Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Pretty Picture Techs

     In this post we will cover the technical categories that frame and dress up the pictures and places that you see on screen:  Production Design and Cinematography.  As always, buzz tallies are presented first with previous rankings in parenthesis.  My personal predictions follow.

Production Design
  1.(1) Les Miserables
  2.(2) Anna Karenina
  3.(5) Lincoln
  4.(3) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  5.(9) The Master

  6. Cloud Atlas
  7.(10) Django Unchained
  8. Life of Pi
  9.(7) The Dark Knight Rises
  10.(8) Argo
  Leaving the Rankings:  Prometheus, Hyde Park On Hudson
     I'm leaning more in these directions myself...
  1. Les Miserables...Pretty much a given for a nod, maybe for the win.
  2. Lincoln...This period drama is certain to total an impressive tally of nominations, no reason to think this won't be one.
  3. Anna Karenina...Only the lack of a likely corresponding nod in Best Picture makes this film's chances slightly less than those for the two previous films.
  4. Cloud Atlas...This is where the real guesswork begins, and I'm still out on a limb for this picture.  This is yet another category in which the six different time periods argument applies in terms of relative difficulty.
  5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey...This contender is the only one that is set in a realm of out and out fantasy, which could give it a leg up due to variety.  Plus, I expect Jackson's saga to get SOME below the line love from the Academy, in SOME category, and it could easily be here.

  6. Life of Pi...This film is supposed to be a visual masterpiece, but will that translate into tech nods beyond Cinematography and Visual Effects?
  7. A Royal Affair...If this Dutch costume drama breaks out of Foreign Language Film (as many feel it could), this would be a likely category in which to do it.
  8. Django Unchained...We'll just have to see what sort of combination of historical accuracy and outright kookiness the Tarantino camp has cooked  up this time around.
  9. The Master...While this film was put together with great care and accuracy of period, it is also set in a past that may be a bit too recent to catch this branch of the AMPAS's eye.
  10. Beasts of the Southern Wild...This is yet another category that has probably slipped through this film's fingers, but there is always hope.

  1.(5) The Master
  2.(1) Life of Pi
  3.(3) Lincoln
  4.(7) Les Miserables
  5.(2) Beasts of the Southern Wild

  6.(9) Anna Karenina
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Skyfall
  9. Cloud Atlas
  10.(10) Zero Dark Thirty
  Leaving the Rankings:  The Dark Knight Rises, To The Wonder, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
     I differ mostly in ranking, but my thoughts run more like this...
  1. Life of Pi...It may have slipped a hair in buzz this go around, but I fully expect Claudio Miranda's work here to rebound for the win.
  2. Lincoln...Janusz Kaminski is perhaps the choreographer in this race with the best Oscar pedigree and will likely receive a sixth nod here in the tidal wave of nominations that the film is likely to net.
  3. Beasts of the Southern Wild...I know voters have short memories, but when the DVD release unleashes a new round of buzz for "Beasts", expect Ben Richardson's Cannes rewarded work to be one of the beneficiaries.
  4. The Master...Buzz in Best Picture is slipping a bit for this difficult film, but even if it misses in that category, a nod here seems one of the most likely consolation prizes.
  5. Les Miserables...Still something of a guess, but the promos look gorgeous and Danny Coen's first nod was for a Hooper collaboration, so this does seem like SOMETHING of a good bet.

  6. Zero Dark Thirty...With early reviews rivaling the praise for Les Miserables, it could just as easily be Greig Fraser's turn to break out with a first nomination.
  7. Cloud Atlas...It's seeming less and less likely that this film will nab a multitude of nods, but the work here is certainly deserving.
  8. Django Unchained...Tarantino's latest opus remains the big question mark of the season.
  9. Anna Karenina...Choreographer Seamus McGarvey and director Joe Wright have seen a nomination in this category when they collaborated once before, but the tepid response to the film overall leaves me dubious.
  10. Moonrise Kingdom...While the buzz may not support this at all, I remain entranced by the unique look of this picture and cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman is arguably due a first nomination in recognition of his eclectic body of work.

     Next up...we finish out the techs with Finishing Touches:  Editing and Visual Effects.

Related articles...Nov/Dec Oscar Buzz and Predictions: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (preview), Musical Techs (Score and Song), Noisy Techs (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing), Pretty People Techs (Hairstyling and Make-up & Costume), Can You "Master" Your Nature?Cloudy Connections (Cloud Atlas review), The Dark Knight TranscendsI Think You "Argo"ing to Love It!Promarlius Kingdom (Prometheus and Moonrise Kingdom reviews), Best That the Summer Weilds? (Beasts of the Southern Wild review)

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