They’re heeeeere! It’s Oscar Nom Morning!

It’s film buff Christmas and we’ve got lots of presents. AND I MEAN LOTS! So here’s this year’s Oscar nominations with all of my clearly unique analysis.

Best Picture:

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

9 Nominations and all of the usual suspect show up. I’m only marginally surprised to see Amour here. Their push really paid off for them. Clearly the support for The Master wasn’t where I thought it was which really hurt me. 9 great nominees. This is perhaps the least interesting category from a “what got nominated” stand point. Yesterday, this race was wide open. Today, it’s Lincoln way out front with 12 nominations.

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

Holy shit face, guys. No one saw this line up coming. Ben Affleck was a front runner to win and just like that he’s gone. History was also unmade when Kathryn Bigelow failed to be the first female with 2 nominations in the category. Instead David O. Russell made it in, which was an outside chance, but plausible. Then Michael Haneke made it in, which braver Oscar pundits than I were punditing, and then finally Benh Zeitlin ALSO made it for Beats of the Southern Wild. What this tells is that if you think Les Miserables or Zero Dark Thirty were leading some given category, it’s not anymore. It’s that other thing that’s right behind. If it’s Amour, Silver Linings Playbook, or Beasts of the Southern Wild on its coattails push that one up. Exhibit to come momentarily.

Best Actor:

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

I still don’t believe John Hawkes got snubbed. He’s the star of The Sessions and his co-star gets in just because it was a weak category? I’m happy for everyone else in the category and none of it is a real surprise. Hugh Jackman is the only person that could potentially beat Daniel Day-Lewis in the Lincoln behemoth and my guess is he won’t.

Best Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emanuelle Riva – Amour
  • Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Naomi Watts – The Impossible

This category deserves an essay. Clearly the support for Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild was strong enough across the board (see: Director) that Emanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis both handily made it. Naomi Watts also snuck in. I predicted the wrong frenchie but it was not secret that there was only enough room for one, sorry Marion. Predicting a winner is where things get interesting. Zero Dark Thirty only has 5 nominations which is far fewer than anyone was predicting, especially with a crucial snub in the Director category. Does this mean Jessica Chastain is weaker for the win or that this will be the only category to reward Zero Dark Thirty at all and therefore she wins it? Considering all Amour, Beasts, and Silver Linings all got a boost, this race just became a lot closer. The race is still between Chastain and Lawrence, and it’s closer than ever, but 3rd and 4th place are closer than ever.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Alan Arkin – Argo
  • Robert DeNiro – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

I specifically asked for this not to happen, guys. This is the first time in history the category is 5 out of 5 previous winners. That means one of these 5 men will be a two-time Oscar winner in just 6 weeks. My guess? Philip Seymour Hoffman. We know that it’s not Alan Arkin since support for Argo is at an all-time low. Silver Linings and Lincoln are definitely the strongest movies here so maybe they will give DeNiro and Jones a bit of a push. This is a boring category and thank god it is.

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams – The Master
  • Sally Field – Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt – The Sessions
  • Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

So there’s nothing too out of the ordinary here except one major player. Jacki Weaver getting in for Silver Linings Playbook was largely unexpected. While she’s not going to win since Anne Hathaway has been locked to win since the trailer for Les Mis came out,  this nomination shows more support for Silver Linings Playbook than anyone ever thought. This is first time a movie has had an acting nomination in each category since Reds in 1981. Silver Linings Playbook now has a whopping 8 nominations that is really just the most it could have ever received so congratulations!

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook

This is the only category I got 5 out of 5 nominations correct in and that’s because it was boring. That’s fine. I needed this.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Amour
  • Django Unchained
  • Flight
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Zero Dark Thirty

I truly wonder who is going to win this category. Right now it’s a three-way race between Django, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty. This is the best place to honor any of the three of them. I predicted Zero Dark Thirty yesterday, but it isn’t showing as much support as it could have. I wonder if Moonrise Kingdom can fight it’s way to the top.

Cinematography:

  • Anna Karenina
  • Django Unchained
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Skyfall

There are no big surprises here, which again, is a relief this year. I can see Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, Lincoln or Skyfall winning this. Lincoln could very well just sweep the technicals, but that does seem so boring.

Costume Design:

  • Anna Karenina
  • Les Miserables
  • Lincoln
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

Well it looks like the character Snow White is the big winner here. Anna Karenina has this in the bag with its flashy dresses, but this is actually a really lovely category with some really interesting work.

Film Editing:

  • Argo
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

People often forget about Film Editing when thinking of things you need to win Best Picture, but you need it. You really do. No film has won Best Picture without the Editing nod since Ordinary People in 1980. This now seems like the only place to honor Argo, but it’s so weak now. I still think it will be the winner, but I could see Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty taking it too.

