Monday, February 25, 2013

The JWD Awards - the Winners

Best Film:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Cloud Atlas
Django Unchained
Killing Them Softly
Liberal Arts
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Popcorn Film/Genre flick
The Avengers
Cabin in the Woods
Frank and Robot
The Hunger Games
Pitch Perfect
Seven Psychopaths

Best Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Rachel Weisz - The Deep Blue Sea
Quvenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Emma Watson - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Hani Furstenberg - The Loneliest Planet
Fenessa Pineda - Mosquita y Mari
Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty

Notable omissions: Melanie Lynskey - Hello I Must Be Going, Mary Elizabeth Winstead - Smashed,  Emayatzy Corinealdi - Middle of Nowhere, Linda Cardellini - Return

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Anne Hathaway - Les Mis
Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
Samantha Barks - Les Mis
Emily Blunt - Looper
Brit Marling - Sound of My Voice

Notable omissions: Carmen Ejogo - Sparkle,  Amy Adams - The Master, Ann Dowd - Compliance, Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy

Best Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
John Hawkes - The Sessions
Logan Lerman - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Frank Langella - Robot + Frank
Brad Pitt - Killing Them Softly

Notable omissions: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena - End of Watch, Joaquin Phoenix - The Master, Denis Lavant - Holy Motors

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
Ezra Miller - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Dwight Henry - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Robert DeNiro - Silver Linings Playbook
Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained
John Goodman - Argo
Sam Rockwell - Seven Psychopaths

Notable omissions: David Oyelowo - Middle of Nowhere, Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master,

Best Ensemble:
Moonrise Kingdom
Seven Psychopaths
Silver Linings Playbook
Safety Not Guaranteed

Notable omissions: Your Sister's Sister, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Starlet, Bernie

Best Director:
Ben Affleck - Argo
Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
Andrea Arnold - Wuthering Heights
Rian Johnson - Looper

Notable omissions: Michael Haneke - Amour, Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master

Best Cinematography:
Wuthering Heights
Cloud Atlas
The Loneliest Planet
Valley of Saints
Moonrise Kingdom
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Hmmm.... Wuthering Heights and Loneliest Planet have the benefit of long shots of gorgeous landscapes. Cloud Atlas gets six different eras and styles to play with and comes in a very close second. But, the first thing I said after Skyfall was that it was the most beautiful Bond film ever. So Skyfall's moors gets it over Wuthering Heights'.

Notable omissions: Anna Karenina, Samsara, On the Road, End of Watch, The Master, Here

Best Screenplay (original/adapted):
Django Unchained (original)
Moonrise Kingdom (original)
Seven Psychopaths (original)
Looper (original)
Cabin in the Woods (original)

Lincoln (adapted)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (adapted)
Argo (adapted)
Silver Linings Playbook (adapted)
Cloud Atlas (adapted)
Killing Them Softly (adapted)

Notable omissions: The Master

Best Visual Effects:
Cloud Atlas
The Hobbit
The Avengers
John Carter

Notable omissions: Snow White and the Huntsman, Life of Pi

Best Costumes:
The Queen
The Queen
King Schultz

Notable omissions: Farewell My Queen

Best Makeup:
Cloud Atlas
The Hobbit

Best Art/Production Design:
Moonrise Kingdom
Cloud Atlas
Django Unchained
The Hobbit

Notable omissions: Life of Pi, Anna Karenina

Best Editing:
Killing Them Softly
Cloud Atlas
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

Notable omissions: The Master

Best Song:
The Riff Off - Pitch Perfect
The Bellas' Finale - Pitch Perfect
Breath of Life - Florence + The Machine - Snow White and the Huntsman
Fire in the Blood - The Bootleggers ft. Emmylou Harris & Nick Cave - Lawless
Abraham's Daughter - Arcade Fire - Hunger Games
Everybody Needs a Best Friend - Norah Jones - Ted
Dull Tool - Fiona Apple - This is 40
Ancora Qui - Ennio Morricone and Elisa Toffoli - Django Unchained
Freedom - Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton - Django Unchained
Song of the Lonely Mountain - Neil Finn - The Hobbit
I Dreamed a Dream - Anne Hathaway - Les Mis
Molly Malone - The Deep Blue Sea

Notable omission: Holy Motors

Best Score:
Moonrise Kingdom
Cloud Atlas
Silver Linings Playbook
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Pitch  Perfect

