academy awards nominations

85th Academy Awards Nominees and Winners (2013) | Jamie Daily

[This was originally posted on January 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm.]

If you have missed it, here is the rundown for the 2013 Academy Awards.

Best Picture
Amour (nominees to be determined)
Argo (Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald)
Django Unchained (Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone)
Les Misérables (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Machintosh)
Life of Pi (Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark)
Lincoln (Steven Speilberg, Kathleen Kennedy)
Silver Linings Playbook (Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon)
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison)

Best Actor In a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincolin)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)

Best Actress In a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Best Actor In A Supporting Role
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Best Actress In a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Animated Feature Film
Brave (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman)

Frankenweenie (Tim Burton)
ParaNorman (Sam Fell, Chris Butler)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Peter Lord)
Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina (Seamus McGarvey)
Django Unchained (Robert Richardson)
Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski)
Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina (Jacqueline Durran)

Les Misérables (Paco Delgado)
Lincoln (Joanna Johnston)
Mirror Mirror (Eiko Ishioka)
Snow White and the Hunstman (Colleen Atwood)

Best Director
Amour (Michael Haneke)
Beast of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
Lincoln (Steven Speilberg)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)

Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi)
The Gatekeepers (nominees to be determined)
How To Survive a Plague (nominees to be determined)
The Invisible War (nominees to be determined)
Searching for Sugar Man (nominees to be determined)

Best Documentary Short
Inocente (Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine)

Kings Point (Sari Gilman, Jedd Wider)
Mondays at Racine (Cynthia Wade, Robin Honan)
Open Heart (Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern)
Redemption (Jon Alpert, Matthew O’Neill)

Best Film Editing
Argo (William Goldberg)

Life of Pi (Tim Squyres)
Lincoln (Michael Kahn)
Silver Linings Playbook (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers)
Zero Dark Thirty (Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg)

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour (Austria)

Kon-Tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Hitchcock (Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane)
Les Misérables (Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell)

Best Music–Original Score
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Lincoln (John Williams)
Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

Best Music–Original Song
“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice (Music and Lyric by J. Ralph)
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted (Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane)
“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi (Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri)
“Skyfall” from Skyfall (Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth)
“Suddenly” from Les Misérables (Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil)

Best Production Design
Anna Karenina (Sarah Greenwood, Production Design; Katie Spencer, Set Decoration)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dan Hennah, Production Design; Ra Vincent and Simon Bright, Set Decoration)
Les Misérables (Eva Stewart, Production Design; Anna Lynch-Robinson, Set Decoration)
Life of Pi (David Gropman, Production Design; Anna Pinnock, Set Descoration)
Lincoln (Rick Carter, Production Design; Jim Erickson, Set Decoration) 

Best Short Film–Animated
Adam and Dog (Minku Lee)
Fresh Guacamole (PES)
Head Over Heels (Timothy Reckart, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly)
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” (David Silverman)
Paperman (John Kahrs)

Best Short Film–Live Action
Asad (Bryan Buckley, Mino Jarjoura)
Buzhashi Boys (Sam French, Ariel Nasr)
Curfew (Shawn Christensen)
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw) (Tom Van Avermaet, Ellen De Waele)
Henry (Yan England)

Best Sound Editing
Argo (Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn)
Django Unchained (Wylie Stateman)
Life of Pi (Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton)
Skyfall (Per Hallberg, Karen Baker Landers)
Zero Dark Thirty (Paul N.J. Ottosson)

Best Sound Mixing
Argo (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Jose Antonio Garcia)
Les Misérables (Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Simon Hayes)
Life of Pi (Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill, Drew Kunin)
Lincoln (Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Ronald Judkins)
Skyfall (Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Stuart Wilson)

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White)
Life of Pi (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott)
Marvel’s The Avengers (Jenek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick)
Prometheus (Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, Martin Hill)
Snow White and the Huntsman (Cedric Nicholas-Troyan, Philip Brennan Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson)

Best Writing–Adapted Screenplay
Argo (Chris Terrio)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin)
Life of Pi (David Magee)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)

Writing–Original Screenplay
Amour (Michael Heneke)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Flight (John Gatins)
Moonrise Kingdon (Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola)
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)

The list can be viewed on the official Oscars website.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012
1/5 Stars
Nominated for 3 awards.
Nominated for Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Bridget O’ConnorPeter Straughan).
Watched January 12, 2013.

