The Espire Strikes Back!

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Dear readers, it’s that time of year when I return to contemplate the cinematic cream of the crop, but alas I found myself disillusioned, disappointed and disenfranchised.

But before I, as a black British woman, weigh in on why oh why Spike Lee is boycotting the Oscars when he just got one (creating less diversity at the Oscars as a reaction to less diversity within the Oscars seems odd to me)…

A moment of celebration

If, as is likely, Iñárittu takes home the Best Director Oscar it will be the 3rd consecutive win by a Mexican Director. That’s pretty cool.

Brie Larson is an excellent actress and I was super pleased that she may well take home the gold.

Roger Deakins – he ain’t gonna win (that’s 13 nominations without a win – take that Leo), but damn it I love it every single time he’s nominated. And I’m not the only one.

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Quick Fire Review: Her

HER

Here’s The Trailer

Who is in it?

Joaquin (if there is a Magnum PI remake he’ll be first in line) Phoenix, Amy (where’s my Oscar already) Adams, Scarlett (just the right amount of sweet and sexy) Johansson.

What is it about?

Lonely dude falls in love with his self aware Siri.

Why did I want to watch it?

Spike Jonze is the man behind the Praise You & Weapon of Choice music videos, so he has a great creative vision. The festival reviews had been pretty encouraging. Oh and the Oscar nomination.

Did I like it?

I thought it was great. You have to worry that the idea is a little creepy, but even at its oddest points, the film does a great job of portraying the humanity of loneliness and looking for an ideal companion.

Should you watch it?

There is a good deal of quirk here, so if you like that kind of thing, the acting is top notch so definitely give it a watch.  Joaquin Phoenix is a very sweet romantic lead and Amy Adams balances looking simultaneously normal and adorable.  And who wouldn’t fall in love with the light-hearted whimsy of ScarJo’s voice?

Does it pass the Bechdel Test?

Beats me.  I will say that there are a variety of interesting named female characters, who are people with well defined jobs and lives.  The problem lies with the fact that they don’t talk to each other, defeating the test.  That said there are named OSs with female personas, so it could be argued that they interact with women.  I would say it fails, but raises interesting questions and the female characters are nonetheless well rounded.

Some interesting discussions can be found here : http://bechdeltest.com/view/4860/her/

Other films it reminds me of:

Michel Gondry’s Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind would fit in nicely into this universe.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

The Master .  Not only a thoroughly bizarre film sharing Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in prominent roles, its lead is the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

ELC

OSCARS 2014… And our winners are…

best Picture Nominees 2014BEST PICTURE: American Hustle , Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street

PREDICTED WINNER LB – 12 Years a Slave – the most original and touching film I’ve seen in years. Truly  outstanding. I really wanted The Wolf of Wall Street to be better than it was and although it was an enjoyable way to spend 3 hours, it won’t and shouldn’t beat 12 Years a Slave to the gong.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – 12 Years a Slave – What she said.  It is not only an important film, it is a mesmerizing film, combining direction acting and writing beautifully.  Audiences can’t fail to be moved by it, so it will be a truly deserved win.

That said usually the film with the most nominations wins this.  It was however averted with The Hurt Locker which enjoyed a similar level of acclaim as 12 Years a Slave.  I would actually consider Gravity a serious threat, as it is likely to get a lot of technical wins.

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale in American Hustle
Bruce Dern in Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Ok, I think he will get pipped by either Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club or Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave but I really want Leonardo DiCaprio to win for his portrayal of Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. Please read my post from May 2013 – Leonardo is long overdue an Oscar and he produced a stand-out performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. Jordan Belfort was charasmatic, enigmatic, funny, scary, disgusting and despicable.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – I really want to make some of my predictions next week, after I’ve actually watched all of the films, but I am going to guess Matthew McConaughey.  His weight loss is remarkable, and he has never been nominated in the past and this is his best chance of a gong.  In another year both Leo and Chiwetel could have won this, so it’s very hard to have to pick a winner.  Leo could pull off an upset, just because he has been nominated so many times without a win. I was surprised that Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips didn’t get the Christian Bale nomination though.

