Sunday, January 27, 2013

And the Oscar Goes Two...

Ok so these next picks shouldn't be quite as detailed. For one, there are fewer nominees in most of the categories, and two, I know less about them. 

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Naomi Watts (The Impossible). 

My pick: Quvenzhane Wallis

Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Let's be real, this girl should win just for her name! I mean really, she is going to have a hard enough time in life spelling that and every form she ever fills out will never have enough little blocks so let's give it to her so she can always say, "Yes, but I won an Oscar!"

Ok now for serious reasons. She was 5 years old when they began working on the film and does a good enough job to be nominated, that's saying something right there. The fact that this film has received such critical acclaim and stars a 5 year old, is why I think she deserves the Oscar. 

Also, and maybe a large part of why I feel Quvenzhane Wallis should win, the category is rather weak this year. Jennifer Lawrence is my second choice because she is good in Silver Linings, but is only really exceptional in one scene (this one scene is why I think she won the Golden Globe).

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence with Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook.
 I do not think Jessica Chastain will win because of reasons stated in my previous post (see that here), and I do not think Emanuelle Riva from Amour will win because she is an old lady playing an old lady, nothing exceptional about that. Naomi Watts' film has not come to a city near me yet but I did like the trailers and previews I saw, but I just don't see her winning, even though it looked like a great performance by what I saw in the previews. 

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Nominees: Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

My pick: Tommy Lee Jones

Thaddeus Stevens
Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln 
Although my pick is Tommy Lee Jones, I picked it more because, of the performances I've seen, he is my favorite. I think more than the others, his acting really enhances this film rather than just contributes to it. This is also why I think Robert De Niro could also win and Alan Arkin will not win. 

Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook
Robert De Niro played a role that I think was a bit more challenging and out of character for him and I can't really picture anyone else in that role. Alan Arkin, on the other hand, didn't really enhance Argo in a way that no one else could. Yes, he brought some comedic relief and a unique sense of humor, but I feel like lots of different people could have played that role. 

Now, I must say, I am a little biased against one of the nominees in this category, and, unfortunately, I would not be surprised if he won. Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of my all time least favorite actors. He just gives me the creeps. I have never liked him in anything but I will admit that he must be a good actor because he is frequently nominated for different awards. I haven't seen the movie he is nominated for but believe he is always the dark horse who could win. 

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
I do not know much about the final nominee, Christoph Waltz, nor have I seen Django Unchained. I do not think Django will win an award, but this could be the lone award that it wins. What also makes me thinks Waltz could win is that he won in the same category in 2009 for Inglorious Basterds and his role in Django is much larger than the roles of the other nominees in their films. 

 Actress in a Supporting Role:
Nominees: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

My Pick: Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables
I bet you couldn't guess that one! While Sally Field is wonderful as  Mary Todd Lincoln, I believe Anne Hathaway is a shoe in to win (knock on wood). She brings such raw emotion to the part of Fantine and raises the bar for all future Fantines who take on the role. 

If you have seen the movie and still are not convinced that she should win, compare the following YouTube clips of the same song, "I Dreamed a Dream." Clip 1 is Anne Hathaway, Clip 2 is sung by Ruthie Henshall who played Fantine in the 10th anniversary production of Les Miserables at London's Royal Albert Hall. 
Anne Hathaway
For me, this picture perfectly sums up why Hathaway should win. 

In clip 1, the same song from the movie, Anne Hathaway beautifully portrays Fantine's agony and desperation. However, in clip 2, if you were not familiar with the English language, and therefore could hear but not understand the words, and did not know the storyline or anything about Fantine's situation, you would simply think it was a beautiful song with beautiful music and singing. You would have no idea of the pain and anguish the song represents.

Hathaway's brilliance is that she maintains the beauty and magnificence of the song while at the same time conveying the wretchedness of life as well as Fantine's own personal despair. 

Although I do not think there is a close second, Sally Field is my number two for this one. 

Daniel Day Lewis
Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln
History has not been kind to Mrs. Lincoln as she is often remembered as a crazy woman who probably should have been institutionalized or at least heavily medicated. I have personally always felt bad for her (the real Mary Todd Lincoln, not Sally Field) because I felt as though we forget what all that poor woman went through. Only one of her four children outlived her, her husband was president in probably the most tumultuous time in our great nation's history, her husband's life was constantly threatened to the extent that he had to sneak into his own second inauguration and later he was assassinated, and she suffered from a variety of illnesses throughout her adult life, oh and she had to be the First Lady. Life was hard on the poor lady, and I feel like Sally Field portrayed that well. She didn't just convey a crazy lady, but a mother racked with grief, whose greatest fear is more loss. 

Oh, and Sally Field looks just like Mary Todd Lincoln. 

Mary Todd Lincoln on the left and Sally Field on the right. 
As for the other's, I do not think they even come close to either of these performances. That's just me personally, let me know if you feel differently. 

That's all for now, check back later for more picks and be sure to watch the Academy Awards on February 24th at 7 pm est on ABC!!

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