Makeup:

  • Hitchcock
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Les Miserables

This is officially my least favorite category. How did Lincoln miss out on this? How?!?!?! I guess more is always more here. Except when it’s not and it’s Les Miserables. I guess Les Mis is my pick to win but as always with the Makeup category, it could be anyone. Anyone!

Original Score:

  • Anna Karenina
  • Argo
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Skyfall

It is fascinating that with so much support for Beasts of the Southern Wild it failed to get nominated here with a fantastic score. That was my predicted winner! Oh wait, this the most exclusive category ever. You really have to be in the club to get a nomination. Only Mychael Danna for Life of Pi is a new nominee. I really don’t know who will go on to win it. John Williams seems like his own punch line at this point, but he really is in the best position here. I guess that is where my money lies.

Original Song:

  • “Before My Time” – Chasing Ice
  • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” – Ted
  • “Pi’s lullaby” – Life of Pi
  • “Skyfall” – Skyfall
  • “Suddenly” – Les Miserables

What you can’t see here is this means Scarlet Johansson might PERFORM at the Oscars. That’s right, she’s singing the song from the documentary Chasing Ice. This also makes host Seth MacFarlane a nominee with a song from Ted. The other three were widely predicted and Adele is still far out front. This is actually a really lovely surprising category.

Production Design:

  • Anna Karenina
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln

There is nothing surprising here.  Anna Karenina will walk away with this easily.

Sound Editing:

  • Argo
  • Django Unchained
  • Life of Pi
  • Skyfall
  • Zero Dark Thirty

This is one of the most prestige heavy Sound Editing categories ever. Usually the sound categories are stacked with summer blockbusters, but not this year. With the exception of Skyfall, everything else is in the hunt for Best Picture. I guess Life of Pi is my predicted winner? Tough category. It’ll change as the year goes on.

Sound Mixing:

  • Argo
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Skyfall

See above except add: Oh and musicals do well here.

Visual Effects:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Life of Pi
  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Prometheus
  • Snow White and the Hunstman

While I didn’t do well in this category, I like it a lot. Prometheus has such gorgeous work I can’t help but be happy for it. Also, this is 2 nominations for Snow White and the Huntsman which means I’m going to have to watch that tonight! Life of Pi is the easy winner in this category. Hands down.

Animated Feature:

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Wreck-It Ralph

No one saw one of these coming! Everyone was predicting something tiny and artful for the fifth slot, but instead the underwhelming The Pirates! Band of Misfits sneaks in for the nomination. Well, I say underwhelming, but it’s the only one I haven’t seen. None of these movies have any other nominations so there aren’t any context clues here. I’m standing by my prediction for Wreck-It Ralph. There’s no consensus so maybe I’ll be predicting with my heart by the end of the race.

Documentary Feature:

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

I’ve actually seen 2 of these already this year thanks to Netflix! I have no idea what’s going to win. The Gatekeepers?

Foreign Language:

  • Amour
  • Kon-Tiki
  • No
  • A Royal Affair
  • War Witch

Suck it Intouchables. I mean, it looks like Amour is going to run away with this.

Animated Short:

  • Adam and Dog
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Head Over Heels
  • Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
  • Paperman

HAHAHA THE SIMPSONS! THATS HILARIOUS. But really it is. I think everyone thinks that Paperman is the strongest here, but it’s also the only one anyone has seen.

Documentary Short:

  • Inocente
  • Kings Point
  • Mondays at Racine
  • Open Heart
  • Redemption

Live-Action Short Film:

  • Asad
  • Buzkashi Boys
  • Curfew
  • Death of a Shadow
  • Henry

 

I guess this is a year of a lot of surprises. My predictions were god awful. I only got 76/107 in the predicted categories. Oy vey. The big take away points are the following:

  • Lincoln is leading with 12, Life of Pi is close behind with 11, then Les Mis and Silver Linings Playbook with 8. 
  • Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck and their films are the big losers today.
  • The big campaign push for Amour paid off times a million.
  • The Dark Knight Rises was completely shut out, so get ready to hear from Christopher Nolan fans until the end of time. So was The Hunger Games, Magic Mike, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,  Looper, and Cloud Atlas. A lot of people thought Cloud Atlas was going to sweep the techs, but that just didn’t happen.
  • Django Unchained cut the difference and got about half the nominations it could have, but better than an also possible shut out.

I’ve still got 14 movies to see to be a completist across the feature films so there’s still some work to do. Tonight’s project? Snow White and the Huntsman! Happy Oscars!

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