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Oscar 2013 Not-so-live Blog and Wrap-Up

Best Picture 2013
Best Picture 2013

What a weird, wild Oscars.  Eleven different films got Oscars.  Life of Pi got the most little gold men with 4, but Argo took home Best Picture with only 3.  Also winning 3 was Les Miserables; Django Unchained, Skyfall and Lincoln all picked up 2.  Three for a Best Picture is the fewest Oscars since Crash won, but unlike that year, Argo’s win was well-deserved.  I actually had very few qualms with the choices made, which is even rarer.  Killing Time’s predictions went 14/20 and most times I was happy to be wrong.  On a night as odd as last night, 70% isn’t too shabby.

I thought about live blogging the show on Twitter, but thanks to the miracle of connectivity, that would have meant everyone’s phones would have been bonging and bleeping every other minute and I couldn’t do that to-say-my mother in law without dire familial consequences.  So here is my stream of consciousness Oscar log.

7:00 – 75% female house majority has E! broadcasting red carpet banality.  For someone who operates their wardrobe on the Charlie Brown model, listening to people break down dresses like football plays is agonizing.
90 MINUTES OF THIS.  IT’S LIKE A BIBLICAL PLAGUE!

8:30 – Thank God!  Here we go: showtime.  Go Argo & Pi!  Will be attempting to measure the amount of time that could have been saved had my suggestions for reforming the show (see last week’s Top 5) been implemented.  Forgot to include acceptance speech shock collars and auto-host replacement in my list…

8:35 – Shatner?  ….and a song about boobs.  Five minutes in and two musical numbers.  Forget measuring wasted time.  Have a suspicion already that will prove a frustrating pursuit.

8:37 – LOL Sock puppet Flight.  Nice.

8:39 – Musical Number 3.  I have absolutely no alcohol…

8:41 – Musical Number 4.  Seth MacFarlane’s monologue is just like an episode of Family Guy.  Islands of laughter in a sea of awkward silence….except all the targets are sitting there.

8:45 – First award!  Best Supporting Actor to…Christoph Waltz!  Wow, didn’t think he’d get another so soon.  Thought this was a DeNiro v. Jones toss-up, but happy to be wrong.  He owned that movie.

8:55 – How did someone manage to de-funny Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy?  WOO HOO! Paperman for animated short and Brave for feature!  How long before they just name this trophy the Pixar Oscar?

9:02 – Cast of the Avengers giving out Cinematography and F/X.  Cinematography to Pi (Skyfall deserved that) and F/X to Pi.  Beginning of a run? LOL Jaws theme chases F/X winner off-stage.  Should be the new standard practice.

9:12 – Costumes to Anna Karenina.  Predictable in giving it to the film that least deserved it.  Ugh, Oscar nominated film Mirror Mirror.  That’s a phrase now.

9:15 – Makeup to Les Miserables over the Hobbit?  What the what?

9:17 – 50 years of Bond tribute begins.  How do you make Halle Berry look ugly?  Just wow.  First montage of the evening.  47 minutes for a montage must be an Oscar telecast restraint record…..and there’s musical number 5.  Goldfinger has not aged well.  On any level.

9:30 – Shorts/Documentary awards.  Time for traditional nap and/or snack making.

9:47 – Yeah, 150 years IS too soon for that Booth/Lincoln joke.  Yikes.  Affleck heard one too many.  He’s turning on MacFarlane. 

9:48 – Jaws 2 Boring Acceptors 0

9:50 – Amour gets Foreign Film. 

9:53 – Travolta introduces ode to musicals (which is odd because this whole show has been oding musicals since it began).  Montages 2-4 and musical numbers 6-8 by Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Mis casts.

IT HAS BEEN AN HOUR SINCE A REAL OSCAR GOT HANDED OUT. 

10:05 – Scientific and Technical Awards montage

10:08 – Sound awards.  Mixing to Les Miserables (over Zero Dark Thirty?) and Editing is a TIE?  WOW!  Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall tie.  I cannot remember the last time there was a tie. (Research: last one was in 1986 for Best Documentary; only five in Academy history)
Jaws 3 Winners 0; people are looking terrified giving their speeches.

10:15 – Chris Plummer hating on MacFarlane too.  Supporting actress to Anne Hathaway.  No surprise and totally deserved.  Les Mis has 3 now…making a run?

10:28 – Film Editing to Argo; finally one for Argo.  Nine different films have already won a trophy.

10:30 – Adele performing the only nominated song that matters (musical number 9)

10:44 – Production Design to Lincoln?  Okay ten different films.

