RECAP: 85th Annual Academy Awards

February 25, 2013

oscars2013-argo

After everything is said and done, what will be remembered from this Oscar ceremony? Will it be Seth MacFarlane’s polarizing hosting duties (I did enjoy “We Saw Your Boobs”)? Will it be remembered for Daniel Day-Lewis winning his third Best Actor Oscar and giving a hilarious and heart-felt acceptance speech? Or maybe Jennifer Lawrence tripping up the stairs to the podium to accept her Best Actress Oscar (third youngest in history)? Or how about the Bond tribute or the tribute to movie musicals (damn, that Jennifer Hudson can sing, huh?)?

While most of these moments will be remembered by some, the big thing to be remembered from the 85th annual Academy Awards is that Argo won Best Picture. That’s what people will remember about last night’s Oscars and that’s why it’s such a big deal to win Best Picture. 2012 was a great year of films from the summer blockbusters (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises), to the independent gems (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Moonrise Kingdom, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), to the patriotic dramas (Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln), and to the crowd-pleasers (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games, Django Unchained). It was a year for anyone and everyone to enjoy, but in ten years which films will people remember? 20 years? 50 years?

oscars2013-opening

As for the actual telecast, the ceremony was only 3 and a half hours long (same run-time as the Grammy’s), so they actually did a good job with that. Plus, after the first few victims towards the beginning I think the rest of the winners were intimidated by the Jaws theme song drowning them out. But I still wish that they would just cut out all the shenanigans that the presenters attempt and give the winners some more time for their speeches. Whatever Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy were trying to do, that didn’t work. When Seth did that Von Trapp gag before introducing Christopher Plummer, that didn’t work. When the actors of The Avengers were being weird, especially Samuel L. Jackson skipping an entire bulk on the teleprompter, that didn’t work. And did we really need to see a lip-syncing Catherine Zeta-Jones during the musical tribute?

But I did enjoy the Oscars, like I do every year, because it reminds me of how much I love movies and how all the people involved in making a movie are people just like you and me. Despite most people, I really love when teh technical categories are announced because those winners are the most down-to-earth, surprised winners of the night. Sure, they’re the ones that get the Jaws theme blasted in their face (because God forbid if you cut off one of the actors), but it’s usually the most sincere and happiest moments of the night.

oscars2013-seth

So what didn’t work during the telecast? Well, Seth MacFarlane was an interesting choice for the Oscars and he delivered exactly what people expected, by dividing the room. He’s a comedian that appeals to a younger crowd, and has a lot of guy-humor. So it’s not surprising that he had a bunch of gags like the “We Saw Your Boobs” song, making out with Sally Field and an animated Ted asking about the post-Oscar orgy. I’m not a fan of Seth MacFarlane at all, but I did enjoy his humor throughout the telecast. His monologue was a bit long, but I felt he really kept the show flowing pretty well, even though a few of his jokes were borderline tasteless.

A few highlights:

– The Oscars started off with that packed Supporting Actor category, which Christoph Waltz walked away as the winner. Quite surprising, since he won so recently but hey, the Academy loves him.

– Brave beating out Wreck-It Ralph for Best Animated Feature had me scratching my head. Did the voters just see “Pixar” and checked off the box next to it? Seriously, Brave was arguably Pixar’s weakest film to date.

– While I predicted Life of Pi to win Best Cinematography, I was really pulling for Roger Deakins’ work in Skyfall. Poor guy, he now has 10 nominations and 0 Oscars. He’s paid his due! Just give him the award already!

– Do all Best Costume Oscars go to period films?

oscars2013-lesmis

– Poor Russell Crowe had to deal with more criticism of his singing at the Oscars during “One Day More.” The guy’s not great, but he can sing better than a lot of us. Let it go!

– There was a tie at the Oscars for Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall won. When was the last time there was a tie at the Oscars? In 1994 there was a tie for Best Live Action Short. Then in 1986 there was a tie for Best Documentary, but the most memorable tie was in 1969 when Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand tied for Best Actress.

– Ang Lee winning Best Director was a bit surprising. I knew Speilberg wasn’t going to win, but I felt David O. Russell was the front-runner and that Michael Haneke would win. So this makes Ang Lee with 2 Best Director awards, both to where his film didn’t win Best Picture (Brokeback Mountain loses to Crash, Life of Pi loses to Argo).

– As for me, I went 17/24 with my predictions, not too shabby but not great either. I’m always in the 16-18 range and I’ll just have to try harder next year. If there’s something about predictions that I have to remember, it’s to 1. Ignore your personal feelings and go with the front-runners and 2. there won’t be any major upsets, but expect about 3 minor ones.

Advertisements

Predictions: 85th Academy Awards

February 21, 2013

Here are my final predictions for the Academy Awards this Sunday:

85th-academy-awards

Best Picture

  • “Amour” Nominees to be determined
  • “Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
  • “Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
  • “Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
  • “Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

This is going to be a year to remember in Oscar history.I don’t feel like throwing the stats at you (because I’m tired from all my previous posts), but Argo is making history when it wins Best Picture. It’s a great story, especially for Ben Affleck. For those who don’t understand that there is a lot of campaigning during the awards season, everything fell into the right place to allow for Argo’s huge momentum swing. The hands down critics’ favorite movie of the year was Zero Dark Thirty, but we all know what bad publicity did for that film during awards season. And when the nominees were submitted before the guilds, leaving Affleck off of the Best Director category, well that’s the best thing that could’ve happened for Argo.

Prediction: Argo

Best Lead Actor

  • Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Some are saying Bradley Cooper has a legitimate shot at winning this. If that happens, then my faith will be completely lost because out of these 5 performances, Cooper is the one that doesn’t fit. But I guess that’s just my opinion. This award is going to DD-L and it will be his third Oscar award, making him the only actor in history with three Best Lead Actor awards. Man, this Oscars telecast is going to be historic!

Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Best Lead Actress

  • Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

While Jessica Chastain was great in Zero Dark Thirty (and the only nominee who is actually the sole main character in her movie), this category looks all but locked for the most popular actress in the world right now, Jennifer Lawrence. Though I’m hearing that quite a few voters are going for Emmanuelle Riva, so she’s on the alert for an upset possibility.

But when it comes down to it, Chastain’s performance was great but how many voters can really find an emotional connection to her Maya? And for Riva, it would be a great story for her to win on her birthday, but how many voters actually watched Amour (or even enjoyed it)? The same goes for Naomi Watts. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence was the star in a very crowd-pleasing movie. Oh and btdubbs, Lawrence will become the third youngest winner in Oscar history for this category.

Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Director

  • “Amour” Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell

Here’s a tricky category. If Ben Affleck was nominated, he’d definitely win. But he’s not nominated. Common sense would point to a win for Steven Spielberg since Lincoln is dealing with great success across the board (12 nominations + highest gross of all Best Picture nominees). But then again, if Lincoln was REALLY being perceived so well in the Academy, then why is it losing everything? Aside from Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln has practically been shut out of the awards season. This makes me believe that Spielberg won’t win Best Director, because if he did then Lincoln should win Best Picture.

The same thing can be said about Ang Lee and Life of Pi. With a whopping 11 nominations, if Ang Lee were to really win Best Director, don’t you think Life of Pi would be a major player for Best Picture. And just like Lincoln, it’s not. I don’t believe they’ll win. Which leaves me to the Haneke vs. Russell debate (because frankly, Benh Zeitlin’s award is being nominated). David O. Russell and Silver Linings Playbook is very well-received in the Academy, enough so that I’ll consider him as the front-runner of this category (even though he’ll be the first director to win this award WITHOUT a DGA nominee. But heck, this is a history-breaking Oscar ceremony so let’s keep the ball rolling!). But I’m going to use my upset pick here and say Haneke will get the award.

Prediction: Michael Haneke (Amour)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alan Arkin in “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

This is another tricky category. Everyone here has won an Oscar before, so there’s none of that newcomer vs. veteran discussion. I think it’s going to come down to how much the Academy likes certain movies. If they absolutely love Argo that much, then Alan Arkin will win. Then again, there seems to be a lot of support for Silver Linings Playbook and they’re pushing for De Niro since he hasn’t won in 31 years. And then there’s Christoph Waltz, whom EVERYONE likes. Man, this is a tough one but I think they’ll actually reward the actor who gave the best performance.

Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams in “The Master”
  • Sally Field in “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
  • Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

Some will make an argument for Sally Field, but I don’t see that happening.

Prediction: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Amour” Written by Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” Written by John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Written by Mark Boal

At first, it looked like Mark Boal was on his way to another Oscar for his screenplay, but Zero Dark Thirty hit a wave of bad publicity practically ruining it. So we have Haneke vs. Tarantino, and Tarantino can’t walk away without an Oscar, right?

