So, 10 days to go till the big night, and what a race its shaping out to be (in some categories). While critics and Oscarologists are pretty much handing Argo a statue for Best Picture, other categories are wide oopen. Let's have a looksee:
Best Picture (with their total nominations attacted):
Life of Pi (11)
Les Miserables (8)
Silver Linings Playbook(8)
Django Unchained (5)
Zero Dark Thirty (5)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (4)
First off, its great to see such a rich category of BP nominees. The last two years we've had the outliers of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Blind Side with only two nominations (one being BP). This year, even those on the low end of nominations have huge pluses with screenplay and directing nods to back them up, which tells, no, screams at the public that if there was ever a time to be watching films, its now!
Also, there is such a variety of films, everything from musicals to Tarantino and History to modern History, there truly is something for everyone here.
I still haven't managed to see Les Mis or Amour, and Zero Dark Thirty was only released in SA this morning. Out of those that i have seen, my favourite are in this order: Pi, Beasts, Argo, Django, Lincoln (which may move up to first after a second viewing), Silver Linings.
All stand out because of varying attributes, Pi for its visuals blending so beautifully with its story, Silver Linings for its actors, Lincoln for its sheer epic nature and attention to detail, Beasts for its ability to capture poetry on film, and Argo for being able to capture both the critics and the worldwide audience (having a well-known actor behind the camera and another beloved actor producing seriously doesn't hurt its appeal either!).
From what I've heard from the other three, Les Mis was incredible in its capturing the essence of musical theatre for the screen, Zero Dark Thirty is another Bigelow masterpiece and Amour not only pulls at the heart strings, but yanks at them with a chainsaw, which we as art house lovers consume with the guilty pleasure of a chocolate sundae!
So who wins?
If you were to randomly select a date from Mid October to now, you would notice the front-runner has changed several times, with Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Mis, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook each getting their chance to test out the top spot (even Beasts got a chance when it won at Sundance a year ago). I honestly don't think I'd mind ANY of these wining the top prize... except for the now front-runner, Argo! I saw it again last week, and having LOVED it the first time, I find myself still thinking its a great film, but not THE Best Picture of 2012. That belongs to a film with greater craft, appeal, story, visuals, greater... SOMETHING, other than the fact that your producers are famous and know all over the world.
There's bound to be an upset in one category this year, because of all the talent. Here's hoping that one shows up in the big category, and instead of people going "OMG!, that sucks!!! *cough cough, Crash* people around the world will be cheering! The Oscar race will have returned to some reasonable sense of honour and reality...