- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Django Unchained
- Les Misérables
- Life of Pi
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
CODY: We got 9 out of a possible 10 nominees this year. I had a little bit more faith in THE MASTER than you, and it turns out that the Academy was overall, pretty sour on the film as PT Anderson is absent in both the screenplay and director category. I’m a little surprised that MOONRISE KINGDOM didn’t sneak in as the 10th, but not upset about it. This went pretty much as expected.
KIKO: If they had picked 10 nominees instead of nine, we would’ve seen either MOONRISE KINGDOM or THE MASTER possibly make the cut. There are really no surprises here. I’m just sad my favorite film of the year (THE MASTER) didn’t make the cut. I don’t think LES MISERABLES is deserving of the nomination, but at least it’s not as bad of a nomination as last year’s for EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE. Last week I would’ve said ZERO DARK THIRTY was the frontrunner in this race, but without a director nod for Katheryn Bigelow, I have to go with LINCOLN now, which leads all films with 12 nominations. The last time a film won the Academy Award for Best Picture without having a nomination for its director was in 1989 when DRIVING MISS DAISY did it. I would count out SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK though, because it’s such a damn crowd pleaser.
- Amour, Michael Haneke, Amour
- Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Ang Lee, Life of Pi
- Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
- David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
CODY: Whoa. What the hell happened here? I was 2/5 here, and beyond that, this went way against the DGA nominees, which are typically the strongest predictor of Oscar nominees there is. I’m happy to see Tom Hooper for LES MISERABLES not show up, and it’s nice to see Ang Lee included for LIFE OF PI, the best visual film of the year and David O. Russell rewarded for the great SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. But um, where is Katheryn Bigelow? She absolutely deserves to here ahead of anyone else who made it. Poor Ben Affleck (ARGO) still needs to play his dues to get that Best Director nomination. The Michael Haneke nomination signals a huge day for AMOUR. It’s a virtual lock for Best Foreign Language film. One thing is perfectly clear with these nominees: Spielberg is a lock to at least win this award, and puts LINCOLN in a prime position for Best Picture.
KIKO: Yeah, I totally agree with you. The exclusion of Katherine Bigelow for ZERO DARK THIRTY was shocking. I wasn’t as shocked to see Affleck get passed over, but the buzz on him was pretty strong up until yesterday. I’m really glad Hooper missed out. LES MISERABLES is getting way too much undeserved love. First –time director BEHN ZEITLIN making the cut for BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is a wonderful surprise for me because I liked the film so much. Bottomline for me is that Bigelow should’ve gotten the nod over Russell and Spielberg is poised to take it all. I do, however, think Ang Lee for LIFE OF PI probably should win it.
- Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
- Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
- Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables
- Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
- Denzel Washington in Flight
CODY: Let’s not mince words here: Denzel Washington does not belong. FLIGHT was a flat out bad movie, and Washington’s performance was just fine. THE SESSIONS lost a lot of steam in the last few months, and ultimately John Hawkes was the odd man out. I’m not broken up about that or anything, but I would have preferred almost anyone but Denzel. Good to see that Joaquin Phoenix trashing the Oscars didn’t end up biting him in the ass. One last thing: welcome to the big-boy table Bradley Cooper, you earned it. I wish he had a chance, but this one is going to Daniel Day Lewis.
KIKO: Where is Matthew McConaughey for KILLER JOE?! Just kidding. Thank you! We are both in the minority when we say Washington does not belong in the final five. I would’ve loved to have seen anyone else get a much deserved nomination like the aforementioned McConaughey or even Jack Black for BERNIE. This is Day-Lewis’s Oscar to lose, but I think it deserves to go to Phoenix. The role is crushing and easily the best of his career. The latter, however, can be said about Jackman and Cooper’s roles, too. Also, just on a side note: the Hawkes snub proves you don’t get an automatic Oscar nomination for playing someone with a physical disability. See the Best Actress nominees list for more proof.
- Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
- Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook
- Emmanuelle Riva in Amour
- Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Naomi Watts in The Impossible
CODY: BOOM! I went 5/5 in my predictions for this category. My gut said Emanuelle Riva over Marion Cotillard and it didn’t steer me wrong. Riva becomes the oldest Best Actress nominee at age 85 and Quavenzhane Wallis becomes the youngest Best Actress nominee at age 9. As I said in my predictions, the Academy loves them some youngins and old people. This is essentially a two-woman race between Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. Going into the nominations, I thought that Chastain was in the lead. However, a strong showing for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK has me wondering if maybe this is Lawrence’s to lose.
KIKO: But Marion Cotillard didn’t have legs! How do you not get an automatic Oscar nom for playing someone without legs! Ok, I jest. She was amazing in the film, but I have to give you credit for holding her off your predictions. Riva was my favorite performance by an actress of the year, so I’m happy to she her included. There are going to be a lot of photo opps. with her and Wallis Oscar night, which is going to be great! Speaking of Feb. 24 (Oscar day), it’s also Riva’s 86th birthday! Remember, this is the 85th Annual Academy Awards. What a great gift that would be if she won.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Alan Arkin in Argo
- Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
- Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln
- Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained
CODY: So they went with Christoph Waltz instead of Leonardo DiCaprio, which is fine by me. Waltz is a blast to watch in anything. This award should, in all likelihood, go to Tommy Lee Jones. I kind of wish it would go to Robert DeNiro, if for any other reason, to encourage him to continue making good movies.