Prediction: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Argo” Screenplay by Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Screenplay by David Magee
  • “Lincoln” Screenplay by Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Screenplay by David O. Russell

Another toss up here between Chris Terrio and Tony Kushner. Does the Academy love Argo that much, or just Ben Affleck? We’ll find out soon.

Prediction: Chris Terrio (Argo)

Best Animated Feature

  • “Brave” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
  • “Frankenweenie” Tim Burton
  • “ParaNorman” Sam Fell and Chris Butler
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” Peter Lord
  • “Wreck-It Ralph” Rich Moore

Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Best Cinematography

  • “Anna Karenina” Seamus McGarvey
  • “Django Unchained” Robert Richardson
  • “Life of Pi” Claudio Miranda
  • “Lincoln” Janusz Kaminski
  • “Skyfall” Roger Deakins

Will this be the year that Roger Deakins finally wins the Oscar? You have to feel for the guy, but nonetheless year after year he does great work. But how do you contend with the cinematography in Life of Pi?

Prediction: Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)

Best Film Editing

  • “Argo” William Goldenberg
  • “Life of Pi” Tim Squyres
  • “Lincoln” Michael Kahn
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

This is a packed category. I’d like to imagine that if there were only five Best Picture nominees, these would be the five films. But I feel the Argo train will take this one.

Prediction: William Goldenberg (Argo)

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Amour” Austria
  • “Kon-Tiki” Norway
  • “No” Chile
  • “A Royal Affair” Denmark
  • “War Witch” Canada

Prediction: Amour

Best Costume Design

  • “Anna Karenina” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Les Misérables” Paco Delgado
  • “Lincoln” Joanna Johnston
  • “Mirror Mirror” Eiko Ishioka
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” Colleen Atwood

Prediction: Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)

Best Documentary

  • “5 Broken Cameras”, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
  • “The Gatekeepers”, Nominees to be determined
  • “How to Survive a Plague”, Nominees to be determined
  • “The Invisible War”, Nominees to be determined
  • “Searching for Sugar Man”, Nominees to be determined

Prediction: Searching for Sugar Man

Best Documentary, Short Subject

  • “Inocente” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
  • “Kings Point” Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
  • “Mondays at Racine” Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
  • “Open Heart” Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
  • “Redemption” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

Prediction: Inocente

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Hitchcock” Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
  • “Les Misérables” Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Prediction: Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Best Original Score

  • “Anna Karenina” Dario Marianelli
  • “Argo” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Life of Pi” Mychael Danna
  • “Lincoln” John Williams
  • “Skyfall” Thomas Newman

Prediction: Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)

Best Original Song

  • “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice” Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
  • “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted” Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi” Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
  • “Skyfall” from “Skyfall” Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
  • “Suddenly” from “Les Misérables” Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Prediction: Skyfall

Best Production Design

  • “Anna Karenina” Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
  • “Les Misérables” Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
  • “Life of Pi” Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Lincoln” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Prediction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer (Anna Karenina)

Best Animated, Short

  • “Adam and Dog” Minkyu Lee
  • “Fresh Guacamole” PES
  • “Head over Heels” Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
  • “Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”” David Silverman
  • “Paperman” John Kahrs

Prediction: Paperman

Best Live Action, Short

  • “Asad” Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
  • “Buzkashi Boys” Sam French and Ariel Nasr
  • “Curfew” Shawn Christensen
  • “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)” Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
  • “Henry” Yan England

Prediction: Death of a Shadow

Best Sound Editing

  • “Argo” Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
  • “Django Unchained” Wylie Stateman
  • “Life of Pi” Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
  • “Skyfall” Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Paul N.J. Ottosson

Prediction: Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton (Life of Pi)

Best Sound Mixing

  • “Argo” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
  • “Les Misérables” Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
  • “Life of Pi” Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
  • “Lincoln” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
  • “Skyfall” Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Prediction: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes (Les Misérables)

Best Visual Effects

  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
  • “Life of Pi” Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
  • “Marvel’s The Avengers” Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
  • “Prometheus” Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Prediction: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott (Life of Pi)


Oscar Talk 2012: The DGA Awards are important (in case you didn’t know)

January 29, 2013

DGA-2013a

We all want to be able to correctly predict what film is going to win Best Picture. It’s something you can wildly debate about with your friends for countless hours, and then have the bragging rights if you select the winner. There are even Vegas odds and bets placed on the prestigious night. But while I’ve been in the game of Oscar watching for almost a decade now, there is still only one thing that I know: your guess is as good as mine.

