I'll keep it short and sweet(I use "sweet" loosely). BEST PICTURE: I'm sort of glad the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences(we capitalize this group?) has opened the category for more movie fare. It makes the bad films look so much better. All the money is going on Argo, but I'm not. I can't tell you how disappointed I was in this cliche-film about a hostage escape. Nothing new. John Goodman and Alan Arkin give the film its only spice. The rest is predictable, boring, and not very exciting. I'm going with my heart on this one: Silver Linings Playbook. Great direction, great performances, and a truly unique, engaging, story with some guts and muscle.
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis will win Lincoln's only major Oscar. It's a life-achievement kind of thing. He has the chops, he's proven talent in so many films, and he can't be denied on this role. The Academy clack will do this. Bradley Cooper and Denzel gave fantastic, Oscar-worthy performances in Silver Linings and Flight. But the Academy won't shun Spielberg on all counts for all of the controversy surrounding Lincoln (see previous blog, Reality Bites!). Joaquin Phoenix was marvelous in The Master, but it was as if he were in another film other than the jumbled storyline laid down in one of the year's worst, and most confusing movies. BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence(Silver Linings) could sneak in for an underdog upset, but I think the Oscar belongs to Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty. They owe Katherine Bigelow something for the super-patriotic making of this film and Chastain is looking like the new Streep-Blanchette-Theron super-female all roled into one. If she keeps picking the right stuff, Chastain will win more than one Oscar in a stellar career.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook. There is no getting around it. It's the right thing to do, and his stars have all lined up. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: I'm crazy. Helen Hunt for The Sessions. Don't ask. It's one of those suprise Oscars, the shocker, the sleeper, whatever! I know all of the buzz in on Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, but it is a small role and it wasn't drop-dead outstanding. Her singing was good, acting better, but two other females in Les Mis, Amanda Seyfried and Samantha Barks, were belting-out Broadway tunes to beat-the-band.
BEST DIRECTOR: I have to put this one in since I'm a DGA member and did not vote for the eventual Directors Guild winner. As I've said before, too much controversy around Lincoln and Spielberg, even if he deserves it. It's a perfect storm then for David O. Russell of Silver Linings Playbook who also deserves the Oscar for a wonderful ensemble cast, in a terrific story, well written, and well directed. Life of Pi was outstanding and in another year with other films, Ang Lee can walk away with a statuette. He is simply one of the best motion picture directors of our time, and can make Shineola out of ..... you know, just about always.
Ya-ba-da-ya-ba-da, That's All Folks!