Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Last Time Grumbling About Awards This Year


So, before I begin this entry, I do need to admit to something.

Ironically, I'd missed an entry in this last week's 'Deleted Scenes.' That's right guys, the Deleted Scenes have a deleted scene.

Ordinarily, I'd sweep this one under the rug, but this one really bugged me when it happened, and even though the event is now over, I just need to get it off my chest, so I'll get this over with and then we can enjoy the awards season shenanigans (...this is partially doing us both a favor here, really. I'm still working through a backlog of the nominated titles.)

Anyway, one last thing I have to say for 2012. To the people behind Rifftrax, I want to start this off by saying I do love your work. Both from the years on MST3k and the riffs you guys provide now, it's been generally enjoyable fare. Which is why I was surprised when you guys put together your 'vote for the worst movie of all time' list. I mean, you guys spent years in the business of finding some of the worst, WORST movies imaginable. So you can imagine my disappointment when I saw your actual ballot of candidates. Oh, sure, you guys put in a few of the classic failures, like Manos: The Hands of Fate and Birdemic...but then most of the rest of the list were pretty entry level picks. In particular I just want to say, you're gonna argue Highlander or Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, while leaving movies like Star Trek: Insurrection or the Star Wars Holiday Special out (just to scratch the surface of the truly awful) is bad on its own. Particularly damning - only one Uwe Boll film?  Really?  Then entrusting the vote to the internet, who arguably are even less apt to pick the worst actual movie and just go with what pisses them off the most...I mean, the Twilight movies are drek (though the first DOES make me laugh) but to call them the worst ever is a very sheltered view.

Alright, rant over. Point is, for people who are supposed to be bad movie experts, you guys dropped the ball there.

Now then, back to what are generally considered the good end of movies.

It's that time of year again, folks. Advertising, speculating, and general grievances over who did or didn't get picked abound. It's Awards time.

With the Oscar ballot announced and the Golden Globes having been this past weekend (or, as Futurama calls it "the Emmy of movie awards!") it seemed as good a time as any to air my own grievances/speculation on the stuff now and spare you guys the grumbling later. So let's run down the docket, shall we?

DISCLAIMER - As of this point, I still have not gotten to seeing all of the films nominated, so some of my opinion is being filled in by research at this point. You'll have to bear with me, I'm getting through them.
-Life of Pi
-Beasts of the Southern Wild
-Silver Linings Playbook
-Django Unchained
-Zero Dark Thirty
-Les Miserables

Now, had you asked me this a week or two back, I'd have sided with the people speculating Lincoln would take this hands down. With Argo pulling an upset at the Golden Globes, however, and the potential for Zero Dark Thirty, this game has gotten a bit more interesting again. That said, a part of me WOULD be interested in seeing Beasts take it for a dark horse upset, though I know the odds aren't great.

-Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
-Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
-Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
-Denzel Washington (Flight)
-Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)

OK, in this category...yeah, Lincoln is probably gonna be the safe bet. That said, given my druthers, this is another where, if I had to see an upset, I'd pull for Phoenix. Not only has this been a Hell of a comeback for him, it's also a considerably less than award (or audience) friendly role. Made even better by the fact that he genuinely doesn't really care what accolades he gets for the role. Despite his sentiment, I would like to see him get acknowledgement for this one. In the same vein, while he doesn't have good odds to take it, from what I hear from his work in it, I have to say kudos to Jackman. For as much as it seems Les Mis had technical issues, the acting seems to have been pretty solid on it.

-Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
-Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
-Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
-Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
-Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

I'm just gonna say this outright. I'm pulling for Wallis in a big way on this one. Kid goes into this project without any prior experience or formal training and she knocked it out of the park. That said, I imagine the Academy's gonna be more likely to go with Chastain or maybe Riva. Not to say these are bad choices, but personally, my vote goes to Wallis here.

...OK, so I wasn't quite up for finding screencaps for every category.  I'll meet you guys halfway with these animated GIFs.

-Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
-Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
-Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
-Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this spread, though I do still feel like there's a few people that should have been in on this that were omitted. Most damning I'd say is the fact Dwight Henry got passed over for his role as dying father Wink in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Now, at least Wallis got nominated, but really, the fact is both of them gave some great performances which really helped take the movie above and beyond. Also, while I definitely don't begrduge Waltz his second nomination, cause it was good work, I was a little surprised he was the Academy's pick from the movie. After all, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson both turned in some of the best work of their careers on this one, so much so that many thought DiCaprio would be a sure hit for this. His absence was a bit surprising. Of what we do have on the list though, I suspect Jones is going to take it, though I certainly wouldn't say no to Hoffman walking away with the award.

It also helps that this one sums up my thoughts on the snub pretty well.

-Amy Adams (The Master)
-Sally Field (Lincoln)
-Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
-Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
-Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

There's only so much can say for this one. Let's face it, it's almost a foregone conclusion that Hathaway has this one in the bag. From the sounds of things though, I can't bear her any ill will for it either. For as limited as Fantine's role is, she has put in her dues and I'll be OK with her taking this win. By the same token, I'd also be good with seeing Adams take it (cause she really seemed to slip under the radar due to her relatively understated role) or potentially Hunt, from the sounds of the info on this as her big return to film.

-The Pirates! Band of Misfits
-Wreck It Ralph

In a category where I'm largely pretty happy with most of the candidates, it's kind of a shame the one that has the best odds to win is probably the one I'd be the least happy to see take it home. Not that I disliked Brave, mind you. But compared to some of the other entries on this list, it's a rather uneven film. Pretty good for Pixar, but not their peak by any means. Ideally, I'd opt to give this one to ParaNorman, both for the fact it tried something pretty damned unique storywise and even managed to skew what was expected of it for the better in many cases, and also for the fact that stop motion really doesn't get the credit it deserves. That latter point is also why I'd be OK with seeing Frankenweenie take the spot, though admittedly both of those two are somewhat dark horse entries here.

-Django Unchained
-Life of Pi

Off the bat, I'd be inclined to hedge on either Anna Karenina or Django Unchained for this one. That said though, I still need to see Life of Pi, but from the sounds of it, that also has pretty strong odds here. Lincoln and Skyfall, both not bad, but I'm not sure either's gonna really bring the proverbial kibosh down on this one. Also, the absence of The Master is frankly a rather glaring spot on this list.  Seriously, did Anderson make some enemies after last time?

-Les Miserables
-Mirror Mirror
-Snow White and the Huntsman

LOOK AT ALL DEM PERIOD PIECES! Jokes aside though, the three period piece films have good odds here. This is a category where it's tough to really put a bet down one way or another, especially since the Academy is tough to predict when it comes to what they like in their technicals.

BEST DIRECTOR:-Amour (Michael Haneke)
-Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
-Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
-Lincoln (Steven Spielberg)
-Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)

Ouch. No love for either Anderson director this year? Of what we do have on deck, however, I'm thinking probably will go to Haneke or Spielberg. Between the two, I think Haneke would be the more interesting choice, admittedly, but I won't begrudge Spielberg if he gets it on this one.

-The Gatekeepers
-How to Survive a Plague
-The Invisible War
-Searching for Sugar Man

Here's where I'm embarassed to say at this point I've seen none of the contenders in this category. I really should fix that. In particular, the latter three have all sounded promising from what info have found on them.

-Kings Point
-Mondays at Racine
-Open Heart

See same problem as above. Gonna be doing some hunting, it seems.

BEST EDITING:-Argo (William Goldenberg)
-Life of Pi (Tim Squyres)
-Lincoln (Michael Khan)
-Silver Linings Playbook (Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers)
-Zero Dark Thirty (Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg)

From these candidates, I'd say the likely winner is probably going to either Argo or Zero Dark Thirty. Though again, with the Academy and technical awards, it's always a bit trickier to predict, as they seem to not care as much about these awards. In either case, I could be OK with this win.

-Kon-Tiki (Norway)
-No (Chile)
-A Royal Affair (Denmark)
-War Witch (Canada)

Given it holds spots on both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language, it's a pretty safe bet Amour is probably gonna take this one. Which is usually the Academy's way of then defusing its odds for Best Picture in general, but that's a vaguely paranoid rant I'll spare you. In either case, after getting nominated and not winning in 2010 for The White Ribbon, it'd be nice to see Haneke take it this time around.

