Thoughts on the 2013 Oscar nominations

January 10, 2013
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First, let me be clear that the Oscars don't matter a whole lot.

Except that they become a part of movie history. And they inspire some folks to get out and see some good movies. And they are one of the only television events that I look forward to every year.

Sure, the arts shouldn't be a horse race. But once a year, it's fun to meld culture and competition, especially when so many people have an experience with the form. Translation: It's very difficult to find people who care passionately about, say, the Tony Awards because so few people--at least here--have seen the work. And it's difficult to care about the Emmy Awards because a) there are so many categories and b) people gravitate toward the shows they like.

And so, with the 2013 Oscar nominations less than an hour old, here are some observations/opinions:

--It's a hoot that a Simpson's flick was nominated for Best Animated Short. But there it is: "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare.'"

--Best Production Design could be the toughest category this year--although you may well be going to the rest room when it's aired. The nominees: "Anna Karenina," "The Hobbit," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," and "Lincoln." I'll go with "Anna Karenina" but I doubt if the Oscar will.

--The worst song in "Les Miserables" is the one written for the movie. Of course, "Suddenly" landed a nomination for Best Original Song.

--I don't think even sound editors know the difference between Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

--"Moonrise Kingdom" gets only one nomination--for Best Original Screenplay. And that it was.

--The snubs pundits will be talking about the most will be Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigalow not getting noms for the two military infiltration flicks "Argos" and "Zero Dark Thirty." (Congrats to those who won tickets to the Jan. 10 screening of the latter. Thanks for reading IBJ.)

--Much will be made of the Best Actress category having both the youngest and oldest nominations ever. And I'm sure someone in Hollywood is already planning a Lifetime Original Movie starring Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis.

--Naomi Watts is very good in "The Impossible" and I wish I had pushed for her in the Indiana Film Journalists awards this year.

--Helen Hunt is the lead actress in "The Sessions," not supporting actress (as she is nominated). Ditto for Sally Field in "Lincoln."

--My favorite films of the year not to get any nominations: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Starry, Starry Night," and "Safety Not Guaranteed."

What about your Oscar nomination observations?

--

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  • Incomplete
    I haven't seen Lincoln, but Bradley Cooper's acting in Silver Linings Playbook was pretty amazing I felt. I have a totally different view of his abilities as a result of this effort. And I think the movie itself is much more thoughtful and deeper than most critics or users reviews I have seen give it credit. I have seen a few reviews that call it a romantic comedy...I'm a knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing wrench-turner...and to me there was nothing 'romantic comedy' about it.
  • Mixed Bag
    The shows nominated this year each seem to be flawed to some degree. The attraction for me is who acted in them. Tommy Lee Jones made Lincoln for me. And Hugh Jackman carried Les Miserables (even if the purists did not like his singing. My favorite of the non-nominees was The Late Quartet with Christopher Walken. I wasn't bothered by the fact many classical musicians were offended by the movie.
  • Heartland Films
    Congratulations and a testament to Indianapolis's Heartland Film Festival, three Oscar nominated films were selected and shown during 2012's festival: Documentary Short "Inocente", Animated Short "Head over Heels", and Action Short "Buzkashi Boys".

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