Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In the Mood for Podcast: Episode 34

EPISODE 34: The Wowface Concept
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It's Episode 34 of In the Mood for Podcast, a British-based film podcast hosted by Calum Reed of Ultimate Addict and Pete Sheppard of In the Mood for Blog. This week we get heavy with reviews of Oscar-nominated political dramas "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty," as well as getting into the controversy surrounding the latter. (It's at this point that Cal would like to point out that he is a left-wing pacifist, despite how it might sound on the audio.) We tackle the education system with a discussion of "Won't Back Down" before Pete takes on derided comedy "Movie 43" and Cal opts for Arnie in "The Last Stand." We're also analysing the Oscar races after the Screen Actors' Guild Awards, and previewing next week's top ten lists. Listen out for whose performance Pete thinks is "nothing wowface," kinder words than are offered to Jennifer Lawrence.

Discussed on the podcast: 

Opening Segment: Analysing the impact of the Screen Actors' Guild awards on the Oscar races. [2:40 - 18:30]

*Preconception Corner*

Reviews of: 
  • "Lincoln" [audio lost at 34:40 but returns at 35:44]
  • "Won't Back Down"
  • "Movie 43"
  • "The Last Stand"
[23:40 - 1:00:05]

Closing Segment: Discussing Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" and digging into the controversy surrounding its depiction of torture  
[1:00:10 - 1:17:25]

*Shag, Marry or Kill?*
*The Watson Factor*
*The Poupaud Range*

Intro Music: New theme music!
Outro Music: Blondie, "Hanging on the Telephone"

Monday, January 28, 2013

Won't Back Down (2012)

Wont Back Down
Directed by Daniel Barnz
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Dante Brown, Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Grade: C+

As you may have heard, this story about a school upheaval in inner-city Pittsburgh caused a bit of a stir over in the states. Many responses to “Won’t Back Down” have cited the film’s source of funding (a right-wing billionaire) as a cynical outlet for anti-unionist propaganda (in order to revitalise the school the staff must cut up their union cards), but as is so often iterated in the film, isn’t the education system foremost about the kids? The film’s real – and rather major – shortcomings come from its familiar underdog-success-story formulae – most notably the notion that everyone resistant to change is an ogre or hag with no respect for ethics. Those characters who are enlightened upon get treated a little better, the relationship between the two mothers cannily alluding to the different strengths of each women despite being separated by academia. It finally lost me when a dramatic incident of backstory involving Davis’s character amped the level of manipulation up considerably, but I’m still inclined to defend “Won’t Back Down” for offering interesting personalities and conflicts to counter its run-of-the-mill narrative arc.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In the Mood for Podcast: Episode 33

EPISODE 33: Surrogates + Slaves
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It's Episode 33 of In the Mood for Podcast, a British-based film podcast hosted by Calum Reed of Ultimate Addict and Pete Sheppard of In the Mood for Blog. This week we reveal our preconceptions about Quentin Tarantino before reviewing his brand new Western "Django Unchained." We're in for the straight-talking intimacy of Ben Lewin's "The Sessions," while the minor releases of Horror anthology "V/H/S" and culinary documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" attempt to whet our appetite. We talk about our favourite screenwriters and on-screen performances of disability, before rounding it all off with some swift SAG predictions. If you savour us when we're at our shortest and snappiest, here's a baby podcast for you. We can't mimic Quentin all of the time...

Discussed on the podcast: 

Listener Question: "Who are your favourite screenwriters?" [Ibbi] [2:45 - 9:30]

Opening Segment: Discussing the early work of Quentin Tarantino, and our review of "Django Unchained" [9:35 - 30:55]

*Preconception Corner*

Reviews of: 
  • "V/H/S"
  • "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"
[31:00 - 49:45]

Closing Segment: Our take on Ben Lewin's "The Sessions, our favourite disabled performances, and predictions for Sunday's Screen Actors' Guild awards  
[49:55 - 1:05:25]

*Shag, Marry or Kill?*
*The Watson Factor*
*The Poupaud Range*

Intro Music: New theme music!
Outro Music: Spark, "Revolving" (Monsieur Adu Reworking of Allegro in C Minor)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo Di Caprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington
Grade: C

