2012 was a good year in Hollywood – not only in the box office, but the quality of pictures released this year was definitely up.  There are some interesting storylines in this year’s Oscar race.   Here is the Movieriader take.

DANIEL-DAY-LEWIS-LINCOLN

* Daniel Day Lewis will further elevate himself in the conversation of greatest on screen performers AFTER he wins his 3rd Best Actor Oscar.  This is his 5th nomination in that category.  His performance in LINCOLN was a triumph and he is building on an already stellar career in film that still has a lot of runway ahead of it.  The surest thing this year will be DDL standing with an Oscar.  It is interesting to look at the field for that category – Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington…those are expected.  Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman are not expected.  Those are names that catch your attention?  Lewis could easily have won for his other two nominations; Adrian Brody (Pianist) edged his Gangs of New York nomination in 2003 and Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) edged his Name of the Father nomination in 1994.  The question now is where does Lewis stand?  He will be the most decorated BEST actor winner with 3 wins in that category and tied with Walter Brennan and Jack Nicholson for actor wins overall (including supporting) with 3 each.   In my book (and I think Lutz will be on board here) he has to be at the very top of any list of greatest performers, regardless of Oscar count.

* The legitimacy of Ben Affleck as a filmmaker.  The legacy of Ben Afleck has been mixed – let’s face facts, the guy starred in Gigli?  He has an Oscar already for screenplay on Good Will Hunting, but over the last few years has been building (or maybe rebuilding) his filmmaking cred.  He wrote and starred in The Town, which was a very well written script and he wrote and directed Gone Baby Gone, which was another solid offering.  But this year Argo is nominated for Best Picture (a movie Afleck Produced, Directed and Starred in).  I don’t think Argo will win, but it deserves the consideration it is getting.   He was not nominated in the director category at the academy, but he did receive a director nomination at BAFTA.  Afleck seems to have renewed his passion for making great movies; he takes fewer projects but involves himself more deeply in the projects he is on.  The results are clear – he is making good films.

* Prometheus was a VERY disappointing film in my book, but that is due in part to my out worldly expectations of Ridley Scott.  It was nominated in visual effects, and I would be VERY surprised if it didn’t win in that category – the visual effects were absolutely stunning and the field only has one legitimate threat (Life of Pi).

* Best Picture: really academy 9 pictures?  Was Silver Linings Playbook that good?  Django Unchained seems a bit outclassed too?

* Actress Categories – I am lost here.  I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty (YET) but Jessica Chastain seems to figure prominently in Best Actress, while Anne Hathaway seems to be the talk in Supporting.  Judi Dench is in the hunt too…that would be great to see, not that she needs the hardware.

* Spielberg – the king of Hollywood has returned; 12 nominations for Lincoln.  The lingering question for people will be, what is Lincoln if you subtract Daniel Day Lewis?  Fair.  But Speilberg deserves credit for selecting excellent source material and building a strong cast around Lewis.  He resisted the temptation to make a war movie and told a very timely human story.  The Movieraiders are glad to see Speilberg back– he was slipping there for a few years.  But we better not get used to it, his next few projects do not make me think this is the beginning of a trend.  It is important to remind people, Speilberg has grossed over 4 BILLION (yes with a B) at the box office as a director- which is 2x the next closest director (Robert Zemekis); James Cameron would need to deliver 4 Avatars to be where Speilberg already is.  As much as I love Spielberg, I have to be real -the $4B man doesn’t have any trouble surrounding himself with talented people…

2 Responses to Movieraiders Oscar Preview

  1. John says:

    So it looks like I got some of the easy ones right here. Daniel-Day Lewis (great speech by the way). Anne Hathaway, honestly, not a great speech – but she is a good actress. I was very surprised by the Jennifer Lawrence win. I didn’t predict Ang Lee but was happy for him. When I wrote this, I didn’t think Argo would win – but clearly it built a lot of momentum at the globes and Afleck’s snub on director had to figure somehow into the mix. Spielberg may be a long way away from another directing Oscar… A good year in movies, and a solid Oscars. On to 2013!

  2. Lutz says:

    Did anyone else notice that the producer and Oscar accepter of Argo
    was the same guy from Congo and True Lies? I imdb’d him and read that
    he was lent $200 to George Clooney in his early start up days. That
    $200 investment sure paid off!

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