but I was very pleasantly surprised by Jacki Weaver's nomination. She totally deserves it, which jumped out at me hard on second viewing.
From that THR article: DeNiro's last nomination: 21 years ago for Cape Fear.
And one Hollywood Reporter link deserves another: one on baffling snubs.
FTR, I'm 100% okay with Eminem's Oscar. I'd put it just behind Falling Slowly (the award for which includes my favorite Oscar MOMENT of all time) and ahead of Bob Dylan's Things Have Changed for second best Oscar song of the century to date.
Not so sure about Juicy J, Frayser Boy and DJ Paul for It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp...although that was an appallingly weak year -- only 3 nominees total. That's the thing. Some years, there's just not much to bite into.
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I don't really think in terms of snubs because whatever, ya know? Especially the director category, there's only 5 compared to the BP's 5-10, of course someone's gonna get left out.
That being said, COME ON ACADEMY! Cloud Atlas! Not even a VFX nom? BAH! Come on, they had to do vfx on like 6 different movies for one movie. Ambition alone is worth more than Snow White.
Back to reality, I thought the nominees were pretty solid and interesting. Looper didn't deserve to be nominated (though Flight? I dunno, probably won't see it until it's on TV or something) despite the amount of Twitter crying I've seen.
I really wish The Master had gotten best picture and cinematography. The film floored me and I thought it should have been recognized. I was happy Amy Adams was nominated. She says some tremendously and delightfully dirty things in the film (which were unscripted) and I hope one of those clips makes it into the Oscar telecast. That said about cinematography, I hope Skyfall takes it.
Bummer that no Hobbit music got nominated.
Most importantly to me, the editing Oscar. I was rooting for The Master, so that didn't work out.
The Hollywood Reporter link in this thread is interesting. Unrelated, I didn't know Gloria Stuart got a nom for Titanic. Really? Weird.
And I think It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp is awesome.
[Kylee Wall] " I don't really think in terms of snubs because whatever, ya know? Especially the director category, there's only 5 compared to the BP's 5-10, of course someone's gonna get left out."
That's the tough part of the Oscars. If you want someone on the list, someone else has to come off. There are things that irked me about the list (Wish there was more love for Moonrise Kingdom for one), but everyone has their grievances. For us film nerds the Oscars are like a sports game we get to argue over, and some of the arguments can be as fun as the games (Oregon beating Arizona last night was a fluke last night FYI, they'll be back).
Personally I love that there were big surprises (even though I disagreed with some of them). How boring is it when everything turns out as predicted? My biggest disappointment though, is that they essentially killed a lot of suspense by making the Best Picture winner a two way race between Lincoln and Pi. I would be comfortable with Lincoln winning (haven't seen Pi yet), but I would LOVE to see one of the dark horses win. Just to leave the show by throwing everything upside-down and saying, next year - nobody is safe. How much fun would that be? That's a good show to watch.
I agree with the sports analogy. Other than baseball (which I don't really follow that closely) I spend the majority of the year being annoyed by social media posts about football and whatever. For Your Consideration season is OUR time to alienate those around us, dammit.
I also love a good mix-up, and loads of argument surrounding it.
But "snub" is annoying. A snub would be Lincoln getting a dozen nominations EXCEPT for Spielberg. And in that way, snubs are drama and drama rocks, so please, more snubs!
[Jeff Breuer] " they essentially killed a lot of suspense by making the Best Picture winner a two way race between Lincoln and Pi"
I think the only thing boring-er is Lincoln vs. Les Miz. (Reasons I Love My Wife #66: she calls it "Lame Iz.") Fortunately, Silver Linings Playbook is there to kick both their asses. LOL
I kid a little, but let's consider the last time that a high-minded Spielberg prestige wartime drama went up against a plucky Weinstein-produced comedy: Saving Private Ryan vs. Shakespeare in Love. I don't think SiL winning was an "upset" because I think it was better...but an awful lot of other people did.
I'll also point out King's Speech vs. Black Swan/Social Network: *I* think the best movie won, but going by the rest of awards season (and Scott), it might be called an upset. Unless you take Harvey into account, in which case it was impossible to count out.
Both of those had going for them that they're period pieces, and SiL in particular was a love letter to actors and writers, and neither was as heavily comedic as SLP.
The Critics Choice Awards, given by Broadcast Film Critics Association, last night were really interesting. They've broken out awards into even more genres -- action and sci-fi/horror in addition to comedy and drama. Jennifer Lawrence won in both the Action (Hunger Games) and Comedy (SLP) categories, but Jessica Chastain took the best actress. I think part of the reason is that ZD30 is ultimately about HER.
Bin-Laden is what Hitchcock would have called the MacGuffin -- the thing you hang the ACTUAL story on. But the STORY is about her obsession. I can't think of another movie that's about one woman -- no love interest, no second woman as her peer (LOT of great 2 women movies), no canny mentor. There's a large cast, but it's inconceivable that any of them could be nominated -- it's HER movie, whether we're talking about the character or the actress. Hard to vote against her....although the one Oscar of the entire night I most want to see is Jennifer Lawrence for SLP.
DD-L took best actor, interesting because 8 of the past 9 Best Actor Oscars went to the Critics Choice choice.
Interesting too is that like the Oscars, the most nominations went to, in order, Lincoln, Les Miz, and Silver Linings Playbook...but Argo won Best Picture.
I still (sadly) see Lincoln as the picture to beat for the Oscars, but I'm putting money on SLP to win, and a smaller bet (but with longer odds, so a higher payoff) on Argo.