As it so often goes with Tarantino films “Django Unchained” aims for gratuity at the expense of narrative cohesion, the marked difference between this and the rest of his oeuvre being that – as it always threatened to – his rambling, episodic style of filmmaking finally curtails the entire project. There are still some excellent scenes which draw a fully-realised set of characters, but the extraneous way that many of the scenes unfold drags a modest plot through to a near three-hour length. I’d happily watch ‘Django’ again for the sporadic touches of stylistic brilliance, its canny genre hybridism, and the large, enterprising performances from the cast, but it mostly showcases its auteur’s difficulty with shaping a narrative rather than his other many attributes. Indulgence and generosity finally get the better of his scribal tendencies, and this Western gets lost in the sprawl.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Sessions (2012)

The Sessions
Directed by Ben Lewin
Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
Grade: C+

Adapted from an article by the film’s disabled central character, Mark O’Brien, “The Sessions” feels the burden of its source material. An insightful but nevertheless compromised account from a remarkable man, it distinctly feels as if director Ben Lewin is rashly trying to extrapolate events into a feature-length narrative. The main story involving O’Brien and sex surrogate Cheryl (both played expertly by John Hawkes and Helen Hunt) unfolds over six ‘sessions’ in which a touching journey takes place between the pair, but the script insists on plumbing worthless humour from Christian paranoia and the strange ambivalence of William H. Macy’s catholic priest towards the subject of sex. This is a warm story with a healthy attitude towards intimacy and human connection, but even the acting can’t transform this into a substantative exercise for the big screen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In the Mood for Podcast: Episode 32

EPISODE 32: Baying For Blood
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It's Episode 32 of In the Mood for Podcast, a British-based film podcast hosted by Calum Reed of Ultimate Addict and Pete Sheppard of In the Mood for Blog. This week we react to the shock omissions in the recent Oscar nominations, and the dynamic of the race after Sunday's Golden Globes. We tackle two aggressive new releases in period mob flick "Gangster Squad" and vampire drama "Midnight Son," while Cal goes it alone for the decidedly cosier "Safety Not Guaranteed." And then we get to the main event, as Tom Hooper's musical "Les Miserables"gets the 'mood for' grilling, after instigating a mammoth preconception corner. There's also the results of last week's prediction contest, which will decide which one of us must serve a forfeit!

Discussed on the podcast: 

Opening Segment: Reacting to the week's awards news: Oscar nominations and Golden Globe winners 
[2:20 - 21:45]

*Preconception Corner*

Reviews of: 

  • "Gangster Squad"
  • "Midnight Son"
  • "Safety Not Guaranteed"

[26:50 - 49:50]

Closing Segment: Our take on Tom Hooper's awards hope "Les Miserables," and our favourite musicals of all-time  
[49:55 - 1:11:50]

*Shag, Marry or Kill?*
*The Watson Factor*
*The Poupaud Range*

Ends with bonus forfeit from last week's competition: 
Who has to watch what? 

Intro Music: New theme music!
Outro Music: Lulu James, "Stuck"

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Searching for Sugar Man
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Starring: Rodriguez
Grade: B [68]

As is the role of the documentary ‘Sugar Man’ surely succeeds in exploring a figure unconcerned with the limelight, the fate and whereabouts of humble musician Rodriguez an unlikely focus for grander commentary on how we treat artists as idols. A modestly-compiled story of researchers converging, the film takes a while to develop, and once its series of intriguing twists are revealed it struggles to regain that level of interest. Still, those with a reverence of cultural heritage may well be heartened by Bendjelloul’s treatment of this mystery, and the value that comes from watching a hazy legend evolve into a tangible reality. There’s something truly fascinating about a legacy being created through an unknown, and a talented figure of yesteryear finally acknowledged away from the confines of hear’ say. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Full List of 2012's Oscar Nominations

So here they are: the Academy Award nominations in full!

This year threw up a few surprises, not least of which was "Beasts of the Southern Wild" managing to snag a nomination for Best Director for Benh Zeitlin, as well as its inclusion in Best Picture and Best Actress. The Directors' Guild nominations proved to be a bad indicator for the equivalent Oscar category this year, with only Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg surviving the reshuffle. Their films, "Life of Pi" and "Lincoln," lead the nomination tally with 12 and 11 respectively.

Personally, I'm thrilled to see 'Beasts' recognised in so many categories, and that the Best Actress lineup will ensure completists of the future get an interesting set of nominees to engage with. The late Eiko Ishioka's nomination for the costumes in "Mirror, Mirror" is an unexpected delight, as is Adele's song nod, and thankfully Joaquin Phoenix has made it into the Best Actor lineup.

