Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar Week: My (Hopefully Not So) Dark Horse Oscar Picks


There’s a funny thing about Oscar Sunday: with every passing year, I seem to grow less and less interested in the crop of films that are nominated for Academy Awards. Don’t get me wrong, there are always some solid entries, but when compared to my personal favorite films of any given year, the Oscars simply don’t reflect my tastes. So here’s the funny thing. Despite my indifference toward the Oscar hopeful films, I’m still overly ecstatic for the big show. Why? Few reasons.

Look at it this way, most of the people I know who watch pro football, always watch the Super Bowl, even if their favorite team isn’t playing. It’s not always about who’s competing, it’s about the event. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of creative endeavors that represent the artistic medium I’m most taken with. Do I always agree with the Oscar winners? No, of course not (hell, I’d have to agree with the nominees first, ya dig?).

So, no matter the year or the films representing it, I’ll always tune in on Oscar Sunday. And considering this is one of the (if not the) most unpredictable year I’ve ever witnessed, I think we’re in for a good time. Here’s how I’d prefer some of the evening to play out. My (not so) dark horse picks, if you will.
First off: “I find him a little crude, more crude than necessary.” That’s what Alan Arkin recently said about Oscar host Seth MacFarlane. I’d love to see MacFarlane go in for the kill in reference to this.

I hope Argo wins Best Picture. It wouldn’t be my first, second, or third (or fourth…) choice, but I think it would make for a great moment in Oscar history. The little engine that could, does.

I hope Emmanuelle Riva wins Best Actress. I’ve been hoping this for a while, and up until last week, my reasoning was based around the fact that Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) will surely have other chances for Oscars, so give it to the birthday girl (Riva is 86 years old today) and call it a night. But then I rewatched Amour and I realized how silly my initial reasoning was. Riva doesn’t deserve this Oscar as a gift, she deserves it because she is miraculous in Amour. Period.
I hope Robert De Niro wins Best Supporting Actor. What he has against him: he hasn’t won a major award this season for his Silver Linings Playbook performance. What he has for him: he’s Robert De Niro, legend-turned-inside joke who, through Silver Linings Playbook, proved he still has a little fuel left.

I hope Michael Haneke, Ang Lee or David O. Russell wins Best Director. Either, or. (For the record, most every prediction I’ve seen so far from “verified” sources, say Lee will take it. Interesting.)

I hope Quentin Tarantino or Michael Haneke win Best Original Screenplay. Really, if QT (Django Unchained), Haneke (Amour) or predicted winner Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) wins this, it could be treated as the consolation prize for their respective films. If that’s the case, I really hope QT graces the stage with his confidently awkward presence.

I hope Amour wins Best Foreign Language film. Sounds like a silly hopeful, right? Nah. In the last few years, many lesser known films have beaten more popular competition. (No Man’s Land beat Amélie, The Lives of Others beat Pan’s Labyrinth, Departures beat The Class and Waltz with Bashir, The Secret in Their Eyes beat A Prophet and The White Ribbon). Many of those winners are great films, but most no one predicted they’d take home the big prize.
I hope Roger Deakins wins Best Cinematography. Troubling fact: with the exception of the acting and director categories, none of the nominees’ names are listed on the official Oscar voter ballot. I assume that several people reading this post are movie fanatics and are well aware that Roger Deakins (who is one of the most respected people in his field, but has yet to win an Oscar) gorgeously shot Skyfall. But keep in mind that most Oscar voters are not movie fanatics, and have no idea who shot Skyfall. So, if Deakins’ name was on the ballot, maybe he would have a chance at winning. But as it stands now, I suspect Claudio Miranda will take it for Life of Pi. Fair enough, Life of Pi looked remarkable.

I hope the remarkable Death of a Shadow wins Best Short Film, Live Action. This was a stunning, magical little movie that deserves to win. Most are saying the very weak Curfew is going to take it. That’d be a shame.

I hope, above all, that the show is fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and merits some genuine surprises. Oh, and it’d be nice if a few of the winners gave speeches as good as the ones here.

How about you? What are you hoping to see tonight?

More Oscar Posts from And So it Begins...

20 comments:

  1. Interesting post, actually there are some things I disagree about here.
    First of all, I think Amour is a sure winner... I mean, what other movie could possibly win?
    Secondly, I am praying for Quvenzhané Wallis to win Best Actress, because she f*cking deserves it.
    And thirdly, I'll kill myself if Argo wins Best Picture. Okay, I said that about The Artist last year, so probably not.

    Anyway, this is just my point of view.
    Thanks for not mentioning Lincoln though - please don't let Spielberg win anything tonight - and Skyfall (!).

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    1. I've heard a lot of (admittedly idle) chatter about Kon-Tiki taking Best Foreign Film. Sounds crazy, but it has happened... a lot, recently. I still think Amour will win, but let me put it this way, if it doesn't, I won't be surprised.

