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The Oscars are my favourite Awards Show (even as I sit here typing this with the Grammy’s on). Every year, it’s a race to try to see all the nominated movies before the Oscar broadcast and this year is no different. The nominees for Best Picture are:

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

So far, I’ve seen American Hustle, Captain Phillips and the Wolf of Wall Street. I’ll do my best to see Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, Her and 12 Years a Slave. Not sure about the rest.

I’m also interested in seeing some of the movies that have actors/actresses nominated but not Best Picture, specifically Blue Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) and August: Osage County (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts).

I still haven’t made my picks yet but have a soft spot for American Hustle. The hair alone was legendary. lol 🙂

I’ll post my picks once I’ve had a chance to see more of the movies with nominations.

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I’ll say it now – I think Seth did a good job hosting. It’s the toughest gig in Hollywood and everyone should give the guy a break… There are children starving and people dying of illnesses in the world – do we really have to spend so much time complaining about how funny, or not funny, the host was. Puh-leaze. Ok, moving on.

SOOOO happy that Jennifer Lawrence won best actress although I was secretly pulling for Jessica Chastain. I watched The Help over the weekend and realized that Jessica played Celia Afoot (the blonde outcast) in it – she is amazing. But so was Jennifer Lawrence, so I was happy with the outcome there.

Also super happy that Christoph Waltz won – he did a fabulous job in Django Unchained. Well-deserved win.

Ecstatic that Ang Lee won the Directing award over Spielberg. Lee created a completely different world with Life of Pi.

We all knew Anne would win for Les Mis. Been there, done that.

I was happy that Argo won and thought Seth’s joke was hilarious about the story of Argo being so top-secret and unclassified that the academy didn’t even know who the director was. Ha – touchĂ©.

I thought Adele did a fantastic job singing Skyfall – yay she won Best Original Song!

Glad that Life of Pi won for Original Score – the composer is a fellow Canadian so I was somewhat biased but the music in the film was truly magical. Kudos. Same deal for Visual Effects – there was no way Life of PI wasn’t winning that one too.

I think out of all the films nominated for Best Picture this year, my top 3 were: Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook and Life of PI. But Django was great too.  As was Argo. I still can’t pick a favourite!! It was a great year in movies – already looking forward to next year! 🙂

Some my fave post-Oscar vids:

Jennifer Lawrence – post-win winner’s conference:

Jack Nicholson hits on Jennifer Lawrence – gotta love Jack:

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I’ve only got 2 movies to go (Amour, Django Unchained) and I’ll have watched all ten films nominated for Best Picture. Many of them have something special going that makes them stand out. See below for my reviews of the eight I’ve watched to date:

Argo: Good movie – I see what all the fuss is all about. I liked that it was based on true events and enjoyed everyone’s performance. Although there were no standouts for me, the story itself was a great one worth telling.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: I admit to tuning in and out of this one – it just didn’t keep my attention. I was actually surprised that this got a nom for Best Picture but now that they have 10 spots to fill, I guess this will more and more likely.

Les Miserables:  Once I got past all the singing (by people we don’t expect to be singing in a movie), I did enjoy all the storylines and the relationships between the characters. After all the hype about the emotion of the movie, I was left with a “meh” feeling. I’m not sure why – I just got the sense that many parts of the story were purposely setup to be tragic and heartbreaking the same wa that sci-fi movies always result in “something going terribly wrong”. But, that’s the book’s fault and not the movie.

Life of Pi:  I liked this one a lot. The imagery, special effects, the story, the score, the characters – everything worked. The narrator (the man telling the story) was fantastic and a joy to watch/listen to. For a story that was considered “unfilmable”, Ang Lee did an amazing job. Highly recommend.

Lincoln:  Here’s another that’s got a lot of hype surrounding it. Daniel Day-Lewis was great in the role.  But again with this one, I struggled with staying 100% focused on the movie. I did enjoy the storytelling and the politics of the time. If nothing else, I learned something about that period in history.

Silver Linings Playbook: This quirky movie was hilarious, in a “I shouldn’t be laughing at this but I can’t help it” sort of way. Starring two of the most popular stars in recent months (Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper), they did a fabulous job of convincing us that dysfunctional people are more common than we think. Robert DeNiro was a scene-stealer throughout and the showdown between him and Lawrence near the end was classic. Highly recommend.

Zero Dark Thirty:  This one was my favourite. It’s the story of the investigation that led to the discovery of Bin Laden’s whereabouts after 9/11. Jessica Chastain played the role of the agent responsible for finding him incredibly well – her persistence and conviction throughout the movie were very powerful. Highly recommend.

