ALWAYS KEEPING AN EYE ON HOLLYWOOD!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE HIGH (AND LOW) ROAD TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS 2013

JER: HAPPY 2013 TO EVERYONE! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers: whether you are just passing by or ones that look forward to our regular submissions, as we celebrate our THIRD ANNIVERSARY this month! As you have noticed, there are a few changes, the biggest being that my “COUNTERPART” partner, JOHNNY CHAZZ, has decided to hang- up his critic’s hat. His views will be greatly missed. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to a brand new year of topics and discussions with the hopes to appease you, the reader!

Presenters (l) Emma Stone and (r) Seth McFarlane
CINEMA: COUNTERPOINT’S very first topic was the Academy Awards then and now CINEMA: JER’S POINT begins 2013 with a brand new topic talking about a new year’s worth of nominations and snubs that caused quite a stir during that early morning as the list was officially announced from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday January 10th, 2013. The finals read- off with a surprising lift of new life as Nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Awards were announced by actress Emma Stone (GANGSTER SQUAD) and Seth McFarlane, who will host this year’s telecast. The two paired off nicely as jokes kept the early- risers wide awake with expected anticipation.

Ben Affleck wins Best Director (ARGO)
The 70th Annual Golden Globes ceremony was held in the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunday January 13th, 2013. Many people would like to assume that the wins will be reflected on the Oscar wins as well. This has always been a misunderstood and distant concept to accept. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) are the common voters of the Golden Globes and have a variety of different reasons for their nominations, tallies and wins. They are made up of Press representatives that represent the foreign film markets in various countries around the world, whereas, the Academy Awards are voted upon by their peers. However, most people like their odds based on those Golden Globe wins so let me quickly announce those winners and the categories they represent.

BEST PICTURE- DRAMA= ARGO

BEST MOTION PICTURE- COMEDY/ MUSICAL= LES MISERABLES

BEST ACTRESS- DRAMA= Jessica Chastain – ZERO DARK THIRTY

BEST ACTOR- DRAMA= Daniel Day- Lewis – LINCOLN

BEST ACTRESS- COMEDY/ MUSICAL= Jennifer Lawrence- SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

BEST ACTOR- COMEDY/ MUSICAL= Hugh Jackman – LES MISERABLES

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE= BRAVE

BEST DIRECTOR= Ben Affleck – ARGO

The following are just some of the categories nominated for Academy Awards. I have provided the nominations and my winning predictions as well. And so, without further delay, here are some of the highlights!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Amy Adams- THE MASTER
Sally Field- LINCOLN
Anne Hathaway- LES MISERABLES
Helen Hunt- THE SESSONS
Jacki Weaver- SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Anne Hathaway
The buzz that is circulating is the “mature” vote going to Sally Field. Not only for her broad repertoire of respected work, but for playing the real- life Mary Todd Lincoln (aka Mrs. Lincoln) to which Academy members seem to usually cast the vote towards. This time round, however, it must be said that Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of the hardened- lived Fantine in LES MISERABLES is a role that cannot be easily erased once seen. So, my prediction will lean towards ANNE HATHAWAY= LES MISERABLES.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Alan Arkin- ARGO
Robert DeNiro- SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Philip Seymour Hoffman- THE MASTER
Tommy Lee Jones- LINCOLN
Christoph Waltz- DJANGO UNCHAINED

An interesting group of talented men that have all won Academy Awards at least once before throughout their respected careers. As much as I enjoyed ARGO as a film, I didn’t think that Mr. Arkin’s performance was necessarily deserving of a nomination…with all due respect to his fine acting abilities. Can we be surprised to see Christoph Waltz win yet another Award for a Quentin Tarantino- created role? (He had previously won Best Supporting Actor in Tarantino’s 2009 INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.) I would like to point out that it is refreshing to see Robert DeNiro receive recognition for his role in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. It is the opinion of this critic to recall the disappointments felt by the recent poor choices of roles played by this talented actor in the past. (Anything with the word “FOCKER” in it!) The choice here, I will predict CHRISTOPH WALTZ= DJANGO UNCHAINED.
A look into Christoph Waltz in DJANGO UNCHAINED


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
BRAVE
FRANKENWEENIE
PARANORMAN
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
WRECK- IT RALPH

God bless Tim Burton and his numerous tries in trying to present something entertaining to his audience of minions! I recently rented FRANKENWEENIE with the intentions of watching this film with a goal of being entertained and viewing it with an open mind. That path was quickly changed somewhere after the first half hour and made a speeding detour into a brick wall! The storyline couldn’t exceed from its original short live action film in 1984. Thank God for Disney! With two divisions, respectfully, being represented in this category (DISNEY and PIXAR STUDIOS,) I believe that doubles the chances with either the well- received BRAVE and WRECK- IT RALPH taking away the win. My choice? BRAVE has a strong female lead with enough drama and humor to enthrall children of all ages with a storyline promoting self- empowerment and the ability to represent individuality. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
AMOUR- Michael Haneke
DJANGO UNCHAINED- Quentin Tarantino
FLIGHT- John Gatins
MOONRISE KINGDOM- Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY- Mark Boal

Quentin Tarantino in DJANGO UNCHAINED
I would buy an E- ticket (remember those, old- schoolers?) to ride the attraction within the mind of one Quentin Tarantino. I imagine him standing in front of a three- way mirror just babbling out loud to himself… as if he enjoyed the sounds coming out of his own mouth! He has a mini- tape player eagerly recording every catch phrase and sound escaping his lungs and then writing it all down with much enthusiasm as he repeatedly says, “This is going to be fucking amazing!” Joke as I do about it all, I love the guy and project rays of envy and jealously towards the man’s success! The vote must go to the “original” QUENTIN TARANTINO!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
ARGO- Chris Terrio
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD- Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI- David Magee
LINCOLN- Tony Kushner
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK- David O. Russell

