All right, I have earlier on given you my initial thoughts on the nominees for Best Picture (a.k.a thoughts on the two films I’ve actually seen from that list, both of which probably won’t win). In the past few days, I have not caught up with any of the others yet. This makes me question if I should be allowed to do a movies blog to begin with, but let’s just skip over that for a bit please? Instead, I will provide you with my illuminating thoughts and rants popping up while looking at the other categories. This series kicks off with the next five categories: Actor, Actress. Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, and Animated Feature – just to have some fun.
First up: Lead Actor (for quick reference, see here). Right. So, once again, I saw about 20% of these people in the film they are nominated for. Looking at the upcoming categories, I’m just gonna have to get over that gripe and start making some intellectual speculations (intellectual, yes. Got a problem with that?).
Whenever Daniel Day-Lewis does, well, basically anything, it’s usually sure to get him at least nominated. This is his fifth Academy nomination, and he’s already won twice before. That is pretty impressive. Of the others here, I can only see Joaquin Phoenix being a real contender (which doesn’t mean that the others don’t deserve it, it just means that the Academy has a certain taste), especially when you take into account that The Master is not nominated for Best Picture. This might be where they get some compensation. Then again, we’re talking about the master of Method-acting here.
Final call: Daniel Day-Lewis
Next is Lead Actress. This one seems to be more of an open contest. I haven’t seen any of these films, but luckily the Academy has provided photos, trailers, and background information on each nominee. I am mostly intrigued by the inclusion of Quvenzhané Wallis (yes, I straight copied that from the site. No way I’m gonna try spelling that by memory). I don’t have to click through for more information to see that she is by far the youngest contender in this category, but on top of that she is the youngest nominee in this category ever. This probably means that she won’t win though, because the Academy will already be proud of itself for nominating her.
Going by such age-based reasoning would make Emmanuelle Riva the definite winner, but I’m not so sure about that either. When the Academy goes for old, it usually goes for famous-and-productive old, meant as a sort of life achievement award. This label doesn’t really apply to Mrs. Riva.
This leaves three beautiful women from around the same age group (yes, I’m just throwing Jennifer Lawrence in there with the others). Me personally, I would like to see her win (you got it, I’m a Hunger Games fan), but I really have no clue. It could be any of these three.
Final call: Jessica Chastain.
Now then, Actor in a Supporting Role. It has been a while since I have seen five nominees of this caliber all together in one category (yuck, now even I think I sound old). A case could be made for the idea that Christopher Waltz should have been nominated for Lead Actor, but it is what it is. My personal favorite is Tommy Lee Jones (mostly for his work in the Men In Black series. Are you starting to get an idea of my film preferences?).
I mostly know Robert De Niro from his slightly more ridiculous roles (e.g. Captain Shakespeare in Stardust, a movie which I very much love. Against the advice of many movie critics). Of course, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alan Arkin are very serious actors as well. However, my vote will go to Christoph Waltz, because of the breadth and scale of his role. Also, if Django Unchained doesn’t win Best Picture, this category would give the Academy members a chance to redeem themselves.
Final call: Christoph Waltz.
Fourth on the list is Actress in a Supporting Role. In this category, I have only seen Anne Hathaway’s performance, but that one already blew me away. The scene in Les Misérables where she sings I Dreamed A Dream is off-the-scales powerful. I paid attention, and the camera doesn’t cut away from her once. It is a continuous shot, in which she manages to pour out a waterfall of emotions. It seems impossible to believe that one person could feel all that. The Academy probably showed its members just that one scene and they were all like “That’s a done deal guys, I don’t think we need to see anything else”. Furthermore, her trackrecord of roles she has played is very diverse, ranging from fairytale princess (in Ella Enchanted) to the more serious spectrum with her roles in Rachel Getting Married (for which she also received an Oscar-nomination) and Brokeback Mountain. This woman can carry a lot of weight, as well as an amazing voice (which she already proved during the 2009 Oscar opening, hosted by Hugh Jackman). On the other hand, she is still quite young, and has a lot of prospects ahead of her.
Which brings me to Helen Hunt. She has only been nominated for a role once before, in 1997. Just to spell it out for you, that is FIFTEEN years ago. On top of that, the role she is nominated for is in a film about a disabled person (albeit physically disabled, so that doesn’t perfectly fit in here). Combining that, I think she is definitely in with a shot.
As much as I would love to see Anne Hathaway win, I’m not sure it’s gonna happen (yet).
Final call: Helen Hunt
And finally, one of my favorite categories: Animated Feature Film. Of these, I have only seen Brave, and I didn’t really enjoy that one. It just reminded me a lot of Brother Bear, both because of the design of the bear and a quite similar storyline (where two relatives grow closer to each other through the contrast that comes forward when one of them magically turns into a bear).
I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that, if Brave can get nominated, Tangled (2010) should definitely have been nominated in 2011. That one is much stronger! 2010, for me, is the best year for animation that I have experienced so far, and I really thought it a shame that it didn’t get nominated.
Anyways, back to the nominees of this year. Of the other four, I think Wreck-It Ralph and Frankenweenie are probably in with the best shots. Both have received positive reviews. However, in 2011, Toy Story 3 (deservedly) took the golden statuette home. The Academy might feel that a toy (and a game sort of is a toy) related movie now might be too soon.
Final call: Frankenweenie.
That’s it for now folks! The official site tells me it is only 21 days before we find out how wrong I am…