And the Award Goes to…

Awards Season wraps up this weekend with the 85th Annual Academy Awards!  But here at Stream, the Oscar buzz often gets overshadowed.  Because Award Season means one thing… it’s time for the Streamies!

And now onto our official Oscars picks! Even though our Production Department heads, Dave & Greg, have never won an Oscar… they know a thing or two about writing and directing award winning videos.

Greg comments in bold, and Dave comments in italics.

Best Actress

Perhaps the most diverse category this year, featuring a trio of actresses in their primes bookended by a 9 year old girl and a woman turning 86 on Oscar day.  With so much variety to choose from, I think the Academy “zeroes” in on Jessica Chastian, who played the tough CIA analyst who doggedly led the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.  Chastain shows some real range dealing with the emotions of chasing – and ultimately killing – the world’s most wanted man for the better part of a decade.

With perhaps the most eclectic collection of nominees, this will certainly be an interesting Award to watch.  From first time Actress Quvenzhané Wallis, who by the way is also the youngest nominee in history, to the seasoned Emmanuelle Riva, this is probably the most wide open of them all.

My Pick:  Naomi Watts.  A personal favorite of mine, Watts continues to dazzle the big screen with amazingly raw emotional performances.  Since she was snubbed in 2004 by the Academy (that Monster Charlize Theron took home the hardware),  I think this is the year she finally gets her due.

Best Actor

DDL came here to do two things: chew bubble gum, and win Best Actor Oscars.  And he’s running out of bubble gum.  In  a category filled with talented actors, this is a tight one.  But The famously method approach that Lewis brought to this role will win out.  If you managed to keep your eyes open during Lincoln (zzzzzzzzz), you witnessed one of the most complete actor transformations to date.

Wow.  How can you go wrong with any of these choices?  The rising star in Bradley Cooper.  The multi-talented Hugh Jackman.  The powerfully consistent Denzel Washington.  The somewhat back to normal Joaquin Phoenix (welcome back).  And oh yeah, Daniel Day Lewis.

 My Pick:  Daniel Day Lewis.  Look, it’s quite simple.  Here’s how the process works:  1) Daniel Day Lewis accepts role, 2) Daniel Day Lewis literally transforms into that individual, 3) Daniel Day Lewis emerges from Award Season with a new array of hardware for his mantle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oscars one day become the DDLs.

Best Director

The winner here is Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained.  Or should be (if the Academy didn’t dis him every chance it got.)  Instead my $5 bill is on Steven Spielberg  getting a 3rd Oscar for his sweeping historical drama.

My favorite category!  And man, there were some amazing displays of Directing this year.  Ben Affleck with Argo… Kathryn Bigelow with Zero Dark Thirty… Quentin Tarantino wit Django Unchained… wait, none of these directors were nominated?  Oh, that’s right, the Academy opted for a mix of obscure (Ben Zeitlin?) and boringly safe (oh… Spielberg again) nominees.

My Pick:  Ang Lee.  Why?  Why not?  [Please note, extreme disappointment with the category this year].

Best Picture

It looks like a two horse race between Lincoln and Argo.  Both transport us back to dark, embarrassing places in America’s past (slavery, the disco-era), and both have been roundly lauded by critics and audiences alike.  But only one will win this coveted award.  Final Answer: Argo.

With the recent switch to the 10 nominee format, trying to get a gauge on who the Best Picture Winner will be is quite a challenge.  Although many feel the expansion has merely bloated the ballot, it’s my opinion that recognizing five additional films each year has helped broaden people’s slates and introduce them to some otherwise obscure gems that may not have made it onto their radar in year’s past.  This year’s race is tight, with Spielberg’s blockbuster Lincoln and the much acclaimed Silver Lining’s Playbook at the top of many people’s lists.  That being said, I’m going against the grain.

My pick:  Argo.  Ben “Who”Fleck has come a long way from his days as a Jersey Girl.  His maturation as a filmmaker is undeniable, and with his recent success behind the camera with The Town and Argo, he is clearly at the top of his game, and among the best of his craft.  Great storytelling, great ensemble cast, and great performances + smart filmmaking = a taught thriller that will win Best Picture.

That’s all, folks. Best of luck to the nominees, and we hope you enjoy watching the show! (Or Stream’s webisode, whichever)