Rant – What the hell, Academy?

The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced last Thursday, and the internet immediately went into overdrive. Where were the nominations for Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson? What about The Hunt and Marion Cotillard’s Rust and Bone? My nomination predictations are here, and now I get to go on a rant and ask What the hell, Academy? And also give my predictions as to who will win the major categories.

Warning: contains hyperbole.

BEST PICTURE
Amour
Argo
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
This is probably the fairest and best rounded category of all. It is fantastic to see a little film like Beasts of the Southern Wild get recognised for it’s genuine brilliance, but I seriously cannot understand the love for Silver Linings Playbook. It’s good, but it’s not that good. And no love for Skyfall? For shame.
Should Win: Beasts of the Southern Wild – it’s this year’s The Artist
Will Win: Argo. I would be happy with this, but it could well turn into Lincoln‘s year.

DIRECTING
Michael Haneke – Amour
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ang Lee – Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
Ben Affleck! You were robbed! And what about Hooper, Bigelow and Tarantino? Delighted for Zeitlin (again), but am not sure he can stand up against the veteran directors in the category.
Should Win: Benh Zeitlin
Will Win: Steven Spielberg – Haneke will win Foreign Language

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight
Again, there is the love for Silver Linings… This one I think is justified though, Cooper was one of the best things about the film (the other being Jennifer Lawrence). I don’t know if Hugh Jackman should have been nominated for Les Mis – depends on the mood I am in – but I do think that Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) were robbed.
Should Win: Joaquin Phoenix, although I haven’t seen Flight yet
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis. This is completely acceptable.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible
Jennifer Lawrence is great, so I am not going to complain about her nomination. The same goes for Emmanuelle Riva, who was shamefully overlooked at Cannes, and I am filled with joy that Quvenzhané Wallis has been nominated. She is nothing short of wonderful in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Still though, no love for Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone? Shocking.
Should Win: Quvenzhané Wallis – Have you seen Beasts? She is a revelation! That said, a win at such a young age may mess her up for life, take Tatum O’Neal.
Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Arkin – Argo
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
No love for Smauel L. Jackson, who is at the top of his game in Django Unchained, and too much love for Silver Linings Playbook. De Niro has been way better, so this feels like a Lifetime Achievement nomination. Jones is fantastic in Lincoln, the same goes for Hoffman in The Master and Waltz in Django Unchained, but Arkin’s performance is largely based on verbal sparring with other characters, so I don’t think he is in with a chance here. And what about Javier Bardem for Skyfall? I call shenanigans.
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Will Win: Christoph Waltz or Tommy Lee Jones

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams – The Master
Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
What? No Dench? And there is Silver Linings Playbook cropping up again with a nomination that feels like an apology to Jacki Weaver for her not winning for Animal Kingdom, in which she gave a powerful performance.
Should Win: Amy Adams
Will Win: Anne Hathaway – Gah!

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
Wreck-It Ralph
Brave? Frankenweenie? Honestly, these were two of the most disappointing animated films of 2012. Pixar always gets a nod so that explains Brave, and it seems that the Academy is delighted that Burton made a semi-decent film after Dark Shadows. Rise of the Guardians being snubbed is a travesty, but at least Hotel Transylvania didn’t sneak onto the list.
Should Win: ParaNorman
Will Win: Brave

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Seamus McGarvey – Anna Karenina
Robert Richardson – Django Unchained
Claudio Miranda – Life of Pi
Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln
Roger Deakins – Skyfall
McGarvey and Deakins are sure to battle it out for the accolade in this category. Both Skyfall and Anna Karenina were beautifully shot, but the lavishness of Anna Karenina may clinch it for the Irishman. The lighting design of Lincoln was incredible, does this count as Cinematography?
Should Win: Seamus McGarvey/Roger Deakins
Will Win: Seamus McGarvey/Roger Deakins

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Amour (Austria)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)
Of these, I have only seen three – Amour, A Royal Affair and No. No was one of those little surprises you often find at festivals, but it doesn’t stand a chance against the juggernaut that is Amour.
Should Win: No – just to break Amour’s streak
Will Win: Amour. It’s inevitable.

The 85th Academy Awards take place on Sunday February 24th. Follow me on Twitter or check back here on the 25th to find out who won.
Or check out Movies.ie (Shameless plug)

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One thought on “Rant – What the hell, Academy?

  1. Patrick says:

    First time I comment on your site… I love ‘The hunt’ as much as you do, but it was ineligible since it was not released in the States in 2012. Look out for Mikkelsen next year 😉
    Also: Jacki Weaver WAS nominated for “Animal Kingdom”. One more reason why the nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook” remains a mystery to me.

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