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Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Oscar Nominations: Let Us Discuss

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

1295888764-scaled.oscars.jpeg

The 2013 Oscar nominations were announced today, and you can see the full list here. Of note:

*Best Picture: Having nine or ten or anything more than five nominees is still real weird. As for odds: Lincoln got the most noms and is thus "the one to beat," but the Best Picture/Best Director/Best Actor/Best Actress nominations earned by Silver Linings Playbook suggest it could rise up and assassinate Lincoln.

*Best Actress: The most interesting race of the year, featuring Jennifer Lawrence versus Jessica Chastain versus Naomi Watts versus that little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild versus that old lady from Amour. (My money's on Old Lady Amour.)

*Best Documentary: Such a good line-up. I don't care who wins (though a win for The Invisible War would give the film a boost of publicity that could lead to desperately needed changes in military protocol, while a win for Searching for Sugar Man would likely involve the appearance onstage of the actual Rodriguez and a win for How to Survive a Plague would make me scream with glee.)

The Academy Awards air on CBS on Feb. 24.

 

Comments (23) RSS

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reverend dr dj riz 1
that song from chasing ice.. yes.. scarlett johannson singing. a documentary no less. did anyone else hear that song ?.. did anyone else see that movie ?
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on January 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Paul Constant 2
This is the happiest I've been with Oscar nominations in years.

I am so excited about Beasts of the Southern
Wild
. But most of all, I'm happy that Tom Hooper and Ben Affleck didn't wind up with Best Director nominations. Hooper's direction on Les Misérables was the worst I've seen this year, and while Argo was a very good movie, Affleck is not a great director. The story and the acting is what made people care about Argo, and I'm glad the nominations reflect that.
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on January 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
3
Her name is Quvenzhané Wallis. I don't know how to pronounce it, but I'm tired of hearing a best actress nominee being referred to as "that little girl" -- KUOW reviewer did the same thing yesterday.
Posted by MsBoyer on January 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 4
I saw Django Unchained this weekend and was really kind of underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed it, because I enjoy what QT does, generally--but I don't think it was one of his best.

And The Master was way, way better as a film.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on January 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM · Report this
levide 5
That not just any old lady, that's Emmanuelle Fucking Riva!!
Posted by levide on January 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM · Report this
6
I would be so psyched to see a 7-year-old (at the time of shooting) with zero acting experience beat out the expected slate of professionals, regardless of how interesting (Emmanuelle Riva), charming (Jennifer Lawrence), or overwrought/scenery-chewing/Oscar-baiting (Jessica Chastain) the others may be.

As for the documentaries, Searching for Sugar Man will win, not because it's the best film of the bunch (it absolutely is not), but because the story it tells is so infectious.
Posted by d.p. on January 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM · Report this
7
Lincoln was easily one of the worst movies I saw last year. It was horrible. I was unaware everyone spoke in rousing monologues back then.

Posted by Just Say No To Lincoln on January 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Paul Constant 8
@4: I agree with you about Django. Especially coming so close after Inglourious Basterds, which I thought covered similar ground and did just about everything way better.
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on January 10, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
Best Picture should go to Silver Linings Playbook, but will probably go to Lincoln.

I enjoyed both. Great acting in both.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 10
@8 I think exactly the opposite. Inglorious Basterds was the dry run for Django Unchained, and Django did everything better. Where Inglorious had conversations that dragged on, Django kept them shorter and sweeter and definitely more fraught with real tension that I never felt with Basterds. Django felt like the movie that Tarantino has been trying to make since Kill Bill Vol 2, and he finally nailed it out of the ball park (no disrespect to KBv2). It's what I'm rooting for, despite knowing it will lose.

I can't wait to see Amour. Haneke is one of my squee directors, so I can't wait for it to finally hit the Egyptian.

However, I'm rooting against Silver Linings Playbook. God, what a piece of crowd pleasing indie Oscar bait bullshit that was. Reducing mental illness to a series of cute quirky traits by the second act and then love cured it by the third? Not to mention, the completely cliche climax at a dance competition. REALLY?! The acting was fine, but...it was a terrible movie. I really really hoped everything was just a figment of Cooper's imagination and everybody was fake and he was just some homeless guy on the street. And, I LOVE David O. Russell. But, this movie...STAB.

Lincoln I'm just rooting against because I'm completely biased against Spielberg. I won't even go see it. Booooo Spielberg.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
@10 you should see it (SLP). I went in thinking the same thing, but ...
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Paul Constant 12
@10: I get what you're saying with Django, but I feel the opposite. I thought Inglourious teased the viewers by hinting at an action movie out on the fringes of the movie the audience was watching and mostly denying them the pleasure of watching it.

And so many smart people seem to have missed the point of Silver Linings Playbook! It was a flip on the romantic comedy; we were watching everything unfold from Bradley Cooper's character's perspective, and he became more and more detached from reality as the movie went on. There's a reason why Russell closed Playbook with that indulgent candlelit cinematography and huge, swooping camera shot that bears no relation to anything else in the movie. It feels unrealistic because it's not realistic; it's a story told by an unreliable narrator. Which most romantic comedies are, but Russell shows us just enough of the strings behind the artificiality to let us know that he knows what he's doing.
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on January 10, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 13
@11 I did see SLP, because it was O. Russell. I really really wanted to like it. And, the first act was amazeballs. But, then it just fell apart.

