Oscar Nominations, Commentary & Predictions

In case you haven’t heard (or don’t really care to which you won’t be reading this post anyway), this morning around 8:30 am EST, the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. I had some big hopes (Leo DiCaprio, who made Django Unchained so great! Argo, my pick for best film of the year! Anne Hathaway, who sang her heart out in Les Mis! Please, don’t nominate Jennifer Lawrence!). The nominations were announced by the duo of Seth MacFarlene (host for the upcoming award show) and Emma Stone (the resident “It girl” of the moment). Seth MacFarlene, who I never really found all that funny in the past, continues to surprise me (do you know he is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and now can add Oscar nominee if you see below) and is definitely growing on me. I found his banter with the always adorably funny Emma Stone to be cute. By the way, if you didn’t get to see the nominees announced live but sill want to see it, you can still watch it here

I’m looking even more forward to Oscar night. And I started a new tradition last year to see whatever wins Best Film and Best Foreign Film as a double feature after the awards show if I hadn’t already (Last year, it was The Artist & A Separation) so excited to see what will win. Let’s get to my recap of the top nominees, my commentary and predictions as well as some good ol’ fashion Oscar trivia…

Best Motion Picture of the year:
Amour | Argo Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained  Les Miserables Lincoln Life of Pi Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty

imageAccording to the aggregate of critics, the frontrunners are Argo, Amour and Zero Dark Thirty (which just made it in since it entered theaters as a limited release in December). However, more likely than not, Best Film winners also have a best director nom. None for Ben Affleck (Argo) or Kathyrn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) so they may relegate them off of the frontrunner list. My money was on Argo, but now I’m actually thinking Lincoln may sweep in there after it’s strong showing with nominations (the most with 12 noms). I do think it was a great movie, my favorite drama of the year. Or it can be Amour

An interesting Oscar fact - With the nomination of Argo, GeorgeClooney (who produced with Affleck) has been Oscar nominated in the most categories ever: Actor, Directing, Supporting Actor, Original & Adapted screenplay, and today—Best Picture. Interesting.

imageThe Les Mis nomination (did the Academy really see this?) makes me think it was for political reasons. Love the Django Unchained love. Really think Silver Linings Playbook is this year’s The Descendents… overrated; but this time it won’t win Best Film. I haven’t seen Beasts of the Southern Wild (not yet anyway) but seeing that it won top prize at Sundance 2012 (and represents my home state of Louisiana!), I think it’s probably well deserved. 

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
I really thought Affleck, who has so impressed me as a director much more than an actor, was a shoe-in. Benh Zeitlin was the long shot but favored choice for a nomination, and he probably clinched Affleck’s spot. I now think Spielberg will take this one home with Lee and Zeitlin great potentials. 

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables Joaquin Phoenix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight
imageI was so rooting for Cooper who made Silver Linings Playbook watchable and for me, his best performance to date. Loved that he gets love here. No big surprises here. Daniel Day-Lewis always transforms himself in all of his roles; this one was no different. I think he will win. Jackson was solidly good in Les Misérables. Phoenix and Washington are usual suspects. 

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
imageToday, history was made. This category touts the oldest nominee in history (Riva at 85) and the youngest (Wallis at 9, 6 when the movie was filmed). Jennifer Lawrence? Why? ::shaking head:: I only take comfort in knowing she won’t win. I really think they will give it to Q. I love the reaction photo of Q and director of Beasts after they got the news. 

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
The biggest snub, as many are aware, is the lack of Leo DiCaprio for his work in Django Unchained. I really think he unknowingly did something to the Academy that they won’t forgive him for, lol. He is probably the most critically-acclaimed actor that has just to win an Oscar. Apparently, the production company chose to campaign for Waltz over DiCaprio so that could explain it, also. Without DiCaprio, the playing field is leveled so it’s anyone’s game. I’m thinking Hoffman or Jones. 

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master Sally Field, Lincoln Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables Helen Hunt, The Sessions Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

imageAnne Hathaway. Do we even need to discuss this? 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo Beasts of the Southern Wild Life of Pi Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook

Best Original Screenplay
Amour Django Unchained Flight Moonrise Kingdom Zero Dark Thirty 
I really wanted to see Looper nominated here; I thought Rian Johnson had a pretty great shot with a movie I adored. Nice shoutout to Django Unchained (yes, there is actually clever banter between all the N-words that fly) and Zero Dark Thirty.

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour War Witch No A Royal Affair Kon-Tiki
I usually don’t watch foreign films that often so I haven’t seen any of these. Amour has been the big favorite, even getting the Best Film nomination so I think it’s safe to say it will win here. 

Best Animated Feature Film
Brave Frankenweenie ParaNorman The Pirates! Band of Misfits Wreck-It Ralph