Some minor quibbles: the Academy went with the modest performances of Amy Adams and Jacki Weaver in Supporting Actress, rather than the daring ones of Nicole Kidman and Ann Dowd. They also left out "The Master" in production design, cinematography, and score.

My prediction score was 74/107. Nominations as follows:

Best Picture

"Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
"Django Unchained"
"Les Miserables"
"Life Of Pi"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Director

Ang Lee - "Life Of Pi"
Michael Haneke - "Amour"
David O. Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Steven Spielberg - "Lincoln"
Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis - "Lincoln"
Hugh Jackman - "Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix - "The Master"
Denzel Washington - "Flight"

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain - "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva - "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts - "The Impossible"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin - "Argo"
Robert De Niro - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones - "Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz - "Django Unchained"

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams "The Master"
Sally Field - "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway - "Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt - "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver - "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Original Screenplay

Michael Haneke - "Amour"
Quentin Tarantino - "Django Unchained"
John Gatlin - "Flight"
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola - "Moonrise Kingdom"
Mark Boal - "Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Adapted Screenplay

Chris Terrio - "Argo"
Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
David Magee - "Life Of Pi"
Tony Kushner - "Lincoln"
David O. Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Foreign Language Film

"A Royal Affair"
"War Witch"

Best Animated Feature Film

"The Pirates! Band Of Misfits"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Best Original Song

"Before My Time" - "Chasing Ice"
"Pi's Lullaby" - "Life Of Pi"
"Suddenly" - "Les Miserables"
"Skyfall" - "Skyfall"
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" - "Ted"

Best Cinematography

Seamus McGarvey - "Anna Karenina"
Robert Richardson - "Django Unchained"
Claudio Miranda - "Life Of Pi"
Janusz Kaminski - "Lincoln"
Roger Deakins - "Skyfall"

Best Film Editing

William Goldenberg - "Argo"
Tim Squyres - "Life Of Pi"
Michael Kahn - "Lincoln"
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers - "Silver Linings Playbook"
William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor - Zero Dark Thirty

Best Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran - "Anna Karenina"
Paco Delgado - "Les Miserables"
Joanna Johnston - "Lincoln"
Eiko Ishioka - "Mirror Mirror"
Colleen Atwood - "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Best Documentary Feature

"5 Broken Cameras"
"The Gatekeepers"
"How To Survive A Plague"
"The Invisible War"
"Searching For Sugar Man"

Best Visual Effects

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Life Of Pi"
"Marvel's The Avengers"
"Snow White And The Huntsman"

Best Production Design

Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer - "Anna Karenina"
Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Eve Stewart - "Les Miserables"
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock - "Life Of Pi"
Rick Carter, Jim Erickson, Peter T Frank - "Lincoln"

Best Original Score

Dario Marianelli - "Anna Karenina"
Alexandre Desplat - "Argo"
Mychael Danna - "Life Of Pi"
John Williams - "Lincoln"
Thomas Newman - "Skyfall"

Best Make Up

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Les Miserables"

Best Sound Editing

"Django Unchained"
"Life Of Pi"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Sound Mixing

"Les Miserables"
"Life Of Pi"

Best Documentary Short Film

"Kings Point"
"Mondays At Racine"
"Open Heart"

Best Animated Short

"Adam And Dog"
"Fresh Guacamole"
"Head Over Heels"
"Maggie Simpson In The Longest Daycare"

Best Live-Action Short Film

"Buzkashi Boys"
"Death Of A Shadow"

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

In the Mood for Podcast: Episode 31

EPISODE 31: Natural Disasters
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It's Episode 31 of In the Mood for Podcast, a British-based film podcast hosted by Calum Reed of Ultimate Addict and Pete Sheppard of In the Mood for Blog. The new year starts off with a minor tragedy, as our first recording of the podcast was lost due to a technical glitch. We reconvened later for round two, however, so you can listen to us vent our concerns about Tsunami-drama "The Impossible," retirement home melodrama "Quartet," indie dramedy "Celeste & Jesse Forever," and the relatively drama-less "Playing for Keeps." We also look ahead to the new Terrence Malick film, "To the Wonder," before offering our oscar predictions (announced tomorrow!) in all of the major categories. 

Discussed on the podcast: 

Opening Segment: Discussing the trailer for the new Terrence Malick film, "To the Wonder"  [2:55 - 10:30]

*Preconception Corner*

Reviews of: 

  • "The Impossible"
  • "Playing for Keeps"
  • "Quartet"
  • "Celeste & Jesse Forever"
[16:50 - 56:35]

Closing Segment: Predicting the Oscar nominations, announcing a contest, and revealing what the loser will be forced to endure next week [56:40 - 1:19:35]

*Shag, Marry or Kill?*

*The Watson Factor*
*The Poupaud Range*

Intro Music: New theme music!
Outro Music: Bonnie Tyler, "It's a Jungle Out There"

Oscar Nominations - Final Predictions

Ciao! The time has come to predict the Oscar nominations, which are announced tomorrow at around 1.30pm GMT! For this reason it's usually my favourite afternoon of the year, although there will be inevitable disappointments to quell the jubilation.

In this year more than any other it feels like a number of scenarios could occur in various categories. It used to feel as if things were done and dusted for most of the major awards but things are not the case this time around. Last year's change in the voting procedure has left Best Picture looking very crowded with only a maximum of ten (or more likely nine) slots available for around thirteen films, and it's also unclear what effect (if any) this year's earlier nominations deadline will have.

I'm going to have a bash at guessing the nominees in all categories (minus the shorts) anyway, as it's all good fun. An added impetus this year is my contest with Pete Sheppard of In the Mood for Blog. Check out our latest podcast for extended reasoning for these predictions, and the full stakes of our contest!

Predictions as follows:-


"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
“Django Unchained”
"Les Miserables"
"Life of Pi"
"The Master"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Alternates: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”; “Amour”; “Moonrise Kingdom”; “The Impossible”

I've gone with nine because so many of these films are still being thrown around in the conversation, and all appear to have pockets of fans. It's also important to note that -- with the exception of "The Impossible" -- all of these films have continued to show up among critics and guild nominations. Bayona's disaster film may be behind all of these, but I just have a hunch that its broad humanist themes and populist action feel will sway many voters.

This seems to come down to a scrap between around seven films for two spots, although it's perfectly plausible that none of them end up making a lineup which could see anywhere between five and nine nominees. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" wasn't embraced by the Globes (films of this size and stature rarely are) but was ineligible for SAG, making it quite the wildcard. I think that its inclusion in the Top tens of the Producers' Guild, AFI, and NBR organisations stands it in good stead. "Django Unchained" is a bit of an unknown quantity, too, given that it was the last film that anyone saw and hasn't done well with the guilds.

"The Master" hasn't done as well as many thought, but the film feels like the elitist pick "The Tree of Life" was last year, and with the new 5% rule it could easily slip in. The same rule might pose a problem for the popular, old-skewing "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" as it isn't a particularly hip top pick for a ballot so much as something likely to appear on the back-end of one. Still, it's important to note that a similar pattern at Globe and SAG took "Midnight in Paris" to a Best Picture nomination last year.

"Amour" and "Moonrise Kingdom" are two films skewing towards totally different age-ranges, but which both have legions of support. My guess is that "Amour" has more widespread appeal within the academy but that many of its older members may be more deterred by the effect of the subject matter than enraptured by it, and foreign nominees in this category tend to be more uplifting.


Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"*

Alternates: Tom Hooper, “Les Miserables”; Paul Thomas Anderson, “The Master”; Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

The DGA five line up with Oscar once in a while, but I'm confidently betting that Michael Haneke usurps either Tom Hooper or Ang Lee, based on the directors' branch's more refined taste. I think Hooper's the most likely candidate to be bumped given the barrage of criticism his direction is (rightly) receiving from some quarters, although the film is more popular than Lee's.

Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Alternates: Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”; Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”; Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”; Dame Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

This category feels particularly up-in-the-air right now, with only really Chastain and Lawrence completely guaranteed spots in the lineup. It would be surprising if Watts were not to be included, given her great precursor record and her ability to nail her big scenes, but if the film doesn't prove to be that popular, then who knows? That may also pose a problem for Cotillard, who has also gotten Globe and SAG nominations for "Rust and Bone," a film likely to irk voters with its subject matter as much as appeal to them. 

Emmanuelle Riva isn't particularly well-known on the circuit and is starring in a foreign language film, but she does have a BAFTA nomination and two major critics' awards to back up the buzz. Rachel Weisz's film is tiny and came out very early in the year, but more and more people are seeing and responding to it, so a nomination wouldn't be totally out-of-the-blue. And what about little Quvenzhané Wallis, who has been winning breakthrough awards and playing the circuit like a pro? Keisha Castle-Hughes had the SAG nomination to foreshadow the Oscar inclusion but SAG couldn't vote for Wallis; maybe the fractured field will work in her favour?

