Today is Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It is no surprise Lincoln leads with 12 Oscar nominations

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The extraordinary Life of Pi was nominated for 11 Oscars, and Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook received eight nominations each. Considering Les Miserables is nominated in categories such as Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design, given its nature, you can lock it in for winning those awards.

Spielberg is absolutely capable of taking home Best Director. The other films nominated for Best Director include some non-mainstream releases such asMichael HanekesAmour andBenh ZeitlinsBeasts of the Southern Wild. Also nominated in the category isAng Leefor Life of Pi andDavid Russellfor Silver Linings Playbook.

Jones has a steep hill to climb to beat outPhillip Seymour Hoffmanfor the latters role in The Master as both are nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Honestly, if it werent for Day-Lewis, both Phoenix and Hoffman would be easy winners in the Actor categories. Hoffman should take this award hands down though.

Without getting into every single nomination, I am surprised to see a number of names left off the list, particularly in terms of Directing and Best Picture nominees.

Zero Dark Thirty premiers in our community today, although it was actually released in some markets and to professional critics in December. Given reviews for the film, despite some controversy, I am shocked to see DirectorKathryn Bigelowleft off the nominees, given that Zero Dark Thirty is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay.

Bigelow hit the scene big in 2008 with The Hurt Locker, a phenomenal film that won Best Picture and earned Bigelow Best Director that year. Its rare for a film to be nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Picture and find the Director missing a nomination.

Same goes to poorBen Affleck, Director of Argo. Earlier in the year when that film debuted, it was treated as a homerun, even though there were several other films left to come out that would obviously challenge it. Argo is also nominated in the two other major categories, Best Picture and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

I will be writing a review for Zero Dark Thirty tomorrow, but having seen Argo in theaters, I can say with confidence that Affleck got snubbed.

Shockingly enough, The Master was not nominated for Best Picture and Writer/DirectorPaul Thomas Andersondidnt receive a single nomination for writing or directing. While I am on record as stating Master was the second-best film in 2012, I will admit Im not too surprised about the lack of nominations for Anderson, but I am surprised the film wasnt mentioned for Best Picture.

Truth be told, it was carried by the unbelievable performances of its two lead actors, Phoenix and Hoffman, but the film was outstanding in its vision. The Master had trouble finding a production company that would back it, and received criticism for its apparent criticism of Scientology, whether intended or not. Im not sure if that had any effect on its nominations. I dont think Life of Pi or Argo were better films.

The Master was not written better than There Will Be Blood (2007) or any of Andersons other films, and while I still think Blood is a better film, its by a razor thin margin. I think at least Master deserved to be a Best Picture nominee.

The 85th Academy Awards are held on Sunday, Feb. 24, and from now until that time, I will catch the films nominated for Best Picture that I didnt get to see in theaters. Thankfully, after seeing Zero Dark Thirty last night, I will only have four of the nine to catch and most of those werent released in our area.

Ill be making my predictions and picks in the next month, but I can tell you right now, Lincoln absolutely deserves one award (Best Actor) and probably deserves two others, at least (Best Director and Best Picture).

As I could not see the film until after deadline for this edition, check here for my review of Zero Dark Thirty.

Editor Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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