Valdosta Daily Times

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February 24, 2013

Oscar Gold: The Times critic makes his picks for the year’s best movies

VALDOSTA — The Academy Awards will present Oscars live 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. Nominees for the 85th Annual Academy Awards are:

 

Best Picture:

“Amour “(Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers)

“Argo” (Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers)

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers)

“Django Unchained” (Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers)

“Les Misérables” (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers)

“Life of Pi” (Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers)

“Lincoln” (Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers)

“Silver Linings Playbook” (Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers)

“Zero Dark Thirty” (Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers)

Surprisingly, the quality of movies this year has not reached the quality of previous Oscar years. These films are good in their own accord. However, the performances of certain actors in each movie are much greater than the films. The front-runners are “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Les Misérables” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”  

Three of these movies are political in nature. “Argo,” “Lincoln,” and “Zero Dark” deal with political reality, a covert mission in a revolutionary Iran, one of the United States’ best presidents during the Civil War, and an insider’s take on the hunt for Osama bin Laden. These three films are all better than “Les Misérables,” but Hollywood likes giving awards to musicals that do not always live up to the hype. Such is the case here. This leaves “Argo,” “Lincoln,” and “Zero Dark” as the true leads as the other films in this category had limited audiences or lesser excitement. “Argo” has won several awards, including the Golden Globes. It has the best play out of all of these films. It is riveting. “Lincoln” rests upon the mantle that is the great presence of President Lincoln. "Zero Dark Thirty” plays more like a good documentary-type drama. They are all memorable, yet “Argo" is the one that has remained intriguing throughout.  

Selection:  “Argo”     

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Daniel Day-Lewis — "Lincoln"

Bradley Cooper — "Silver Linings Playbook"

Joaquin Phoenix — "The Master"

Denzel Washington — "Flight"

Hugh Jackman — "Les Miserables"

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