Grit Blogs > The Open Book

The Oscar Fun Begins

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: Oscars, Academy Awards, Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pie, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Flight, The Impossible, The Sessions, Gladiator, Walk the Line, My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Glory, Training Day, The Help, Winter’s Bones, 21 Grams, The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Little Miss Sunshine, Capote, The Fugitive, Inglourious Basterds, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, As Good As It Gets, Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, Rachel Getting Married, Animals Kingdom, movies,

Jean TellerAward shows really aren’t my favorite; I find them too long, too embarrassing and too egotistical. The one I often make an exception for is the Academy Awards, though I usually record it and then fast-forward through the icky parts.

The 85th Academy Awards will be on your television beginning at 6 central Sunday, February 24. Hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the show promises to be everything Hollywood. So tune in early for the red-carpet extravaganza, and stay for the top (and last) Oscar of the night, the Best Picture.

This year, nine films are vying for Best Picture: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

 Argo stars and is directed by Ben Affleck.

 Les Miserables, a musical, stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe.

I’ve seen three so far (Argo, Les Miserables and Lincoln), and hope to see Beasts of the Southern Wild before the 24th. Friends have given good reviews to Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

 Lincoln, nominated for a number of Academy Awards, stars Daniel Day Lewis as the 16th president.

The directors of only five of those films are up for an Oscar: Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Michael Haneke for Amour, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook.

 Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
For both awards, my vote is on Lincoln and Steven Spielberg.

For Best Actor and Best Actress, the nominees are: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Two of the Best Actor nominees are nominated for the first time: Cooper and Jackman. While Phoenix has been nominated twice (Supporting Actor for Gladiator and Best Actor for Walk the Line), he has never won. Day-Lewis has been nominated five times and has two Oscars: for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood. Washington is the history maker this go-round; this is his sixth nomination – a first for an African American actor – and he has won twice (Supporting Actor for Glory and Best Actor for Training Day).

 Flight stars Denzel Washington as a hero pilot. Or is he?

The ages for the five Best Actress nominees range from 85 (Riva) to 9 (Wallis). While three of the five have been nominated before, none of them have won. Chastain was nominated for a Supporting Actress award for her role in The Help; Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress for Winter’s Bone; and Watts was nominated for Best Actress for 21 Grams.

Riva and Wallis are the oldest and the youngest nominees in the history of the Academy Awards.

My votes go to Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Watts for The Impossible.

 The Impossible is based on a true story, and it stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

  The 85th Academy Awards are set for February 24, 2013. In the supporting categories, the nominees are Alan Arkin for Argo, Robert de Niro for Silver Linings Playbook, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained, Amy Adams for The Master, Sally Field for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Helen Hunt for The Sessions and Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook.

All five of the veteran actors have been nominated: de Niro seven times (winning Supporting Actor for The Godfather Part II and Best Actor for Raging Bull); Arkin, a three-time nominee, won for his supporting role in Little Miss Sunshine; Hoffman, nominated three times, has one Best Actor for Capote; Jones, another three-time nominee, won Supporting Actor for The Fugitive; and Waltz won after his first nomination as Supporting Actor for his role in Inglourious Basterds.

For the actresses, again all veterans, Field has been nominated twice and won both times, for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart; and Hunt won for her lead role in As Good As It Gets. For the other three, Adams has been nominated three times (Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter), and both Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) and Weaver (Animal Kingdom) have one nomination.

My votes go to Jones and Field. (Can you tell I’m slightly prejudiced in favor of Lincoln?)

You can join in the voting fun through Facebook or by printing out the ballot from the Academy Awards website. And throw a party while you’re at it.

Whatever you do, have fun!

See ya at the movies!