Monday, 25 February 2013

Oscar Random Thoughts

First of all I was really pleased by the performance of our host Seth MacFarlane. He was the best host since Hugh Jackman. Not all of his jokes were extremely funny, but at least they weren't embarrassing. And I really loved his 'We Saw Your Boobs' number.
And now to the winners:

Best picture: This year I really loved four films: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables and Life of Pi (in alphabetical order). And only Life of Pi had some chance to win, so I was keeping my fingers crossed for him. But I understood it was down to Argo and Lincoln.
Actually all of the nominees are great, except from Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. Only American citizens can enjoy these film, because the themes of them are very close to them, but they are basically not very good films. So therefore I'm happy Argo won, though he would be probably the third worst film of the list. But his qualities are far above Zero Dark Thirty's and Lincoln's.
1) Les Misérables   *5/5
2) Django Unchained   *5/5
3) Beats of the Southern Wild   *5/5
4) Life of Pi   *5/5
5) Amour   *5/5
6) Silver Linings Playbook   *4/5
7) Argo   *4/5
8) Lincoln   *3/5
9) Zero Dark Thirty   *2.5/5

Best directing: From these nominees I would prefer Benh Zeitlin. Michael Haneke and David O. Russell were very fine, but on the second place I have Ang Lee. I was really happy he won, because Steven didn't deserve to win his third for this one.
1) Benh Zeitlin - Beats of the Southern Wild   *5/5
2) Ang Lee - Life of Pi   *5/5
3) Michael Haneke - Amour   *4.5/5
4) David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook   *4/5
5) Steven Spielberg - Lincoln   *3/5

Best original screenplay:
1) Django Unchained   *5/5
2) Amour   *4.5/5
3) Moonrise Kingdom   *4/5
4) Flight   *3.5/5
5) Zero Dark Thirty   *3/5

Best adapted screenplay:
1) Beats of the Southern Wild   *4.5/5
2) Life of Pi   *4/5
3) Silver Linings Playbook   *3.5/5
4) Argo   *3.5/5
5) Lincoln   *2.5/5

animated feature:
1) Wreck-It-Ralph   *4.5/5
2) Pirates! Band of Misfits   *4/5
3) Frankenweenie   *3.75/5
4) ParaNorman   *3.5/5
5) Brave   *3/5

1) Life of Pi   *4.5/5
2) Skyfall   *4/5
3) Lincoln   *3/5
4) Django Unchained   *3/5
5) Anna Karenina   *2.5/5

art direction:
1) Les Misérables   *4.5/5
2) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey   *3.5/5
3) Life of Pi   *3.5/5
4) Lincoln   *3/5
5) Anna Karenina   *1/5

costume design:
1) Mirror Mirror   *5/5
2) Les Misérables   *5/5
3) Snow White and the Huntsman   *4.5/5
4) Anna Karenina   *3/5
5) Lincoln   *3/5

1) Les Misérables   *5/5
2) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey   *3/5
3) Hitchcock   *3/5

sound mixing:
1) Les Misérables   *4.5/5
2) Life of Pi   *4.5/5
3) Skyfall   *4.5/5
4) Lincoln   *3.5/5
5) Argo   *2/5

sound editing:
1) Skyfall   *5/5
2) Life of Pi   *4/5
3) Django Unchained   *2.5/5
4) Zero Dark Thirty   *2.5/5
5) Argo   *2/5

film editing:
1) Life of Pi   *4/5
2) Argo   *4/5
3) Silver Linings Playbook   *3.5/5
4) Zero Dark Thirty   *3/5
5) Lincoln   *3/5

1) Skyfall - Skyfall   *4.5/5
2) Everybody Needs A Best Friend - Ted   *4.5/5
3) Suddenly - Les Misérables   *3.5/5
4) Pi's Lullaby - Life of Pi   *3/5
5) Before My Time - Chasing Ice (haven't seen the film though)   *2/5

1) Life of Pi   *4.5/5
2) Skyfall   *4.5/5
3) Lincoln   *3.5/5
4) Anna Karenina   *2.5/5
5) Argo   *2/5

visual effects:
1) Life of Pi   *5/5
2) Snow White and the Huntsman   *4.5/5
3) Prometheus   *4/5
4) The Avengers   3.5/5
5) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey   *3.5/5

