Well in this part 4 of my Oscar coverage, i would discuss three categories one of which is very important and main one. I am going to give my take and early predictions on Best Animated Movie, Foreign Language Film and Best Director.
Best Animated Movie Nominees:
1. A Cat in Paris.
2. Chico & Rita
3. Kung Fu Panda 2
4. Puss in Boots
First of all i am very disappointed by the Arthur Christmas snub but i knew they wont nominate Winnie the Pooh for the obvious reasons. I haven't seen A Cat in Paris yet so i wont be able to talk about it though i know its not up there to win or something. I thought Kung Fu Panda 2 was a good animated movie, it had all the elements but it felt a little inferior to the original which was much more fun, meaningful story and far more visually stunning. Puss in Boots was an incredible fun, thrill and pure pleasure to watch and yes it is pretty much up there but wont win, i am really glad it is here. Now about Chico & Rita, this adult foreign animated movie was stunning and one of the very best of the year. I haven't seen Tintin yet but that is not a snub as this is Academy's rule and they went per that. Seeing the overall nominations, i still can't make up my mind calling it a satisfying year for animation because it just isn't it. Yes there were few exceptions and that Academy fill its spot with foreign animated movies to bring the class factor. One animated movie however from the very first viewing, i knew it was going to win the animated Oscar this year as i was not quite sure about Pixar this time. Rango is innovative, different, fresh and just a classic film making.
Best Foreign Language Film Nominees:
1. Bullhead - Belgium
2. Footnote - Israel
3. In Darkness - Poland
4. Monsieur Lazhar - Canada
5. A Separation - Iran
Now this is a category where i can't predict or comment anything due to the fact that i am unable to watch these movies though i really want to. This year however something happened, A Separation happened. From the very start of the year at the Berlin Film Festival, it took everyone by surprise after winning literally every award that night and for a movie from Iran, a tremendous achievement. I was fortunate enough to watch this movie and is one of my two favorites of the year, it won everything and many things throughout the awards season and is not only the frontrunner for the award but is definitely winning it. I am not able to speak anything about any other nominee like Monsieur Lazhar from Canada. In Darkness seems to be the second most likely winner due to the subject matter of it, Bullhead looks like the 'Dogtooth' of the year and Footnote is the movie that won Screenplay award at Cannes or somewhere.
Best Director Nominees:
1. Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
2. Alexander Payne - The Descendants
3. Martin Scorsese - Hugo
4. Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
5. Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
Well yes, this is a tough category always but even though with the inclusion of some of the pretty not so great or even bad movies, this category still is quite strong. Bennett Miller from the Best Picture nominees should have been a good addition but oh well. And one more think is that i haven't seen Hugo so i am not commenting on but you guys know about him obviously. Alexander Payne have been a favorite since his outstanding movie Sideways not just to the Academy but to me too but this time his movie might have been just slightly disappointing not as flawless or great as his previous movie. Incredibly happy for the Terrence Malick inclusion who i wanted so bad here, i was very happy the moment he was announced i mean with such horrible decisions this year, this was one of the smartest and respectable. Woody Allen gave a superb movie, it is the strongest of all the Original Screenplay nominees and up there for him too but his chances are more there than here. And then we come to the possible winner Michel Hazannavicius for The Artist who is taken most of the awards, people expected a Picture/Director split with Scorsese winning director while The Artist picture but Hazanavicius has been winning everything so the chances aren't quite bright now.
Michel Hazanavicius and Terrence Malick.
(nominees are listed on how likely they have a chance at winning, #1 being a frontrunner)
2. Puss in Boots
3. Chico & Rita
4. Kung Fu Panda 2
5. A Cat in Paris
Foreign Language Movie:
1. A Separation - Iran
2. In Darkness - Poland
3. Bullhead - Belgium
4. Footnote - Israel
5. Monsieur Lazhar - Canada
1. Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
2. Martin Scorsese - Hugo
3. Alexander Payne - The Descendants
4. Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
5. Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris