The nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role are:jennifer_lawrence_silver_linings_playbook_a_l

Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour

Like Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence has been receiving rave reviews for her turn in Silver Linings Playbook long before the major awards season was underway, and rightfully so. Her Tiffany was funny and vulnerable, strong and weak, smart and irrational; it’s also great to see such a young actress (22 years old) with so much potential get her work valorized by her peers and the industry. An Oscar win for Lawrence will only cement her position as the rightful heir to Hollywood. With so many young actresses making a name for themselves in indie and blockbuster films (Emma Stone, Elizabeth Olsen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Elle and Dakota Fanning, Anna Kendrick… ugh why so white?), Lawrence seems to be the one most people are also rooting for; her online fan base is huge, and her
jessica-chastain-zero-dark-thirty1appearances on late-night talk shows make me wish she will be around for a long, long time. It’s so great to see someone so talented be so down to earth. The only other nominee I see as a potential upset is Jessica Chastain for her incredible work in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. The other three actresses are great, too (Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, Naomi Watts in The Impossible and Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild), but not enough people have seen them and their films for them to really (seriously) be contenders. — Chris Hanna

This is my favourite category this year, because although I found the films in 2012 to be less than amazing, the female performances were just all over the place.  Anne Hathaway in Dark Knight Rises, Michelle WIlliams in Take This Waltz, are Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea are among the biggest snubs.  But then again, all of the nominees are amazing too, and I would narrow the competition down to Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva. Jennifer Lawrence is the star of tomorrow, and I think she has a big and bright future ahead. The reasons why Chris wants her to win are the reasons why I think she shouldn’t be given an Oscar just yet.  She’s young, she’s already been nominated once before for Winter’s Bone (a role more far out there than her turn as Tiffany in Silver Linings) and she will be nominated again.  I guess I’m afraid of the Oscar curse (Reese Whitherspoon and Halle Berry’s careers have both gone downhill since their win). I just think that this role is not the best of Lawrence, it’s great, and Silver Linings is my emmanuellefavourite from all the nominees, but it’s not the role that should get her the gold.  Same for Jessica Chastain.  She has already become, very quickly, one of the greatest American actresses.  She likely has that Meryl Streep future of being nominated every year, and if she doesn’t win this year she probably will the next.  I think that the Oscar should, and will, go to Emmanuelle Riva for Amour.  She was the force that drove the film, especially considering how hard to watch it was.  Also, she has never won before and she’s had an amazing career, starring in Alain Resnais’ classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959) and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue (1993), among other things. – Radina Papukchieva

The nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role are:lincolnDDLfinal

Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables
Denzel Washington for Flight

Daniel Day Lewis. Free point on Oscar night for your office pool. DDL. No one else… Even though I’ve read that people believe Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) can pull an upset. No. DDL in Lincoln. He’ll make history as the first person to win the Best Actor Oscar three times (he won previously for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood).  — CH

joaquin-phoenix-the-masterI would really love for Joaquin Phoenix to win for The Master, but all signs point to Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln.  I mean, I didn’t see the film, but it just sounds like a boring role. Definitely not a match to his performance in There Will Be Blood.  But the Academy loves awarding actors who portrayed a figure in power, just look back a few years: Meryl Streep won for her turn as Margaret Thatcher last year, Colin Firth won for playing King George VI in 2010, and in 1998 Judi Dench did for her turn as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love.  I’m sure there are more examples. I’m hoping for Phoenix, but he doesn’t care about awards, so maybe it’s OK, he’ll for sure get over it. – RP

The nominees for Best Achievement in Directing are:AFI FEST 2012 Presented By Audi - "Lincoln" Premiere - Red Carpet

David O.Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Michael Haneke for Amour

