Thursday, 10 January 2013

THE 2012 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS


Lincoln leads with 12, Life of Pi with 11. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow out for Director, Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin in. DGA matches with Oscar 2/5, SAG 14/20, the lowest for eleven years. Silver Linings Playbook gets eight, as does Les Mis (without Best Director though) Amour five, Beasts of the Southern Wild four. Argo on seven, Zero Dark Thirty just five, also Django Unchained. Skyfall reaps five, all in tech categories. The Master's three are all for its leading cast - Silver Linings Playbook does even better, with four acting nominations.

Best Picture
Amour (Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz and Margaret Ménégoz)
Argo (Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey and Josh Penn)
Django Unchained (Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone and Stacey Sher)
Life of Pi (Ang Lee, Gil Netter and David Womark)
Lincoln (Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg)
Les Misérables (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh)
Silver Linings Playbook (Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti and Jonathan Gordon)
Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and Megan Ellison)
Easier to analyse Best Picture in the context of Best Director, of course. Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall, The Master all absent. Amour makes it, as does Beasts - both have strong support elsewhere. Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Les Mis are all here, despite missing out on Director nominations.

Best Directing
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
An utterly extraordinary list. The DGA is normally better at forecasting Best Picture than Director at the Oscars, but a 2/5 match is unprecedented. Argo, 0D30 and Les Mis are now all pretty much dead as far as winning Best Picture goes; Lincoln, which missed out on a Best Director nomination yesterday from the BAFTAs, is now your frontrunner, with Silver Linings Playbook right behind it, and Life of Pi potentially spoiling. Haneke's and Zeitlin's nominations are flabbergasting, but in a good way. Tonight, the BFCA could pick Argo or Zero Dark Thirty (their votes were counted before these were announced), and doing so would complicate things further. Should they pick Lincoln, it may assume a permanent frontrunner position.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
John Hawkes is absent, losing out to Bradley Cooper and Joaquin Phoenix, both of whom are in films evidently appreciated by the actors branch, with seven nominations between them.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Deviating twice from SAG's list, both the oldest and the youngest ever nominees are in - Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis, both from surprise Best Director nominated films. With so many shocks this year, all bets are off - Naomi Watts could win despite her BAFTA snub, Emmanuelle Riva could win despite her SAG snub (the Oscars are also occurring on her 86th birthday). Jessica Chastain will have a tough time winning with Zero Dark Thirty's chances having plummeted, so Jennifer Lawrence may have this one in the bag, what with SLP's popularity.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
One of the few wholly conventional lists from the Academy this year, still it deviates from SAG, with Christoph Waltz replacing Javier Bardem. All five have won before, as Emma Stone pointed out, although so too has Bardem! Wouldn't a first timer have been nice, though? Matthew McConaughey or Dwight Henry, maybe?

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Another acting category departing from SAG's lead by two - Amy Adams and Jacki Weaver replacing Nicole Kidman and Maggie Smith. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Kidman in, but Adams' inclusion is encouraging enough.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)
John Gatins (Flight)
Michael Haneke (Amour)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Moonrise Kingdom's only nomination, which may make it tough for it to win here. The only one of these films with a Best Director nomination (and, thus, a technically legitimate shot at winning Best Picture) is, extraordinarily, Amour. A hard category to call, then. Flight also makes it, past The Master, which is only nominated in acting categories.

Best Writing (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)
The four usual suspects plus Beasts of the Southern Wild, which isn't surprising, considering the love the Academy clearly has for that film. This is a little more open now than it was, with Argo perhaps being taken down a notch or two. Lincoln could win this easily, though, if it wins everything else this year.

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins (Skyfall)
Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln)
Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina)
Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)
Robert Richardson (Django Unchained)
Just Les Miserables missing from the ASC / BAFTA lineups. What with its huge success overall, Life of Pi must have this one in the bag. Some may be disappointed that The Master is not on here, although only the actors seemed to get PTA's film, so it's no surprise. Django was a given, I was sure. They love Robert Richardson! He could even spoil...again!

Best Film Editing
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers (Silver Linings Playbook)
William Goldenberg (Argo)
William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor (Zero Dark Thirty)
Michael Kahn (Lincoln)
Tim Squyres (Life of Pi)
All Best Picture nominees, only three Best Director nominees. Editing nods mean, though, that SLP, Lincoln and Pi are all legit contenders to win the top prize. As with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last year, though, this one is up for grabs. Indeed, it's probably between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty!

Best Production Design
Simon Bright, Dan Hennah and Ra Vincent (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Rick Carter and Jim Erickson (Lincoln)
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer (Anna Karenina)
David Gropman and Anna Pinnock (Life of Pi)
Anna Lynch-Robinson and Eve Stewart (Les Misérables)
Matching with Costume Design 3/5, these five were all nominated for the ADG. I was worried that Anna Karenina might be snubbed - I maintain that it's at least a frontrunner here, if not the frontrunner, due to, simply, how fucking good the production design is in that film.

Best Costume Design
Colleen Atwood (Snow White and the Huntsman)
Paco Delgado (Les Misérables)
Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)
Eiko Ishioka (Mirror Mirror)
Joanna Johnston (Lincoln)
Both Snow White films make it in, and Eiko Ishioka receives a well-deserved posthumous nomination for Mirror Mirror. They love Colleen Atwood, that's why they remembered her film. This is Anna Karenina's to lose, particularly now with Les Mis not the contender some had expected it to be.