      I think it'd be incredible if Wallis won, but, sadly, she doesn't have a shot :(

      Check it: I'd vote for Amour, Django, ZD30, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings over Argo, but I don't really think those have as good of a shot. If it was, for instance, between Argo and Lincoln, then give it to Argo, no doubt.

      When you say "and Skyfall(!)" do you mean you don't want it to win anything? Because it's taking Best Song at the very least!

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    2. No, I meant it's so cool you mentioned Skyfall :)

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    3. Ahhh gotcha, so glad she won!

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  2. I pretty much agree to all of this. The one win I am praying for the most is the Skyfall-cinematography win. The one win I would love to be an upset is DDL not winning Best Actor. He is my least favourite in the category, which despite being the best acting category this year, has also become the most boring.

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    1. Wouldn't it be killer if Deakins FINALLY wins? I'd love it, but I really don't think it's gonna happen. Sucks.

      DDL has Actor locked, and he'll be the first fella to win three lead acting Oscars, which is awesome. Agree that it's a boring category, but that's a damn worthy win.

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  3. I Hope Argo wins Best Picture. It is my Second choice but Amour can't.So, at least Argo should. I REALLY hope Riva wins this too. She deserves this. If not Chastain.

    I am with Mette in Foreign Film too. I think Amour is pretty much lock there. However more than anything else, I hope Deakins wins it.

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    1. Riva would be amazing. Really hoping that one plays out.

      Don't get me wrong, I think Amour will take it as well, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if it did not. Is all.

      Deakins, FTW.

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  4. You know I really think Riva will win. My female intuition usually sucks but I just cannot picture Lawrence winning. I can't. And Academy loves cute things - hell they nominated her as the oldest and Wallis girl as the youngest. Given that it's her birthday it would be even cuter.

    Plus we already know they love the movie. 5 nominations and BP nod! And they aren't young - what is it 60% is over 60 years old? I think Amour may actually win Director too, since it's all fair game as Affleck is not nominated. I still don't understand how the hell this happened.

    I absolutely loathe MacFarlane sense of humor so I'm not holding my breath, but I'm sure at the very least it will be better than Franco/Hathaway fiasco. It's hard to imagine something worse.

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    1. If Riva takes Actress and Haneke nabs Director, I will be a happy, happy man. Sadly, I don't really think Haneke has a shot. My gut says Lawrence will take Actress, which I'm cool with as well. But really, it could go either way.

      I too haven't a clue how Affleck wasn't nominated. That'll go down as a huge, huge snub.

      I'm not a fan of MacFarlane's either, so yeah, touch and go as far as hosting tonight. But please let him be better than the Franco/Hathaway disaster.

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  5. I love the fact that most of the categories are pretty much up in the air. I hope that between Lincoln and Argo, which at this point seem like the only two films with a shot at best picture, the Academy goes with Argo. Neither of them would be close to my pick but in this case I would just hate to see a film as mediocre as Lincoln take the win.

    Also I'm hoping to see at least one win for The Master tonight. Whether that be for best supporting actor which it has the best shot at or Best Actor (A man can dream) isn't relevant to me. I just want to see the academy recognize it in some way. Also seeing someone other than DDL take home Best Actor would be fantastic. I loved his performance but having him win again would kind of be boring.

    As for everything else, I'm just curious as to what will happen. Should be an interesting night.

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    1. Yes! I had no idea our sentiments were the same regarding Lincoln. I fully agree, while Argo was far from my favorite of 2012, I'd definitely prefer it to Lincoln.

      Sadly, my friend, I don't think The Master has a chance at anything. I'd love to see it take home something as well, but its nominations are its gift.

      But yeah, either way, I'm pumped for the potential of surprises as well. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, good to hear from you!

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  6. If Deakins don't win for Skyfall, Imma gonna riot puta-madre!!!!

    I'm very disappointed that all of the James Bond actors won't appear for the Bond tribute. :(

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    1. I really don't think it's gonna happen, but man oh man do I hope I'm wrong.

      What the hell is the story behind the Bond tribute? I've heard Brosnan wouldn't show. Is that true? Seems so unlike him.

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    2. If it is true. I'm going to be hating on Brosnan for some years. Still, it won't be as bad as his atrocious singing chops in Mamma Mia!.

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    3. Truth truth. He most really hate the producers to not show up for the tribute.

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  7. I'm all about Argo winning as well. Really hope that happens. Same with Deakins and the Amour wins. Fingers crossed.

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    1. Crossed indeed. That'd make for a good night!

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  8. Who were your sources for best Director, man? That one came completely out of left field...

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    1. Oh man, I don't have it in me to troll predication websites now, spent so much of the weekend doing that! But in my research, Lee was the clear front runner. Granted, most all the articles I found predicting him admitted it was a late-game switch from Spielberg.

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