Film News

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ost of us are mighty sick of movie awards by this time of the year. We’ve already sat through Sundance, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and a whole host of other gloriously long-winded ceremonies designed to give those lovely movie people a chance to publicly pat each other on the back (and why the heck not).

Well, awards season is very nearly over – but we can’t put down our scorecards quite yet, because the grand-daddy of them all is looming ever closer across the ticket-strewn tundra. Batten down the hatches, shut your pets in the spare room and take your grandmother’s priceless vase off that spindly-looking table; this Sunday in Hollywood, the curtain goes up on the Oscars.

Much as we’re intrigued by film festivals and awards from around the globe (and much as we have a massive soft spot for our own BAFTAs, usually presented by national treasure and all-round adorable fuzzball Stephen Fry), as far as cinematic honours go none have quite as much clout as the Oscars. Films that win an Oscar or twelve are never forgotten, and not only that, films that are only nominated for one will forever have the epithet ‘Oscar nominated’ emblazoned ahead of their titles.

Quite an eclectic bunch of thespians are up for the Best Actor/Actress awards this year. On the female side of things, we have Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts and Quvenzhané Wallis, child star of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Jennifer Lawrence snagged Best Actress at the Golden Globes this year for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, while Emanuelle Riva took home the BAFTA for Amour. It could swing pretty much anyone’s way at the Oscars though – this one’s too close to call!

Over on the men’s team we have Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Day-Lewis. This one’s a little easier to predict; although Jackman was given this year’s Golden Globe, Day-Lewis was awarded the BAFTA for his performance as Abraham Lincoln, and is looking very good for the Academy Award as well. His powerhouse performance in Lincoln is pure Oscar gold.

As for the biggest award of the night, well, let’s just say that things are going to get very interesting in the battle for Best Film. It’s between Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Argo, Les Misérables and Lincoln. There’s been a lot of buzz around Ben Affleck’s Argo, and deservedly so. If past performance is anything to go by (the film won Best Dramatic Picture at the Golden Globes and Best Film at the BAFTAs) then it’s looking like the quirky political thriller could once again swoop in and nab the top prize from under the noses of heavier hitters.

Who are your picks for the Oscars this Sunday? Head over to Twitter and let us know. The awards are scheduled to take place in the wee small hours of Sunday night/Monday morning UK time, but something tells me we’ll be glued to the action nonetheless…

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