2013 Oscars: A Quick Run-Down

Best Picture

  • Richard Roeper says: Argo
  • Roger Ebert says: Argo
  • Aaron Christensen says: Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Gavin says: Beasts of the Southern Wild

While I think “Argo” and “Lincoln” are both strong contenders, I found “Beasts” to have the most heart, and be the most original. In a year full of American history, this was a nice story that steered clear of politics.

Best Director

  • Richard Roeper says: Steven Spielberg
  • Roger Ebert says: Steven Spielberg
  • Aaron Christensen says: Behn Zeitlin
  • Gavin says: Steven Spielberg

Many great contenders this year, but I feel like Spielberg pulled all the stops. The years he invested in “Lincoln”, the detail to characters, costumes, getting every detail just right… whether or not this is his best film, I would say he will never reach this peak again.

Best Actor

  • Richard Roeper says: Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Roger Ebert says: Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Aaron Christensen says: Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Gavin says: Daniel Day-Lewis

In this category, I feel bad for Joaquin Phoenix. I think he was even better in “The Master” than he was “Walk the Line”. Denzel Washington could also have been a contender. But how does anyone compete with Daniel Day-Lewis? That man literally becomes the characters he plays…

Best Actress

  • Richard Roeper says: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Roger Ebert says: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Aaron Christensen says: Naomi Watts
  • Gavin says: Quvenzhan√© Wallis

This was probably the hardest category to pick, and if there’s going to be any unexpected winner, it will be in this category. I am picking Wallis because she single-handedly carried “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. Jennifer Lawrence was also great (and seems to be the front-runner), as was Naomi Watts. Sadly, Jessica Chastain’s first nomination was for a role that I didn’t feel she was cut out for. I expect great things from her, and she will surely get awarded soon, but not this time.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Richard Roeper says: Robert DeNiro
  • Roger Ebert says: Tommy Lee Jones
  • Aaron Christensen says: Christoph Waltz
  • Gavin says: Christoph Waltz

This was another easy category. Waltz shines, no doubt about it. I hear buzz about Tommy Lee Jones, but I frankly wasn’t impressed. There’s also buzz on Robert DeNiro, but seriously, awarding him here and not awarding him for all the great roles he had in the 1970s-1990s seems like a mistake.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Richard Roeper says: Anne Hathaway
  • Roger Ebert says: Anne Hathaway
  • Aaron Christensen says: Helen Hunt
  • Gavin says: Sally Field

This was hard. I’m going with Sally Field, but also would accept Amy Adams. I didn’t feel like any of the supporting actresses were all that strong, though it’s hard to tell how good a performance is when it’s so brief…

Original Screenplay

  • Richard Roeper says: Amour
  • Roger Ebert says: Amour
  • Aaron Christensen says: Moonrise Kingdom
  • Gavin says: Zero Dark Thirty

Although I would love the award to go to “Moonrise Kingdom”, I don’t see that happening. “Zero Dark Thirty” was, for me, a strong script because of the broad range of knowledge needed to fit 10 years of history across three continents into one film. The dialogue was weak at times, but I’m not sure where that was the script as compared to the actors…

Adapted Screenplay

  • Richard Roeper says: Lincoln
  • Roger Ebert says: Lincoln
  • Aaron Christensen says: Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Gavin says: Lincoln

Honestly, it’s a toss-up for me between “Lincoln” and “Argo”. I like the story of “Argo” better, but I just have to say more went into writing “Lincoln”. And I will promote historian Doris Kearns Goodwin any chance I get.

Best Animated Feature

  • Richard Roeper says: Wreck-It Ralph
  • Roger Ebert says: Wreck-It Ralph
  • Aaron Christensen says: Frankenweenie
  • Gavin says: Wreck-It Ralph

Somehow “Brave” won the Golden Globe, whereas I thought it was the worst of the five contenders. I would be happy if “ParaNorman” won, but really the best overall film was “Ralph”, which could be watched and enjoyed 100 times. It’s turbo-tastic.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Richard Roeper says: Amour
  • Roger Ebert says: Amour
  • Aaron Christensen says: Amour
  • Gavin says: Amour

Okay, so I didn’t watch these… but logic tells me if a film was nominated for Best Picture, it has a pretty good shot of winning best foreign language film… not unlike “Toy Story 3” getting best animated film…

Best Sound Mixing

  • Richard Roeper says: Les Miserables
  • Aaron Christensen says: Skyfall
  • Gavin says: Les Miserables

Although I wasn’t a fan of the film, I have to say the sound people knew what they were doing on “Les Miserable”. The singing you hear was really done on set, not in a studio. So every single take required singing, which then had to be blended with the score… I guess that’s pretty cool.

Best Cinematography

  • Richard Roeper says: Life of Pi
  • Roger Ebert says: Life of Pi
  • Aaron Christensen says: Skyfall
  • Gavin says: Life of Pi

I haven’t seen “Skyfall”, so I can’t even say if that was good or bad… but “Life of Pi”, more than anything else it should be credited with, had beautiful coloration and epic scenes. I feel confident giving it the award.

Best Hair and Makeup

  • Richard Roeper says: Les Miserables
  • Aaron Christensen says: NO ONE
  • Gavin says: Les Miserables

I’ll give it to them for aging Hugh Jackman so well. “Hitchcock” was alright, too, I guess. Aaron correctly points out that no horror films were nominated, which is a disgrace. There is room for 5 contenders and the Academy only picked 3. That’s not even a race…

Best Costume

  • Richard Roeper says: Anna Karenina
  • Aaron Christensen says: Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Gavin says: Mirror Mirror

I absolutely loved what Eiko Ishioka did with these costumes. There may be bonus voting because Ishioka is dead, but regardless of that, “Mirror Mirror” was a visual feast.

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