This year’s list of Oscar nominees left us spoilt for choice… they were all so good! So, the winners were definitely the crème de la crème among the films from this past year. Let’s take a look:
With Argo, Ben Affleck adds a dash of spectacular to his career turnaround. The film is based on actual events during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. When militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 people hostage, 6 Americans managed to slip away. The film chronicles the rescue of these six people with the aid of a fake film project. Affleck, in addition to having directed the film, plays the role of Tony Mendez- an exfiltration specialist, the man behind the workings of this dangerous rescue mission. The acting is brilliant, as are the writing and direction. The only real low for this film is that it does little to flesh out the backdrop of the story; the people of Iran are mostly a blur in the background. But, all in all, a well-deserved win.
The Taiwanese born director won his second Oscar for direction, for Life of Pi (the first was in 2006, for Brokeback Mountain), besting Steven Spielberg (nominated for Lincoln) a second time. Lee worked with a crew of over 3000 people to create this 3D masterpiece. Based on Yann Martel’s book, the gripping story of a boy trapped on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger, marooned at sea, this film is touted to be one of the most visually and technically brilliant films of all time. The film also won in the cinematography, visual effects, and best original score categories.
"I cannot do the work I love to do unless I take time away from it" –Daniel Day Lewis
With his third Best Actor Oscar, Daniel Day Lewis became the actor with the highest number of wins in the Best Actor category. His portrayal of the 16th president of America- Abraham Lincoln, has been one of the most celebrated performances of the season. With this gifted, sensitive actor, who is known to be choosy while selecting scripts, and taking his art more than seriously, we expected nothing less than a performance par excellence, and we definitely didn’t come away disappointed.
The 22 year old Jennifer Lawrence was best known for playing Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games before she appeared in Silver Linings Playbook. For the past two days, however, she’s been ‘trending’ for falling over while on her way to collecting her Oscar for Best Actress. In Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence plays the role of a woman who develops an attachment to a married (separated) man who suffers from bi-polar disorder, and tries to lure him in by asking him to be her partner in a dance competition. The actress beat a rather interesting list of nominees, including Emmanuelle Riva for Amour- the oldest actress to be nominated in the category, and Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild- the youngest.
This film tells the heart wrenching story of a French couple in their eighties, both once music teachers, each deeply in love with the other. When Anne (played by the exquisite Emmanuelle Riva) falls seriously ill, her husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintingnant) does all he can to prevent her from melting away even as he watches. The film deals with a serious subject, without shying away from depicting the decay and helplessness that are inherently a part of old age, death and loss, and still succeeds in being a film about love. With both actors delivering genuine, moving, and quietly brilliant performances, Amour is a true masterpiece.
Not something you’d expect from Pixar- the makers of films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and WALL-E. But say what you will about Merida’s wilful, tom-boyish ways, this is a princess film, and in that, Pixar has moved into traditional Disney territory. But because of being a movie about a princess created by Pixar, the film combines the best of both worlds. The characters feel like real people, in a story that is set against a traditional fairy-tale backdrop- with kings, and queens, and witches, and the rest of it; and the animation and visuals are, well, Pixar-class. But most importantly, we have a princess who can be a princess whether or not there is a prince in the vicinity.
For more on the 2013 Oscars, visit The Oscars page on Junglee.