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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar films

Oscar statuettes
Photo credit: Noel Y.C. on Flickr
The Oscars are going to be televised tonight and my wife and I have been busy watching nominated films and acting performances since the beginning of the year. Regular readers may recall that I didn't actually see any of the films nominated for best picture during the 2012 calendar year. Until 2013, I didn't see any of the nominated acting performances either.

During 2012, I did see "Skyfall," which was nominated for a handful of technical or musical awards and "The Avengers," which received one such nomination. "Moonrise Kingdom," the best 2012 film I watched during the eligibility year, received a well-deserved writing nomination.

In any case, based on my 2013 efforts to see the 2012 contenders, I'm going to rank-order the films and acting performances. Obviously, this is my completely subjective perspective -- and not an ideal way to think about art. Plus, I can only rank the performances I watched. That is a big limit since I failed to see four of the Oscar-nominated Best Picture nominees and missed "The Master" when it was in town (it comes out on DVD this week).

Note that these are not my predictions about winners in each category. Go to Intrade if you want predictions.  Spoiler Alert: "Argo" is a strong favorite ("Lincoln" was a heavy favorite until "Argo" started winning awards), along with Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg for their contributions, plus Louisville's Jennifer Lawrence.

Update: Shaded yellow indicates additions after the Oscars (and the original blog posting).

Best Picture

Argo **
Zero Dark Thirty  (post-Oscar viewing, March) **
Django Unchained **
Lincoln **
Life of Pi (post-Oscar viewing, May)
Silver Linings Playbook  **
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) (post-Oscar viewing, May)
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Actress

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Actress in a Supporting Role

Helen Hunt (The Sessions) (post-Oscar viewing in May)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Amy Adams (The Master)

Directing

Ang Li (Life of Pi)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)


** I saw these films in the theater.

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