Well, the best directors were not nominated, sadly, but not surprising.  I actually don’t know where to go with this one.  Everyone is betting on Spielberg, and I think Lincoln has a fair chance.  The movie won’t win the Best Picture Oscar, so the Academy will give it the Best Director honors.  My personal pick would be Ang Lee, because I’m still in awe with Life of Pi.  David O.Russell may not be a technical kind of director, but he’s definitely an actor’s director.  If he knows how to do one thing, it’s to get the best out of his actors, every time.  Everyone in this category has different directorial strengths which is what makes this award so hard to predict, but I have a feeling it will go to Spielberg just because of his continuous contributions to the industry.  But he’s definitely not my favourite (I don’t know why I keep stressing that). – RP

David-O.-Russell-Silver-Linings-PlaybookI think Spielberg will take it, but can we give credit to the man who directed four actors to nominations? Don’t lie to yourself: you had *no* idea Bradley Cooper could actually act. David O. Russell did that. Silver Linings Playbook is getting a little bit of hate these days because it’s quite mainstream for an indie flick, but it was wonderfully acted and directed. Ben Affleck really should be getting it, but Spielberg is a good no. 2 (ok no. 3, because Kathryn Bigelow should have also been nominated for Zero Dark Thirty).- CH

The nominees for Best Motion Picture are:

Silver Linings Playbook
Les Misérables
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained

This may turn into a very sloppy love letter to Ben Affleck so I’m going to keep it short.  He’s come a long way, and he’s proven to be a very promising director, with all three of his movies being quality work (Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now Argo).  The first two didn’t cause quite as big of a splash as Argo, but audiences and critics loved them.  I’m not saying the film had the success it did because this past year the competition was weaker, but I think 10% of it had to do with that.  However, this is a great thing because I think Affleck had to be taken seriously and now he has been.  I’m not even going to waste any time talking about the other eight nominees, because although they all had certain individual strengths, there isn’t one film among them that I would say stood out as an overall great picture in every way.  Argo was funny, serious and thrilling at the same time, it looked great, it sounded great, and it had a great casting.  Also, it looked more intricately and meticulously done than Affleck’s two first films, so he’s definitely showing us range here.  So yeah. “Argo fuck yourself.” – RP

ArgoI wish the Academy would go back to five nominees again. Isn’t the field watered down? Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild were fine films, but great enough to be considered in the prestigious category of Best Picture? I don’t know about that.
The top five this year would have been Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained if I had my way, but Life of Pi would be more likely to round out the nominees, pre-2009. It’s been said that 2012 was a weaker year for films than 2011, but I actually have to disagree with that statement. I don’t think there’s been a year with a more diverse group of nominees at the Oscars, as well as quality accessible films for audiences to enjoy (Skyfall, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Marley, The Imposter, Queen of Versailles, Looper, Pitch Perfect, Flight).
I think Argo will take the Best Picture award. I think it’s worthy and very good and very exciting and it’ll be good validation for Ben Affleck who, as Radina has pointed out, has churned out a trifecta of amazing films. — CH

Join us as live-tweet and live-cringe (most likely) at the ups and downs, ooooohs, aaaaahs and ohs. Seth MacFarlane is hosting, and make sure to stay tuned after Ben Affleck accepts his Best Picture award, as the format has changed. There will be one final musical number with Kristen Chenoweth and MacFarlane to end the ceremony.

By Radina Papukchieva and Chris Hanna


About The Cafe Phenomenon

"The Cafe Phenomenon" refers to a situation, specifically in a cafe, where you are sitting with a friend and engaging in conversation with them, but you suddenly find yourself unable to listen because the background noise of the cafe distracts you from what they are saying (the background noise could be any thing: the gossip at the next table for example). It happens that, from time to time, in certain contexts the background noise is stronger and more defined than our personal and private one on one conversations. Our blog, made up of a group of friends from Concordia's journalism program, can serve as the background noise penetrating the intimate discussions of our virtual cafe dwellers (hopefully adding insight, relevant coverage, and interesting ideas). Or it can be the friend with whom you are deep in conversation. This, our dear readers, we leave to you.

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