Sunday is the big day – the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony and all the pageantry that goes along with it will finally commence. In many ways, this is like my Super Bowl; I’ve been prepping for this for months and trying to make the right calls (go see Life of Pi in the theater; wait until Cloud Atlas comes out on video) to get me closer to my goals. Next year I need to remember not to leave the foreign films and documentaries until the end; it is going to be a rough couple of days as I slog through films about sexual assault in the military (The Invisible War), the AIDS epidemic (How to Survive a Plague), a sailing journey from Peru to Polynesia (Kon-Tiki) and a bunch of documentary shorts that I’m willing to guess are not about kittens and cotton candy (now that is a documentary that should be made!). I have a lead on obtaining a copy of No, so it may wind up that the only film I don’t see before the Oscar broadcast is the documentary The Gatekeepers. I should have saved an animated feature or two for the end, just to cleanse the palate. I really could have used some Wreck-It Ralph last night after watching the story of a twelve year old African girl forced into becoming a child soldier (War Witch). These have all been worthy films, but back-to-back-to-back it is all a bit much.
Though I’m not quite done with my Oscar prep, I feel as confident as I am going to be about making some predictions. The hard part is in predicting what I think the Academy will recognize, rather than just my personal favorites. Not surprisingly, an organization comprised primarily of older white men and I don’t always see eye to eye. However, this year’s crop of nominations overall is so strong that even if I’m wrong, it would be hard for someone who is undeserving to win (unless it is Sally Field for Lincoln – she shouldn’t have been nominated, in my humble opinion).
My 2013 Oscar ballot:
Best Picture: Argo
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway
Best Director: Steven Spielberg
Best Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Best Animated Feature: Brave
Best Foreign Film: Amour
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man
Best Documentary Short: Inocente
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Best Music: (Original Score): Life of Pi
Best Music (Original Song): “Skyfall” from Skyfall
Best Production Design: Les Miseables
Best Short Film, Animated: Paperman
Best Short Film, Live Action: Death of a Shadow
Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Sound Mixing: Les Misearbles
I’m not the only person excited about the Oscars; the Internet has been abuzz with stories related to the Academy Awards over the last few days. Check out the links below to help you get in the spirit for movies’ big night on Sunday:
- Let’s get the important stuff out of the way: here’s a 2013 Academy Awards drinking game. Here’s another one. Here’s a third.
- This is ALL sorts of bulls^&t: the Oscars won’t end with the Best Picture announcement this year.
- The Daily Beast takes a peek in the Oscars swag bag given to nominees. There’s some odd stuff in there.
- Here’s the full list of Oscar presenters.
- If you love statistics – and who doesn’t – this website by a Georgia Tech grad student breaks down pretty much everything you’d want to know about the Oscars. I could spend hours on this thing.
- Want to have all the Oscar best picture nominated films spoiled for you? Watch this video:
- 17 things you need to know about Oscar host Seth MacFarlane.
- The American Humane Society recognizes outstanding animal treatment and performances on the big screen with the Pawscars. Check out the winners (and a special appearance by my pal Uggie the dog!):
- The Week had five historical Oscar controversies that you may not be aware of.
- Oscar nominated editors explain to Entertainment Weekly what it is that they do.
- Read the Oscar week diary of nominated director Michael Haneke.
- The Huffington Post has a sweet story about the fundraising that the two young stars of the live action short Buzkasi Boys did to be able to attend the Oscar ceremony (their first trip out of their country).
- Watch the best and worst Oscar acceptance speeches. Tom Hanks’ speech later inspired the film In and Out.
- The 10 worst moments in Oscar history.
- One of my favorite things about the Oscars is the episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live that airs afterward. Kimmel has already released a sneak peek of the trailer for the sequel to last year’s fake all-star movie, Movie: The Movie
- Flavorpill looks at the early (and often embarrassing) films of Oscar winning directors.
- Speaking of embarrassing, Ben Affleck’s 1993 directorial debut (I Killed My Lesbian Wife) has turned up on line, just in time for this year’s Oscars:
You’ve come a long way, Ben.
- Watch this supercut of previous Best Picture Oscar winners.
- Ever wonder what the song “I Dreamed a Dream” would sound like if sang by Gollum from Lord of the Rings? Wonder no more:
- New York Magazine has an article on what it is like when your ex is nominated for an Oscar (he’s not named, but the ex in question in the article is one of the producers on The Beasts of the Southern Wild).
- Take a peek at the actual concept art for the real Argo film project.
- Film.com looks at the top 50 Best Picture nominees….that lost
- This week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots did a rap about the Best Picture nominees
And puppies predicted who they thought would win Best Picture (the puppies were right about the Super Bowl):
- Late Night also created Oscar Bingo
- The Oscar Best Picture nominees as pie charts.
- Google put together a website for the Oscars.
- Vulture debates which Best Supporting Actor nominee will give the best speech (they are all previous Oscar winners)
- The Oscar nominated documentarian of 5 Broken Cameras was almost deported.
- Peruse a collection of foreign posters for classic Oscar winners.
- Watch the last 5 Best animated short winners.
- Kids reenact this year’s Best Picture nominees:
- NPR takes a look at the best original song category.
- Meet the Oscar models.
- Conan reviews Oscar movies.
- 10 fun facts about the Oscar statuettes.
- Mark Wahlberg, who claimed to have “insider info” last year, makes his Oscar picks.
- CNN looks at the best and worst Oscar hosts.
- Nate Silver gives his Oscar predictions.
- A collection of the worst Oscar outfits.
- Hulu presents the Fauxscars – 10 Oscar categories that don’t exist (but should).
- A new Oscar poster commemorates 85 years of Best Picture Oscars
- If all else fails, some tips on how to fake that you’re an Oscar expert.
- And finally, Anne Hathaway has proven to be easy to parody. Here’s a fake “for your consideration” ad:
And here is the “actress” singing the theme for Boy Meets World:
Who do you think will win on Sunday? Give your predictions in the comments and check in on Monday for my thoughts on the telecast.