Notable omissions: Anna Karenina, The Master, Life of Pi, On the Road, Frankenweenie

Best Sound Mixing and Editing:
Killing Them Softly (NYTimes warning)
Les Mis
The Avengers
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Foreign-but-not-British Film:
I know I included it on last year's list, but Once Upon A Time in Anatolia. Fantastic.
Where Do We Go Now?
Valley of Saints

Notable omissions: Amour, Kon-Tiki, No, A Royal Affair, War Witch, Barbara, Lore Elena, Holy Motors, Blancanieves, Oslo August 31, Meanwhile in Mamelodi

Best Documentary: The American Scream

Notable omissions: Pretty much everything else aside from Chasing Ice (pretty good) and Diana Vreeland (horrible).

Best Animated:
Update - I have now seen ParaNorman and Frankenweenie. And... weirdly, I liked Frankenweenie better.

Notable omissions: .... all of them?

Best Female Action Star:
Jennifer Lawrence - Hunger Games
Anne Hathaway - Dark Knight Rises
Emily Blunt - Looper
Lynn Collins - John Carter
Naomie Harris - Skyfall (yikes what a stretch!)

Egads. Not such a good year. Even Zoe Bell didn't get a moment in Django. At least there's tv?

Notable omissions: Gina Carano - Haywire, Brave

Best Breakthrough Performance:
Quevenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Samantha Barks - Les Mis
Aaron Tveit - Les Mis

Notable omissions: Emayatzy Corinealdi - Middle of Nowhere, Tom Holland - The Impossible, Thure Lindhardt - Keep the Lights On, Ann Dowd - Compliance, Alicia Vikander - Anna Karenina  

Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn't:
Les Mis
The Amazing Spiderman
The Loneliest Planet
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
The Dark Knight Rises

Best Dance:
The Thiller Haka from the credits of Boy
Silver Linings Playbook (not online)
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Cabin in the Woods
the Popcorn scene in Alps (not online)
Magic Mike

Best Villain:
Daniel Henshall - Snowtown
Guy Pearce - Lawless
Tom Hiddleston - The Avengers
Stupidity - Prometheus
Hugo Weaving - Cloud Atlas

Tom Hiddleston was certainly memorable, and the stupidity in Prometheus the most villanous, in that it made me want to beat something to death, but the scariest was the true life serial killer. 

Best Quote:
It can still be a date if you order Raisin Bran - Silver Linings Playbook
Sometimes I think I can do crystal meth, but then I think mmm... better not. - Pitch Perfect
Puny God - The Avengers
Argo Fuck Yourself - Argo
I'm never gonna see a merman - Cabin in the Woods
Jiminy Cricket! He flew the coop! - Moonrise Kingdom
Fuck all you guys, my wife worked hard on these! - Django Unchained
America's not a country - it's a business. Now fucking pay me. - Killing Them Softly.
Fact is, the law says you cannot touch... but I think I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house tonight. - Magic Mike
Mwufveivumh - Bane, Dark Knight Rises.

Best Opening to a Film:
Seven Psychopaths
John Dies at the End
Cabin in the Woods

Notable omissions: The Turin Horse, Bernie, Holy Motors, Haywire

Best Ending (retitled in 2012 as the McKayla Maroney award):
Looper - spoiler: JGL shoots himself
Cabin in the Woods - spoiler: the world ends
Skyfall - the players fall into place
Perks of Being a Wallflower - the tunnel
Killing Them Softly - Brad Pitt's monologue
Seven Psychopaths - as the credits roll
The Avengers - schwarma

Sunday, February 24, 2013


So better than the 17/24 for 2011 and 2010, but not as good as 21/24 for 2009. BUT WHO IS COUNTING.

Unwinding with the rest of the wine (that got cracked during Cristoph's speech) and watching Justified. Boyd and Ava at a Kentucky swinger's party WHAT.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Media question of the day

Which is better: The War Horse parody from The Good Wife, Moo-Cow, or the RENT parody from Slings & Arrows, East Hastings: The Musical?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Oscars - who *should* win

IMHO. Any of these that differ from my predictions and manage to upset will greatly lessen the sting of being wrong about the winners.

Best Picture
I'm going to go Argo. I'd be okay with Silver Linings, Lincoln, or Zero Dark Thirty winning. I think it was a year of several very good films, with none really being outstanding.

