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Entries in Silver Linings Playbook (21)

Sunday
Feb242013

Oscar Day: The Key Nail-Biter Categories

I filed my final Oscar predictions on Friday and I'm just horrified looking at them now, certain I'll be wrong. Surveying the landscape of my predictions in chart format (I changed the photo above each category to those final predictions) I realized I was predicting a night that has very little in the way of dominance with 4 Oscars to Life of Pi and 3 each for Lincoln, Les Miz, and Argo. The problem with this prediction is that it doesn't account for the year long Bond Mania (which did end up breaking through AMPAS's historic disinterest in the franchise; they gave Skyfall 5 nominations more than doubling the franchise's previous 49 year tally of nominations) and it doesn't account for the Weinstein factor. Only one Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook feels improbable and foolish as predictions go, given how hard they pushed this last month. And yet the one Oscar I did predict for it (Best Actress) is the one that a lot of other pundits have abandoned in favor of Emmanuelle Riva's late surge for Amour

Here's the categories I change my mind about every five minutes and the ones I think will reveal themselves as "keys" to how the general membership really felt this year once the dust settles. 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Three Way Race. Though I felt fairly confident predicting this one for Argo, it's not inconceivable that Lincoln could still take it considering the "deserved" factor and Kushner's Pulitzer prestige. But then the current Silver Linings Playbook mania suggests that it's also a likely winner... unless Oscar voters decide that Director is as good a place as any to reward David O. Russell who they finally came around to with The Fighter (2010). The perverse trivia-mad side of me is actually hoping that Argo ONLY wins Best Picture because it would be such a fun statistic to obsess over and reference in future years, don't you think?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Three Way Race. I predicted Anna Karenina with Life of Pi as a probably spoiler. Now I absolutely wish I had reversed that. My prediction was wishful thinking in that I've become quite uncomfortable with the cinematography & production design categories being so fused so consistently with visual effects. Visual Effects is its own form and ought not to be confused with others. Anyway, they've retitled the category to "Production Design" instead of "Art Direction" and though it's the exact same category it's not unthinkable that the title shift also affects perception for those who aren't well versed in the specifics putting Anna at a disadvantage since it reads more "art" than "design" if that makes sense. And yet... if voters like Lincoln as much as the nomination tally suggests rather than as little as the internet keeps insisting, here's where it picks up its sole statue outside the big eight. A final note on Lincoln: The constant groupthink noise of the internet -- a different pool of thought and a different demographic than the Academy -- makes predicting much harder than it once was rather than easier. If you trusted the internet NO ONE in the Academy would ever dream of voting for "tries hard" Hathaway or "boring" Lincoln. And yet obviously this is not the case. It can be hard to keep your head clear of the noise or at least keep your ears discerning. For, embedded in all the internet noise, is both buzzy truths and bored conjecture falsehoods ... but how to tell the difference?
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

DIRECTOR
Three Way Race. Whoever wins this, it'll show (I think) that that was the runner-up film for Best Picture... unless it's a shock win for Michael Haneke or Benh Zeitlin in which case the voters felt that Spielberg (Lincoln) & Lee (Pi) had been awarded enough in previous years and they weren't quite ready to hand the once "difficult" Russell (Playbook) the top prize. I thought about changing my prediction to a shock win for Michael Haneke until I remembered that no director of a foreign language film has ever won this prize -- no not even Federico Fellini or Ingmar Bergman, Oscar's indisputable favorites as foreign auteurs go. Neither of them ever won for direction or writing despite multiple nominations in each category. They never took home a competitive Oscar outside of Foreign Film which, semantically speaking, belongs to the country rather than the director.  (Though surely the director keeps the trophy?)
Oscars Nominees | My Choices 

You votin' for me? You votin' for me? Then who else you votin' for?

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Five Way Race. The internet seems to believe that this is now Robert DeNiro's to lose given the Playbook mania, the lack of "narrative" in giving any of them the prize (weak year), and the hard hard push to get the acting legend a third Oscar. I stuck with Tommy Lee Jones on account of I do still think anyone could win and the numbers separating them all will be razor thin. Is it too much to hope for an historic tie? Nevertheless I have trouble imagining that that "hasn't won an Oscar in 30 years" narrative for De Niro will really pay off. Sure, it worked for Streep last year but that was only after several attempts (aka lots of momentum) and a year-long build up with tributes and genuflection. De Niro had no such festive built up and literally zero momentum (outside of this last month) given that he has done nothing Oscar worthy in those 30 years. I think if Jones loses, it'll be Christoph Waltz at the podium. But if Jones loses, I think it's clear that the Lincoln fans in the room weren't very committed to the film despite the hefty nomination tally. 
Oscars Nominees | My Choices  

Which categories are giving you the strongest last-minute anxiety?

Friday
Feb222013

Funny Linky People

Drama
Mashable on the glory of the Oscar envelopes. May they never go digital 
The Village Voice Nick Pinkerton remembers the late great critic Andrew Sarris 
The Advocate ten reasons to watch the Oscars on Sunday. (I linked to the most succinct universal one!)
MovieLine taxi cab survey of who will win the Oscars. It's not the names that will  be called out when the envelopes are open. (New Yorkers apparently still think Lincoln is going to sweep!) 

