Skip to main content

Stephen didn't have to persuade me to play Lincoln but I had to persuade him that perhaps if I was going do it that Lincoln shouldn't be a musical.


Oscar Winners 2013


I didn’t watch the Oscars ceremony. By all accounts I was lucky, as it seems Seth McFarlane went down like a bag of cold sick (although, "I would argue that the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth" is quite a good line). Bring back Letterman.

By my reckoning I go 11 picks right out of 24. Pretty piss-poor, though I make no apologies for my randomness and lack of “professional” insight.

Argo seemed to gather up an unstoppable momentum over the last six weeks or so and the Affleck director nomination snub only appeared to spur its underdog status on. My bet on Lincoln was for the Hollywood love of prestige and importance, but I probably underestimated the extent to which many found it slightly dull. That, and Spielberg fatigue. And, Hollywood loves nothing more than films that validate Hollywood (Argo makes them heroes!)

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was Christoph Waltz’s Best Supporting Actor victory for Django Unchained. I don’t think many thought a return visit to a showy, charismatic supporting part in a Tarantino film would yield further dividends and the actor seemed slightly taken aback too.


Best Picture

Winner: Argo

I called Lincoln. Clooney gets yet another Oscar in yet another category.

Best Director

Winner: Ang Lee

My guess for Spielberg proved significantly out (Lincoln went home with 2, not the 5 I suggested). Nikki Finke would have us believe the Academy hates Steven, although she’s never short of hyperbole. I’ll readily admit to not expecting Lee, mainly because he’s already bagged a statue. Although, looking at the other contenders, who’d have been next in line if Spielberg was ruled out. The other three were definitely outsiders. 

Best Actor

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

As expected by all and sundry.

Best Actress

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Again, as expected. There was some talk of Emmanuelle Riva but giving it to someone because they are old is a fickle as the same decision because they are young. It’s the Jessica Tandy factor.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Christoph Waltz

I’d settled on De Niro, although I didn’t think he really deserved it. This category desperately needs a few nominees who aren’t previous winders next time round.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Anne Hathaway

Curiously, I’d blanked that I picked Field from this field. I think it was Hathaway saturation (which, in respect of Lincoln, is considered one of the reasons for Argo’s resurgence).

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Django Unchained

This, I didn’t expect. I went for Amour; I don’t think Flight and Moonrise Kingdom ever seriously had a shot and I ruled out Django for the same reason as Zero Dark Thirty; controversy. I guess Tarantino shut my butt down there.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Argo

 I had it as the runner-up to Lincoln; it’s been accused of the same fast and loose treatment of history as ZD30 but has the benefit of obscurity and comedy.

Best Editing

Winner: Argo

My sole ZD30 pick was this one; while I did have Argo in an editing category, it was for Sound Editing.

Best Cinematography

Winner: Life of Pi

No contention here, and my pick (although I prefer the work on Skyfall).

Best Art Direction

Winner: Lincoln

Wouldn’t you know it? Of all the areas I picked Lincoln, this wasn’t one.

Best Costume Design

Winner: Anna Karenina

A fizzling adaptation as this was, the costumes were very natty (but, then, so was the Art Direction).

Best Make-up

Winner: Les Miserables

Not a lot of debate necessary for this one.

Best Visual Effects

Winner: Life of Pi

Nor this. There’s added resonance to this win, with the issues surrounding Rhythm & Hues problems.

Best Sound

Winner: Les Miserables

Didn’t see that coming. I went for Argo.

Best Sound Editing

Winner: Skyfall & Zero Dark Thirty

TWO winner and I couldn’t get either right!!

Best Original Score

Winner: Life of Pi

I found this score derivative, but it repearted its Globes success. Shame Skyfall didn’t get recognition.

Best Original Song

Winner: Skyfall

It didn’t crumb-o at the last hurdle.

Best Animated Feature

Winner: Brave

I went for the safe choice and it proved correct; Wreck-It-Ralph would have been a bit too hip for the Academy.

Best Foreign Language Picture

Winner: Amour

A shoe-in.

Best Documentary Feature

Winner: Searching for Sugar Man

It did seem most likely; popular and uncontroversial.

Best Documentary Short

Winner: Inocente

I hadn’t a clue.

Best Animated Short

Winner: Paperman

The one that had Disney marketing behind it won. Surprise.

Best Live Action Short

Winner: Curfew

Who knew?

Lincoln – 2 (I predicted 5)
Silver Linings Playbook – 1 (predicted 2)
Life of Pi – 4 (predicted 2)
Amour – 1 (precited 2)
Argo -3 (predicted 2)
Anna Karenina – 1 (predicted 2)
Skyfall – 2 (predicted 2)
Zero Dark Thirty – 1 (predicted 1)
Les Miserables – 3 (predicted 1)
Django Unchained – 2 (predicted 0)

Popular posts from this blog

You were this amazing occidental samurai.

Ricochet (1991) (SPOILERS) You have to wonder at Denzel Washington’s agent at this point in the actor’s career. He’d recently won his first Oscar for Glory , yet followed it with less-than-glorious heart-transplant ghost comedy Heart Condition (Bob Hoskins’ racist cop receives Washington’s dead lawyer’s ticker; a recipe for hijinks!) Not long after, he dipped his tentative toe in the action arena with this Joel Silver production; Denzel has made his share of action fare since, of course, most of it serviceable if unremarkable, but none of it comes near to delivering the schlocky excesses of Ricochet , a movie at once ingenious and risible in its plot permutations, performances and production profligacy.

