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Performing Art
The best thing about the Academy Awards is that they inspire audiences to get out and watch quality films.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 4 years ago

Film Review: And the envelope, please ...


The best thing about the Academy Awards is that they inspire audiences to get out and watch quality films.

The red carpet and the glitz and glamour are just icing on the cake, but it’s a delicious indulgence in which to partake. This year’s Oscar race is already controversial and looks extremely close. Although my speculations as to the winners may not coincide with the academy’s, here it goes.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman “Les Miserables”
Joaquin Phoenix “The Master”
Denzel Washington “Flight”
This is the only category that doesn’t seem close, because Daniel Day-Lewis’ (above) performance as Abraham Lincoln is as courageous as the character he portrays. Sorry, Joaquin. It’s just bad timing for your brilliant work to receive a well-deserved Oscar.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva “Amour”
Quvenzhane Wallis “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts “The Impossible”
This is the most difficult call to make. But it’s Emmanuelle Riva’s (above) heartbreakingly beautiful portrayal of a dying woman who’s slipping away that continues to haunt me. Speaking volumes without uttering words, Riva demonstrates what great acting really looks like.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin “Argo”
Robert De Niro “Silver Linings Playbook”
Phillip Seymour Hoffman “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz “Django Unchained”
I’m crazy about Christoph Waltz’s (above) German dentist-turned-bounty hunter who’s responsible for unchaining Django. It’s a slick, witty and sexy performance by an actor whose versatility is highly addictive.
Hoffman is masterful, as always, and may walk away with the prize.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams “The Master”
Sally Field “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver “Silver Linings Playbook”
I’ve never been a huge fan of Helen Hunt (above), but her bold performance as a sex surrogate is soulfully touching. She breezes through a difficult role with such assuredness, it’s uniquely amazing to behold. If Anne Hathaway nabs the Oscar for singing a single tune, it would be so wrong, but seems highly probable.

Best Picture
“Amour” | “Argo”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi” | “Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Ever since the Academy upped the number of nominations for Best Picture and not simultaneously for Best Director, there’s been a lot of snub buzz. Although “Lincoln” should win, the outrage generated by having left Ben Affleck off the list for Best Director looks as though it may catapult “Argo” (above) to Best Picture status.

Best Director
Michael Haneke “Amour”
Benh Zeitlin “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Ang Lee “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg “Lincoln”
Davis O. Russell “Silver linings Playbook”

The fallout from Spielberg’s (above) “Lincoln” possibly not receiving the Oscar for Best Picture may land him one for Best Director. There’s no arguing he doesn’t deserve it for one of the most engaging depictions of the democratic process and a great man who knew how to manipulate it for the betterment of all mankind.

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