It’s off to the races once again. Academy Award nominations have been announced and here are some of my comments and predictions:

Best Picture:

I believe Argo is going to win. It’s going up against another, more dry but equally as pulse pounding-political thriller Zero Dark Thirty. As impeccably made Zero Dark Thirty was, it has two things going against it. First is the controversy surrounding the picture regarding torture, which is made by a bunch of people who haven’t even seen the film. If they had, they’d see that argument is overblown. Second, and more important, The Hurt Locker already won a couple of years ago and it’s quite simply Ben Affleck’s turn.

Life of Pi is a sweet and life-affirming film, the kind that Oscar loves, but the ending might not have sat too well with the atheist or agnostic members of The Academy, the way it didn’t with me. Argo provides political and artistic credibility, as well as an exciting and thrilling movie.

Best Actor:

I wish Joaquin Phoenix would win for his mesmerizing performance in  The Master. Like many, I never really liked his public persona but you have to separate the person from the work. But his usual brain farts, this time taking a dump on The Oscars, might have hurt his chance. I believe in the case, Daniel Day-Lewis will nab his third Oscar, he’ll deserve it too.

Best Actress:

Jennifer Lawrence was the heart and soul of the excellent Silver Linings Playbook. She was obviously too young for the role, but never telegraphed that fact for one second of running time. However, if Driving Miss Daisy taught us one thing, Oscar loves giving one last nod to the aging greats. I think this time it will go to Emanuelle Riva.

Best Supporting Actor:

I was hoping Alan Arkin would get a nomination for his portrayal of a fictional, exuberant and pompous producer in Argo and he did. But he got his turn with Little Miss Sunshine. This is a very strong list of actors and every one of them deserves it. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Christoph Waltz. But I believe it will go to Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, he was responsible for keeping the audience awake with his boisterous performance.

Best Supporting Actress:

Sally Field is going to win. The line-up is not very strong and she was the energetic flip to Day-Lewis’ stoic Lincoln. She fought for that role, even though she was too old for the part, and you can tell she gave it her all and more.

Best Directing:

I believe this will be the category where Life of Pi will get some recognition. No matter what my personal feelings of the story are, Ang Lee delivered a powerful piece of entertainment.

Best Writing:

For Written directly for the screen, I think Tarantino will win for his excellent blend of historical fact and pure bloody exploitation entertainment. For Material previously published, I think Argo will win.

Best Animated Feature:

As good as it was, Brave wasn’t up to Pixar’s very high standards. It grew on me more on a second viewing. I hope it will win, yet Paranorman might prove to be the triumphant underdog. It did win our Online Film Critics Society award over Brave.

Best Foreign Language Film:

Haneke’s Amour, all the way.

Best Cinematography:

Another obvious pick. The name cinematography should be changed to something else since a lot of films are being shot digitally now. Life of Pi is an example of that, and I think it should win as the most beautiful looking film of the year by a long margin.

Best Editing:

Argo deserves it and I think will win, if only for the way the heart stopping finale was put together.

Best Production Design:

Les Miserables will win since it’s a giant classic Hollywood spectacle with showy sets.

Best Costume Design:

Les Miserables again.

Best Make-up:

I think the Hobbit will win.

Best Music:

None of the scores really stood out for me this year. Life of Pi had the most soulful and beautiful score and fit the film perfectly, and I think it will win.

Best Song:

Usually a musical adaptation will win, so Les Miserables again.

Best Sound:

Sound Mixing, Life of Pi. Sound Editing, Zero Dark Thirty for the final raid scene.

Best Visual Effects:

Life of Pi once more, Academy usually favors creative uses of special effects over more obvious action-adventure picks like The Avengers.

Best Documentary:

The best documentary of the year, Central Park Five wasn’t even nominated!? What the hell is this!? Ugh, The Gatekeepers will win as the critical favorite. For Documentary Short, I have no idea. Kings Point?

Best Short Films:

Randomly picked: Paperman for Animated, Curfew for Live-Action.

The Complete List of Nominations can be found at:


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