Saturday, 23 February 2013

My projects for the future

Hi there!
Now I know (and I knew it from my Jackman's review) that I won't be able to do best supporting actress 2012 till the big ceremony, I'm going to to it some time later, because I don't have spirits for watching some too new films. First of all I'm going to finish best supporting actress 1945.
And then I'm gonna start with one of my projects. So, what will my project will be about?
I will find one winner in every of the four acting categories. These four winners need to have something in common. So, for example if I choose to do musical project I will for example choose these years:
best leading actor 1956 - Yul Brynner for The King and I won
best leading actress 1972 - Liza Minnelli for Cabaret won
best supporting actor 1961 - George Chakiris for West Side Story won
best supporting actress 2002 - Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago
(note: This is just an example: I may choose these years, but I don't have to.)
So here are some projects that I'm planning on to do:
The musical project - winning performance is from musical
The foreign project - winning performance is from foreign language film, or the performance is (at least in some noticeable part) in foreign language
The only nominees project - winning performance is the only nomination the film got
The double-nominee project - winning performance had at least one college nominated for his performance for the same film in the same category
The Martin Scorsese project - winning performance is from Martin Scorsese's film

So now that you know some of the following projects, I would be happy for your suggestions of the years that would fit at least one of the projects...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012

5. Denzel Washington - Flight
Denzel Washington just failed to create a good portrayal of an alcoholic. He never seemed to be drunk, even in the moments he should be, because it's said so in the script. He really had a grateful role to play, but he didn't use it, at all. I'm not saying he doesn't have any good scenes, of course he has, but most of the time he is just overshadowed by his co-actors (Kelly Reilly, John Goodman)...

4. Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
Phoenix, who is also playing alcoholic, gave better performance than Washington, but he had the opposite problem than Washington had. Phoenix seemed to be drunk all the time, instead. But I can't deny the fact that he had some effective scenes, especially at the beginning of the film and then some scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman. I can see this performance being celebrated in about ten years, for it really is iconic...

3. Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
I really didn't like Lincoln. It's very emotionless and cold and so I feel about Lewis's performance. He never showed Lincoln as a person and just like the film, his performance is emotionless. But though it's very subtle and minimalistic, it's very effective. Lewis has something inside of himself that made me unable to take my eyes of him. In many ways it reminded me of Gary Oldman's performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (but I would prefer Oldman a little bit)...

2. Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
Cooper was perfect in reflecting the chaotic feelings his character Pat had from life into his performance. He had a great chemistry with all of his co-actors and I really liked his scenes he was supposed to be angry in. I would never expect such a complex performance from Cooper, but he really surprised me. And I was very close to giving him the win...

1. Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables
Jackman was really the only option for playing this role. He was perfect from the beginning and though he later is more supporting, when he appears on the screen he is always extremely enjoyable and effective. He never allows himself to be overshadowed by anyone from the cast and he is a worthy adversary to everyone. He only lost the points (or half the point), because the two most boring songs (Suddenly, Bring Him Home) of the film (that I loved) are sung by him... 

My Nominees:
1. Jean Louis-Trintignant - Amour
2. Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables
3. John Hawkes - The Sessions
4. Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
5. Jack Black - Bernie

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

This year we had two alcoholics between best leading actor's Oscar nominations. The first one, Denzel Washington for his performance in Robert Zemeckis's film Flight, didn't show the alcoholism very well. He didn't seem drunk, even in the scenes he should and was very forgettable. Another one is Joaquin Phoenix for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. Did he handle his alcoholic character better than Washington?
Yes, he did. But it doesn't mean his performance was flawless. Not at all, but his performance was much better better and if nothing else he made it at least interesting. Just like the whole film, it's love it, or hate it. In fact, Phoenix's performance reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence's performance in Silver Linings Playbook. It wasn't very realistic, both of the actors were overacting, but they're both very iconic and in about ten years, they'll be considered as an Oscar-worthy masterpiece (kind of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, or by me so many times mentioned Diane Keaton in Annie Hall).
I have to say I enjoyed Joaquin's performance. But I can't pretend I don't see the fact he wasn't very realistic, nor believable. He has the opposite problem than Washington has, actually. While Washington didn't seem drunk when he should, Phoenix seemed drunk when he shouldn't. It seemed to me as if he was drunk throughout the whole film, in every single scene, without an exception. And I doubt if he should do that.
But no matter he wasn't realistic, if he was enjoyable. And he was. His scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman are really great. His best scene is also with Hoffman and that's the one, in which he is forced to not twinkle. He was very powerful in these scenes. Also his scenes at the beginning are perfect. But then in the end he tends to be really over the top.
The chances of winning an Oscar: After all he said about the Oscars they're very low. I think that this time the alcoholics are at the bottom of the list...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook

In Silver Linings Playbook Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a man with the bipolar affection who come from the psychiatry and tries to find his ex-wife Nicky, who was unfaithful to him. There's actually nothing else he'd be interested in. Except from that he's trying to get back to the normal life.
Cooper's performance surprised me in a good way. I would never expect such a complex performance from Cooper. His character is really confused from some things we would normally don't care about (Hemighway), therefore the world is very chaotic and confusing for him. And so we should have the same feelings from the film and his performance. And this chaos is wonderfully reflected in it.
A very similar situation I remember from three years ago, when I was watching Sandra Bullock's performance in The Blind Side. An actor that we know mostly from comedies is playing in a more serious comedy, in which he gave the best performance from the entire cast.
He had the great chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence (and I'm really happy to know that this is not their last film together) and their common scenes are really a joy to watch. And I'm not talking about the great chemistry he had with Weaver and also De Niro...
I loved how he handled the scenes he had to be angry in. It was obvious from his performance that his character is mentally ill, but he never was overacting. There was not a single scene of his, he would overact.
In this moment of review I would usually write his best scene. But there is not a single scene, in which he would shine more than in the rest of his scenes, which can be seen as a good thing (he was equally great in all of his scenes), or as a bad thing (he didn't have a scene he would shine in). I personally can't decide, which side I'm on.
The chances of winning an Oscar: If Harvey really roots for everyone from his studio, they're bigger, than you'd think. But Daniel Day-Lewis is too strong frontrunner. I think he's the third behind Lewis and Jackman...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables

I love musicals. I've been desperately looking forward to Les Misérables, since the first time I've heard about it. At the end I really loved it, though it's not the best musical I've seen. The songs of it are sung from the first minute to the last one. Therefore the only way of making it a film is actually the way Tom Hooper decided to go for and that's the way of letting the actors song all the songs live. This way they have the chance to better express the emotions through the songs. Every actor handled this chance greatly and Hugh Jackman isn't an exception.
He plays Jean Valjean, who I hope I don't have to introduce anyone. It's a legendary character that get from being a poor prisoner to a respectable man. This change of the character gives Jackman a great opportunity to shine. The question is, if he used it...
I knew Jackman is a talented actor, singer and dancer, since he hosted the Oscars. He was so perfect doing that (with equally perfect part of Anne Hathaway), that I doubt anybody in quite a long time can do the hosting better than he did. Therefore I think he was the great choice for this role. The question is, if he really was the best choice for this role...
The answer for both of the questions is yes! Jackman does absolutely everything he should. He's extremely charming in his role. When I was watching the first shot of the film the ecstasy fulfilled me and when I saw Jackman playing I felt like I'm in heaven. He really gave everything into his role.
All of his scenes in the beginning are really flawless. Then later his character becomes more supporting and it focuses on the young characters of the film. When Jackman appears in this part of film, he's not there for a very long time, but he does what he can. He's really a joy to watch.
At the end he again becomes the centre of the film's attention and his performance is really touching and emotional. His best scene, though I consider the very beginning and then the scene he wants to buy Cosette from Thénardiers, in which he never lets Helena Bonham Carter and Sascha Baron Cohen to overshadow him. He had a great chemistry with them, instead.
What is also great, is that he has got a great chemistry with Russell Crowe, as well. Crowe somehow failed to handle his character, but his chemistry with Jackman is undeniable.
But I also should mention one thing: The two most boring songs of the film are sung by him. They're Bring Him Home and Suddenly. Suddenly is there just to make the film another Oscar nomination, but Jackman does what he can and he's trying to help it. The song is just too pointless to make it somehow interesting. Bring Him Home would be fine, if it was shorter. I don't know how much Jackman could do with it, I just know it bored me. But I believe it would be fine just as it is, if it was shorter.
The chances of winning an Oscar: I doubt if anyone can beat Daniel Day-Lewis, but if there is a miracle to be happened, the miracle would certainly be Hugh Jackman...

