Thursday, January 24, 2013

Add to Technorati FavoritesBEST ACTRESS 2012

Wow, I haven’t done one of these in a while. :) But the nominees have been announced already, and it’s a pretty special year. The line-up is quite good, but I’ll get to each individual performance in the weeks to come. There’s almost always at least a newcomer to the Best Actress line-up, and this year we got TWO – the youngest & the oldest Best Actress nominees ever. This is quite crazy; both in the same year. The other three nominees are some young good looking Caucasian actresses. Oh yeah: and quite talented. I’ve seen all 5 nominees. Interesting fact: none of these actresses is a previous winner. Let’s meet them (again).

The 5 ladies that Oscar had chosen for 2012, in alphabetical order:


Jessica Chastain as Maya, in Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany, in Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva as Anne, in Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts as Maria, in The Impossible

Now let’s see how these ladies got nominated. Jennifer Lawrence was one of the two locks for this category. She got nominated because she’s young & pretty (you know I’m right!), also talented, great at campaigning, and yeah, she’s in a really successful romantic dramedy, also nominated for Best Picture. Plus, she had Harvey Weinstein backing her up, a box-office hit in 2012 called The Hunger Games and the ability to conquer both younger audiences and not-that-young (it seems like Jane Fonda is a big fan of this performance). This is Jennifer’s 2nd nomination (the previous one was for 2010’s Winter’s Bone).

Jessica Chastain knocked it out of the park last year with at least 3 very memorable performances. Back then she was nominated for Supporting Actress for The Help (and should’ve won, in my humble opinion), but she also gave one of the year’s best performances in The Tree of Life; she was also really good in Take Shelter. So this year she is nominated for Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial Zero Dark Thirty, a film I loved. She got nominated because she rules the Drama side, had nominations from all major groups, plays a strong female character and is the driving force of her film. No surprises here.

Any of the following ladies could’ve missed on getting nominated, as it was an open race. I would say 3rd in line was Naomi Watts. The only major awards’ group she missed was BAFTA, but she competed in all the others. Her performance is so natural & heartbreaking, as she’s really the heart of her film. It’s a showy performance, but in the best possible way. I’m sure she impressed plenty of voters, just like she impressed me. Reese Witherspoon wrote a public letter saying how much she loved this performance, and that always helps I guess. It’s Naomi’s 2nd nomination, after 2003’s 21 Grams.

The next nomination is the one that brought me most joy. I had faith it will happen and it did: Emmanuelle Riva could not have been ignored, as she’s so so good in Amour. Older voters responded to the performance AND to the film in general. All it needed was to be seen. SAG didn’t nominate her, neither did the Golden Globes, but the BAFTA nomination was a good indicator, just like I had predicted. I bet most of her votes came from the non-American actors. At 85 years old, this is her first nomination.

Last but not least is Miss Quvenzhan√© Wallis. Of course, I have complained a lot about this performance, and I’ll do that again when reviewing her performance more in detail. But it really is an impressive achievement: she’s a 9 year old girl, but she was only about 7, I think, when the film was shot. She was not eligible for SAG, neither the Golden Globes nor BAFTA nominated her, so the Oscar nomination was indeed a bit of a surprise for the most of us. She benefited a lot from Beasts doing so well overall, above expectations.

Let’s throw in some names of other actresses that competed for a nomination. From runner-up to reeeeeally long shots:

2 clear front-runners:
Helen Mirren - Hitchcock (she was the next in line, right?! I didn’t like the performance, but it managed to get SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations)
Marion Cotillard - Rust and Bone (I really hoped this nomination would happen, instead of Wallis; to me she was SO good. Just like Mirren, Marion also had SAG, Golden Globe, BAFTA nominations)

Dark horses:
Rachel Weisz - The Deep Blue Sea
Judi Dench - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Keira Knightley - Anna Karenina
Maggie Smith - Quartet
Meryl Streep - Hope Springs
Mary Elizabeth Winstead - Smashed
Emayatzy Corinealdi - Middle of Nowhere

