It’s Awesome Friday on a Sunday! This week we’re talking about West Side Story, which has just been released to Disney+, and the new Ryan Reynolds starring Netflix family action movie The Adam Project.
There are streaming links as well as our ratings after the jump. Join us!
Greetings programs and welcome to another edition of the Awesome Friday Movie Podcast. This week Matthew and Simon are taking a look at the new season of Netflix’s The Witcher and Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.
Steven Spielberg is about to turn 75 years old. Since his debut feature in 1971, a full fifty years ago, he has tackled all manner of genre and subject matter, but never a musical. It makes sense then that his trademark skills –an iconic eye for composition and blocking, perfectly deployed single takes, finding the best cast for the story, and impeccable detail at every level– now all feel like he might have been refining specifically to make a musical because his new version of West Side Story makes excellent use of all of them.
In 1992, seven years after *Back To The Future* came out, I bought a guitar and a skateboard, and it was directly responsible for both. One of those lasted no more than a few weeks, gravity and gravel disrupting my dreams of hitching through Peterfield’s sleepy streets. The other, though, took hold quickly and has been a defining part of who I am ever since.
Jurassic Park is not only one of the films that really kicked off my own love of the movies, it also changed the movies themselves. Watch this awesome short documentary on bringing digital dinosaurs to life and how that changed everything.
It’s come to my attention that many of you haven’t seen the [the films of] series of videos I mentioned yesterday when I posted about the _[Insight: Derek Cianfrance](http://awesomefriday.ca/2014/03/awesome-insight-derek-cianfrance-examines-the-directors-voice/?preview=true)_ video. This is something that needs to be corrected, so here is a playlist of the entire series.
Released over the course of 2011 each video profiles a different director and manages to distill that directors voice into something pretty special. The entire playlist is around 35 minutes long so set aside some time and watch the whole thing. It’s pretty amazing.
The Oscars are later tonight and Simon and I will be live blogging them. Just for fun, I’m going to lock myself into a few predictions.
#### Sundry Categories
Without going into too much detail on these ones here are how I’d like to see a few of the categories with less fanfare to play out.
* “Skyfall” to win Best Original Score.
It’s the only memorable one of the nominees.
* “Skyfall” to win Best Original Song.
Best Bond Song in years and just a great song. Outside chance for _Everybody Needs a Best Friend_ from Ted, but doubtful.
* Roger Deakins to win Best Cinematography for “Skyfall”.
[There’s lots of reasons to love Roger Deakins](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Deakins#Filmography), but more to the point he’s never won the awards despite some brilliant work _and_ Skyfall is a gorgeous film.
* “Prometheus” for Best Visual Effects.
Prometheus is not a good film, but it’s a gorgeous film and the effects are seamless.
* Animated Movies
I haven’t seen all the nominees for best Animated Feature, so I have no idea who will win. I have hoever seen all the nominees for Best Animated Short and I really hope that ***Paperman*** wins.
And now, on to the big ones.
#### Best Adapted Screenplay
* “Argo” – Chris Terrio
* “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
* “Life of Pi” – David Magee
* ***”Lincoln” – Tony Kushner***
* “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell
I want to say Argo, but it will probably be ***Lincoln***. In the battle between American heroism and America’s most beloved president, I think it’ll go to the president.
#### Best Original Screenplay
* “Amour” – Michael Haneke
* ***”Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino***
* “Flight” – John Gatins
* “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
* “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal
***Quentin Tarantino*** has to win this one. Django is almost entirely overlooked in the nominations, but there’s no denying the screenplay is the best this year. Tarantino’s dialogue is amazing as always. You can question his directorial choices but you can’t question how he writes.
#### Actress in a Supporting Role
* Amy Adams – “The Master”
* Sally Field – “Lincoln”
* ***Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”***
* Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
* Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Are you kidding me? ***Anne Hathaway***. Everyone here is great, I wish that Amy Adams will win because she is as amazing as everyone else in The Master, and also because I’d really like to see the Academy slightly embarrassed by having all the actors win while their movie nor director is nominated, but Anne Hathaway plays a hooker with a heart of gold, doing everything for her kid, with a debilitating disease, in an adaptation of a beloved stage musical.
Yeah, it’s Anne Hathaway’s year.
#### Actor in a Supporting Role
* Alan Arkin – “Argo”
* Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
* Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
* ***Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”***
* Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”
No clear winner here. Everyone is amazing and everyone has won before. I don’t see Christoph Waltz winning since he did just a couple years back for a very similar role, I don’t see Robert De Niro winning because unlike Jennifer Lawrence (whose performance is elevated above the movie she is in) he’s good but not great.
Alan Arkin was great but also was how Alan Arkin always is.
So that leaves Tommy Lee Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d love to see Philip Seymour Hoffman win because he and Joaquin Phoenix are both spectacular in The Master, but ***Tommy Lee Jones*** I think might win for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t going to win his trophy.
#### Actress in a Leading Role
* Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
* ***Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”***
* Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
* Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
* Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
Do we even have to talk about this? I’m pretty sure this is Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose as of this moment. Silver Linings Playbook may not be a great film however Jennifer Lawrence is great in it. She’s already been robbed once (have you seen _winter’s Bone_? She’s amazing) too so that pretty much locks it down.
So here’s hoping that Jessica Chastain wins next year, because ***Jennifer Lawrence*** is going to win this year.
#### Actor in a Leading Role
* Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
* Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
* ***Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”***
* Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
* Denzel Washington – “Flight”
As with the Best Supporting Actor category there doesn’t seem to be a clear front runner here. Everyone did great. I was particularly surprised by Bradley Cooper who is getting better and better. However, I think it’s going to go to ***Hugh Jackman*** because say what you will about Les Mis, he acted the shit out of it.
It’s too bad too, because Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in The Master.
#### Best Director
* “Amour” – Michael Haneke
* “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
* “Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
* ***”Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg***
* “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell
***Steven Spielberg***. Honestly, of all the directors eligible to be nominated this year he’s the only one on this list that would also be on mine. Paul Thomas Anderson, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and Quentin Tarantino are all missing for the record.
#### Best Picture
* “Django Unchained”
* “Les Miserables”
* “Life of Pi”
* “Silver Linings Playbook”
* “Zero Dark Thirty”
* “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Argo has already won almost every major award there is in this category, including the Golden Globe, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and SAG awards. You know why? Because it’s a great film and it deserves to win.
It’s also the safest bet because unlike _Zero Dark Thirty_, which I think is a better movie, it’s a story about one man’s heroism and the Academy eats that up.
Outside chance for _Les Miserables_, but for all the fanfare at its release no one is talking about it anymore.
So, ***Argo*** it is.
Later tonight we’ll be live blogging the show so you can watch in real time to see how I did with my predictions then! In the mean time, do you guy have any predictions or movies you are pulling for to win?