As the fated night approaches, we all collectively hold our breath until the seal is broken on those fancy academy envelopes. Before they are opened, however, a moment must be taken for the snubs.
It has become a tradition for the public to be outraged by one decision made by the academy. This year’s victim was Ben Affleck.
Best picture nominee Argo is, well, a best picture quality movie. Directed by Ben Affleck, this film took moviegoers into the intense escape plan of U.S. citizens in a tumultuous Iran. Logically, movies nominated for the best picture award are almost always coupled with a best director nod. Argo was the exception but it’s definitely the head scratcher of the year. It received a slew of nominations at the Oscars and other award shows. These moments are the main reason why the academy is doubted, yet the decision is final.
Moving on to nominations, the field is as strong as it has been in years. First to the subject of the snub is best director. Best director is a stacked category including Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and David Russel (“Silver Linings Playbook”) just to name the frontrunners. Even with the cloud of doubt brought on from Affleck’s snub, Lee has to be the pick. With the majority of the film set on a small boat with a teenager and an adult Bengal tiger, Lee took viewers on a stunning journey for salvation. “Life of Pi” has been called the un-filmable movie, with that said, Lee did more than the impossible and made a masterpiece.
The supporting spots are extremely competitive groups and will not lack drama. On the actor in a supporting role side, the men nominated all stuck out in their performances and it is safe to say that every nominee is worth the award. With his compelling character and quirky nature, Christopher Waltz is most likely to bring home this award. The actress in a supporting role nomination is not as competitive. With some of the nominations seeming almost arbitrary, this category does not have a clear favorite but it will be an interesting category to watch.
Best actor is a star-studded group this year led by Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”). The rest of the nominees include Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Denzel Washington (“Flight”). This award is most likely to go to Cooper. Cooper’s role in “Silver Linings Playbook” was compelling in so many different ways. He provided comic relief at times moved the narrative with his character’s quests for sanity and portrayed a man with such obvious flaws that viewers had to root for him.
On the other side of this major award the women of the evening are coming out as strong as their male counterparts. Quvenzhané Wallis is the biggest surprise in this category. At 9-years-old she is the youngest woman nominated for actress in a leading role for her inspiring performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The rest of the nominees include Jessica Chastin (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”). Like her counterpart in “Silver Linings Playbook” Lawrence is most likely to win best actress.
Now for the award to end all awards;best picture. This year’s nominees are all serious contenders; the list includes “Amour,” “Life of Pi,” “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Django Unchained,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Les Misérables.” Films such as “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Django Unchained” are serious fan favorites and for good reason, but the field is not far behind.
With “Argo” taking best picture at the Golden Globes many would say this is a head start on the competition. With all that said, factoring in cast, direction and writing it’s obvious to me that “Silver Linings Playbook” is 2012’s best picture. This film takes viewers on a journey with characters that very few can relate to, but still managed to be relatable. There is nothing more you can get from a film than strong characters and a plot worth delving in to. “Silver Linings Playbook” does all this and more in the first 10 minutes.