Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Oscar Night 2013!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar Night 2013!

    Hi Grad.Life Readers! Happy Oscar Night! I love Oscar night. I don't know why, but I always have since I was a little girl. And, as a grad student, it has always been a welcome and satisfying break from  school work.
    Last year, in honor of the Oscars, I explored the representation of graduate schools in film --  click to check out Part One and Part Two!
    As you can see from those posts, "grad life" in movies is sparse, and this years offerings didn't do much to change that, but I still really enjoyed seeing some of the nominated pictures this year. Here's what I saw this year, what I thought, and what I wish I saw.

I saw this on Thanksgiving weekend, before the nominations came out, and I thought it was amazing. (I actually posted on this movie at the time -- click here to read.) I even thought it might be contender for Best Picture, that's how good I thought it was! Tonight, it's nominated for 5 awards: Cinematography, Score, Original Song, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. I predict it will win for Song. I think the other categories might be taken by Life of Pi. Wonderful movie, though!

Another one I saw early on, before nominations came out. I was utterly moved and inspired by this film. Again, read my initial post, here. I knew this would be a big one for nominations; and, it received 12 in total. Of course, the big ones here are Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Writing (Adaptation). I predict Spielberg will win for Director, Daniel Day Lewis for Actor, and Tony Kushner for Writing -- all deserving!! (Argo might take the screenplay award, but I have a feeling Kushner will pull this one off because voters will want to support Lincoln despite not voting for it for Best Picture.) Daniel Day Lewis was amazing in this role, and so it would be great to see him win. Also, I would absolutely love it if Tommy Lee Jones won for Supporting Actor -- he was my favorite part of the film. But that is a difficult category this year, with Alan Arkin nominated for Argo and Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook. It will probably get a couple more too -- perhaps for costume design and for Sally Field for Supporting Actress.

Silver Linings Playbook
I saw this film just before the Golden Globes, and I was glad I did, because I got to root for Jennifer Lawrence to win. In the film, her performance as Tiffany is tough and tender, gutsy and funny, and endearing.  In real life interviews, Lawrence is so appealing; the word "likable" seems sort of mundane but that is what she is -- you just kinda wanna hang out with her. It would be a big upset if she doesn't win -- she is the front-runner, and I predict it will be her. Her biggest competition? Jessica Chastain, for Zero Dark Thirty. She got a lot of buzz these past two years as an actress, but this film has lost steam in the Oscar race.
    All the performances in this movie are wonderful and they make the movie special -- which is why they were all nominated for tonight. As much as I loved Day-Lewis in Lincoln, wish Brad Cooper had a shot at this category, but for him, at least this time around, the honor is in the nomination. Robert De Niro could win his category, but again -- tough group this year!
   The movie is also nominated for other huge ones: Best Picture, Directing, Editing, and Writing (Adapted). It won't win any of these, but it was a wonderful character-picture with great performances. Loved it, and happy it got recognized.

Here's the Best Picture winner, I predict! Everyone saw it, everyone loved it, and it is about Hollywood, which Academy voters love. It was a great movie -- funny dialogue, intense plot, and cleverly designed to incorporate actual footage from 1979 media coverage of the Iranian hostage crisis.
It has other nominations, too -- 7 total -- but for some reason, I have the gut feeling it is going to be one of those years it only wins the big one. It could take Film Editing, though. That category is often linked with the Best Picture winner.
    This movie was special. In fact, I haven't talked to anyone who didn't like it -- except one person who was annoyed it wasn't completely real to the historical facts of the event. But it is a movie, not historical fact. So, despite this kind of complaint, and because it was a great story and movie, I will be happy for Ben Affleck and all involved in it if it wins.

Life of Pi
Okay, folks, I saved my favorite for last! I have a feeling that not enough Academy voters saw this film, that there was not enough "Oscar buzz" for it, and that it will fall through the cracks tonight, but seriously, it is an incredible film. It has 11 nominations, the second most of all the films. (Lincoln has 12.)  Ang Lee made such a spectacular, heart-warming, heart-breaking, funny, gorgeous, meaningful movie, and it should win, in my opinion, for Director, Cinematography, Editing, Score, Production Design, Visual Effects, Sound, and....Best Picture. But it will probably only get Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Production Design, and maybe Sound categories.
     I have an attachment  to and affection for the novel, as well, so maybe that nurtured my love for this film.If it wins Best Picture tonight, my favorite movie of the year will have won.

A Few Others I Saw

Flight: Denzel is nominated for his role in this film, and, I've always loved Denzel, since I saw Glory when I was 10 years old. He probably won't win, mostly because of Daniel Day Lewis, but also partly because the film just wasn't as good as the other nominated films in this category. Still, worth seeing if you are a Denzel fan and supporter!
Moonrise Kingdom: Nominated for Best Original Screenplay -- so clever and funny and cute! I enjoyed this movie and the performances in it, especially the kids, Bruce Willis, and Edward Norton.

What I Wish I Saw
Les Mis -- loved this play since I was a little girl -- the performances looked amazing from the trailers and previews. I'm sad I never got to see it. It is getting a lot of Oscar buzz hate right now -- people are saying they are "over it." Yikes!
Beasts of Southern Wild, Amour, Zero Dark Thirty: All Best Pic nominees -- they are on my future queue, but I just didn't have time to see them before tonight!
The Impossible: Looks like an incredible film, and I like Naomi Watts.

By the way: New and Improved,
Oscar has a BEAUTIFUL website this year, much nicer than any year before it -- check it out here! It's well-laid out and makes exploring the nominees fun -- for the first time, I think the website is entertaining in and of itself. There are trailers of each movie embedded, and lots of media and info about each nominee, including past Academy award nominations and wins. You can search by category or film, and each of those links back to the other, so it really makes for an interactive exploration. There's an awesome timeline under the Oscar History tab, and it also has a "My Picks" feature, which allows you to link up with Facebook (what else??), fill out a ballot, and share it with others. I'm definitely partaking in this activity tonight!! While the new and improved site seems it will definitely enhance the viewing experience of the actual awards show (which is what it should do!), it also is fun to play around with in its own right! (AKA, in graduate student language: procrastination tool!)

OKAY -- now back to my dissertation for a bit -- until 7:00pm (RED CARPET, HOLLA!)
Have fun tonight, and let me know what you think! (If you have time, hehe.)
-- Liza


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