Oscar Overview

Movies are the last media format with a halfway respectable award system (I’m looking at you Grammy’s)  the Oscars and by association the Golden Globes and SAG Awards are the last awards I give even half a shit about.  When Take Care, Food & Liquor II, Life is Good, God Forgives, I Don’t, and Based On a T.R.U. Story got nominated for best rap album I just laughed instead of getting upset like I might’ve two or three years ago.  And because the Oscars remain an award show I care about I would like to have a real educated opinion on them so every year (for three years now) I have watched every movie nominated for any Oscar (minus the documentaries and shorts) and last night I finished the last one.

I don’t believe there is a reason to have a must-see rating in this article because if you’re a movie buff you should always see the movies that the academy claims to be the best even if you disagree.

Overview:

Will Win: The movie/actor that is most likely to win come February 24th

Upset: The second most likely movie/actor to take the award Oscar night

Should Win: The nominee that is actually best in it’s category

Snubbed: The movies/actors that were better than at least one of the nominees (often all of them)

Rating: The overall rating attached to the movies doesn’t reflect my opinion of the movie it is the mathematical average of all of my given ratings to each aspect of the movie sometimes I am very surprised to find what the average is.  I think this however is a better system because it allows me to examine the movie more scientifically.

Best Picture:

Amour

Movies about nothing have become much more prevalent in the past few years and Amour is just that, it is the story of an elderly couple coping with elderly life.  The characters are unlikable, the plot is slow, and the writing is simplistic but in a manner that reflects the film itself.  Amour is a very difficult watch but not because of gratuitous violence or graphic scenes at all but because Michael Haneke never intended for you to enjoy this movie.  The plot is stretched out as long as humanly possible and the movie is boiled down to the barest bone.  This is an exploration in minimal film making; the entirety of the film (minus the first scene) occurs in Anne and Georges’ apartment, there is more silence then dialogue, in fact besides the three or four times the piano is played in the film there is no music.  The lack of music is striking especially when music is so important to the two main characters, both are retired music teachers and the only time they leave the apartment is to go a concert.  It is often unclear with movies like this if the directorial choices were meant to make it more symbolic and artsy or if the dead space, lack of cinematography, and non-existent pacing really only make the movie hard to watch.  While the movie had its pitfalls they are made up for by the performances by Jean-Louis Trintignant (Georges) and Emmanuelle Riva (Anne).

Rating:

Casting: 8/10

Acting (Main Cast): 9/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 7/10

Directing: 7/10

Writing: N/A

Plot: N/A

Characters: 7/1o

Enjoyable Watch: -4

Rating: 7.14/10

Argo

Well directed with a superb supporting cast and truly believable writing.  The main cast left the audience asking for more but overall a very good movie for director Ben Affleck.  One of the best parts of this movie was that it handled a delicate topic with great tact instead of turning the Iranians into this boogeyman it questioned the decisions of all involved.

Rating:

Casting: 6/10

Acting (Main Cast): 6/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 9/10

Directing: 9/10

Writing: 8/10

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 5/10

Topic: +2

Genre Specific:

Humor Relief: 7/10

Tension: 6/10

Monologues: -1

Rating: 6.55/10

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Certainly the most surprising best picture nomination Beasts of the Southern Wild is a imagery filled artistic movie about a group of New Orleaneans who live in “The Bathtub” and their experience through Hurricane Katrina.  The characters are confusing and the casting makes the questionable choice of using people from the bayou instead of established actors.  This is not a movie for everyone but as far as visual poetry goes it a triumph.

Rating:

Casting: 4/10

Acting (Main Cast): 7/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 6/10

Directing: 5/10

Writing: 8/10

Plot: 7/10

Characters: 6/10

Visually Stunning: +1

Genre Specific:

Challenging: +2

Cultural Intrigue: 8/10

Rating: 6.6/10

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino’s stylized western/revenge film.  Was easily the best action movie of the year.  With superb performances from almost all the cast, and all the little quirks Tarantino loves to add to his movies this is one of the best movie going experiences I have had in a long time.