Actor in a Leading Role

Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Alternates: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”

The only safe member of the race is Daniel Day-Lewis, leaving one of these five men (Gere would be a shock) to duke it out for four spots. I feel lost in predicting the outcast so I've gone with the youngest guy, as the Academy often goes older with their male nominees than their female ones (Remember Hirsch and Gosling in '07?). I don't want to see Bradley Cooper miss out, but that's what I'm going with.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Ann Dowd, "Compliance"
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Maggie Smith, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

Alternates: Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”; Amy Adams, “The Master”; Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

For Nicole Kidman to get a nomination here relies on Academy members watching "The Paperboy," a crass and messy film few people were pleased with. If we weren't talking about acting royalty then there wouldn't be a hope in hell, but as it's Kidman the nomination is possible, if not quite predictable for me. Ann Dowd also has a small, controversial film, but seems to be becoming a passion pick, and (like Sally Kirkland in '87 and Chill Wills back in the sixties) she's gained publicity  from funding her own campaign.

Dame Maggie Smith has arguably never been more popular right now, given Downton Abbey's massive success overseas, so a nomination here isn't unlikely -- especially if the film turns out to be a Best Picture nominee. Amy Adams, who is in danger of becoming Thelma Ritter Mark II (this would be a fourth nomination and defeat in seven years) doesn't really have a big Oscar scene in "The Master," but they really really like her, so why not?

Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Ewan McGregor, "The Impossible"

Alternates: Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”; Leonardo Di Caprio, “Django Unchained”; Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”; Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Eddie Redmayne, “Les Miserables”; Michael Pena, “End of Watch”

If Di Caprio didn't have to contend with internal Django competition, then I'd happily predict him to slip into the one spot not already occupied by veteran actors. Instead, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Ewan McGregor for "The Impossible," who gets and nails a teary breakdown scene in an already emotional film. Bardem could happen if the field is really fractured, as could Henry and Redmayne, if their films are more popular than anticipated. I've thrown in Michael Pena as a possible spoiler, too, because of the nature of his role.

Original Screenplay

“The Master”
Moonrise Kingdom
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Alternates: “Flight”; “Seven Psychopaths”; “Django Unchained”

Adapted Screenplay

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Alternates: “Les Miserables”; “Life of Pi”; “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

Animated Feature

“The Painting”
“The Rabbi’s Cat”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Alternates: “Paranorman”; “Rise of the Guardians”

Documentary Feature

“The Gatekeepers”
“The Imposter”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”

Alternates: “How to Survive a Plague”; “Chasing Ice”; “The Waiting Room”

Foreign Language Film

“Amour” (Austria)
“The Intouchables” (France)
“Kon-Tiki” (Norway)
“Sister” (Switzerland)
“War Witch” (Canada)

Alternates: “Beyond the Hills”; “The Deep”; “No”; “A Royal Affair”

Art Direction

“Anna Karenina”
“Django Unchained”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
“Les Miserables”

Alternates: “Argo"; “Life of Pi”; “The Master”


“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“The Master”

Alternates: “The Dark Knight Rises”; “Zero Dark Thirty”; “Les Miserables”

Costume Design

“Anna Karenina”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”

Alternates: “Mirror Mirror”; “Snow White and the Huntsman”

Film Editing

“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Alternates: “Les Miserables”; “The Master”; “Django Unchained”; “Silver Linings Playbook

Make Up & Hairstyling

“Les Miserables”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

Alternates: “”The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”; “Hitchcock”

Visual Effects

“The Avengers”
“Cloud Atlas”
“The Dark Knight Rises”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Life of Pi”

Alternates: “Prometheus”; “John Carter”; “Skyfall”

Sound Editing

“The Avengers”
“The Dark Knight Rises”
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Alternates: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”; “Les Miserables”; “The Impossible”

Sound Mixing

“The Dark Knight Rises”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Alternates: “The Avengers”; “Cloud Atlas”; “The Impossible”

Original Score

“Anna Karenina”
“Cloud Atlas”
“Life of Pi”

Alternates: “Zero Dark Thirty”; “The Impossible”; “The Master”

Original Song

“Brave” ("Touch the Sky")
“Joyful Noise” ("From Here to the Moon and Back")
“Les Miserables” ("Suddenly")
“Paul Williams: Still Alive” ("Still Alive")
“Skyfall” ("Skyfall")

Alternates: "Act of Valor" ("For You"); "Snow White and the Huntsman" ("Breath of Life"); "Sparkle" ("One Wing"); "Django Unchained" ("Ancora Qui")