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Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My 2012-2013 Oscar Predictions – Part 2: The Technicals

These next categories are usually the categories I am most interested in when watching the Oscars, because they can have a tendancy to honour films that would usually be overlooked in the more prominent categories. These are the categories which focus on the video and audio details of the film.

1

VISUAL EFFECTS:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
Marvel’s The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White and the Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

It seems like this award will come down to Gollum vs. The Hulk, vs. the tiger.  However, Gollum has already won a few awards, and it appears more ambitious to CGI a realistic tiger than a cartoonish Hulk.  Therefore my prediction is Life of Pi.  However, I must say that I hope this category eventually moves away from who can make the best CGI creature and lean a little more towards effects which are innovative in ideas rather than just the technique.

Prediction: Life of Pi

Production Design:
Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

So it looks like this category got a name change from Art Direction to Production Design. in an effort to broaden the scope of what this category covers.  The Hobbit is of course a likely contender, but will they give it to a movie which looks so similar to its predecessors films, which they’ve already honoured?  Les Mis is supposed to have had excellent sets and design as well, though others have derided the aesthetic of that film, while Life of Pi seems to be universally praised as a visual masterpiece.

Prediction: Life of Pi

COSTUME DESIGN:
Jacqueline Durran – Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado – Les Misérables
Joanna Johnston – Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka – Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood – Snow White and the Huntsman

The academy loves to give this award to historical periodic pieces.  Therefore I think its going to comedown to Anna Karenina or Les Mis.  So will is be glamour or grime?  I’m thinking glamour.

Prediction: Anna Karenina

MAKEUP And Hairstyling:

Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

This category tends to go to the most prominent films.    And I mean, come on! Look at the design of the 13 dwarves.  They seem tailor-made for this category (I realize that this pun makes more sense with the costume category, but just go with it).

Prediction: The Hobbit

SOUND MIXING:

Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Misérables, 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

Hmm, Les Mis hasn’t been winning many awards, according to my forecast.  So why not this one?

Prediction: Les Miserables

SOUND EDITING:
Argo, Erik Aadahl 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

War films are usually a strong contender for this category, since gun fights are usually a great way to showcase sound editing.  I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty ( much to my chagrin) but I don’t think its a typical war movie.  Django, however, has lots of messy gun battles, of which the sound is a very prominent aspect.

Prediction: Django Unchained

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