13 February 2013

Oscars 2013: Predictions and Hopes

Here's the list of nominees I actually have an opinion about, with the one I think will actually win and the one I'd give the Oscar to. Full disclosure: between the jigs and the reels, I haven't seen all the nominees. I missed out on Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Sessions. So I'm obviously not in a position to comment on those films. This makes the Best Actress category kind of difficult for me. If I manage to see any of them before the big night, I will update accordingly.

Best film

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Prediction: I think it will probably be either Argo or Lincoln. Given that Argo has a lot of stuff about movie-folks in it, it might just pip Lincoln at the post. So I'm going with Argo

Hope: I'd really like to see Zero Dark Thirty win. I've seen it three times and it's great.

Best actress

    Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
    Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
    Emmanuelle Riva - Amour
    Quvenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Naomi Watts - The Impossible 

Prediction: Riva, Lawrence or Chastain. It will probably be Lawrence.

Hope: I'd be delighted to see Lawrence win because I loved Silver Linings Playbook so much. But I'd be very happy to see Jessica Chastain get the Oscar because that was a fantastic, complex role for a woman - not an adjunct to a man but a real person in her her own right - and she was perfect in it.
Best actor

    Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
    Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
    Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables
    Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
    Denzel Washington - Flight

Prediction: It'll be Wicklow's most famous resident, Daniel Day-Lewis.

Hope: I think Day-Lewis was wonderful but Phoenix was better. Jackman was amazing, Washington was excellent but it's Bradley Cooper for me. It's a wonderful role that asks a huge amount of him and he is brilliant.

Best director

Michael Haneke - Amour
Ang Lee - Life of Pi
David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg - Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild

Prediction: Probably Spielberg or Lee. I'm going to say Spielberg.

Hope: Life of Pi was an incredible directorial achievement. Just breathtaking. I'd like Ang Lee to get the Oscar.

Best supporting actor

    Alan Arkin - Argo
    Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook
    Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
    Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
    Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones is very likely but after the BAFTAs, I'm going for Christoph Waltz.

Hope: I really enjoyed Arkin, Hoffman was brilliant and de Niro actually bothered to act and be completely wonderful again in Silver Linings Playbook. But I'd like it to be Christoph Waltz. He was hands-down the best thing about Django.

Best supporting actress

    Amy Adams - The Master
    Sally Field - Lincoln
    Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables
    Helen Hunt - The Sessions
    Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook

Prediction: Anne Hathaway. Virtually no question.

Hope: I have a lot more respect for Weaver's lovely, warm performance in SLP since she terrified the crap out of me as the grandmother of an Aussie crime family in Animal Kingdom. Fields was great in Lincoln, Adams was excellent as the cold, calculating wife in The Master but I'm going for Hathaway.

Adapted screenplay

    Argo - Chris Terrio
    Beasts Of The Southern Wild - Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
    Life Of Pi - David Magee
    Lincoln - Tony Kushner
    Silver Linings Playbook - David O Russell

Prediction: Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook. I think. Honestly, I'm not sure. Here's a chance to give a sop to a film that's not getting anything else so it could be any of them. After the BAFTAs, I hope it will be Silver Linings Playbook. 

Hope: Silver Linings Playbook is the one for me. Loved it. Wonderful balance between pain and joy. I cried the first time I saw the film (when Pat is explaining what it was like not knowing he was bipolar: "white-knuckling it this whole time") and I have yet to see it (four times now...) without coming out with a grin like I've a coat hanger in my mouth. I almost didn't see it because I disliked Bradley Cooper (please note: past tense), was tired of watching de Niro mugging for the camera and in all the rom-com marketing, missed the darker elements of the story. I would have missed something marvellous.

Original screenplay

    Amour - Michael Haneke
    Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino
    Flight - John Gatins
    Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
    Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal

Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty. Here is a safe enough place to give some acknowledgment to this film. Also, it is a great screenplay - how to take all that military jargon and spy-speak and interminable, dull tradecraft and make an enthralling, gripping story out of it. And the way that the physical torture itself didn't make me shudder half as much as the way the torturers were clearly breaking a person into pieces. Excellent.

Hope: I'd be happy to see Zero Dark Thirty take it but Moonrise Kingdom was so very very wonderful that I'd love it to get at least something from the Oscars. So it's my hope.

12 February 2013

"I don't believe in it really... love. Do you?"

On Valentine's Day, the Dublin-based short film On Our Way will be streaming on the film's homepage. The film was written and directed by Fergal Rock, whose previous short Henry and Sunny saw him nominated for Best Director at the Feelgood Film Festival in 2010 and whose screenplay Calvin & Skye was a winner of the BlueCat International Fellini Screenwriting Awards. He also directed a very young Jack Gleeson in his short film Tom Waits Made Me Cry so he's partly to blame for the immensely slappable Joffrey in the brilliant Game of Thrones...

Henry and Sunny's cinematographer Orla Russell-Conway (winner of Best Cinematographer at the Underground Film Awards 2010 for her work on that film) and its star Dorothy Cotter (nominated for Best Actress at the Feelgood Film Festival for her role as a soap opera actress who falls for a romantic clown) reunite with Rock for On Our Way, with Matthew Keenan and producer Noni Stapleton rounding out the cast. The trailer can be seen here. The film also features original music, including a song by Billy Fitzgerald, former frontman of the excellent The Dead Flags (RIP).

The film is described as "a hopeful tale of missed connections and second chances". I'm pretty much a sucker for this kind of romance. I'm heading to a screening of the film in The Sugar Club on Sunday and will review it then.

Full disclosure: Dorothy Cotter's my cousin, Fergal Rock, Orla Russell-Conway and Noni Stapleton are friends of mine and Billy Fitzgerald is my brother. I've never met Matthew Keenan but he's cute, right?