EMBLIDGE INSIGHT: Wesley vs. the 2013 Oscar Nominations


By Wesley Emblidge

Every year, the Academy Award nominations disappoint, upset and anger many moviegoers (myself included) with mostly predictable picks that honor the most Oscar-buzzed movies of the year, rather than the best movies of the year. I’ve ranted about this subject before in more detail, but for now, let’s take a look at this years nominees, including some huge snubs and surprise nominations (but nothing as bad as “The Blind Side”).


Best Picture

“Amour” (review not written)


“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (review not written)

“Django Unchained”


“Les Misérables”

“Life of Pi”

“Silver Linings Playbook”

“Zero Dark Thirty”


Most of these are the expected nominees, the most notable omission being Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” whose spot seems to have been taken by either “Beasts” or “Amour.” Speaking of “Amour,” it may not be my favorite film of the year, but I’m glad to see the academy branching out a bit more and nominating a foreign film for best picture. The likely winner is either “Lincoln” or “Silver Linings Playbook,” everything else that had a chance is basically out of the race due to losing a director nomination.


Best Director

David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

Michael Haneke, “Amour”

Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”


This category holds one of the biggest surprises, with three of the expected names left off. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow are both nowhere to be found for creating immense amounts of tension in “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” respectively. Zeitlin and Haneke’s nominations are surprising, not bad choices per say, but Affleck, Bigelow and Tarantino are all much more deserving choices. At the very least, I’m glad Tom Hooper was left off for “Les Misérables.” The race now seems to be between Spielberg and Russell, even though the most deserving of the nominees is Lee.


Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”

Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”


No big surprises here, even though I really wish Washington wasn’t nominated. He was fine in what was otherwise a pretty bad, boring movie with a lot of wasted potential. He seems to have taken John Hawkes’ spot for “The Sessions,” but then again, the nominations here don’t matter all that much, as Daniel Day-Lewis has the win locked up already. Glad to see Joaquin Phoenix on there as well for one of my favorite performances of the year.


Best Actress

Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”


Not much interesting here, all of these nominees were somewhat expected. Wallis is a nice surprise, and now the youngest nominee in history. This is probably a fight between Lawrence and Chastain, both of whom are good choices. Riva could maybe slip in there too, we’ll see.


Best Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

Robert de Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Alan Arkin, “Argo”

Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”


This category is full of obligatory nominations. Arkin, de Niro, and Jones were all totally fine in their roles, but not outstanding. Glad to see Waltz nominated, but of the supporting performances in “Django” I would have expected DiCaprio over him. Even Javier Bardem could have snuck in for “Skyfall.” The true best is, of course, Hoffman, but it’s more likely Jones wins this.


Best Supporting Actress

Sally Field, “Lincoln”

Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”

Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”

Amy Adams, “The Master”


This is Hathaway’s award. The other nominees don’t even matter, although it’s odd to see Weaver there for such a small role.


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


Everything was fairly expected here, and the fight is probably between Russell and Kushner. It’d be great to see Terrio win for his first screenplay though, as his is really the best of the bunch.


Best Original Screenplay

“Amour,” Michael Haneke

“Django Unchained, “Quentin Tarantino

“Flight,” John Gatins

“Moonrise Kingdom,” Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

“Zero Dark Thirty,” Mark Boal


Talk about an infuriating category. There were so many fantastic original films this year, and yet the original screenplay nominations are devoid of the cooler, under-the-radar films that usually slip in. The worst part of “Flight” was the screenplay, and “Amour” is film made great by the performances, not the writing. I would have loved to see “Looper” or “Seven Psychopaths” sneak in there and get those spots they deserve.


Best Animated Feature


“The Pirates! A Band of Misfits”

“Wreck-It Ralph”




“ParaNorman” is nominated, so I’m happy. It probably won’t win, as “Wreck-It Ralph” has that wrapped up. Pixar gets an obligatory nomination for “Brave,” even though it’s one of their worst yet.


