Thursday, February 21, 2013

My 2013 Oscar Picks

IMDb listing
Previous/Other years

Since beginning this blog two and a half years ago, I've found myself surprisingly ambivalent when it comes to the Oscars.

On one hand, it's become clear as day to me that there are many excellent though generally smaller films being made both in the United States and across the world that aren't going to find recognition at places like the Oscars.  In part for this reason two years ago, I created my own "Denny Awards" list to offer some recognition to films and performances that I felt deserved such attention.

On the other hand, one can not but feel for both the actors/actresses and film-makers in general for whom the Oscars are, well "The Oscars" [TM].  So one would have to be a pretty hard-hearted person to not feel empathy with those who for the first time and/or after much struggle/sacrifice find themselves up there on stage tearfully beginning their acceptance speeches with: "I'd like to thank ..."

Finally as another über-movielover at my parish put it, the Oscars this year are about as competitive as they've been in recent memory.  Just about every major category contains several nominees that both deserve and have the clout to win. 

So here then is my annual "week before the event" Oscars list: 

       WILL WIN - Alan Arkin (Argo) or Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook)
       SHOULD WIN - Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wall Flower) or Alan Arkin (Argo)
       DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wall Flower), Michael Peña (End of Watch), Matthew McConaughey and/or John Cusack (The Paperboy), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (for A Late Quartet instead of The Master)

         WILL WIN - Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
          SHOULD WIN - Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) or Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
          DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Scarlett Johansson (Hitchcock), Judy Dench (Skyfall) and Anna Kendrick (End of Watch)

          WILL WIN - Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) or Denzel Washington (Flight)
           SHOULD WIN - TOSS-UP among the three given above along with Christopher Walken (A Late Quartet)
           DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Christopher Walken (A Late Quartet) possiblyLogan Lehrman (The Perks of Being a Wall Flower), Bradley Cooper (for The Words instead of Silver Linings Playbook)

           WILL WIN - Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) or Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
            SHOULD WIN - Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) or Blake Lively (Savages), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
            DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Blake Lively (Savages), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy), Barbara Straisand (The Guilt Trip), Chloe Grace Moretz (Hick), Greta Gerwig (Lola Versus), Leila Hatami (Meeting Leila)

            WILL WIN - Toss-up between Amour, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained
            SHOULD WIN - Any of those three plus Flight (nominated) or A Late Quartet (not nominated)
            DESERVED CONSIDERATION - A Late Quartet, End of Watch, Lola Versus, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Meeting Leila (orig. Ashnaee ba Leila), Have You Seen Lupita? (orig. ¿Alguien ha visto a Lupita?)

             WILL WIN - Argo, Life of Pi or Silver Linings Playbook (TOSS-UP)
              SHOULD WIN - Lincoln
              DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Cloud Atlas, Hick, SavagesThe Perks of Being a Wall Flower, Cosmopolis

              WILL WIN - Life of Pi or Lincoln
               SHOULD WIN - Samsara, Cosmopolis, Cloud Atlas, Anna Karenina
               DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Samsara, Cosmopolis, Cloud Atlas, End of Watch

               WILL WIN - Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi) or David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
               SHOULD WIN - Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Kathryn Bigalow (Zero Dark Thirty), David Ayer (End of Watch), Ron Fricke / Mark Madigson (Samsara) or Oliver Stone (Savages)

               DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Kathryn Bigalow (Zero Dark Thirty), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), David Ayer (End of Watch), Ron Fricke / Mark Madigson (Samsara), Oliver Stone (Savages), Adel Yaraghi (Meeting Leila (orig. Ashnaee ba Leila

               WILL WIN - Brave or Wreck-it Ralph
               SHOULD WIN - Brave, Wreck-it Ralph
               WILL WIN - Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Lincoln, or Zero Dark Thirty
               SHOULD WIN - Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Cosmopolis
               DESERVED CONSIDERATION - A Late Quartet, End of Watch, The Paperboy, Savages, Cosmopolis, The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, Hick, Anna Karenina

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  1. Interesting that you left Ben Affleck out of the Best Director discussion entirely. I must go back and read your Argo review.

  2. Hi Dave, I guess I could have added him (and but look at the length of the list of people that I put as having "deserved consideration"). Adding him would have added one more name. I guess, bottom line, I do think that there were a _lot_ of good films (and well directed films) out there, some of which got no recognition at all -- Samsara (!), Cosmopolis, Cloud Atlas (!), Hick and even Savages, to say nothing of A Late Quartet (probably the funnest/best scripted/best _edited_ small film of the year ... every comma, every look and gesture in that film had significance ;-) and The Paperboy (Nicole Kidman simply got screwed).

    Anyway, if Ben Affleck ever asks, I'll apologize ;-) ;-)

  3. Ah I get it (or at least more of it ;-)! Ben Affleck has been has been dissed by not getting nominated for either Best Actor or Best Director for Argo even as his film is up for multiple awards and is expected to win at least a couple.

    I definitely didn't wish to diss Affleck for that reason ;-). I just honestly wasn't _that_ impressed with Argo, period. I don't wish to further "diss" the film because it's not a bad film. It's just that there are so many others that were easily as good that aren't getting any recognition at the Oscars at all. I mentioned a bunch above. Others would include The Perks of Being a Wall Flower and even Smashed or Safety Not Guaranteed that had some great ideas and/or performances as well. Anyway, thanks for the question!