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams in American Hustle
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock in Gravity
Judi Dench in Philomena
Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. This was a case of the leading actress being better than the film and so I think Cate Blanchett deserves to get this. Very surprised though, that Emma Thompson has been overlooked for Saving Mr Banks.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – Cate Blanchett.  Because she was fantastic. It’s an acting masterclass.

BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell for American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity
Alexander Payne for Nebraska
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave. A truly outstanding film. A massive achievement for McQueen.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – I would have liked to have seen a nomination for Paul Greengrass instead of David O’Russell (I didn’t hate American Hustle, but I just preferred so many others this year and don’t think it’s deserves the awards love it’s getting)

I want it to be Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, although the commitment Alfonso Cuaron gave to Gravity is no small feat.  It’s a two horse race and ultimately I will go with whoever wins the Directors Guild of America award.  Best Picture and Best Director rarely go to the same person so I think Cuaron may edge it, although obviously I would be delighted if one of my favourite directors was the first Black winner of the Best Director Oscar. And you know he’s a Brit!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper in American Hustle
Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Difficult to separate my three main contenders – Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips, Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave and Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street. I think Fassbender will get this one though for a chilling performance in 12 Years a Slave.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – Where is Daniel Bruehl for Rush?  I would have much preferred him to be nominated than Bradley Cooper, which was a good but not stellar performance.  I am actually torn between Jared Leto and Barkhad Abdi for this one, but think the latter will win for being a newcomer with the ability to match Tom Hanks onscreen.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts in August: Osage County
June Squibb in Nebraska

PREDICTED WINNER LB – I did like Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine but I think this will go to Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave. Her performance broke my heart.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – In complete agreement with Laura.   Jennifer Lawrence was great, and her consistency as an actress is phenomenal, but she should not win here.  Also Oprah wasn’t nominated for the Butler which surprised me.  My secret hope is that she has just told everyone to vote for Lupita instead.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
12 Years A Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

PREDICTED WINNER LB – I think and hope that this Oscar will go to Philomena.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – My favourites here are Before Midnight and 12 Years A Slave.  I think that Before Midnight deserves the recognition for the sheer amount of evolution the characters have been given and how natural the dialogue is.  12 Years A Slave  is fantastically compelling though and will doubtless triumph here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club
Her
Nebraska

PREDICTED WINNER LB – I’ve not go round to seeing it yet but I’ve heard very good things about Dallas Buyers Club and so think this could triumph in this category.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – I am traditionally useless at predicting the screenplay category – I hope Her wins.  I love the plucky contender and Spike Jonze has a wonderful original voice.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Frozen or Despicable Me 2. The Oscar could probably go to any though as it’s really difficult to predict winners for the animated category. I’m going to plump for Frozen. Feel-good and subversive at the same time.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – Frozen is fantastic. It’ll grab this one and Best Song if there is any justice. A playlist of  Best Song nominations is here: http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/all-the-best-original-song-oscars-nominations.html

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Grandmaster
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Gravity should definitely be recognised in this category. Cuarón’s space set feature film was the most original film of last year.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – God I have just realised why Prisoners was nominated.  Roger Deakins is the most nominated Cinematographer without a win.  It gives me actual tears to know such a skilled cinematographer who should have won many times over will be overlooked again.  But it will of course go to Gravity.  It is continually dubbed “most realistic film about space”.  It should be a shoo in.

COSTUME DESIGN
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years A Slave

PREDICTED WINNER LB – I loved The Great Gatsby for this but I suspect that the Oscar will go to American Hustle.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC –  The Great Gatsby .  This category  tends to go to the showiest outfits.  Also I’ve not heard a thing about the Invisible woman, but surely that indicates a dearth of visible costume?!

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Ok, it’s the only one I know anything about but The Act of Killing should get the Oscar here.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – I was sad to see that Stories We Tell was overlooked.  As with Laura I am going for the one I’ve heard of and heard wonderful things about.

