Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Part 2 - 2013 Oscar Nominations- A Late Analysis plus My Awards

Let's continue with other categories. If you wish to read part 1 please go here.

Actress in a Supporting Role

As in this category there is a new movie let me talk about The Sessions by Ben Lewin. It is a good movie with a nice entertaining human story that could touch you beyond what you could image thanks to outstanding performances by leading actors Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. Hawkes will get his nod if he continues to work in good movies, unfortunately this year he did not and he truly deserved one in the Best Actor category. Helen Hunt is nominated as a Supporting actress, but she the leading female character and she is as good as always. If you have not seen this indie I strongly suggest you watch it as you will enjoy it.

No doubt that Helen Hunt deserves another Oscar but will not be with this movie as the category has as favorite one actress that delivered a short but remarkable performance. I say short as truly what's really impressive is when Anne Hathaway sings one song in Les Misérables, I Dreamed a Dream; the rest of her screen time is not remarkable. Another actress that has possibilities is Sally Field as she not only has more time in the screen than Hathaway but the way she deliver very smart lines is just fantastic. Lincoln has several great performances by great actors and Sally Field is one of them. If there was a race in this category definitively had to be between Hathaway and Field.

Not easy to understand why Jacki Weaver got a nomination for this role. Please understand that I do believe she is a very good actress but her little inconsequential screen time in Silver Linings Playbook is not really noticeable, especially when Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence and/or Bradley Cooper are in the same scene, which is always. Much the same happens with Amy Adams as she has most scenes with outstanding Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but she has a few close ups that clearly show how a great actress she is. I believe her 4th Oscar nomination thanks to The Master is very well-deserved.

When I compare in my head all the nominees definitely the one that has enough time to show how good she can be is Helen Hunt. The other four are eclipsed by performances by other more lead actors/actresses, so is not easy to select one that shines above the others, except for Hunt. Still, Hathaway can shine in the few minutes of screen time while singing one song.

... and My Award goes to Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables. Short in time but will stay with you, besides she was the one that sung the most memorable song in the Broadway musical and film plus she did it while giving a great performance. Even if words had not come out of her mouth, you could tell what her character was feeling.

Actor in a Supporting Role

I was really impressed by Robert De Niro performance as he made me believe his character, especially when considering that lately his performances in comedies look like caricatures and not "real-exaggerated" people. Alan Arkin was invisible for me as in my opinion John Goodman's performance/character was more remarkable and most scenes had them both together in the screen. The other three had extraordinary performances but only Tommy Lee Jones had a supporting role as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz roles were leading and not supporting plus both had many extraordinary scenes where we are able to see how good they are.

So if I have to be strict, De Niro and Jones should be racing for this award as both had true supporting roles; choosing between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz is not easy for me, but thinking about the type of movie they are in have to chose Hoffman. This brings me to think that the race probably will be between De Niro, Jones and Hoffman; any can win.

... and My Award goes to Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master. I know his role is not supporting but he is truly mesmerizing and the many scenes with Joaquin Phoenix are glorious exchange of words, body language and eye contact.

Original Screenplay

This is the hardest category where I have to "forget" about Amour as NO matter what I try to find in the other scripts, the best of all five nominees is Amour by far and I'm being very objective.

Zero Dark Thirty is my best American movie from 2012 but can't say that the movie screenplay is what made this movie so great as believe script had much to do with all the controversies and to me this means weakness, not greatness. Quentin Tarantino is fantastic writing scripts but Django Unchained according to me is not one of his best. Flight has a good story but is Denzel performance plus the visual effects what makes movie good. The story in Moonrise Kingdom is good dark funny and no doubt that was a main ingredient in making movie good to watch. If have to chose from only the four, without Amour, then Moonrise Kingdom is the best; but reality tells me that Amour is the best Original Screenplay and if one award Amour really deserves is this one and maybe will get it.

... and My Award goes to Michael Haneke for Amour. No other nominated screenplay has the strength of this story and storytelling, one that moves viewers emotions in very intense and opposite ways.

Adapted Screenplay

I have read only two original documents that were adapted for the screen, Argo and Life of Pi. In Argo found article a lot more interesting than film, so believe script could have had many improvements. Found Life of Pi book similar to movie, as a matter of fact was the movie, amazing.

Considering only film story and storytelling Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln are both good and definitively I didn't like anything related to story/storytelling in Beasts of the Southern Wild. If Silver Linings Playbook could win an Oscar this will be one of the easiest and perhaps well-deserved, but the two that I believe are in the race are Lincoln and Life of Pi.

... and My Award goes to David Magee for Life of Pi. Great adaptation of a complex novel that leaves viewers to believe whatever they want and of course, what they chose to believe is a reflection of themselves.


Let's go to the point, the best cinematography of all nominated is in Life of Pi even when most compositions are visual effects. Anna Karerina was unwatchable for me and cinematography did not help me to imagine the "real thing" as all I was seeing was what they were showing.

Skyfall has good cinematography but nothing special for this type of film that requires good cinematography. Besides Life of Pi, Lincoln is the movie with great cinematography, great compositions and some good visuals; the race could be between these two movies.

... and My Award goes to Janusz Kamiski for Lincoln. Even if Life of Pi cinematography is good, due to the many special effects and because I'm still kind of old school , Kamiski prevails among all nominees with his chiarooscuro's, some very good use of light and darkness.

Film Editing

The race has to be between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty as editing absolutely was a key element in making the final product; but all five nominees without good editing would have been a mess, as each story has weaknesses that editing diminished quite good. So this is not an easy category and wont bore you with tech analysis, so let's say than in the first sentence I mentioned my best guess.

... and My Award goes to Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg for Zero Dark Thirty. Editing was key with this film and just imagine the huge amount of footage they had to work with to help create such a fantastic tense movie. The end product is remarkable.

Visual Effects

Do not want to get into trouble here but in my opinion the best visuals effects of all nominees are in Life of Pi that has created something new in this tech spec, something that will help storytelling beyond imagination and it is far away to the kind of common visual effects we usually see in movies like The Hobbit, The Avengers, Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman. To me this change is not like what Avatar did, is like what the first The Matrix did to change visual effects forever. Perhaps some of you recall what The Matrix did to change everything, that was nominated in four tech Oscar categories and that won all four.

... and My Award goes to Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi. After this movie there are so many new possibilities for visual effects, especially in more serious less-blockbuster films.

So, will skip the rest of the categories and end post here as next will publish my predictions maybe for all categories. You already know what I think about the five nominees in the Foreign Language category as each has a post and there is no need to say that Amour HAS to win this category and if it doesn't will be a major upset, controversy and as I say every year: my Oscar credibility will go down the drain just as happened when Mungiu's first opus was not nominated.


No comments yet