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Oscars 2013: Winners, Predictions and Snubs...


Argo vs. Life of Pi

Argo won Best Picture at last night's 85th Academy Awards ceremony. It was always going to be a race between the feel good films... Argo and Life of Pi. Argo was the safest bet, having won several Best Picture awards already - representing a great all-rounder team effort from the United States. Life of Pi was this year's Avatar, visually breathtaking, but lacking the performance nominations necessary to anchor it in dramatic credibility.

The Other Contenders

Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained were too violent and controversial. Amour's Best Foreign Language film makes its Best Picture nomination an echo. Lincoln was simply a vivid Civil War history lesson with a brilliant lead with an Academy Award regular in Steven Spielberg. Beasts of the Southern Wild was too art experimental and ambitious, especially afterThe Artist won last year. Silver Linings Playbook - a dark horse was dependent on winning all its acting nominations. Les Miserables was too long, depressing (and French) with Tom Hooper'sThe King's Speech win still too fresh in minds.

Best Achievement in Directing

Spling's Prediction: Michael Haneke - Amour

Ang Lee won Best Director on the back of Life of Pi's wins for Best Visual Effects, Cinematography and Best Original Score. The award was well-deserved with Lee serving up an excellent adaptation, directing young Suraj Sharma in his debut performance, managing a CGI tiger and a lush 3D environment. Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for Best Director in Argo, a snub he shared with Zero Dark Thirty's Kathryn Bigelow.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Spling's Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

This year featured a strong set of lead actor performances, including: Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master and Denzel Washington for Flight. However, it was to be Daniel Day-Lewis, who made history by becoming the first actor to win three Best Actor awards with a captivating performance in the titular role of Lincoln. Day-Lewis was given a standing ovation, after which he delivered an amusing and unusual acceptance speech featuring a role reversal comment about Meryl Streep's The Iron Lady and Lincoln as a musical - possibly trying to get into the spirit of Seth McFarlane as host.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Spling's Prediction: Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty

This category made history for featuring both the youngest and oldest nominees in Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. While many tipped a win for Jessica Chastain on the back of her Golden Globe win for Zero Dark Thirty and a strong two-year build up, the night belonged to young starlet, Jennifer Lawrence, for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. The actress looked like a princess, wearing such a long dress that she tripped on her way up the stairs to give her acceptance speech. Her co-stars were beaming with pride for the young woman, who has only just started what should be a long and blossoming career in Hollywood.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Spling's Prediction: Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz was brilliant in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, winning a best supporting actor Oscar for that role. So it didn't come as much of a surprise when he was nominated and then won again for Django Unchained, an unofficial Tarantino sequel. His charming and complex performance as a cold-blooded killer was the backbone of Django Unchained and many would agree that the film would have benefited from even more Christoph Waltz.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Spling's Prediction: Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables

Anne Hathaway's performance in Les Miserables was breathtakingly powerful. The actress had limited screen time and still managed to deliver a heart-wrenching and soulful performance, worthy of an Oscar.

Noteworthy Wins

South Africa was backing Searching for Sugar Man for Best Documentary (Feature) and it won. The sensational documentary has already racked up a number of awards, telling the powerful and magical true rags-to-riches story of Rodriguez and his revival, which started in South Africa. Brave won Best Animated Film of the Year, ousting other hot favourite Wreck-It Ralph and Michael Haneke's Amour won Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. While a rare tie for Best Sound Editing of the Year went to Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.

You can find the full list of nominees and winners here.



SAFTA Film Nominations, Predictions and Winners 2013...

This year's SAFTA film nominations are dominated by several films: Die Wonderwerker (10), Semi-Soet (8), Otelo Burning (7), Material (8), Little One (3), A Million Colours (2) and Adventures in Zambezia (2). With one of the most tightly contested years to date, it's going to be interesting to see who takes home the most coveted accolades.

Best Director is anyone's guess with Katinka Heyns delivering Die Wonderwerker, Craig Freimond hitting comedy gold in Material, Darrell Roodt serving up South Africa's Oscar representative in Little One and Wayne Thornley breaking new ground in Adventures in Zambezia. Best Actor will probably be a battle between a wistful Dawid Minnaar (Die Wonderwerker) and a charming debut from stand-up comedian, Riaad Moosa (Material). A powerhouse "supporting" performance from Vincent Ebrahim in Material should have Best Supporting Actor sewn up. Best Actress features several excellent performances, while Best Supporting Actress is anyone's guess with three equally deserving performances.

The big match-up of the evening is undoubtedly Die Wonderwerker and Material for Best Feature Film. Both films feature strong performances, firm direction and solid writing. Die Wonderwerker's cinematography and production values make it entrancing and visually-captivating, but Material's well-balanced comedy drama and heart should give it the edge. Surprisingly, Little One, South Africa's submission hasn't garnered a nomination in this category.

The SAFTAs ceremony commenced on 15 and 16 March with a live broadcast on SABC 3 on March 16, including highlights from the previous day. The winners are highlighted in bold.

'Zero Dark Thirty' Pre-release Screening with Spling (7 & 13 Feb)

Stephen "Spling" Aspeling will be hosting special screenings of the Best Picture nominee, ZERO DARK THIRTY, by Kathryn Bigelow, Academy award-winning writer and director of The Hurt Locker. Ster-Kinekor Movie Buffs screenings will take place at 7:30pm for 8pm on 7 February at Cavendish Square and then on 13 February at Tygervalley, Cape Town. Book Movie Tickets for Zero Dark Thirty

About the film

ZERO DARK THIRTY is a gripping drama and thriller based on the greatest manhunt in history, starring Jessica Chastain and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, award-winning writer and director of The Hurt Locker. "A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011. (IMDB)".

About the event

The special screenings will be held at Ster-Kinekor cineplexes at Cavendish Square and Tygervalley shopping malls. As your host, Spling will introduce the ZERO DARK THIRTY preview, which will then be screened and followed by a discussion for those wanting to explore the film further. Normal ticket prices and discounts apply and several movie goers will go home with prizes.

About the host

Stephen "Spling" Aspeling has been a film fanatic since he first watched the psychedelic elephant dance in Dumbo in the early '80s and a movie critic since 2007. More About Spling

Final Curtain for Cinema Nouveau, Cavendish Square...


Ster-Kinekor has confirmed today, 04 January 2013, that it will close its Cinema Nouveau theatres in Cavendish Square in Cape Town. The last trading date at Cavendish Nouveau will be the 17th January 2013. Tim Smal, a local Cape Town musician and regular patron of Cinema Nouveau, Cavendish was so moved by the decision that he created this tribute video.

“It is with regret that we have to share this news with our valued cinema audiences who have been so supportive of Cavendish Nouveau over the years. The closure of the theatre complex was a decision made by the mall owners who have decided to allocate the space used currently by Cinema Nouveau to an alternative retailer instead.

'Life of Pi' 3D Pre-release Screening with Spling (13 Dec)

Stephen "Spling" Aspeling will be hosting a special screening of the much anticipated 3D film, Life of Pi, 7:30pm for 8pm on 13 December at Cavendish Square, Cape Town as part of Movie Buffs, a new Ster-Kinekor initiative. Book Tickets | Facebook Event Page

About the film

Lif of Pi is a breathtaking adventure, directed by Ange Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain) and stars newcomer Suraj Sharma with Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain. "A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger. (IMDB)".

About the event

The special screening will be held at Ster-Kinekor's Cavendish cineplex at Cavendish Square shopping mall. As your host, Spling will introduce the Life of Pi preview, which will then be screened and followed by a discussion for those wanting to explore the film further. Normal 3D ticket prices and discounts apply and several movie goers will walk home with prizes. Book Tickets Online

About the host

Stephen "Spling" Aspeling has been a film fanatic since he first watched the psychedelic elephant dance in Dumbo in the early '80s and a movie critic since 2007. More About Spling

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