The Oscar Fun Begins

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Award 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.

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
.

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.

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).

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.

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!