I really love this time of year. Christmas is coming up, there are great movies coming out and the awards season is upon us. I went to see Lincoln last night, and I’ll have a review of that coming next week in tandem with the first Hobbit film, which I will be seeing tomorrow. I always wait until the end of the calendar year to make official predictions and Top 10 lists, but in a truly great year for cinema, I feel the need to break the following news to certain people.

Jennifer Lawrence: Silver Linings Playbook, not The Hunger Games.

This happens every year. People think the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. are all just a popularity contest. And although one shouldn’t deny that the Academy has their favorites, it is important to realize there are no teenagers involved in Oscar balloting. No, Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t deserve any nominations for her outing as Katniss Everdeen. I’d be surprised if The Hunger Games receives any nominations at all. It’s outclassed by plenty of more deserving films, and it can’t stand up to other blockbusters, who routinely snag the “lesser” awards in special effects and art direction. From an artistic standpoint, it hasn’t a chance, and films like The AvengersThe Dark Knight Rises, and Prometheus will bury it in the blockbuster categories. It was a decent outing for Lawrence, but really nothing amazingly special. 

No Major Awards for Bond, Batman, or the Avengers. 

While they did plenty of things right, there’s no way The AvengersThe Dark Knight Rises, or Skyfall will be taking home major hardware. The Bond flick could procure some nice nominations, as Javier Bardem and Judi Dench have seen already, but nothing in the manner of Best Screenplay or Best Picture. The Avengers, the movie of the year at the box office and the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater ever, isn’t the type of film the Academy likes, although it should get some special effects love. And Batman? Sorry, but your movie just wasn’t that great. I enjoyed it sure, but too many plot holes and stupid death scenes. Plus, I wouldn’t nominate any of the actors, even the supporting ones, because they didn’t have enough to work with. Again, we could see some “minor award,” but  nothing big, and that’s fine.

Argo and Zero Dark Thirty Could be Sneaky

Don’t be surprised if these two sneak up on everything and snag some major hardware. Nominated for five Golden Globes, Ben Affleck’s Argo has flown under the radar since its release, and Zero Dark Thirty is just starting to pick up the pace, and could challenge films like Lincoln and Les Miserables for some key awards, especially in the acting department.

The Special Effects Race will be Tight

The special effects awards could break any which way at this point. Prometheus was mesmerizing, The Avengers was done very well, and Life of Pi has been getting rave reviews in this department. And as disappointing as it was to many viewers, Cloud Atlas has been kicking up some dust as well. A lot of deserving candidates out there now.

That’s all I have for now. Feel free to respond with some input or predictions you have. My Top Ten Films list will come out at the end of this month, and I always like discussing it with folks, so let me know what you think.

P.S. I’m as baffled as you are by the attention given to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The book is good though.

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