Academy Awards 2013

February 25th, 2013 - Graham Eley

After the usual two months of intense speculation, the Oscar nominations arrived earlier today, giving rise to another six weeks of trending analysis of the industry guilds and Golden Globe awards until virtually all of the Oscars will be a foregone conclusion before the Academy Awards’ ceremony on February 24.  In the meantime, Oscar voters will weigh up the respective critical and commercial benefits of the nominees as part of that culture/industry compromise that benefits those films equally at home in the multiplexes and arthouses.  And as we all know, many films that could claim with validity to be one of the best films of the year, have slipped by the wayside beforehand, lacking the popular appeal amongst those content to watch comfortable fare, who are necessary for keeping Oscar night TV figures on track.


Steven Spielberg’s industry favourite ‘Lincoln’ led the Oscar nominations with 12 nods and the historical epic remains the frontrunner overall notwithstanding its below average showing in the pre-Christmas critics awards.  Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ has been gaining some serious momentum during the awards season but, even so, its nominations haul, just one behind ‘Lincoln’, exceeded expectations.


‘Silver Linings Playbook’ received a solid eight nominations but, all the more impressive, David O Russell’s quirky romCom was the only nominee to secure Oscar nods for film, director, all acting categories and one of the screenplay awards.  Although it has always been a strong presence in the awards season, a best directors nomination seemed slightly beyond its grasp and it was by no means certain that Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro would receive best actor and supporting actor nominations.


With nine best film Oscar nominations, there was little scope for shock exclusions but it opened the door for two borderline films to make the list beyond ‘Lincoln’ ‘Pi’ ‘Argo’ ‘ZDT’ ‘Django’, ‘Playbook’ and ‘Les Miz’.  Behn Zeitlin’s Sundance winner, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ proved to be something of a surprise package, not only picking up a best film nomination but grabbing an unexpected best director nod in addition to the more predictable best actress and adapted screenplay recognitions.  There was also best film and director nominations for Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’, just when it seemed that the Palme dOr winner may miss out on both.  The best director list was also notable for only having ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Pi’ in common with the DGA’s nominations, usually the most reliable indicator of Oscar success throughout the awards season.


The Oscar best actor nominations follow the BAFTAs except that Denzel Washington (‘Flight’) comes in for Ben Affleck (‘Argo’).  They are lead by Daniel Day-Lewis (‘Lincoln’), who is the most outright favourite for an Oscar win in any category after already bagging an extraordinary twenty wins this winter.  Hugh Jackman landed a nomination for ‘Les Miz’ even though none of his previous ten nominations have produced a win.


There is no such clarity in the battle for best actress where Quvenzhané Wallis (‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’) and Naomi Watts (‘The Impossible’) join best actress nomination shoo-ins, Jessica Chastain (‘Zero Dark Thirty’), Jennifer Lawrence (‘Silver Linings Playbook’) and Emmanuelle Riva (‘Amour’) for the closest Oscar race.  As things stand, there is nothing to separate Lawrence and Chastain.


In the end, Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’, was too unconventional to gain significant industry support, and it had to settle for best actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and best supporting actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and actress nods (Amy Adams).






Beast of the Southern Wild
Zero Dark Thirty
Life of Pi
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained



Ang Lee – Life of Pi
Amour – Michael Haneke
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Silver Linings Playbook – David O Russell
Beasts of the Southern Wild – Behn Zeitlin




Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible




Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight




Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Amy Adams – The Master




Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Robert DeNiro – Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin – Argo
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained




Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Chris Terrio – Argo
Tony Kushner – Lincoln
David O’Russell – Silver Linings PLaybook
David Magee – Life of Pi




John Gatins – Flight
Mark Boal – Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
Moonrise Kingdom – Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Amour – Written by Michael Haneke




Django Unchained – Robert Richardson
Anna Karenina – Seamus McGarvey
Lincoln – Janusz Kaminski
Life of Pi – Claudio Miranda
Skyfall – Roger Deakins




Argo – William Goldenberg
Life of Pi – Tim Squyres
Lincoln – Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook – Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty – Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg




5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man




War Witch
A Royal Affair
Kon Tiki




The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck it Ralph




Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables – Paco Delgado
Lincoln – Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror – Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman – Colleen Atwood
Documentary Feature




Argo – Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained – Wylie Stateman
Life of Pi – Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
Skyfall – Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
Zero Dark Thirty -Paul N.J. Ottosson




Argo – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Misérables – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Life of Pi -Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Lincoln – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Skyfall – Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson




The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Life of Pi -Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
Marvel’s The Avengers – Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus – Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White and the Huntsman – Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson




Anna Karenina – Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)
Les Misérables -Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)
Life of Pi – David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Lincoln – Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)




Hitchcock – Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables – Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell




Anna Karenina – Dario Marianelli
Argo – Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi – Mychael Danna
Lincoln – John Williams
Skyfall – Thomas Newman




Before My Time – Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
Pi’s Lullaby – Life of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
Suddenly – Les Miserable, Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublils
Everybody Needs a Best Friend – Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
Skyfall – from Skyfall – Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth




Asad Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
Buzkashi Boys – Sam French and Ariel Nasr
Curfew -Shawn Christensen
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw) – Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
Henry – Yan England


Adam and Dog – Minkyu Lee
Fresh Guacamole – PES
Head over Heels – Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” David Silverman
Paperman – John Kahrs




Inocente – Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Kings Point – Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
Mondays at Racine – Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
Open Heart – Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Redemption – Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill


Seth Macfarlane will announced the Oscars at a ceremony on February 24

For those who follow the awards season closely, there were signs before Christmas that momentum was swinging towards Ben Affleck’s Argo in the best film category, with late wins in the critics awards.  Victory in the Golden Globes strengthened its position and, after sweeping the board in the influential Guilds’ awards, last night’s Oscar success was a formality.


In one of the ironies of the awards season, Ben Affleck could easily have won best director on the back of Argo’s momentum had he received a nomination.  As it was, Ang Lee claimed his second Academy Award in this category for Life of Pi.


Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Lining Playbook) survived a late surge of support for Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) to win best actress.  For much of the awards season, Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) looked like being her major challenger but fell away near the end.


Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) had plenty of practice writing his best actor speech after winning twenty four other awards over the winter.  He became the first actor in history to win the Oscar for a third time.


The best supporting actress Oscar was another forgone conclusion, going to Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) for her 22nd win of the awards season.  By contrast, best supporting actor was the most open of the Oscar races and saw Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) come from behind to secure victory.





Best Picture:


Best Director:
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”


Best Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”


Best Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”


Best Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”


Best Supporting Actress:
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”


Best Original Screenplay:
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”


Best Adapted Screenplay:
Chris Terrio, “Argo”


Best Animated Feature:


Best Foreign Language FIlm:


Best Documentary Feature:
“Searching for Sugar Man”


Best Cinematography:
Claudio Miranda, “Life of Pi”


Best Film Editing:
William Goldenberg, “Argo”


Best Production Design:


Best Costume Design:
Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina”


Best Original Score:
Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”


Best Original Song:
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”


Best Sound Editing:
Tie: “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall”


Best Sound Mixing:
“Les Miserables”


Best Visual Effects:
“Life of Pi”


Best Makeup:
“Les Miserables”


Best Animated Short:


Best Live Action Short:


Best Documentary Short:


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