Best Director
I feel like I have a hard time judging a first time director, because I have no other works of his to compare it to. So while Beasts of the Southern Wild really impressed me with its adherence to a vision, I think I'd probably give it to either Spielberg or Russell. Spielberg is doing his best in years, Russell has been consistently good, and this is his best to date. I'm going Russell.

Best Actor
I really kind of want to give it to Cooper. I don't like him - his whole Hangover thing really annoys me, but I think his performance here was great and I think it is probably the best thing he will ever do. It is unfair, then, that he is going up against a clairvoyant medium. It has to be Day Lewis. He's just so good. 

Best Supporting Actor
Robert DeNiro. Christoph is good, but his role echoes his role in Basterds - just flipped morally, and while Tommy Lee Jones is really excellent in Lincoln, his character felt a little thin to me.

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence.

Best Supporting Actress
Helen Hunt.

Best Animated Feature
In many ways, I liked ParaNorman better. But while its animation was more inspired in parts, it was also rougher in others. Frankenweenie was more consistent. And I did love the Burton for kids template. So, Frankenweenie.

Skyfall - Roger Deakins.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Lincoln” Screenplay by Tony Kushner

Best Original Screenplay
Zero Dark Thirty. I was going to go Django, but... do they go on original scripts? Or what made it into the film? Because as I said before, I thought the last act of Django had some structural issues. But I bet I would have loved the director's cut/original screenplay. But. Based on the scripts of the finished products? I think Zero Dark Thirty was a pretty remarkable achievement.

Costume Design
Okay - I LOVE Eiko Ishioka's work. I cannot BELIEVE she wasn't up for The Fall. She did Varekai, which is my favorite Cirque production. Although I'm not sure Mirror Mirror was her very best work. But I'd certainly count out Lincoln and Les Mis. I do like Colleen Atwood (and this), but she gets tons of recognition. Which leaves Anna. Beautiful work. Hmmmm...... Considering it is posthumous.... I think that tips it for me to Anna. (The Fall still should have won.)

Best Documentary Feature
ummm.... dunno.

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Film Editing
“Silver Linings Playbook” Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Best Foreign Language Film
Don't know. I want to see No and A Royal Affair, but have not yet. 

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” - Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

Best Original Score
“Argo” Alexandre Desplat

Best Original Song
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”- Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
Honestly - not my favorite Bond theme OR Adele song, but better than the alternatives. This category coulda been better! Ladies From Tampa!

Production Design
“Anna Karenina”- Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Best Animated Short Film
“Adam and Dog” Minkyu Lee. Although Paperman is fab, too.

Best Live Action Short Film
? Need to see Curfew apparently.

Sound Editing
Without having had a chance to go back and watch the sound videos I posted earlier (here for some overlap): “Skyfall” Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers

Sound Mixing
Ditto: “Argo” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia

Achievement in visual effects
I'm still mad at the Hobbit for not being better. And the 3-D made some of the effects look janky. The tiger seems like quite the achievement, so I'm okay with Pi. Otherwise, like half of the Avengers was effects. But, Pi. I think.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Predicting the Winners

Okay, let's do this thing. Aiming for more than 21 correct (my current record). I think there are several really close two-horse races - Sound Editing, Documentary Short, Makeup, production design, both Screenplay awards, and, to a lesser extent, Actress and Supporting Actor. And I have a tough time on Score and Cinematography, not having seen Life of Pi, which I think might pick up some technical nods, since I don't think it will win anything major. And director is its own special thing. To wit:

Best motion picture of the year
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Misérables”
“Life of Pi”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Ah, what a difference two months makes. Before it was Lincoln, with Silver Linings and Life of Pi nipping at its heels. But at this point Argo has won all the major precursors: the BAFTA, PGA, SAG ensemble, WGA, Golden Globe and ACE. It's rare for a film to win without a director nomination. But it is also rare to win without an editing win, and Argo has the lead in that category, too (see the ACE above). While I'd never count out Harvey Weinstein's campaigning, and Silver Linings Playbook has had legs at the box office, Argo seems pretty universally beloved. And hollywood LOVES films about hollywood. As for Lincoln, the reviews seemed shocked that Spielberg didn't fall into the maudlin and overly-sentimental, but I think the characterization still plagues his perception. And George Clooney is probably a smoother campaigner for Best Film than Steven.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Daniel Day Lewis. The only other precursor winner was Hugh Jackman in a category for musicals. And it has been pointed out that Valjean is not exactly his best musical performance.

