film 2012 And the nominees are…

Elizabeth Golden

This past year has been a year unlike many others. The Academy Award contenders began rolling out as early as June, very much unlike the past years. Audiences laughed and cried and succumbed to the wonderful power of film. The same joy and tears were shed when the Academy Award nominees were released just a few weeks ago. There were few surprises as always, but overall the nominees were given to the most deserving films.  Although not all of the following films were nominated for best picture, they all were nominated for at least one award and therefore are part of the best films of 2012.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino shows off his directorial talent once more in this brilliant film intentionally made for Oscar season.

Jamie Foxx stars as a slave turned freeman who faces plantation owners in order to save his wife.

It’s very obvious Tarantino made this film solely to add to his trophy case since all the necessary Academy Award bait is present. The film has emotional tension, a controversial plot, outstanding acting and brilliant directing, but the film does not reek Tarantino as much as his previous films. The sense of humor and gore is there, but something seems to be missing from his signature style.

“Django Unchained” is nominated for five awards including Best Picture, Best Leading Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Screenplay. Although the film is unlikely to score Best Picture, best script will possibly go to Tarantino.

Flight

Denzel Washington stars as an alcoholic pilot who undergoes scrutiny after his plane crashes, saving almost everyone on board. Although the film is only nominated for two awards, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, the entire film was incredible.

The audience is taking on an emotional journey as Washington truly gives one of the best performances of his career. He is very deserving of the Best Actor award, but there is no guarantee with the steep competition.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sex, drugs and violence transform “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” from an average high school film into a heart-wrenching story of pain, emotions and struggle focused in the mind of a teenage boy.

Based on the best-selling book, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” tells the narrative of Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is just starting his first year of high school. He has counted down the days until it begins and is not looking forward to the pain and torment he has dreaded for years. His friends were not around and his sister wouldn’t talk to him, leaving him with no support other than his English teacher, who noticed his literary genius from the first day.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a heartfelt portrayal of contemporary high school society, mixed in with a little bit of “The Breakfast Club,” as Charlie’s childhood drama unravels in a cinematic way.

Little is actually known about the lead character from the film’s beginning, but as the story unfolds, the motivations between his introverted personality and depressive mindset are revealed.

This is a phenomenal film, fit for a wide array of audience members. Every viewer walks away personally touched, as the film depicts a side of life that is shunned from modern-day media.

The film’s key theme is, “It gets better,” which is a message relatable to anyone experiencing life’s hardships. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” does not shy away from the pain so many others try to hide. Instead, this film embraces every painful moment and every romantic situation, all warped into a story of growing up and the struggles of daily adolescent life.

Skyfall

Bond is back and better than ever in “Skyfall.” Complete with dynamic set pieces, incredible performances and emotional moments, this Bond celebrates the anniversary in the best possible way.

For the first time ever, the audience is given a glimpse of Bond’s childhood and is then taken on an emotional journey through his past. For Bond fans, this is an amazing turn of events.

Also, an interesting dynamic is developed between Bond and M, and the characters are showcased in a fulfilling way, giving light to their incredible relationship.

It’s very rare to see a James Bond movie on this list, but “Skyfall” proved to be the Bond to make the cut as it brought back the feelings triggered by Sean Connery so many years ago.

“Skyfall” is nominated for five awards, including Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. The film could possibly win Best Original Song for Adele’s brilliant performance, but the song still fell short of being the best Bond song ever. “Skyfall” is unlikely to walk away with anything else.

Argo

Ben Affleck does it again with this stunning and thought-provoking historical portrayal of the Iranian hostage crisis, and is sure to leave audience members on the edges of their seats. With lifelike dialogue, heart-felt situations and intriguing direction, “Argo” is sure to be a top contender for this year’s Oscar glory.

Based on true events, “Argo” recounts the horrific Middle Eastern events of the late ’70s.  After radicals storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran and take 52 American hostages, six manage to escape and take refuge at the Canadian Ambassador’s house.

Overall, “Argo” is suspenseful from start to finish. Every scene triggers a strong emotional reaction. Affleck allows the audience to truly feel the characters’ experiences and wish for the best, even though the ending can be inferred from the beginning. Only a true directorial genius like Affleck could add suspense to a historical event.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, “Argo” should have been nominated for much more,including Best Director. Affleck won this prestigious award at the Golden Globes, but the Academy of Motion Pictures chose to not even include him on the ballot. Although a key award was overlooked, “Argo” is sure to walk away with at least a few gold statues. Hopefully Best Picture will be among them.

Moonrise Kingdom

Fueled by awkwardness from start to finish, “Moonrise Kingdom” will remind you of the beauty of young love complete with the first encounter and first kisses. This film isn’t necessarily about the events themselves but the feelings surrounding the events. Emotion prevails as the two young lovers act in a way most adults aren’t even capable of.

Wes Anderson does a brilliant job portraying this young love stylistically and artistically from a child’s perspective, making this film one of the first contenders for Oscar glory.

Some may argue the truest form of love comes from childhood when one is innocent and free of worldly persecutors. Anderson shows this love from within the child’s mind and allows the audience to recall how it looked upon love as an awkward kid just trying to belong.

The film is complete with dry humor and a touching story, leaving a sense of happiness after watching this film. Anderson portrays the sad, unfortunate situations in a comedic and lighthearted way.

Moonrise Kingdom delves deep into meaning, symbolism and the struggles of daily life. This is a film about heart, emotions and all that makes growing up so special.

The film was only nominated for one award, Best Original Screenplay.  As the odds may be against “Moonrise Kingdom,” hopefully several judges will appreciate a little independent film making it big.

Les Misérables

The award for the most depressing film of the year goes to “Les Misérables,” but that’s obvious to anyone who has seen the play. The ending is inevitable, but the process is incredible.

Set in 19th century France, the film centers on an ex-prisoner who rescues and cares for a factory worker’s daughter.

“Les Misérables” is the dictionary definition of a musical meaning the entire film is sung. It is unlikely that there are more than a couple spoken lines in the entire three-hour presentation. For those who do not like musicals, the film may seem to be an unpleasant pile of depression.

The film is nominated for eight awards: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Hugh Jackman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anne Hathaway), Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hair, Best Original Song, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing.

It’s surprising Hathaway was nominated since she was mainly in the first 30 minutes of the film, but her performance was phenomenal. Every aspect of production was outstanding and “Les Misérables” is likely to walk away with several awards. It won Best Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes and the film has the possibility of claiming the Academy Award.

Zero Dark Thirty

It’s unclear whether this film can be considered a good movie, but it is definitely well done production-wise. Every aspect of the script is exceptionally well thought out and filmed to perfection.

“Zero Dark Thirty” is nominated for five awards: Best Film, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Screenplay. The film could possibly walk away with an editing award, but it has little chance of getting anything bigger.