The 85th Academy Awards Results

Oscar

Oscar

Last night the awards season culminated with the big one – The Oscars.  The 85th Academy Awards show was, in my opinion, pretty darn successful and entertaining, and certainly better than the past few years or so.  Lets take a look at some of the highlights, lowlights, and my predictions vs the actual winners.

You may remember back in early January I made my Oscar predictions shortly after the nominees were announced.  I could have waited until I had a chance to see more of the films and taken into account what films were winning what awards as the season progressed but that feels like cheating to me.  My predictions were made on what I knew about the nominees on the day they were nominated and my gut feeling on them.  How’d I do?  Read on to find out.

Best Picture
My Prediction: Lincoln
Winner:  Argo

Argo’s win comes at no surprise given its dominance at the rest of the awards.  It won despite Affleck not getting the directorial nomination – the first film to do so since Driving Miss Daisy.

Best Actor
My Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis
Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

It took a British actor to do it, but someone finally won an Oscar for portraying the Great Emancipator.  Again, no surprise here.

Best Actress
My Prediction: Quvenzhané Wallis
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

I wouldn’t have called it before Silver Linings Playbook started to gather a ridiculous amount of steam, but I’m glad “J-Law” took this one home.  It might not have been as great a performance as she gave in Winter’s Bone, but it was pretty intense.  And who doesn’t like Jennifer Lawrence?  She’s such a real person and always a delight to see on stage, even when she takes a fall.  Quevenzhané, you still have time.

Best Supporting Actor
My Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones
Winner: Christoph Waltz

I was surprised by this one, but not upset.  After having seen Christoph Waltz’s performance in Django Unchained, I can say he honestly deserved the award and he is a pleasure to watch.  I look forward to seeing him in more films in the future.

Best Supporting Actress
My Prediction: Anne Hathaway
Winner: Anne Hathaway

It would have been the shocker of the night if Anne Hathaway didn’t walk away with this one.  I still have a hard time looking at her without seeing Mia Thermopolis, but her performance in Les Miserables demanded an Oscar, and not in a polite way.

Best Director
My Prediction: Ang Lee
Winner: Ang Lee

I think this one surprised a lot of people, but as I said before – he directed a movie from a book that was said to be unfilmable and it was beautiful.  With Affleck out of the picture, how do you not give this to him?

Best Foreign Language Film
My Prediction: Amour
Winner: Amour

Duh.  When a foreign film is nominated for best picture, how will it not win this category?  Amour was as sure a bet as Seth MacFarlane making racist jokes.

Best Adapted Screenplay
My Prediction: Silver Linings Playbook
Winner: Argo

I fully expected Silver Linings Playbook to take this one, but Argo continued it’s record of dominance despite (or perhaps in spite of) the Academy’s snubbing of Ben Affleck.  Once I finally get to see it, perhaps I will agree.

Best Original Screenplay
My Prediction: Django Unchained
Winner: Django Unchained

Even as his films are filled with homages to various genres and characters, Tarantino consistently makes them original and unique.  Django is one of his stronger movies and this was a well deserved win.

Best Animated Feature Film
My Prediction: Wreck it Ralph
Winner: Brave

Pixar is back in the winner’s circle after being left in the dust of Cars 2.  Was it deserved?  I don’t think so.  Gorgeous animation didn’t quite have the magical story to back it up.  I still haven’t seen Wreck it Ralph so I can’t say whether it should have won instead, but the animation field is growing extremely competitive and Pixar had better bring their A game back if they want to keep taking little gold men home.

Best Production Design
My Prediction: Life of Pi
Winner: Lincoln

Not much to say about this one.  Production design is something that you usually notice only if it is lacking.  All the nominees were excellent in this department.

