The Academy Award nomination aired live bright and early this morning, and it came with a few small surprises. Come Oscar time, I’m hoping to have seen “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” and maybe a few other big nominees. Until then, these are my thoughts!
*While it wasn’t my favorite of the three I’ve actually seen, I have to think “Lincoln” is the clear front-runner for most of its nominations, Best Picture included. Steven Spielberg, deservedly, is Oscar’s darling. I loved “Django Unchained,” but “Lincoln” deserves it.
Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”
Naomi Watts for “The Impossible”
Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quvenzhane Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour”
*I just love that Quvenzhane Wallis was nominated, becoming the youngest Best Actress nominee ever. Such a great performance, though I have my doubts she’ll be able to beat Jessica Chastain.
Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
Denzel Washington for “Flight”
Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master”
Hugh Jackman for “Les Miserables”
Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook”
*I think most people agree this is the easiest pick of them all. Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln was unlike any portrayal of such a legendary man that I’ve ever seen. He brought Lincoln back to life nearly 150 years later.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables”
Sally Field for “Lincoln”
Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Helen Hunt for “The Sessions”
Amy Adams for “The Master”
*Anne Hathaway’s 20-minute performance is unforgettable.
*I wanted two nominations for “Django,” but I really hope Christoph Waltz can win his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his second Quentin Tarantino film. Tommy Lee Jones was tremendous, too.
Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”
David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Michael Haneke for “Amour”
Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
*Steven Spielberg made “Lincoln” such a towering film, I can’t see this going to anyone else. Big snub for Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty,” but bigger snub in my eyes for Tom Hooper. He really made “Les Miserables” something grand.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Life of Pi”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
*If I honestly see “Beasts of the Southern Wild” winning anything, it’s this. It’s still a huge underdog, but that script was a thing of beauty. I’m not sure if any screenplay stood out to me like that one.
*Tarantino deserves credit for “Django Unchained.” He hasn’t won an Oscar since “Pulp Fiction,” but I haven’t been this impressed with him since “Pulp Fiction” either.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits“
*I was thoroughly unimpressed by this year’s crop of animated features, though I haven’t seen a few of the big ones. “Brave,” as Pixar’s only release of 2012, might have a leg up. I wasn’t a huge fan. The fact that “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” is nominated comes as a huge slap in the face to “The Adventures of Tintin,” which was exponentially better, told a better pirates tale in about ten minutes, and went un-nominated in this category last year despite being one of the year’s best – animated or not.