Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oscar Race 2013

So!  It's been awhile I know.  I actually have three (count 'em) THREE movie posts I'm working on simultaneously.  Prepare for serious posting.  But in the midst of this, I wanted to comment on the early noise I'm getting for the 2013 Academy Awards.

I'm not sure what it is this year, but I'm feeling very disconnected from the films popular this year.  I saw Avengers, like most of the population, but other than that haven't really felt the pull.  I was shocked, however, to quickly scan a list of those movies in contention, only to realize that not only had I not seen them, I hadn't even heard of them!  Not even the trailers!  Nada.

Okay, well that's not completely true.  I knew Les Miz would be coming out, and of course there was The Dark Knight Rises.  But otherwise I, completely shocked, stared at the list with some misgiving.  What were these movies?  Was I really that disconnected?  And finally, why did they all have such weird names?

I immediately began Googling, watching trailers, getting "up" on the movie info.  And I started compiling a list.  Because even though I usually end up seeing most of these movies in February---it might be nice to get a head start.  I finally gave myself a pass when I realized most of these were yet to be released.  That's not my fault...right?

According to my new favorite site,, here are are the current possibilities (ranked in order of votes from top critics), along with their release dates, descriptions (from IMDB), and my initial comments.  Any takers?

1.  Silver Linings Playbook - November 21, 2012
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
I'm going to reserve judgement and get behind Bradley Cooper as a serious actor.  I am.  More excited about Jennifer Lawrence, because, as my good friend just said, "it's nice to know our generation has produced one non-crazy, non-crack addict actress."

2.  Argo - October 12, 2012

As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.
I  want to see this!  Funny/Serious/Wacky.  Ben Affleck nonwithstanding.  Lets hope he doesn't ham it up too much.

3.   Lincoln - November 16, 2012
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Alright Spielberg.  Stop Oscar pandering.  I didn't like it when you did it with War Horse so stay away from the Civil War.  That goes for you too Daniel Day-Lewis!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I thought you were better than this.

4.  Les Miserables - December 25th, 2012

An adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel set in 19th-century France, in which a paroled prisoner named Jean Valjean seeks redemption.
Yay!!! YAYYYY!!!!!  Now I just have to convince my boyfriend to go with me.  Okay so it's a four hour musical about the French Revolution....

5.  Zero Dark Thirty - December 19, 2012

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy SEAL Team 6 in May, 2011.
Eh, not sure.  Osama bin Laden?  Too soon?  But hats off to Kathryn Bigelow for nailing down her own niche.
6.  The Master - September 14, 2012

A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
Decidedly less yay than Les Mis.  Joaquin and Philip be straight cray.  However this one may be straight up the boyfriend's alley.

7.  Life of Pi - November 21, 2012
The story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper's son who finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean. 
Never read the book so I can't be one of those that raves--but I'm sure it's interesting.  I've just never been really interested in the coming-of-age-young-boy-on-an-island thing.

8.  Beasts of the Southern Wild - June 27, 2012
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
Cool/Interesting/Weird.  I'm definitely down, especially with the whole non-actor thing they have going on.  And it definitely fills a niche for the Academy.

9.  Django Unchained - December 25, 2012
With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. 

Oooo!  I've got chills.  A Tarantino flick with Jamie Foxx, Leo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington.  Yes, please.  Besides, how many other times can you use the phrase "slavery caper"?

10.  Anna Karenina - November 9, 2012

Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.
Oh god, Tolstoy.  It's just so...cold! So...Russian.  You just know it's going to end miserably.  At least Chekhov is short.

11.  Flight - November 2, 2012  
An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.
I'm expecting the predictable Denzel role.  Yelling, speeches, stopping trains, etc...however I am intrigued by what Zemeckis brings to the table.

12.  Moonrise Kingdom - May 25, 2012 
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.
Wes Anderson, Coppola, Bill Murray, and you know where this is going.  I may still watch it based on the fact that it takes place on Cape Cod in the 60's.

And then there are the B-listers...But still a possibility!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - December 14, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises - July 20, 2012
Amour - October 5, 2012
Promised Land - December 28, 2012
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - May 4, 2012
End of Watch - September 21, 2012 
The Impossible - December 21, 2012
Hitchcock - November 23, 2012
The Sessions - October 19, 2012
Cloud Atlas - October 26, 2012