And the Baggy goes to…
Oscar nominations came out today. I don’t know why I love the Oscars so much, but I do. It’s mostly just a bunch of rich folks patting each other on the back, while pretending that they actually work for a living. I think it has something to do with the mixture of art and competition. And like MVP awards and Hall of Fame inductions, I love the arguments they inspire. How comedies never get their due from the voters.
How certain people are loved by the committee while others are continuously spurned. And should box office success matter, or simply the art? I love it all. So, here are the winners of this year’s Baggy Awards.
Okay, let’s skip all the technical awards. You know that Life of Pi and The Hobbit are going to battle for them. The Dark Knight and Cloud Atlas got no respect whatsoever. And The Avengers will complain about being snubbed. Deal with it. And all the costume and set awards will go to Les Miserables because nobody saw Anna Karenina.
(Side note: best movie critique this year in ten words is The Hobbit: Lord of the Rings, episode 1 — The Phantom Menace. Oooo, burn.)
Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke, Amour; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained; John Gatins, Flight; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom; Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty.
The Baggy goes to: Moonrise Kingdom. Because it was written by Anderson (who’s more original than him?) and Francis Ford Coppola’s son. But the Oscar will go to Zero Dark Thirty for turning a CNN news feed into a watchable movie.
Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild; David Magee, Life of Pi; Tony Kushner, Lincoln; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook.
The Baggy goes to: Perks of Being a Wallflower! Psych! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Hey, it was much-loved book adapted and directed by the author. Seems like a no-brainer. Plus, you know, the Ft. Pitt tunnel. But no perks from Oscar. The Oscar will probably go to Lincoln, with Silver Linings as a dark horse.
Animated Feature Film: Brave; Frankenweenie; ParaNorman; The Pirates! Band of Misfits; Wreck-It Ralph.
The Baggy goes to: I have no idea because I saw none of these. I could care less, really. I’ll go with Brave because I heard the most buzz about that, with Wreck-It Ralph a close second. But no love for Rise of the Guardians?
Directing: Michael Haneke, Amour; Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Ang Lee, Life of Pi; Steven Spielberg, Lincoln; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook.
Note: Year after year, no other category is as controversial as this one. Oscar continues to lavish awards on movies while ignoring the director. The worst oversight was when two rookie actresses were nominated for The Color Purple (Oprah and Whoopie) but director Steven Spielberg wasn’t even nominated. Guess the girls did it all on their own. This year is no different. What a weird list this is. Ben Affleck (Argo) gets nothing. Former winners Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) Tom Hooper (Les Mis) get nothing. Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) gets nothing while three of his actors get noms. And what about Quentin DTarantino (the D is silent) and Christopher Nolan?
The Baggy goes to: with no real competition, Spielberg wins his third directing Oscar, and his first Baggy.
Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master; Sally Field, Lincoln; Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables; Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook.
Note: This was a much better year for the dudes than the chicks. Much meatier roles. Just sayin’.
The Baggy goes to: Hathaway cleans up. She ripped my heart out in that movie. I have no idea how you go to where she did as an actress and still sing, all while having your long hair cut off by an extra. Helen Hunt is the dark horse, but Hathaway better win.
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Argo; Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook; Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master; Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln; Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained.
The Baggy goes to: Full disclosure here, I haven’t seen The Master or Django. That said, this is probably the most competitive category. I loved Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. He had a great speech and some great lines, but he was really just being Tommy Lee Jones up there. Same with Waltz, from the scenes I’ve seen. I would have rather seen DiCaprio get the nom from that movie, but whatever. Oscar loves Hoffman, and DiNiro was great in Silver Linings, but I’m going with Arkin in Argo. Hollywood loves stories that poke fun at their industry. Plus, they often use categories like this to give “lifetime achievement” nods to veteran actors like Arkin.
Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook; Emmanuelle Riva, Amour; Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Naomi Watts, The Impossible.
(see note under Supporting Actress)
The Baggy goes to: This one seems wide open. Early money says that Chastain wins as a nod to Zero Dark Thirty without having to award a movie that glorifies torture. But my award goes to Lawrence. I really liked Silver Linings and thought she and Cooper were stellar. Best performance of the year wasn’t nominated: Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone. So, whatever.
Actor: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook; Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln; Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables; Joaquin Phoenix, The Master; Denzel Washington, Flight.
The Baggy goes to: This really isn’t fair. Affleck wasn’t nominated. Denzel put in the best work of his career. Same for Phoenix and Cooper. But going up against Daniel Day-Lewis is like going up against Michael Jordan. (Speaking of Magic Mike, ladies, what say you about no McConaughey here?) Day-Lewis is just in another league. Once again, the only acting performance that could have given him a run for his money wasn’t even nominated: John Hawkes in The Sessions.
Best Picture: Amour; Argo; Beasts of the Southern Wild; Django Unchained; Les Miserables; Life of Pi; Lincoln; Silver Linings Playbook; Zero Dark Thirty.
The Baggy goes to: First, I love that Beasts and a French film made the list, but come on. It just seems like things are set up here for Mr. Lincoln to finally have a good night at the theater. (Too soon?) Snubs to Bigelow, Affleck, Hooper, and Tarrentino tell me that Oscar is not totally into their films this year. And I have to say, a quality movie about Lincoln (sans vampires) was long overdue. I’ve always thought it weird that America’s story is the classic underdog tale, but there’s never been a good movie about Lincoln, Washington, or all the Founding Fathers. Now, there is one about Lincoln, and it will reap the awards.
Tell me where you disagree.