No one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

The Matrix  (1999) (SPOILERS) Twenty years on, and the articles are on the defining nature of The Matrix are piling up, most of them touching on how its world has become a reality, or maybe always was one. At the time, its premise was engaging enough, but it was the sum total of the package that cast a spell – the bullet time, the fashions, the soundtrack, the comic book-as-live-action framing and styling – not to mention it being probably the first movie to embrace and reflect the burgeoning Internet ( Hackers doesn’t really count), and subsequently to really ride the crest of the DVD boom wave. And now? Now it’s still really, really good.

People still talk about Pandapocalypse 2002.

Turning Red (2022) (SPOILERS) Those wags at Pixar, eh? Yes, the most – actually, the only – impressive thing about Turning Red is the four-tiered wordplay of its title. Thirteen-year-old Mei (Rosalie Chiang) finds herself turning into a large red panda at emotive moments. She is also, simultaneously, riding the crimson wave for the first time. Further, as a teenager, she characteristically suffers from acute embarrassment (mostly due to the actions of her domineering mother Ming Lee, voiced by Sandra Oh). And finally, of course, Turning Red can be seen diligently spreading communist doctrine left, right and centre. To any political sensibility tuning in to Disney+, basically (so ones with either considerable or zero resistance to woke). Take a guess which of these isn’t getting press in reference to the movie? And by a process of elimination is probably what it it’s really about (you know in the same way most Pixars, as far back as Toy Story and Monsters, Inc . can be given an insi

I can’t be the worst. What about that hotdog one?

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) (SPOILERS) It would have been a merciful release, had the title card “ The End ”, flashing on screen a little before the ninety-minute mark, not been a false dawn. True, I would still have been unable to swab the bloody dildoes fight from my mind, but at least Everything Everywhere All at Once would have been short. Indeed, by the actual end I was put in mind of a line spoken by co-star James Wong in one of his most indelible roles: “ Now this really pisses me off to no end ”. Or to put it another way, Everything Everywhere All at Once rubbed me up the wrong which way quite a lot of most of the time.

We’ve got the best ball and chain in the world. Your ass.

Wedlock (1991) (SPOILERS) The futuristic prison movie seemed possessed of a particular cachet around this time, quite possibly sparked by the grisly possibilities of hi-tech disincentives to escape. On that front, HBO TV movie Wedlock more than delivers its FX money shot. Elsewhere, it’s less sure of itself, rather fumbling when it exchanges prison tropes for fugitives-on-the-run ones.

Well, something’s broke on your daddy’s spaceship.

Apollo 13 (1995) (SPOILERS) The NASA propaganda movie to end all NASA propaganda movies. Their original conception of the perilous Apollo 13 mission deserves due credit in itself; what better way to bolster waning interest in slightly naff perambulations around a TV studio than to manufacture a crisis event, one emphasising the absurd fragility of the alleged non-terrestrial excursions and the indomitable force that is “science” in achieving them? Apollo 13 the lunar mission was tailor made for Apollo 13 the movie version – make believe the make-believe – and who could have been better to lead this fantasy ride than Guantanamo Hanks at his all-American popularity peak?

He's not in my pyjamas, is he?

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) (SPOILERS) By rights, Paul Mazursky’s swinging, post-flower-power-gen partner-swap movie ought to have aged terribly. So much of the era’s scene-specific fare has, particularly so when attempting to reflect its reverberations with any degree of serious intent. Perhaps it’s because Mazursky and co-writer Larry Tucker (also of The Monkees , Alex in Wonderland and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! ) maintain a wry distance from their characters’ endeavours, much more on the wavelength of Elliott Gould’s Ted than Robert Culp’s Bob; we know any pretensions towards uninhibited expression can’t end well, but we also know Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice have to learn the hard way.

He’ll regret it to his dying day, if ever he lives that long.

The Quiet Man (1952) (SPOILERS) The John Wayne & John Ford film for those who don’t like John Wayne & John Ford films? The Quiet Man takes its cues from Ford’s earlier How Green Was My Valley in terms of, well less Anglophile and Hibernophile and Cambrophile nostalgia respectively for past times, climes and heritage, as Wayne’s pugilist returns to his family seat and stirs up a hot bed of emotions, not least with Maureen O’Hara’s red-headed hothead. The result is a very likeable movie, for all its inculcated Oirishness and studied eccentricity.

I think World War II was my favourite war.

Small Soldiers (1998) An off-peak Joe Dante movie is still one chock-a-block full of satirical nuggets and comic inspiration, far beyond the facility of most filmmakers. Small Soldiers finds him back after a six-year big screen absence, taking delirious swipes at the veneration of the military, war movies, the toy industry, conglomerates and privatised defence forces. Dante’s take is so gleefully skewed, he even has big business win! The only problem with the picture (aside from an indistinct lead, surprising from a director with a strong track record for casting juveniles) is that this is all very familiar. Dante acknowledged Small Soldiers was basically a riff on Gremlins , and it is. Something innocuous and playful turns mad, bad and dangerous. On one level it has something in common with Gremlins 2: The New Batch , in that the asides carry the picture. But Gremlins 2 was all about the asides, happy to wander off in any direction that suited it oblivious to whet

We could be mauled to death by an interstellar monster!

Star Trek Beyond (2016) (SPOILERS) The odd/even Star Trek failure/success rule seemed to have been cancelled out with the first reboot movie, and then trodden into ground with Into Darkness (which, yes, I quite enjoyed, for all its scandalous deficiencies). Star Trek Beyond gets us back onto more familiar ground, as it’s very identifiably a “lesser” Trek , irrespective of the big bucks and directorial nous thrown at it. This is a Star Trek movie that can happily stand shoulder to shoulder with The Search for Spock and Insurrection , content in the knowledge they make it look good.