Y’all, I’m so tired of seeing rankings, and ranking things, and “who do you think will win Best Picture?” It looked for a while like Lincoln had the star advantage, ever since Zero Dark Thirty connected with that nasty red shell John McCain launched, but Argo has recently gotten a huge turbo-boost from the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, and even though Les Mis crashed off the course and Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Silver Linings Playbook are clearly one lap behind, it’s anybody’s race. Pick your player, Academy.
Well, it is foreign and painful. Seriously folks, Michael Haenke’s masochistifest on aging wants to you suffer, but you can’t help be riveted by the breathtaking artistry on display, not so unlike a certain Italian’s evil nemesis with a particularly intricate mustache. That said, while it’s totally got another category sown up, it’s probably not gonna win this one.
If playing a stoicly heroic CIA agent who tries to be a good father and saves lives, damnnit, isn’t Ben Affleck’s way of putting on a tiara, I don’t know what is. The absence of a directing nod theoretically relegates Argo’s chances to the Castle Tower, but for a character that’s gained increasing power and agency, yet is classically tied to things the Academy loves (stories about Hollywood), you never know. It may end with the crown.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
This film is kind of a whole different species, made by and large outside the industry proper, with a first-time feature director, nonactors, and humble surrounds, but what an accomplishment for them and smaller independent films in general that they’re even included, enough of one to be leaping up cliffs, certainly. I bet they don’t even notice they don’t win. Go git som’mo’ shramp ahn’ goombas, chere! Roule Beasts!
Oh, he knows he’s bad, but what’s the point of playing if you can’t have some swagger, breathe some fire, and blow up your director for having a horrible Australian accent? Not a favorite of anybody’s, really, but watch it steal something and Tarantino drunkenly throw his flask into the crowd while tickling Christoph Waltz’s beard. That’s entertainment.
This is a huge film with really only one move that it uses over and over and over again until it pounds the viewer into submission. Despite its gigantic size, though, all he really wants is some gooshy, melodramatically ripe bananas. Les Mis poses no threat.
Life of Pi
Those of us who love this guy are really fond of him. And certainly, there’s no mistaking the tall order of adapting such a difficult novel nor the exciting new heights to which the film has propelled the artistic use of 3D. But the majority of people? Eh.
Our hero. This strapping buck has history and sentiment – and some truly prodigeous facial hair – on its side. But the Boss Fight still hasn’t entered its final stage, and we don’t know what’s coming up the pipes next.
Silver Linings Playbook
It’s a perfectly fine movie, very charming, but the question begs asking: what is it doing here? Silver Linings has excellent performances, but is never wholly able to escape its utterly conventional script and movie-ending contrivance. Most of us like it, but we just don’t understand why anyone would pick it.
Zero Dark Thirty
All business, spartan and serious, this is an uncompromising, take-no-prisoners look at Intelligence Warfare in the early 21st century. It’s undeniably formidable in combat. It’s also a little ridiculous, and the larger forces its serves have ultimately ensured it will probably get squashed underneath heel.