FILM EDITING
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
12 Years A Slave

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Captain Phillips. Award-winning editing made for a thrilling edge of your seat experience.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – 12 Years A Slave for no other reason than I can’t imagine that the best film would only win one category.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Missing Picture
Omar

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Admittedly, I’ve not seen any of these but I am really glad that Blue is the Warmest Colour wasn’t nominated here. I found it too long, self-indulgent and a chance for Kechiche to play out his own fantasies.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – This is my favourite category and I always prefer all of these to most of the best film nominees.  As is usual when Mads Mikkelsen is in a film with a  wide release it gets and Oscar nomination, as yet I don’t think a film he’s in as won, but there is hope. The buzz around The Great beauty is pretty high so I will go for that, however just the fact that these films get wider recognition as a result of nomination makes me happy.

MAKE UP AND HAIRSTYLING

Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa????? Really??? Dallas Buyers Club of course.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – Best make up to make everyone look really, really ill,  some random Hollywood in joke I am just not getting and interesting makeup in a film no one cared for– Dallas Buyers Club it is.

PRODUCTION DESIGN
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Her
12 Years A Slave

PREDICTED WINNER LB – American Hustle will probably pip the others to the post here.

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – A toughie, as there are many great accomplishments here. I’ll go for Gravity, because of the space detail.  Also my patriotism is high on this one, as this was done in the UK.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

PREDICTED WINNER LB – Gravity, surely?

PREDICTED WINNER ELC – Gravity.

So do you agree?  Not all of the categories are here, but we’d love your thoughts and responses.  I will of course be putting my money where my mouth is, so I will update you on what I actually won!

LB & ELC

Quick Fire Review: Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell Poster

Here’s The Trailer

Who is in it?

Sarah Polley and her entire family

What is it about?

Sarah Polley and her…Sarah Polley relating the discovery of her dead mother’s secret through the narratives of different people affected by the tale, her father, her brothers and sisters and friends of her mother with varying degrees of complicity  and knowledge of what was going on at the time or in retrospect.

Why did I want to watch it?

I loved Away From Her and whilst I had issues with take This Waltz, Sarah Polley, is an assured filmmaker and I had heard considerably good things from friends and read many favourable reviews.

Did I like it/Should you watch it?

It is unmissable viewing, I cannot think of one person who wouldn’t find this intriguing and moving.  It’s like a wonderful window into the past.

Other films it reminds me of:

There is a play called The Authorised Version where people talk about how differently even very close people can see the same person, in this case an ex-wife, brother and the brother’s girlfriend.  This takes that idea so much further -however  there is very little conflict between people with differing perspectives, which is refreshing.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

Go & My Life Without Me – 2 excellent films starring Sarah Polley which will impress you with how talented she is all round.

ELC

Quick Fire Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Here’s The Trailermoonrise-kingdom-international-poster-441x600

Who is in it?

Wes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Jason Swartzman. Also Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton and a lot of kids.  And Harvey Keitel. No shit.

In short – awesome cast.

What is it about?

An out of place kid with wilderness skills runs away and his scout troupe and a local cop (Bruce Willis!) try and bring him home.

Why did I want to watch it?

A combination of being frustrated that I missed it when it was Oscar nominated (for Best Original Screenplay)  and at the cinema and curiosity to see what Wes Anderson has whipped up after hearing positive reviews.  Usually I like his stuff but I am not a devotee.

Did I like it?

A lot more than expected.  Probably my favourite Wes Anderson Film (sorry Fantastic Mr Fox) and probably my favourite incarnation of Bruce Willis as a Cop.  Yippee Kay Yay you heard me!

I was expecting quirkiness but the central characters are a very likeable and even though they are quite antisocial they are also pretty endearing.  Also there is not a bum note in the entire support cast.

Should you watch it?

Definitely.  I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t like it.  It has plenty of action for an indie movie, the kids are precocious without being irritating, the cast is fabulous and the production design is sumptuous to look at .  It is quirky though, so if that really isn’t your thing then maybe not.

