Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Tickets For... Our Oscars Analysis & Predictions: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song & Best Visual Effects

Andrew: Hello readers! It's that time again where Sarah and I finally start breaking down the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards that will be held on Sunday, February 24th! Last year we did it in a pretty basic way and it seemed to go over pretty well, and we really don't want to over-do it this year, so we'll stick to a relatively similar format. 

A difference this year, though, will be the order in which we break down the different categories. Starting with this post, we will break down the Oscar nominees in the following categories on these days:

Monday, February 18th: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects
Tuesday, February 19th: Best Original & Adapted Screenplays, and Best Director
Wednesday, February 20th: Best Supporting Actor & Actress
Thursday, February 21st: Best Actor & Actress
Friday, February 22nd: Best Picture and full list of predictions

So Sarah, let's kick off our analysis and predictions for this year's Oscars, shall we?


The nominees for Best Animated Feature are:

- Brave (Pixar)
- Wreck-It Ralph (Disney Animations)
- Frankenweenie (Disney Animations)
- ParaNorman (Laika)
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Aardman Animations)

A: Sarah, on paper this looks to be one of the toughest categories to choose from because of the overall strength of the films involved and the studios behind them. For the most part we've seen most of these films (we haven't seen The Pirates! and you weren't able to catch Frankenweenie), so what do you think of the Animated Feature category? Are there any of the nominees that stand out among the rest for you?

S: While I would love to say that ParaNorman has the best chance to take home the win, I really think that it will go to one of the Disney's; specifically Brave or Wreck-It Ralph. And when it comes down to it, I have to give the win to Brave. While it wasn't our favorite animate movie of the year, you have to admit that it was a beautiful film. When it comes to this category, I think that it has become the “pretty” category, and it’s one in which Pixar and Disney reign supreme.

A: I'm going to agree and disagree with you on this one. I agree with you that there are two films that stand out above to rest, and Wreck-It Ralph is one of those, but I think ParaNorman is the other one that will compete with Ralph for the statuette. Brave is fine but it's by far one of the weaker Pixar offerings story-wise, whereas ParaNorman and Ralph combine great animation with great scripts and voice-acting. I'd try to liken Brave to Cars 2 in how disappointing it really is, but Cars 2 didn't even get nominated in this category last year.

S: Well I guess we will just have to wait and see but my money is still on Brave. I just think that the voters will love the mother/daughter relationship and throwing in a little magic and mystique and you have the recipe for a winner. I know the overall story was weak but we have already seen Brave take home a few awards this year so I think it could take home the big one.

A: That's true, Brave did win the BAFTA and the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. I'm going to put my money on Wreck-It Ralph, though, because of the storyline, the script, the animation and the depth involved with the video game world that's so much like Toy Story.


The nominees for Best Original Song are:

- "Pi's Lullaby" by Mychael Danna & Bombay Jayashri, from Life of Pi
- "Skyfall" by Adele, from Skyfall
- "Suddenly" by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer & Alain Boublil, from Les Miserables
- "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" by Seth MacFarlane & Walter Murphy, from Ted
- "Before My Time" by J. Ralph, from Chasing Ice

A: This is the kind of category that usually is up in the air come the actual show, whether it's because there's no set amount of nominees for the category each year (last year there were only two nominees) or because a number of songs come from lesser known or received movies. But I'm fairly certain this might be the easiest category to predict other than Best Actor or Best Supporting Actress, right Sarah?

S: Oh yeah, well duh! This one 100% goes to Adele for "Skyfall." This song was amazing. Not only did it do well in the award shows so far, but it also hit #8 on the Hot 100 charts here in the States! Adele is one of the hottest singer/songwriters of the day and to have her sing the theme song for the 50th year of Bond movies was brilliant! The song really embodies everything Bond and is the blatant winner for this category.

A: Absolutely. I think it goes without question that "Skyfall" is the front-runner to win the award. We've heard a couple of the other songs nominated here, like "Pi's Lullaby" and "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" but those aren't nearly as memorable as Adele's powerful opening credits song. I'd bet money on "Skyfall" winning the Bond series its first Oscar since Thunderball won the Best Visual Effects Oscar in 1966. Speaking of Best Visual Effects...


The nominees for Best Visual Effects are:

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- Prometheus
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Marvel's The Avengers
- Life of Pi

A: I honestly have no idea who the front-runner for this category is, nor do I know who to completely write-off, so I'm going to let you tell me who you think the front-runners are.

S: I think the front-runner for this is definitely Life of Pi. Another one that wasn't a favorite, at least on my list, this year I do think that it had some great visual effects that just made it a beautiful movie. I would love to give this one to The Avengers but I just don't think it will take home the Oscar. Having The Hobbit in this is a little bit of a joke to me. I was so disappointed with this one and think that everything from the acting to the visual effects was just a let-down. So this would be the one that I would cross off the list.

A: After you said it and it got me thinking a little more, I’m going to agree with you that Life of Pi is the front-runner, and it's primarily because of the phenomenal job done to make the animals in the film (particularly Richard Parker, the tiger) seem 100% believable. There was not ONE moment where I didn't actually believe that tiger truly existed, and since there was only one scene where a real-live tiger was used (when it's swimming around the boat) I think the Academy has to give the award to Life of Pi. I feel like all the others have legit claims, like Prometheus and The Hobbit for creating amazing looking landscapes, or The Avengers for the great motion-capture work done with Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, but Richard Parker was too realistic to not get the award.

S: Well there you have it guys, our first installment for Oscar Week! On Tuesday we will talk about the Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director categories. This was a great year for movies and while there are some no-brainers, some of the next categories are going to be tough ones! Come on back as we lead up to our full predictions on Friday! And thanks for reading!

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