The Oscars, Analysed, Best Original Screenplay


Now off to the Best Original Screenplay category, where again competition is rife.

The Nominees:   Michael Haneke  ‘Amour’;  John Gatins  ‘Flight’;  Quentin Tarantino  ‘Django Unchained’;  Mark Boal  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’  and  Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola  ‘Moonrise Kingdom’.

Again, quite a lineup. Quiet a great set of nominees, maybe John Gatins script for ‘Flight’ can be omitted, I liked flight but I thought it didn’t contain anything overly special, and most of the depth came from Washington’s performance.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s script of ‘The Master’ should have been there, though. ‘The Master’ got no love from the awards syndicates, and I did expect director and picture snubs, but thought it would be a contender for best original screenplay, but ‘Flight’ got that nod, to my amazement.


Who Should win: Anybody but ‘Flight’. I still don’t know who out of the four other scripts is the best, maybe ‘Amour’ or ‘Django Unchained’, but then again ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ were excellent pieces of writing as well. So really, for me, Any of the four nominees apart from ‘Flight’ are worthwhile winners.


Who Will win: Not sure about this either, but will probably be Quentin Tarantino for ‘Django Unchained’. He hasn’t won an oscar since Pulp Fiction, which is 20 years ago nearly, so the Oscars will want another appreciation of him. And It would be deserved, In my opinion. I won’t be surprised if ‘Amour’ wins though, the Oscars are loving this little French gem from Michael Haneke.

Yazen Al Samen

The Oscars, Analysed, Part Three


My deconstruction of this year’s academy awards continues with the Best Supporting Actor category.

The Nominees: Robert De Niro  ‘Silver Linings Playbook’;  Philip Seymour Hoffman  ‘The Master’; Alan Arkin  ‘Argo’; Christoph Waltz  ‘Django Unchained’ and  Tommy Lee Jones ‘Lincoln’.

This year’s nominees for this category are all previous Oscar winners, and are all worthy winners of this year’s award. Naturally,  there are snubs, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio for “Django Unchained”,  also favourites of mine were Jason Clarke for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, James Spader for ‘Lincoln’ or even Dwight Henry for ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ and Javier Bardem for ‘Skyfall’. In short, to say this is heavily contested is an understatement.


Who should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman  ‘The Master’. Astounding performance from Hoffman, who can argue he had a lead role, playing the writer/psychiatrist/nuclear physicist/cult leader who is facing his toughest challenge yet. I think it is one of the best performances of the year, in any category, and he must win in my book. All the nominees are sold though.


Who will win: Tommy Lee Jones ‘Lincoln’. I’m going out on a limb here, most pre-Oscar awards have been favouring Waltz for the win, and he really does seem a shoe in. But, I think the Oscar will go to Lee Jones. Lincoln will probably be favoured more by the academy and Lee Jones’ role as an abolitionist with a secret motive will probably fascinate the voters, as it fascinated me

Yazen Al Samen

The Oscars, Analysed


I’m writing a specific, category by category, look at this year’s Oscar nominees and likely winners. This is year is most certainly one of the most interesting and open years in quite a long time. Yours truly has picked 11 categories, the big 11, and they are Picture, Directors, the 4 acting categories, the 2 script categories, plus Cinematography, Editing and Musical Score.

So, to start with, our first category, Best Original Score:

The Nominees:  Dario Marinelli for ‘Anna Karenina’,   Alexander Desplat for ‘Argo’,   Mychael Danna for ‘Life Of Pi’,   John Williams for ‘Lincoln’   and   Thomas Newman for ‘Skyfall’.

The Best Score category has a solid set of nominees, but there is some snubs. While Thomas Newman’s rehashing of the Bond theme for ‘Skyfall’ was good indeed, I doesn’t  warrant a nomination. I thought Alexander Desplat’s work for “Zero Dark Thirty” required more attention. Maybe the Academy didn’t want to nominate him twice in the category because of ‘Argo’, but even then I’d prefer ‘ZD30’ to ‘Argo’. More importantly, Radiohead’s guitarist Johnny Greenwood’s score of ‘The Master’ was even a bigger snub, and before the nominees it was my favourite to win. But, as already said, a pretty good set of nominees.


Who should win: Mychael Danna  ‘Life of Pi’. Out of the nominees, this is by far the best in my opinion. It evokes the film’s profound themes and fantastical approach to adapting the novel. However, I won’t be terribly sad if Alexander Desplat won for ‘Argo’.

Who will win: Mychael Danna  ‘Life of Pi’. Awards wise, Mychael Danna has been getting the attention in this category, and I think the Oscars will follow suit. The only real upsetter I can see is Desplat for ‘Argo’.  John Williams’ work for ‘Lincoln’ is good but I think the Oscars won’t consider him as he is already a well worn out winner in this category.

Yazen Al Samen