Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar nominations: Lincoln 12, Life of Pi 11

Photo credit: Robyn Beck/Agence France Presse - Getty Images
It's always a big day in my house when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announces its Academy Award nominees.(link)  It's rare that the nomination announcement doesn't come with some surprises that leave us shaking our heads. Today was no exception. 
Lincoln led the nominations (12) Life of Pi coming in a close 2nd with 11 but I think Silver Linings Playbook with 7 nominations - including all four acting roles - may just beat out the stunning historical drama.  As much as I love it, I'm realistic and doubtful that Les Miz will get it due to the controversy surrounding the singing.
Nine films earned nominations for Best Picture; Lincoln, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild,  Amour, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo and my beloved Les Miserables. The academy voters are allowed to select between 5 and 10 films - it's odd that there wasn't enough support for The Master to earn the controversial 'Scientology' film a nomination at least.  Paul Thomas Anderson fans who feel this movie is his masterpiece will be crying foul. While I love Les Miz best, Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln are also at the top of my list. 


But it's the nominees for Best Director that had us screaming. As there can only be five nominations in any category besides best picture, some of the directors of the best picture noms are necessarily going to be left out. The nominees are... Steven Speilberg for Lincoln, Michael Haneke for Amour, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, David O Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. Check check check! But what the hell happened to Tom Hooper (top, left) for Les Miserables, (I know he won't win but a nomination is in order, n'cest pas?) Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, Ben Affleck for Argo and Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty ? These are four of the hottest, most talked about films of the year. Ignoring their directors - especially when one of them is the only female nominated - is nothing short of bizarre. Unless you remember the academy is made up of a bunch of mostly old and  clearly myopic men.   



The Best Adapted Screenplay category was pretty straightforward, Silver Linings Playbook has my meaningless but heartfelt vote:
Life of Pi by David Magee, Silver Linings Playbook by David O. Russell, Lincoln by Tony Kushner, Beasts of the Southern Wild by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin and Argo by Chris Terrio.

There was some chatter that Steven Chbosky could get nominated for his work on his own book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but that was not to be. The Hobbit was left out too. In fact The Hobbit seems to have been wildly ignored except in the expected Hair & Make-up, Production Design, and Visual Effects categories. I'm sure director Peter Jackson is frowning all the way to the bank.

For the full list of nominees in all categories visit the Academy's site. You'll find trailers for each of the nominees, additional photos as well as an online Oscar ballot tied into Facebook. There will be lots to chat about before the awards show airs on February 24th; hopefully time for you to see some of these films.  Any gut reactions?

3 comments:

  1. I wondered what you would think of these nominations. I heard some critics saying Life of Pi should not be there for Best Picture. What do you think?

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  2. I wonder what their criteria was and what film should get its spot. The Master? The Impossible? I thought Pi was gorgeous to look at and highly entertaining. The use of 3D was flawless - the best the art has seen imho. If there were still just five films nominated I'm not sure if it would make my cut but at 10, it's definitely in that number. I find Amour being in that top group the most interesting. Such a difficult subject matter, I found it claustrophobic and unmoving. Zero Dark Thirty which will probably win left me cold and despite the 'running from the theatre screaming' stories, Les Miz is still my alltime favorite (followed by Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln)so what do I know!

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    Replies
    1. I just watched Amour again - we have a screener here at home. I take back part of what I said - it's still claustrophic feeling for me - so incredibly intimate - but I was moved this time around.

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