Dear Papa Oscar…


The Academy. AMPAS. That there group of old, white men. Whatever you choose to call them, it’s fair to say we all have a pretty tumultuous relationship with the Oscars and the way each respective year’s ‘Best of Film’ is represented. Someone’s always left out, certain films are never pushed and, let’s face it, if it’s backed by the Weinsteins, that movie’s chances are skyrocketed by about a billion percent.

Yet I find myself oddly fascinated by the whole bizarre nature of Awards Season and how it ultimately appears to be a bit of a numbers game. Last year I pretty much called all the winners apart from Meryl’s cheeky little deprivation of Viola Davis’ glory and that wonderfully unexpected Best Editing win for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But this year’s feeling a little different. A bit more wide-open. Although Zero Dark Thirty has had an incredible run, Argo is looming ever greater behind Bigelow and Life Of Pi’s huge BAFTA nomination haul is certainly not to be ignored.

Though the acting quartet of Chastain, Day-Lewis, Hathaway and Jones seem pretty sturdy in their respective runs thus far, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sally Field are Academy heavyweights who have had more than their fair share of success with individual Critics groups, with Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva also making their mark.

But I have a few wishes of my own this year, Papa Oscar. A few things I’d like to see and a few people I’d like to see left out. Watch the nominations live here at 13:30 UK time and check out what I have to say (along with my predictions for the big eight categories) below:

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: I would absolutely love to see Perks Of Being A Wallflower in there. Chbosky deserves far more praise than he’s received for his film.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Looper, Looper, Looper. If Rian Johnson’s phenomenal film pops up in this category, you have my permission to spontaneously combust.

Django Unchained
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Nicole Kidman’s the one I’m feeling iffy over. She’s been skulking around the sidelines all coy and quiet, but with her track record, she’s the kind of candidate that could easily slip in there. Maggie Smith may be lucky for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and, if Best Picture and Supporting Actor noms are on the cards for Skyfall, don’t be surprised to see a vote for Dame Judi of Dench.

Amy Adams – The Master
Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: I don’t feel Arkin should be in this category. But the Academy love him, yadda yadda. I’d like to see him and Bardem replaced with Dwight Henry and Christoph Waltz, but of course my absolute dream would be a Magic Mike vote for Mr McConaughey.

Alan Arkin – Argo
Javier Bardem – Skyfall
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

BEST ACTRESS: I don’t see how anyone else could break into this category. This is the only one I’m feeling confident with, but I do want some surprises thrown in today please, Academy!!

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard – Rust And Bone
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild

BEST ACTOR: If Phoenix isn’t nominated I will actually kick off. I think Jackman may be the one to lose out here. BAFTA didn’t nominate Washington, but interesting fact, fact fans, they actually never have. But there’s usually a rogue foreign vote that comes into play within the male contingent, so I await this category pretty eagerly. Will it be Amour’s Jean-Louis Trintignant? Could someone from Untouchable pop up unexpectedly, per chance? It is backed by the Weinsteins afterall. I guess we’ll find out in an hour or so.

Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
John Hawkes – The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight

BEST DIRECTOR: Could Paul Thomas Anderson pull this one back? I really hope so. But The Master’s campaign has fizzled a little of late and some people are finding it hard to believe that even Phoenix will find himself nominated, which would be an absolute travesty when he gives one of, if not the best, performances of the year. Tom Hooper’s also an outside bet, but the love for Les Miserables seems to be falling mainly within the Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress categories, not with its direction, necessarily. Plus Spielberg’s Spielberg, even if BAFTA left him out. Tarantino’s the one I just can’t decide on, however. But more about that down in the Best Picture conversation.

Ben Affleck – Argo
Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke – Amour
Ang Lee – Life Of Pi
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln

BEST PICTURE: This category has proved pretty hard when it comes down to choosing the last few nominees, as up to ten films are allowed to be nominated. But this does not necessarily mean ten will feature. I think it’s going to be a year for eight or nine nominees (probably nine), but it’s definitely a year where it has the potential to be filled by ten. I am absolutely, completely, one hundred percent certain of the seven I have listed below. But then there is the question over Django Unchained. It screened late for voters which could very well work to its advantage – BAFTA sure felt it right to nominate Tarantino for Best Director – but it sure has felt very much like a last minute campaign. Whether it pays off, we are yet to see, but it is a Weinstein product, remember. My other question is over Amour breaking out of the Best Foreign Film category, which is looking incredibly likely. The strong chance of Haneke receiving a Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress nod only strengthen this, along with the fact it won Haneke his second Palme d’Or. I really wouldn’t count the French film out, but I don’t yet feel it to be an absolute mortal lock. The only other two that are niggling at the back of my mind are The Master and Skyfall. Skyfall has an outside chance, in my opinion, but with its commercial and critical success, it’s really the kind of film that could get in there where I feel The Dark Knight Rises won’t. The Master, on the other hand, completely deserves to be in there and absolutely, hands down should be in there, but its campaign has felt tainted and lacking in force recently, so I’m a little too scared to put it down as a certainty! My only other very, very outside bet? Untouchable. All I want is some surprises, please, Academy.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Life Of Pi
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Also, please give some love to Beasts Of The Southern Wild for Best Score and Mirror Mirror for Best Costume Design. Ta.

One response to “Dear Papa Oscar…

  1. Pingback: I Should Probably Post These Oscar Nominations, Then | iamnotwaynegale

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