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22 February 2013

My Choices for the Oscars 2013

(First published in "The Chair" Blog) 
The Oscars are just around the corner and so I decided to announce my very own choices on who should and may win the major awards.  Certainly, I am not an Academy voter, but if I were, I would vote for these people.


BEST FILM
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My pick:  Amour
This film represents the new trend in film-making that heavily influences our very own Brillante Mendoza. “Amour” is not an easy film to watch but it is love at its deepest. This is anti-Hollywood storytelling and we love it. However, is the Academy ready to embrace this kind of film?

Who may win: Lincoln or Argo
Lincoln is a movie about a well-loved American president in a time when America was leading the way against prejudice. It is America being magnanimous before they became an imperial power. It is positive. This movie is the anti-Zero Dark Thirty.  However, if the Oscars feel extra guilty for snubbing Ben Afflect for Best Director, "Argo" may take the highest honor.

BEST DIRECTOR AND ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
My pick: Michael Haneke, Amour
“Amour” is outstanding because of Haneke. Even if Ben Afflect was not snubbed for an Oscar Best Director nomination, Haneke is still our choice. As for the screenplay, Haneke brilliantly encapsulated a lofty theme within the confines of an apartment. He let his written words enrich the movie rather than relying heavily on the visuals.
Who may win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (director)
It is a prestige thing and the Academy could not go wrong if they choose Spielberg.
Who may win:
 Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained (original screenplay)
We love Quentin too.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
My pick: Ben Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Zeitlin and Alibar brilliantly adapted a stage play and made it cinematic.  That is awesome. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is also our second choice for best film and director Ben Zeitlin is a breath of fresh air from the lingering smell of many Hollywood popcorn films but he may be too intellectual for the Oscars. 
Who may win: Tony Kushner, Lincoln or David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Kushner wrote a cohesive screenplay that made history engaging without making it too preachy but the Academy may also finally recognize Russell.  This one is a toss up.

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
My pick: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
Why? It is Daniel Day Lewis. It is like Picasso competing against art students, need we say more.
Who may win:  Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
When news first broke that Day Lewis would play Lincoln, I think most of us knew he would win an Oscar. It is like hearing the news that Meryl Streep would play Margaret Thatcher.  When these actors play such challenging roles, the best thing to do is to reschedule the play date of your Oscar worthy movie for the next year; you will have more chances of winning.

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
My pick: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
 Jessica Chastain was so effective and brilliant in “Zero Dark Thirty” that we forgot the fact that her character eventually embraces the usefulness of torture. Jennifer Lawrence is engaging in “Silver Linings Playbook” but she was far better in “Winter’s Bone.” We’re a big fan of Naomi Watts but our choice is French actress Emmanuelle Riva. In “Amour,” she shows us the meaning of depth.  Unfortunately, she spoke French in the film and that could go against her.
Who may win:  Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook.
She is so likeable. She is like Sandra Bullock and Lawrence’s character is all about love, and no torture scenes. What a relief!

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
My pick: Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master 
You can never go wrong with this man.  He has never failed to amaze. 
Who may win: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln.
Tommy Lee Jones played a man ahead of his time, an abolitionist, a magnanimous character and performance; plus it’s Tommy Lee Jones!



BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
My Pick: Sally Field, Lincoln
Many people love Anne Hathaway as Fantine in “Les Miserables” but Sally Field went head to head with Day Lewis and soared. And she did not even sing.
Who may win: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
She made herself deathly thin and un-glamorous. The Oscars love gorgeous people play ugly.

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