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

This one is a toss up between Jessica and Jennifer. Emmanuelle has won a couple of awards, but I don't see the Academy going old. The Academy has awarded older women in the past, but three of those were Hepburn, was was Meryl, and one was Helen Mirren. I think they need to have a long-established presence in Hollywood to really have a shot. So. The Js split the Golden Globes, Jen got the SAG. Jessica got Boston, Washington (surprise), Jen got Los Angeles (telling?). They split the CCAs. And NBR went Jessica, but gave Jen a breakthrough award. Actress tends to skew young and ingenue, so Jen is younger, but it is Jessica's first lead actress nom.

I really think Jessica Chastain is remarkable. She's had so many good roles in such a short period of time. But I think Jen's is a better role of these two. And I think she has a lot of good will from both Winter's Bone and generally being awesome. Not to mention she's had better box office. I think Jen. Just barely. Harvey is campaigning for her, and Zero Dark Thirty hasn't had quite the same momentum.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Alan Arkin in “Argo”
Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

Well, they've all won before. So no legacy needs here. I think this one is another two horse race between Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph Waltz (which, too bad DeNiro! You were super good!)  Christoph Waltz won the globe and the BAFTA, Tommy won the SAG. Christoph is the more charming (Tommy scowly), but Tommy plays a super noble character. Christoph's performance relies on a lot of the same charm as Inglorious Basterds. It feels like Christoph has some momentum, but I'm going to go SAG and say Tommy.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams in “The Master”
Sally Field in “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

Well, although she has become progressively more irritating as the season has progressed, and while there has been somewhat of a backlash against her performance choices and the lack of screen-time ( not that that stopped Judi Dench), this is Anne's to lose.

Achievement in directing
“Amour,” Michael Haneke
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi,” Ang Lee
“Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg
“Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell

Well, this is tricky. The precursors have gone Affleck (or others). (Can the Oscars take write-in submissions?) Ben and Michael are just lucky for the nominations (although Michael won the National Society of Film Critics - I don't think that translates into Oscar). The satellites gave it to Russell, but he wasn't up for a DGA - only Spielberg and Lee were. Will the Oscars go Spielberg as an apology for not giving a lot to Lincoln despite the many noms? He's had more precursor nominations than Lee. I don't know. I just don't feel like industry types are very warm on Spielberg, unlike Russell (especially given his personal connection to his film) and Lee (who made an 'unfilmable' movie). Russell has had issues in the past (to put it mildly) and, per Affleck's example, we know the industry loves a redemption story. Lee has won fairly recently.  Honestly, since Affleck isn't here, I'm kinda thinking Spielberg might get it. If  for no other reason than doing his best work in a long time. Reminding him he'll receive accolades if he stays away from War Pony treacle. Lincoln did get the most nominations. It is a big period, hollywood-baity piece, and really good. Okay, Spielberg. I think. (I'd be really happy with a Russell upset though!)

Best foreign language film of the year
“Amour,” Austria
“Kon-Tiki,” Norway
“No,” Chile
“A Royal Affair,” Denmark
“War Witch,” Canada

Amour. No question. It has won every precursor.

 Best animated feature film of the year
“Brave,” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
“Frankenweenie,” Tim Burton
“ParaNorman,” Sam Fell and Chris Butler
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” Peter Lord
“Wreck-It Ralph,” Rich Moore

It's kinda too bad that ParaNorman and Frankenweenie, both with their horror homages, came out in the same year. And while Aardman has done well in the past, I don't think Pirates has enough recognition or success for a chance. That leaves Brave, which is not thought to be one of Pixar's best efforts (or that is my impression from the reviews) and Wreck-It, which seems pretty beloved. Brave won the ACE, BAFTA, golden globe, while Wreck-It won the NBR, CCA, PGA and Annie. Those last two tip it, I think. Wreck-It.

(For the record, ParaNorman, which is very cute and I love Laika's stuff, won the SF, Boston and Washington awards, while Frankenweenie got the Broadcast Film Critics, Los Angeles, and NY Film Critics Circle. Pirates was not even NOMINATED in the 18 precursors I tracked. For realsies.)

