BEST PICTURE: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 3. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a giant fucking gimmick of a movie, but it’s harder to get irritated about Best Picture nominations when there are so many of them – good play, Academy! One notes that the “up to ten” gimmick for Best Picture has now changed its content, because this used to be an excuse to get mass-popular flicks into the Best Picture race, at least in appearance if not in substance, and this year the locks were Django, Zero Dark, Les Miz, Argo, Life of Pi (ugh, Life of Pi) and Lincoln, and instead of putting in The Avengers or something stupid like that, instead we get a couple of arthouse films (I haven’t seen Amour yet but I hear it is Critically Brilliant) and Silver Linings Playbook, which is pretty good. Would have liked to have seen Looper or Brave get the tenth slot, but oh well.
BEST DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke for Amour, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 8. No Quentin Tarantino for Django is criminal; if you’re nominating Django for all those other awards then it is ludicrous not to give Tarantino a nod, but it looks like Django has pissed too many members of the Academy off because it committed the sin of having people in the 1850s South say “nigger” a lot when referring to black people, or something. (Yes, I know there are more serious criticisms of the movie. No, I don’t think the Academy members were really thinking about that.) Leaving off Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty smacks of “we gave the chick an award like, two years ago, what else do you want?” Ben Affleck definitely deserved a nod for Argo and that sucks too. See above for my feelings about Beasts of the Southern Wild and Life of Pi being overrated garbage.
BEST ACTOR: Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, Daniel-Day Lewis for Lincoln, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, Denzel Washington for Flight.
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 1. I thought Flight was a mediocre movie at best, but Washington’s performance is excellent and the only reason it is watchable other than the part where the plane crashes. There is basically nothing bad here. Maybe you would want to see John Hawkes get a nod for The Sessions – I did – but it’s not a criminal oversight to go with who they did.
BEST ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour, Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Naomi Watts for The Impossible.
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 5. Wallis is a very cute child but she was not really “acting” in any sense of the word (as those involved in making the film have made quite clear) so… come on, acting is a THING, it’s not just “being onscreen while in a movie” or else Morgan Spurlock would be going for Best Actor nominations and I don’t think we can take that. Everyone else is a fine choice. But come on, Academy, have some standards.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Arkin for Argo, Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained.
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 2. Basically this category has given up any pretense of being anything other than “the category for older, mostly white actors who we want to give an Oscar for either being the most entertaining bit of the movie or because they deserve a lifetime achievement award that isn’t just our lifetime achievement award.” Hoffman is this year’s attempt to try and disguise that fact. Samuel L. Jackson for Django would have been a far better choice to do that job, but eh.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams for The Master, Sally Field for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook.
Crashie Rating (out of 10): 1. Because does it really matter? We all know Anne Hathaway is winning. It’s not even going to be close, because she sang her big song in a Dramatic Single Take With No Edits.