And The Nominees Are

side_oscarThe 92nd Academy Awards are going down Sunday night, so here’s my uneducated predictions for the non-acting awards. I have seen a couple of these movies, so I will still mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth with just a little bit of personal experience.

Best Original Screenplay

Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite

I’ve seen none of these films, so this is a total shot in the dark, but I’ve heard lots of good things about Knives Out.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, Joker
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

I’ve only seen one of these, but my guess is that Greta Gerwig takes home the prize.

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

I’m assuming the continuing adventures of the talking Mr. Potato Head and friends will be the winner.

Best Cinematography

Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Lawrence Sher, Joker
Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Robert Richardson, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Well, again, I’ve seen one of these, so I will go with the war effort 1917.

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Mayes C. Rubeo, Jojo Rabbit
Mark Bridges, Joker
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s tale of 1960s Hollywood is my choice to win this particular prize.

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2013: The Year In Movies

2013 was again an off year in movie watching for me.  I managed to watch only 61 movies last year, one less than 2012 and my second consecutive year under 100.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

The Wedding Planner (2001)
A Jennifer Lopez throwback to start off the year.

Red Riding Hood (2011)
This was not a good movie.

Safe House (2012)
This also was not a good movie. I’m not getting the year started right.

Les Misérables (2012)
A work outing is the only reason I saw this film.

American Reunion (2012)
Sometimes you can go home again. And sometimes you shouldn’t.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)
Robert Downey Jr. returns as the great British detective.

Young Adult (2011)
Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt team up for this strong tale.

Compliance (2012)
I streamed this disturbing picture on the iPad.

For A Good Time, Call… (2012)
A surprisingly good comedy.

Apollo 18 (2011)
Not good at all.

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Oscar Night

As they finish polishing up the statues for tonight’s awards ceremony, it’s time to finish up our predictions with a look at the acting categories and the big one:

Best Picture



Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Life of Pi


Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

The early money was on either Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty taking home the big prize, but Argo has been raking up Best Picture wins starting with the Golden Globes and has momentum on its side.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

While Lincoln may have fallen out of favor in the Best Picture race, this is still Daniel Day-Lewis’ trophy to lose.

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

In my mind, this comes down to Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence. Not having seen either performance, my gut tells me that the backlash against Zero Dark Thirty hurts Chastain here and that Jennifer Lawrence brings home the Oscar.

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People Who Will Get Played Off Before Their Speech Ends

With the Academy Awards scheduled for Sunday night, here’s my predictions for the non-acting awards.  I likely have seen very few of these movies, so I will mostly be going on gut feel and word of mouth.

Best Original Screenplay

Amour, Michael Hanake

Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino

Flight, John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

I haven’t seen any of these films.  Personally, I would like to see Quentin Tarantino win, but I don’t see that as a possibility given the n-word backlash he saw after the movie came out.  Zero Dark Thirty has the upper hand, I think.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Argo, Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin,

Life of Pi, David Magee

Lincoln, Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Silver Linings Playbook and Argo are the two films here that I really want to see, with Lincoln coming in a distant third.  I’m not sure if SLP will do as well in the “big” categories as people are expecting, but I think it will pick up some hardware here.

Best Animated Feature




The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

Again, I haven’t seen any of these and I’m likely not going to.  That said, Wreck-It Ralph looks to be the most fun out of these entries.  Not to imply at all the Academy puts any consideration to fun.

Best Cinematography

Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey

Django Unchained, Robert Richardson

Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda

Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski

Skyfall, Roger Deakins

My feeling is that this comes down to either Django Unchained or Skyfall, and I think James Bond loses this battle.

Best Costume Design

Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran

Les Misérables, Paco Delgado

Lincoln, Joanna Johnston

Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka

Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

I’ve actually seen 2 of these films.   My thought is that it will come down to Lincoln or Les Misérables, and who doesn’t like a musical?

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