CHRIS CORBELLINI’S “O” FACE, PART II

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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…

 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

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.

 

FILM EDITING

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…”

VISUAL EFFECTS

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

Marvel’s The Avengers

Prometheus

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.

 

SOUND EDITING

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.

 

SOUND MIXING

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

Amour, Austria

Kon-Tiki, Norway

No, Chile

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.

 

ANIMATED FEATURE

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.

 

ORIGINAL SCORE

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.

 

ORIGINAL SONG

Before My Time, Chasing Ice

Everybody Needs a Best Friend, Ted

Pi’s Lullaby, Life of Pi

Skyfall, Skyfall

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.

MAKEUP

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

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

 

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.

 

COSTUME DESIGN

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.

 

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