2013 Oscar Predictions (well, most of them)
I’ve separated this list into two categories. The first is what I think will win, and the second is what I would choose. I’m doing this to be politically correct, and fair. Unfortunately, I didn’t see absolutely EVERYTHING, so I may be abstaining in some votes in my personal choices depending.
Without further ado…
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The Avengers (Prediction), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Personal)
BEST SOUND EDITING: Zero Dark Thirty (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST SOUND MIXING: Skyfall (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Skyfall (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Lincoln (Prediction), Skyfall (Personal)
BEST MAKEUP: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Lincoln (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Life of Pi (Prediction), Abstain
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Life of Pi (Prediction), Skyfall (Personal)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour (Prediction), Abstain
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Lincoln (Prediction), Abstain
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Django Unchained (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables (Prediction), Abstain
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (Prediction), Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained (Personal)
BEST ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour (Prediction), Abstain
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis (Prediction)(Personal)
BEST DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (Prediction), Abstain
BEST PICTURE: Lincoln (Prediction), Django Unchained (Personal)
You will probably notice I left out a few, namely the animated features. I want to be absolutely fair in my assessment, as I saw none this past year. I love animation, but I don’t really see those films in the theater anymore. Maybe I will more when I’m older and have kids.
You may also notice that some of my abstains are quite major in my personal predictions. As I stated, I have NOT seen everything. My predictions are based off the analysis that I have done so far based on the films. I feel that this is justified, as the Oscar race is as much political as it has to do with quality (which is unfortunate). Normally, I do not come out with a list before the Golden Globes, as I usually use that as a lighting rod going forward, but I have decided to make an exception this time because I have NOT seen a lot of the films.
I hope you enjoyed this list. I had fun writing it.
Thoughts: Django Unchained
I have so much to say about this movie, and only so much I can say without giving away anything, but I’ll do my best.
Django Unchained may not only be one of the best movies of 2012, but one that, literally and figuratively, sparks the dynamite. The subject matter is not for the faint of heart, dealing with slavery, which is rarely seen in a realistic and horrifying context, which is part of what gives the film its power. Granted, as with any good western, blood is flying everywhere, but the atrocities are kept enough at arm’s length that it makes you painfully aware of the plight of what African-Americans suffered at the hands of Whites.
This is the interesting part; Django Unchained is NOT entirely a western. It’s actually closer to a blaxploitation film overall, which had been the influence of some of Tarantino’s earlier work. It definitely feels like a Spaghetti Western, but it really isn’t. It’s a very fine line that Tarantino rides, and it’s amazing that he’s able to make almost 3 hours slip by.
That is not only a testament to his writing, but the acting is overall, is some of the best in any film ever made. Not one people feels underutilized, or developed. Their personalities may be larger than life, but the subversive, incredibly intelligent dialogue (some of Tarantino’s bravest and finest to date) keeps your attention every time someone says a single word. I would like to particularly give kudos to Leonardo DiCaprio, who gives his best performance ever as the manipulative slaver Calvin Candie. Considering the other nominees this year, Leo has the Supporting Actor Oscar in the bag. He’s really that good, as are most Tarantino villains.
The only major problem I have with the film comes at the end of the second act, but it’s a story problem. It only lasts about 10-15 minutes, and it doesn’t hurt the film overall, it just slows it down a little bit when it shouldn’t. It also features a cameo by the great director himself.
When all is said and done, should you see Django Unchained? Well, if you like movies, and you don’t mind being reminded of America’s dark past, of course. Is it violent? You bet! Is it fun? Very! So what are you doing? Go see it!
P.S. Fritz is awesome.
The Avengers was Fucking AWESOME!!
Go see that shit, for real.
Via your resident Movie Geek aka yours truly.
Thoughts: The Artist
I don’t normally post about really good movies I see(save for my twitter reviews), but I’ve been known to go into more detail about films of recent times that I TRULY love. Drive was the last one. Now, The Artist.
There are a lot of great things I could say about The Artist, but the main thing is this: Take the chance.
I am more than aware that most people have the attention spans of small animals, and the general consensus is that a silent film would be boring. I’m here to tell you that is not the case.
As a fan of silent film, I understand how important a visual is more than almost anything. Sometimes, it’s better to let the image speak for itself rather than have an excess amount of dialogue. Have you ever noticed how quiet it gets in most films in the quiet before the storm? Having no sound opens all kinds of doors, because it allows the audience to take in the visual, which adds quality to the emotion. Here’s another thing; have you ever noticed how sometimes saying nothing and showing emotion has more of an effect than if you said it to them? The face hides no lies, and it tells more tales than one could care to tell.
That is the true strength of The Artist: The Acting. Jean Dujardin gives one of the single best screen performances I have ever seen. He (technically) doesn’t say a single word in the film, but his emotion is all too powerful. Berenice Bejo also gives a great turn as the loveable Peppy Miller, but is not in it as often as the trailers would have you believe. It’s Dujardin’s show here, and he nails it.
The other thing I love: Adding modern themes into a film that takes place almost 100 years ago. It makes it that much more understandable, and true to focus on some delicate issues. It has a high level of complexity, despite not having nearly a single spoken word.
The Cinematography is outstanding, totally nailing that Old Hollywood silent era, while adding in modern techniques and High Definition. Black & White is a great tactic in conveying the narrative, but also the nature of the time period. The score is phenomenal, and does what every good score should do; build drama and narrative to the image. Most people remember a soundtrack because it was GOOD, not because they half-assed it.
Honestly? It’s really hard to say The Artist is some kind of achievement. Silent Films have been made before, Black & White is nothing new… But you wouldn’t be doing the film any justice just by assuming that.
What it does, it does so well, it’s hard to point out a single flaw with the film. And coming from me, that in itself is an achievement.
SEE IT. LOVE IT.
Drive: Film Review
Normally, I’m not one to go into too much detail about how I enjoyed a film, but Drive is a special case for me. Not only can I not describe it in words, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s definitely the best movie I’ve seen all year, and one of the best in the past couple of years.
The film is paced much like a Summer Blockbuster, but with a feeling of also Kurosawa-esque slow shots as Nicholas Winding Refn takes his time and ratchets up the intensity tenfold. The Synth-Pop Soundtrack adds almost an 80’s style sensibility, but never takes you out of the action and perfectly fits the mood of each sequence.
It is a brutally violent film, in some cases it shocks you because you don’t know what’s going to happen next, much like a Tarantino film. It is overall very quiet, and the narrative story-telling is mostly told in Ryan Gosling’s reactions throughout the film. The acting is superb, without a single hitch in any performance by the actors. Incredible, in your face cinematography provides a sense of gruesome pleasure in all the small moments and is quick to remind you that you are just along for the ride.
I can’t say enough about this modern masterpiece. An American setting with European sensibilities make this one of the most unique and compelling movies possibly ever made.
If you love film, or even have an inkling to see the film, you will find something to love about Drive.
"I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille!"
"The Deal" is done.
It has been shot, it will get cut, and it will go online in the coming weeks. I am now officially a director, if even in the smallest of capacities. I am humbled by the experience. I enjoyed it, and I shook all of the hands of my collaborators, and my friends.
It was not easy given that we had an hour to shoot it, but I gave it my best shot. The teacher told me I have the potential to be a great filmmaker one day. I am calm and cool, but also know what I want. I had to make changes, condense, and ultimately move it along, but in the end, the finished product will tell the tale.
I don’t know if it’s any good, nor do I expect it to be, but that fact remains: I directed and wrote a short film.
I pat myself on the back.