Best to worst in my book:
Django Unchained 9/10
QT masterpiece, full of everything you'd expect - mesmerizing dialog, deep, complex characters, bloodpath action, quirky score, superb cinematography, dashes of humour and a great morale and historical debate. Cast were spot on - although I suspect QT had CW in mind from day one of writing - definitely the stand out performance. Leo is scacry good as the head of Candyland.
Silver Linings Playbook 9/10
Sometimes it takes a crazy person to show how crazy regular people can be. De Niro - yes, I saw his character and not the Hollywood superstar. I could say the same for all the lead actors. Lawrence was mesmerizing and Cooper rock solid. Much more than I expected - strong plot, very emotional but balanced well with the humour.
Les Miserables 8.5/10
Unbelievable plot that I suspect was a little over dramatisized. Even knowing the outcome didn't take away from the incredible tension. Agree that the academy have snubbed Afleck's directing. Solid soundtrack was a surprise along with the humorous hollywood connection. A solid 7, but not an 8 in my book.
There has been some controversy here in Canada (especially after the premier at TIFF) about the downplay of the Canadian efforts to get the 6 Americans out of Iran. In the movie, there is only a brief mention of other ideas for the rescue and no mention of Canadian plans and/or ideas. Canada (likely as well as the US) had spent 3 months working on plans to get the 6 Americans to safety but apparently none were deemed viable. In he movie they say the movie crew idea was the best worst idea.
In a recent interview, Jimmy Carter confirms that the majority of the work was actually done by Canadians
Dizzy wordplay; nodded off a few times. Interesting man Abe. I liked the Stevens twist. Need to read the synopsis on imdb to fill in my embarrassingly big gaps in understanding US politics and history. Not high on my lists. But the great performances and important history telling are probably worth the nominations.
And my awards go to...
Django Unchained - production and movie, script
Silver Linings Playbook - acting, directing, script
Zero Dark Thirty - drama and historical wow factor
Les Miserables - sets, costumes music, acting, adaptationArgo - directing, adaptationLife of Pi - fx, adaptation
Lincoln - acting; directing