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Feb. 24, 2013

SCO picks the Oscars

by Richard Chen, Online Opinions and Entertainment Editor
Tonight marks the 85th Academy Awards, recognizing the very best of film in 2012. Here is how I think the awards will play out.

Which film is most likely to take home the Oscar for Best Picture?
  • Argo
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Lincoln
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Other (comment below)
Discuss this Poll
Best Picture: Lincoln
If I were to have it my way, I would make "Django Unchained" the best picture of the year. However, the group that chooses the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, usually has a strong bias towards very serious, emotional films with grave tones. In the past decade, movies such as "Crash," "No Country for Old Men," "The Hurt Locker," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, which I think are all great films, but could use more variation in sense of style. Even though I don't personally think "Lincoln" is the best picture of 2012, it's the film that it seems like the Academy would select. It's historical. It has drama. It's dark. It takes itself seriously. It seems perfect for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Do I think the Oscars are flawed? Not necessarily. After all, it's impossible to tell a movie's objective greatness through the subjective viewpoint of everyone's different tastes in movies – but that gets into a different issue. I won't be that mad if "Lincoln" wins, because I do think it is a great film. I just wish more people should show some love to "Django." Remember, it's not about what movie you think is the best. It is what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thinks is the best. If it isn't Lincoln, then it is most definitely Argo.

Best Director: Ang Lee
My choice for Best Director was not an easy one. To begin, movie directors do much more than simply guiding the actors in their lines and the technical crew in the cinematography; they oversee the artistic aspects that give their film a tone and creative aspects that give their film flair. They singlehandedly have the most important job in the movie, since they are the ones that are envisioning what the end product will actually look like. As much as I love Steven Spielberg, I have to commend Ang Lee for his tremendous work in "Life of Pi." Whereas Spielberg has to work with a historical profile of Abraham Lincoln and illustrate the emotional strife that character goes through, Lee had to emotionally connect a boy and a tiger on a shipwreck in their search for a deeper meaning in life. Because most of "Lincoln" relied on Daniel Day-Lewis's performance, I don’t think Spielberg had very much on his plate to work with relative to the Lee and his grandiose vision. Both directors had excellent visions for their film and both directors executed them perfectly. Lee just had a slightly more compelling one.

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln." Courtesy of Breitbart
Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln."
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis
"The cat will mew and the dog will have his day." – Hamlet. After two paragraphs of a slightly negative bias towards "Lincoln," you'll get to hear one of the reasons why I think it is very great. Two words (one hyphenated): Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis spent nearly a year preparing for this very role, reading over 100 books on Abraham Lincoln to capture his mindset and his ideology. He worked with makeup artists to develop a physical likeness to Lincoln, as well as adopting the manners and the behavior of him. His persistence in capturing Lincoln broke through on the film set with Spielberg, as he put on one of the best performances of all time of a historical character. It's going to be hard for any actor to top Daniel Day-Lewis.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence
To my chagrin, I didn't think much of Jennifer Lawrence after seeing "The Hunger Games." It was a nice movie, but I didn't really feel anything from her until I saw "The Silver Linings Playbook," which truly wowed me. She puts on an excellent performance as the endearing yet outspoken Tiffany Maxwell that has a surprising amount of depth. She convinced me that she can win Best Actress.

Christopher Waltz in "Django Unchained." Courtesy of NY Daily News
Christopher Waltz in "Django Unchained."
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Waltz
As an actor, Christopher Waltz slightly polarizes Daniel Day-Lewis in that where Day-Lewis tries to adhere to perfection, Waltz is just totally unpredictable and chaotic. In one moment he'll be smiling and asking for a beer and in another moment he'll nonchalantly shoot the bartender and politely pay for his drink. Nothing about him ever adds up, which makes him such a treat to watch. What's more is that he has a strange manner of carefully articulating every word he speaks as if he knows what the other character is thinking at the moment, making him also a very dangerous and cunning character. He also loves embracing a method of acting called the Meisner technique that further adds to his enigmatic character. What's more to be said? Waltz was a fantastic in "Django Unchained" and deserves the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Tommy Lee Jones is a strong contender for the Academy Award as well, so for those of you who liked him in "Lincoln," I wouldn't count him out just yet.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway
To be blunt, it's most definitely Anne Hathaway. From the moment I saw the trailer of "Les Miserables" and Hathway pouring her heart out into her role as Fantine, I knew she was going to sweep a million awards for her performance. People love drama and emotion and Hathway brought it full force in "Les Miserables." Many tears were shed when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream;" I know I did. Manly tears.

Read More: Method, not madness

Best Animated Feature Film: Wreck-It Ralph
I really don't know what people see in "Brave." It's a very good film, but it plays it incredibly safe. It's the typical outspoken princess that seeks to break away from her duties and look for a world of adventure. Ironically, even though it tries and breaks stereotypes, it also follows stereotypes. The last half was where it got truly exciting; however, it wasn't consistent all the way through. "Wreck-It Ralph," on the other hand, is bursting from all sorts of creative directions as itembraces the untapped, rich cultures of video games. "Wreck-It Ralph" also follows the pattern of a person wanting to break away from his duty to look for something more meaningful, but it's put in the colorful, invented universe of an arcade machine that feels a million times more refreshing than a castle and some rural hills. I wish "Wreck-It Ralph" wins Best Animated Feature Film and here's to hoping it does.

Other Predictions:
Best Production Design: Les Miserables
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
Best Documentary (Short): Open Heart
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Foreign Film: Armour
Best Makeup: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Best Original Score: Life of Pi
Best Original Song: Skyfall
Best Sound Editing: Life of Pi
Best Short Film (Animated): Paperman
Best Short Film (Live Action): Undecided
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained



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  • richarrddd <33 on February 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM
    "Many tears were shed when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream;" I know I did. Manly tears." D'awwww :'))
  • Need more reviews on February 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM
    Why didn't SCO review any of the good, classic movies like the ones mentioned here? Would have been more worthwhile than reviewing things like the new zombie movie or twilight.
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