I guess it’s kind of funny for me to admit that, but year after year that is what I keep saying. I’ll give my predictions and my reasons for believing in certain movies and certain upsets, but the truth is that your guess is as good as mine and as good as anyone else’s. If I somehow correctly predict 23 out of the 24 awards given out, I’ll be the first one to tell you that it was luck. Why do I keep doing it? Because it’s so much freakin’ fun.

So back to the game, this past weekend revealed that Argo seems to be back as the front-runner for Best Picture. Winning the PGA and the SAG awards is a pretty big deal. Am I ready to call it for Argo yet? No. It still has the HUGE obstacle of winning without a Best Director nod for Affleck, but if it wins this Saturday at the DGA awards and then gets the WGA, well it’ll practically be a lock then for Argo.

But just because it won the PGA and SAG doesn’t mean it’s a lock quite yet. In 1995, there was a crowd-pleasing film about an American event that went down this same path. Apollo 13 won the PGA, SAG, and even the DGA for Ron Howard (and also Howard didn’t get a Best Director nomination). It was expected for Apollo 13 to take the Oscars, but Braveheart swooped in with the upsets winning Best Picture (and Best Director for Mel Gibson, even though Howard wasn’t nominated).

Needless to say, this is a very strange road to the Oscars that we’ve been on thus far. You know what would really throw a wrench in the whole thing? If Ben Affleck or Steven Spielberg DOESN’T win the DGA. Imagine that? Because whoever wins the DGA out of those two will easily become the front-runner going into the Oscars. But let’s say… Ang Lee wins the DGA (which he’s won twice already). That would really throw a curve-ball at everyone, but at the same time it would hurt Spielberg and Lincoln more than anything else.

ben-affleck-argo      spielberg-lincoln

Okay… so where do we stand? Silver Linings Playbook has NO chance at Best Picture since it lost the SAG where it was expected to win. And unless Ang Lee can win the DGA, you can count Life of Pi completely out as well. As for Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild, well they’re just happy to be there. So it’s Lincoln vs. Argo down the stretch of the last month before the Oscars air.

Here’s a little bit of history, something like what we’ll be referring back to in the future if Argo wins Best Picture. Driving Miss Daisy is the only film to win Best Picture without a directing nod in 80 years and many people are comparing it to Argo. Born on the Fourth of July was a film that looked like was on its way to a Best Picture win. Here are the accolades for both films leading up to the Oscars:

Driving Miss Daisy
– won PGA
– won Golden Globes Comedy/Musical
– won WGA

Born on the Fourth of July
– won DGA
– won Best Director
– won Golden Globes Director and Drama

Though tradition was on Born of the Fourth of July’s side, Driving Miss Daisy made history with its Best Picture victory. Only once in the last 10 years has the Best Picture winner not matched the Best Director (Crash beating out Brokeback Mountain). So like I said earlier, there is a very good chance that history will be made… that is unless Spielberg wins the DGA and Lincoln sweeps at the Oscars. If that’s the case, we can all just have a good laugh.


Oscar Talk 2012: So Where Are We?

January 25, 2013

argo-photo

Remember at the Golden Globes when Ben Affleck and Argo won? Well, that has people throwing their hands up in the air with all sorts of celebratory reactions as their favorite movie of the year is finally gaining the respect they feel it deserves. But what does all of this mean with the Oscars only a month away? Does it mean anything at all?

In past years, it might not have. Here are the movies that won both Best Picture Drama and Comedy/Musuical the past 8 years at the Golden Globes:

2012 – Argo and Les Miserables
2011 – The Descendants and The Artist
2010 – The Social Network and The Kids are All Right
2009 – Avatar and The Hangover
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire and Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2007 – Atonement and Sweeney Todd
2006 – Babel and Dreamgirls
2005 – Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line
2004 – The Aviator and Sideways

From the past 16 movies that won in the last 8 years, only 2 movies have won the Best Picture Oscar. That’s right, only TWO (The Artist and Slumdog Millionaire). So why is everyone jumping on the Argo bandwagon again? I honestly have no idea.

