I didn’t do a “Best” list at the end of 2012 for two reasons. First, being in Las Vegas, I hadn’t seen all the films that I wanted to. Second, I really don’t like those kinds of lists. They’re interesting to read, but if you ask me my favorite film or restaurant or TV show, I usually cannot name on that is the very best. So, I decided to wait until I’d seen the movies and it was closer to Oscar time to put together a “year’s best” list. Below are the categories in which I am interested and knowledgeable enough to choose.
Best Picture: I loved Argo and Django Unchained. Lincoln was very absorbing and Silver Linings Playbook was so very well done. I would be happy if any wins the Oscar, but I think Argo will. Academy voters don’t go for Tarantino films, although they’ve awarded the actors. Zero Dark Thirty was, I believe, boring and too free with facts — Is it possible that a 30 year-old CIA agent recruited out of high school was in charge of finding Bin Laden? The last half-hour was well-done but the rest? No.
Best Director: Props have to go to Ang Lee for The Life of Pi and his vision is so laudable, but that film deserves all the available technical/editing awards. I believe Ben Affleck (Argo) and Quentin Tarantino (Django) are worthy of the award but neither was nominated. Benh Zeitlin made a terrific movie in Beasts of the Southern Wild, but it probably didn’t do well enough at the box office to get him the award.
Actor in a Leading Role: Since the year’s best performance — John Hawkes in a remarkable performance as a man confined to an iron lung in The Sessions, wasn’t even nominated, I don’t much care, But I’d guess that Daniel Day-Lewis will win. Or Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook. Or Hugh Jackman )Les Misérables) All excellent but none as good as Hawkes.
Actress in a Leading Role:. My vote is for Naomi Watts in The Impossible. A stunning performance. In Silver Linings Playbook Jennifer Lawrence also did a great job. Either one is deserving.
Actor in a Supporting Role: I hope Christoph Waltz gets it for Django. But I wouldn’t be upset if any of the nominees won.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Looks like Anne Hathaway will win for Les Misérables. That’s fine she was very good.
Foreign Language Film: Amour
Costume Design: Anna Karenina;
Original Song: Undoubtedly Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth will win for Skyfall.
Adapted Screenplay: Argo or Lincoln
Original Screenplay: Since Looper wasn’t nominated, I’d say Moonrise Kingdom should win.
In all, it was an odd, mixed year and the nominations, too, were odd and mixed. Too much worthy work went unrecognized by the Academy. Hopefully 2013 will be better but, thus far, it’s not.