Despite Roger Ebert placing this film high on the films to win Best Picture, “Django Unchained” doesn’t have much of a chance. If we think “Argo” is a tough call due to the lack of a Best Directing nomination, “Django” must be placed below that. Meaning it will have defy even more than “Argo” to win. That being said, it still garner four other nominations to which it will probably win at least one.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominated Role: Christoph Waltz portrays Dr. King Schultz, a German bounty hunter in the pre-Civil War South who buys a slave to assist him with his work.
Christoph Waltz’s performance was one of my favorites this year, as was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s from “The Master”, but both performances seem like long shots to win this year, with veterans Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro both ranking higher according to the experts. However, Waltz did win in 2009 for Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”, so he’s no stranger to upsets at the Oscars and if that does happen, as unpredictable as this year may be, I will certainly not be disappointed.
Robert Richardson has a huge history with the Academy Awards, with seven previous nominations (“Platoon” (1986), “Born on the Fourth Of July” (1989), “Snow Falls on Cedars” (1999), and “Inglourious Basterds” (2009)) including three wins (“JFX” (1991), “The Aviator” (2004), and “Hugo” (2011)). This year he’s got his work cut out for him, facing some fellow Cinematography veterans like Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”) and Claudio Miranda (“Life Of Pi”). That being said, I personally don’t see Richardson taking home this award despite best efforts.
BEST SOUND EDITING
“Django Unchained” doesn’t really scream Best Sound Editing. Yes, there’s plenty of explosions, fights, and horse riding to facilitate a nomination, but I do not see it taking home the prize, with films like “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Argo”, “Life Of Pi”, and “Skyfall” all requiring the use of sound much more diligently than that of “Django”.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Best Original Screenplay could be “Django Unchained” and Quentin Tarantino’s category this year, for the sole reason that it’s been taking home most major awards that it’s been nominated for including a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay. This would be Tarantino’s second Oscar, winning for Best Original Screenplay in 1994 for penning “Pulp Fiction, to which he was also nominated for Best Directing. “Inglourious Basterds” was the last time he was nominated but took home neither Writing or Directing that year. His major competition: Mark Boal and “Zero Dark Thirty”. Both have faced criticism, with the strong use of the n**** word in Tarantino’s script bringing his film to light. Is that enough for the Academy to push towards Boal’s torture/war film? Or will Tarantino his second Academy Award?
Had “Django Unchained” followed the story set in its marketing and, with that, followed a much shorter run-time, Tarantino’s latest film could have been much closer to perfection. Instead, it remains an above-average exploitation film with above-average performances, that just cannot seem to tell its story properly. “Django” starts off impeccably, introducing the main characters, Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, who unarguably steals the show. The plot progression grows weary, portraying the story too much like a checklist, instead of a building up of moments. With most films that become epics, the moments build up, one on top of another, until several culminations drive to the conclusion. “Django” takes a different format of crossing one moment off the list at a time, ending the film with the crossing off of one moment instead of several. Despite all of this, with impressive showing from both Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson and some high caliber dialogue which resonates long after the film, “Django” is still a unique endeavor into the world of the Western melded with slave vengeance that has Tarantino’s passion smeared all over it.
// Produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, & Pilar Savone // Directed by Quentin Tarantino // Written by Quentin Tarantino // Cinematography by Robert Richardson // Supporting Actress: Christoph Waltz // Sound Editor: Wylie Stateman //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, February 10th, 2013 // NEW BEVERLY // 10 films – 15 days //