 

In terms of my predictions, the only one I keep wavering on is Best Actress between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. It’ll be one of them for sure, but I just can’t choose!

Best Picture: Lincoln (although I’d much rather see Argo, Zero Dark Thirty or Silver Linings Playbook win)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) or Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Directing: I think Spielberg will win for Lincoln but Ang Lee did an admirable job with the “unfilmable” Life of Pi

Production Design: Anna Karenina

Documentary feature: Searching for Sugar Man

Animated short film: Paperman

Documentary short: Open Heart

Live Action short film: Curfew

Film Editing: Zero Dark Thirty

Sound Editing:  Zero Dark Thirty

Foreign Language film: Amour

Sound Mixing: Les Miserables

Animated feature: Brave

Makeup and hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Cinematography: Life of Pi

Original Score: Life of Pi

Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln

Costume Design: Anna Karenina

Original Song: Skyfall

Original Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty

 

We’ll see how I do! 🙂

 

 

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It’s that time of year again – Oscar season! 🙂

I’ve been pretty lax about watching all the nominated films but plan to buckle down and catch up before the big event. That’s February 24th by the way.

The pros are saying Lincoln will be winning a bunch and it very likely will. But others like Silver Linings Playbook and Argo have garnered lots of buzz as well.

Every year, I get drawn into all the nominated films (and always so different!), the actors’ performances and all special moments in movies – I’ve always been a fan of the Oscars as well as all the other awards shows (Golden Globes, People’s Choice, SAG…). I know not everyone feels the same way and that’s perfectly Ok. But if you’re one of those people, you should have stopped reading this a while ago. 🙂

Anyhow – if you;re like me and like to pick your own predictions, there’s a nice printable ballot posted here. On the left-hand side of the page under the Facebook login, click on “Ballot.” There’s a printable PDF listing all 24 Oscar categories and all the nominees – after printing, you can tick your picks.

Looking to play Oscar Bingo? It’s a great game if you’re hosting an Oscar party.

You can get the 2012 ones posted by How About Orange.

Or sign up to be notified once they post the 2013 ones.

I’ll share my picks once I’ve seen more of the nominees – stay tuned!

2013Oscars

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Oscar Results

I realized that I had forgotten to share how I did with my Oscar predictions with you all. I did pretty good, got 17 out of 24 correct. Some were guesses (all the documentary ones and shorts). But all in all, I’m happy with who won.

Best Picture

My pick: The Artist

Winner: The Artist

With all the hype around this movie, even though I didn’t see it, it seemed like a shoe in for best picture.

Best Director

My pick: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Winner: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Whoever directs the best picture winner usually wins.

Best Actor

My pick: George Clooney

Winner: Jean Dujardin

I thought I’d give George a shot, but looking back, it makes sense that Jean won.

Best Actress

My pick: Meryl Streep

Winner: Meryl Streep

So glad that she won and she gave a great performance in the Iron Lady – so deserving.

Best Supporting Actor

My pick: Christopher Plummer

Winner: Christopher Plummer

Seemed like shoe-in – and no surprise he won.

Best Supporting Actress

My pick: Octavia Spencer

Winner: Octavia Spencer

Again, she was pretty much a sure thing. Glad she won.

Original Screenplay

My pick: Midnight in Paris

Winner: Midnight in Paris

I loved the novelty and originality of this story – glad it won.

Adapted Screenplay

My pick: The Descendants

Winner: The Descendants

It was truly a great story with its humanity and authenticity – well-deserved.

Animated Feature Film

My pick: Rango

Winner: Rango

Animated Short

My pick: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Winner: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

This was actually a guess.

Live-action Short

My pick: The Shore

Winner: The Shore

Again, a guess.

Art Direction

My pick: Hugo

Winner: Hugo

I saw the film, enjoyed the creativity and could appreciate what it did for film. Wasn’t really a big fan though.

Cinematography

My pick: The Tree of Life

Winner: Hugo

Costume Design

My pick: The Artist

Winner: The Artist

Documentary Feature

My pick: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Winner: Undefeated

This was a guess – any of them could have taken it. I guessed wrong.

Documentary Short

My pick: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Winner: Saving Face

Film Editing

My pick: The Artist

Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I thought the Artist would win here but was glad Dragon Tattoo got it.

Foreign Language Film

My pick: A Separation

Winner: A Separation

There was a lot of hype surrounding this film so my guess was based solely on the hype.

Original Song

My pick: Man or Muppet

Winner: Man or Muppet

Original Score

My pick: The Artist

Winner: The Artist

I figured in a silent film where the music is a major piece, this made sense.

