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One could call Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” the “feel-bad movie of the year” and not be incorrect — to be sure, Haneke’s shot-for-shot remake of his 1997 German-language thriller about a family terrorized in their vacation home by a pair of ever-so-polite killers is a powerful downer.
Michael Haneke takes a subject you don't often see in movies and probably don't even want to see — the slow, steady deterioration of an elderly woman — and handles it with great grace in "Amour."
If you’re anything like me, you were up at 6 a.m. this morning hitting refresh on your browser, waiting for the Oscar nominations’ webcast to finally get started.
Complete list of 85th Annual Academy Award nominations announced today:
The Oscar season is customarily kicked off by the Academy President and a random star solemnly announcing the nominees in a drab ceremony. The Academy decided to shake up tradition this year however, in one of the most cheerful Oscar mornings we’ve ever had.
If you had told me a month ago that my Oscar predictions would look anything like this, I probably would have advised you to go do a little more research. “Argo” poised for the Best Picture win sans a Best Director nod? Unthinkable. Emmanuelle Riva and Naomi Watts as viable Best Actress contenders against youthful powerhouses like Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain? You’re pulling my leg.
In recent years, there have been some really good Oscar hosts like Hugh Jackman, some acceptable hosts like John Stewart, some disappointing hosts like Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin, and some flat-out horrendous hosts like James Franco & Anne Hathaway. Despite the best efforts of some, none have come close to capturing the same wit, timing, and showmanship of reoccurring hosts like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, or Billy Crystal. At the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony however, Seth MacFarlane of “Ted” and “Family Guy” emerged as the single most entertaining first-time Oscar host of the 21st century.
Where everyone else spent most of last January debating which team would be victorious at Super Bowl XLVII, I was busy trying to predict which movies would win big at the 85th annual Academy Awards. In many respects, the Oscars feel like a sporting event as nominees tirelessly campaign to win and award analyzers place bets on which horse will cross the finish line.
There’s always that one person — whether an ignorant friend or snarky online commenter — who bemoans what a weak year it’s been for film. To those naysayers I reply, “Well, you just haven’t seen enough movies.”
The heralded holiday movie season is marked by big-budget extravaganzas, Oscar hopefuls and family films suitable for post-Thanksgiving or early Christmas viewing and for filling that luxuriously open week (for some lucky workers and students) before New Year’s Day.