Best Cinematography
My Prediction: Life of Pi
Winner: Life of Pi

I’ve seen an image going around the interwebs which suggests that because of it’s heavy use of computer imagery, Life of Pi should not qualify as a best cinematography candidate.  While I’m not discounting the impressive accomplishments of the other nominees, I would argue that the difficulty and the skill involved to successfully capture the images of a film when half of them are not even in front of your camera is worth recognition.  While the environments were often virtual, the camera was not.  Shots were expertly framed and shot in ways that allowed the unreal to be melded with the real seamlessly.  Life of Pi gave us something only ever before seen in Avatar – a world more magical than reality, but that we could still think of as real.

Best Sound Mixing
My Prediction: Les Miserables
Winner: Les Miserables

A great win, despite Russel Crowe’s best efforts.

Best Sound Editing
My Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty
Winner: Zero Dark Thirty AND Skyfall

Did you know there could be a tie?  I didn’t, but apparently this is the sixth time it has happened.  I half expected Wahlberg to announce that Ted was the second winner as a bit, but “no bs,” we had a tie.  Not as exciting as if something like best actress has been a tie, but exciting none the less.

Best Original Score
My Prediction: Life of Pi
Winner: Life of Pi

With a soundscape as beautiful as the seascape, I’m happy with this win and glad to see Life of Pi getting some love after it seemed to be forgotten with all the talk of Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty.

Best Original Song
My Prediction: Skyfall
Winner: Skyfall

I don’t especially like James Bond myself – never been a big fan – but how can you not like Adele’s instant classic?  It’s Bond to the bone and catchy as anything.

Best Costumes
My Prediction: Anna Karenina
Winner: Anna Karenina

What can I say – the Academy loves period pieces, and Snow White wasn’t going to win.  Neither of them.

Best Documentary Feature
My Prediction: The Invisible War
Winner: Searching for Sugar Man

I haven’t seen any of them, but if I had been paying more attention, I would have realized that Searching for Sugar Man was pretty much a sure thing for best documentary.

Best Documentary (short subject)
My Prediction: Redemption
Winner: Inocente

My prediction was based on name alone.  Should have done my research.  Turns out Inocente is the first film that was funded by Kickstarter to win an Oscar.  How awesome is that!

Best Film Editing
My Prediction: Life of Pi
Winner: Argo

Not really a surprise here, I don’t think there was every a real favorite in this category.  Film editing is, I think, pretty subjective.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
My Prediction: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Winner: Les Miserables

Really surprised here.  I know the Academy likes the period pieces, and Les Miserables was meticulously crafted in all departments, including this one, but I really thought the Middle Earth epic was going to take the prize.  Maybe it’s because the hair and makeup was so much more front and center.  Maybe too many of the voters saw The Hobbit in HFR and could see through the makeup illusions.

Best Animated Short Film
My Prediction: Paperman
Winne: Paperman

I don’t remember why I chose Paperman, but I was right.  The short played before fellow nominee Wreck it Ralph is sweet, creative, and crisply made.  It’s a great winner.

Best Live Action Short Film
My Prediction: Buzkashi Boys
Winner: Curfew

Another one that I chose on name alone.

Best Visual Effects
My Prediction: The Avengers
Winner: Life of Pi

I love Life of Pi and I love that it got some love.  I still think The Avengers should have won though.  From recreating a photorealistic New York City, to building a Hulk we actually believed was there, the super hero film was nothing short of amazing.

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So, how did I do?  Twelve out of Twenty-Four isn’t too bad in my opinion, especially for predictions made so far out.  50/50 is pretty good – if I were a casino game, I’d bet on me!

Some more thoughts:  Seth MacFarlane was pretty good.  I think he lost a bit of his effectiveness trying to still be edgy while being censored.  He can sing wonderfully and he’s got a funny personality.  He shouldn’t have relied on the crutch of crude humor so much and he would have been better.  A lot of his jokes landed flat.

The Sound of Music mini skit?  Amazing!

Cutting off the bankrupt VFX studio right when they were putting out a public cry for help?  Booo.

Jennifer Lawrence is almost as adorable as little miss Wallace.  Almost.

No more long Anne Hathaway speeches this year!