2013 Oscar Nominations – Full List and Predictions 0 74

Oscar nominations 2013

Yesterday the BAFTAs announced its nominations for this year and today, as usual, the Academy Awards has followed suit. Read on for the full list of nominations.

Once again there’s a mix of things going on, with a huge dose of predictability mixed in with a couple of surprises, good and bad. The likes of Lincoln (leading the way with 12 nominations), Zero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables are there in the big categories while the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Marmite movie The Master turns up multiple times in the acting categories and a few of the bigger blockbusters of the year make an appearance in the technical categories, not least of which is Skyfall which is nominated for Roger Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography, amongst many other things.

I am particularly happy to see Quvenzhané Wallis get a Best Actress nod for her magnificent performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild, making her the youngest person ever to be nominated, and to see Michael Haneke’s gut-punch experience Amour right up there in the big categories. I don’t think it will win Best Picture but has a very good chance at nabbing Best Foreign Film.

As always there are films which deserved to be there which are nowhere to be seen; both Denis Lavant for Holy Motors and Matthew McConaughey for Killer Joe deserved to be nominated for their astonishing performances in their respective films. And one of the year’s finest documentaries, The Imposter, isn’t there, although that might speak to how good of a year 2012 was for documentaries more than anything else.

Take a look at the full list of nominees below. I’ve also decided to highlight in bold the nominees I think will end up winning:

BEST PICTURE

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ACTOR

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

BEST ACTRESS

  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible
  • Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Alan Arkin, Argo
  • Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams, The Master
  • Sally Field, Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Michael Haneke, Amour
  • Ang Lee, Life of Pi
  • David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
  • Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
  • Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
  • John Gatins, Flight
  • Michael Haneke, Amour
  • Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Tony Kushner, Lincoln
  • David Magee, Life of Pi
  • David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Chris Terrio, Argo

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Wreck-It Ralph

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
  • Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
  • Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
  • Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
  • Skyfall, Roger Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
  • Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
  • Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
  • Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
  • Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • 5 Broken Cameras
  • The Gatekeepers
  • How to Survive a Plague
  • The Invisible War
  • Searching for Sugar Man

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
  • Kings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
  • Mondays at Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
  • Open Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
  • Redemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Argo, William Goldenberg
  • Life of Pi, Tim Squyres
  • Lincoln, Michael Kahn
  • Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
  • Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

BEST FOREIGN FILM

  • Amour, Austria
  • Kon-Tiki, Norway
  • No, Chile
  • A Royal Affair, Denmark
  • War Witch, Canada

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
  • Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
  • Argo, Alexandre Desplat
  • Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
  • Lincoln, John Williams
  • Skyfall, Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • Before My Time from Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
  • Everybody Needs A Best Friend from Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
  • Pi’s Lullaby from Life of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
  • Skyfall from Skyfall, Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
  • Suddenly from Les Misérables, Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
  • Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
  • Life of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee
  • Fresh Guacamole, PES
  • Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
  • Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare, David Silverman
  • Paperman, John Kahrs

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
  • Buzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel Nasr
  • Curfew, Shawn Christensen
  • Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
  • Henry, Yan England

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
  • Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
  • Life of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
  • Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
  • Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
  • Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
  • Life of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
  • Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
  • Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
  • Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
  • Marvel’s The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
  • Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
  • Snow White and the Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

– – –

What do you make of this year’s Oscar nominations? What did the Academy get right? What did they get dead wrong? What’s missing that should be there? Leave your thoughts, as well as your choices, in the comments below!

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I’m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features.

I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Movie Review: Home Again 0 418

This review was previously published at The National.

Despite an obviously talented leading lady in Reese Witherspoon and a family pedigree behind the camera in making this sort of rom-com flutter sweetly off the screen, Home Again struggles to finds its way out of cloying cliché and narrative contrivance.

This is the directorial debut of Hallie Myers-Shyer, daughter of genre stalwart Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, What Women Want). It focuses on the life of Alice Kinney (Witherspoon), a single mum who has just turned 40 and tries her best to raise her two daughters Isabel (Lola Flanery) and Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield) in Los Angeles with her job as an interior decorator.

Freshly separated from her British music mogul husband Austen (Michael Sheen), she embarks on a drunken birthday night celebration that leads to her meeting a trio of 20-something lads – Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) – who are trying their best to break into the Hollywood movie business.

