Branching out from politics and economics, I have been examining Oscar predictions over the last few weeks. While I approach the science of predictions the same way for both political elections and the Oscars, there are some key differences.
This year, it's looking as if I won't be buying tickets to most of the nominees for Best Picture, because I have this built-in protective mechanism which keeps me away from exceptionally violent films.
Politicians in Washington may be patting themselves on the back for preventing a fall off what they called the nation's "fiscal cliff" but, really, what they have done is just put off the hard decisions until another day.
In our initial likelihoods of victory for the big six categories, Lincoln is our most likely winner in three: best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) at near certainty, best picture at 94 percent, and best director (Steven Spielberg) at 70 percent.
As to the DGA awards, Hooper joins Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee, and Ben Affleck for this honor. Omitted were Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and most serious, a favorite: David O. Russell.
To my mind, we need some more "good" fairy tales, in that we need the inspiration to work at the realities of our selves, and of course each other, and of course the larger world. The giving it up to God almost spoiled my enjoyment of the movie.
One Oscar Les Miserables won't be nominated for is "Best Original Musical." Wait a minute, you're thinking, that's crazy talk -- there's no category called "Best Original Musical." As a matter of fact, there is such a category, but it's just never been activated.
Texas Chainsaw 3D topped the box office this weekend with a robust $23 million. That this under-marketed film was still able to kick up a solid opening is proof of the franchise's long-standing popularity with genre fans (this is the seventh entry in 40 years).
The question of whether we see the world through the eyes of Javert or Valjean amounts to our understanding of justice. For Javert, justice is retribution in the interest of maintaining an abstract order; for Valjean, justice is solidarity in the interest of personal love.
I'll save the review, but the faithful film of the musical phenomenon is just as emotionally exhausting and breathtaking as it should be. It left me properly devastated and touched, and surely ready to analyze the performances.
I was thinking it would be like roadkill. Something you know you shouldn't look at. But you do anyway. Which is followed by that horrible feeling in your gut that you should have followed your instinct and avoid it.