sheryl cruz fans club (intrigero) wrote,
sheryl cruz fans club

My Handy Dandy Guide to the 85th Academy Awards

As seen in The Philippine Star, Feb 23 2012. I'm putting this so I don't look like some obsessed blogger.

Sorry, everyone. Ever since I did this two years ago I wanted to make it a yearly thing; but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t bring myself to finish last year’s The Help or even watch War Horse. Luckily, this year offers a much better selection, and I can say with confidence that every film on this list is worth watching (though I have a disclaimer about Les Mis).

Now, we all know that come Monday everyone will be asking if you saw what Jennifer Lawrence was wearing or how cute Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were at the Oscars. This is the point where you can be super annoying and say something like “yeah, but wouldn’t it have been cool if Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis tied for best actress? Oldest nominee ever and youngest nominee ever onstage together!” Thanks to this guide, you will be able to make informed commentaries on things none of your friends care about when it comes to The Oscars. On to the nominees

Les Miserables

OK maybe I didn’t see all the nominees this year-- I slept through half of Les Miserables. It is quite an ordeal, you must admit, and no amount of Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway or Amanda Seyfried’s nipples in the rain can really make up for Russell Crowe.  The unquestionable stroke of genius is shooting Anne Hathaway in an uninterrupted close-up singing I Dreamed a Dream with live sound; those four minutes solidified her win as Best Supporting Actress. And she deserves it, despite being a total bitch to our good friend Ricky Lo .

Zero Dark Thirty

My personal favorite of 2012’s nominees, Zero Dark Thirty probably won’t be going anywhere because of the backlash from the CIA and its purported inaccuracy. At its core a gripping detective procedural, it tells the story of the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal pull a ballsy move by sacrificing character development and simply dishing out plot point after plot point, commanding the audience to catch up; it pays off in spades. Apologies to James Cameron and Michael Bay, but Bigelow is the most macho director in Hollywood today, and I am very, VERY upset that she wasn’t nominated.

Life of Pi

If there’s anything to be thankful to Life of Pi for, it’s that this film justified the existence of 3D.  I’ve always admired Ang Lee for being the anti-auteur, his oeuvre absent of a common style and signature but almost consistently amazing*. Life of Pi is more visually ambitious than his previous work, but Lee’s skill at storytelling and profound understanding of the human spirit prevails. By the way, in all my years of writing this is the first time I’ve used the word oeuvre. I think this deserves a slow clap.

Beasts of The Southern Wild

So this year’s token indie nominee is the one we all expected, and with good reason. Beasts is a touching little movie about Hushpuppy (wonderfully played by Quvenzhané Wallis), a strong and willful six year old whose world falls apart when her father turns ill, setting the young one on a search for her mother. A modern folktale told with complete confidence and skill, Beasts is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen, making first-time director Benh Zeitlin very deserving of his Oscar nomination.


It’s a trap, guys. You have this trailer that looks like it’s going to be an epic Civil War movie only to find that Lincoln is two and a half hours of lobbying accompanied by a lot of John Williams string-pulling. It could have been an interesting look at 19th century politicking, but Steven Spielberg’s theatricality and awkward ending gets in the way. I understand why Americans love it, because it’s so rooted in their national identity. I don’t, and am still actually rooting for Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) as best actor even though everyone knows it’s going to Daniel Day Lewis.

Django Unchained

Who’d have thought that Django Unchained would provide the Civil War era epic-ness Lincolncouldn’t? Because of the amount of blood in this movie there’s zero chance that Django will win Best Picture. Having said that, this heartfelt tribute to the Spaghetti Western is now one of the subgenre’s greatest examples. Though Quentin’s gorefests are getting tiring, Django still has an excellent script with some of the best-written dialogue this year. Expect Tarantino to take home the screenplay award with this one.

Silver Linings Playbook

Will not win, simply because it’s a romantic comedy. And yet, this already ranks among some of the finest romcoms of all time. Director David O’ Russell’s script pierces through the souls of what could otherwise be one-dimensional characters, and his directing is nothing short of masterful. It also has hands-down the best acting ensemble of the year. I’d actually forgotten what it was like to love Robert De Niro, and being reminded is one of the many reasons I love this movie.


Is the most depressing movie I have ever seen in my life. I’m not even joking. You know how people turn away during horror films? I was like that the whole time with Amour. Director Michael Haneke, who has made a career disturbing audiences with tools like ultraviolence (Funny Games. See it) and sexual depravity (The Piano Teacher) finally gets to me with one of my greatest fears: old age. The fact that this guy actually got nominated as Best Director is a triumph, simply because Haneke is the most un-Oscar director working today (aside from Khavn de la Cruz, of course). I’m hoping everyone gets so pissed that Affleck didn’t get nominated that they all rally behind Haneke.


Poor,poor Argo. From being the frontrunner for Best Picture it suddenly became the underdog due to Ben Affleck’s snub in the Best Director race. But hey, underdogs sometimes have their year, and this looks to be it. A professor of mine actually did a statistical study of Oscar winners, and it showed that winning The Golden Globe, The PGA and The DGA are major signs that a film will win best picture. Argo won all three, and Ben Affleck will have his vindication this Sunday.

Also, he will finally make up for Gigli.


only for the major ones because this articles is boring me already as well

Best Picture

Who will win: Argo

Who should win: Zero Dark Thirty (but yeah Argo’s pretty awesome)

Best Director

Who will win: Steven Spielberg

Who should win: Michael Haneke (just because it would be really fun)

Best Actor

Who will win: Daniel Day Lewis

Who should win: Joaquin Phoenix, who gave an amazing mindblowing performance. Except everyone hates him, probably even more than Affleck.

Best Actress

Who will win: Jennifer Lawrence

Who should win: Jennifer Lawrence (I would also be absolutely ecstatic if Naomi Watts won because she’s one of my favorite actresses. But she will not)         

Best Supporting Actor

Who will win: It could be anyone. This is the most exciting category for me. All nominees have won before, and it’s really anyone’s game.

Who should win: Even I can’t pick a favorite. Cristoph Waltz was absolutely brilliant in Django Unchained and Philip Seymour Hoffman once again gives topnotch work in The Master. I do have a soft spot for De Niro’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook, however, so I might have to go with that.

Best Supporting  Actress

Who will win: Anne Hathaway

Who should win: Amy Adams because she has the honor of performing the most disturbing handjob scene in cinema history.

Best Original Screenplay

Who will win: Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained

Who should win: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom. May I digress for a minute? Moonrise is my favorite movie of the year, and I am absolutely saddened that it didn’t get the accolades it deserved. However, without question writers are the smartest award-givers in The Oscars, and they have a knack for giving brilliant, non-nominated films like Almost Famous andEternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind the prize. I haven’t completely given up hope on this happening.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who will win: Chris Terrio for Argo

Who should win: Argo, or David O’ Russell’s script for Silver Linings Playbook

*Hulk, 2003

Tags: academy awards, cinema, handy-dandy guide, oscars

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