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Oscar Winner Predictions: The Impossibility of Reason

February 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Argo_oscar_winner_predictions

I’ve taken somewhat of a backseat to much of this year’s Oscars and how they’ve unfolded. Maybe I don’t have as much time on my hands anymore, or perhaps I’m getting a little bit lazy. However, there’s also the immutable fact that this is, without a doubt, the weirdest Oscars I’ve ever bore witness to. Pundits like myself have bitched and moaned for years about the Oscar race becoming a predictable formality. Now, we’ve had so many wrenches thrown into the works that all of the precedents, reason and logic have just gone clear out the window. 2012 is the ultimate crapshoot.

Perhaps it’s a good thing, overall. Because while this year’s awards season has spiraled into an enormous whirlwind of indecision and confusion, I believe we can all find a consensus in the overwhelming class and quality that was on display in filmmaking during the past year. I can’t have enough good things to say about 2012 and I believe it will go down as shining star in the chronology of cinematic history, up there with the likes of 2001, 1980, 1976, 1960 and, of course, 1939. I also believe that, in some way, the less focus on awards and accolades, we can foresee that it’s ultimately the movies that we’ll remember decades from now, while fiasco over the gold will simply be an afterthought.

lincoln_oscar_winner_predictions

Nevertheless, at it’s roots, this is an awards site and it’s time to get down to business. Bottom line, the award for Best Picture (and more than a few others) was completely thrown for a loop the morning that the nominations were announced, when two of the year’s biggest heavyweights were absent from the shortlist. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow being left in the cold was perhaps the strangest occurrence in this category since Ang Lee and Ron Howard failed to receive nominations for their respective work back in 1995 (“Apollo 13” and “Sense and Sensibility”). Yet, this may have overall worked in Affleck’s favor, for since that morning, every critic, actor, producer, director, grip, PA and their mother has seemed to fall head over heels for the film. At this point, it seems that enough voters will sway towards “Argo” for the Best Picture, out of sheer sympathy, more than anything else. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a fantastically entertaining and uplifting piece that pulls at Oscar’s heartstrings like a toddler on a hoop earring.

Meanwhile, there’s a flip-side to every equation. “Argo” may have taken every award since that fateful morning, yet that doesn’t change the fact that the snub still happened. Affleck missing out on Best Director makes a huge statement. It has to be more than just a fluke or the notion of the Academy leaning so heavily on what the guilds have done in the past. Plus, while one can compare the strangeness of this year’s circumstances to ’95, it’s important to be reminded how that year turned out, with neither Lee or Howard taking home the big prize at the end of the night. For now, I’ll go with the odds-on favorite, but can easily see the winds shifting. This weekend’s WGA will may be a largely determining factor.

Alas, my first round of winner predictions for the 85th Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE: “Argo”

alternate: “Lincoln”

Read more…

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2013 Golden Globe Predictions

January 13, 2013 Leave a comment

BEST PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: “Lincoln”
Alternate: “Argo”

BEST PICTURE – MUSICAL/COMEDY
Winner: “Les Miserables”
Alternate: “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Alternate: Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Winner: Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alternate: Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”

BEST ACTOR – MUSICAL/COMEDY
Winner: Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
Alternate: Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST ACTRESS – MUSICAL/COMEDY
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alternate: Maggie Smith – “Quartet”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”
Alternate: Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Winner: Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
Alternate: Sally Field – “Lincoln”

BEST DIRECTOR
Winner: Ben Affleck – “Argo”
Alternate: Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Winner: “Lincoln”
Alternate: “Argo”

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Winner: “Frankenweenie”
Alternate: “Wreck It Ralph”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Winner: “Amour”
Alternate: “The Intouchables”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Winner: “Life of Pi”
Alternate: “Lincoln”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Winner: “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
Alternate: “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables”

Final Predictions for the 85th Academy Awards

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

oscars_nominations_final_predictions

With the clock ticking, unfortunately, there’s not much time for discussion or justification. I’m just going to have to spit these out and see what happens in a matter of hours. Enjoy, and don’t forget to check back to see the results in the morning.

