Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

24 January 2013

Oscar Nominees 2013: Part 3 of 13

Zero Dark Thirty
5 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Actress: Jessica Chastain (The Help)
  • Original Screenplay: Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) 
  • Film Editing: William Goldenberg (Argo, Seabiscuit, The Insider) & Dylan Tichenor (There Will Be Blood)
  • Sound Editing
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Chastain, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Reda Kateb, Harold Perrineau, Mark Strong, James Gandolfini, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Taylor Kinney

Good stuff. I loved it less than I probably ought to have because this movie is not The Hurt Locker. I know that it is unfair for me to expect it to be The Hurt Locker and even for me to want Bigelow to repeat herself, but, alas, that's sort of how I felt while watching Zero Dark Thirty. This movie is very good, has an excellent script, and was named by dozens of critics groups across the country as the best film of the year. Still, with the big surprise of Ben Affleck's Director snub on Oscar nomination morning came the same snub for Kathryn Bigelow. Their spots were taken by David O. Russell and Benh Zeitlin. However... I feel like ZDT is going to make a comeback by the time Oscar night comes around. I am predicting a Black Hawk Down style surge at the last minute. I expect ZDT to definitely win Actress, but I expect it also to take home Original Screenplay and Film Editing, with a possible fourth Oscar for Sound Editing.
Will Win: Actress, Original Screenplay, Film Editing
Could Win: Sound Editing
My Rating: #14 out of 61

Django Unchained
5 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction)
  • Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds
  • Film Editing: William Goldenberg (Zero Dark Thirty, Seabiscuit, The Insider) 
  • Cinematography: Robert Richardson (Hugo, Inglourious Basterds, The Aviator, Snow Falling on Cedars, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon)
  • Sound Editing
Director: Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Laura Cayouette

A fun but overly long picture. QT gets a bit carried away with himself and can't seem to stop himself from adding in sidebars that are delightfully fun but that his movie doesn't actually need. In this way (and forgive me for saying it, QT) Django Unchained is a lot like one of this year's other endless movies: The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey. My real feeling about all of this is that QT should be making films for HBO. Then he could make the six-hour epics he really wants to make, we could watch them an hour at a time, and we'd also get the pleasure of watching them (and talking about them) for weeks and weeks. I think this is a win-win plan. Whaddya think, QT? I have Django winning Supporting Actor in my predictions mostly because all of the nominees have already won an Oscar and Christoph Waltz is the least established among them, i.e. the most in need of the award (although he really isn't). I want to take this moment also to note that the Academy truly showed no imagination with its Supporting Actor nominees this year. Arkin, Jones, Hoffman, De Niro, and Waltz are all fine in their movies, but they aren't as exciting as these five guys or (to my mind) the other seven guys I've listed on the page.
Will Win: Supporting Actor
Could Win: Original Screenplay, Sound Editing
My Rating: #15 out of 61

Skyfall
5 Nominations
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins (True Grit, The Reader, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Kundun, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption)
  • Score: Thomas Newman (WALL·E, The Good German, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Finding Nemo, Road to Perdition, American Beauty, Unstrung Heroes, Little Women, The Shawshank Redemption)
  • Sound Mixing
  • Sound Editing
  • Song: Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Bérénice Marlohe, Helen McCrory
The Academy decided it loved James Bond again! This is what happens when Sam Mendes directs your Bond movie instead of Lee Tamahori. These nominations are all well deserved, too. I was delighted by Adele's song – which she is performing at the Oscars and which will in all likelihood win – but the Academy will also be doing a tribute to "50 Years of Bond" at the Oscars, so the Song win will be icing on that particular cake, I think. Roger Deakins, who is one of our very best cinematographers, earned a very deserved tenth nomination here, but he will (again) not take home the Oscar. I am not sure when he will get to take home one, but I hope it is soon.
Will Win: Song
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #17 out of 61