Ratings:

Casting: 7/10

Acting (Main Cast): 9/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 5/10

Directing: 9/10

Writing: 7/10

Plot: 10/10

Cinematography: 4/10

Soundtrack: +3

Racial Tension: +2

Genre Specific:

Action Sequences: 10/10

Humor: 7/10

Western Motif: 7/10

Bloody Fucking Murder: +3

Easter Eggs: +1

For example:

Same actor playing two supporting roles

Cameos

References to Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Rating: 8.71/10

Les Misérables

I will not be rating this movie because it doesn’t seem fair to the movie or Tom Hooper.  I couldn’t make it through more than half of it (exactly 1:47).  I haven’t had to quit a movie in the middle in a long time and I can’t tell if its just so not my style or if it really is as shitty a movie as it appears to me.  If you couldn’t tell I absolutely hated Les Misérables and was as disappointed with its best picture nominee as I was with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’s nomination last year.  Also having never seen any production of Les Misérables I was surprised to find it is not a musical but an opera with no dialogue at all… which makes Russell Crow and Hugh Jackman odd choices since they can’t sing for shit.  But I digress.  Watch it, don’t watch it I think most people liked the movie.

Life of Pi

When I saw Ang Lee’s name attached to this movie I got really excited… then really unexcited.. then moderately excited for it again.  The book is amazing but not the kind of book that seemed like it would make a good movie unless handled very well.  Ang Lee certainly has his triumphs (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) but he certainly has his failures (Hulk, Ride with the Devil) and this movie was somewhere right in the middle of Ang Lee’s range.  Visually very beautiful but with shotty acting, and poor pacing the movie falls short in many aspects.  David Magee, a relatively average screenplay wirter, takes some of the most loved aspects of Yann Martel’s novel and mangles them.

Rating:

Casting: 7/10

Acting (Main Cast): 6/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 7/10

Directing: 6/10

Writing: 4/10

Plot: 10/10

Characters: 8/10

Visually Stunning: +2

Fresh Faces: +1

Genre Specific:

Character Journey: 7/10

Film Animals: +1

Rating: 7.1/10

Lincoln

Lincoln is by far the most critically acclaimed movie of the year.  This movie is actor driven and makes up for its short comings with a star studded cast working from a very cleverly written script.  This movie was very clearly made to win best picture and nothing else… so really no matter how it turned out when you make the scientific calculations to win best picture you’re going to get a movie that’s a god watch at the very least.  The movies biggest pitfall is struggling, my problem with Daniel Day-Lewis in everything he is in is that he clearly believes that the slower you talk and move the better you are acting (Yeah you’re goddamn skippy I think DDL is overrated).

Rating:

Casting: 10/10

Acting (Main Cast): 9/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 9/10

Directing: 6/10

Writing: 8/10

Plot: 6/10

Characters: 8/10

Star Studded: +1

SUPER Fucking Slow: -8

Genre Specific:

History: 7/10

War Scenes: -1

Period Immersion  (Do you forget when you are at times): 6/10

Rating: 6.9/10

Silver Linings Playbook

It was a terrible year for good comedies so when I saw Silver Linings Playbook I was so happy.  Besides Ted and 21 Jump Street there was nothing to speak of until Silver Linings Playbook was released.  Even the so called artsy comedy movies were garbage, Bernie, Jeff Who Lives at Home, and Celeste and Jesse Forever.  Silver Linings Playbook has the best performance by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence who’s on screen chemistry is palpable.  It was written and directed well and combined with the stellar performances from the whole cast makes for one of the best movies of the year.

Rating:

Casting:  10/10

Acting (Main Cast): 10/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 8/10

Directing: 7/10

Writing: 8/10

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 8/10

Genre Specific:

Humor: 7/10

Couple Chemistry: 8/10

Emotional: 5/10

Rating: 8/10

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow does it again… I guess.  I’m not a huge Bigelow fan in fact I think her 2008 Best Picture, Best Director winner was extremely overrated and in fact that Zero Dark Thirty was also overrated.  I only went to go see Zero Dark Thirty in the first place because ever since Lawless I have had the hugest crush on this lady:

And in fact Jessica Chastain did not disappoint.  It seems her place as my favorite actress (dethroning Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone) was well diserved because her performance in Zero Dark Thirty was one of the best parts of the movie.  The movie was paced oddly and the writing at points was unbelievably corny.  I think Bigelow did a much better job directing this war piece than she did on Hurt Locker.