-The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
-Les Miserables

WOW. That's...that's three pretty different styles right there to pick from. Makes it really hard to say which way it's gonna fall. That said, pressed on it, I'd guess probably with either The Hobbit or Les Mis. Damned if I could tell you which from there, though.

MUSIC (Original Score)
-Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
-Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
-Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
-Lincoln (John Williams)
-Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

OK, this is actually a decently tight race. Admittedly, I imagine this one may go to either of the two big power players here - Lincoln or Argo.

MUSIC (Original Song)
-"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 Miserables

If the Golden Globes are any indication, "Skyfall" is the pretty strong contender to beat here. While I'm DEFINITELY good with that, I'd be lying if a part of me wouldn't be morbidly curious to see "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" take it under the circumstances. If only to karmically bounce back from "Blame Canada" getting nominated but not winning in 2000. It's okay to have a twisted sense of humor sometimes, Academy.

-Anna Karenina
-The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
-Les Miserables
-Life of Pi
...THIS is another tough one. For my own instinct, I'd be inclined to give this to either Anna Karenina or Les Mis. The Hobbit certainly looks great, don't get me wrong, and Jackson has done a nice job with giving us a different view of the world from the last three films, but the fact he's building on a world he already gave us before stands to kneecap his odds here. Though I have to say, I'd be pretty good with seeing him win it for some of the new elements he did give us this time (even just the prologue seeing Dale and Erebor was some very nice work for his team.)

SHORT FILM (Animated)
-Adam and Dog
-Fresh Guacamole
-Head Over Heels
-Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"

For the buzz it's gained to this point, I imagine Paperman is gonna walk away with this one. That said, I'm not gonna raise too much Hell over that happening if it does. A nice burst of simplicity with a good bit of sweetness to it that didn't overpower. I'd be OK with seeing it take this.

SHORT FILM (Live Action)-Asad
-Buzkashi Boys
-Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)

...aaaaand once again I bring the knife to a gunfight. This will require more research of me.

-Django Unchained
-Life of Pi
-Zero Dark Thirty

...speaking of gunfights, a lot of strong entries involving firearms this year. At this point my money would be on either Argo or Zero Dark Thirty, though I could see Django making an interesting case for itself in this category.

-Les Miserables
-Life of Pi

While I hate to sound like that broken record, once again this one may fall on either of the two powerhouse contenders of Argo or Lincoln. I have to admit, Les Mis seems a bit of an odd choice here, given there have been issues people have had with the singing-to-music balance at points.

VISUAL EFFECTS-The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
-Life of Pi
-Marvel's The Avengers
-Snow White and the Huntsman know, this list as the Academy's laid it out actually kind of perfectly lines up with my thoughts on how this one could go, from most probable winner to least probable. Not to take any slams, but just as overall possibilities go.

WRITING (Adapted Screenplay)-Argo
-Beasts of the Southern Wild
-Life of Pi
-Silver Linings Playbook

Once again, it's probably gonna be one of the big two here. Though that's still not gonna stop me from once again pulling for Beasts. Let me dream, OK?

WRITING (Original Screenplay)-Amour
-Django Unchained
-Moonrise Kingdom
-Zero Dark Thirty

Likely answer - Amour or Zero Dark Thirty. For my pick - I'm actually kind of surprised this was the only nomination Moonrise Kingdom got. That said, I'd be okay with them taking this win. I'd also be alright with Django taking it, though I admit it wouldn't be my first choice (overall a pretty good script, but the last act's pacing was pretty erratic. Surprising from Tarantino, especially after how well Inglourious Basterds pulled off its end.)

There we have it.

Will I tune in to watch and see who won? Maybe. Will depend what's going on that night. Admittedly I'm just as prone to looking at the results the next day. I have a very love-hate relationship with awards by their nature here. In either case, I'm still gonna pull for the wild cards on this one.Come on, Academy. I know you guys have it in you to surprise me.

...just like I'm hopefully going to be able to surprise you all with this next entry!

(, even for me that was a cheap lead-off. Sorry folks.)

No comments:

Post a Comment