KIKO: Oh, Cody, you know you like DeNiro in LITTLE FOCKERS. Stop lying! Just kidding. Anyway, yeah, it was an interesting call with Waltz over DiCaprio, but a well deserved one. Everyone here is deserving. I would, however, say Arkin is a comic-relief blip more than a fleshed out character. But at the end, they’re all heavy hitters. They’ve all won the big prize before! I’m pulling for Hoffman. Alongside Phoenix, his performance could only be defined as meaty and powerful.
BEST SUPORTING ACTRESS
- Amy Adams in The Master
- Sally Field in Lincoln
- Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables
- Helen Hunt in The Sessions
- Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook
CODY: Interesting field here. And by interesting I mean woefully unimpressive. Amy Adams gets in for being the least impressive element THE MASTER. Jacki Weaver was fine in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, but definitely not Oscar worthy. I previously thought that this award would be the easiest to predict with Anne Hathaway taking home the Oscar with no contest, but if the Oscars prove to be the LINCOLN show (and it’s starting to look that way) Sally Field could easily take home the award.
KIKO: If by interesting, you mean boring, then, yes…very interesting. Where is Ann Dowd for COMPLIANCE. I know you hated that movie (I didn’t love it either), but Dowd was great. The big surprise is Weaver making the cut over veteran Maggie Smith for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. And, ugh, Hunt does not deserve this nomination! I’m in the minority here, but I thought her performance was laughable. I wasn’t a fan of the film, but Hathaway delivered big during her “I Dreamed a Dream” scene. If Jennifer Hudson can win an Oscar for singing in DREAMGIRLS, Hathaway probably should, too.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
- Argo, screenplay by Chris Terrio
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
- Life of Pi, screenplay by David Magee
- Lincoln, screenplay by Tony Kushner
- Silver Linings Playbook, screenplay by David O. Russell
CODY: No surprises here. What a big day for BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD though. Either Fox Searchlight is amazing at picking the indies to get behind, or they are amazing at Oscar campaigning. Pencil in another one for LINCOLN here though. Yawn.
KIKO: Yeah, no surprises. Well, some people are surprised Zeitlin/Alibar got a nod over Stephen Chobosky for THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, but I’m not especially since I thought the film was just average. Everyone is deserving, although I have to say the first half of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is much stronger than the second half. I think Magee should win for adapting what some considered an unadaptable novel, but it’ll probably go to Kushner.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
- Amour, written by Michael Haneke
- Django Unchained, written by Quentin Tarantino
- Flight, written by John Gatins
- Moonrise Kingdom, written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
- Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal
CODY: Ugh. FLIGHT? Really? I can’t say that this necessarily surprises me, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless. Wes Anderson gets rewarded in at least one category, for the beloved MOONRISE KINGDOM and Quentin Tarantino gets in as well. This also shows that it’s a pretty big day for AMOUR, with the nominations continuing to roll in. I don’t know about you, but I think that this will be one of the harder categories to pick the winner of.
KIKO: Yes, our shared hatred for FLIGHT continues. The scene in the hospital stairwell is reason enough to scoff at this nomination. Big PT Anderson snub for THE MASTER. Boal is probably the frontrunner, but if the Academy wants wit, then look no further than Tarantino or Wes Anderson/Coppola.
CODY: Huge days for LINCOLN, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and AMOUR. Bad news for ARGO, LES MISERABLES and ZERO DARK THIRTY. In a year of really sub-par films, the Academy very clearly had to think outside the box, especially given the showing from one tiny indie, one smaller movie with some heavy hitting actors and a foreign language film. I’m frankly stunned by the Best Director nominees, but besides the absence of Bigelow, I don’t feel like there were any huge snubs this year. Personally speaking, I loved SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, so I’m very happy to see it get a boatload of nominations, including being the only film nominated in every acting category. At the end of the day, there’s no question that LINCOLN could take home damn near everything it’s nominated for. Can’t say that I’m too excited about that.
KIKO: Yes, we all know how much you thought LINCOLN was a bore. I happened to like it a lot more than you, so I’ll be happy to see it win a ton of awards Oscar night. I think this year the Academy let PT Anderson and other filmmakers out there know that if you want an Academy Award, you shouldn’t be so weird and alienating. I don’t agree with the sentiment one bit, but whatever. With the exception of AMOUR and BEASTS (last year it was TREE OF LIFE and THE ARTIST), I think all the other Best Picture nominees are easy pills to swallow. It’s not a bad thing at all, but I tend to gravitate to things that are a bit more metaphorical in a sense. Anyway, hope the Oscars is a memorable one with Seth MacFarlane taking hosting duties. And I hope I redeem myself from last year with a good showing in final winner predictions, which will come from myself, Cody, and Jerrod Kingery in the next few weeks.
For a complete list of all Oscar nominations, visit www.oscars.com. The 85th Annual Academy Awards airs Feb. 24 on ABC.