Oscar om nom noms

So the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, conveniently enough while I was asking facebook and twitter about when they were going to be announced. Also, I saw Lincoln* last night, so now I’ve seen enough movies this year to actually have an opinion on these things. You might remember me saying that Les Mis was going to take them all. I’m not changing my mind completely, but making some amendments. I made a handy chart listing only the movies I’ve seen and what they are nominated for. The complete listing of all nominees can be found here.

oscars

I color coded it by category … because I’m a nerd like that. Just be glad I didn’t make it an excel spreadsheet, because I kinda wanted to but this post was already taking too long. I might still do it if I feel like procrastinating going to the gym or something, which is definitely a possibility.

Anyhoo… Let’s discuss. I admit, a lot of these categories mean nothing to me. I don’t know what Production Design entails, or the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing is, or how to tell if they are good. I just know that those are usually won by movies like Transformers. SO I didn’t offer an opinion on every single category listed.

Best picture – I still maintain that Les Mis will take it. The others were good, but, well, read the blog.

Best Actor – Hugh Jackman. DDL was very good, as always, but Hugh showed more range. Plus he was singing.

Best Supporting Actress – Sally Field. This category isn’t right. Sally should be in the Best Actress Category. She had a much heftier role than Anne. But I think Sally has what the judges are looking for. Sorry, Anne.

Costume Design – Hm, I thought Les Mis had this one, but Lincoln is also a period piece. Rich people’s costumes are much more elaborate than paupers’, so I think Lincoln gets it.

Makeup and Hairstyling – I think Lincoln gets this one too. Not only did they make everyone well-aged, they made this guy:

look like this guy:

As for the Hobbit, I expect they will sweep the awards with movie #3, just like Lord of the Rings did.

Original Song – Is the song from Les Mis actually original? Is it not part of the well known Broadway play? I don’t know the play at all, so that’s an honest question. Either way, I say this one goes to Skyfall. Maybe that’s the radio at work’s fault, but the more I hear Adele’s beautiful voice, the more I want to watch the movie again.

Visual Effects – Life of Pi. Avengers was awesome and all alien-superheroey, and again, The Hobbit has 2 sequels coming. Life of Pi was truly amazing, and I didn’t even see it in 3d. They computer generated a tiger for the whole movie (#bestsupportingtiger)! The ocean scenes were just breathtaking. The visuals in this movie beat out anything I could come up with my own while reading the book (which I have yet to do). The visuals in this movie were my favorite thing ever. I can’t praise them enough. And my opinion counts, dammit!

Directing – to be honest, this is one I don’t really understand either. But generally it goes to the winner of Best Picture, so I’ll stick with Les Mis.

Cinematography – This is a tough one. Life of Pi and Lincoln were both visually great. But I think Pi deserves it more in the Visual Effects category and Lincoln gets this one. There were lots of shadowy profile shots that were excellent at conveying both the mood of the film and keeping up reverence for Abraham Lincoln. That’ how they judge this right? Reverence to presidents?

Original Score – Life of Pi. Since this movie had a lot of empty background noise to fill, it’s soundtrack was especially important. It was perfect for setting the tone to each scene, and to be honest, probably helped bring more than a few tears to my eye.

So those are the major categories, at least in my mind. Here are two more categories, which are important, but I don’t have an educated opinion on:

Animated Film
Brave
Wreck-it Ralph

I wanted to see the other films in this category, but I haven’t. Brave will probably take it, because well, Disney-Pixar. I would prefer if Ralph took it because I enjoyed the nerd-cred of it, but I don’t think Oscar cares about that.

 ShortFilm-Animated
Paperman

Yes, I only saw one film in this category, but I’m not sure it should win. It was very cute, but it’s up against a Simpsons film. I might have a minor obsession with the Simpsons, though I haven’t seen this one. So I’m biased there. Not listed was one called La Lune, which was also Pixar, but I think I liked that one better than Paperman. But good for Paperman if it wins.

So there you have it – a very well thought out and long-winded Oscar piece. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but either way, you should see all of these movies. (See Life of Pi on the big screen!)

*I had to italicize the title because otherwise it looks like I just ran into a dead former president on the street somewhere.

Advertisements

review of Les Miserables

(Don’t worry, no spoilers.)

As a literature major, of course I am familiar with Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I also know that there is a Broadway musical and countless movies based on it. But I’ll admit, I’ve never actually read it or seen any incarnation of it. Somehow I knew the characters’ names though (mainly Jean ValJean and Cosette, but still).

But when the most recent movie remake came out, the one with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, I went to go see it. I knew enough about the story that I knew I would be in tears, because 1) I cry at the drop of a hat at movies anyway, and 2) the title is LITERALLY “The Miserable People.” Not gonna be a feelgood, happy tale. I resisted seeing it on opening day, which was Christmas, because nobody wants to cry on Christmas. Also, I was lazy, but that’s beside the point.

I went to see it the day after, and I was not disappointed. Well, I was disappointed in the fact that I cried the whole time, but that’s only because the movie was so good. Les Miz is a musical, yes, but did you know that there is literally no spoken dialogue? The whole thing is sung. And it was sung on set, by the actors, in the moment. It was not redubbed later. That just speaks to the tremendous talent of the cast. Which brings me to my main point: this movie is going to win all the Oscars. All of them. Just you wait. Cast your bets at Oscar parties, then send me some of the winnings when the awards show proves me right.

It has all the Academy Award elements:
– death, both by disease and in battle, and even by children.
– epic length. I think it was like 3.5 hours long.
– historical setting (hello costume design!).
– stirring interpersonal relationships: love, hate, and a conflicting mixture of the two. All kinds of both too – between families, classes, etc.
-comic relief. Sadly, Helena Bonham Carter and Sascha Baron Cohen will not be the award winners (even though they both have three names and I think that helps). They were both very good though. Very reminiscent of their roles in Sweeney Todd.
– of course great performances, but you already knew that. There are plenty of previous award winners. I’m too lazy to look it up and prove it to you, but if you don’t believe me, use your power of google-fu.

Here’s the TL;DR version.

Go see this movie, but bring a box of tissues. Even the guys in the audience had something in their eye. You don’t have to see it on the big screen, but the surround sound is awesome. Also, close ups of bad teeth.

(Semi-related side note: The Flat Rock Playhouse in Hendersonville, NC will be putting on this play this year. I want to go see it, as I know it will be excellent because everything they do is, but I don’t want to cry the whole time. Which I will. So if you’re anywhere near this area or planning a vacation, you should go see the play too.)