Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Oscars: Who Got Nominated?

Last night, I predicted who would be announced as Oscar nominees this morning. And as it is every year for me post-announcement, I'm always slightly off in my predictions, excited, and irritated, all at the same time.

So, here's what happened:

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Analysis: The Academy did go with nine nominees again this year. I went 8 for 9 in my predictions, with Moonrise Kingdom being thrown overboard for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Sigh. Just wasn't too wild about this movie.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Analysis: I went 4 for 5 here. I thought Denzel Washington was the most vulnerable nominee, but it turns out it was John Hawkes, whose superlative turn in The Sessions, in which he spent the entire movie flat on his back with his head contorted, was passed over. There's no denying Joaquin Phoenix was great in the odd The Master, though. (I'm also disappointed Richard Gere was overlooked for Arbitrage, but that was a pipe dream.)

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Analysis: Again, I went 4 for 5. It's exciting to have Wallis and Riva as bookend nominees in this category.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Analysis: It's becoming a broken record, but I went 4 for 5 here, too. This is one of the categories that disappointed me, because although I think everyone in this category is immensely deserving, I was hoping to see Javier Bardem recognized for Skyfall, Leonardo DiCaprio for Django (although Waltz had the showier role), and of course, Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike. But they went old school here—not counting today's nods, the nominees in this category have a collective 17 nominations and 6 wins.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Analysis: Again, 4 for 5 in this category, although I did say Jacki Weaver could surprise. Silver Linings Playbook is the only movie to have nominees in every major category—picture, actor, actress, supporting actor/actress, director, and adapted screenplay. Not bad. This is a good category and it should be a tough battle between Field and Hathaway, and I'm not sure how I feel about Maggie Smith being passed over for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel—disappointed or pleased they didn't go the Betty White route?

Best Director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Analysis: Perhaps you heard me yell, "Are you f--king kidding me?" when they read the nominees in this category. Seriously, folks? No Ben Affleck? No Kathryn Bigelow? (Tom Hooper missing out for Les Miserables is disappointing but not nearly as incensing or surprising.) I went 3 of 5 here, although I thought Russell (a 2010 nominee for The Fighter) had a shot. But I'm not nearly as passionate about Beasts of the Southern Wild as others—I found it way too dreamy, allegorical, and disjointed to merit the recognition it's getting.

And that's a wrap. Once we see Zero Dark Thirty and Amour within the next few weeks, I'll post my list of the best movies I saw in 2012, as well as what I rank as the best performances of the year.


  1. I never get as excited about Oscar noms/wins as you do. But I was pretty moved by Beasts of the Southern Wild. Although I had no stake in whether it got nominated for anything (and don't feel any kind of way that it did), I think I can explain what made it great (for at least one person):

  2. That was really good, Tim. I was moved by the movie, but I just didn't love it. As I said when I reviewed it last summer, sometimes I'm just a simple average moviegoer who doesn't love allegory. But I love that a small movie like this can do so well at the Oscars.

  3. When they announced the last nominee for Best Director (who the hell spells "Ben" with an "h"?!?!) I let out a huge sigh of relief which quickly turned into a scream of fury when "Ben with an 'h'"'s picture was on the screen!!!! Affleck got screwed!On the upside, he should now win Best Director at every other award ceremony this month which will make the Academy look like a bunch of morons.

  4. While I feel the Affleck directing slight as much as anyone, I continue to be more disappointed in the lack of love for Wes Anderson from the Academy. Wes has completely developed his own visual style and has a completely unique voice in contemporary filmmaking amd Moonrise Kingdom was a return to his best form (IMO, his best movie since Royal Tenenbaums). But, I suppose he's an aquired taste.

  5. James, I totally agree with you. Love love LOVED Moonrise Kingdom so much and really thought it would get a Best Picture nod. What I'm really interested in is the difference between the members of the Directors Guild of America and the members of the directors' branch of the Academy. The DGA tends to nominate the actor/directors--Ron Howard for Apollo 13, Penny Marshall for Awakenings, Rob Reiner for A Few Good Men, Ben Affleck--but then the Academy doesn't. And I guess the whole torture scandal re Zero Dark Thirty hurt Kathryn Bigelow, because that's the only way I can understand how she was left out.