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

29 January 2013

Oscar Nominees 2013: Part 5 of 13

The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey
3 Nominations
  • Production Design: Simon Bright (King Kong) & Dan Hennah (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring) & Ra Vincent
  • Visual Effects
  • Hair and Makeup
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Sylvester McCoy, Andy Serkis, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee

Apparently no one liked The Hobbit's first installment. Well, that's sort of a lie. It has made over $600 million worldwide so far. And counting. But the Academy, it seems, was not having it. In categories where the Lord of the Rings franchise cleaned up – score, editing, both sound categories, cinematography – this movie got left out, despite its technical brilliance. My sympathy, as you can probably imagine, runs low. But I have to say that it deserves to win a few things, and I think it will win Hair & Makeup (I mean just look at the hair in that poster!). And... if I am being honest, I would probably watch this movie again. Just to give it another chance. In a guilty-pleasure sort of way, you understand.
Will Win: Hair & Makeup
Could Win: Visual Effects
My Rating: #51 out of 61

2 Nominations
  • Best Actor: Denzel Washington (Training Day, The Hurricane, Malcolm X, Glory, Cry Freedom)
  • Original Screenplay: John Gatins
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Don Cheadle, Tamara Tunie, Tommy Kane, Brian Geraghty, Melissa Leo

Um, Best Original Screenplay? It's a little odd because the time-travel picture Looper looked like it was going to get this nomination, but who knows what the writers branch was thinking. Instead they went with this highly moralistic screenplay that is, in many ways, a retread of The Lost Weekend. Being an alcoholic is bad, guys. Not that I disagree, but this film gets across its message... inelegantly. There are good things about the movie – I actually rather liked it – Denzel Washington is great and Zemeckis' direction is tight and exciting, but Gatins' screenplay is heavy handed and unnecessarily sentimental. All that to say: this movie is not taking home any Oscars.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #29 out of 61

Snow White and the Huntsman
2 Nominations
  • Costume Design: Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Nine, Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Memoirs of a Geisha, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Chicago, Sleepy Hollow, Beloved, Little Women)
  • Visual Effects
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Sam Spruell, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson

This film is not winning any Oscars. But I think I probably screamed out loud when I saw that it was nominated. See: I thought it was going to be terrible, and so my friend Julie and I got drunk and watched it together. In fact, it isn't the least bit terrible. The visual effects are delightful, the narrative is interesting, the costumes are completely fabulous, and Charlize Theron goes for absolute broke in the role of the evil queen. It really is a very fun film marred just slightly by a fairly uninteresting heroine. I want to say, too, that two Oscar nominations is kind of a lot! It's more than, say, Cloud Atlas or, say, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen got. Colleen Atwood has enough Oscars, however – three, actually; can you believe she has three? – and she does not need another one for Snow White and the Huntsman. But if her nomination gets you to rent the camp-fest that is this movie, I say more power to the Academy for honoring good design and visual effects work, no matter what kind of movie they appear in.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #35 out of 61