Oscar prognosticator, this is one of the most fun things to do prior to Oscar season. And here are the reasons behind my votes:
BEST PICTURE: Amour. It’s not my number one film of the year, but the Oscar Best Picture lineup rarely nominates foreign language films in it. This is a once in a blue moon case, and among this pack, it’s clearly the best in show.
BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee. Life of Pi is such a director’s vision. For a book that is deemed as un-filmable, all it takes is one captain that will guide the whole process. That’s what Ang Lee did, and if only I was a voter, I’m casting my vote for him.
BEST ACTOR: Joaquin Phoenix. For all the crap that DDL has received for his “method” acting, it’s quite ironic that people are praising Phoenix for an OTT performance. With that said, I was totally sold on him in this film. It seems as if he really entered this world that Paul Thomas Anderson brought him, and he was game. I would have voted for DDL, but seeing that this will be his third Best Actor Oscar, I’m inclined to spread the wealth.
BEST ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva. Simply heartbreaking. In any other year, I would have voted for Jessica Chastain.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz. I know he’s category fraud, but he was such a hoot in Django. I don’t get the “he’s playing the same role” comments in Basterds. Blame Tarantino, not Waltz.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway. Helen Hunt is running on her heels, but I Dreamed a Dream is pretty hard to pass on.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Amour. Haneke aimed to tell a compelling story, and that’s what he did. Second place would have been Moonrise Kingdom. I enjoyed Django but liked his writing in Basterds more. ZD30, controversies aside, was also a good choice.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Lincoln. Definitely one of the film’s strongest points. It’s like Gosford Park, in the sense that it’s a “talky” movie, but you won’t get bored with it.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour. If I can vote for it in the top prize, why not here right?
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Searching for Sugar Man. Ha! It was sentimental, engaging, and heartfelt. Stands out in the pack despite some solid co-nominees.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Wreck it Ralph. It’s the film in the group that I enjoyed the most. It’s somewhat reminiscent of my childhood. fascination with simple video games.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Skyfall. Give Roger Deakins a frickin Oscar! He definitely deserves it.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Mirror Mirror. Due to lack of choices. Not a fan of Les Mis or Lincoln’s costumes. They were just okay. Anna Karenina’s were also so-so. Call it the Keira Knightley overload in this category. And I like the fun playful costumes in Mirror Mirror.
BEST EDITING: Zero Dark Thirty. Have you seen the last thirty minutes of the film? ’nuff said.
BEST HAIRSTYLING AND MAKE UP: Les Miserables. Suck group of nominees. Where’s Lincoln here? That’s a more convincing make up achievement than Hopkins’ man in a fat suit.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Life of Pi. Hypnotic. Love Marianelli’s outputs, but Atonement was clearly his best. Lincoln‘s sound sounds recycled and dated. Argo‘s and Skyfall‘s were good but not best.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Skyfall. Academy Award winner Adele = LOVE.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Life of Pi. The ship. The zoo. The swimming pool resort at the start. All eye candies!
BEST SOUND EDITING: Zero Dark Thirty. It’s the one that stood the best for me.
BEST SOUND MIXING: Les Miserables. I’ll give them their due with the live singing schtick they risked to do.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Life of Pi. Have you seen Richard Parker?
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Adam and Dog. Sure, Paperman is getting all the buzz, but this dog-man friendship is the one that gets in to me the most.
How about you? What will your Oscar ballot look like? Who would you have voted for? Also, my complete final Oscar predictions tomorrow!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl