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2013 Oscar Nominations – a few Spooool.ie thoughts

lincoln has been nominated for 12 Oscars, including Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis who may win his record-breaking third oscar.

If you live in a cave and can only visit one site (Spooool.ie) on your 56k modem then you may not know the 2013 Oscar nominations came out today.  It’s a big deal. Here they are and here are our thoughts – we take turns!

Our own dual-citizen record-breaker? Lincoln is on top of the pile with 12 nominations, if Daniel Day-Lewis wins he’ll become the first man to have three Best Actor statuettes. He was born in London but is a proud Wicklow resident and holds passports for both countries but we’ll be claiming him as our very own on the morning of Monday February 25th. Also his eyes in the picture above make us both feel pretty inadequate. (Nigel)

Best Picture numbers: So the Oscars continue with the silly tradition that they started back in 2009 where they have more than the traditional five films for Best Picture. Since they started this the director of the Best Picture winner has also always won his/her category. So that means you can rule out Argo, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained from having any real chance of picking up Best Picture. The move to ten nominations always seemed a very stupid stunt and merely money grabbing as there are more films that will now benefit from a “Nominated for Best Picture Oscar” tag on their posters. (Páraic)

Perks of Being a Wallflower: I had Stephen Chbosky down as a definite nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay but instead the category is now just a poor man’s set of Best Picture nods – Lincoln, Argo, Beasts, Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. Perks was our favourite of the year and yet sadly never seemed to gain any awards traction since debuting in Toronto in September. The screenplay categories have always been good at honouring work that wasn’t quite deserving of a Best Picture nod – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, In The Loop, Margin Call, Another Year in recent years – but seemingly not this year save for the presence of Moonrise Kingdom in Original Screenplay. (Nigel)

Amour: A foreign language film has never won the Best Picture category though they have been nominated three times before, the last time in 2000 with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Amour is also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film which means if it wins Best Picture it would have to win Best Foreign as how can it be one without the other? A pointless waste in my opinion. (P)

Ireland’s knack of producing nominated short films: Kerry woman Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly’s Head Over Heels has nabbed a nomination in the Best Animated Short Film category. She produced the film and shares the nomination with director Timothy Reckart. The announcement continues Ireland’s trend of having an interest in the shorts category with last year’s eventual winner of the Best Live-Action Short The Shore being nominated alongside Pentecost, both of them Irish productions. Alas it seems unlikely too many people will get the see Head Over Heels before awards night, with Fodhla herself saying that the film would be playing at festivals this year but only available to view online next year. D’OH. (N)

The Master: No credit for Best Picture or Best Director is disappointing especially when it gets Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The film was unquestionably about Scientology and the evils contained within it – has this hampered its chances with many Hollywood types being card carrying members? (P)

Jack Black and Matthew McConaghey: A Best Actor nomination for Black was always an incredible longshot but me and Roger Ebert thought it could just happen. Alas it didn’t and the world’s ignorance to the brilliance of Bernie will continue. Worse still, one of his co-stars in that film Matthew McConaghey was an outside bet for Magic Mike but that didn’t happen either. (N)

Beasts of the Southern Wild: The most over-rated film of 2012 without question (review if you didn’t see it first time round). If you are honestly trying to say 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis is the best female performance of the year then there is something seriously wrong with the craft of acting at the moment. (P)

Poor old Mr. Affleck and Ms. Bigelow: Yes the snubs that everyone is talking about. Two of four dead certs for Best Director in my book (Spielberg and Lee the other two)  left off the list. Everyone in Hollywood seemed to like Argo, but it seemed to peak very early “oscar-buzz” wise with it leading the pack back in September and October. Meanwhile Z.D.T. won lots of critics awards but the questions over the film’s apparent promotion of torture seems to have lost it points with some voters. (N)

Animated Feature: Great to see Frankenweenie getting a shout out and quite surprised to see Pirates! which is certainly the worst Aardman production for quite some time. (P)

Documentaries: The shortlist is 80% films I haven’t seen yet but I think the Academy missed a trick by leaving This is Not a Film and Ai Weiwei off the list with appearances from their subjects – Iranian and Chinese dissenters – at the ceremony sure to have made headlines across the world. Instead they seem to have gone big on Israel with 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers leading the pack(N)

Roger Deakins: The man is up for his 10th Oscar nomination in Cinematography, this time for the beautifully shot Skyfall. He was even up twice back in 2008 for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men ultimately losing out to There Will Be Blood, so hopefully this will be his year. Or maybe he’s cursed. (P)

Release dates and screeners: Our biggest pet peeve around this time of year is the staggered international release schedules with Irish audiences yet to see four of the nine nominated Best Pictures. Admittedly Les Mis (Jan 11th), Django (Jan 18th), Lincoln (Jan 25th) and Z.D.T. (Jan 25th) are all out within the next fortnight, but it still takes some of the sheen off nominations day when you’re yet to have the opportunity to watch these critically lauded films with an audience. What adds to the problem is the presence of countless screeners of these films online, meaning you could feasibly watch most of them in varying degrees of quality at home. This isn’t the way that we should be getting our first exposure to the year’s best films he said from the top of his high horse. (N)

Adele: Good to see a decent tune in the Original Song category and Adele seems pretty unstoppable in her career achievements. It’s bound to be be a fantastic live performance if she gets the opportunity. (P)

The Hobbit got as many nominations as The Master: I just find this fact really funny. (N)

So lots of  snubs and shocks but it will no doubt be six weeks filled with bookies taking oodles of bets as we all try to bag a winner. Look out for our podcast at the end of February when we’ll be doing an Oscar preview, let’s  hope we have more of an idea of the front runners by then – seems to be Lincoln at this early stage. The race is on!

The Oscars take place at 1am GMT on Monday 25th February and will be broadcast live on Sky Movies with an edited version of the show airing on RTE the following night.

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Nigel

Nigel loves stupid films almost as much as he likes clever films. He'll watch anything but is usually drawn to documentaries, North American independent films, Irish cinema and gung-ho, balls-to-the-walls Hollywood blockbusters. Here's what he's been watching.