Monday, 18 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Denzel Washington - Flight

Flight is not very enjoying film. It's technically very well written, but I believe the directing is too ordinary to make this boring plot just a little bit interesting. I personally can't imagine that someone might actually really love or fall for this film. It's not bad, but it brings nothing new, or special to the movies.
Denzel Washington plays a pilot that perfectly handled a plane crash. But some time later it's found out that he was drunk and under drugs throughout the flight.
He plays an alcoholic and unaccountable man that did something admirable, but there are lots of problems that are coming with it. This is a very grateful role to play. Does Washington uses it? Not at all. He doesn't realize the opportunities this character gives him. He decided to play it the most boring way. Doing nothing with this character, just read the lines in the script and sometimes - when it's really needed - have some fine scene.
I have seen many actors playing alcoholics and they did that much better way than Washington did. In some scenes he's supposed to be drunk, or under drugs, but it's almost unnoticeable. He doesn't play them much differently, than the rest of his performance. It happened to me sometimes that I wouldn't know he's drunk, if it wasn't said in the line.
The other problem I have with this performance is that he's extremely overshadowed by his co-actors. Kelly Reilly is re(i)ally great in her role (and did exactly what Washington should) and so is the scenes stealer Joh Goodman.
I don't mean he's absolutely bad. Some moments are really fine. The scene, in which he persuades her college to lie in the court or the scene he talks to his lawyer are really very decent. But he just failed to create a complex and interesting and remarkable character.
The chances of winning an Oscar: Very low, fortunately...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

As I wrote in my review of Tommy Lee Jones's performance, Lincoln is technically a great film, but I didn't enjoy it very much. It was made just to win as many awards, as possible. It's very emotionless, except from some scenes. The music rarely plays throughout the film, the editing is not very slippy and the screenplay (and the directing) never goes into the depth, so we don't actually care about the characters very much, nor do we care about how will it all with the commandment end.
I wrote we don't care about the characters. And it is also valid for Lincoln. The film is very stony and so is the leading character. Lewis never goes deeply into the character, so that we would care about him. There are only few remarkable scenes (because they're emotional), but most of them are remarkable because of Sally Field and one because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I would say that every scene that is emotional has something to do with Levitt's character. It's not because Levitt would play somehow excellently, he is just normally good. It's because these scenes show the tragedy of some characters, they show their emotions. And that's what the film should more focus on.
But Lewis is known as a magnificent character actor, therefore I would expect he would help this non-emotionality, but he doesn't do that. His building of the character is very minimalistic and subtle, which would not be bad. But Lewis let himself to be undistinguished by the coldness of the film. I would expect him to handle the character the way of making the film pleasure to watch, just because of him. But he showed nothing special here. He wasn't bad, though sometimes overacting, but we are used from Lewis that he usually gives us much better and more remarkable performances.
His best scene is the scene when Sally Field is crying on the floor. That one of the most emotional scenes in the film and it's just because of him. He handled some moments really greatly and the rest of his scenes were just very good. He never gave anything to his character that would make us like, or dislike, or at least care about Lincoln. On the other hand, we can say this stony way portraying is positive, because it fits the tone of the film, but I don't get satisfied with this. Especially not from Lewis...
The chances of winning an Oscar: This is the strongest lock in any category this year (along with Amour for the best foreign language film). He will undoubtably win. If he didn't, it would be a huge surprise...

Next Year: Best Leading Actor 2012

The Nominees:
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln (predicted winner)
Denzel Washington - Flight
Hugh Jackman - Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

So, please, comment. Who was snubbed? How would your nominees look like? Who would you like to win? Who do you think I'll let win? And how do you think I'll rate these performances?
I'll try to do this year and the supporting actresses of this year very quickly, because I'd like to do them before the ceremony... 

Best Supporting Actor 2012

5. Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook
De Niro has got a fine character in a very good film, but he fails to bring anything into it. There's nothing he did with this character. It's hard for me to even say something about it, for I've seen the film six days ago, and yet I don't remember anything about him. He wanted to play it realisticly, but he was boring and forgettable, instead. I'm sad, because he took place some better supporting performance...

4. Alan Arkin - Argo
Yes, he was there just to be there. His character doesn't have a big purpose, but who cares. He was very nice and likable in all of his scenes, but the truth is he never tried to do something with his role, so that he would be just a little bit memorable. It's also true that he didn't have enough space to shine, but didn't bring much effort to it, either. Another forgettable performance between this year's nominees, but this one was at least funny...

3. Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
Right now I can't think of anyone, who'd handle this role better than Jones did. It's written as another of the thousands of supporting players that are in Lincoln, it means it's written forgettably. Jones makes this character interesting and pleasure to watch. Though his last scene is destroying his character, he never allows to fully do it and handles it very gently. That's probably what De Niro and Arkin should do with their characters...

2. Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
Playing Lancaster Dodd, the master of scientologic church, Philip Seymour Hoffman should be charming and authoritative. We all knew he can handle that. But his character also should be full of doubts. Why is he doing all this? He's a normal husband, which loves his family and friends, but why is he doing all of this? Does he really believes in everything he says and does? Should we believe in that? These are the questions his performance makes us ask, but we never get a satisfactory answer...

1. Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
Django Unchained is one of the best films of 2012 and Waltz's performance is one of the best performances of the year. He obviously enjoys playing this character and if an actor enjoys playing his character, so do we enjoy watching his performance. He is funny, charming and adorable. He can be a worthy adversary to the co-stars of the film and the naive simplicity his character handles all of the problems and the way he portrayed it, gives him bonus points...

My Nominees:
1. Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
2. Javier Bardem - Skyfall
3. Dwight Henry - Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike
5. Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln

I usually start my review with an extremely short review of the film. But I'm not going to do it this time, because it'll be important to say in Daniel Day-Lewis's review and I don't want to repeat myself. The only thing you need to know is that it's definitely technically great, but I didn't enjoy it very much.
Tommy Lee Jones plays a congressman Stevens in Lincoln. The truth is that if this character wasn't played by Jones, it would very probably not be even nominated. The first reason is, that the film wants him to be nominated, so it always tries to remind us, that he's there, even in scenes, where he's there to do nothing. When he's supposed to just sit in the background. But there always is shot or two, so that we wouldn't forget his presence.
The other reason is, that Jones handles this character very well and in the hands of anybody else this character would be as forgettable, as the most of the supporting players in Lincoln. (Everyone was playing very good in Lincoln, but I will forget some characters and performances a two days after watching it, e.g. John Hawkes or James Spader.) Jones with his way of portraying this character will always be remembered, when think of Lincoln.
There is not a single scene he would fail. Not even his last scene (*SPOILER*), where we find out that he is living and is in love with a black woman. This scene completely destroys his character, but it's not Jones's fault. This scene, in my opinion, shouldn't absolutely be in the film. But Jones does what he is able to, to help his character not to be completely destroyed, but it's almost impossible to succeed. But he did the best he could in this situation... (*Spoiler ends*)
His best scene, though, is the one, where is forced to completely control himself and say that he doesn't believe in equality of everyone. That's actually going to be his Oscar clip, I guess.
The chances of winning an Oscar: It's either him, or Waltz winning...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained

Django Unchained is one of the best films released the previous year. It's extremely funny and entertaining and in my opinion it's the best Tarantino's film (from what I've seen from him). There probably isn't a single boring scene, which I wouldn't enjoy. Christoph Waltz plays Dr. King Schultz, the bounty hunter. It is the matter of many discussions, if Waltz is leading or supporting here. I don't usually care about this, especially not if the leading performance is to be in the supporting category.
The first time we see his character is in the first scene after the opening subtitles and it stays there almost till the end. Therefore I'd say it's rather co-leading performance, than supporting, but it doesn't absolutely matter.
From this first scene we know Waltz is going to rule the film. He's really funny and entertaining in this scene (and throughout the entire film) and it's obvious he greatly enjoys playing this character. Waltz adorably shows the wonderful simplicity King handles all the problems, which is almost bound to naivety.
As I said, he really is the King of the film. This fact is changing after an hour of the film, when Leonardo DiCaprio appears in the film. It's not Waltz's fault, his character is just shifted in the shadow of DiCaprio's character. And the fact that DiCaprio is playing as greatly and passionately, as Waltz, just singles that out. But it's not a big deal, because Waltz plays wonderfully every moment he has. This 'overshadowing' ends in the last half an hour of his performance.
Many people compare this performance with Waltz's creation in Inglourious basterds. He handles both of them really excellently, but here he plays a positive character. And if I had to choose, I would probably go for his affirmative side, for it fits Waltz a little more, that we can sympathize with him.
It's almost impossible to choose his best scene, because he is perfect in every second on the screen. No way I could say just one...
The chances of winning an Oscar: They are quite solid, actually. It's either him, or Jones I think. Right now I think it's going to be him (yes, I changed my mind), because I think Harvey it really going to root for him...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Alan Arkin - Argo

Argo is quite and enjoyable political thriller about a man called Tony Mendes (Ben Affleck) trying to rescue six hostages from Teheran. He uses the way of pretending to be a part of a film crew. To make it all look more realistic, he invites some real filmmakers to it, for example makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and famous producer Lester Siegel played by Alan Arkin.
Many people blame Arkin here for playing the same character as he did in his previously Oscar-nominated (and winning) performance in Little Miss Sunshine. It's really undeniable that his performances are similar. But it's not his fault, these characters just are similar and there's nothing Arkin could do with this fact. The only thing he could do is just play it the best way he was able to, and that's not exactly what he did.
He succeeded to be funny and likable, but failed to be remarkable. He really isn't the first thing that will come to your mind when you think of Argo. And he's not even the second, not the third thing. The fact that he doesn't have much screen-time also doesn't help him much.
His presence in his scenes is certainly nice, but I think this character offers him more options to do with it, than he actually did. In my eyes he was a little bit overshadowed by John Goodman, which also wasn't somehow remarkable, but at least he did something with his role. But that's another story...
When I was thinking about Arkin's best scene, I realized there is no best scene of his performance. It's because his performance consists of many extremely short moments. There's no scene, where he would shine, or be even able to shine. Therefore it's not just him, who I blame for making this character so lackluster. But I was forced into telling you one moment, I would go for the scene he's getting the rights for shooting sci-fi Argo.
So, to sum it up: Arkin plays a nice and likable character in Argo, which just didn't get enough space to shine. But Arkin didn't bring much effort to it, either...
The chances of winning an Oscar: The lowest from all of the nominees. I would be extremely surprised, if he won.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook

In Silver Linings Playbook Robert De Niro plays a father of Bradley Cooper's leading character Pat. As I wrote in my review of Jennifer Lawrence, I really liked Silver Linings Playbook. It is quite strange romantic comedy, but it doesn't mean it's bad.
The first time we see De Niro's character is at the beginning of the film, when Pat returns from the hospital. I must say I was a little bit disappointed after it. I've been expecting something really outstanding, something close to De Niro's best performances. When I understood, it's not going to be very juicy part, I was ready to fully enjoy his subtle performance. But somehow I didn't enjoy it very much.
You may say he didn't have many things to do in Silver Linings Playbook. And you'd be definitely right. The only thing he's there to, is to complain about Pat and talk about football. But he has got some scenes, he could use and be more than just 'decent'. For example, the scene he's crying in. It wasn't bad, but I felt as if he was playing a different character in this scene. It doesn't correspond with the rest of his performance.
Even his best scene, in my opinion, is not Oscar-worthy. It's the scene the picture above is from.
I understand what De Niro wanted to do with this character. He wanted to play it realisticly. But it just isn't. Mostly because the script just isn't realistic, but also because of him. Instead of being realistic, he was just lackluster. You really won't remember his performance two weeks after watching the film. And I'm not even talking about the fact, that the chemistry between him and Weaver is really bad.
The chances of winning an Oscar: He's the third. I would be very surprised (and upset), if he won.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson has always been a very self-conscious director and writer. And though I prefer his previous film There will be blood, I can't say I didn't like The Master. It's a very solid film with a great message. It doesn't have to - and probably even doesn't - fit everyone. But everyone must admit its undeniable qualities, for instance its performances.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the master of The Cause who persuaded Joaqin Phoenix's character to join them. It's a very backhanded character, which makes it more difficult to play. We never know, if it's positive, or negative. We doubt about him and we never know, if he's talking right, or not. The Master actually reminds me of Doubt. You may say I'm crazy, but there is a similarity: we never know, whether we should trust Hoffman's character and whether we should stand on his side. These kinds of characters suit Hoffman greatly and he can handle them with ease, though they are very hard to play.
Hoffman's first mention-worthy scene is the first dialogue between Phoenix and him. They're on Hoffman's boat and he's detecting what Phoenix is doing there and how did he get there. Hoffman is very subtle in this scene, but certainly not boring. His charm is palpable.
The contrast that makes this character so backhanded is in the way he behaves and the way he speaks. The rational part of ourselves says that the things he speaks are bullshits. But the instinctive part of ourselves feels he's a nice likable guy.
Hoffman wonderfully portrayed Lancaster Dodd as a loving and beloved husband and also very manipulative and authoritative man. Every aspect of this performance may be flawless. The three of his best scenes are in my opinion the best scenes of the film: in the prison, the scene he's singing in and the scene of the first interrogating. Especially in the last mentioned scene wonderfully mirrors the contrast of this character. Well done, Mr. Hoffman!
The chances of winning an Oscar: Unfortunately, they are not very big, in my opinion. In fact, he is the fourth after Jones, Waltz and De Niro. But what can I do with that?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Next Year: Best Supporting Actor 2012

The Nominees:
Alan Arkin - Argo
Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook
Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln (predicted winner)

So, please, comment. Who was snubbed? How would your nominees look like? Who would you like to win? Who do you think I'll let win? And how do you think I'll rate these performances?