Our friend Chris Corbellini provides his daily recommended allowance of C.C.’s on the Oscars. Yesterday, he provided us with his picks on the big awards. Today he gives us those on the lesser awards, you know, the ones that were given out a week earlier at a hotel ballroom in Santa Monica and hosted by an actress who used to be someone. Without further (Depar)dieu…
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Januz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins
SCOUTING REPORT: The working filmmaker’s favorite category. Sit in a darkened theater with an experienced director or producer and inevitably they’ll whisper: “ooh, nice shot.” So this one carries a lot of weight behind the scenes. It’s a three-cameraman race: No one shoots sunlight slipping through windows like Januz Kaminski. Roger Deakins has been the Coen Brothers secret weapon forever. And Claudio Miranda transformed what read like an un-shootable story into a beauty.
WHO WILL WIN: Miranda, Life of Pi. Deakins deserves it because every shot seemed dipped in awesome juice – far better than the source material deserved (the fireworks outside the Shanghai casino scene, Bond falling into a cold, deep Scottish pond). But it’s a Bond movie.
Argo, William Goldenberg
Life of Pi, Tim Squyres
Lincoln, Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
SCOUTING REPORT: William Goldenberg had a memorable 2012. He has a 2-in-5 chance of winning in this category, and I think those two are the favorites. It comes down to the final 20 minutes in each case. Both had life-or-death stakes, so which one was more intense?
WHO WILL WIN: Argo. The only film last year where I gripped the armrest in the theater. When you know how a story plays out already yet remain caught up in the drama, editing has something to do with it.
“Yes, I’d like the kosher meal…”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel’s The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman
SCOUTING REPORT: VE is a collaborative process with plenty of chefs in front of the mixing bowl, so I didn’t mention names in this category. The Hobbit looked like Super Mario Bros. at times, and a clunky version at that. Snow White and the Huntsman is best known for breaking up Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, so I could see the granddaughters of Academy voters trying to convince them to award the movie something. The Avengers? Looked fantastic, but it simply made too much money to win such a prestigious trophy.
WHO WILL WIN: Life of Pi. The best 3-D movie so far. More immersive than even Avatar, which won in this category three years ago.
Charlize Theron appears in two of the five films nominated for Visual Effects. We’re down with that.
Argo, Erik Aandahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
Life of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson
SCOUTING REPORT: I remember Zero Dark Thirty for the silence (the quiet helicopters, the slow march into the compound with sporadic gunfire) so that would be an unconventional choice. The Academy would be honoring the sound editor’s subtlety in a movie that could have been louder. Meanwhile, there’s a whole lotta ‘splosions in Skyfall. Life of Pi showcased a ship sinking and the screams of animals amidst the waves in one long prolonged shot – a horror grab bag of sound was needed to go with eye-bulging visuals.
WHO WILL WIN: Life of Pi. Skyfall could steal this one though, for the train crashing into the tunnel sequence.
Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Miserables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Life of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson
SCOUTING REPORT: If a film adaptation of a world-famous musical doesn’t win this one, it’s not a musical, it’s a cautionary tale.
WHO WILL WIN: Les Miserables. All those actors performed their songs live during filming. Like a Hollywood hairstylist who knows how to hide bald spots, those mixers helped make everyone in the production sound like a passable pro or better.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Royal Affair, Denmark
War Witch, Canada
SCOUTING REPORT: Yeah, No might have a shot here, but I can’t shake the muffled chuckles from a Lincoln Center theater crowd while watching its trailer due to the simplistic title. America … we are so obnoxious.
WHO WILL WIN: Amour. A consolation prize, as it won’t win Best Picture.
Brave, Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.
Frankenweenie, Tim Burton
ParaNorman, Sam Fell and Chris Butler
The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Peter Lord
Wreck-It Ralph, Rich Moore
SCOUTING REPORT: Not the best year for Pixar. It wasn’t Cars or Cars 2, but Brave got a lot of shrugs.
WHO WILL WIN: Wreck-It Ralph. With all due respect to Rich Moore, I’d like to see Sarah Silverman or Jane Lynch step up to the podium to accept this award and spout Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch things.
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams
Skyfall, Thomas Newman
SCOUTING REPORT: I collect movie soundtracks, and nothing here brushed my hair back. Since Life of Pi’s score fit neatly with each of the different locales (India at the start, for example), it is awarded points for mood lighting with music.
WHO WILL WIN: Life of Pi. John Williams uses spare Oscars as toothbrush holders at this point, so he doesn’t need another one.
Before My Time, Chasing Ice
Everybody Needs a Best Friend, Ted
Pi’s Lullaby, Life of Pi
Suddenly, Les Miserables
SCOUTING REPORT: When a song becomes a hit on iTunes before the movie is released, you stand a good chance of winning here. Take a bow, Adele. You made me want to slip on a tuxedo and order a vodka martini.
WHO WILL WIN: Skyfall. Here’s hoping Oscar host Seth MacFarlane spews more venom during the broadcast after losing in this category.
Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Miserables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
SCOUTING REPORT: I’m conflicted about the fact that a guy named Swords worked on a Tolkien fantasy adventure and is not going to win an Oscar. And how do you not refer to him as Swords on set? I doubt many Academy voters actually saw Hitchcock either, so that film is out in this category or any category.
WHO WILL WIN: Les Miserables. Everyone looked appropriately dusty or ragged.
I saw this outfit at Urban Outfitters
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
SCOUTING REPORT: Another collaborative award that stretches well beyond the names on the list, so I kept them off. Every extra without dialogue and every throw pillow on a bed is part of the production design. That would suggest the Hobbit wins by a landslide here, but the Academy has already honored the Lord of the Rings trilogy and director Peter Jackson and his crew already knew how to stage the material. Life of Pi was the greatest logistical and aesthetic challenge of all of these films.
WHO WILL WIN: Life of Pi. Granted half the story is a boy and a tiger on a raft, but the design of the living island made the movie. Note: I came back to this one an hour after writing it and wondered if Lincoln or Les Mis could steal this statue. This is a competitive category.
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Les Miserables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Elko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
SCOUTING REPORT: Is it your lifelong dream to get nominated for best costume and walk the red carpet in an outfit of your own devising? Make sure you get attached to a period piece or a fairy tale. Not one but two stories about Snow White made this list. Neither will win it.
WHO WILL WIN: Anna Karenina. Tolstoy’s literary monster and Oprah book club Hall of Famer goes 1-for-4 on Oscar night.