On account of the fact that I won last year's Oscar pool by a landslide (thank you Pete Hammond at Deadline) and could not think of anything else to write today, I'm publishing my 2013 Oscar picks.
It will come as no surprise to you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT the Oscars. It will also come as no surprise to you that I attend a party in which you have to bring a food item related to an Oscar nominee. Every single year I make my mom's famous baked brie and then shove it into a pun. 2011 was Baked Jeff Brie-dges in the shape of his TRUE GRIT character, 2012 was Baked Brie of Life in the shape of that tree from that weird Terrence Malick movie, and this year I will be making Brie-sts of the Southern Wild: a baked brie in the shape of one of those boars from my favorite film of the year. Yes, I'll post a picture on Sunday night.
Now, without further digression, my 2013 Oscar Picks, including explanation. For reference, here is the full list of nominees:
BEST SOUND MIXING
I recently learned that this is the award for sound that is mixed on the set on the day, so I’m going to vote for LES MIS because they sang live (in case you hadn’t heard…from Anne Hathaway….10,000 times…).
BEST SOUND EDITING
I recently learned that this is about sound effects done in post. I did not see LIFE OF PI, but I bet that has some really great sound on account of the whole lion and ocean situation. I’m going to go with SKYFALL because I want it to win some awards, and I do believe the sound was excellent.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
This is cheap, but I’m voting for LIFE OF PI based solely on the previews, though in my defense I did watch one of those “featurettes” on Apple.com/trailers. I saw a few of the other movies, but I wasn’t particularly impressed.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
I did not enjoy the production design in LES MIS, and I don’t think any of the others were better than LINCOLN, so I’m going to vote for that.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Adele for SKYFALL, duh. A. it’s the best song and B. any opportunity to hear Adele’s insanely amazing voice give an acceptance speech is worth giving her the award. Industry, take note.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
I can’t really vote on this because I can’t remember the score of most of these movies outside of LINCOLN, and there was that whole weird controversy with that film’s score. When I don’t know how to vote, I do what this guy at The Hollywood Reporter did, and he says LIFE OF PI, so I’ll go with that.
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
I don’t understand why LINCOLN wasn’t nominated because Daniel Day-Lewis looked more like Abraham Lincoln than any actor has looked like any famous person, ever. I’ll give it to LES MIS but not because of skinny, sad Anne Hathaway’s live pixie-cut and “prostitute” make-up. I think they aged Hugh Jackman well.
BEST FILM EDITING
I’m torn between ARGO and ZERO DARK THIRTY on this one. They both had some really beautiful sequences and interesting moments. I’m going to give it to ARGO because I’m still mad that Ben didn’t get nominated for Best Director, so I think he should get a lot of other awards instead.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t see many of these, but I’m voting for SUGARMAN because R’s parents absolutely loved it, and they have really excellent taste in movies.
BEST SHORT (ANIMATED)
Voting for PAPERMAN because anonymous Hollywood Reporter guy did.
BEST SHORT (DOCUMENTARY)
No vote, because that guy didn't vote.
BEST SHORT (LIVE ACTION)
CURFEW. Same, but last time, promise.
I want to abstain from this category because I think Ben Affleck deserved to be nominated and deserves to win this award, but that’s not a popular opinion. A lot of people think Katherine Bigelow should be in this category and get it over Ben (in the just world where he’s also nominated), but I actually think HURT LOCKER was a far better film and that 0 DARK 30 had some issues (said the unemployed comedy writer). I didn’t love LINCOLN, and, brace yourselves, I think people other than Spielberg could have directed it. So I’m going with Benh Zeitlin, first time director of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. He worked with first-time actors on an insane set to create a really moving and very different film.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
I’m going to vote for ANNA KARINENA because it’s going to win, and the others weren’t better enough to earn my courtesy vote.
SKYFALL, no doubt about it. That scene in the glass building in maybe Tokyo is among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
I didn’t see most of these, and I didn’t like those I saw, so I’m voting for PARANORMAN because I really love puns, and that’s a genius pun.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Here’s where stuff gets nasty…
Helen Hunt is a lead, Jacki Weaver didn’t do enough, and Sally Field was awful (in my book). So it’s down to Amy and Anne. I want to give it to Amy because Anne annoys me, and I just don’t know if I believe you should win this award for one song (wildly impressive though it may have been). Also, I don’t want to hear another annoying acceptance speech from her. But, bottom line, Amy Adams wasn’t as impressive in her role as Anne was in that one song, so, Mia Thermopolis it is.
Again, tough one. Naomi Watts just didn’t do it for me. Once she’s in that hospital bed (spoiler alert), she doesn’t do quite enough. Q Wallis (sorry, not even going to try) was outstanding, but she’s just too young to win in a category where Emmanuelle Riva is included. I didn’t like SILVER LININGS (at all. Sorry.), so I can’t say Jennifer Lawrence. For me it’s between Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva. Both were excellent in my book, but Emmanuelle Riva is a cut above, in my opinion. She does things in that movie that felt so real that I forgot she was pretending.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This is EASILY Philip Seymour Hoffman’s award, as far as I’m concerned. Christoph Waltz is brilliant, but not different enough from his Inglourious Basterds performance. Bob (De Niro) was in that movie I hated. Alan Arkin was being Alan Arkin, which is amazing, but not better than Philip Seymour Hoffman being an insane cult leader. Tommy Lee Jones was very good, but, again, not better than PSH.
It would be really awesome if Joaquin Phoenix wins for THE MASTER, but I think it’s Daniel Day-Lewis’ to lose. This is a tough category because both Hugh and Denzel were excellent, but in my opinion Joaquin played the most original character of the year, and that should be rewarded.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEASTS for me, and I didn’t even realize it was an adapted screenplay until I started writing this piece.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ZERO DARK THIRTY for sure. That was a LOT of material to cover very delicately, and I think they did an excellent job.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
I’ve only seen AMOUR, so I’m voting for AMOUR. Also, it will probably win.
This is tough, but I’m going to say ARGO because, of all the options, I enjoyed watching that film the most. When all the acting, editing, sound mixing, costuming, and cinematographing is set aside, that’s what counts most for me in a best picture winner. Did I enjoy it the best? Yes.
Good luck in your Oscar pools, and remember, if you use my votes and lose, it's not my fault, but if you lose my votes and win, you're welcome!