Other films it reminds me of:

Wes Anderson has a very distinctive look, although this didn’t remind me of his other films.  Maybe A Simple Man by the Coen Brothers – another quirky likeable film with a very odd central character.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:  I’ll just pick a time of day, Sunday afternoon.

ELC

Why doesn’t Leonardo DiCaprio have an Oscar?

Leonardo Dicaprio in Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliett

“O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?”

There are numerous films, actors and directors who should have won The Academy’s ultimate gong, in all our opinions. The whole point of watching Oscar’s night lies in spending weeks making predictions and then shouting at the TV screen when our favourites don’t leave in their limos carrying a golden statuette under their arm.

Yet, there is one Oscar omission which perplexes and shocks me more than any other every single year. Exactly why hasn’t Leonardo Dicaprio ever won an Oscar?

He’s not short of other accolades and even Oscar nominations –

2007 – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Blood Diamond

2005 – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – The Aviator

1994 – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Yet, on each of these occasions, he has been overlooked for the award and on many more occasions not even received a nomination at all! Here are three reasons why Leonardo Di Caprio’s mantelpiece should be glittering – in no particular order of course.

Catch Me if You Can – an unforgettable and convincing performance in this true story about Frank Abergnale who successfully impersonated an airline pilot, doctor and attorney general and managed to cash more than $2.5 million in fraudulent cheques.

Inception – The thinking man’s blockbuster which showed me that Hollywood can be intelligent. I’m not claiming to have totally understood this film yet, but I did understand how great much of the acting was – Leo, obviously included.

Blood Diamond – A great piece of work. He was at least nominated but should have won for his excellent portrayal of Danny Archer at the time of the Sierra Leone Civil War.

And the best of the rest –

Shutter Island – tense, thrilling and full of twists and turns, you don’t know what to believe as Teddy Daniels starts to doubt his own sanity in this psychological thriller.

The Departed – one of the best re-makes ever made! Leonardo DiCaprio is outstanding as William “Billy” Costigan Jr. in Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller.

Gangs of New York – a stand out performance from Leo in a cast of fellow legends.

Revolutionary Road – I promised myself I wouldn’t post the word Titanic but I loved the return of my favourite Hollywood power couple in this 2008 Sam Mendes film.

Django Unchained – excellently portrayed, Leonardo is a cruel plantation owner in Quentin Tarantino’s western.

Romeo and Juliet – in Baz Luhrmann’s modern day Verona, Leo plays the star-crossed lover and feuding, gun-toting Romeo.

The Aviator – loved Scorsese’s American biographical drama about aviation pioneer Howard Hughes and loved how Leo brought this story to life.

A friend of mine recently pointed out what a shame it is that the Oscars ceremony is held on a Sunday in the wee hours of the morning in the UK, as this stops us from hosting an Oscars party and celebrating or commiserating with champagne and canapés – or at least beer and takeaway pizza. Strange as it may sound, at the ripe old age of 34, this is the one thing I am now looking forward to about retirement. Hopefully my first retirement Oscar’s party won’t coincide with Leo’s first acceptance speech and he’ll have been honoured long before then!

LB

All That Glitters – Oscars predictions 2013 (85th)

Here are my annual Oscar predictions, based as always on seeing as many films as I could  – 23 out of 53 nominated films.  I’ve given my thoughts and after the night I’ll update my successes and failures! I will also be livetweeting from @shegeekbham all night if anyone is curious about my take on outfits, speeches, winners, losers and how much it makes me sad that Nora Ephron, Tony Scott and Celeste Holm (from All About Eve) are dead.

Best Picture nominated films: In summary

Watched and loved: Argo, Amour, Django Unchained

Watched and enjoyed: Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Watched: Lincoln

Wasn’t interested in: Life of Pi

So I’ve listed my preditions below as follows: Category  – What Will Win  – What I want to Win

Whether I was right will be updated on 25 Feb 2013.

Best Picture – Argo – Amour/Argo

Amour will win Best Foreign Language, so even though it is actually better than most of these nominees, it still won’t win the top gong.  That’s how I felt about Toy Story 3 too.