Adapted screenplay
“Argo,” Chris Terrio
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi,” David Magee
“Lincoln,” Tony Kushner
“Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell

I'm going to reiterate how sad I am that this category cannot also be 10, because Perks of Being a Wallflower and Cloud Atlas. Come on. Anyhoo. I really thought Lincoln had this locked up, because... Tony Kushner. But David O. Russell got the BAFTA (and NBR) and Argo got the WGA (and Los Angeles), and I tend to weight the guild awards a lot. That said, Lincoln got National Society of Film Critics, Broadcast Film Critics, CCA, and three big regional awards. A lot has been  talked about the extensive rewrites Tony Kushner did to wrangle Lincoln's presidency into a film. So... I'm thinking really between Argo and Lincoln. Argo has the momentum. Lincoln has the prestige. For any award outside of the main 5, I think this is where Lincoln has the best chance. I was really thinking Tony Kushner gets it. He's beloved, Doris Kearns Goodwin is beloved. Mississippi finally ratified the 13th amendment this week. Lincoln. BUT... the Oscar pundits are leaning Argo, based on the recent momentum. But is it really enough to sweep up everything in the face of Affleck's snub? I'm going to go Argo. But just barely. ARGH. (ba dum dum.)

Original screenplay
“Amour,” Michael Haneke
“Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino
“Flight,” John Gatins
“Moonrise Kingdom,” Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Mark Boal

I think this is between Quentin and Mark Boal. Boal has won the Sattelites, NY FIlm Critics Online, SF,  and, most importantly, WGA. Quentin has won the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and CCA. Zero Dark Thirty had the early support, but the WGA suggests it may not have fallen off all that much. That, or hollywood enjoys rallying around one its own who they feel is being bullied by congress (one always wants to feel as if they would have stood up to HUAC.) Quentin hasn't won the screenplay Oscar since Pulp Fiction, and his two major precursors were foreign, where I feel like his work is more unanimously praised (Cannes loving him and whatnot.) Since Zero Dark Thirty is unlikely to win much else (actress and editing pending), I think it might go Boal here. Sure, Quentin is known for his writing - he's excellent. But Inglorious Basterds was also a stronger script (not to mention the power of the movies killed Hitler), and Harvey didn't win him that one. But maybe the academy wants to make up for that? Mark Boal just won, so maybe Quentin is overdue. Hmmm - my gut is to go with the WGA, but now I've talked myself into thinking the broader academy will go Quentin. He loves film  - very vocally. Okay. Quentin.

(Plus, Quentin is ineligible for the WGA, as are many other films, so this guild is less an obvious precursor than, say, the PGAs.)

Best documentary feature
“5 Broken Cameras”
“The Gatekeepers”
“How to Survive a Plague”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”

Searching for Sugar Man. It won the DGA, ACE, BAFTA, PGA, WGA, CCA, NBR, and IDA. The dark horses here are 5 Broken Cameras, which won the CinemaEye, and How to Survive a Plague, which won the CE for Editing, plus has a hollywood-fave topic.
Best documentary short subject
“Inocente,” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
“Kings Point,” Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
“Mondays at Racine,” Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
“Open Heart,” Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
“Redemption,” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

I've heard that Mondays at Racine or Open Heart are the ones to beat. Not having seen them, I can't weigh in.  Plus, the IDA nominations that overlap with the oscar noms are those two, and Kings Point. I'm going Open Heart. Watch it be Mondays at Racine.

Achievement in cinematography
“Anna Karenina,” Seamus McGarvey
“Django Unchained,” Robert Richardson
“Life of Pi,” Claudio Miranda
“Lincoln,” Janusz Kaminski
“Skyfall,” Roger Deakins

Well, the last time I bet on Roger Deakins, I lost. (So has he, the 9 other nominations before this one. Losing for Jesse James is still awful.) And while I really like Janusz Kaminski and Seamus McGarvey as well, I think if anyone will beat Deakins, it will be Claudio Miranda, who has won the BAFTA, and a few regional ones along with Deakins. Still, Deakins won the ASC (guild award) and I would hope the Academy would FINALLY give him his due. And this was easily the most beautiful bond film ever. The cinematography was noteworthy. But will the larger Academy body give it to a bunch of skyscapes? It feels like Pi might be a little flashier - when people think of imagery, they might go to neon whales rather than Bond on a bench in a art museum. Again, I didn't see Pi, so, like Score, I'm going to defer to those in the know and say Pi. But as much as I want a perfect score here, I'd be very, very happy with an upset. 

