Saturday, January 12, 2013

Best Original Song Nominees

Are you excited for the beginning of the Oscar season, but a little intimidated by the list of 29 movies (38 if you could documentary and foreign films) that you need to see in the next 43 days? Well I'm here to help you cross at least one category off your list: Best Original Song! Two of the films nominated this year for Best Song (Chasing Ice and Ted) don't have any other nominations, so you'll be able to skip those films entirely!

Here are YouTube videos for all five nominees:

"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph:


"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from Ted — Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane:


"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi — Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri:


"Skyfall" from Skyfall — Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth:


"Suddenly" from Les Misérables — Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil:


Or if you'd prefer to download the nominees, they are all available for purchase at Amazon.com:
"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from Ted
"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi
"Skyfall" from Skyfall
"Suddenly" from Les Misérables

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Watch the Oscar Nominations Announcement Live

Join us this morning at 5:30 AM PST (8:30 AM EST) for the official announcement of the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards.

Here's the livestream:


Also, follow us on Twitter for live updates and commentary (or if you're pretending to work and can't pull up the livestream).

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Nomination Predictions for the 85th Academy Awards

I've always felt way more comfortable predicting the eventual winners of Oscars as opposed to making Oscar nominations predictions, but seeing as I did pretty well last year (7 out of 9 Best Picture nominees, 4/5 for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor nominees, 5/5 for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), I thought I'd give it another go!

Best Picture

As you probably recall from last year, the Best Picture category can include anywhere from 5–10 nominees. This makes predicting this category a tad more difficult than it used to be—or it adds an extra thing to guess: how many nominees will there be? Last year there were nine nominees, and this year I'm predicting there will be eight. The obvious nominees are Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln, which have split many of the awards so far. Les Misérables, which got mostly positive reviews and is likely to garner a couple of acting nods, is also basically a shoo-in. Silver Linings Playbook is a prett safe bet as well. The second-tier is made up of likely, but by no means certain, nods for Argo, Life of Pi and Django Unchained. The "last" slot is a bit of a toss-up, but depending on the mood of the voters it could go to Beasts of the Southern Wild, Austria's Amour, or even Moonrise Kingdom. Obviously, if Academy voters are feeling generous, they could all nine of these films with nods, but if it's just seven, my money would be on Amour grabbing the last slot.

Best Director

As it has been since 2009, the key to this category is figuring out which directors of Best Picture nominees will get left out. I mentioned last year that only one film since 1932 that only one film had won Best Picture without its director getting a nod, and that still holds true. Using this formula, we have to assume that the eventual Best Picture winner will also have at least a nomination for its director, so the best bets in this category are the strongest of the Best Picture nominees. This leads me to choose former Best Director winners Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Stephen Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), and Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) as sure bets. The last slot is a bit hard to predict; David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook has done well in some categories in the other awards, but he was snubbed by the Golden Globes and the Director's Guild Awards. Given the DGA's past success in predicting this category, I'm inclined to say Ben Affleck will earn his first directing nomination for Argo

Best Actor

Locks: Bet on Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), and Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables).
Probables: John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Denzel Washington (Flight) are pretty safe guesses...
Dark Horses: ...but look out for Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) or even Jean Louis Trintignant (Amour).

Best Actress

Locks: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) seem like sure bets.
Maybes: With a fairly strong field, the rest of the slots are somewhat up for grabs, with Naomi Watts (The Impossible) leading the pack but Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), and even Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) not too far behind.

Best Supporting Actor

Locks: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Probables: Alan Arkin (Argo), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), and Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Dark Horse: Javier Bardem (Skyfall), or maybe Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables)

Best Supporting Actress

Locks: Anne Hathaway is Les Misérables's only definite acting nominee, and Sally Field Lincoln picking up her third Oscar nom.
Probables: Amy Adams (The Master) and Maggie Smith (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Maybes: Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) Dark Horse: Samantha Barks (Les Misérables)