I originally thought Lincoln would win based on numbers of nominations and general American epicness, but I think that the directorial snub means Argo may get picture as a compromise. Also everyone loves to see George Clooney  onstage.

At the end of the day these are mainstream awards and of the mainstream runners Argo kept me engaged and intrigued throughout.  Les Mis was lovely but pretty niche, Beasts is too Indie and loads of voters probably haven’t seen it.  Silver Linings just isn’t epic enough, Lincoln is a big old history lesson, Life of Pi feels good but not great and Zero Dark Thirty & Django – I feel may be too intense and frivolous for the Academy respectively.

Best Director –Steven Speilberg -Benh Zeitlin

I love indie underdogs, but I suspect Goliath has David beat.

I should note that I was annoyed that Kathryn Bigelow wasn’t nominated because I certainly think she did an better job than other nominees, I was devastated that Ben Affleck was overlooked, because his direction was pretty masterful.

Best Actor In A Leading Role – Daniel Day Lewis -I’m ambivalent

Daniel Day-Lewis always gives  amazing commitment but Jean Valjean was clearly tailor made for Hugh Jackman so it would be nice for a shock victory on his part and I think he’s the only other contender.

I haven’t caught The Master, which I’m annoyed about and Flight, which I’m not.

Best Actress In A Leading Role – Emmanuelle Riva- Emmanuelle Riva

Jessica Chastain would make a lovely surprise winner, but I don’t think anyone who has seen Amour has stopped talking about Madame Riva and rightly so.

Best Supporting Actor – Robert DeNiro – Robert De Niro

Battle of the heavyweights.  Everyone nominated here has an Oscar, everyone nominated here is a joy to watch.   For me it’s between the Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro.  They both have excellent pedigree but I really enjoyed the nuanced performance RDN gave in Silver Linings Playbook.  The cast nestled really well together and whilst Jennifer Lawrence was stand-out, Robert De Niro glued the whole film together.

Best Supporting Actress –Anne Hathaway- Amy Adams

Amy Adams is long overdue and for me it’s consistent excellent acting vs and outstanding achievement in a particular scene.

If I compare how I felt after Mon’ique’s scene stealing, Oscar winning scene, the film was unimaginable without her, and whilst Anne Hathaway was undoubtedly great ,it doesn’t eclipse how I feel about how compelling I find Amy Adams.  She’s the main reason I kicked myself when I discovered I missed The Master at the cinema, she is always intriguing and definitely deserving of an Oscar (yep I want her to win even though I haven’t seen the film.)

Best Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino – Quentin Tarantino/Michael Haneke

I think Quentin Tarantino will win and this will not bother me at all.  The dialogue is witty and pithy and QT at his very best.  That said writing dialogue for someone afflicted with a stroke and the man trying to communicate with her.  It would be magnificent to honour that with a statuette.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Chris Terrio – Argo – I have no strong feeling.

I pretty much always get the Screenplay categories wrong.   It’s pretty apples and oranges to me.  Adaptation is incredibly difficult and I won’t feel a sense of outrage whoever wins.

Foreign Language Film-Amour – Amour

It’s nominated for Best picture.  It’s outstanding, compelling and touching.  I suspect the most widely viewed of the nominees by a long way. I have to say I haven’t seen the other but definitely planning on catching No and A Royal Affair.

A now for the categories which I would consider mostly hunches and guesses rather than educated speculation

Documentary Feature – 5 Broken Cameras

Total guess.  I haven’t seen any, although Searching for Sugarman had a decent release and I’ve herad excellent things about How to Survive a Plague.  I really should watch these.

Documentary Short-Mondays at Racine : Total guess – If I haven’t caught the documentary features…

Best Animated Feature Film – The Pirates! Band of Misfits – Pirates/Paranorman

Ooh I’ve watched all but Wreck it Ralph.  Brave was lovely, Frankenweenie was typical Burton weirdeness and I love Mackinnon and Saunders’ work with him (yay brits) .  Paranorman was great, unique and funny but Aardman are masters of animation and can I say again yay Stop Motion, yay Britain!