BEST PICTURE

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Silver Linings Playbook”
6. “Life of Pi”
7. “Moonrise Kingdom”
8. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
9. “Skyfall”
10. “Amour”

Alt 1: Django Unchained
Alt 2: “The Master”

(NOTE: Again, Best Picture could end up being anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees, so in this case, you can use the ideology of “if there are five…if there are six…etc”)

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
3. Ben Affleck – “Argo”
4. Ang Lee – “Life of Pi”
5. Tom Hooper” – “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: Michael Haneke – “Amour
Alt 2: Quentin Tarantino – “Django Unchained”

BEST LEADING ACTOR

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
2. Denzel Washington – “Flight”
3. Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
4. John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
5. Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”

Alt 1: Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: Richard Gere – “Arbitrage”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
2. Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
3. Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”
4. Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
5. Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

Alt 1: Quevenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Alt 2: Helen Mirren – “Hitchcock”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
3. Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. Alan Arkin – “Argo”
5. Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
Alt 2: Christoph Waltz” – “Django Unchained”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
2. Sally Field – “Lincoln”
3. Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
4. Amy Adams – “The Master”
5. Ann Dowd – “Compliance”

Alt 1: Nicole Kidman – “The Paperboy”
Alt 2: Judi Dench – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Argo”
3. “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
5. “Life of Pi”

Alt 1: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Alt 2: “The Sessions”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Moonrise Kingdom”
3. “The Master”
4. “Amour”
5. “Looper”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Middle of Nowhere”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. “The Gatekeepers”
2. “The Invisible War”
3. “Searching for Sugar Man”
4. “The House I Live In”
5. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”

Alt 1: “How to Survive a Plague”
Alt 2: “5 Broken Cameras”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. “Brave”
2. “Frankenweenie”
3. “Wreck It Ralph”
4. “Paranorman”
5. “Rise of the Guardians”

Alt 1: “The Painting”
Alt 2: “Zarafa”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. “Amour”
2. “The Intouchables”
3. “War Witch”
4. “A Royal Affair”
5. “No”

Alt 1: “Sister”
Alt 2: “Kon Tiki”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “Lincoln”
4. “The Master”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “Anna Karenina”

BEST EDITING

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Argo”
3. “Skyfall”
4. “Lincoln”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: “Life of Pi”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “The Master”
5. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “The Dark Knight Rises”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Les Miserables”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “Django Unchained”
5. “Mirror Mirror”

Alt 1: “A Royal Affair”
Alt 2: “Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “Zero Dark Thirty”
4. “The Avengers”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Lincoln”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

1. “Skyfall”
2. “The Dark Knight Rises”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Prometheus”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “John Carter”

BEST MAKEUP EFFECTS

1. “Lincoln”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Men in Black 3″
Alt 2: “Looper”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Anna Karenina”
5. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: “The Master”
Alt 2: “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. “Skyfall” – “Skyfall”
2. “Suddenly” – “Les Miserables”
3. “Learn Me Right” – “Brave”
4. “Still Alive” – “Paul Williams Still Alive”
5. “Ancora Qui” – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “From Here to the Moon and Back” – “Joyful Noise”
Alt 2: “Song of the Lonely Mountain” – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Updated 2013 Oscar Predictions – 12/29

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment

lincoln_oscar_predictions

It’s less than two weeks left until the big morning comes, but with everything that’s happened thus far, I thought it would be a good time to re-assess things. Obviously, “Zero Dark Thirty” has largely positioned itself at the head of the pack and Daniel Day Lewis is lined up for another coronation. However, many of the major categories still seem much more open then normal.

In the next two weeks, the guilds will really start to have their say. Throughout the last decade or so, these union groups nominations have very tight links to the eventual nominations. On the other hand, this year will be a unique one. For the first time, the DGA nominations won’t be announced until after Oscar ballots are due in. Therefore, this year, the DGA, which was always believed to have a large impact on not only Best Director, but the Best Picture category as well. Or perhaps this year will prove that theory wrong, in the event that we see the two organizations line-up without any connection proves that they really do think alike. We shall see.