Life of Pi looks interesting to me is cinematography. Claudio Miranda's work isn't that deep. He was nominated for Benjamin Button, but the entirety of his work as DP besides those is Failure to Launch (Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker - EEK!) and Tron Legacy. (Others as gaffer, add'l photography, etc., but still) But I'm seeing a little more momentum for him. I'm an unabashed 3D booster, and I'd love to see consecutive wins for DPs working in 3D...but it's still good to see outstanding work by those folks being recognized....
Gonna be fun to reconvene after the Golden Globs as they're known around the house...even if Ricky Gervais isn't hosting. Fey and Poehler are cute, but a big step down I'm afraid....
Gloria Stuart's nomination was a howler. She was by far the worst part of an actually pretty awesome movie -- that whole framing device was the only false part in it, and it went on for-freaking-ever. Man, we howled about that all through a much longer Oscar season.
More interesting to me is that this is Jacki Weaver's second nomination. The previous one was for 2010's Animal Kingdom, a movie so small that I'm amazed enough people saw it to get her nominated...which also tells me that the system is not nearly as broken as some people think....
Women driven movies, Silence of the Lambs? Not having seen ZDT yet I don't know if that's a totally fair comparison...but FWIW, Foster won the Oscar for that role so yeah, I see your point there.
I didn't even know the Critics Choice awards happened last night. Ha.
(Social Network is totally a better film than King's Speech, which I also loved. King's Speech hit every expectation of an Oscar movie...and for that reason, I'm now more convinced that Argo is going to win.
[Kylee Wall] "Women driven movies, Silence of the Lambs?"
I should have said women as the sole driver. Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for Lambs, and rightly so, because the movie is about their relationship. There's no relationship in ZD30.
One way to measure this is, are there compelling, critical scenes that take place without the woman character in them? Lambs would be nowhere without the solo Hannibal scenes. Otherwise, he'd be just a clown making sucking sounds. (Which he very nearly was anyway.) Ted Levine was admittedly something of a McGuffin -- again, the hook you hang the REAL story on -- but without him, the girl in the hole and her rescue don't carry any weight whatsoever.
(For the record, I like Manhunter more in every way. Seriously, who on EARTH would want to stay in Hopkins' Hannibal's office long enough to tell him any secrets? You look at that dude, say "Oops, wrong office," and run screaming to go visit Brian Cox's Lechter instead. That dude's power was entirely rooted in his banality. Hopkins exploding was never a surprise.)
Compare to ZD30 where the only major scenes without Maya are the ones she set up, ie, the takedown itself...where she factors in by the time it wraps up. (SPOILER ALERT: Bin-Laden gets popped.) No disrespect to the rest of the huge cast that includes some of the best guys working today (I'm especially fond of Pratt, Barrowman and Chandler)....but it's all Maya/Jessica.
The classic "2 women" movie for my money was 1962's The Miracle Worker, with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, both of whom won (lead and supporting, respectively). Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, with Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey (people: give her more work) wasn't one of the all time greats like that one...but really good.
As I was typing that paragraph, I came up with a movie driven solely by a woman, without major supporting characters backing her up -- a franchise in fact: Resident Evil. It doesn't get much attention, but keeps churning up dough. The four movies after the first all opened at #1, and the five films (and counting) have topped $1 billion combined. I can't imagine that any woman besides Milla Jovovich has brought in this kind of money on her own. Easy enough when you're the Perfect Being I suppose.
(I watched Fifth Element again last night. I don't know why her cheery "Leelu Dallas Moolti-pass" makes me laugh so much, but it does.)
Angelina did another video game woman with Lara Croft of course, but Salt is a better example, as a (mostly) non-genre picture carried solely by a woman. Some compelling suppporting actors mind you, especially Liev Schreiber and Chewitel Ejiofor, but that movie was still all her.
I'm having a hard time thinking of others.
I'd still like to see Jennifer win, but I won't feel like she got robbed if Jessica comes out on top.
Not to open this all the way up again, because I've taken more lumps for this than anything I've said in 11 years on the COW, but Social Network is the one that had the stink of Oscar bait on it for me. Everything about it seemed calculated to capture the "edgy" vote, but I found it annoying, not edgy. Everyone involved in that movie has done work I adore. Fincher is one of my couple of favorites working today, but I like every one of his movies...and all of his Madonna videos...far more. The combination of all those great above and below the line geniuses was crazily less than the sum of its parts for me.
Yeah, I figured I was off a bit on it since Hopkins was such a major part of the whole thing (and won awards on it, and is one of the most recognizable characters ever) but still, haven't seen ZDT so for all I knew bin Laden could have been chillin' on the other side of a cage. But yes, I won't be surprised in the least to see Chastain pick up this award.
Good call on Resident Evil though. Interesting! I'd like to see more stories like this. HEY WRITERS, write me more stories like this!
The Social Network is one of my favorite movies ever, especially on the below the line stuff (editing, sound mixing, is screenplay below the line?) I adore it. But not to chastise you completely for your opinion (which is wrong), I'll say that I actually hate The Fifth Element and get more crap for hating it than anything else in my life.
[Kylee Wall] "But not to chastise you completely for your opinion (which is wrong), I'll say that I actually hate The Fifth Element and get more crap for hating it than anything else in my life."
I'd agree to agree that we're both wrong, except that you're more wrong about Fifth Element than I am about Social Network. LOL
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[Tim Wilson] "I'd agree to agree that we're both wrong, except that you're more wrong about Fifth Element than I am about Social Network. LOL"
I think we can ALL agree that The Social Network would have won all the awards if Zuckerberg was played by Bruce Willis.