The young men improbably end up staying in Alice’s guest house while they work on finishing the script for their first film. Before long they become an integral part of her life, from Alice embarking on a romantic relationship with Harry to George helping out Isabel with her school play. To quote the title of the director’s mother’s 2009 film – it’s complicated.

Except the film mistakes the kind of enjoyably frothy complexity exemplified by the best of the genre for skin-clawing convolution that renders much of the romantic and comedically-tinged drama of Alice’s life lacking in authenticity. Not that it needs the ring of truth that comes with, say, a Ken Loach picture but you need to be able to invest and believe in these characters’ lives as presented.

The approach to gender and generational relationships is simplistic which, of course, is nothing new to a genre that, at least in its Hollywoodized state, so often throws up films meant to be taken as easy-going fluff. But it’s particularly frustrating here when it squanders the potential thrown up with the initial concept of a woman trying to find herself again once she’s out of a stale relationship by entering into one with a much younger man.

It strangely seems far more interested in the plight of the three young men working as three cogs of one creative machine – director/producer, writer and actor – to get ahead in the movie business.  But even then it smacks of implausibility, like a cheap rom-com version of the bromance found in Entourage but without any of the snarky wit or Hollywood satire. Despite decent chemistry between a likeable assembled cast, Home Again is a tough pill to swallow as it rings false through and through.

3.5 out of 10

Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin 0 449

This review was previously published at The National.

The world of celebrated children’s author A. A. Milne and the creation of his beloved Winnie the Pooh stories are chronicled in this frightfully polite biopic from director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) that flirts with dipping its toes into darker waters but steadfastly clings to safe tropes and always with its top button firmly fastened.

We start off in 1941 where we find an ageing Milne (Domhnall Gleeson in questionable make-up and greyed hair) and his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) living on their secluded East Sussex farm. They receive a telegram informing them that their son, C.R. Milne, is missing presumed dead after heading off to fight in World War Two.

We then jump back in time to Milne on the front lines of the First World War. He returns from the fighting a changed man; suffering from PTSD (popped balloons evoking sudden gunfire et al.), becoming increasingly sick of just making people laugh with his West End plays and the general hustle-bustle that comes with big city life.

He convinces his reluctant wife to move to the country for some peace and quiet and where his infant son, Christopher Robin (played by Will Tilston at the younger age, Alex Lawther as he gets older), can go on the childhood adventures he deserves with the support of loving nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald).

Settling into the kind of serene life he craves, he is inspired to create Winnie the Pooh and the rest of his soon-to-be-beloved friends inspired by the stuffed animals with which his young son has become so enamoured. Unfortunately for Christopher – referred to by everyone as “Billy Moon” – his father uses his real name in the stories, turning him into one of the most famous boys in the nation.

Despite the obvious attraction of it exploring the world famous Pooh stories, it’s a film much more interested in the effect it has on a fractured family clinging on to peacefulness, not least the unwanted attention thrust upon a young boy who simply isn’t equipped to handle it and how his parents carry on oblivious.

If anything it takes a curiously bleak outlook on what these stories mean to the world once they’ve been put out there, conveying a somewhat confusing message for a film that ultimately wants us to celebrate these stories as immortally cherished tales; that the Winnie the Pooh embraced immediately by the public and has now stood the test of time for almost a century is in some way missing the point of what it truly means to the author and a son who, inadvertently or not, was used as a tool of innocence to sell the idea of an idyllic childhood in Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood.

It’s bolstered by almost uniformly moving performances; Gleeson plays Milne with a kind of damaged empathy that makes you feel like you get to know the author beyond the public persona. Macdonald is oftentimes heart-breaking as Christopher’s devoted caregiver and Tilston walks away with the film as the adorably sweet-natured young Christopher. It’s only with Robbie that the film makes a misstep; she’s miscast as Milne’s wife and never stepping out of the shadow of cold motherly cliché.

In spite of its darker leanings, the film remains too buttoned up to properly wrestle with those themes in any sort of lasting way, far too polite to ever dive head first into the murky waters into which the drama intermittently peers.

Wrapped in Ben Smithard’s handsomely old-fashioned cinematography and soaked in Carter Burwell’s perpetually swelling score, it’s an aesthetically and emotionally appealing but nevertheless fairly vanilla period biopic best suited to being enjoyed on a rainy Sunday afternoon with tea and biscuits.

6.5 out of 10