Best Sound Mixing
Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Drew Kunin (Life of Pi)
José Antonio García, John T. Reitz and Gregg Rudloff (Argo)
Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson and Mark Paterson (Les Misérables)
Ron Judkins, Andy Nelson and Gary Rydstrom (Lincoln)
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson (Skyfall)
Matching with Sound Editing 3/5, the Sound Mixing category is often a tough one to call for the nominations. For the win, I expect voters to go for Skyfall. Action films are often popular in these categories. However, it may only win Editing, as Les Mis' mixing is so integral to its success, and somewhat pioneering. Les Mis may replicate Dreamgirls' success on the night, then, and win Supporting Actress and Sound Mixing (Original Song is within reach too).

Best Sound Editing
Erik Aadahl and Ethan van der Ryn (Argo)
Karen M. Baker and Per Hallberg (Skyfall)
Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton (Life of Pi)
Paul N. J. Ottosson (Zero Dark Thirty)
Wylie Stateman (Django Unchained)
As explained above, Skyfall must be a frontrunner here. Life of Pi probably leads Argo out of the other two films nominated in both Sound categories, due to both the creativity of its sound design, and its apparent popularity in comparison. I knew Django Unchained would pop up in at least one Sound category.

Best Visual Effects
Phil Brennan, Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson and Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (Snow White and the Huntsman)
David Clayton, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon and R. Christopher White (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Erik De Boer, Ronald Elliott, Guillaume Rocheron and Bill Westenhofer (Life of Pi)
Charley Henley, Martin Hill, Richard Stammers and Trevor Wood (Prometheus)
Janek Sirrs, Daniel Sudick, Jeff White and Guy Williams (The Avengers)
The Dark Knight Rises' absence here makes it a total, all-encompassing snub. Even Batman Begins was nominated for cinematography (in a weaker year). Life of Pi should win this in a walk, although Prometheus wouldn't be a bad choice either. Snow White and the Huntsman, however, would.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel (Hitchcock)
Julie Dartnell and Lisa Westcott (Les Misérables)
Rick Findlater, Peter King and Tami Lane (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Never an easy category to call, despite the shortlist of seven. Lincoln, Looper, Men in Black 3 and Snow White and the Huntsman (popular elsewhere) all missed out. Any of these three could win; the least likely is Hitchcock, though.

Best Music (Original Score)
Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)
Alexandre Desplat (Argo)
Dario Marianelli (Anna Karenina)
Thomas Newman (Skyfall)
John Williams (Lincoln)
Despite scoring big in major categories, Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin's memorable Beasts of the Southern Wild score is a no-show. Instead, more traditional offerings all around, including the necessary Alexandre Desplat nomination (should have been 0D30... actually, it should have been Moonrise Kingdom, but it wasn't even eligible), and the equally necessary John Williams nomination. I have no idea where this will go. Precursors will help.

Best Music (Original Song)
Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth – ‘Skyfall’ (Skyfall)
Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer and Claude-Michel Schönberg – ‘Suddenly’ (Les Misérables)
Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayshree – ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ (Life of Pi)
Seth MacFarlane and Walter Murphy – ‘Everybody Needs a Best Friend’ (Ted)
J. Ralph – ‘Before My Time’ (Chasing Ice)
This one comes down to Skyfall vs. Suddenly. That could be close. When I heard that Life of Pi was nominated here, I thought that signalled good things for Ang Lee's film, and indeed it seemed to.

Best Animated Feature Film
Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)
Frankenweenie (Tim Burton)
ParaNorman (Chris Butler and Sam Fell)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Peter Lord)
Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)
Eschewing indie choices like The Painting or The Rabbi's Cat, the animators of the Academy chose the four locks plus The Pirates! They do like nominating different styles of animation, and they also like Aardman. A close category, though. I hope ParaNorman wins.

Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi)
The Gatekeepers (Dror Moreh, Estelle Fialon and Philippa Kowarsky)
How to Survive a Plague (David France and Howard Gertler)
The Invisible War (Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering)
Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn)
Super glad that The Invisible War is nominated, ditto Searching for Sugar Man. I'll have to get started on the other three. Two films with Israeli themes, which I tentatively predicted would happen.

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour – Austria (Michael Haneke)
Kon-Tiki – Norway (Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg)
No – Chile (Pablo Larraín)
A Royal Affair – Denmark (Nikolaj Arcel)
War Witch – Canada (Kim Nguyen)
The biggest surprise here is The Intouchables' absence - I had that film down to win, as I have for months now. But, with Amour's popularity overall, perhaps it wouldn't have anyway. What could happen, though, is that voters in this category, who must view all five films before voting, decide against honouring Amour and pick something else. Is there another contender strong enough? Perhaps not one specifically, although that's never stopped them before. I don't see this happening, though.

Best Short Film (Live Action)
Asad (Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura)
Buzkashi Boys (Sam French and Ariel Nasr)
Curfew (Shawn Christensen)
Death of a Shadow (Ellen de Waele and Tom van Avermaet)
Henry (Yan England)
Not a clue.

Best Short Film (Animated)
Adam and Dog (Min Kyu Lee)
Fresh Guacamole (PES)
Head Over Heels (Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly and Timothy Reckart)
Paperman (John Kahrs)
The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare (David Silverman)
Maggie Simpson: Oscar nominee. Shortest acceptance speech in history?

Best Documentary Short
Inocente (Sean Fine and Andrea Nix)
Kings Point (Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider)
Mondays at Racine (Robin Honan and Cynthia Wade)
Open Heart (Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern)
Redemption (Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill)
Nope, still not a clue.