Best Foreign Language Film

“Amour,” (Austria)

“No,” (Chile)

“War Witch,” (Canada)

“A Royal Affair,” (Denmark)

“Kon Tiki,” (Norway)


I have only seen two of these, but I can say pretty certainly that “Amour” has this win already. I mean, it’s nominated for best picture as well, so that’s pretty much a dead giveaway.


Best Original Song

‘Before My Time,’ from “Chasing Ice”

‘Pi’s Lullaby,’ from “Life of Pi”

‘Suddenly,’ from “Les Misérables”

‘Everybody Needs a Best Friend,’ from “Ted”

‘Skyfall,’ from, you guessed it, “Skyfall”


Well, great. “Ted” is an Oscar-nominated film. Glad to see the fart jokes got this movie somewhere.


Best Cinematography

Seamus McGarvey, “Anna Karenina”

Robert Richardson, “Django Unchained”

Claudio Miranda, “Life of Pi”

Janusz Kaminski, “Lincoln”

Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”


Deakins deserves this award more than anyone. Not only is his work in “Skyfall” nothing short of amazing, but the man has shot some of the most gorgeous movies in history and never won. Of course, this may just get handed to Kaminski because people love “Lincoln.”


Best Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina”

Paco Delgado, “Les Misérables”

Joanna Johnston, “Lincoln”

Eiko Ishioka, “Mirror Mirror”

Colleen Atwood, “Snow White and the Huntsman”


Period pieces nominated for best costume design? What?


Best Documentary Feature

“5 Broken Cameras”

“The Gatekeepers”

“How to Survive a Plague”

“The Invisible War”

“Searching for Sugar Man”


I couldn’t be more happy to see “How to Survive a Plague” on here, and “The Invisible War” is very deserving as well. I seem to be in the minority of those who had issues with “Searching for Sugar Man,” because that looks like it’s headed for a win. Sadly, my favorite documentary of the year, “The Imposter,” didn’t get recognized either.


Best Film Editing

William Goldenberg, “Argo”

Tim Squyres, “Life of Pi”

Michael Kahn, “Lincoln”

Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, “Zero Dark Thirty”


There’s nothing interesting in this category; no films with really innovative editing like “Cloud Atlas.”


Best Original Score

Dario Marianelli, “Anna Karenina”

Alexandre Desplat, “Argo”

Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”

John Williams, “Lincoln”

Thomas Newman, “Skyfall”


Odd that “Beasts” couldn’t get on here with one of the best scores of the year, and too bad “Cloud Atlas” isn’t here either.


I haven’t got much to say on the rest of the categories; they’re all the more technical awards, all given to generally the right people. On the one hand, this is a terrible Oscar year, with so many snubs and just out-of-the-blue nominees. However, there’s nothing as abysmally bad as last year’s “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” best picture nomination so I guess we’re on an upward trend.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Hitchcock,” Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane

“Les Misérables,” Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell


Best Production Design

“Anna Karenina” – Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)

“Les Misérables” – Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)

“Life of Pi” – David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

“Lincoln” – Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)


Best Animated Short Film

“Adam and Dog,” Minkyu Lee

“Fresh Guacamole,” PES

“Head over Heels,” Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly

“Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare’,” David Silverman

“Paperman,” John Kahrs


Best Live-Action Short Film

“Asad,” Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura

“Buzkashi Boys,” Sam French and Ariel Nasr

“Curfew,” Shawn Christensen

“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele

“Henry,” Yan England


Best Documentary Short

“Inocente,” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine

“Kings Point,” Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider

“Mondays at Racine,” Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan

“Open Heart,” Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern

“Redemption,” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill


Best Sound Editing

“Argo,” Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn

“Django Unchained,” Wylie Stateman

“Life of Pi,” Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton

“Skyfall,” Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers

“Zero Dark Thirty,” Paul N.J. Ottosson


Best Sound Mixing

“Argo,” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia

“Les Misérables,” Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes

“Life of Pi,” Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin

“Lincoln,” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins

“Skyfall,” Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson


Best Visual Effects

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White

“Life of Pi,” Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott

“Marvel’s The Avengers,” Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick

“Prometheus,” Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill

“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson