ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
ANNA KARENINA - Dario Marianelli
ARGO - Alexandre Desplat
LIFE OF PI - Mychael Danna
LINCOLN - John Williams
SKYFALL - Thomas Newman
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
"BEFORE MY TIME" - Chasing Ice - Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
"EVERYBODY NEEDS A BEST FRIEND" - Ted - Music by Walter Murphy, Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
"PI'S LULLABY" - Life of Pi - Music by Mychael Danna, Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
"SKYFALL" - Skyfall - Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"SUDDENLY" - Les Miserables - Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
If the original score list looks familiar, that might be because it's the same five scores nominated by BAFTA yesterday (it's also the same five scores I predicted for the nomination late last month). This year's list marks the first two nominations ever for Mychael Danna -- "Pi's Lullaby" is the film's opening title music. There's a particular degree of poetic justice for those nominations, since the last feature that Danna and director Ang Lee collaborated on was Hulk, where Danna was replaced at the last minute by Danny Elfman. Marianelli is receiving his third nomination -- all three for Joe Wright films; Desplat is receiving his fifth; Thomas Newman his 11th. Skyfall is only the second James Bond score to receive a nomination -- the last one was Marvin Hamlisch's The Spy Who Loved Me, which was also the only other time a Bond score was up for both score and song. Lincoln is the 48th nomination for John Williams, as if he weren't already the most nominated living person.
"Skyfall" is the first nominated Bond song since "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981, which was the last nomination whatsoever for a Bond film until now -- Skyfall received five nominations, a record for the series. The Chasing Ice song (sung in the film by Scarlett Johansson) was written by J. Ralph, who scored Lucky Number Slevin but has largely specialized in documentaries, writing the "heist music" for Doc Feature winner Man on Wire and the score for another winner in that category, The Cove. Seth MacFarlane's nomination for the Ted song (sung over the opening credits by Norah Jones) continues the James Franco tradition of the Oscar host also receiving a nomination.
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
AMOUR - producer 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 MISERABLES - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI - Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womak
LINCOLN - Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - Donna Gigliotto, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon
ZERO DARK THIRTY - Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
Amour is the big surprise of the bunch -- it may be (deservedly) criticially acclaimed, but it's rare that a foreign language film makes it into this category, and great as it is, it's not exactly audience friendly in a Crouching Tiger or Life Is Beautiful way. There were only six surfire nominees in the category -- Argo, Les Mis, Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings and Zero. I'd thought Beasts might be too artsy/indie and Django too trashy to get in, but they both trumped Moonrise Kingdom and Flight, which I'd thought had better shots at those slots (the latter two films ultimately earned a total of three nominations between them). Les Mis will almost certainly win; if not, then Lincoln.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
BRADLEY COOPER - Silver Linings Playbook
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - Lincoln
HUGH JACKMAN - Les Miserables
JOAQUIN PHOENIX - The Master
DENZEL WASHINGTON - Flight
A mostly predictable bunch, though John Hawkes in The Sessions had seemed more likely than the brilliant (if hard to watch) Phoenix). Day-Lewis and Washington are both past two-time winners, Phoenix has two previous nominations (Gladiator and Walk the Line), Cooper and Jackman are first-time nominees. Jackman and Day-Lewis are the strongest contenders, though Day-Lewis would have a better shot if he hadn't won his second Oscar only five years ago.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
JESSICA CHASTAIN - Zero Dark Thirty
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - Silver Linings Playbook
EMMANUELLE RIVA - Amour
QUEVENZHANE WALLIS - Beasts of the Southern Wild
NAOMI WATTS - The Impossible
Apart from Chastain and Lawrence, this was a pretty wide-open field, so the presence of the youngest (Wallis) and oldest (Riva) nominees ever in this category make the race even more interesting. Chastain, Lawrence and Watts are each receiving their second nomination; I'm particularly thrilled about Watts, since The Impossible was one of my favorites of the year, and this is its only nomination.
PERFORMANCE BY AN 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
As announcers Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone pointed out, all five of these nominees are past Oscar winners. I thought it might be John Goodman's year, but it was not to be. Hoffman and Jones are two of my favorite actors, and Waltz gave one of my favorite performances of the year, so it's a fine bunch of nominees.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
AMY ADAMS - The Master
SALLY FIELD - Lincoln
ANNE HATHAWAY - Les Miserable
HELEN HUNT - The Sessions
JACKI WEAVER - Silver Linings Playbook
Another group entirely comprised of past winners (Field, Hunt) and nominees. Weaver was the most surprising one; Kelly Reilly from Flight probably lost out due to that film's increasing lack of Oscar momentum. Anne Hathaway seems a shoo-in, though I preferred her in Dark Knight Rises (the second biggest hit of the year, and it received ZERO nominations, one of the day's biggest surprises).
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
AMOUR - Michael Haneke
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD - Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI - Ang Lee
LINCOLN - Steven Spielberg
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - David O. Russell
Perhaps the most surprising category of the day, only Spielberg and Lee were expected. Plausible choices like Affleck, Bigelow, Hooper and Tarantino were snubbed in favor of newcomer Zeitlin and the perpetually uncompromising vision of Haneke. Spielberg seems the likely winner, especially with Hooper out of the race.