Achievement in costume design
“Anna Karenina,” Jacqueline Durran
“Les Misérables,” Paco Delgado
“Lincoln,” Joanna Johnston
“Mirror Mirror,” Eiko Ishioka
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Colleen Atwood

I doubt they academy will give Eiko Ishioka a posthumous award for her work in Mirror Mirror. Which is a little too bad, since those were fab. And Colleen Atwood has waaaay too many. I think it's going Anna Karenina, which won the BAFTA and CCA. I mean, The Duchess won. Kiera Knightly in pretty clothes. (Marie Antoinette, The Young Victoria, Elizabeth the Golden Age are also recent winners, although the two previous Joe Wright/Kiera collabs lost (to Elizabeth and Memoirs of a Geisha). But I'm thinking this wins it. Even people who didn't see the film, saw the pretty dresses. The guild awards are tonight, though, so I reserve the right to update during the week based on what wins there.

Achievement in film editing
“Argo,” William Goldenberg
“Life of Pi,” Tim Squyres
“Lincoln,” Michael Kahn
“Silver Linings Playbook,” Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Well, Silver Linings Playbook won the Satellite and ACE for comedy. And Zero Dark Thirty won a number of early awards back in early December when it had more buzz. But I think the lack of momentum, plus the actual SEAL saying the climactic raid was shorter and tighter, really hurts its chances. Argo won the BAFTA, but more importantly the ACE for drama. I think that, with Argo's momentum, pulls it ahead. Not to mention, William Goldenberg did both. So people may go with his individual achievement.

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
“Hitchcock,” Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
“Les Misérables,” Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Well, Hitchcock totally fizzled, and the Hobbit was... not well respected. Les Mis won the BAFTA. So although when I think hair and makeup I think Hobbit (because... craftsmanship over Anne Hathaway's buzzcut), Les Mis might have the edge. But the Academy does love big epics. LOTR won two.  Hmmm. This would be the only place where the Hobbit would win, I think. But does aging Hugh Jackman win over the comical dwarf beards? I think its a bit of a toss up. The historical wins were for better movies, but I'll stick with precedent. Hobbit. 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli
“Argo,” Alexandre Desplat
“Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna
“Lincoln,” John Williams
“Skyfall,” Thomas Newman

Skyfall won the BAFTA, Life of Pi won the Golden Globe, Lincoln won the CCA and Argo won the Satellites. Useful, people, useful. Argo has the most nominations going in and Alexandre Desplat also did Zero Dark Thirty and Moonrise Kingdom this year. If Argo sweeps the Oscars, it would make sense to pick this one up as well. Thomas Newman is oft nominated without winning, so I'd say he's the second choice here, but I think Argo gets it. HOWEVER, the majority of Oscar pundits are saying Life of Pi, and I haven't seen it, so I'm really not sure what it has going for it. I really liked Argo's score, but I get the sense that not everyone did. (And I'm sure some people thought Desplat's work in Moonrise Kingdom was better.) So, I'm going to say that with my incomplete knowledge of the category, I'll bow to popular opinion and go Life of Pi. (Watch it be Argo.)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted,” Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables,” Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

It's gotta be Adele. She's so great! Everyone wants to hear her sing and laugh at her speech. And given the song's similarity to the best Bond theme, the World is Not Enough (*cough*C minor*cough*rising fifth*), I'm good with that! 

Achievement in production design
“Anna Karenina” (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer)
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright)
“Les Misérables” (Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson)
“Life of Pi” (Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock)
“Lincoln” (Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson)

Hmmm... seeing as Moonrise Kingdom isn't here.... Lincoln won the Satellite, Les Mis won the BAFTA (flags for everybody!), and Life of Pi won the guild award for fantasy. (For.... what? The row boat?) Anna Karenina won the CCA and, most importantly, the guild award for period film, which gives it the edge. It is set in a decadent theater palace. Anna for sure. (Despite the many talented crafstpeople on the Hobbit, I just don't see it overcoming the bad reputation of the film.)

