The Oscars – The Winners

Oscars2013-620x350Best Picture – Argo 

Best Actor – Daniel Day Lewis, ‘Lincoln’ 

Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ 

Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Waltz, Django Unchained 

Best Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway, ‘Les Miserables’ 

Best Director – Ang Lee, ‘Life of Pi’ 

Foreign Language – ‘Amour’ 

Best Adapted Screenplay – Chris Terrio, ‘Argo’ 

Best Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino, ‘Django Unchained’ 

Best Animated Feature Film – ‘Brave’ 

Best Production Design – ‘Lincoln’ 

Best Cinematography – ‘Life of Pi’ 

Best Sound Mixing – ‘Les Miserables’ 

Best Sound Editing (tie) – ‘Skyfall’, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ 

Best Original Score – ‘Life of Pi’, Mychael Danna

Best Original Song – “Skyfall” from Skyfall, Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

Costume – ‘Anna Karenina’ 

Best Documentary – ‘Searching for Sugarman’ 

Best Documentary (short subject) – ‘Inocente’ 

Best Film Editing – ‘Argo’ 

Make up and Hairstyling – ‘Les Miserables’ 

Best Animated Short Film – ‘Paperman’ 

Best Live Action Short Film – ‘Curfew’ 

Best Visual Effects – ‘Life of Pi’ 

The Oscars, Analysed, Best Picture


And so, down to the big one. Best Movie of the year.

The Nominees: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’;  ‘Django Unchained’;  ‘Life Of Pi’;  ‘Les Miserables’;  ‘Amour’;  ‘Argo’;  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’;  ‘Silver Linings Playbook’  and  ‘Lincoln’

Last year was such a great year for films that this category could’ve easily gotten twenty movies. By now I think my dislike for ‘Les Miserables’ is obvious, and I’m far from the only one, but it’s still the kind of movie that the academy likes (Long, historicial, famous actors, singing), but at the same time, it has its fair share of followers and admirers, among both audiences and critics. The Academy surprised us with the nomination for ‘Amour’, and it’s a good surprise I must add. It also got a director nomination. So in a whole, the set of nominees is rather excellent and well chosen. Well done, the Academy.

But of course, there are snubs. My favourite of last year’s, ‘The Master’, got ignored, and as much as I expected it to happen, it still disappointed me, I was kinda waiting for a “Tree Of Life” moment like last year. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, ‘Flight’, ‘The Sessions’ and blockbusters like ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ are all well-received that had a chance of a nomination. For me, though, since you can have ten nominations, I would’ve loved the Oscars to just include ‘Skyfall’ on the list. Instead of ‘Les Miserables’ would’ve been even better, but that would’ve never happened. ‘Skyfall’ shattered expectations and raised the bar, and also got a crap load of money. It’s movies like ‘Skyfall’ the Academy expanded its Best Picture nominees to up to ten instead of five

life-of-pi-movie-imageWho Should Win: Well, this is  my personal opinion and my favourite from that list is ‘Life Of Pi’, ‘Amour’ is as good as “Life Of Pi” so that winning would make me go on cartwheels. I loved movies like ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, so I won’t be too sad if they won.

Who Will Win: I have no idea. Well, I do but I’m not entirely sure. Let’s start eliminating, I don’t think ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ and ‘Les Miserables’ will win. ‘Amour’ got plenty of love in general but a Best Picture win might be too far for the Oscars. That leaves 6 films, and all of them have chance, as minute as it can, in winning this. ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ don’t have a director’s nomination, and they haven’t exactly swept the Oscar season with wins, so I’d be surprised if neither wins. ‘Life Of Pi’ might dominate the technical categories, and some academy voters might ward to the story, but it’s not Oscar bait enough in my book to win it, and it also faired averagely at awards shows.  That leaves ‘Argo’, ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. And all three have a chance.

I predicted three months ago that this is gonna be between ‘Argo’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and it was going to be only those until the Oscars dropped the bombshell and snubbed Ben Affleck for best director. Usually best director wins best picture, and I can see Spielberg winning there, so ‘Lincoln’ is the frontrunner here. David O. Russell’s win at the BAFTAs for Adapted Screenplay gives a strong case for ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and “Argo”’s domination in all awards shows still gives it quite a chance despite its best director snub. And so I’m left with a headache.


But I’ll have to make a call, and my call would be ‘Lincoln’. The movie has gotten so much love in America, and it is basically a blockbuster there, and it is exactly the kind of move the Oscars love to honour, and it is quite an amazing film, so I’ll be more than happy.

Yazen Al Samen

The Oscars, Analysed, Part Five, Best Cinemtography


Next up on my list is the always fascinating category of Best Cinematography.

The Nominees:  Janusz Kaminski  ‘Lincoln’;  Claudio Miranda  ‘Life Of Pi’;  Robert Richardson  ‘Django Unchained’; Roger Deakins  ‘Skyfall’  and  Seamus McGravey  ‘Anna Karenina’.

Like with most categories this year, all 5 nominated works are great. But of course, snubs are abound, and no snub baffled more this year than the one ‘The Master’ got in this category. Filmed in 65mm by Romanian Cinematographer Mahai Malaimaire Jr., the first film since Hamlet (1996) to use 65mm. The film looked gorgeous on the screen, with its lavish, wide landscapes and perfect period details (The film has been snubbed in the Art-Direction category, strangely as well).

Other visually masterful films this year include ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’, ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Cloud Atlas’, who all could’ve been nominated. But the final 5 provide healthy competition, still.


Who should win: Claudio Miranda  ‘Life Of Pi’. Last year, Robert Richrdson (who’s nominated this year) won deservedly for “Hugo”.  I think this year another 3D film, the best of them all, deserves to win for best Cinematography. The film was visual pleasure, and the way it utilized colours, the medium of water and the lighting used to illuminate the water tank that was used in the movie is a complete work of art. The images from this film are ridiculously beautiful. Having said that, for sentimental reasons, I wouldn’t mind seeing Roger Deakins take it for ‘Skyfall’, after all, he is due an Oscar (He should’ve won in 2010 for ‘True Grit’).

life of pi

Who will win: I’m unsure about this, I think the Oscars gave it a 3D film last year, so are they open to giving it to another one this year? I think they might look favourably over films like ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Lincoln’ here, or even ‘Django Unchained’, and I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Lincoln’ did win, but Miranda’s work for ‘Life Of Pi’ is good it’s hard to ignore. So ‘Life Of Pi’ it is.

Yazen Al Samen