AMOUR - Michael Haneke
DJANGO UNCHAINED - Quentin Tarantino
FLIGHT - John Gatins
MOONRISE KINGDOM - Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY - Mark Boal
An unsurprising group, though I had a slight hope Looper might get in (the Writers Guild nominated it, but a lot of films that are Oscar eligible aren't WGA eligible, which changes the odds). It's hard to know what will win here -- Flight and Django seem the least likely.
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
Another predictable category. I hope Lincoln wins, but the extremely popular Argo also has a very good shot.
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
ANNA KARENINA - Seamus McGarvey
DJANGO UNCHAINED - Robert Richardson
LIFE OF PI - Claudio Miranda
LINCOLN - Janusz Kaminski
SKYFALL - Roger Deakins
As always, a great group of artists. All past nominees; Richardson is a three-time winner and Kaminski two-time. I hope it goes to Deakins -- it's his tenth nomination, he's never won, and his work on Skyfall was spectacular. I'm just sorry The Master didn't get in.
ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
ANNA KARENINA - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY - Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright
LES MISERABLES - Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson
LIFE OF PI - David Gropman, Anna Pinnock
LINCOLN - Rick Carter, Jim Erickson
Les Miz momentum will probably give this one a win in the category, though Anna Karenina is probably the most beautiful looking of the bunch (despite director Joe Wright's weird faux-theater concept). Life of Pi is a slight surprise, if only because so much of the film is set on a boat in front of a green screen, but visual effects production didn't exactly hurt Avatar or Alice in Wonderland at the Oscars. (By the way, the category name this year just changed from Art Direction to Production Design -- which makes sense, since Art Directors haven't actually been eligible in the category since 1987.)
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
ARGO - William Goldenberg
LIFE OF PI - Tim Squyres
LINCOLN - Michael Kahn
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
ZERO DARK THIRTY - Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg
William Goldenberg has two nominations this year, and if he doesn't win for Argo he'll probably win for Zero Dark Thirty. Woulda been nice to see Stuart Baird get in for Skyfall; he hasn't been nominated since Gorillas in the Mist 24 years ago.
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
ANNA KARENINA - Jacqueline Durran
LES MISERABLES - Paco Delgado
LINCOLN - Jonanna Johnston
MIRROR MIRROR - Eiko Ishioka
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN - Colleen Atwood
A hard one to predict -- the two Snow White movies have the most imaginative costumes (this is the tenth nomination for Atwood, a three-time winner, while Dracula winner Ishioka died a little less than a year ago), Lincoln & Les Mis are the biggest Oscar movies in the bunch, but Anna Karenina has the kind of costumes they usually go for.
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
ARGO - John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Jose Antonio Garcia
LES MISERABLES - 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
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
ARGO - Eric 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
Les Mis seems almost certain to be the mixing winner; musical usually have the edge in that department. These is the first Sound-related nominations for a Bond film since Diamonds Are Forever. All the sound editing nominees are past nominees, and all previously won except for Aadahl (a nominee last year for Transformers 3) and Stateman (this is his sixth nomination).
ACHIEVEMENT IN 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 - Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
PROMETHEUS - Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley, Martin Hill
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNSTMAN - Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould, Michael Dawson
Prometheus and Snow White are the surprising (but not undeserved) choices. I'm bummed that the amazingly realistic Dark Knight effects were snubbed, while this was the only nomination Avengers received. The gorgeous Life of Pi will almost certainly win.
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
HITCHCOCK - Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY - Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, Tami Lane
LES MISERABLES - Lisa Westcott, Julie Dartnell
The surprising omission is Lincoln, with seemed like a surefire winner. Without it, Hitchcock seems most likely, unless the award becomes part of a Les Mis sweep.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE OF THE YEAR
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
This is a particularly strong group -- ironically, the Pixar film (Brave) is probably the weakest. My favorite is ParaNorman, but Wreck-It-Ralph is probably the deserved winner.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
ADAM AND DOG - Minkyu Lee
FRESH GUACAMOLE - PES
HEAD OVER HEELS - Timothy Reckart, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
MAGGIE SIMPSON IN "THE LONGEST DAYCARE" - David Silverman
PAPERMAN - John Kahrs
I'm particularly fond of Fresh Guacamole and Paperman (scored by Christophe Beck), but Simpsons director David Silverman has been a friend for about three decades, so I'd love for him to win.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
ASAD - Bryan Buckley, Mino Jarjoura
BUZKASHI 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 DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
INOCENTE - Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine
KINGS POINT - Sari Gilman, Jedd Wilder
MONDAYS AT RACINE - Cynthia Wade, Robin Honan
OPEN HEART - Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern
REDEMPTION - Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill
My two least favorite categoreis -- haven't seen any of these films, and don't know anything about them.
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
I haven't seen any of these yet, but have heard great things about all of them. Sugar Man is apparently the most audience-friendly of the bunch, which may or may not help (The Cove wasn't exactly a feel-good movie).
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
AMOUR - Austria
KON-TIKI - Norway
NO - Chile
A ROYAL AFFAIR - Denmark
WAR WITCH - Canada
I've actually seen three of these already. Amour is excellent (though hard to watch), No is very good, and A Royal Affair is a better-than-expected historical costume drama (score by Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Aufort). Kon-Tiki (score by Johan Soderqvist) is apparently quite scenic, and War Witch is well-regarded as well. The big surprise is the omission of popular favorite (and critically savaged) The Intouchables.