The experts are giving it to Les Mis. But for what... the rags? the weirdly crooked alleys? It is another period piece, so it's in the running. And it has more sets. But I'm thinking the Academy goes glitz over grime.Don't let me down, guild!

Best animated short film
“Adam and Dog” (Minkyu Lee)
“Fresh Guacamole” (PES)
“Head over Heels” (Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly)
“Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”” (David Silverman)
“Paperman” (John Kahrs)

Okay - I like Adam and Dog best. But Paperman is lovely, well done, with good pacing, technologically innovative, sentimental, and it feels like a Pixar short. Paperman. 

Best live action short film
“Asad” (Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura)
“Buzkashi Boys” (Sam French and Ariel Nasr)
“Curfew” (Shawn Christensen)
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)” (Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele)
“Henry” (Yan England)

I hear Curfew. So with almost nothing to go on... that. (Although I have read more articles about the making of Buzkashi Boys, so maybe that could influence?)

Achievement in sound editing
“Argo” (Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn)
“Django Unchained” (Wylie Stateman)
“Life of Pi” (Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton)
“Skyfall” (Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers)
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Paul N.J. Ottosson)

 Les Mis, which won one of the MPSE awards (for a musical) is not up here. So Life of Pi won music in a live action and dialogue (dialogue? "arrrr...." "stop, don't eat me" "arrrr....) while Skyfall won for effects. This category often goes to action (Inception, Dark Knight, Bourne Ultimatum, King Kong, etc.) That said, Life of Pi won 2 to Skyfall's 1 guild award. And I'm pretty sure I picked Transformers last year only to have Hugo win (ugh.) Barring an Argo sweep (and since Return of the King, no film has really done that), I'm going to go Skyfall by a nose. Since the song is winning, maybe they'll be thinking favorably when it comes to sound. And it is a very technically accomplished film (see also cinematography.)

(The bookies are saying Zero Dark Thirty over Skyfall, but I don't see it. I don't think it has the momentum.)

Achievement in sound mixing
“Argo” (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia)
“Les Misérables” (Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes)
“Life of Pi” (Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin)
“Lincoln” (Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins)
“Skyfall” (Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson)

 I think this will go Les Mis, because of the difficulty of mixing the live singing with the orchestration later. (I have no idea if that is actually tricky to do, but it is the most noticeable workmanship in the category.) The crowd stuff is great in Argo. And in the past, this category has sometimes gone jointly with editing to a loud action film, so it could split to Skyfall. But Les Mis was the only one of these nominated for both a CAS and a Satellite, and it won the CAS, so I'm sticking guild. Lincoln and Skyfall were the other CAS noms, so those are my dark horses.

Achievement in visual effects
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White)
“Life of Pi” (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott)
“Marvel’s The Avengers” (Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick)
“Prometheus” (Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill)
“Snow White and the Huntsman” (Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson)

Life of Pi won the CCA, BAFTA, and VES. Despite the studio going out of business.... that tiger. It wins it. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oscar Food

I'm not hosting a viewing party this year, since I will only just be getting back to my place the day of (and thus have no prep time). BUT! Were I hosting, here would be the menu:

Hush Puppies (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Cheesesteaks, wings, and Raisin Bran (Silver Linings Playbook)
French cheese, cassoulet, and boudin noir (Les Mis, Amour)
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie-lets (Life of Pi - sushi would also be acceptable)
Kababs, koftas and dolmes (Argo, Zero Dark Thirty)
Fried chicken and collard greens (Django)
Apple cobbler or candied apples (Snow White and the Huntsman/Mirror Mirror)
Haggis (Brave, Skyfall)
Guacamole & Chips (Fresh Guacamole)
Mini-bar liquor bottles (Flight)
Pigs in a blanket (Frankenweenie. These breadsticks are also adorable)
Schwarma (the Avengers)
Sugar cookies in gingerbread man shape (Searching for Sugar Man)
Fruity cocktails (Kon-Tiki)
Blini, Potato Vareniki, and piroshki (Anna Karenina)
Log Cake (Lincoln)
Rum (Pirates! band of Misfits)
Water with black food coloring (Prometheus)

Or you could order up Denny's shire menu for your guests. (Don't do that.)

I also highly recommend labeling your ice bucket "Chasing Ice"

(I also found these suggestions that I quite liked: Gumbo Unchained, Zero Dark & Stormys, Moonrise Moonpies.)