Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who SHOULD Win the Oscar?

Hollywood’s favorite night of giving themselves pats on the 

back and handjobs is fast approaching, so I thought I’d give you

my picks for who SHOULD win the major awards. It doesn’t 

necessarily  mean they WILL win—but they should.

Best Actor: 

Daniel Day-Lewis for LINCOLN: This is pretty much a no-brainer. Day-Lewis should, and

 likely will, walk away with the award. He’s one of the best actors around, and he was able

 to breathe real life into the marble-statue of Abraham Lincoln. We’ll never get to see how

 the real Lincoln talked and walked, but I’m willing to bet all the five dollar bills in the world

 that Day-Lewis’ performance is pretty darn close. (note: any other year, I would say this

 award should go to Joaquin Phoenix for his haunting performance in THE MASTER, but 

you just can’t beat Day-Lewis).

Best Supporting Actor:

Christoph Waltz for DJANGO UNCHAINED: This is a hard one. All of the actors

 nominated in this category gave great performances, especially Tommy Lee Jones in

 LINCOLN and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in THE MASTER. But Waltz is so damn fun in

 this role, his charm is irresistible.

Best Actress:

Jessica Chastain for ZERO DARK THIRTY: The media has pretty much all but declared

 this award for Jennifer Lawrence, and she will likely win, and that’s a damn shame. Don’t

 get me wrong, I love JLAW as much as the next fellow. She seems like a charming young

 lady, and she does give a fine performance in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. But

 Jessica Chastain’s work in ZERO DARK THIRTY is one of the strongest performances

 I’ve ever seen on film. It’s not a very showy performance, but it’s a thing of beauty.

 Chastain’s character Maya is in almost every frame of this film, and even when she’s not 

saying anything, you can constantly see the gears turning behind the eyes of this

 character. She is obsessive and determined, and in the final moments of the movie, she 

finally lets her guard down and we as audience see what a terrible toll this manhunt has

 taken on her. This award should be a lock for Chastain, and the fact that it isn’t goes to 

show you how flawed the Oscars can be.

Best Supporting Actress: 

Amy Adams for THE MASTER: Now, who am I kidding? This year this award might as

 well be called The Anne Hathaway Award for Excellence. Hathaway will be going home

 with this award come Oscar night, and it wont be entirely undeserved. Her performance is

 one of the best things about the messy train-wreck that is LES MISERABLES. But the

fact of the matter is, Hathaway doesn’t really do much. Her performance of I Dreamed a

Dream is no doubt a show-stopper, but she’s more or less out of the picture after that

scene. Amy Adams’ performance in THE MASTER, however, is a tour de force. Adams’

character first seems like a timid wife, but we slowly begin to realize how cunning and 

ruthless she can be. She also delivers perhaps the most awkward handjob in film 


Best Original Screenplay:

Quentin Tarantino for DJANGO UNCHAINED: Tarantino’s bloody, brutal, hilarious 

screenplay for DJANGO UNCHAINED is the stuff cinema dreams are made of. The 

screenplays for ZERO DARK THIRTY and MOONRISE KINGDOM both come very,very 

close to getting my pick, but when it comes down to it, Tarantino’s screenplay is just too 

damn good to ignore. 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Tony Kushner for LINCOLN: Chris Terrio’s script for ARGO will probably win this, but

really it should go to Kushner. Kushner turned what could’ve easily been a boring cradle

to the grave bio-pic into a heartfelt, touching, and surprisingly funny slice-of-life film about

the final days of Abraham Lincoln. Kushner took Doris Kearns Goodwins massive book 

Team of Rivals and whittled it down into a tight, fast-paced story.

Best Director:

Kathryn Bigelow for ZERO DARK THIRTY: Okay, this is cheating, because Bigelow

wasn’t even nominated—but remember, this is my list of who SHOULD win. And god 

damn it, Bigelow SHOULD WIN. The fact that the Academy chose NOT to nominate her is

a joke. Bigelow’s direction for ZDT is masterful—she has complete and total control of 

everything that is going on, and moves the story along at a break-neck speed. The

Academy should all get a swift kick in the ass for overlooking her this year. That said, if I

have to pick someone who was ACTUALLY NOMINATED, I would go with Steven 

Spielberg for LINCOLN. It’s the SECOND Best Directed film of the year…

And finally:

Best Picture:


Zero Dark Thirty: It seems like ARGO is going to win this award, since it has won pretty

much every other award in this category, and frankly, the Academy LOVES movies 

ABOUT movies, so it’s probably a safe bet that ARGO will win. But, to borrow a phrase 

from the film—Argo fuck yourself. ZERO DARK THIRTY is hands-down the best film of

the year. What could’ve simply been a propaganda piece, or a heavy-handed diatribe 

about post 9-11 politics is, in the hands of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, a break-neck 

thriller for our times. The lengthy hunt for Osama Bin Laden is stripped down to one

woman’s relentless quest to get her job done. The ending raid on Bin Laden’s compound 

is one of the best pieces of directing ever put up on the silver screen, and while many in

the media have talked out of their asses about the “message” of the film, Bigelow and

Boal never point fingers or even take a specific stance—they present the story as-is, and 

let the audience draw their own conclusions. This is challenging, thrilling filmmaking, and i

should be rewarded.

So there you have it. Feel free to tell me YOUR opinions/picks.

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