But this weekend the PGA and SAG will announce their winners. After this weekend, we will be able to have a much clearer projection of what will happen at the Oscars. If Argo wins both PGA and SAG, then I’ll admit that Lincoln might be in trouble. If Silver Linings Playbook (in my opinion, the biggest threat to Lincoln) doesn’t win the SAG, then it’s almost as good as dead.

argo-photo2

Back to Argo. Here’s a fun fact for all of those Argo supporters. No director has ever won the DGA, not gotten nominated for an Oscar, and then had their film win BP. Ever. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it would be an insane feat for Affleck to win the DGA and then see Argo win Best Picture. I’m a big fan of “history repeats itself” and will stick with that mindset over anything else.

If Lincoln gets shut out this weekend and both Argo and Silver Linings Playbook wins, then I’m really going to throw a fit. This could be the most unpredictable Oscars in a very long time, and while that’s frustrating for people like me, honestly it’s the best thing that could happen to the Oscars. I’d much rather be dead wrong and see Lincoln win only one Oscar while Argo wins Best Picture and Ang Lee wins Best Director than see Lincoln sweep the major awards.

Lincoln-photo

But I’ll still speak what I believe in, and that is Lincoln is the clear front-runner with every other film miles behind. Here are the reasons why:

– Lincoln has the most nominations (12)
– Lincoln has grossed the most money of all nominations
– Has 3 acting nominations and one clear favorite (Daniel Day-Lewis)
– It has ALL of the important nominations
– Steven Spielberg

While Lincoln isn’t many people’s (including mine) favorite film, you cannot ignore how well-made it is. Excellence is displayed on every level of that film, and shouldn’t films like that be rewarded?


Live Blogging: The 70th Annual Golden Globes

January 13, 2013

goldenglobes

So it’s Sunday night and the Patriots seem to have the Texans down for the count, so all that’s left to do for the weekend is watch the Golden Globes! Of course, I have Girls, Shameless and Happy Endings on my DVR for later tonight, but here we go! This is everyone’s favorite celebrity party, mixing the television stars with the movie stars with dinner and alcohol flowing all night long. Let’s get started!

8:00 – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the co-hosts and give a silly opening performance. “The beautiful people of film get to rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.” There was also a joke for Kathryn Bigelow that targeted James Cameron and torture that received the most uncomfortable laughs and hands covering faces. Overall, a good start to the telecast.

8:09 – Christoph Waltz wins the first Globe award for Best Supporting Actor in Django Unchained. Will this be a sign for things to come? Robert De Niro wasn’t nominated, but the HFPA awarded Waltz over Tommy Lee Jones.

8:12 – Maggie Smith wins Best Supporting Actress for a Series, Mini-Series, or Film Made for Television in Downtown Abbey. Can Downtown Abbey win Best Television Drama? I wouldn’t be too surprised.

8:17 – Best Mini-Series or TV Movie goes to Game Change. HBO is still king of the TV Movie.

game-change-moore

8:21 – Julianne Moore wins Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie. I still prefer Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin though… and I prefer Moore as an adulterer.

8:29 – The president of the HFPA asks the cameras to pan the crowd of tv and movie stars, but that never happens.

8:33 – Damian Lewis wins for Best Actor in a TV Drama, in a very talented and packed category. I wonder if Homeland is going to sweep its way through the Globes like it did at the Emmys.

8:35 – Paul Rudd and Salma Hayek have nothing to read on the teleprompter and couldn’t even ab-lib. Anyway, the award was for Best TV Series and Homeland wins. Will Claire Danes finish the trifecta? For the record, while I loved the second season of Homeland, it wasn’t as good as the first and was it really better than Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire?

8:43 – Tony Mendez and John Goodman announces Argo, one of the year’s best films and up for Best Drama Film.

8:45 – Mychael Danna wins for his tremendous score in the film Life of Pi. Also, Jason Statham is so strong he practically rips the golden envelope in half!

8:48 – And Adele continues her insane popularity with a win for Best Song for “Skyfall.” Is it me or is almost every winner so far British?

8:55 – Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie goes to Kevin Costner in “Hatfields & McCoys.” Speaking of Kevin Costner, what has he been up to? Last thing I remember him from was Mr. Brooks, but that was in 2007.

8:59 – Bill Clinton gets a standing ovation and announces Lincoln.

9:03 – The only thing funnier than Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s announcement of the Best Actress – Musical or Comedy nominations was the close-up of Tommy Lee Jones totally miserable. And Jennifer Lawrence ends up with the Golden Globe award! She really is the hottest actress in Hollywood at the moment and there’s a very good chance she can ride this wave of success all the way to the Oscars.