Rating:

Casting: 8/10

Acting (Main Cast): 10/10

Acting (Supporting Cast):  7/10

Directing: 6/10

Writing: 6/10

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 8/10

Genre Specific:

Demonizing the Middle East: -1

Historical Accuracy: -1

Suspense: 8/10

Emotional: 9/10

Rating: 7.63/10

Overview:

Will Win: Lincoln

Upset: Zero Dark Thirty

Should Win: Django Unchained

[Update] Winner: Argo

Snubbed: Avengers, End of Watch, The Dark Knight Rises

Personal Raking: Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Amour, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Les Misérables

Actor (Lead):

Personal Ranking Nominees:

  1. Denzel Washington
    Flight
  2. Bradley Cooper
    Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis
    Lincoln
  4. Hugh Jackman
    Les Misérables
  5. Joaquin Pheonix
    The Master

Overview:

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Upset: Bradley Cooper

Should Win: Denzel Washington or Bradley Cooper

[Update] Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

Snubbed: Daniel Craig Skyfall, Jamie Foxx Django Unchained, Ewan McGregor Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Ralph Finnes Coriolanus, Jean-Louis Trintignant Amour

Actress (Lead):

Personal Ranking Nominees:

  1. Jessica Chastain
    Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Jennifer Lawrence
    Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Emmanuelle Riva
    Amour
  4. Naomi Watts
    The Impossible
  5. Quvenzhané Wallis
    Beasts of the Southern Wild

Overview:

Will Win: Jessica Chastain

Upset: Jennifer Lawrence

Should Win: Jessica Chastain

[Update] Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Snubbed: Marion Cotilliard Rust and Bones, Rachel Mwanza War Witch, Alicia Vikander A Royal Affair

Directing:

  1. David Russell
    Silver Linings Playbook
  2. Michael Haneke
    Amour
  3. Steven Spielberg
    Lincoln
  4. Benh Zeitlin
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
  5. Ang Lee
    Life of Pi

Overview:

Will Win: Steven Spielperg

Upset: Ang Lee

Should Win: David Russell

[Update] Winner: Ang Lee

Snubbed: Ben Affleck Argo*, Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained*, Joss Whedon Avengers*

*A better performance than any of the nominees

Actor (Supporting):

  1. Christoph Waltz
    Django Unchained
  2. Tommy Lee Jones
    Lincoln
  3. Robert De Niro
    Silver Linings Playbook
  4. Alan Arkin
    Argo
  5. Philip Seymour Hoffman
    The Master

Overview:

Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones

Upset: Alan Arkin

Should Win: Christoph Waltz

[Update] Winner: Christoph Waltz

Snubbed: Andy Serkis The Hobbit*, Micheal Peña End of Watch, Chris Tucker Silver Linings Playbook

*A better performance than any of the nominees

Actress (Supporting):

  1. Sally Fields
    Lincoln
  2. Amy Adams
    The Master
  3. Anne Hathaway
    Les Misérables
  4. Helen Hunt
    The Sessions
  5. Jacki Weaver
    Silver Linings Playbook

Overview

Will Win: Amy Adams

Upset: Anne Hathaway

Should Win: Sally Fields

[Update] Winner: Anne Hathaway

Snubbed: Léa Seydoux Farwell, My Queen

Writing (Adapted):

  1. Silver Linings Playbook
  2. Argo
  3. Lincoln
  4. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  5. Life of Pi

Overview:

Will Win: Lincoln

Upset: Silver Linings Playbook

Should Win: Silver Linings Playbook

[Update] Winner: Argo

Snubbed: Coriolanus, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Writing (Original):

  1. Django Unchained
  2. Flight
  3. Zero Dark Thirty
  4. Amour
  5. Moonrise Kingdom

Overview:

Will Win: Zero Dark Thirty

Upset: Amour

Should Win: Django Unchained

[Update] Winner: Django Unchained

Snubbed: End of Watch, Lawless, Ted

Animated Film:

  1. Wreck-It Ralph
  2. ParaNorman
  3. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  4. Frankenweenie
  5. Brave

Overview:

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph

Upset: Brave

Should Win: Wreck-It Ralph

[Update] Winner: Brave

Snubbed: Rise of the Guardians

Cinematography:

  1. Life of Pi
  2. Skyfall
  3. Django Unchained
  4. Anna Karenina
  5. Lincoln

Overview:

Who Will Win: Life of Pi

Upset: Lincoln

Who Should Win: Life of Pi

[Update] Winner: Life of Pi

Snubbed: The Hobbit, The Grey, Avengers

Costume Design:

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. Les Miserables
  3. Lincoln
  4. Mirror Mirror
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Overview:

Who Will Win: Les Miserables

Upset: Anna Karenina

Who Should Win: Anna Karenina

[Update] Winner: Anna Karenina

Snubbed: Django Unchained*, A Royal Affair*, Hunger Games, The Hobbit

*A better performance than any of the nominees

Film Editing:

  1. Argo
  2. Zero Dark Thirty
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Lincoln
  5. Silver Linings Playbook

Overview:

