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85th Academy Awards Preview and Predictions - Page 2 of 3

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Supporting Actress • Original Screenplay • Adapted Screenplay • Animated Feature • Animated Short

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With a civil warrant for his arrest, police officers arrive at the Philadelphia house where Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is conducting activities for The Cause.

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 Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones or Robert De Niro

Who Should Win: Robert De Niro

As you will come to see, I'm trying keep my hopes grounded, by anticipating a Lincoln lovefest. In this, the most open of categories, all of these nominees have already won an Oscar, Arkin, Hoffman, and Waltz recently enough to elicit some hesitation. Waltz is one of the best things about Django Unchained, but this is category fraud; he is as much the lead as (and, in many ways, more than) Jamie Foxx, despite the title. Seeing him back in this category so soon is a surprise, but a nice one. Arkin is a worthy and appealing nominee, but not a winner. Hoffman, another one that could have gone into Lead, is sure to have countless opportunities to win more Oscars.

That brings us to the two sometimes grumpy old men. I like Jones a lot and this is a good performance, but his demeanor suggests he neither wants nor needs this. De Niro, on the other hand, is a legend, whose filmography exceeds that of just about any living actor today. He's hit kind of a rough patch lately and though he stays busy and undoubtedly handsomely paid, this is his first Oscar nomination in over twenty years. If Daniel Day-Lewis can pick up his third Oscar, so too should De Niro, who it feels great to see deliver a great performance in Silver Linings Playbook. As the least recent and most accomplished of these five, De Niro deserves the career boost, even if you need to think of it as a premature lifetime achievement award to an already two-time winner.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained


Peek-a-boo! Sixto Rodriguez sees you.

Best Documentary - Feature

Nominees:
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

What Will Win: How to Survive a Plague

What Should Win: Searching for Sugar Man or How to Survive a Plague

Pundits are declaring Searching for Sugar Man the winner, but none of them predicted Undefeated winning last year. I've seen all of these but The Gatekeepers. The Invisible War has importance, for it has already inspired action. Sugar Man and How to Survive a Plague both have the greatest human interest and are the most professionally made.
I think that Plague's content about the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York may resonate more with the acting community than the mystery of an internationally renowned, domestically failed folk singer. But this category requires you see all the nominees, so I don't know how many Academy members in the acting branch do that.

What Should Have Been Nominated: The Imposter and The Other Dream Team

These were the two best documentaries of 2012 that I saw, though I can see how the former's reliance on recreation and the latter's subject matter (potentially deemed insignificant to some) may have hurt their chances.


Best Documentary - Short Subject

Nominees:
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

What Will Win: While there's no consensus, Inocente and Open Heart may be your best bets.

What Should Win: No idea, but Inocente is the coolest title to say, so it's got my vote.


Best Visual Effects

Nominees:
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman

What Will Win: Life of Pi

What Should Win: Life of Pi

Immediately upon seeing Life of Pi, I figured it was this year's Hugo, an ambitious and esteemed family-friendly 3D adventure sure to dominate the technical awards. This is one of the categories in which Pi is most likely to follow in Scorsese's footsteps. I hope Richard Parker makes the acceptance speech! Prometheus would be my second choice, but that is probably more due to the Alien-style production design than visual effects.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Life of Pi

What Should Have Been Nominated: This is a category where The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games could have competed. Either would have been preferable to the underwhelming SWATH.


Best Sound Editing

Nominees:
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty

What Will Win: Your guess is as good as mine.

What Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty

There are many things I take away from the films I see, but, with few exceptions (e.g. WALL•E, which lost this award, and The Conversation, which lost the other one), sound design isn't one of them. This seems to be one of the categories where guessing is the only way to go if you're not in the business of sound. I chose Zero Dark Thirty because I think it's the best film of the year and it ought to win something.


Best Sound Mixing

Nominees:
Argo
Les Misιrables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

What Will Win: Les Misιrables

What Should Win: Les Misιrables, I guess.

One of Tom Hooper's big creative decisions for Les Mis was to record the songs live. That coupled with musicals' success in this category (recent winners include Dreamgirls and Chicago) suggest that Hathaway won't be the film's only win.


Best Film Editing

Nominees:
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

What Will Win: Argo

What Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty

This is one award that Argo seems to have in the bag. The bloated Lincoln has no claim to this award. As a comedy, Silver Linings Playbook is lucky (but deserving) just to get the nomination. Life of Pi owes much of its success to wise editing. But it comes down to the two riveting docudramas, of which I think Zero Dark Thirty is the ever so slightly more potent. Bigelow's film deserves this, especially since it seems unlikely to win anything bigger. But I'll be happy for Argo, which does an excellent job of juggling three distinct levels of interest.


Best Original Score

Nominees:
Anna Karenina – Dario Marianelli
Argo – Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi – Mychael Danna
Lincoln – John Williams
Skyfall – Thomas Newman

What Will Win: Life of Pi

What Should Win: Life of Pi

I don't really remember Life of Pi's score, but it is the favorite and that seems fair. Argo's score is really low-key. Lincoln is a standard entry to the fine but plenty decorated tradition of Spielberg and Williams' dramatic collaborations.
Anna Karenina's score is lively, but I'm not big on giving Oscars to films that aren't very good (hear that, Alice in Wonderland?). And I haven't seen Skyfall, because Fox didn't send it to me for review.


Best Original Song

Nominees:
"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted
"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi
"Skyfall" from Skyfall
"Suddenly" from Les Misιrables

What Will Win: "Skyfall" or "Suddenly"

What Should Win: Don't know, don't care.

Last year, this category was one of my most anticipated, as I hoped that the Muppets would finally win their first Oscar. They did, beating out the only other nominee in a ceremony that didn't think to include colorful performances of the two. This year, the performances are back as are the five nominees. But this is a dull lot, says the man who won't carve out fifteen minutes to find these on YouTube and listen to them. "Skyfall" seems to be the favorite and I haven't seen that movie. Ted's song isn't at all what I expected. And I don't really remember "Pi's Lullaby" at all. At least the performances will be a good time for leg-stretching, bathroom breaks, and chatter.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: "Skyfall"

What Should Have Been Nominated: "Yo No Se" from Casa De Mi Padre and "Never Had" from 10 Years stand out from the short list of 75 eligible songs.


Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees:
Amour (Austria)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)

What Will Win: Amour

One of the few categories in which my ignorance towards the nominees matches the general public. The Academy seems to have declared Amour the winner by giving it a Best Picture nomination. This would be like Up or Toy Story 3 losing the Best Animated Feature. In the rare cases where a foreign film has competed for Best Picture, they have typically lost that and won Best Foreign Language Film: Z, Life is Beautiful, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 1971's The Emigrants is the one exception defying that logic, while several others have competed for Best Picture but not been picked as their nation's Best Foreign Language Film submission (e.g. Il Postino, Cries and Whispers)

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Jump to a Category:

Page 1:

Supporting Actress • Original Screenplay • Adapted Screenplay • Animated Feature • Animated Short

Production Design • Costume Design • Makeup and Hairstyling • Cinematography • Live-Action Short

Page 2:

Supporting Actor • Documentary Feature • Documentary Short • Visual Effects • Sound Editing

Sound Mixing • Film Editing • Original Score • Original Song • Foreign Language Film

Page 3:

Director • Lead Actress • Lead Actor • Picture

Related Article: The Films of 2012 - Ranked and Reviewed

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Posted February 22, 2013, two days before the 85th Academy Awards ceremony.



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