Hey everyone – in case you aren’t like me and don’t endlessly surf entertainment websites in your free time then I must inform you that the Superbowl of culture, the Academy Awards, are this Sunday. Last year was the first year of my life that I was unable to watch the telecast live while eating fancy cheese, drinking wine, rewinding the best speeches and then calling my sister to talk about who’s dress was totally ah-mahzing. I was depressed knowing that I was going to miss this event and so I didn’t watch many of the nominees, didn’t read magazine articles predicting winners and front-runners and pretended like it wasn’t happening.
Because I live in Japan, I find I do this a lot. It’s less painful to just pretend the Oscars, March Madness, and Christmas simply don’t exist than to know they exist and I am not participating in them. But that’s no way to live your life and I felt a huge void after my self-imposed Oscar strike last year. So this year I have come back with a score to settle like my name is Django. I have watched all of the best pictures nominees (with the exception of The Life of Pi which I am seeing on Saturday as per Brem’s recommendation), all of the nominated performances and now I can bring you my obligatory Will Win/Should Win blog post. You’re welcome.
Best Picture – This race is down to two frontrunners at this point — Argo and Lincoln. I saw and thoroughly enjoyed both of these movies and was very surprised on both accounts. Both of these plots sound like history lessons that I would totally want to sleep through on paper but in actuality they were full of suspense (though in very different ways), intelligent, interesting, funny (Not like Will Ferrell funny, but like NPR clever funny), and had some great performances.
If I am going to be perfectly honest, I think enjoyed Argo just slightly more than Lincoln but I was more surprised by how much I enjoyed Lincoln.I’m not usually big on historical fiction films, but Spielberg (and most importantly – Daniel Day Lewis) fucking nailed it. It was a highly entertaining history lesson with a great performances and script.
There were many other nominees I really loved. I thought Beasts of the Southern Wild was unique and beautifully done and that no movie would break my heart more than Amour did. And Silver Linings Playbook boasted an excellent ensemble and was one of the more enjoyable 2 hours I spent watching a movie this year.
Will Win – Argo. Apparently a lot of voters are pissed because Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for best director (and yes, he should have been) and so now the good will for Ben (get it “good will”?) and the movie will arrive in a best picture win for Argo.
Should Win – Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook. I really enjoyed Argo a ton, but I think Lincoln was the better overall movie. It was funny, engaging, had a huge cast of talented actors, a great script, and a tour de force perfomance by DDL. Also Brem’s favorite boy, Joseph Gordon Levitt, was in it. And Silver Linings Playbook was the movie I most enjoyed watching just for the entertainment and heart of it.
Wish it was nominated – The Impossible — seriously — great performances from the leads and a truly terrifying and great movie – I think people were afraid to see it because of the subject matter and that is too damn bad, Perks of Being a Wallflower – great script, excellent young cast, and an incredibly real and moving look at the high school years, Moonrise Kingdom – My favorite Wes Anderson movie since Rushmore.
I don’t think I need to or want to talk about the other performances in this category because Daniel Day Lewis owns this shit. His Abraham Lincoln is absolutely mesmerizing and it carries the movie. Of course he has great actors to bounce off and work with – but really – I think I could probably watch DDL read the phone book as Lincoln and be pretty damn amazed.
Will Win – Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln
Should Win – Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln
Wish They Were Nominated – Tom Holland for The Impossible. He and Naomi Watts totally owned this movie, I don’t care if he is a teenager — he definitely gave an amazing performance that gave me chills, John Hawkes – The Sessions – he gave one of the most moving and funniest performances of the year in a movie that could have been awful but ended up to be beautiful. And he did it while in an iron lung or laying down. A real shame he wasn’t nominated.
This category is full of fabulous performances. At first it seemed liked it was Jessica Chastain’s to lose but I have to say that she actually gives my least favorite performance in this category. Her character was too elusive, there wasn’t enough for me to get attached to. And this doesn’t have to do with Chastain, who I think is a lovely and talented actress who will certainly win an Oscar or two in her time, but more with the fact that the other women just deliver so much more.
Although Naomi Watts is a very long shot she was so alive and electrifying in The Impossible and Quvenzhane Wallis turned in the type of performance that I think only an innocent child could pull off – completely lacking artificiality and extremely raw – she made me want to name a baby Hushpuppy. Emanuelle Riva broke my heart into a thousand pieces in Amour – even more so because in the past ten years I watched both of my grandmothers fall quickly in decline via Alzheimers and cancer.
But for my money the best performance of the year was given by Jennifer Lawrence. Now, I know I’ve written about my best friend obsession with Jlaw in the blog before – but see this movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I feel like the movie didn’t start until she walked into the frame. She is sexy, messy, vulnerable, funny, tragic, and a complete fucking revelation. Her Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook is the standout performance of the film (that is filled with great performances) – just watch the scene where she takes down De Niro and tell me she doesn’t deserve that gold, bald man! Also – how great is her speech going to be if she wins? I know this shouldn’t factor in, but damn — the girl gives a funny speech.
Will Win – (fingers crossed) J-Law for Silver Linings Playbook (though apparently Riva, who celebrates her 86th birthday on Sunday is nipping at her heels)
Should Win – JLaw – I don’t care that people are saying that Riva should win since she is 86 and this is her last shot and that Lawrence is 22 and will surely be nominated many more times. We should reward to the performance of the year — and to me — that’s future celebrity bff — Jlaw.