Here’s my latest round of predictions for the 85th Academy Awards:

BEST PICTURE

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Silver Linings Playbook”
6. “Moonrise Kingdom”
7. “Life of Pi”
8. “Amour”
9. “The Master”
10. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: Django Unchained
Alt 2: “Skyfall”

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
3. Ben Affleck – “Argo”
4. Tom Hooper – “Les Miserables”
5. David O’Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Alt 1: Ang Lee – “Life of Pi”
Alt 2: Michael Haneke – “Amour”

BEST LEADING ACTOR

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
2. Denzel Washington – “Flight”
3. Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
4. John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
5. Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”

Alt 1: Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: Richard Gere – “Arbitrage”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
2. Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
3. Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”
4. Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
5. Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

Alt 1: Quevenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Alt 2: Rachel Weisz – “The Deep Blue Sea”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
3. Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. Alan Arkin – “Argo”
5. Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
Alt 2: Eddie Redmayne – “Les Miserables”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
2. Sally Field – “Lincoln”
3. Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
4. Amy Adams – “The Master”
5. Ann Dowd – “Compliance”

Alt 1: Nicole Kidman – “The Paperboy”
Alt 2: Judi Dench – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Argo”
3. “Silver Linings Playbook”
4. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
5. “Life of Pi”

Alt 1: “The Sessions”
Alt 2: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “The Master”
3. “Moonrise Kingdom”
4. “Amour”
5. “Looper”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Seven Psychopaths”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. “The Gatekeepers”
2. “The Invisible War”
3. “Searching for Sugar Man”
4. “The House I Live In”
5. “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”

Alt 1: “How to Survive a Plague”
Alt 2: “Bully”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. “Brave”
2. “Frankenweenie”
3. “Wreck It Ralph”
4. “Paranorman”
5. “Rise of the Guardians”

Alt 1: “The Painting”
Alt 2: “Zarafa”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. “Amour”
2. “The Intouchables”
3. “A Royal Affair”
4. “War Witch”
5. “Sister”

Alt 1: “No”
Alt 2: “Kon Tiki”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Master”
3. “Skyfall”
4. “Lincoln”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”

Alt 1: “Les Miserables”
Alt 2: “Django Unchained”

BEST EDITING

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “Argo”
3. “Lincoln”
4. “Skyfall”
5. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alt 2: “LIfe of Pi”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “The Master”
5. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. “Lincoln”
2. “Les Miserables”
3. “Anna Karenina”
4. “Mirror Mirror”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “A Royal Affair”
Alt 2: “Snow White and the Huntsman”

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. “Les Miserables”
2. “Skyfall”
3. “The Dark Knight Rises”
4. “The Avengers”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Life of Pi”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

1. “Skyfall”
2. “The Dark Knight Rises”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Les Miserables”
5. “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Alt 2: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “The Avengers”
4. “Prometheus”
5. “The Dark Knight Rises”

Alt 1: “Cloud Atlas”
Alt 2: “John Carter”

BEST MAKEUP EFFECTS

1. “Lincoln”
2. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
3. “Les Miserables”

Alt 1: “Looper”
Alt 2: “Men in Black 3”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. “Life of Pi”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Argo”
4. “Anna Karenina”
5. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Alt 1: “The Master”
Alt 2: “Skyfall”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. “Skyfall” – “Skyfall”
2. “Suddenly” – “Les Miserables”
3. “Learn Me Right” – “Brave”
4. “Still Alive” – “Paul Williams Still Alive”
5. “Ancora Qui” – “Django Unchained”

Alt 1: “From Here to the Moon and Back” – “Joyful Noise”
Alt 2: “Still Dream” – “Rise of the Guardians”

 

NOMINATIONS TALLY

12 – “Lincoln”
11 – “Les Miserables”
7 – “The Master”
7 – “Zero Dark Thirty”
6 – “Argo”
5 – “Life of Pi”
5 – “Silver Linings Playbook”
5 – “Skyfall”
4 – “Amour”
4 – “Django Unchained”
3 – “Anna Karenina”
3 – “The Avengers”
3 – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
3 – “The Dark Knight Rises”
3 – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
2 – “Brave”
2 – “Moonrise Kingdom”
2 – “The Sessions”

Boston and New York Online Close Out the Sweep

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

emmanuelle_riva_nyfco

While the LAFCA has helped spread the wealth in California, Boston and the rest of New York have continued their enduring love for “Zero Dark Thirty.” On behalf of all those on the outside looking in on this supposed gem, I must say that it has a lot to live up to at this point.

One thing that today has definitely told us is that Best Actress is going to me closer and any of us could have imagined. A month ago, people proclaimed it was signed, sealed and delivered for Jennifer Lawrence. Despite pulling out a tie on the west coast, she hasn’t been much of a factor on the critical front. Jessica Chastain has had much of the buzz, and today, Emmanuelle Riva pretty much ran the table for her work in Michael Hanecke’s “Amour” Previously, I wasn’t sure if the aging actress would have enough support to even gain a nomination, but as of this point, there’s certainly no question. If it wasn’t for the tendency of the male side of the Academy to vote from below the waste, she might have had a decent shot at winning.

christoph_waltz_bsfc

A very surprising development that has continued today has been Christoph Waltz gaining momentum for his supporting role for “Django Unchained.” While DiCaprio’s performance is certainly the showier one that will generate much more support in the Academy, this certainly isn’t the course that many expected this category to take.

Now while I must applaud the originality and diversity of some of Boston’s choices, some of them, I’m not sure to take this “Perks of Being a Wallflower” love with a grain of salt. The film has an outside shot at a Best Adapted Screenplay nod. However, many of these young actors just haven’t paid their dues yet in the Academy’s eyes. Emma Watson has a lot of room to grow before she escapes from the “Harry Potter” shadow.

Here’s the full list of winners from both parties:

BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS

BEST PICTURE: “Zero Dark Thirty”
runner-up: “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Amour”

BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”
runner-up: Paul Thomas Anderson – “The Master”

BEST LEADING ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
runner-up: Denis Lavant – “Holy Motors”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
runner-up: Deanie Yip – “A Simple Life”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ezra Miller – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
runner-up: Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sally Field – “Lincoln”
runner-up: Emma Watson – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST: “Seven Psychopaths”
runner-up: “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST SCREENPLAY: “Lincoln”
runner-up: “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST BREAKTHROUGH FILMMAKER: David France – “How to Survive a Plague”
runner-up: Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Frankenweenie”
runner-up: “ParaNorman”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: “How to Survive a Plague”
runner-up: “The Queen of Versailles”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “The Master”
runner-up: “Life of Pi” and “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST EDITING: “Zero Dark Thirty”
runner-up: “Argo”

BEST USE OF MUSIC: “Moonrise Kingdom”
runner-up: “Django Unchained”

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE

BEST PICTURE: “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”

BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”

BEST SCREENPLAY: “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Quvenzhane Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR: Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Amour”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: “The Central Park Five”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Life of Pi”

2012 New York Film Critics Circle Awards

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment

zero_dark_thirty_nyfcc

Well, we’ve officially had our first shake-up of the season. While many of the main contenders remain at the top of the field without having to take a mention, several have confirmed their frontrunner status through victory. Moreover, one film that has largely been a mystery this awards season has instantly positioned itself as possibly the film to beat.

I am, of course, speaking of Karthryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” The highly anticipated expose on the search for Osama Bin Laden had a big night at the first official critics awards of the year. With the first reviews coming in from early screenings (a not-too-shabby Metacritic score of 97 after 8 reviews), this may end up being not so much of a surprise. Whether this will turn out becoming the year’s proverbial critical darling is yet to be seen. Personally, I’m hoping for a bit more diversity in opinion coming from this year’s critics awards rather than the usual polarization. Yet, if Bigelow’s film is a as good as it appears, you can’t argue with who knows best.

Here’s the full list of winners:

BEST PICTURE: “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day Lewis – “Lincoln”

BEST ACTRESS: Rachel Weisz – “The Deep Blue Sea”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike” and “Bernie”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sally Field – “Lincoln”

BEST SCREENPLAY: Tony Kushner – “Lincoln”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Greg Fraser – “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Michael Hanecke – “Amour”

BEST FIRST FILM: David France – “How to Survive a Plague”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon – “Central Park Five”

BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Frankenweenie”