This is not an easy pick… Is it an injustice to say that LINCOLN could lose to ARGO? And what about the deviant words of David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK? Regardless of the argument, only one will win and only one can be selected. I am going to make a bold move and trust my gut instinct with my original choice: ARGO for the win!
The thrilling trailer to Ben Affleck's ARGO


BEST DIRECTOR:
Michael Haneke- AMOUR
Behn Zeitlin- BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Ang Lee- LIFE OF PI
Steven Spielberg- LINCOLN
David O. Russell- SILVER LININGS NOTEBOOK

Steven Spielberg: BEST DIRECTOR
A very disappointing category this year! Not necessarily for the Directors who were nominated, but for those that were snubbed! Ben Affleck for ARGO- snubbed! Quentin Tarantino for DJANGO UNCHAINED- snubbed! Tom Hooper for LES MISERABLES- are you kidding me with the snub on this one? And finally Kathryn Bigelow for ZERO DARK THIRTY- snubbed! As respected as I feel Ang Lee’s nomination is and deserving, I don’t feel that a candle can be held upon the lush and meaningful direction of Steven Spielberg for LINCOLN. (That’s my choice, by the way.)

BEST ACTRESS:
Jessica Chastain- ZERO DARK THIRTY
Jennifer Lawrence- SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Emmanuelle Riva- AMOUR
Quvenzhane Wallis- BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Naomi Watts- THE IMPOSSIBLE

The category that made Oscar history this year: At 85 years old, Emmanuelle Riva (AMOUR) is the oldest living Actress nominee to date as Quevenzhane Watts (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) is the youngest at 9 years old. With all due respect to the various ages and talents involved, it is clear to see that Jessica Chastain has always been an exceptional actress with many great roles under her belt already (TAKING SHELTER, THE HELP) so it would be a justifiable win to see her receive an Academy Award for her portrayal of true- life CIA Agent ‘Maya’ in ZERO DARK THIRTY!
Behind- the-scenes look at ZERO DARK THIRTY


BEST ACTOR:
Bradley Cooper- SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Hugh Jackman- LES MISERABLES
Daniel Day- Lewis- LINCOLN
Joaquin Phoenix- THE MASTER
Denzel Washington- FLIGHT

Hugh Jackman
Not as easy as it may seem! We might be looking at two front- runners here. The general flip of the coin is going to be Hugh Jackman (LES MISERABLES) on one side; the other would be Daniel Day- Lewis (LINCOLN). So, who gets to call ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ on this one? My vote would have Hugh Jackman for LES MISERABLES land on the winning side.





BEST PICTURE:
AMOUR
ARGO
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LES MISERABLES
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
ZERO DARK THIRTY

The controversial of all nominees as of late. Could we easily have dealt with five nominations as we had in the past? If so, which ones of these nine would stay and which would go? Could we shave off the access weight and say that the “fair five” would have been ARGO, LES MISERABLES, LINCOLN and ZERO DARK THIRTY and maybe either DJANGO UNCHAINED or LIFE OF PI? Is this an agreement between the Academy and Studio to allow their “pick of the week” to garner one last chance at making some bank before they are whisked away into the world of Redbox or your local Costco for sale or rent? This category has not had one definitive film lead the race… some may call the true life telling of LINCOLN the front- runner, yet others will say that the biographical accounts of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in ZERO DARK THIRTY might be winner. Tough category, indeed! I will take a huge leap of faith and cast my vote for… drum- roll, please…BEST PICTURE= LES MISERABLES! 
A great behind- the- scenes look at LES MISERABLES


A BEST PICTURE should be just as the title state, an overall satisfying and well- presented motion picture. All departments play a vital role in the assistance of any film winning Best Picture, in my book. One has to consider everything from the acting to the screenplay, the Art Direction to the Cinematography, costumes to the musical score: every integrate piece of the puzzle creates the overall picture. If a piece is missing, the puzzle is not complete and the overall image is left incomplete. This year’s LES MISERABLES had fine drama, tears, a touch of laughter, intensity, perversion and even music! Tom Hooper’s direction MUST be recognized for a wonderful transition into a dark historical part of France’s history and for a near- flawless adaption of a classic and beloved Broadway hit! Bravo!

And so, the race begins! The nominations have been casted and the votes from the individual categories are being drawn. Then there are those of us who will await the final announcements on Sunday February the 24th to see what has been selected and watch host Seth McFarlane do and say whatever it'll take to bring down the walls at the newly- christened Dolby Theatre (formally The Kodak Theatre) in Hollywood, CA.

I now turn the written opportunity to you, the reader. Do you agree with some of my predictions or who do you feel should deserve the win and why? I welcome everyone's opinion and plan to post and reply to all comments. Please feel that you are a part of this blog- site and I look forward to your words!

Make sure that you visit back for my next entry post on FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1st, 2013 as I re-visit the wins and the loses from the 85th Annual Academy Awards! See you back here soon and visit as often as you'd like! Thank you for stopping by!

Have you visited the official CINEMA: JER'S POINT page on YOUTUBE? Check out classic and contemporary trailers, scenes and other great trips down memory lane! Just click the link and check out the "Favorites" on our site! Enjoy!
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