Thursday, January 10

Glomming the Noms

Well, finally gun control, Congressional shenanigans, immigration issues, climate change dramas, the Supreme Court taking on gay togetherness and the war in Afghanistan have been put on the back burner so we can get to something monumentally unimportant... the Oscar nominations.  What is important is that it has given me a reason to write a new post.  I both love and hate the Oscars.  When they do the right thing and honor films and folks who are truly deserving, my panties get all bunched up with excitement.  When they honor junk or don't nominate the worthy or nominate something or someone to make some point that has nothing to do with movies, they annoy the hell out of me.  Let's look over some of this year's nominations.

Best Picture
Lincoln is the film to beat and few will.  It is up for the most nominations... 12... and utterly deserving... a triumph of film-making.  I have seen all but three of the nominated films.   I missed Beasts of the Southern Wild and am sorry I did.  I will be seeing Zero Dark Thirty tomorrow.  I have not seen Amour and am not likely to.  I truly do not understand how it can be nominated in this category and also for best foreign language (it's likely win).  This is one of those peculiarities the Oscar folks need to straighten out.  They also need to get back to five nominees for best picture.  Nine this year... how absolutely silly.  We might as well note that movies are a director's medium.  How can a film be nominated and not the director?  How do those voters think that film got to be worthy of a nomination if not for the director?  Therefore, Django Unchained, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Les Misérables are not likely to win best picture since their directors weren't nominated.

Best Director
I am not surprised that Quentin Tarantino failed to get nominated for Django Unchained.  Hollywood has a love-hate thing for him and his films no doubt unsettle the local gentry.  It is surprising that Kathryn Bigelow was not tagged for Zero Dark Thirty but maybe they think winning for The Hurt Locker is enough for now.  There has been so much chatter about Ben Affleck for Argo that I am really surprised about his omission although I personally think the film is over-hyped.  And to think these three were shut out so that Benh Zeitlin (who?) and Michael Haneke (who?) could be included for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour, respectively.  Go figure.  You Oscar folks just slay me.  And previous Oscar winner, Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, 2010) was ignored for Les Misérables, but regular readers know how I feel about that.

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis will be walking on that stage and collecting his third best actor Oscar.  The others can stay home.  It is the world's best actor at the top of his game, that's all.  I did, however, think Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper were super in their respective films.  I am very surprised that John Hawkes was not nominated for his role as a man in an iron lung looking for a sexual encounter in Sessions.  He has been highly-touted for his performance.  I also loved Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe.  There was talk of Bill Murray getting a tap for Hyde Park on Hudson (and he was quite good) but nooooo.

Best Actress
Here is a category to watch... not so predictable as some others.  The two surprises are also worthy of new trivia.  Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) is the oldest actress (85) ever nominated in this category and Quvenzhané Wallis is the youngest nine and she was six when she made the Beasts of the Southern Wild.  I think Naomi Watts is going to have to be happy with the nomination.  Again, I have not yet seen Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty although I have seen nearly everything she's ever done and she is a very talented young actress.  My money is on Riva (she has won other awards for her film) or Jennifer Lawrence whom I have already gushed over in my review of Silver Linings Playbook... that is, if the Academy voters haven't caught her interview where she says she thinks acting is stupid.  Two former best actresses, wonderful actresses, were aced out of the noms to my surprise... Helen Mirren for Hitchcock and Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone

Best Supporting Actor
There will be some drama attached to this award (the Academy loves drama and you probably do too) because the five men here have all won before... most in this category.  Alan Arkin was a breath of comedic fresh air in Argo, but hardly deserving of a nomination.  All the actors in The Master were masterful and Philip Seymour Hoffman is always someone to be reckoned with.  Robert DeNiro could have phoned in his part in Silver Linings Playbook he has done this so often in recent years.  It is beyond me why there is so much chatter over his acting in this film.  Zzzzzz.  Tommy Lee Jones would have been my pick for Lincoln, that is, before I saw Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained.  He was dazzling.  He always is.  I do find it unthinkable that Samuel L. Jackson was not nominated for the same film.  I think Eddie Redmayne should have gotten some mention for Les Misérables.  I am also a bit surprised that Javier Bardem didn't get a nod for Skyfall, but then how many acting nominations have you ever seen from a James Bond film?

Best Supporting Actress
If I can say that about Bardem, I would double it for Judi Dench for the same film.  I thought she gave her all in her final turn as M and when one considers she has Macular Degeneration, she should get two Oscars.  I think this race is down to two actresses whose first names start with A.  The first is Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables.  She doesn't deserve it.  Hey, I may like Hathaway more than you do but one song and a bad haircut and a dirty face does not an Oscar make.  But I hear the drums and see the smoke signals and they spell out H-A-T-H-A-W-A-Y.  I think Amy Adams should win for her astonishing work in The Master.  She is a magnificent young actress and Honey, she wus robbed a few years ago for The Fighter.

Something happened this year that will go into the Oscar trivia ranks.  An actor for each of the four acting categories is up from Silver Linings Playbook... leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and in supporting roles Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver.  That hasn't happened since Reds in 1981.

I will suggest Lincoln wins the adapted screenplay award and original screenplay will go to Amour.

Life of Pi
I am glad that this enchanting film got some mention in the nine categories it did.  Good.  It is not likely to win in the major ones in which it is included, but it did have the loveliest musical score and was breath-takingly filmed.  It is nominated in both of those categories and I will be rooting for it.

February 24
When it's all settled.  If you're not hosting or attending some party, then get in your jammies, fix some comfort food and let's ogle some movie stars.  Who are you wearing?  What are you smoking?

Review of Zero Dark Thirty


  1. Ok, Uncle Bob, I will probably only get to see ONE Oscar film before the telecast on February 24 (maybe two if we're lucky). Such a bummer. Definitely not as fun to watch the show these days when you don't have an opinion (or maybe it's a blessing? ;o). #1 on our list is LINCOLN and I presume you would agree that is the one to watch, no? I have to assume even here in little Eugene it will stay in theaters now that the noms are out. If we get to see a second, if it stays in theaters out here, I suppose we would choose Silver Linings Playbook given the acting, directing, and writing accolades. I presume you'll be tuning in to the GGs this weekend? :)

  2. Save the date...calendar is marked.