10:50 – I’m just going to estimate my suggestions would have shaved an hour off this show as we sleep through the Governor’s Awards.

10:57 – Clooney and the annual death montage (#5).  RIP Ernest Borgnine, Jack Klugman, Michael Clarke Duncan and Ray Bradbury.  Oh good Streisand makes musical number 10. 

11:05 – Score to Pi and song to Adele and Skyfall!  Adele’s got half of an EGOT!

11: 20 – This show is dragging badly.  Screenplays to Argo & Django, very nice.

11:24 – I want to play Unicorn Apocalypse!  These ads, culminating in the Tim Burton one, make me want to play this game.  I want it to exist.

11:28 – Lol @ cocaine trees.  Best Director goes to Ang Lee.  Best of the ones that were nominated.  Kudos to not giving it to Spielberg.  That movie was good in spite of his sloppy directing, not because of it.  Ok, so is Pi taking this now?  Argo only has 2 and Lincoln is clearly out of it…

11:35 – The French guy from The Artist whose name I cannot commit to memory is the new F. Murray Abraham.  This is the last time anyone will hear from him.  Best Actress to Jennifer Lawrence…should have been Chastain..AND SHE’S DOWN!  DRESS CASUALTY ON THE STAIRS!  Nice recovery though.

11:40 – Biggest lock of the night.  Daniel Day Lewis gets his third Best Actor and no one was even in his league.  Classy funny acceptance speech.  Can’t believe Streep got bored and opened the envelope during the clips lol.

No idea who’s taking Picture at this point

11:45 – Nicholson and….the First Lady? Present Best Picture to….ARGO!  Yes!  Awesome for Affleck and a worthy best picture.

11:55 – Of course there’s another musical number.  Eleven different musical numbers to only five montages.  I swear I’ll never make fun of montages again.  See you next year, Oscars!

Oscar Week: Predictions

oscar-3

Our final Oscar Week article brings us down to brass tacks.  Who’s going to win?  Who SHOULD win?  Gazing into the future, here are my predictions (minus the boring categories no one cares about and foreign film-which Amour will win so mark that down).

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Silver Linings Playbook
SHOULD WIN: LINCOLN
WILL WIN: ARGO
With the exception of its ludicrously clumsy beginning, Lincoln’s screenplay was a reminder of how grand and nuanced a language English can be.  That being said, Argo’s been winning this pretty consistently this awards season and I think it will win out.

Best Original Screenplay
Amour
Django Unchained
Flight
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty
SHOULD WIN: DJANGO UNCHAINED
WILL WIN: DJANGO UNCHAINED
This will probably be Django’s only award and a lot of people feel Tarantino got hosed for Director.

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel’s The Avengers
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman
SHOULD WIN: LIFE OF PI
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI
I expect Pi to dominate the tech awards and this is one I would narrowly give to it over The Hobbit.  Richard Parker alone was worth a statue.

Best Sound Mixing
Argo
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
SHOULD WIN: SKYFALL
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI
I thought Skyfall was the best, but Pi’s a strong choice and it’ll continue it’s tech romp here.

Best Sound Editing
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
SHOULD WIN: ZERO DARK THIRTY
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI
Pi rolls again, but Zero’s mix was a crucial part of it’s gripping account of the bin Laden raid.

Best Song
“Before My Time”
from Chasing Ice
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted
“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi
“Skyfall” from Skyfall,
“Suddenly” from Les Miserables
SHOULD WIN: SKYFALL
WILL WIN: SKYFALL
Adele read the script before writing the song, which is fantastic and actually aided the movie (something no song in this category has done in ages). 

Best Score
Ana Karenina by Dario Marinelli
Argo by Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi by Mychael Danna
Lincoln by John Williams
Skyfall by Thomas Newman
SHOULD WIN: SKYFALL
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI

The two best scores aren’t nominated and though Skyfall is the best of the bunch, Score usually gets swept along if there’s a run so I expect Pi to take this too.

Best Animated Feature
Brave
Frankenweenie
Paranorman
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
SHOULD WIN: BRAVE
WILL WIN: WRECK-IT RALPH
Pixar’s usual annual trophy will go to Ralph, but it ends up back in the Magic Kingdom regardless.

Best Makeup
Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
SHOULD WIN: THE HOBBIT
WILL WIN: LES MISERABLES
This is the group responsible for The Wolfman being an Oscar-winning film so I’m gambling even taking Les Miserables.  If Hitchcock wins I won’t be surprised.

Best Film Editing
Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
SHOULD WIN: ARGO
WILL WIN: ARGO
Argo’s pacing is flawless and should interrupt Pi’s technical juggernaut, if briefly.