Horror
THR a director votes on the Oscars. In detail. (I know you've probably read this already but just in case... there's a lot to discuss) 
Salon will Jack Nicholson be presenting Best Picture yet again on Sunday night? (As I've long complained and long tried to help them the Oscar producers never have any imagination in this one area)
Slate announces that the musical genre is never coming back by essentially changing the argument of what people who say it's back mean when they say, "the musical genre is back!" Yes, agreed, the movie musical genre will never be what it was back when it was the most popular genre and everyone knew the showtunes. But do not agree that it's not back. We've had a steady clip of musicals ever since that glorious one two three punch of Hedwig, Dancer in the Dark and Moulin Rouge! got the ball rolling again just over a decade ago.

Comedy
The Onion "Johnny Depp now made entirely of scarves and bracelets"
Happy Place the six types of people who watch the Oscars - this is a fun concept but it leaves out too many types... including Oscar Fanatics who are busy cataloguing it all in their head to reference for years and years to come. Hypothetically speaking. I've heard those people exist.
Vulture Best Picture as pie charts. I didn't want to like this -- i wasn't in a snark mood -- but they're funny 
Babble six year olds judge the Oscars by their posters... kids say the darndest things. Some are alarmingly accurate but I love that Les Misérables is about faeires and Argo is an earthquake... teehee. My favorite might be Silver Linings Playbook...


This is a movie about building things and it's a happy, good movie. The two people are inventors that invent things that have to do with fish because of all those little scribbles that look like fish. They work together. He's also really, really tall and she likes to wear her hair really, really high.

Hee. I would totally see a movie about Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence inventing fishy paraphenalia. She's right that Bradley Cooper is tall ~ 6'1"!

Thursday
Feb072013

Second Viewings Playbook

David here. What induces you to give a film a second viewing? Usually, I suspect it comes down to adoration, and the desire to feel that rush of emotion again, whether it was delirious laughter, cathartic sobbing or immobilising terror. The 'Repeaters' are the films that become mainstays of your life, the comfort food, the personal canon. We’ve all got them.

Robert's second viewing face

Rarer, though, are the second viewings induced by curiosity. There are so many movies from every decade and country that there’s really always something new to watch -- why waste time on something you’ve already seen and didn’t even like that much? Movies, especially in Oscar season, don’t exist in a vacuum – there is so much discussion around movies, be it from friends or critics or random people on the internet like me, that sometimes you’re forced to think about films you didn't respond to more often than you would have otherwise. Sometimes you find yourself needing to reevalute.

A case in point after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan302013

Link Wars Episode IV: A New Blog

MNPP on Keep the Lights On in 250 words or less. Good insights here - love the ending - though JA likes the film more than I do.
Deadline Upcoming 3D conversions of all Star Wars movies cancelled. Thank god. Every day I pray to the movie gods to take the plague of 3D and its conversions away from us!
Two Dollar Cinema heads to The Last Stand on account of a childhood spent with Arnold Schwarzenegger movies
The Film Doctor 10 questions about Silver Linings Playbook

 

Stale Popcorn takes in Xavier Dolan's Lawrence Anyways. I love Dolan but I'm scared of this one - three hour dramas are hard to pull off. 
Vulture interviews Steven Soderbergh who apparently really is retiring now.
Movie|Line is the upcoming Brad Bird/George Clooney feature Tomorrowland (previously title 1952) about early space travel?
In Contention will Argo be a Driving Miss Daisy or an Apollo 13
The Carpetbagger Mistakes were made on the marketing of Django and The Master 

And did you see Matt Damon talking to Nicole Kidman a few nights back on Jimmy Kimmel Live Jimmy Kimmel Sucks?

Hilarious. Nicole Kidman can steal my utensils any time she'd like. 

Sunday
Jan272013

Silver Live-Blogging SAG Playbook (The Show!)

Previously: THE ARRIVALS

8:00 The announcer just said Zero Dark Thirty Jessica Chastain is "Zero Dark Flirty". Regret to inform that his was not even the worst pun of the intro. This was not even in the bottom ten of worst puns. Yikes. "Argo Seat Yourself"??? (And you don't even want to know how much television pays writers for this sort of thing. Can I apply?)

8:02 I Am An Actor from Jane Krakowski, Chris Tucker, Helen Hunt, Hal Holbrook, Sofia Vergara. Followed by Nicole Kidman with some hot razor cut flat iron hair to announce... 

8:06 SUPPORTING ACTOR. I predicted Tommy Lee Jones because of the huge audience response he gets in Lincoln. But perhaps I'm too stuck back in November and the TLJ hoopla has ended. The award goes to... oh, wow. Tommy Lee Jones. Who is not there. His absence does him no favors in a possibly very tight Oscar race.

8:08 Bradley Cooper, whose hair is unusually light brown fluffy. (I'm reminded of Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie ...as both Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels) and Jennifer Lawrence introduce their own movie. They use a clip of the "silver lining" monologue over images of the cast. 

8:10 SUPPORTING ACTRESS. Justin Timberlake arrives in his 'suit and tie shit, suit and tie shit ♫' (plaid pattern potpourri but quite fetching)... and tries to do a little dance to the piped in canned show music [more after the jump]

Click to read more ...