Let's recap what is considered the "best" according to old white males.
As you all know, I have somewhat of a huge disdain for the Academy Awards and the people organizing the ceremony in the most self-congratulatory, dumbfounded, money-puffing, put-it-in-the-last-minute manner possible. But to its credit, at least they're not like the Grammys or the Golden Globes or any award shows because it is when everything's made to be conservative and civil. Also I grew softer on the Oscars because at least it is trying to maintain the ceremony's entertainment with Seth Macfarlane setting to be the host.
With this year's category, most of the films nominated doesn't ring special. While it contains a variety of films coming from the indie and arthouse pack or produced by Hollywood studios, I'm not surprised that not one genre film such as Skyfall, The Avengers or Looper made it in. The domestic highest grossing film from that category is Lincoln only making more than $150 million at the box office. After The Artist won, I told one of my high school teachers that the category had never mattered and it is pretty useless as a guide to what is actually the best in film of a certain year. I'm currently piecing together a Best of list and only two of the nominees may make it on to it.
Any chances of winning? I guess a lot of people didn't really expect this film to get nominated as it was the movie that managed to suddenly got in thanks to the Academy's new rule of the 5% vote. For most of us, especially me, we see it as Oscar Bait as this is a movie about old white people for old white people. It is the first foreign film sincce Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to be nominated in the major category. But if anything, this is the nominee I'm happy to root for in any category.
Any chances of winning? As Ben Affleck is waving on his series of wins at the BAFTAs, Golden
Globes and many guilds, it's no surprise that the Academy had a hard
look upon itself for not nominating him for Best Director. The Academy may do that "sometimes" situation where two films win Best Picture without winning Best Director. But this is when Affleck wasn't nominated so they might have to settle for Lincoln. It might win Best Adapted Screenplay.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Any chances of winning? As much as I don't think this film should be nominated in any category at all, some people actually thought it was deserving. If Argo, Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook was up for a shocker, this will be the ultimate dark horse.
my review here). This may be Quentin Tarantino's weakest film to date, but then again I wasn't floored over by Inglorious Basterds or anything from him since Pulp Fiction. However there are some great things about this film including the performances from Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio and there was one scene that had me cracking. Tarantino still show what gifts he presents on screen including his placing dialogue as important as anything else in his film. He can deliver intense setpieces that those scenes are a masterpiece compared with the film as a whole.
Any chances of winning? To begin with, it was only nominated thanks to the Weinstein's on-time awards campaign. But I don't see the point in seeing them win the big prize other than a possible Best Original Screenplay.
my review here). While the saving grace of the film is Anne Hathaway's performance and some numbers that are emotionally captivating, it is nonetheless a bore. The more I thought about it, the more it hits me that Tom Hooper's direction here is catastrophic, almost close to turning the film into a disaster. To its credit, he at least slow down by putting the camera on the tripod while the actors sing their heart out, but unfortunately his framing of the film doesn't work. It is a bad idea to have all the actors to sing every note of dialogue as the film never takes a break, and even his handheld camerawork doesn't do the film any justice.
Any chances of winning? I don't see any attention given to this film other than the performances which should at least give the gold to Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress
Life of Pi
Any chances of winning? There's little attention towards this film, but it might earn some awards in the technical category including Best Special Effects or Art Direction.
Any chances of winning? It is second behind Argo as the favorite to win Best Picture, but it can at least award Steven Spielberg Best Director and Day Lewis Best Actor without actually winning the major category. If you predict this film dominating the Oscars, you could be right.
Silver Linings Playbook
Any chances of winning? This is the film the Weinsteins have aggressively campaigned to sweep at every award show and while the wave of Argo may have lessened its chances, it doesn't stop the chance of rewarding Jennifer Lawrence with a Best Actress nod or for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Zero Dark Thirty
Any chances of winning? It sweeped in every critic's association award for Best Picture, Actress and Director, but since it is not nominated for Best Director in here, the attention to the film dominating this season is rapidly declining. So now there's a slim chance it might win.
And in conclusion, these are my thoughts and theories of all the Best Picture nominees. Argo and Lincoln are head-to-head to win the top category with the former gaining more momentum in winning Best Picture and Director at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and BAFTAs. But if there was any nominee that I prefer to win, it would have to be Amour and Zero Dark Thirty as they are both fine examples of filmmaking of 2012.
I might not watch the Oscars as it occurs on the day I start uni, so once I get to watch a repeat of the broadcast at the awards, it will be all done with.