All of the reviews I have read about this film make me love Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but watching the film myself, I was seriously unimpressed with the majority of it.  I have not read the book and I have not watched the 1979 BBC mini series and therefore have never encountered this Cold War story of British Intelligence before.  Perhaps if I had I would be more of a fan, but as it stands, I saw a lot of great actors in a film that I struggled all 128 minutes to connect with.


Perhaps if the version I had watched had better sound I would have found it more easy to follow.  Once I had a slight grasp of the film’s plot, I spent the rest of the running time trying to catch up.  I am a huge fan of films that stretch your mind and make you think.  A predictable plot can be entertaining, but a true plot twist that comes out of left field is something I greatly admire.  Tinker Tailor, on the other hand, was so quiet, and slow, and difficult to understand that I was unable to admire any of the genius that earned its nominations and instead wished I was doing anything but watching this particular movie.


Once I realized that the film was about a mole within MI6, and Gary Oldman who plays a man named George Smiley is rehired out of “retirement” (he was fired) to discover who it is, it was much more easy to follow.  Knowing this, however, did not make the rest of the viewing go by with ease.  There is a lot of secrecy and a few instances where Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) has to sneak into MI6 that are supposed to be suspenseful.  I didn’t know it was about the Cold War and I certainly didn’t know it was supposed to be placed in 1970 until Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) showed up with his long hair.  These things could have been mentioned at one point or another in the film, but clearly I missed them.  In fact, the best bits of the film were with Ricki, who is Tinker Tailor’s version of James Bond, without all of the fancy cars and sex.


All in all, I am a great fan of Gary Oldman and can’t believe it took the Academy this long to recognize him with a nomination.  Perhaps one day, if I see a better version of the film I will have more admiration for it, but as it stands, I would not recommend it.  If you generally disagree with my advice, however, it might be a good one for you to watch, and afterwards tell me why I am wrong.


Sources: That Film GuyIMDBRotten TomatoesThe GuardianJohn Likes Movies

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012
4/5 Stars
Nominated for 3 awards.
Nominated for Art Direction (Stuart CraigStephanie McMillan), Makeup (Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin), and Visual Effects (Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, John Richardson).
January 3, 2013.


Save 2012, I have read the Harry Potter books every summer since my fifteenth birthday.  I am one of those people who reads all of the books before the next movie comes out, dresses up as Hermione, and goes to stand in line for the midnight premier before most people get off work.  I own the first four books in paperback and all of their bindings are taped and glued and will soon require rubber bands.  I own the remaining three books in hard back because I picked them up at midnight the day they were released.


What can I say about a film and a series that has been so near and dear to my heart for almost a decade?  I didn’t quite grow up with it–I think I didn’t see the first film until I was fifteen because there had previously been a lot of stigma about reading a book about witches and wizards in my community.  I didn’t even know who Harry Potter was until the fourth book came out and it was on the news.  How could such a famous book have three before it and I had never heard of it before?  After watching the first film, however, I was hooked and never went back.


I am a fan.


However, I have always felt as if the films were a let down.  Such is the curse of knowing the books too well.  When something as “small” as the color of Harry’s eyes is done incorrectly, the whole world shatters and one loses faith in the filmmakers.  When the actors that have been chosen to play the three main characters are pretty near hopeless in front of the camera, there is something wrong.


Despite their flaws, the Harry Potter films are always worth watching in my opinion.  In fact, because I haven’t read the books in a longer time than usual, I might appreciate them more.  One of the biggest things that endears them to me still is the fact that we watched Harry, Ron, and Hermione grow up on screen.  Just as they grew into the people J.K. Rowling intended them to be right before our eyes, the actors who played them grew in their skills and understanding of the characters so much that they are acted as if they are one in the same.  By the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, I can hardly think of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe, because they don’t exist any more.  They have embodied their characters so well that no one else in the world could ever be Harry, Ron, and Hermione.


The two Deathly Hallows installments are on a completely different level from the films before them.  From an artsy, character study, true to the book sort of aspect, I preferred the first installment.  However, from an action, well adapted, very visually cinematic sort of aspect, I thought that part two did the book extreme justice and am incredibly pleased with it as the last film.  For the first time out of all eight films, all loose ends are tied, all plot lines are closed, and Voldemort is finally finished.  There is no cliffhanger or promise of more adventures next year.  There is promise that life and love will go on, but we are given a glimpse of that life and then our Harry Potter journey is complete.  Though bitter sweet, I can’t believe that it could have been done much better.