Will Win: Zero Dark Thirty

Upset: Life of Pi

Should Win: Argo

[Update] Winner: Argo

Snubbed: The Dark Knight Rises*

*A better performance than any of the nominees

Foreign Language Film:

  1. Amour
  2. No
  3. Kon-Tiki
  4. War Witch
  5. A Royal Affair

Overview:

Will Win: Amour

Upset: Yeah… not gonna happen

Should Win: Amour

[Update] Winner: Amour

Snubbed: Farewell My Queen, The Raid: Redemption

Makeup and Hairstyling:

  1. The Hobbit
  2. Les Misérables
  3. Hitchcock

Overview:

Will Win: Les Misérables

Upset: The Hobbit

Should Win: The Hobbit

[Update] Winner: Les Misérables

Snubbed: Looper

Original Score:

  1. Skyfall
  2. Lincoln
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Argo
  5. Anna Karenina

Overview:

Will Win: Skyfall

Upset: Life of Pi

Should Win: Skyfall

[Update] Winner: Life of Pi

Snubbed: The Man With The Iron Fist*, Django Unchained*, Cloud Atlas

*A better performance than any of the nominees

This set of nominees offends me more than any of the others.  The fact that The Man With The Iron Fist and Django Unchained did not get nominations for best score makes me question the Academy’s sanity.

Original Song:

  1. Everyone Needs a Best Friend-Nora Jones
    Ted
  2. Skyfall-Adele
    Skyfall
  3. Pi’s Lullaby- Mychael Danna
    Life of Pi
  4. Before My Time-J.D. Ralph
    Chasing Ice
  5. Suddenly – Hugh Jackman
    Les Miserables

Overview:

Will Win: Suddenly

Upset: Skyfall

Should Win: Everyone Needs a Best Friend

[Update] Winner: Skyfall

Snubbed: Black Coffins Django Unchained*, Django-Luis Bacalov & Rocky Roberts*, Tick, Tock-RZA*, The Most Dangerous Man Alive- RZA*

*A better performance than any of the nominees

Visual Effects:

  1. Prometheus
  2. The Hobbit
  3. Life of Pi
  4. The Avengers
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Overview

Will Win: Life of Pi

Upset: The Hobbit

Should Win: Prometheus

[Update] Winner: Life of Pi

Snubbed: None

Non Oscar Categories:

Worst Movie of the Year

These are the movies that actually attempted to be good and failed, which is why you won’t see Piranha 3DD, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (which is the worst movie of all time), Twilight, or any horror movie released this year on this list.

  • A Thousand Words
  • Wrath of the Titans
  • American Reunion
  • Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day
  • Battleship
  • Good Deeds
  • That’s My Boy
  • Madea’s Witness Protection
  • Sparkle
  • Red Dawn

Absolute Bottom of the Shit Barrel: Madea’s Witness Protection

Biggest Let Down: A Thousand Words (The supposed return of Raw’s Eddie Murphy… when really all we saw was more of the same tired humor just with some cursing)

Movie that really REALLY shouldn’t have been made: tie Red Dawn (The first one was awful enough why did we need a new one?), Battleship (It’s a board game…)

Best of the Absolute Worst: Wrath of the Titans

Worst Overall Performance

Some actors and directors had a one very bad performance followed by a very good one, or vice versa.  But then some entertainers only produced shit this year… which I guess kinda makes them assholes doesn’t it?

  • Rihanna
  • Tyler Perry
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Liam Neeson
  • Taylor Lautner
  • Barbara Streisand
  • Peter Berg
  • Taylor Kitsch
  • Eugene Levy
  • Robert Pattinson

Absolute Worst of the Shit Barrel: Tyler Perry (Responsible for Good Deeds, Madea’s Witness Protection, and Alex Cross three of the worst movies of the year).

Biggest Let Down: Liam Neeson (Neeson is the only one on this list who has ever done anything that doesn’t suck but with Wrath of the Titans AND Battleship coming out it was just…. too much to take.  Especially considering he started the year off with The Grey)

Actors that really REALLY shouldn’t have been in movies: Rihanna (I mean she’s awful at singing too, I just thought they would expect that kind of trash from her), Jennifer Lopez (Has never done anything good for society and I thought we were done with her… but were not)

Best of the Absolute Worst: Taylor Kitsch (In all honestly didn’t give three awful performances.  Just three very average ones, he’s on the list because he was the lead in this years three biggest bombs and someone has to pay for that).

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