Wish They Were Nominated – Can’t think of anyone here. They pretty much nailed this category.
Best Supporting Actor
This is also an extremely tight race though I find myself less than invested since every guy in this category already has an Oscar and with the exception of De Niro – acquired said Oscar in the best 10 years. I liked all of the performances in this category but I think Christoph Waltz felt more like a lead than a supporting character. Full disclosure – I have a mad hot crush on Waltz — it can’t be explained.
I sort of hate this category because the person who I think gave the best performance is the one I sort of hope doesn’t win because his speech will be dry and horrible and he seems like a dick in real life — Mr. Tommy Lee Jones. Jones is great in Lincoln, funny, feisty and everything he is seemingly not when I see him being interviewed.
Jones is great – but I sort of hope that Robert De Niro wins even though I think Jones was better. I love De Niro but he definitely had been phoning it in for years so I was really surprised to see him bring such emotion and life to his character in Silver Linings Playbook.There is also something about him that kind of reminds me of my dad — they don’t look alike – but there is just something. Anyway, cheering for De Niro, won’t hate it if Alan Arkin wins because his speech will be great, but I sense Jones will walk away the winner.
Will Win – Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln – He will also give the most boring speech ever and I will not watch it.
Should Win – I’m going to go with my heart (not my head) and say Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook.
Should Have Been Nominated – Ezra Miller – The Perks of Being a Wallflower — the kid totally destroyed it and reminds me of a young Robert Downey Junior. I look forward to seeing where he goes next in his career. The guy playing Hushpuppy’s dad in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway has pretty much locked this up and started practicing her super fake surprised face and her humble “it’s an honor to be in this category of women” speech (stop acting shocked you won – you’ve been sweeping the category this awards season). I don’t hate Hathaway by any means, in fact I thought she should have won Best Actress for Rachel Getting Married, but I think this performance is WAY over-hyped. Sure she did the song live and in one take, but I didn’t feel that merits an award. I don’t know how buzz gets started or how it just became a foregone conclusion that she’d win, but I think it sucks.
For my money – the very best and perhaps the gutsiest performance of the year was given by Helen Hunt in The Sessions. If you’ve seen the movie then I have to remind you of that scene where she breaks down in the car after seeing Mark for their last session. She knocks it out the park. I know the likely runner up to Hathaway would be Sally Field – who delivered a great and sassy turn as Mrs. Lincoln – but I think her performance is getting runner-up status because everyone loves a come back and Sally Field is a beloved two time Academy Award winner. But I’m telling you – see The Sessions and then tell me that Helen Hunt isn’t the bad damn performance in this category.
Will Win – Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables – (PS – She gave a better performance as the sexy and morally ambiguous Selina Kyle in final Batman movie)
Should Win – Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Should Have Been Nominated – I really thought Kayla Howard – (the little girl in Moonrise Kingdom) was something else. I hope she keeps a level head and turns out like a Fanning instead of a Lohan.
Best Director – Everyone is still pretty pissed that Ben Affleck isn’t nominated (myself included) but there are some terrific nominees in this category. I think it’s between Ang Lee and Spielberg for this one with David O. Russell as the dark horse contender. I am seeing Life of Pi later this afternoon so I feel I can’t speak to this category except to say I’d be rooting for Affleck had he been nominated and until I see Life of Pi I think Spielberg is my pick to win.
Will Win – Spielberg for Lincoln
Should Win – Can’t say until I’ve seen Life of Pi — will fill you in later.
Drink anytime the following happens:
- Seth MacFarlane uses a voice from Family Guy
- When someone refers to Jennifer Lawrence as Jlaw
- Any time someone mentions Ben Affleck getting snubbed or Ben Affleck in general
- When the camera cuts to Tommy Lee Jones’ unsmiling face
- Anyone makes the “oh no you didn’t” face after MacFarlane rips on someone in his opening monologue
- Every time someone says “It’s an honor to be nominated”
- When the camera cuts to Jack Nicholson (if he is attending), Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, or Robert De Niro. I feel like they may be getting a lot of face time.
- Someone mentions how old Quvenzhane Wallis or Emanuelle Riva are.
- Someone mispronounces or makes a joke about mispronouncing “Quvenzhane”
- Someone thanks Harvey Weinstein
- When a person clutches the Oscar tightly and raises it in the air during a speech
What I’m Reading – Just finished two great books. The first one, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwable, I have mentioned on the blog before. I finished it last week and full body sobbed into my pillow before going to bed. A book about death, life, and reading — I loved it and could not recommend it more if you are a lover of books. A great non-fiction read. I also just read The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I saw the movie before reading the book (something I usually avoid doing), but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book at all. A rare case when the book and movie are very close in quality and enjoyment to each other. A funny, fast read.
What I’m Watching – The wedding episode of Parks and Recreation was just completely lovely. I cried literally (said in my Chris Traeger voice) three times. Particularly at the scenes between Ron and Leslie. This is the best ensemble comedy tv show on the air right now and this episode proves it with it’s heart and hilarity.
What I’m Listening To – Took Brem’s advice and avoided the new Local Natives album and instead have been feeling nostalgic and listening to their old album Gorilla Manor. I forgot what a great full album that way. There isn’t a song I skip when I am driving.
That’s all. Thanks for reading, thanks for liking this on facebook, passing it on to your friends, messaging us with your kind words, etc. We appreciate you guys!