The beginning of the film is slightly abrupt due to the fact that we jump right in after part one.  The initial conversations to establish the rest of the film are a bit slow, quiet, and tedious, and for those who haven’t read the books they are a bit confusing.  Once the trio gets up and begins searching for horcuxes again, however, the pace picks up immediately and it is a non-stop ride until the end of the film.


If you don’t know what a horcrux is, it is an object that contains a bit of someone’s soul and therefore the person to whom the soul belongs is unable to die.  Voldemort believes that seven is the most powerful number and has made himself as many horcuxes, which means it has taken Harry, Ron, and Hermione exactly two and a half movies to track all of them down.


Through the heavy complexity of J.K. Rowling’s last book, this film is lighter in its story and is drawn much more to the visual action sequences.  I appreciated the wordless communication of much of this film, and indeed the most powerfully moving sequence involving Snape’s past needed little narration to be so brilliant.  The acting is superb and all of the adult supporting cast is at their best, again mentioning Alan Rickman, but also Maggie Smith whose line “I’ve always wanted to use that spell!” was my favourite in the film.


What was adapted so well and true to the book in part one was done equally well in the second.  Many might disagree because the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort was quite altered, but I actually believe that the added elements were, one, more cinematic, and two, more realistic.  I actually found that part of the book a bit of a let down, and was pleased that movie-Voldemort puts up such a good fight.  After all, he is a brilliant wizard, despite how he has misused his genius.


All in all, I would count both parts one and two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to be among my favourite movies, and although I would not quite as readily vouch for the six movies preceding them, I would recommend movies seven and eight to anyone.  Please see them, buy them, own them, and love them!  The end has come, but for the next generation it has yet to begin!



Sources: New UniversityColliderIMDBRotten TomatoesNY TimesThe GuardianJohn Likes MoviesCinema SightsPicturenose

Saving Face (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

Saving Face (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012.
5/5 Stars.
Nominated for 1 award, which it won.
Won Best Documentary Short (Daniel Jungo, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy).
Watched January 1, 2013.


Saving Face is about 40 minutes long, which is a bit more than I had bargained for when I originally sat down to watch it.  Don’t worry husband, I said.  It’s only a short, I said.  We can watch something else when I’m done, I said.  But after waiting for it to load and then watching through it, our night was spent, poor guy.  Not poor me, on the other hand.


First of all, I will refresh your memory and say that documentaries are my passion.  I am a videographer by trade and am pursuing a career in documentary editing.  Instead of being more critical of documentaries, however, I can find little fault so far in the nominated films I have watched, Saving Face being among them, and very deserving of its win.


It was created by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and is about the ever growing pool of victims in Pakistan who suffer burn scars resulting from acid attacks.  About 100 acid attacks are reported every year, and even more go unreported.  Usually it is women who are attacked, and usually by someone they know, such as a father, uncle, husband, brother, or even, as one woman reported, a man who was refused her hand in marriage.  Some women are attacked when they are children, many women are attacked while they are sleeping, and some are even attacked by their mother-in-law.  They all have to live with scars that not only disfigure their faces, but “ruin their lives.”  The longer the scars go untreated, the more painful and debilitating they can become.


Saving Face follows two main women, Zakia and Rukhsana.  Zakia was being abused by her husband and when she went to seek a divorce from him, he stopped her outside the building and threw acid on her.  The entire left side of her face, including her eye, is destroyed.  She was so ashamed by it that she would not leave the house without covering her head and face completely–sunglasses and all.  She had her husband sent to jail and took him to court.


Rukhsana’s story is devastating.  Her husband threw acid on her, her sister-in-law threw gasoline on her, and her mother-in-law lit a match and set her on fire.  When she left them, she could not support her children, and thus she was forced to make amends with them.  In tears, she shows us how her family has built a brick wall (literally) between her and her children and she cannot see them any more.


Another plot line of the documentary follows Dr. Mohammad Jawad, a Pakistani plastic surgeon who practices in London, but comes back regularly after hearing about the acid attacks.  He is equally devastated by the stories he hears from the women, and after speaking with Rukhsana he removes his glasses and covers his eyes.  He is very literally saving the faces of these women by spending hours in the operating rooms helping restore a bit of what they once had so that they can continue to heal emotionally.


Their stories are terrifying as well as infuriating.  Zakia is a strong example for her son and daughter, both of whom wear their love and respect for their mother clearly on their faces.  Her son is grown and he walks with her almost everywhere she goes, and is with her as she prosecutes her ex-husband, who denies ever having thrown the acid.


