85th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2012
For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes.
Nathaniel's Vote: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Reader's Choice: Argo. It was a tight race in your balloting with no barnstorming frontrunner. Argo came out on top but only with a measly 17% of your support; Amour was in second place with 15% of your votes; Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln formed a practical third place tie with 14%; Beasts of the Southern Wild 9%; Life of Pi 8%; Silver Linings Playbook 7%; Les Misérables 6%; and in ninth and last place Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained with only 5% of the votes.
THE NOMINEES... (alpha order)
5 Noms | 1 Win (Screenplay)
7 Noms | 3 Wins (Picture, Screenplay, Editing)
|BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
5 Noms | 2 Wins (Supporting Actor, Screenplay)
|LIFE OF PI
11 Noms | 4 Wins (Director, Cinematography, Score, Visual FX)
This drama about an elderly couple at life's end is a tough sit but it's undeniably sticky and moving. Haneke has built momentum as a master on a real role though Oscar and Palme D'Or are often strange bedfellows
Box Office: $5+
RT Score: 92%
wins: LAFCA, NSFC
noms: EFA, BAFTA, Cesar
Affleck is well regarded in Hollywood and this political thriller gains extra points with its "feel good about the power of the movies" plot elements and showmanship.
|This hypnotic one-of-a-kind indie built its fan club early --Smart! This poetic yet grungy story of a young girl named Hushpuppy "who lived in the bathtub" in fantastical survival mode struck a chord
Box Office: $12+
RT Score: 85%
noms: BFCA, Spirit, PGA,
|Oscar embraced Tarantino's slavespoitaton western as a worthy follow up to Inglorious Basterds revisionist history shenanigans. Tarantino the Entertainer is well regarded
Box Office: $159+
RT Score: 89%
noms: BFCA, Spirit, PGA
|The Academy respects huge financial and artistic risks that succeed. Les Miz saved it from possible punching bag status as an easy target (earnest spirituality comes with that risk)
Box Office: $114+
RT Score: 89%
wins: critics prizes
noms: GLOBE, BFCA, BAFTA, PGA
Average gross $76 million (at nom' time) Average gross $105 million (Oscar Night)
12 Noms | 2 Wins
(Actor, Prod. Design)
8 Noms | 2 Wins
(Supp Actress, Makeup)
|SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
David O. Russell
8 Noms | 1 Win
|ZERO DARK THIRTY
5 Noms | 1 Win
Oscar loves a biopic and Lincoln isn't half as stuffy or redundant as the genre often settles for. Audiences like it too. That big box office for a talky history play is an unmistakable sign that it's a real deal across-the-board hit.
|The source material is superb and widely beloved but the film has experienced a bizarre whiplash from ecstatic first screenings to mixed and sometimes vicious reviews. Oscar loves it anyway.
Box Office: $147+
RT Score: 73%
noms: SAG, BFCA, DGA, BAFTA, PGA
|Russell's idiosyncratic heart / funnybone finally got to Oscar with The Fighter. Curiously it's still a "crowd pleaser" without a crowd. But they've finally gone wide (albeit just barely).
Box Office: $109+
RT Score: 90%
wins: critics prizes
noms: Spirit, GLOBES, SAG, BFCA, PGA
Bigelow was ideally situated to capitalize on The Hurt Locker's huge critical and Oscar success with this film and critics agree she succeeded. But then the "pro torture!" claims started and things got ugly...
Box Office: $92+
RT Score: 93%
wins: NBR, NYFCC, + critics prizes
noms: GLOBES, BFCA, DGA, BAFTA, PGA