The magic of the movies.They have more power than any other art form to collectively impact a million emotion. As a child, it is the wonder of a larger than life screen ,that comes alive and the beautiful imagery, that holds one in awe, as a young adult it is the escapism that cinema provides from the stress of every day life; and as one gets older it is the inane wisdom & finer nuances of niche movies that still keeps one hooked to the silver screen. And if you are a movie buff, a day in the month of February every year, holds much meaning. It is that day of reckoning, the crowning glory, in the cinematic achievement of a year gone by.
2013 too is no different, with a line up of some of the most amazing movies and brilliant performances that are up and running for the Oscars. The most coveted of International Movie Awards, the Oscar telecast is watched by millions world over. And tonight, as all movie fans are waiting with bated breath, the jury would have already made their decisions. The rest of us will simply have to wait a few hours longer, until the curtains raise, winners & losers notwithstanding.
Arabian Gazette takes a look at the Movie Nominations for Academy Awards 2013
Winner of the Palm D’or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, Amour is a frontrunner at the Oscars, 2013 too. This tender French drama revolves around its protagonists, 2 elderly couple- George and Anne, who are retired music teachers. Anne suffers a stroke and her health declines rapidly as her husband looks on helplessly. Amour is a moving love story about two people who mean everything to each other, during the autumn of their lives, as in the bloom of life.
Cast : Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Director : Michael Haneke
Is an out-and-out thriller based on the dramatisation of the 1979 Canadian – CIA undercover mission to rescue 6 American diplomats,who were held hostages, out of revolutionary Iran, using the guise of a phony movie project. Ben Affleck’s directorial debut has wowed the critics. We will have to wait and see if this will win him the Oscars.
Cast : Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman.
Director: Ben Affleck
3. Beasts of Southern Wild
BOSW is about an endearing little girl, Hushpuppy who lives a life of gay abandon in Southern Louisiana . The little girl along with her unwell, hot tempered father try to rebuild the community after floods destroyed their land. Bold and original, the central star is definitely the young performer. The movie’s almost dreamlike quality of story telling results in an extremely moving drama that has captured every critic’s heart.
Cast : Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Gina Montana
Director : Benh Zeitlin
4. Django Unchained
Set in the Southern heartland, two years before the American Civil War, Django, a slave who has a brutal history with his former employers meets Dr.Schultz, a German bounty hunter. The two set out to catch the murderous Brittle Brothers and also rescue Django’s wife from the infamous plantation owner, Calvin Candie. After Pulp Fiction and Inglouorious Basterds, Quinton Tarentino has received much critical acclaim for Django Unchained.
Cast : Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson
Director: Quentin Tarantino
5. Les Miserables
A brilliant musical remake of its predecessors, Les Miserables is set in 19th century France. It is the story of Jean Valejan, who is hunted for decades by the police after he breaks parole. It is set at the backdrop of the Paris uprising of 1832 which ultimately led to the French Revolution. The musical production breathes a new lease of life into the characters of Valejan (Hugh Jackman), Cossette (Amanda Seyfried) and Fantine (Anne Hatheway) like it has never done before.Victor Hugo would have been immensely proud!
Cast : Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen.
Director : Tom Hooper
6. Life of Pi
When Ang Lee announced his plans for making Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” into a movie, many wondered if it would ever achieve the cinematic perfection to match the book’s vivid story telling. The end result was a brilliantly breathtaking 3D and digital recreation of characters who had endeared themselves to millions. From the Bengal Tiger to nautical objects shimmering beneath the sea, the movie has a sense of the mysterious, the magical, that simply took everyone’s breath away.
Cast : Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, Tabu, Adil Hussain
Director : Ang Lee
The story revolves around the 16th American President, Abraham Lincoln’s final months in office. While the President struggles to bring a bloody civil war to a closure, he has to fight and win over those within his own cabinet for pushing the 13th amendment to end slavery. With amazing courage and determination, the choices that he made in the nth hour has perhaps changed the lives of generations to come. Daniel Day Lewis’s stellar performance as Abe Lincoln, is alone enough for Lincoln to sweep the Oscars.
Cast : Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Director : Steven Spielberg
8. Silver Lining’s Playbook
The romantic comedy drama revolves around Pat Solitano who moves back with his parents and tries to amend things with his ex-wife after serving time at a mental institution. Despite challenging situations, Pat is determined to rebuild his life. But things take a turn when he meets Tiffany, who has problems of her own. Tiffany agrees to help Pat get back with his wife but on a condition. Their lives take a different turn from then on.
Cast : Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver.
Director : David O Russell
9. Zero Dark Thirty
A brilliant chronicle about the decade long hunt by the CIA for the most wanted Man on their list – Osama Bin Laden. The central character is Maya, as a young CIA officer who’s a part of the mission to catch Osama. Maya’s single minded focus solely on intelligence related to the leader of Al- Qaeda since the 2001, September 11 attacks ;ends with Bin Laden’s death at the hands of Navy Seal Team 6 on May 2011. With a gripping storyline and an impressive central performance by Jessica Chastain as CIA’s Maya, Bigelow’s powerful directorial focus is evident through Maya’s single minded intensity of character.
Cast : Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke,Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
ARABIAN GAZETTE’S OSCAR FAVOURITES :
1. Life of Pi – For its technical and visual esthetics
2. Lincoln – For Daniel Day Lewis’s power packed performance
3. Django Unchained – For its compelling storyline and stellar performances
4. Zero Dark Thirty – For its powerful and gripping portrayal of the capture and assassination of one of the most wanted man in history.
Which is your favorite movie? Did it win the Oscars ? Let us know in the comments!