Sunday, May 26, 2024

An Oscar Guide for Academy Members: Countdown to January 3rd


The days are winding down to January 3rd, and the deadline for Oscar nominations ballots.

In 2012, we had too many good movies, and not enough great ones. But we had a surfeit of excellent work, to be sure. I’ve chosen 10 best films, but there were more. I would include several non fiction films on a best of list, like “Searching for Sugar Man” and “The Gatekeepers.” But we’ll leave those for the documentary category.

Picking one Best Picture isn’t easy in 2012. “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables” are big achievements. What about “Life of Pi”? Beautiful 3D but a little bit off the mark. “Argo” is a taut drama, but somehow it lacks individual moments. “Zero Dark Thirty’ is great, but it also many question marks surrounding it. Why embellish when you’ve got so much to work with? The Best Picture usually goes to the movie with the most heart– “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist,” “Slumdog Millionaire” fit that bill. “The Hurt Locker” was an exception to the rule, but it was pointedly topical.

“Silver Linings Playbook” may not be everyone’s choice. But it’s a charmer. It also deceptively brilliant moments, and little twists and turns that are unexpected. It’s a dramedy, too–a rare mixture of many successful ingredients. David O. Russell also gave us the single movie with a real beating heart. In the end, that always wins. When you give the audience a real lump-in-the-throat feeling, unmanipulated, that’s movie magic.


Best Film
1. Silver Linings Playbook
2. Argo
3. Lincoln
4. Les Miserables
5. Django Unchained
6. Zero Dark Thirty
7. Flight
8. The Intouchables
9. The Master
10. Skyfall

Best Actor
1. Daniel Day Lewis-Lincoln
2. Denzel Washington-Flight
3. Hugh Jackman-Les Miz
4. Christoph Waltz*_Django Unchained
5. Bradley Cooper-Silver Linings Playbook
6. John Hawkes-The Sessions
7. Jamie Foxx-Django Unchained

*some may put Waltz in supporting, but I think that’s a lead performance


Best Actress
1. Jennifer Lawrence-Silver Linings Playbook
2. Jessica Chastain-Zero Dark Thirty
3. Marion Cotillard-Rust & Bone
4. Helen Mirren-Hitchcock
5. Naomi Watts-The Impossible
6. Meryl Streep- Hope Springs

Best Supporting Actor
1. Robert DeNiro-Silver Linings Playbook
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman-The Master
3. Tommy Lee Jones-Lincoln
4. Leonardo DiCaprio-Django Unchained
5. Eddie Redmayne-Les Miz
6. Alan Arkin-Zero Dark Thirty
7. Javier Bardem-Skyfall

Best Supporting Actress
1. Anne Hathaway-Les Miz
2. Sally Field-Lincoln
3. Amy Adams-The Master
4. Jennifer Ehle-Zero Dark Thirty
5. Nicole Kidman- The Paperboy
6. Judi Dench-Skyfall

Best Director
1. Steven Spielberg
2. David O. Russell
3. Tom Hooper
4. Quentin Tarantino
5. Ben Affleck
6. Kathryn Bigelow

7. Paul Thomas Anderson


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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