No real chance, but let’s mention them:
Elle Fanning - Ginger & Rosa
Melanie Lynskey - Hello I Must Be Going
Emily Blunt - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Barbra Streisand - The Guilt Trip
Linda Cardellini - Return
Jennifer Lawrence - The Hunger Games
Rashida Jones - Celeste & Jesse Forever

Not sure who I’ll start with. We’ll see :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Add to Technorati FavoritesFinal BEST ACTRESS predictions + the other OSCAR categories

Some quick predictions less than 24 hours before we find out this year’s Oscar nominees. Best Actress gets special treatment – just because ;)


What a race, really, with only 2 locks, a nominee I’m quite sure on and 2 open spots. Let’s see how it goes:

1. Jennifer Lawrence, for Silver Linings Playbook

My status on it: Haven’t seen it yet, unfortunately. I think Jennifer is adorable in real life, I expect to like this performance even though looks quite thin dramatically.

Why she will get nominated: Because she was nominated by every major awards’ group leading up to the Oscars. Because early on (this fall) she was considered to be the only front-runner for the win and she’s had such strong buzz back then that people are still considering her a force in this race. Her film is a sure thing for a Best Picture nomination, her character’s likeable and she has the Weinsteins behind her, campaigning.

2. Jessica Chastain, for Zero Dark Thirty

My status on it: I’ve seen the film & I really liked it. Jessica gives a really good performance, even though her character isn’t the standard character to win someone a Best Actress Oscar.

Why she will get nominated: First of all because she’s good in it. She’s had a great year last year, and there’s still some love for her after all the recent campaigning. Her film is a Best Picture front-runner, and a dramatic one that feels important – that always helps. Just like Jennifer, she’s been nominated by every big awards’ group and she’s won a couple of awards from the critics. She campaigning a lot & has people like Al Pacino cheering for her.

3. Naomi Watts, for The Impossible

My status on it: I saw the film two days ago and I was (surprisingly) blown-away by her performance. She’s such a natural, all feels so authentic.

Why she will get nominated: This nomination is not a lock, but I have strong feelings towards it. She will get nominated because she’s really good in it, because she’s popular, because she’s campaign and, just like Jessica, she has Hollywood names campaigning for her (see Reese Witherspoon). She has the SAG nomination, the Golden Globes nomination… unfortunately BAFTA did not nominate her & she’s missing from a big part of her movie, but I’m still confident she’ll make it.

4. Marion Cotillard, for Rust and Bone

My status on it: I liked the film and I also enjoyed her performance in it. She’s a natural and it’s a likeable performance that I respect a lot.

Why she will get nominated: Starting with this #4, nothing is certain. I think she will get in because she’s good in it, US voters know her and like her (she did win 5 years ago), UK voters like her + she’s campaigning like no other. She has been nominated by SAG, Golden Globes & BAFTA already, so that helps a lot. On the down side: the film is in French, so that’d be a problem. More so, there’ s another French actress trying to make her way on the list. She might not make it, but I’m predicting she will.

5. Emmanuelle Riva, for Amour

My status on it: I loved the film, I ADORE this performance. A great piece of European, realistic acting. Her performance is haunting.

Why she will get nominated: Who knows if she’ll make it, but I sure hope she will. The good news is that Amour is building steam, and the film seems to have plenty of UK support, and that’s very helpful. While it’s not necessarily an argument, Nicole Kidman likes this performance a lot. :) Some have called it the female performance of the year and that’s no small thing. The BAFTA nomination today indicated that there IS love for her. The problem is that it’s a foreign language film, and it’s happened only twice in Oscar history for them to nominate 2 foreign language performances in Best Actress (last time being 36 years ago). SAG didn’t nominate her, neither did the Golden Globes. But here’s hoping the passion for her performance will bring her through.

The runner-ups:

6. Helen Mirren, for Hitchcock

Why it’s a runner-up: The film is a massive failure and I thought her performance was overcooked, but she did get nominations from SAG, Golden Globes & BAFTA. Normally, she should be in the top 5; it’s just that I’ve seen the performance and I don’t see the quality there. But she could most certainly spoil.