@12 I don't buy the meta/post-modern explanations of SLP. I realize that we were watching everything from Cooper's perspective, but we weren't living in his head. It wasn't narrated, nor was it a piece of imagination. It did give off the feeling, from the beginning that none of the characters existed...which would have been a reveal that would have made me extremely happy and satisfied. But, maybe its the artificiality of the medium, as the film came to a close, it seemed that the characters actually existed and were exactly as the camera saw them. We weren't given a final relief that we get in something like Brazil, or even something less subtle where we see one final draw back of everything. It ends with such a stereotypical-of-indie films denouement (see Little Miss Sunshine) that it reinforced the idea that this is how it happened, and all out of the love of one woman, as opposed to being the delusional rantings of a madman. I also felt that the increasingly smooth camera and romantic cinematography were indicative of his mental health getting better as opposed to detached. More integrated in his surroundings than he had been before. I came away with the exact opposite interpretation of SLP than you did.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 14
Some years it's a struggle to come up with five nominees for best picture. Go look at the database. Some years are just laughable what gets nominated, but if you have nine or ten? You have to go lookin' for films to nominate. The only year that could have conceivably had 10 legitimate nominations was that wonderful year in film: 1939.

First time I've seen so many nominations for a Bond film - so that's cool.

Wonder if Scientologists had anything to do with the lack of writing or directing nominations for The Master. We all know what a weird lot they are, but they pretty much own Hollywood and have their vines and branches infused everywhere in the film industry.

I enjoyed the HBO doc Ethel very much and it made the shortlist. Sorry it didn't make the final five. 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers - both about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict - always seem to be a documentary subject nominated just about every year. It has displaced docs about the Holocaust. I shouldn't say that. I haven't seen either and I don't want to sell them short.
Posted by Bauhaus I on January 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 15
The thing that everyone seems to forget about Silver Linings Playbook, perhaps because of the amazing dance sequence and sappy spinning camera street scene, is that neither of them are particularly "cured" at the end and that the progress that Cooper's character makes isn't as much related to magic as much as finally being forced to acknowledge the dimensions of his illness and actually taking his medication.

That, or it's all a rewrite inspired by his reaction to the ending of A Farewell to Arms.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on January 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Paul Constant 16
@13: Damn you for your intelligent readings of films that don't perfectly align with my own! Can't you drop a few ad hominem attacks on me so I can go back to thinking that my own interpretation of a film is the only reasonable one?

@15: I do think that his reaction to A Farewell to Arms is the key to so much of SLP's climax. It's a big reason why I interpret it the way that I do. Although I know a lot of folks who, like TheMisanthrope, don't think there's enough evidence to support that reading of SLP.
Posted by Paul Constant http://https://twitter.com/paulconstant on January 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 17
@16 -- I guess I'm somewhere in between: I saw the Farewell to Arms part as David O. Russell letting the audience know what kind of film that they're in for, but don't see the rest of it as a delusion. Seeing Silver Linings Playbook a second time reminded me of the degree to which the ending was neither magical nor sugar-coated as it might have originally seemed.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on January 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
18
I am tired of Oscar nominations being pretty much comprised of movies that were released in the last couple of months. I think The Master would have gotten more noms if it had been released a month later.

And Cabin in the Woods was robbed for best screenplay and The Avengers for best movie. Yes I'm a bit biased (Whedon is god), but come on! I don't think I've seen a bigger emotional response from a crowd at a theater than when Hulk smashed Loki.

And I am torn between rooting for Brave or Paranorman. Both were so great.
Posted by sisyphusgal on January 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 19
@16 The problem is I actually LIKE your interpretation of the movie more, especially with regard to @15's A Farewell to Arms. It makes it a much more subversive and compelling movie about the medium. Perhaps even more so than what I wanted to happen where it would show Cooper telling his story as a homeless guy, or still in the Psych Ward. I really REALLY want to buy your interpretation. It makes it totally an Adaptation style exercise, without the obviousness. But, there isn't enough evidence to defend the movie as such, IMHO, with the most problematic scenes being his remembering the fight in a completely different filmic style and the chaotic camera when he loses his shit outside the theater.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 20
@Josh, I could never watch the movie a second time, I hated it that much. Normally David O Russell movies are multiple screenings, but this one just made me so mad. *clenches fists*

It seemed as if everything was solved in 5 minutes. The bet was won, the ex was dumped, the quirky pixie sprite girlfriend was scored, and then you got a panorama of the family as a functioning quirkily-dysfunctional whole. Plus, his rages and neuroses such as the garbage bag running thing stopped or significantly lessened shortly around the midway point (well before the cure-all climax). Maybe it was less saccharine than it seemed because I didn't want any false happy-go-lucky indie-movie-yay endings. But, I don't seem to be the only one having the knee jerk reaction of a diabetic to the hollow ending.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
21
The Academy Awards will be on ABC, not CBS.
And don't forget the Golden Globes are this Sunday, 5PM pacific on NBC.
Posted by egads on January 10, 2013 at 7:45 PM · Report this
22
Whatever one may think of Spielberg or the movie as a whole, DDL was amazing. They may as well award him first.
Posted by madcap on January 10, 2013 at 10:54 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 23
@Misanthrope I did like it the first time through and mainly went to see it as the compromise choice for family moviegoing time in a market without a huge number of choices -- having a running time significantly shorter than Lincoln especially recommended it for re-watching. What I found was that the saccharine ending made me falsely remember the whole thing as suddenly happy-go-lucky. Seeing it again also reminded me of things like how good the acting and camera movements were; so I'm happy to see all of its nominations even though I think it will mostly get steamrolled by Lincoln (when it should get crushed, instead, by Zero Dark Thirty, which is a real masterpiece).
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on January 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this

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