There is justice and there is sadness in this documentary.  It is very touching, and shows a glimpse into a culture you might not know much about.  This of course does not define all of the Pakistani people, but it is an awful part of it that their government is working to correct.


I would definitely recommend that you watch this film.  If you want to see some women kicking butt and being a strong example for their children, this is the documentary to watch.


Sources: IMDBNakedge FilmsSharmeen Obaid FilmsThe GuardianAbu Dhabi Film Festival

Jane Eyre (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

Jane Eyre (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012
4/5 Stars
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Costume Design (Michael O’Connor).
Watched December 30, 2012.

I have never been a big fan of Jane Eyre.  I think it stems back to my childhood when I was terrified of everything.  Not much has changed for me in that department, and therefore I very rarely seek out a film with excessive suspense or with a horror undertone, such as Jane Eyre.  The classic piece of literature by Charlotte Brontë has been interpreted into film countless times, and the fact that the book is so well loved makes many in the audience forgive the redundancy of its remakes.  However, how can a director possibly make something new out of such a classic?  It is hardly worn out, and yet there are only so many ways you can depict plane Jane and her dashing costar heartthrob/bad boy Rochester.


I can’t remember much from the other Jane Eyre films that I have seen–just that they all seemed very dark and rainy and that a lot of scary things happened in the house.  I did of course remember the source of the scary happenings, and thus I was able to watch this film with little fear, even though I couldn’t exactly recall what was about to happen next.


Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is a typical heroine at first description, but her continued presence shows you how much of a novelty she really is and how she has possibly shaped the very idea of feminism itself.  She had strength, even as a child, and had to endure such oppressions that her triumph in spite of them is a sure testament to her character.


Orphaned at a young age, she is sent to live with her aunt, who despises her and sends her off to a girls’ school the first chance she gets.  This is your typical boarding school where dropping a slate in class results in public humiliation, and girls are constantly being hit with a stick.  I appreciated that in this rendition of the film, they did not dwell heavily on her mistreatment in either her aunt’s home or the school.  They showed enough that we understood, but did not draw it out and then call it entertainment and drama.


Once she is grown, the story is a bit confusing to me.  They show much of the film in flashback form.  The beginning of the film is of Jane wandering the moor in a state of extreme sadness, whereupon she finds herself at the door of a pastor (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, who take her in and care for her.  I did not remember this part of the story in the least bit, and because it jumped around a bit, I wasn’t exactly sure who was who or what was going on until quite a ways into the film.  For someone who can’t even recall if I had to read the book for school, let alone the basic plot line, I think it is safe to say that I came at this film pretty blind, and upon finding the opening timeline difficult to follow, felt that this is a definite problem in the scripting department.  It is possible that they created the film under the pretext that everyone has read the book, but clearly, those of us who are pretty sure that we haven’t are going to have a difficult time sorting things out until Jane gets to Thornfield and the real meat of the story begins to happen.


Thornfield is the home that Jane moves to after leaving her school at the age of 18.  She is to be a governess to a pretty French girl and it is here that she falls in love with dashing and abrasive Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).  Although they are in completely different social standings, Jane’s upbringing had a likelihood of being in contact with very few men and thus she falls quite hard, quite fast.  Although he tests her wit in a very rude manner on their first two meetings, she succeeds quite well in responding and his interest is peaked.


The chemistry between Wasikowska and Fassbender is palpable–similar to that between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  It is their performances that really make the film.  They bring much to their characters, and although much context is given to them to perform, they do it extreme justice.  I am led to believe that the novel is narrated by Jane, but the film is not, and thus Wasikowska was left the difficult task of communicating pages and pages of her character’s thoughts on only her face.  Their performances are especially good in the proposal scene, which was my favourite by far in the film.


If you haven’t seen Jane Eyre, have not read Jane Eyre, or know little to nothing about it, I will say no more about the plot and how certain aspects were handled.  There was one exchange involving a white dress and then a shocking revelation that seemed very rushed and was a slight let-down (and if you know the story, I hope you understand the reference).  However, the costume design and acting were all top notch and if you have the two hours to spare, I would certainly recommend that you watch yet another rendition of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece.


Sources: Very Jane AustenJane Austen Film ClubIMDBRotten TomatoesNY TimesThe GuardianCinema BlendJohn Likes Movies