Now to cite “Zero Dark Thirty” as the only big winner yesterday would be a mistake. Steven Spielberg’s epic biopic “Lincoln” also snagged three awards, including two for acting, confirming the idea, shared by myself, that it truly has one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory. Meanwhile, Rachel Weisz has skyrocketed herself back into contention for a film that has been largely forgotten about. And while some people may still refuse to accept it, Matthew McConaughey has now become a legitimate candidate for an Oscar nomination. Who would have thought, though credit must be paid to the stellar year his career has had.

matthew_mcconaughey_nyfcc

Village Voice critic J. Hoberman gave some insight as to how some of the voting went down. Apparently, the female acting awards were incredibly tight. The decided winners barely beat out frontrunners Jennifer Lawrence from “Silver Linings Playbook” and Anne Hathaway from “Les Miserables” in their respective categories. Tommy Lee Jones’ performance in “Lincoln” came in a very close second for Supporting Actor. Though, as one would expect, Daniel Day Lewis met little resistance in his victory.

Without a doubt, the film that had the worst night was Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest work of genius, “The Master.” With very little box office support and a topic that’s not much of a crowd-pleaser, this film is definitely dependent on its critical success to attempt to revive itself. Despite showing up in late ballots for Picture, Director, Actor (Phoenix) and Cinematography, its failure to claim a single honor is not a good sign. It still has a chance for redemption with the Los Angeles Critics or NYFCO this weekend, but it’s chances of winning any major awards are fading fast.

the_master_nyfcc

Some pundits are already claiming the race down to “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln,” but I am nowhere near sold. Tomorrow brings about the National Board of Review which might just change the landscape all over again. Plus, the potential success that “Argo” and “Les Miserables” will find once guild nominations start rolling out may make all the difference in the world. No doubt about it, though, things are certainly getting interesting.

2013 Oscar Predictions: “Just when I thought I was out…”

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“…they pull me back in.”  That’s right folks. It has now been nearly nine months since my last official post on The Edge of the Frame and I am severely out of practice. The close of last year’s Oscar season ironically coincided with my being hired into full time employment. Spending nine hours a day composing upwards of seventy-five emails and compiling online data have made coming home and getting behind a computer screen a not-so-welcoming scenario. A couple of hours of  “The X-Files” on Netflix or “The Sopranos” on DVD have become a much more viable way to close out an evening. All of this partnered with a summer of fantasy baseball and my engagement to the woman I love have left comparably little time for my beloved little website.

However, as it turns out, old habits die hard. I’ve been watching the Oscars religiously for fifteen years and been dipping my toe into prognostication for the last seven. There’s no way I can sit this one out. There’s a lot of work to be done. Working full time has more or less hindered my rate of viewing new releases. I’ve got a schedule of about 36 films to see, both on Netflix and in theaters, over the next three months. However, with the first of the critics’ awards just around the corner, things are about to get very busy. Even before everything is seen and done, it’s about time that I offer a bit of perspective on how this year’s race is going to play out.

Some of the year’s biggest contenders have retained their position at the head of the race (“Les Miserables,” “Lincoln,”), practically since they were originally announced. Others have taken a hefty fall from grace (“The Master,” “The Dark Knight Rises”). A few projects have sprung up from out of the blue to become bonafide Best Picture threats (“The Silver Linings Playbook,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,”), while a couple that have barely been seen at all remain a mystery to many (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Django Unchained”).

However, it’s never too early (or too late, in my case) to start putting the pieces together and assembling a picture of how the board will look almost exactly three months to the date. Listed below are my predictions for the 85th Annual Academy Award nominations. They’re ranked by the chances of each film (or individual) getting nominated. Winning does not come into play here. As complicated as it is, sometimes a person could have a lot easier a path getting nominated for an Oscar, then they ever would of winning. Ask Peter O’Toole if you need more info…

Enjoy, and remember that this whole chalkboard might be completely erased and scribbled down again, a month from now:

BEST PICTURE

1. “Argo”
2. “Lincoln”
3. “Les Miserables”
4. “Silver Linings Playbook”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”
6. “The Master”
7. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
8. “Moonrise Kingdom”
9. “Life of Pi”
10. “The Sessions”

Alt 1: “Django Unchained”
Alt 2: “Amour”
Alt 3: “Flight”

Read more…