The Oscars: Random talking points

By Russell Baillie

A scene from Moonrise Kingdom. Photo / Supplied
A scene from Moonrise Kingdom. Photo / Supplied

1: Moonrise Kingdom's only nomination is in the consolation prize category of best original screenplay. Unfortunately for the quirky Wes Anderson film, it seems this year's Academy vote for film-with-kid-leads went to Beasts of the Southern Wild. Anderson's co-writer on the film was Roman Coppola, who is the son of Francis Ford, grandson of Carmine, brother of Sofia and cousin of Nicolas Cage, all past Oscar winners (and a handy voting bloc too).

2: French star Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest nominee for her performance in Amour and turns 86 on the day of the awards. That makes her older than the 85-year-old Oscars themselves. At the age of 9, Beasts of the Southern Wild's lead Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest to figure in the Best Actress category, taking that record from Keisha Castle-Hughes for her 2003 Whale Rider nomination at the age of 13. But my, how fast they grow up ...

3: Guys who might be feeling aggrieved: How about John Goodman and Samuel L. Jackson? Goodman put in two memorable supporting turns in both Argo and Flight - previous winner Alan Arkin was nominated instead for Argo and while Denzel Washington got a best actor nod for Flight for his coke-sniffing alcoholic pilot, Goodman's colourful turn as his drug dealer didn't make the cut.

Meanwhile, Jackson's role of the Uncle Tom manservant in Django Unchained is his fourth role in a Quentin Tarantino film and is arguably his best performance in any of them, though he was Oscar-nominated for his hitman Jules Winnifield in Pulp Fiction.

But just as with Inglourious Basterds, which earned him a best supporting Oscar, Christoph Waltz's wordy German charms have made him the only actor in the Django ensemble to be recognised. At least Samuel L. can console himself as being the biggest box office star of all time, thanks to his attachments to the likes of Star Wars, The Avengers, and The Incredibles.

4: Gals who might be feeling aggrieved: Anyone nominated against Anne Hathaway in the best supporting actress category? Especially as she's only in Les Miserables for about 15 minutes to complete the song-for-a-gong transaction. Sure, in that time her despairing Fantine also sells her hair and flogs off some molars - a rare case of giving their eye teeth for an Oscar. And while playing Catwoman marked Oscar-winner Halle Berry's fall from grace, Hathaway's turn at the comic book feline femme fatale in The Dark Knight Rises gave that final Christopher Nolan Batman film a much-needed lift.

5: Agencies who might be feeling aggrieved: MI6, whose longest-serving employee won plenty of plaudits for his 50th anniversary excursion Skyfall, but came up short on any major nominations. Whereas the CIA have two films about their intelligence work - Argo and Zero Dark Thirty - in multiple categories.

6: If Steven Spielberg wins best director for Lincoln but best picture goes to Argo - as is highly possible because actor Ben Affleck isn't among the nominated directors - at least he knows how it feels. The same thing happened in 1998 when he won for Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare in Love won best picture.

7: Since its inception in 2000, this is the first year that stop-motion animation - with three out of five nods - has dominated the animation category with Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and Pirates! Band of Misfits up against the computer-driven efforts of Pixar's Brave and Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. Given the back-story to Tim Burton's Frankenweenie - it was a project that got his younger self fired from Disney - and that Burton has never won an Oscar, don't be surprised if he wins on the night.

8: The only star to figure both in this year's Oscars and the 33rd Golden Raspberry Awards - or Razzies - the night before is Barbra Streisand. She'll be singing at the Oscars and she's up for worst actress at the Razzies for comedy The Guilt Trip.

9: Since winning his first Best Actor Oscar in 1989 for My Left Foot, Daniel Day-Lewis has appeared in just 10 more features. Among his fellow nominees, Denzel Washington, who won Best Supporting Actor in 1989 has made 35 features, while Bradley Cooper has made 23 since 2001 and Hugh Jackman has made 28 since 1999. Then again, best actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva has only made a dozen or so since her first in 1959.

Being fussy has its merits.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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