Cinematography – Roger Deakins, Skyfall – Roger Deakins, Skyfall

In 2008 I went to the Edinburgh Film Fetsival Roger Deakins Q&A with co-nominee Seamus McGarvey and I was captivated by this lovely, eloquent man.  (Both men in fact were incredibly engaging to listen to).  Look at his credits people  – 10 nominations to date, WHY HAS THIS MAN NOT GOT AN OSCAR? WHHHHY?  That’s right nominated TWICE in one year and still didn’t win.  Admitedly, it is not a good reason to give him an Oscar “so Esther can finally stop whingeing about it”, but there are other reasons so just, please, give him one Academy.  Also Skyfall did look sodding amazing.

All these men are great masters of light, so my particular obsession and personal feelings sort of aside,  I would genuinely be thrilled for Seamus McGarvey to have an Oscar (did you see Avengers Assemble and We Need to Talk About Kevin)  and Django and Lincoln where both skilfully shot. I can’t talk to Life of Pi but as it involves some significant CGI that would be my only “meh” winner.

Film Editing – Argo – Can’t comment:  Total guess, but if it’s going to get Best Film it should win a technical nod too.

Sound Editing – Zero Dark ThirtyCan’t comment: Total guess, that said there was a lot going on sound-wise in the film, and very little music so sound did create mood in a very effective way.  Not sure if that’s what the Academy looks for.

Sound Mixing – Les Miserables – Can’t comment: Total guess, but mixing live vocals must be a total bugger and it was incredibly well done.

Make-up– Lisa Westcott, Les Miserables: I haven’t seen the others but it won the BAFTA and Hugh Jackman aged marvellously and the prostitutes were sublime.  I have heard Anthony Hopkins was transformed and I did love the Hobbits, so any winner(s) would be acceptable.

Costume Design- Snow White and The Huntsman –Can’t comment.

When Sandy Powell is not nominated I have no go-to guess.  I went out on a limb here because Snow White and Ravenna’s outfits were incredibly memorable.  That said period costuming often does well here and the outfits in Anna Karenina were sumptuous, I felt the Les Mis outfits were pretty well dictated by years of stage costumes and Lincoln seemed historically accurate but I wouldn’t really have a clue. Mirror Mirror, was very fairytale.

 Music (Original Score) John Williams, Lincoln – Meh

I went with my gut here. Although my gut was fighting with Thomas Newman.  I’m fairly ambivalent about who wins, although Argo was my favourite of the films and I generally like Alexandre Desplat. Yep, I’m totally hedging.

Music (Original Song) – Skyfall- Skyfall

Everybody Needs A Best Friend was not my favourite song from Ted, I wasn’t a huge fan of Suddenly (although Hugh Jackman sang it beautifully), I haven’t heard the Chasing Ice and Life of Pi songs  – which leaves me with Adele, awesome Adele who I REALLY want to win and hopefully give an awesome, swear ridden speech.

Art Direction- Anna Karenina- Anna Karenina

Wasn’t the hobbit house already there in like 3 other films?  Some nice dashes in Les Mis, but it didn’t stand out for me, Anna Karenina had high goals and looked magnificent.

Visual Effects –Life of Pi- Life of Pi

Tiger on a boat and other assorted marvels, yep give it a gong.  Although the final Avengers battle was nerdtastic and you know, creating Middle Earth is always tons of work!

Short film (Animated)– Fresh Guacomole – Decide for yourselves!

Adam And Dog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtTQ9dPGBqg

Fresh Guacomole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMO6vjmkyI (made me hungry, very clever, and also short)

Head Over Heels http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHs3Pe32b8Q

Paperman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVp5BHQLX_w  (fantasia for a modern age)

& THE SIMPSONNNS….

Short Film (Live Action)– Curfew-Your guess is as good as mine!  here’s the official trailer.

Let the good times roll!

ELC