9:12 – Is it really fair to group the supporting actors in television in one category? Did Max Greenfield really stand a chance against Ed Harris?

9:15 – Anne Hathaway wins for Best Supporting Actress, basically for singing “I Dreamed a Dream” in Les Miserables. This is her first Golden Globe win in three nominations. She is certainly the favorite going into the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress, which would be her first win in her career.

Sometimes you can tell when an acceptance speech is going to be awesome or not. For instance, Hathaway’s speech made me cringe and she went on far too long, but I swear if Amy Poehler wins for Best Actress they better not cut her off no matter what!

9:24 – Why would they combine Original and Adapted Screenplays? And I’m utterly surprised that Quentin Tarantino beat out the likes of Tony Kushner and Chris Terrio. Like he just said, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting this!” No one was.

quentin-tarantino-django

This does raise some questions now at the Oscars. Does this put Tarantino as favorite to beat out Haneke and Boal for Original Screenplay? It just might.

9:27 – Don Cheadle wins for Best Actor in a Comedy for Television. So are you guys keeping count? Because it seems like Showtime is kicking some ass right now. Even though I haven’t watched House of Lies, it’s got to be good to beat out Jim Parsons and Louis C.K.

9:34 – Amour wins for Best Foreign Film and no one is surprised. Note: Michael Haneke is awesome.

9:37 – Claire Danes wins for Best Drama Actress in TV. Homeland wins the trifecta! But the real thing to note on is what the crap is up with Lea Michele’s tan?

9:46 – Sacha Baron Cohen yelled about his co-stars in Les Miserables and then announces Brave to win Best Animated Picture.

9:49 – Just watched the 30-second clip of Life of Pi and it reminded me of how brilliant that movie was. It’s unlikely, but Ang Lee would win my vote for the year’s best director.

9:50 – Aziz Ansari is acting high from “biscuits” that the cast of Downtown Abbey gave him. Anyway, Lena Dunham wins for Best TV Actress in Girls. Speaking of, the second season premiered tonight and I still have yet to realize all the hooplah about the show.

Note: Whenever a first time winner pulls out a piece of paper, you should just cue the music immediately.

Commercial: Kerri Russell is looking mighty fine in her new show, The Americans.

10:03 – Cecil B. DeMille Award for Jodie Foster, the two-time Oscar winner. What a beautiful speech.

10:16 – Ben Affleck wins Best Director! A nice consolation for being snubbed at the Oscars, something that no one could have predicted for his incredible film, Argo. When it comes down to it, Ben Affleck belongs with the group of the year’s best directors and has really showcased his talent behind the camera in the recent years of his career. He has become one of our generation’s best mainstream directors and there’s no doubt he’ll receive his due from the Academy in the near future.

10:22 – Girls wins for Best TV Comedy/Musical. Robyn’s music plays while the cast of Girls walks through the entire hall to receive their award. This is the first cable-show to win Best TV Comedy in five years. Will the Emmys follow suit or will the Emmys continue to award Modern Family?

girls-cast

10:30 – Hugh Jackman wins for Best Actor – Comedy/Musical. Les Miserables has won two acting awards, but again the Globes separate the Comedy/Musical from the real movies. Still, Hugh Jackman gave a great performance in Les Miserables and there is no other actor that could’ve played Jean Valjean like he did.

Don’t you think that the Golden Globes should be aired on cable so they can allow the actors to curse as they please? I think there’s a big audience for that.

10:40 – Les Miserables wins for Best Comedy/Musical. I still feel Silver Linings Playbook is one of the biggest competitions for Lincoln, and in a way it’s good that it didn’t win the Golden Globes because in the past eight years, there have only been two Best Picture winners at the Oscars that won the Golden Globes Best Picture (Drama or Comedy/Musical).

10:47 – Jessica Chastain wins for Best Actress and now the Chastain vs. Lawrence discussion will really heat up. Note: Chastain gives the best acceptance speech of the night (not counting Foster).

10:50 – SURPRISE! Daniel Day-Lewis wins for Best Actor… okay obviously it wasn’t a surprise and it won’t be when he wins his third Oscar in February.