7. Quvenzhané Wallis, for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Why it’s a runner-up: A lot of people keep predicting her. I’ve seen the film and while it is nice for a child performance, she was I think 6 years old (!!!) when she made the film. I don’t think a 6 year old should even be in the conversation. She cries when it’s needed, but not in an acting kind of year. Just the reactions of a child put together, edited in a film. Still, some think she’ll a real contender. She could definitely surprise.

8. Rachel Weisz, for The Deep Blue Sea

Why it’s a runner-up: Here’s a film that came out of nowhere because it was released in spring, few people saw it and… well, it’s not much of the film. The performance is good, but rather forgettable for me. She surprised with a win from the New York Film Critics Circle and somehow managed a Golden Globe nomination. I feel this was it for her performance – just the simple buzz created an achievement on its own; but who knows. Maybe I am underestimating.

9. Keira Knightley, for Anna Karenina

Why it’s a runner-up: I’ll see the film later this week, but here’s a performance that went nowhere in the awards season, even though in the summer & autumn there was some pale buzz. But critics refused to acknowledge it. A nomination right now would be quite a shocker, but there’s still a very small possibility of happening.

10. Judi Dench, for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Why it’s a runner-up: A BAFTA nomination would’ve helped a lot here. But it didn’t happen, so all she has in her favor is a Golden Globe nomination. I’d normally say it’s not enough, but this is Judi Dench so who knows what might happen. The fact that Riva & Mirren, actresses over the age of 65, are also competing with betters shots, takes away from her chances of convincing the older voters.

My other predictions (ranked on chance of getting nominated):


1. Lincoln
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Argo
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. Les Miserables
6. Life of Pi
7. Django Unchained
8. Amour
9. The Master

In case 10 films get nominated: 10. Moonrise Kingdom
Runner-up: Beasts of the Southern Wild


1. Ben Affleck – Argo
2. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
3. Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
4. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
5. Michael Haneke – Amour

Runner-up: Tom Hooper – Les Miserables


1. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
2. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
3. Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
4. John Hawkes – The Sessions
5. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Runner-up: Denzel Washington – Flight

BEST ACTRESS – already discussed above.


1. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
3. Alan Arkin – Argo
4. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
5. Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained

Runner-up: Javier Bardem – Skyfall


1. Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
2. Sally Field – Lincoln
3. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
4. Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy
5. Amy Adams – The Master

Runner-up: Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. The Master
4. Django Unchained
5. Amour

Runner-up: The Intouchables


1. Lincoln
2. Silver Linings Playbook
3. Argo
4. Life of Pi
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Runner-up: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


1. Lincoln
2. Anna Karenina
3. Life of Pi
4. Argo
5. Cloud Atlas

Runner-up: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


2. Skyfall
1. Les Miserables
3. Django Unchained („Ancora qui”)
4. Paul Williams Still Alive
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Runner-up: Life of Pi


1. Life of Pi
2. Skyfall
3. Lincoln
4. Django Unchained
5. Anna Karenina

Runner-up: Les Miserables


1. Anna Karenina
2. Les Miserables
3. Lincoln
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
5. Prometheus

Runner-up: Life of Pi


1. Anna Karenina
2. Les Miserables
3. Django Unchained
4. Lincoln
5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Runner-up: Mirror Mirror


1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Argo
3. Lincoln
4. Life of Pi
5. Les Miserables

Runner-up: Silver Linings Playbook


1. Les Miserables
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Skyfall
4. Django Unchained
5. The Dark Knight Rises

Runner-up: Lincoln


1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Skyfall
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Life of Pi
5. Django Unchained

Runner-up: The Impossible


1. Life of Pi
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. The Avengers
5. Prometheus

Runner-up: Cloud Atlas


1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
2. Les Miserables
3. Lincoln

Runner-up: Men in Black 3


1. Frankenweenie
2. Brave
3. Wreck-It Ralph
4. ParaNorman
5. The Painting

Runner-up: Rise of the Guardians


1. Amour – Austria
2. The Intouchables – France
3. No – Chile
4. Beyond the Hills – Romania
5. War Witch – Canada

Runner-up: Kon-Tiki – Norway