Best Costumes
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Mirror, Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman
SHOULD WIN: LINCOLN
WILL WIN: ANNA KARENINA
This award always ends up going sideways to some film out of nowhere.  I mean, they nominated both Snow White movies.  So my logic is that those cancel each other out, Les Mis and Lincoln make sense, so they’ll give it to Anna Karenina.

Best Art Direction
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
SHOULD WIN: THE HOBBIT
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI
I am honestly baffled about The Hobbit blowback and unabashedly love that film, but given the few nods it’s had I think the gorgeous Life of Pi will take this one.

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
SHOULD WIN: SKYFALL
WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI
The best shots I saw all year were on the moors during Skyfall’s climax and it should win, but I think The Life of Pi will eke this one out.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jackie Weaver, The Silver Linings Playbook
SHOULD WIN: ANNE HATHAWAY, LES MISERABLES
WILL WIN: ANNE HATHAWAY, LES MISERABLES
There is a slight chance if Lincoln is sweeping that Field might pull an upset, but Hathaway has won most of the pre-Oscar awards and should win this.  Her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” was perhaps the best five minutes of acting by anyone all year.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert DeNiro, The Silver Linings Playbook
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
SHOULD WIN: CHRISTOPH WALTZ, DJANGO UNCHAINED
WILL WIN: TOMMY LEE JONES, LINCOLN
DeNiro could steal this.  Jones has been the favorite for months, but DeNiro’s been gaining and he hasn’t won in 32 years.  I think Jones will hang on, but if it was me I’d give it to Waltz again for owning Django every second he was onscreen.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
SHOULD WIN: JESSICA CHASTAIN, ZERO DARK THIRTY
WILL WIN: JENNIFER LAWRENCE, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
I honestly do not get SLP’s massive appeal.  It’s a nice romantic comedy, but that’s all it is: a very well-acted romantic comedy.  Lawrence is excellent, but Chastain’s was the performance of the year.  Lawrence has won everything though and is pretty much a lock.

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, The Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
SHOULD WIN: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, LINCOLN
WILL WIN: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, LINCOLN
This is the biggest lock of the night and it should be.  It’s hard enough for anyone to get past the baggage of trying to imitate Lincoln, but to become him so fully that you feel like you’re in company with the man himself is a feat for the ages.  Oscar #3 for Daniel Day-Lewis.

Best Director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, The Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
SHOULD WIN: ANG LEE, THE LIFE OF PI
WILL WIN: STEVEN SPIELBERG, LINCOLN
The two best directing turns of the year weren’t nominated (Bigelow & Affleck) so I would laud the feat Ang Lee pulled off in adapting the unadaptable Life of Pi.  However, this is the Academy and they can’t be expected to buck themselves too much.  Assuming my next pick goes the way it will, Spielberg will get his third Best Director.

Best Picture
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
The Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
SHOULD WIN: ARGO
WILL WIN: ARGO
This is a two horse race: Argo vs. Lincoln.  Lincoln was factory designed to be an Oscar movie and it’s the comfortable choice for them.  History is on Lincoln’s side (punny) as only 3 films have ever won Best Picture with out a director nominee.  However, I think the prevailing opinion is that the Academy screwed up huge (and we’ll see if that category changes or expands like Best Picture did after The Dark Knight’s screwing).  Argo has won The Golden Globe, The Director’s Guild, The Writer’s Guild, The Producer’s Guild, The BAFTA and just about anything else giving out a statue.  In the end I think momentum will beat the establishment for once and give Argo its deserved trophy.  Now watch, they’ll split the vote so much Silver Linings Playbook will win and I’ll have to buy a new TV next week.

This is the hardest to predict show I think I’ve ever seen and even the predictions I have I think are crazy.  This is one year where you’re actually going to have to watch to see who takes nearly anything home.  I mean, I have Life of Pi winning the most awards, but not Picture or Director and different films for each of the latter.  Craziness!  OSCAR!

Oscar Week: The Killing Time Community’s Choice for Best Picture

2013 KT Community Best Picture of the Year
2013 KT Community Best Picture of the Year

Last month, I posted a poll on the site to try to see what Killing Time readers thought was the best picture of 2012.  Granted, the community has gradually been growing since we started, but voting closed today and the clear winner was my pick as well, The Dark Knight Rises.  We can all root for Argo on Sunday as the second place finisher was the highest ranked to actually be nominated.  Thanks to everyone for voting and look for a new poll next week.