10:57 – Argo wins Golden Globes as expected. So that means this awards season is shaping up like in 2011 when The Social Network won the Globes’ Directing and Picture while The King’s Speech only won for Best Drama Actor (Colin Firth). And we all know that The King’s Speech wound up winning four of the major Oscar awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

argo-photo

The Golden Globes was a fun ceremony. The big winners were Girls, Homeland, Argo and Les Miserables. Now it’s time for me to watch the Girls premiere since the HFPA thinks its the best comedy on the air.


Thoughts about the 85th Annual Oscar Nominations

January 11, 2013

85th-academy-awards

I should just let it go, but hey, I’m a blogger so there is absolutely no filter to what ends up here. I’ve been following the Oscars for about eight years and can say this was the first year I was legitimately surprised because of the nominations. Why is that? Well, this is the first time where the nominations were voted on by the Academy before the major Guilds gave out their awards. There was a possibility that this could create a great difference in some of the major categories, but most people didn’t think it would. Some believed that the Academy really didn’t weigh in on the guild awards as much as people think. Well the verdict is in and it made a HUGE impact.

The Best Director category is arguably the second biggest award given out on Oscar night. It’s also a great indication to what movie is going to win Best Picture because in the history of the Oscars, there have only been several films that won Best Picture without winning Best Director. Going into Thursday morning, there was a consensus that the major films with the best chance to win Best Picture were Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables. It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is, those were the favorites going into Thursday, but when the nominations were announced for Best Director, everything changed.

The directors nominated for Best Director include Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Michael Haneke, David O. Russell, and Benh Zeitlin. Everyone is wondering what happened to Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck, and honestly I am, too. For the record, there have only been THREE films in history to have won Best Picture without receiving a Best Director nomination. The most recent occurrence was in 1990 for Driving Miss Daisy, and the other two times it happened were in 1932 with Grand Hotel and in 1929 with Wings. So that means in the past 80 years, only ONCE did a film with Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. The odds are not looking good for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.

life-of-pi

But while this is bad news for those two films, the directing category is great news for other films, specifically Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. Those films received a total of 11 and 8 nominations, respectively, and should now be considered Lincoln’s biggest competition for Best Picture. It’s really hard to pick which one might have the better shot at upsetting Lincoln at this point, but if we just look at the Guild nominations, it’s really close. Silver Linings Playbook received nominations from SAG, PGA, WGA, and ACE Eddie while Life of Pi received nominations from PGA, WGA, DGA, and ACE Eddie. Both are missing one major Guild nomination (But to Life of Pi’s defense, no way was it receiving a SAG nomination since it’s a castaway sort of film).

So once again, the ONLY movie to receive nominations from all of the major Guilds is Lincoln. It’s clear that Lincoln is the front-runner, but I understand how people will make their case all the way until February 24 to make it seem like a closer race than it really is. And you know what, that’s what I love about the Oscars because anything CAN happen. Jaws dropped when Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture and when Crash upset Brokeback Mountain. It most certainly can happen again this year, but I’m a guy who looks at the history of the Oscars and the odds and Lincoln is just too much of a favorite and a traditional Oscar film that the Academy most certainly LOVES to ignore.

paul-thomas-anderson

Before I conclude my rants, I just wanted to discuss Paul Thomas Anderson and The Master. I’m actually surprised that The Master wasn’t nominated for Best Picture and after all the surprises in the Best Director category, I don’t know how Paul Thomas Anderson didn’t get in. I know that The Master confused a great deal of people and I know how PTA films can divide the public and the critics because of his unorthodox way of story-telling, but the mere fact is that PTA gets the best out of his actors every movie, and that’s one of the most important things about directing. If you look at the nominations this year, only three films received three or more acting nominations: Silver Linings Playbook (4), Lincoln (3), and The Master (3). Spielberg and David O. Russell got their directing nod for truly extracting incredible performances from their actors. But what about Paul Thomas Anderson?


The 85th Annual Academy Awards Nominations

January 10, 2013

oscar-statues

So the Oscar nominations were just announced by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone, and needless to say there were plenty of surprises. This was one great year of film and many of the categories were crowded so everyone knew there were going to be snubs, but damn, I’m still shocked at how the Academy voted here. I can’t go on without first commenting on probably the most important and the most crowded category: Best Director.

Best Director:

  • Michael Hanake (Amour)
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Just WOW. I doubt ANYONE had these five nominees predicted for this category, because it excludes two huge names that were practically considered locks for Best Director. These include Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Ben Affleck for Argo. Both of those two films have been all the talk leading up to these nominations and have been the movies that have been said are serious threats to Lincoln for Best Picture. Well, not anymore! The Best Director category has always been a great precursor to what film is going to win Best Picture. If that remains true, then there is no doubt in my mind that Lincoln is the front-runner and will most likely win both Best Director for Steven Spielberg and Best Picture. Although, there is the outside chance that Best Director and Best Picture will split.

To me, the biggest surprise was Benh Zeitlin receiving a nomination for Beasts of the Southern Wild, a small independent gem that I had just “sneaking in” for Best Picture. But with this nomination, Beasts of the Southern Wild bumps itself up to an actual potential upset candidate. The same goes for Silver Linings Playbook and Amour, two films that I really didn’t think would crack the Best Director category. With all of these surprises, that simply means directors got snubbed including Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), and Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master).

So what does this mean? Well, while I’m glad Ang Lee and the others got their recognition, all of this really just proves how Lincoln is going to sweep this year’s Oscars. Hey, can’t say I didn’t tell you so months ago.

Best Picture:

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

Since the rule change, it’s kind of exciting to try and predict how many films are going to be nominated for Best Picture. This year, there was a consensus that nine films would receive nominations and that was right. The only real surprise out of the nine films was Amour receiving a nomination, but then again now since Haneke and Riva in the mix, it’s a serious contender. But overall, this is a very good group of films nominated and you can’t say otherwise.

Best Actor:

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

No big surprises here, although after what Joaquin Phoenix said I was a bit worried that would affect his chances to get nominated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think Bradley Cooper’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook was that great, but Silver Linings Playbook is obviously loved by the Academy, so his nomination makes sense. Unfortunately this leaves out John Hawkes who gave a challenging and spectacular performance in The Sessions.

Best Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
  • Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

There were really no surprises here, although I did predict Marion Cotillard to get a nomination for Rust and Bone. Just a note: Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest Best Actress nomination at 85 years old and Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest at 9 years old (she was 6 years old when she shot the film). Incredible!

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)

Damn! I almost had one category predicted correctly! Instead of Christoph Waltz I included Javier Bardem (Skyfall). Like Emma Stone said after she announced the nominations, all of these actors have won an Oscar before.

Best Supporting Actress:

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

Only one minor surprise here and that was Jacki Weaver’s nomination.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Michael Haneke (Amour)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
  • John Gatins (Flight)
  • Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
  • Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)

Once again I was 4/5 with my predictions. I thought Rian Johnson was going to get in for his screenplay for Looper, but John Gatins got in instead. I have no problem with that because Flight was a better film that Looper. Just looking at these nominees and you get a lot of screenwriting heavyweights.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Chris Terrio (Argo)
  • Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • David Magee (Life of Pi)
  • Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

There’s no surprise here since all of these films are contenders for Best Picture. I was hoping that Stephen Chbosky was going to receive a nomination for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but that was more hopeful than anything.

I’m just going to list the rest of the nominees. Once again, the Best Director category really shines a light to how the Oscars could potentially have a Lincoln sweep. With 12 total nominations, it’s hard to imagine Lincoln walking away with anything less than 7 awards.

Best Animated Feature:

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

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Amour (Austria)
  • War Witch (Canada)
  • No (Chile)
  • A Royal Affair (Denmark)
  • Kon-Tiki (Norway)

Best Achievement in Cinematography:

  • Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina)
  • Robert Richardson (Django Unchained)
  • Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)
  • Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln)
  • Roger Deakins (Skyfall)

Best Achievement in Editing

  • William Goldenberg (Argo)
  • Tim Squyres (Life of Pi)
  • Michael Kahn (Lincoln)
  • Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers (Silvers Linings Playbook)
  • William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor (Zero Dark Thirty)

Best Achievement in Production Design

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

Best Achievement in Costume Design

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

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Best Original Score

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

Best Original Song

  • “Before My Time” (Chasing Ice)
  • “Suddenly” (Les Misérables)
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” (Life of Pi)
  • “Skyfall: (Skyfall)
  • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” (Ted)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

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

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

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

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

  • The Avengers
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Life of Pi
  • Prometheus
  • Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Documentary, Features

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

Best Documentary, Short Subject

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

Best Short Film, Animated

  • Adam and Dog
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Head Over Heels
  • Paperman
  • The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare

Best Short Film, Live Action

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

%d bloggers like this: