Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reactions to the 2013 Oscar Nominations!

Wow!  That's all I can say after the Oscar nominations this morning.  Lincoln has now jumped out as a clear frontrunner with the Academy, racking up 12 nominations, the most nominations that any film nominated for both Best Picture and Best Director has, which is a genuine sign of it being the one to possibly place your money on come February 24th.  Personally, with Steven Spielberg as my favorite filmmaker of all-time, I'm ecstatic to possibly see him win his third Best Director Oscar.  Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the heavyweights like Capra and John Ford won multiple times, and Spielberg is just as deserving as those heavyweights.  Of course, the big news is the strong showings for Silver Linings Playbook and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I honestly was not a fan of Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I highly respected the vision of director Benh Zeitlin, and felt that in all actuality, the script and the cinematography were what bogged it down, so to see recognition for Quvenzanhe Wallis for Best Actress was very welcome indeed.  Probably most surprising though, was to see first-time filmmaker Zeitlin nominated for Best Director.  While I didn't like the script, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion it was going to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and I thought that was where Zeitlin would get his one nomination, along with Lucy Alibar.  To see Zeitlin nominated, not just for his first film, but also for a film that only cost a little over a million dollars to produce, shows how much the Academy loves this small, Independent film that has been making waves since the Sundance Film Festival last January, further reinforcing why Sundance is such an important festival for Indies looking to get major recognition, both critically and financially.

Then, there's Silver Linings Playbook, which came out swinging, getting a nomination in all acting categories, followed by Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for David O. Russell, who was ignored by the Director's Guild, but finds just love here.  I honestly love this film and am so happy to see that the Audience Award winner from the Toronto International Film Festival not just get nominated, but also be the film looking to possibly spoil the whole thing by winning Best Picture.

Typically, if a film's screenplay is nominated, along with Best Picture, Best Director, and for an odd reason, though it has proven itself to be true almost every year in the past, Best Editing, then one of those films that racks up all four of those nominations will typically win Best Picture at the Oscars.  There were only three films to do just that:  Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings PlaybookLincoln and Silver Linings both have an edge by getting multiple acting nods on top of the four nominations mentioned above, but one cannot deny how well-liked Life of Pi is.  Considered an unfilmable novel and then turned into one of the more enjoyable family entertainments from the Holiday season, it's just an uplifting film, one that, while I found it occasionally slow-moving, I did really enjoy, and obviously, so did the Academy.  So I would definitely say, it's a three way race to the finish line for those films, just my two cents.

As for other big surprises, an amazingly strong showing for the foreign film, Amour, getting nods not just for Best Foreign Language Film, but also pulling a coo and getting nods for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.  This is a film that I have not seen yet, but really do want to see, if it will ever come out where I live.  What's real impressive though, is that this is a foreign language film breaking the barrier between English and another language, and to be honest, is just being considered another film alongside all of the American and British productions recognized.  This is uber-rare for this to happen, and it just shows how much love there is for this film.  Even if it doesn't win anything else, I would say that Best Foreign Language Film is a certainty for it.  Speaking of Foreign Language Film, anyone else shocked that the highest grossing French film of all-time, The Intouchables, was not even nominated?  The Academy loves to go sentimental with this category, but they omitted quite possibly the most sentimental film in the running.  Of course, the two biggest surprises were the snubs for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.

All I've heard the past month is how Argo and Zero Dark Thirty were the films to beat, and while they both had impressive hauls, both films missed out for Best Director, which puts their perceived Best Picture hopes in the gutter.  It could still happen for both films, but it is real rare for the Academy to give Best Picture to a film not even nominated for Best Director, and when I mean real rare, it's like less than a 5% chance.  Honestly, though, I am so happy with the nominations and how they've completely changed the story of this year's award's season.  I was afraid it was getting to the point that we were gonna see a sweep from Zero Dark Thirty, considering how so many pundits were going on-and-on about how this was the one to beat, and yet it failed to get Oscar traction where it needed it, dashing, I believe, its Best Picture hopes.  So why did these two films miss?

Well, the Academy loves films that are emotional, both of these films were more cerebral than emotional, plus it shows that the Academy still isn't behind Ben Affleck as a director, which is a total shame in my opinion, I mean, have they not seen Gone Baby Gone?  As well, it reinforces the sexism of the Academy by ignoring Kathryn Bigelow, the only female winner for Best Director ever, not even giving her a shot for a second Oscar.  Of course, another film that, perhaps not so surprisingly got a little bit of a cold shoulder, was Les Miserables.  While it did net Best Picture as well as Best Actor for Hugh Jackman and Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway, who will most likely win, no nod for Best Director for Tom Hooper.  There has been a lot of backlash in the industry to many of Hooper's stylistic choices he made with the film, and that is probably the reason he didn't get nominated like he did with the DGA.

So there you have it, award's season is in full swing, and I cannot be any more excited.  Tonight are the Critic's Choice Awards airing on the CW, of all places.  Expect Zero Dark Thirty to be the big winner there, if anything else wins with the critics, I would be shocked, and honestly, this may be this films only shot at bringing home major hardware this award's season.  Of final note, you can check out the full list of Oscar nominees here, and remember to check back here at the Review for predictions on all the major award's shows.

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