POSTED January 10 2013

Is the Oscar race Lincoln versus Silver Linings?

imagesFlashback to 1998, when Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and Harvey Weinstein’s Shakespeare in Love galloped neck and neck down the Oscar track and Shakespeare took five statuettes, including best picture, to Ryan‘s five. Love conquered war, in part because Weinstein spent a reported $15 million on the campaign.

The announcement of the Oscar nominations this morning likewise pit a Weinstein-distributed romantic comedy, The Silver Linings Playbook,  against a Spielberg-directed historical drama, Lincoln.

Although drama usually trumps comedy at Oscar time, I wouldn’t bet against the Weinstein campaign. Silver Linings has been in limited release and will go wide, getting increased media attention over Lincoln, and perhaps accumulating momentum during the runup to the Academy voting.

Which is the better film? I would argue Lincoln, anchored by Daniel Day-Lewis’ masterful performance, it is a sharply-written (by Tony Kushner)  historical story that telescopes the present-day difficulties of a deadlocked congress and nation.

My hunch is that Day-Lewis takes best actor as the personable and anguished 16th president, Jennifer Lawrence best actress for her engaging portrait of a borderline personality, and that the best picture and director statuettes are up for grabs.

Most egregrious omissions this morning were Ben Affleck for his direction of Argo,  Kathryn Bigelow for her direction of Zero Dark Thirty and Matthew McConaughey for his   physically and emotionally naked performances in Magic Mike and The Paperboy.

Thoughts? Predictions?images


  1. I think the Oscar race is pretty well over. Lincoln has it all the way. However, snubbing John Hawkes for The Sessions is an outrage.

  2. Gary Kramer says:

    I think John Hawkes in THE SESSIONS is the biggest snub. He was remarkable (more so than the hammy Joaquin Phoenix in THE MASTER).

  3. I personally find The Silver Lings Playbook more congenial, both as feel-good ideology (i.e., showing how misfits can adjust to capitalism and still triumph rather than showing how capitalism can adjust to abolishing slavery and still triumph) and as art (David O. Russell is writer AND director, and doesn’t have to rely on arty underlighting to prove his seriousness). But I should also admit that your acting predictions, Carrie, are probably how I’d vote, if I was an Academy member.

  4. Miz Val says:

    I agree with you Carrie . But I have a fondness for Silver Linings because it was filmed in my neighborhood and I like Bradley Cooper. I have not seen Lincoln I guess I will have to carve 3 plus hours out of my day to go see it.But only on a Thursday and at the Rave when I can see it for $5.00. Jennifer Lawrence was good but I did not get that feeling I get when I spot a winning performance. Quvenzhane Wallis gets my vote.Something is really, really wrong if I don’t see Christoph Waltz walk away with Oscar number two. He was excellent in D’Jango.

  5. Barbara Blonsky says:

    It may just be me, but I hated Silver Linings Playbook. I was bored to death and found the story predictable and trite. I will agree that Jennifer Lawrence was wonderful….a pleasure to watch….and the only bright spot in a very mediocre film.

  6. Barbara Blonsky says:

    Oh…and I totally agree that snubbing John Hawkes in The Sessions is an outrage!

  7. Gary Kramer says:

    No Marion Cotillard for RUST AND BONE; No Bill Murray for HYDE PARK ON HUDSON; No Helen Mirren for HITCHCOCK.

  8. Gary Kramer says:

    Nicole Kidman for THE PAPERBOY! That was a performance!

  9. Horse Badorties says:

    Swift trip for Lawrence from Winters Bone to Oscar..but she had star written all over her in that little gem.

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