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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Predictable Triumphs

American Film Academy announced Oscar winners
26 February, 2013 - 10:16
BEN AFFLECK TRIUMPHS AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS CEREMONY 2012 / REUTERS photo

Big Night in Los Angeles is over. There were no surprises this time. Film Life of Pi received four awards, Argo and Les Miserables got three awards each, and Lincoln by Steven Spielberg received only two awards.

The 85th Academy Awards ceremony was quite predictable. Apparent surprise is the fact that Lincoln has not become a great success. It is a historical drama about the legendary Abraham Lincoln and Americans care a lot about their own history, especially the period of the Civil War. Besides, Lincoln was in the lead by number of nominations (12). Finally, Spielberg is an indisputable authority in Hollywood. However, it seems that members of the Film Academy considered the artistic value more: Lincoln is loose, heavy in script and directing. The only thing that brightens up this tedious spectacle is perfect acting of Daniel Day-Lewis, who received an award as the best actor in the leading role. It’s already the second Oscar award for Day-Lewis. Terrific acting of Joaquin Phoenix in drama by Paul Thomas Anderson The Master equally deserved the award but the Film Academy is traditionally not a big fan of films by Anderson.

The verdict in the main category – the best picture was also rather predictable. This year the award went to the thriller Argo by Ben Affleck. The triumph of Affleck’s most recent film was predicted since the time, when the list of nominees became known.

Directing techniques used in this film are standard, there has been no memorable acting work here, but the whole drama is pretty exciting (Chris Terrio received an award for adapted screenplay), the historical and psychological factor also played an important role: the film is about a smart cover operation conducted by the CIA in 1980 to take a group of the US. Embassy employees from revolutionary Iran. This was a true story. It seems that Americans want to win the war on Iran at least on the screen. It would be better if they only fought on the screen too.

Of course, Life of Pi by Ang Lee could not remain without a win in at least one category: bright special effects, 11 nominations speak of harmony with nature and religious tolerance, after all Americans love fairy tales. As a result, the film received awards for directing, film editing, visual effects, and sound track.

Like 18 years ago Quentin Tarantino received an award for best screen writer, back then it was for Pulp Fiction, and now – for Django Unchained. Like three years ago, working with Tarantino brought Austrian actor Christoph Waltz a statuette for the supporting role. However, in Inglourious Basterds he played a small Nazi devil and in Django – a humane bounty hunter.

The award for best sound by definition had to go to the musical Les Miserables and unhappy but beautiful Anne Hathaway received a statuette for best supporting actress. The award for best leading actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for playing the character of insane dancer in the melodrama Silver Linings Playbook leaving behind such serious rivals as Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Finally, the most pleasant moments. First, Swedish-British film Searching for Sugar Man (directed by Malik Bendjelloul) – amazing non-fiction detective about the search for the rock musician Rodriguez missing since the early 1970s received the award for the best documentary.

Second, the Oscar for the best foreign language film went to Amour. A day before the Film Academy Award ceremony the masterpiece of the Austrian director Michael Haneke was also awarded five “Cesar” prizes – European counterpart of Oscar. Counting the Palme d’Or and the Golden Globe, Amour now has all top film awards in the world. This is a real pleasure not only for Haneke and his team, but also for every fan of art cinema.

By Dmytro DESIATERYK, The Day
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