Sunday, February 24, 2013

Picks for the 2012 Oscars

Once again my wife and I have our annual competition on picking the nominees for best picture.  And as usual I spend time researching and she mainly just guesses.  And a good number of the years she wins, like last year.  So once again we go at it, I have been told to mention that she guessed on her answers and that will remain in effect until she wins and then she planned it that way.

Visual Effects
Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Life Of Pi

While this movie did not earn any of the major nominations in acting, it is supposed to be an amazing looking film that I think will win most if not all of the technical awards.

Sound Mixing
Chris - Les Miserables
Adam - Les Miserables

Another remake of the classic this time from the Broadway musical.  It's the only musical nominated in this category so it seems like a cinch to win..

Sound Editing
Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Life Of Pi

Les Mis was not nominated in this category and best bet is to go with Life of Pi on a technical award.

Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Life Of Pi

From what I understand this is a lock up for this category, and of course another technical award.

Makeup & Hairstyling
Chris - Les Miserables
Adam - Les Miserables

Last year it was only makeup, now they've added hairstyling.  All I can say is, it's about time!  My guess is that Anne Hathaway cut her hair for Les Mis so it seems like a good choice.  Also going against Hitchcock and The Hobbit should make this one an empty netter.

Costume Design

Chris - Anna Karenina
Adam - Anna Karenina

This is one of those type of movies that are made for these categories and everyone has it to win.

Production Design
Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Anna Karenina

Was known as Art Direction last year.  The first time we have a different film.  My guess is that the wife is sticking to the technical logic of Life of Pi, I'm sticking with it following costume design.

Film Editing
Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Argo

Life of Pi will win many of the technical awards, but I don't think on this one, my reasoning I will mention later.  Ok, I can't wait, I think Argo will win Best Picture.

Music Original Song

Chris - Les Miserables
Adam - Skyfall

This could go either way since Les Miz is a popular musical, but I think people want to keep awarding Adele and the James Bond franchise.

Music Original Score
Chris - Skyfall
Adam - Life Of Pi

Either my wife is going with the James Bond theory or just a guess.  I'm going with I think this is another technical award Life of Pi will win.

Writing Adapted Screenplay

Chris - Life Of Pi
Adam - Argo

This is the only major, besides Best Picture, that Life of Pi is nominated for so it could have a chance.  My theory is that they want to award Argo since Ben Affleck didn't get the Best Director nomination and since it will win Best Picture.

Writing Original Screenplay
Chris - Moonrise Kingdom
Adam - Zero Dark Thirty

This one looks like a toss up that anyone could win.  My theory is that they don't want Zero Dark Thirty to go away empty handed so this is a safe award to give to a film that won't win anything else.

Short Film Animated
Chris - Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare
Adam - Paperman

This is one that I hope to be wrong, but everyone on the web is saying that Paperman will win.  My guess is that they are being snobbish towards The Simpsons since it's a TV show.

Short Film Live Action
Chris - Death Of A Shadow
Adam -Death Of A Shadow

These are the pure wild cards of the Oscars, glad that I won't lose any ground since last year the wife went three for four and I went zero for four.

Documentary Short Subject
Chris - Redemption
Adam - Inocente

Write one through five on five pieces of paper, put it into a bag and pull out one of the strips.  That is the best way to chose these films, no way to even begin to guess.

Best Animated
Chris - Brave
Adam -Wreck-it Ralph

Usually there is a clear front runner, not this year so who knows.  Adam Carolla had a voice in Wreck-it Ralph so that's good enough for me.

Best Documentary
Chris - How To Survive A Plague
Adam - Searching For Sugar Man

You never know, this was the only one I heard of and people on the web were predicting it.  Maybe it was the only one they heard of too.

Best Foreign Language
Chris - Amour
Adam - Amour

This is the first time in many years I was aware of the best foreign language films, even saw the Canadian War Witch.  But seeing how Amour was also nominated for Best Picture it should make it a shoe-in for Best Foreign.

Best Supporting Actress
Chris - Anne Hathaway
Adam - Anne Hathaway

This is one of the most obvious ones to pick, everyone says she has it.

Best Supporting Actor
Chris - Christoph Waltz
Adam - Tommy Lee Jones

This is the most competitive award out there.  No one knows who will win, but these two are the front runners.  One of them should win.

