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CELEBRATING THE YEAR IN FILM

Awards Season 2013 – The Oscar Nominees.

Out of a possible eleven entries, nine have made it into the Best Picture category for this year’s Academy Awards. Some were foregone conclusions – like LINCOLN, leading with a total of 12 nominations and LIFE OF PI – the most Oscar-nominated of director Ang Lee’s illustrious career, with 11, while others are smaller indie gems, such as BEATS OF THE SOURTHERN WILD or AMOUR, also nominated for best foreign language film.

The Academy certainly seems to have focused its attention this year on such motion pictures that deal with US history and the nation’s pertinent social issues, both historical and contemporary. Running the gamut from slavery in the late-1800s in Tarrantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED and Spielberg’s LINCOLN to the social injustices portrayed in LES MISERABLES – or what happens when the upper class sufficiently pisses off the Third Estate (there’s a warning here, but I digress) – through to the Tehran hostage drama of the 1970s in ARGO; the feral misery of a post-Katrina Bayou community in Beasts, straight up to the 2011 hunt for Osama Bin Laden in ZERO DARK THIRTY. All deservedly great films, although sometimes it can be more interesting to see who or what gets ignored than what is actually selected!

Beginning with the “snubbed” entries, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, one of the finest and most satisfying superhero sequels ever to come out of Hollywood, is notable for its singular lack of recognition, as is that grandiose and inspiring epic CLOUD ATLAS, which generated considerable Oscar buzz upon release. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, one of the year’s most eagerly-awaited films and the first part of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, scored a few minor nominations, while PROMETHEUS only picked up one nomination for best visual effects.

Kathryn Bigelow has been excluded from the Best Director contest despite her earlier DGA nomination, which is surprising considering that Zero Dark Thirty has received so many other key noms: for best picture, original screenplay and editing, as well as being nominated for four Golden Globes (including best director). Perhaps she is taking the flak for the political uproar generated by certain aspects of her picture – torture sequences, security leaks, and so forth? Other best director omissions are Tom Hooper (Les Mis), Quentin Tarantino (Django) and Argo’s director/leading actor Ben Affleck, despite their nominations in other major categories, all including best picture. They have been replaced by first-timer Benh Zeitlin (Beasts), David O Russell for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and Amour director Michael Hanek.

Neither are this year’s British film makers coming away empty-handed. Apart from Les Miserables and ANNA KARENINA, which scored 12 nominations collectively, SKYFALL, the latest in the James Bond franchise, earned 5 nominations; for sound mixing, sound editing, best cinematography, best song, and best original score.

Contenders for best foreign language feature, apart from Amour, include Danish period drama A ROYAL AFFAIR, Canada’s WAR WITCH, Norway’s KON TIKI and NO from Chile.

Nominated for best animated full-length feature are Rich Moore for WRECK-IT RALPH, Pixar’s BRAVE, Tim Burton’s stop-motion FRANKENWEENIE, adapted from his very early short film, Peter Lord’s THE PIRATE! BAND OF MISFITS, and directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler for their very original PARANORMAN.

In the best feature-length documentary category, the nominees include my personal favorite, Swedish/UK co-production SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN directed by Malik Bendjelloul, about the enigmatic singer-songwriter Rodriguez.

This year’s best actress category features both the youngest and the eldest nominees in the Academy’s history: Quvenzhané Wallis, now nine and only six years old when Beasts was made, together with 85 year-old Emmanuelle Riva of Amour. They are joined by Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, both frontrunners for Silver Linings and Dark Zero, respectively, and second-time nominee Naomi Watts for her remarkable work in THE IMPOSSIBLE, the terrifying tale of a family which, against all odds, survived the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand relatively intact. Nominations for best supporting actress went to Amy Adams (THE MASTER), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Mis), Helen Hunt (THE SESSIONS) and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings).

Leading the pack for best actor are Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), six-time nominee Denzel Washington for his role as the alcoholic pilot in FLIGHT, and Hugh Jackman (Les Mis), which comes as no surprise. They are joined by Bradley Cooper for his sensitive performance in Silver Linings, and Joaquin Phoenix for his manic (there’s no other word for it) portrayal in The Master. Philip Seymour Hoffman also gets a supporting actor nod for that picture, pitted against Robert De Niro (Silver Linings), Alan Arkin (Argo), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django).

As far as soundtracks go, it has been another great year for composer Alexandre Desplat, in line for his fifth nomination. He composed the score for two of this year’s best picture nominees: Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, representing a slight drop from his three out of ten last year. Although he’s up against the maestro himself John Williams for Lincoln and Thomas Newman for Skyfall, both terrific scores.

And here is the complete list of this year’s Oscar nominees!

Best Picture

AMOUR – Nominees to be determined

ARGO – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, and George Clooney

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD – Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, and Michael Gottwald

DJANGO UNCHAINED – Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone

LES MISÉRABLES – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, and Cameron Mackintosh

LIFE OF PI – Gil Netter, Ang Lee, and David Womark

LINCOLN – Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, and Jonathan Gordon

ZERO DARK THIRTY – Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, and Megan Ellison

Best Director

Michael Haneke – AMOUR

Ang Lee – LIFE OF PI

David O. Russell – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Steven Spielberg – LINCOLN

Benh Zeitlin – BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Denzel Washington – Flight

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva – Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin – Argo

Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master

Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – The Master

Sally Field – Lincoln

Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables

Helen Hunt – The Sessions

Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Best Writing – Original Screenplay

Amour – Michael Haneke

Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino

Flight – John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay

Argo – Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi – David Magee

Lincoln – Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell

Best Animated Feature

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

Best Foreign Language Film

Amour (Austria)

Kon-Tiki (Norway)

No (Chile)

A Royal Affair (Denmark)

War Witch (Canada)

Best Documentary – Feature

5 Broken Cameras – Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers – Nominees to be determined

How to Survive a Plague – Nominees to be determined

The Invisible War – Nominees to be determined

Searching for Sugar Man – Nominees to be determined      

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

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 Adam and Dog – Minkyu Lee

Best Animated Short Film

Fresh Guacamole – PES

Head over Heels – Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly

The Longest Daycare – David Silverman

Paperman – John Kahrs

Best Original Score

Anna Karenina – Dario Marianelli

Argo – Alexandre Desplat

Life of Pi – Mychael Danna

Lincoln – John Williams

Skyfall – Thomas Newman

Best Original Song

“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice – J. Ralph

“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted – Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane

“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi – Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri

“Skyfall” from Skyfall – Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

“Suddenly” from Les Misérables – Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, and Alain Boublil

Best 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

Best 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 – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Ronald Judkins

Skyfall – Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, and Stuart Wilson

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina – Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, and Simon Bright

Les Misérables – Eve Stewart and Anna Lynch-Robinson

Life of Pi – David Gropman and Anna Pinnock

Lincoln – Rick Carter and Jim Erickson

Best Cinematography

Anna Karenina – Seamus McGarvey

Django Unchained – Robert Richardson

Life of Pi – Claudio Miranda

Lincoln – Janusz KamiƄski

Skyfall – Roger Deakins

Best 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 – Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell   

Best Costume Design

Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran

Les Misérables – Paco Delgado

Lincoln – Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror – Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman – Colleen Atwood

Best 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

Best 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, Michael Dawson

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2 Comments
  1. Posted January 13, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Very good work succes

  2. Posted January 13, 2013 at 10:20 am

    good collection…..

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