Oscar Week: My Personal Oscars

Renaissance Film Awards
Renaissance Film Awards

The first iteration of this blog dates back more than a decade to when I just used to mass email a list of cool stuff I’d found out to a bunch of my friends.  I called it the Renaissance News.  I’ve let that mostly fall by the wayside in this current iteration, but every year around Oscar time, I do the Renaissance Film Awards (or Rennys as they are known in the business), which are basically my personal Oscars.  It is a dictatorial process; subjective to my tastes and it follows the Oscar categories with a few exceptions.  I have an ensemble cast award like the SAG Awards.  I do not have the documentary or short film awards or-as I like to call them-the part of the broadcast for snack making.  I also, to my shame, have not seen any foreign language films this year, so I’ll update the draft when I get around to that.  These are this year’s nominees and winners, probably the most widespread dispersion in the eleven or so years I’ve done this.  There was an abundance of riches this year.  So here they are: this year’s Rennys.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Silver Linings Playbook
WINNER: ARGO

Best Original Screenplay
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
Looper
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Seven Psychopaths
WINNER: LOOPER

Best Visual Effects
The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Life of Pi
Prometheus
WINNER: THE LIFE OF PI

Best Sound Mixing
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Looper
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
WINNER: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Best Sound Editing
Argo
The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Zero Dark Thirty
WINNER: ZERO DARK THIRTY

Best Song
“Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift, The Hunger Games
“Skyfall” by Adele, Skyfall
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” by Neil Flynn, The Hobbit: AUJ
“Too Old To Die Young” by Brother Dege, Django Unchained
“Touch the Sky” by Julie Fowlis, Brave
WINNER: “SKYFALL” BY ADELE, SKYFALL

Best Score
Alexandre Desplat, Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Dyana, The Life of Pi
Thomas Newman, Skyfall
Howard Shore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises
WINNER: HOWARD SHORE, THE HOBBIT: AUJ

Best Animated Feature
Brave
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
WINNER: BRAVE

Best Makeup
The Avengers
Django Unchained
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Impossible
Lincoln
WINNER: LINCOLN

Best Film Editing
Argo
The Dark Knight Rises
Looper
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
WINNER: ARGO

Best Costumes
The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hunger Games
Les Miserables
WINNER: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Best Art Direction
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
The Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall
WINNER: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Best Cinematography
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
The Life of Pi
Skyfall
WINNER: SKYFALL

Best Ensemble Cast
Argo
The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
WINNER: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Best Supporting Actress
Judi Dench, Skyfall
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jackie Weaver, The Silver Linings Playbook
WINNER: ANNE HATHAWAY, LES MISERABLES

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert DeNiro, The Silver Linings Playbook
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Andy Serkis, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
WINNER: JAVIER BARDEM, SKYFALL

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Keira Knightley, Seeking a Friend at the End of the World
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games
Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
WINNER: JESSICA CHASTAIN, ZERO DARK THIRTY

Best Actor
Tom Holland, The Impossible
Joseph Gordon Levitt, Looper
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Denzel Washington, Flight
WINNER: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, LINCOLN

Best Director
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Ang Lee, The Life of Pi
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
WINNER: BEN AFFLECK, ARGO

Best Picture
Argo
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Looper
Zero Dark Thirty
WINNER: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

TDKR and The Hobbit rotate in my mind daily (with Argo not far behind).  I changed my mind between when I did my Top 10 earlier this month and now.  What settled it for me was that a spectacular finale trumped a fantastic beginning .  No film won more than three awards.  It was a triumphant year for movies and some of these were even nominated by that show that will be on Sunday.  What films got your personal Oscars this year?

Top 5: Movies of 2012

Top 5: TV Episodes of All-Time (Comedy Edition)2012 was the year that movies made me want to see movies again.  I saw over 75 movies in 2011, and of those, perhaps 20 were good.  That is not a good ratio.  To be honest the only real classic movie from 2011, though there are a few I like very much, was Hugo.  2012 was so full of anticipated and surprising quality films that I’m going to break the rule of my own column and do a top 10 (though I swear-and the archives will back me up-I’m traditionally a stickler for 5).

I’m not going to re-review them all; I’m just going to present a gallery of the posters in order from 1-10 but 11-20 are so strong that they would have been most of the top 10 in any other year.   If you want to vote on your favorite move of 2012, take the poll I’ll put up on the site and let me know.  I’ll keep it open 30 days and let you know the community’s pick.  All hail cinema!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
Argo
Argo
Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty
Looper
Looper
Life of Pi
Life of Pi
The Avengers
The Avengers
Lincoln
Lincoln
Skyfall
Skyfall
The Impossilbe
The Impossilbe