Best Actress
Chris - Jennifer Lawrence
Adam - Jennifer Lawrence

Another obvious one, no one else is even in the running.

Best Actor
Chris - Daniel Day-Lewis
Adam - Daniel Day-Lewis

If he doesn't win then we know that the ballots were sent to Venezuela to be counted.

Best Director
Chris - Steven Spielberg
Adam - Steven Spielberg

This will be the highest award that Lincoln will win and since Ben Affleck didn't get nominated.

Best Picture
Chris - Argo
Adam - Argo

When the nominees were first announced it looked like Lincoln would win.  Since then Argo has been winning everything so it looks like it will take the top prize.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Life of Pip

Not only Great Expectations, but four other films that helped me finish off the year with 425 movies seen so far.  I am closing in, even with a little over 75 to go as I am writing this, including the new nominees which I will post about later, my goal is to try and see 50 more this year.  I may have to break down and rent a movie or two, but to average one a week will get me that much closer to seeing everything.

Great Expectations (1947) - The classic Charles Dickens tale about an orphan who does something nice for an escaped prisoner, who gets recaptured and then when released becomes a secret benefactor to him.  Very well acted by John Mills, Alec Guinness and Finley Currie.  And very rare to see a well done English film from this era.

This now completes 1947 and Gentleman's Agreement was the best film of the year.  Second is close, but Miracle on 34th Street edges out Great Expectations since it has become a lasting Christmas classic.  Very close behind in fourth is The Bishop's Wife and last is Crossfire.

Madame Curie (1943) - A rather fictionalized but well acted movie based on the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, the same people who found radium.  They cashed in on it since chemicals were very popular in France in those days and ***(Spoiler Alert)*** they win a Nobel Prize, back when it still had value.  It brought back the great combination of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon who were also a couple in the previous best picture Mrs. Miniver.

No matter how good this film was, it went up against Casablanca.  I would put it in the middle of the pack for this year, for example it was better than Heaven Can Wait but not better than the Ox Bow Incident.  Only two more to go for this year, but nothing is going to be better than Casablanca.  If it was, everyone would be talking about it, and they're not.

Les Miserables ( 1935) - The first one to be nominated for a best picture Oscar and it wasn't a musical.  Fredric March plays Jean Valjean and Charles Laughton is Inspector Javert.  I hate to say this because I don't want to belittle Charles Laughton's incredible acting, but he looked like John Candy.  This version covers more of him in prison and on the lam, but very little with the street battles with the army, guessing the budget wasn't there.  Also doesn't have the full ending.  It was made one year after Raymond Bernard made a four and a half hour version that covered the street battles wonderfully, but didn't show him much in prison, in fact starts when he is being let out.  Also this version has a lot of differences from the novel, but still a good film.

As I close out this year, still three to go, Mutiny On The Bounty is still the best film.  While this movie also had Charles Laughton, he was much better in Mutiny and Clark Gable was better than Fredric March

One Hour With You (1932) - A silly romantic musical comedy with Maurice Chevallier and Jeanette MacDonald.  The two of them in a movie and it not being a musical would be shocking.  Mainly a story about a doctor whom people is having an affair with his wife's friend or something mindless like that.  Like I said it was silly and a lot of fluff, but enjoyable if you like that sort of thing, but I don't.

This went up against Grand Hotel, and it clearly lost.  It is currently fighting The Smiling Lieutenant  for last place and with one more film to go for this year it will stay near the bottom.

Double Indemnity (1944) - The classic film noir movie.  Even though I have never seen it before now, I knew the story since it has been used and parodied many times.  Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, who did play a kind father in My Three Sons also had a lot of movie roles where he was really evil, this one no exception.  Well shot, somewhat cheesy with a lot of the lines, but very enjoyable.  And Edward G. Robinson is great as always, but really does hold the film together floating in and out of scenes.

While it didn't win it set the standard for other films in this genre.  It lost to Going My Way, which is a nice film but not as meaty as Double Indemnity.  My guess is if it came out a few years later it could of won, but this was made during WWII and I think that is what kept it from winning.  That and I also think that Since You Went Away was much better and it should have won, but I have one more film from this year and I will be watching it soon.