As I said in my “Best Of” list a few weeks back, 2012 was an incredible year for film. And now that awards season is primed and ready to go with the announcement of the newest crop of Academy Award nominations, it's time to see what Hollywood thought of this landmark year as well. The following are a collection of the high profile nominations, as well as my predictions of who will win and who “deserves” win.
Nominees: “Brave,” “Frankenweenie,” “ParaNorman,” “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Who should win: “Wreck-It Ralph” isn't just the best animated movie of the year, it's one of the best movies of the year period. Incredible animation, terrific writing, a world I sorely want revisited. It's hard to top that.
Who will win: What a delightful crop of nominees. Even if I wasn't crazy in love with all of them, they're all solid movies and wonderful examples of animation. Also, how crazy is it that we have more stop-motion animated movies than CG animated? Pretty crazy. That said, I think “Ralph” walks home with this one.
Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: Michael Haneke, “Amour;” Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained;” John Gatins, “Flight;” Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom;” Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Who should win: I was almost certain that Rian Johnson would get at least a nod for his great “Looper” script, but alas. That said, I'm 100 percent fine with a win by either Tarantino or Anderson and Coppola.
Who will win: My money's on Boal for “Zero Dark Thirty.” It's an ambitious script that's also politically relevant and seems to have blown away a large portion of the critic community. The movie finally opens in Tyler this weekend.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Alan Arkin, “Argo;” Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook;” Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master;” Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln;” Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.”
Who should win: I've not seen either “Silver Linings Playbook” or “The Master,” which is frustrating as I've heard Hoffman and De Niro are excellent in both. That said, Jones would still be my pick for this. He's incredible in a film already overflowing with incredible performances. Waltz would be a delightful substitute, though.
Who will win: Jones. It's a strong performance in a safe, prestige picture. Hoffman might swoop in, but I think this is Jones' to lose.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Amy Adams, “The Master;” Sally Field, “Lincoln;” Anne Hathaway, “Les MisÚrables;” Helen Hunt, “The Sessions;” Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Who should win: It doesn't matter that I haven't seen a few of these films. I'm not sure I can wrap my brain around any other actress somehow doing a better job than Hathaway did in “Les Mis.” I didn't like the movie, but she was incredible. No one deserves it more.
Who will win: The Academy will agree with me. Bank on it.
Nominees: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook;” Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln;” Hugh Jackman, “Les MisÚrables;” Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master;” Denzel Washington, “Flight.”
Who should win: Denis Lavant for “Holy Motors.” No other performance this year was as layered, arresting or unique as what Lavant gave. A performance for the ages. Sadly, the Academy (expectedly) ignored “Holy Motors” completely. Also, Denzel? You're in Liam Neeson's spot. Neeson gave the performance of his career in “The Grey.”
Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis. It sounds a bit reductive calling a performance like Day-Lewis' Abraham Lincoln as “second best,” but that that's not my intention at all. It's an incredible performance, one that will be studied and praised for decades and deservedly so. Expect Day-Lewis to walk away with Oscar gold for a third time.
Nominees: Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty;” Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook;” Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour;” Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild;” Naomi Watts, “The Impossible.”
Who should win: Wallis gives what is unquestionably the best performance of this crop of actresses, but also of any movie in 2012. It's a captivating performance, made all the more impressive by the actress' age (she was only 6 years old at the time of filming) and lack of experience (this was her first acting job ever).
Who will win: Chastain stands a large chance of winning, as does Lawrence. Wallis could be the stealth upset, but I'd probably bet on Chastain.
Nominees: Michael Haneke, “Amour,” Behn Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild;” Ang Lee, “Life of Pi;” Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln;” David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Who should win: Behn Zeitlin gave us a film of such incredible warmth, energy and with “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a film that fills the spot of both my “favorite” and “best” of 2012. This incredible accomplishment deserves as much love and attention as can be thrown at it, and it's due to Zeitlin's remarkable vision and skills behind the camera. Not bad for a feature film debut.
Who will win: First off, I'm a little shocked that neither Quentin Taratino, Ben Affleck or Kathryn Bigelow were nominated for “Django Unchained,” “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” respectively, especially after Bigelow's historic win a couple years ago. Prognosticators more skilled and knowledgeable than I are predicting that the 11 overall nominations for “Life of Pi” make it a likely candidate to upset current favorites “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook” in both this category and “Best Picture.” It wouldn't surprise me if that happens. That said, I expect Spielberg's name to be inside the winning envelope. His work on “Lincoln” is that of a master and it would be a deserved win.
Nominees: “Amour,” “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les MisÚrables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Who should win: “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Again, if you haven't seen this, go rent it, buy it, download it off iTunes, Netflix it, whatever. Everyone needs to experience this incredible film. I'd also be A-OK with wins by “Lincoln,” “Argo” or “Django Unchained.”
Who will win: As long as it's not “Les MisÚrables” (and with Tom Hooper getting snubbed for “Best Director” it likely won't be) I'm perfectly happy with most of these winning. I hear incredibly mixed things on “Silver Linings Playbook” so maybe not that. Regardless, this is a strong list of nominees and I'm betting that “Lincoln” ends up winning big here and across the board.
A list of the remaining nominees is below.
Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; David Magee, “Life of Pi”; Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Production Design: “Anna Karenina,” ''The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,“ ''Les MisÚrables,” ''Life of Pi,“ ''Lincoln.”
Cinematography: “Anna Karenina,” ''Django Unchained,“ ''Life of Pi,” ''Lincoln,“ ''Skyfall.”
Sound Mixing: “Argo,” ''Les MisÚrables,“ ''Life of Pi,” ''Lincoln,“ ''Skyfall.”
Sound Editing: “Argo,” ''Django Unchained,“ ''Life of Pi,” ''Skyfall,“ ''Zero Dark Thirty.”
Original Score: “Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli; “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat; “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna; “Lincoln,” John Williams; “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman.
Original Song: “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” J. Ralph; “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,” Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane; “Pi's Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; “Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; “Suddenly” from “Les MisÚrables,” Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil.
Costume: “Anna Karenina,” ''Les MisÚrables,“ ''Lincoln,” ''Mirror Mirror,“ ''Snow White and the Huntsman.”
Documentary Feature: “5 Broken Cameras,” ''The Gatekeepers,“ ''How to Survive a Plague,” ''The Invisible War,“ ''Searching for Sugar Man.”
Documentary (short subject): “Inocente,” ''Kings Point,“ ''Mondays at Racine,” ''Open Heart,“ ''Redemption.”
Film Editing: “Argo,” ''Life of Pi,“ ''Lincoln,” ''Silver Linings Playbook,“ ''Zero Dark Thirty.”
Makeup and Hairstyling: “Hitchcock,” ''The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,“ ''Les MisÚrables.”
Animated Short Film: “Adam and Dog,” ''Fresh Guacamole,“ ''Head over Heels,” ''Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,'“ ”Paperman."
Live Action Short Film: “Asad,” ''Buzkashi Boys,“ ''Curfew,” ''Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),“ ''Henry.”
Visual Effects: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” ''Life of Pi,“ ''Marvel's The Avengers,” ''Prometheus,“ ''Snow White and the Huntsman.”