Makeup

My pick: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Winner: The Iron Lady

I wavered between these two for a while before selecting HP as my choice. Shoulda went the other way!

Sound Editing

My pick: Hugo

Winner: Hugo

Visual Effects

My pick: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Winner: Hugo

I thought Apes would win this for sure but Hugo really swept the technical categories.

Sound Mixing

My pick: Hugo

Winner: Hugo

Total  17 out of 24 correct

Not bad, not bad at all!

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Just a reminder of the movies that are nominated for Best Picture for this year’s Oscars:

The Artist

The Descendants

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball

The Tree of Life

War Horse

 

As of this weekend, I have seen 6 of the 9. The last 3 I need to watch are The Artist, Extremely Loud & incredibly Close and The Tree of Life. So far, my thoughts on the chosen nominees are varied.

War Horse is a great film that tells the story of a horse as he moves from owner to owner from birth and throughout the war. Although it was a great story and interesting film, I couldn’t help but make comparisons between the last great horse film (Secretariat) and found that War Horse was lacking a certain element of excitement. That being said, Joey (the horse in War Horse) wasn’t a race horse and I’m probably making an unfair comparison. It was still a very good film and I understand why it was nominated.

The Descendants is a very human film – it’s the story of a father and husband (George Clooney) whose wife is in a coma after suffering a terrible boating accident. As truths come out, the father and his eldest teenage daughter embark on a mission to get to the bottom of things. Great characters, relationships and storytelling. It’s a subdued film but entirely engrossing.

The Help – great story, great performances. It was one of the few films I’ve seen that depicted the fear to speak and/or act against white people so authentically. I truly enjoyed this movie. The characters were fantastic, at times funny, at other times heartbreaking, and often riveting.

Hugo. I don’t know what it was about this film but I think those in the movie industry will enjoy this more than your average movie-goer and have a feeling that’s why it’s nominated. I wasn’t particularly interested in the story or characters or the turn it took about 3/4 of the way through once we found out who the toy shop owner really was. It was a tepid reaction for me.

Midnight in Paris – I’m not usually a Woody Allen fan, I’m not usually an Owen Wilson fan. But I really enjoyed this movie and the concept of 1920s Paris come to life. I loved meeting the “real” F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, and many more. Wilson did a pretty good job as the star struck struggling novelist; it was fun to watch Rachel McAdams as the mean girlfriend after so many roles as the beloved sweetie. Great film all around.

Moneyball. Great sports movie about a true story – some solid performances, some inspirational moments, the big game-changing move that altered the face of baseball forever. Not quite sure it’s Oscar-worthy, but I enjoyed it throughout.

If I had to pick a winner out of the ones I’ve seen to date, for me it’s a toss up between The Help and Midnight in Paris (believe it or not). The Help for the sum of its performances and Midnight in Paris for the complete escape the film allowed the viewer to partake in – it was magical.

I’ve heard great things about The Artist so I’ll be watching that one as well soon enough and my predictions may change. 🙂

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Here’s the full list of nominees:

Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”

George Clooney in “The Descendants”

Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”

Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”

Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”

Nick Nolte in “Warrior”

Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”

Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”

Viola Davis in “The Help”

Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”

Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

BĂ©rĂ©nice Bejo in “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain in “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”

Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”

Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Directing

“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Alexander Payne

“Hugo” Martin Scorsese

“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen

“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Best Picture

“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer

“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer

“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers

“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers

“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers

“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers

“The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined

“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Animated Feature Film

“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

“Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson

“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller

“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan

“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin  Story by Stan Chervin

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius

“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor

“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen

“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

Art Direction

“The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

“Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

“Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: HĂ©lène Dubreuil

“War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography

“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth

“Hugo” Robert Richardson

“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki

“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

“Anonymous” Lisy Christl

“The Artist” Mark Bridges

“Hugo” Sandy Powell

“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor

“W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Documentary (Feature)

“Hell and Back Again” Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Pina” Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel

“Undefeated” TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

“God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

“Incident in New Baghdad” James Spione

“Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Kevin Tent

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker

“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film

“Bullhead” Belgium

“Footnote” Israel

“In Darkness” Poland

“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada

“A Separation” Iran

Makeup

“Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

“The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

“The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams

“The Artist” Ludovic Bource

“Hugo” Howard Shore

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias

“War Horse” John Williams

Music (Original Song)

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)

“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa

“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane

“Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George

“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce

“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson

“Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

“Moneyball” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

“War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson

“Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

“Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

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