Best Documentary Short:
Can't comment on, haven't seen or heard about any of them
Best Live Action Short:
Ditto, South Africa needs to jack up plans to bring these to deep, dark Africa.
Best Animated Short:
I've only seen one of them, twice actually, and it was so beautiful! Paperman is able to take you on such a relatable journey, adding their dose of magic to a love story. The animation is unique and making most of the film in black and white helped The Artist win an award last year (you know, a few little trinkets), which i think helps Paperman stand out amongst the competition. I'm planning to view Head over Heals today though, so i'll let you know if that alters my opinion...
Best Documentary Feature:
Although i haven't seen any of them, several people i have spoken to regard Searching for Sugarman as the best of this lot. However, South African's do have a slight bias seeing as though our country is featured in the film. There's also a large amount of internet buzz for this film, not to mention it has already won a few of the major precursors (BAFTA, Critics Choice, Special Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance last year). How to Survive a Plague is also incredibly compelling (again, so I've heard), but Sugarman should take this.
Best Original Song:
Okay, so with Skyfall winning the Golden Globe for its title song, many would think that this is in the bag for Adele. yet, i can't seem to shake the feeling that the Academy is going to do something incredibly stupid this year (like they did last year with Man or Muppet - but that's a whole 'nother post all on its own), i feel like Ted could get this, and maybe even Suddenly. I'm rooting for Skyfall, but don't feel comfortable betting on it to win.
Best Sound Mixing:
- Argo – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, and Jose Antonio Garcia
- Les Misérables – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, and Simon Hayes
- Life of Pi – Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill, and Drew Kunin
- Lincoln – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, andRonald Judkins
- Skyfall – Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, andStuart Wilson
Both Sound categories are tricky (heck, i have know idea what was intended to be heard and and blotted out, mixed together and balanced properly), however, I do think that Les Mis and Skyfall are stand outs here, along with possibly Argo. In the end I think if Argo gets Best Picture, its gonna need other awards to provide backing as to what makes it the Best Picture. if not, I'm backing Les Mis.
Best Sound Editing:
- Argo – Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
- Django Unchained – Wylie Stateman
- Life of Pi – Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
- Skyfall – Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
- Zero Dark Thirty – Paul N. J. Ottosson
Argo, Skyfall and Pi, feature in both categories which I think gives them a leg up. In the end I'm going with Skyfall (because I'd really hate to see them walk home with nothing if Ted wins song).
Best Visual Effects:
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and R. Christopher White
- Life of Pi – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, and Donald R. Elliott
- Marvel's The Avengers – Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, and Dan Sudick
- Prometheus – Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, and Martin Hill
- Snow White and the Huntsman – Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould, and Michael Dawson
If the Academy is looking for a film which best integrates the real with the unreal, then they'd go with Prometheus or The Hobbit. If they're looking for a special-effects-driven commercial film, then they'd go with Snow White or The Avengers, but The Academy is the Academy, and i feel as though Pi is a few strokes ahead of its competitors. Although some of the visuals are quite noticeably unreal, they way the film was able to tell an incredible story utilising the many advances of visual effects in recent years the way Martin Scorsese and David Fincher used them for Hugo and Benny Button, tells me that Pi is almost certain to win (a Best Picture nomination, solid usage of 3D and over 500 million at the box office don't hurt its chances either).
Best Make up and Hairstyling:
- Hitchcock – Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, and Martin Samuel
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, and Tami Lane
- Les Misérables – Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
Let's ask ourselves an important question here: why is Hitchcock even here? Last time i checked anyone could put on a prosthetic nose and a fat suit and it wouldn't be considered marvelous film-making, but then again i haven't managed to see the film yet (it's due out in SA within the month). The Hobbit (like Benny Button) is able to blurr the boundaries between what is make up and what is special effects, which actually may work as a disadvantage. In terms of realistic make up, Les Mis wins, if its pushing the boundaries of what could be done with a brush, please voters, give it to The Hobbit!
Best Costume Design:
- Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran
- Les Misérables – Paco Delgado
- Lincoln – Joanna Johnston
- Mirror Mirror – Eiko Ishioka
- Snow White and the Huntsman – Colleen Atwood
I'm just discarding Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman straight off the bat because, if I'm honest, i really did not like either of them enough to give them ANY award (sorry costumers, but great job anyway). I'd like to say Les Mis, or Lincoln because of the sheer mass of costumes and detailing that went into producing them - heck, Mary Todd's ball gown was replicated from scratch - beads, buttons and ugly frilly things in between. But i have a feeling Anna Karenina will sneak in here and walk away out the back door with an award in hand.
Best Production Design:
- Anna Karenina – Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, and Simon Bright
- Les Misérables – Eve Stewart and Anna Lynch-Robinson
- Life of Pi – David Gropman and Anna Pinnock
- Lincoln – Rick Carter and Jim Erickson
This is one impressive category, which could really go 20/20/20/20/20. In the end i feel like whoever gets costume design will get Production design as well. however, I'm hoping for The Hobbit to come out from the back row of the theatre and collect.
Best Foreign Language Film:
Do we even need to debate this one? Amour is nominated for four other awards including Best Picture... (BUUUUUT The Academy does some stupid things, and many people could say that Amour's many nominations, award them automatically? - Stranger things have happened)
The other awards to be posted by the end of the week (I say this with great hope and faith in my horrid time management skills)
Peace, Love and Other Things