Oscars Nominations and who gets my Votes

I have watched several movies, some of which are I've reviewed, and it was with interest that I realized that a lot of those movies were being mentioned when touts for Oscar glory were being made. The nominations are out now and Lincoln takes the lead with 12 nominations, including best picture and best director for Steven Spielberg. I won't be surprised if it wins both, it is a worthy film though not my favorite.

At this point, can I say that I'm disappointed that Cloud Atlas did not make any of the top categories, and was not nominated at all, at all? Imagine the great work by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and the other actors, as well as the directing, makeup, cinematography, editing, etc? Were they disqualified for some reason I don't know? Anyway, too bad.

So what do I think of those that were nominated? Not that it matters. The award winners are selected by "members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a group of some 6,000 working professionals in cinema", and I can assure you I'm not one of those esteemed people. But let's have some fun with this, shall we?

- The Best Picture nominees were "Amour," "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty." I have seen five out of the lot and hope to see Zero dark before too long. My favorite to win is Life of Pi, followed by Django Unchained. I want my best pictures to take me on a journey of the eyes as well as the mind, and these two movies did that.

- For Best Actor we have, Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"; Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"; Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"; and Denzel Washington, "Flight." I can tell you honestly that all these guys deserve it. They were awesome. The actors WERE the characters, you didn't see these A-list actors, but the roles they portrayed in the movie. But since someone has to win, I go with Daniel Day Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix.

- The Best Actress category is more complicated for me. It turns out I've only seen one of the movies nominated. There is Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Naomi Watts, "The Impossible." I hope to see some of the others if I can, but in the meantime, Jennifer Lawrence did a mighty good job and if she wins, that's OK.

- In the Supporting Actor group, there's Alan Arkin, "Argo"; Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"; Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"; Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained." From what I hear, all these actors have won Oscars before for other roles they've played. Having seen four out of five of the movies, I agree that the actors are solid. My favorites are Tommy Lee Jones and Christopher Waltz.

- The Supporting Actress nominees are Amy Adams, "The Master"; Sally Field, "Lincoln"; Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"; Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"; Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook." Again, I have seen four out of five of these movies, and they all did a great job. My favorites to win are Anne Hathaway and then Amy Adams.

- Nominees for Best Directing include Michael Haneke, "Amour"; Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"; Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"; David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook." Like I said at the beginning, I wouldn't be surprised if Steven Spielberg wins this category, he is almost every American's best loved and respected director and I'm not exempt. He equally did an absolutely amazing job with Lincoln, however, I feel the story and the actors did more of the heavy lifting than he did. Now take Silver Linings, that is a movie that would have gone unnoticed, but the director brought it home. He nuanced the humor in the story, paid so much attention to the quirks of each character and setting, and painted in the detail that nailed that final scene and makes the movie unforgettable. So I go with David Russell.

And now to the lesser categories that do interest me...

Animated Feature Film: "Brave"; "Frankenweenie"; "ParaNorman"; "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"; "Wreck-It Ralph." I vote Brave and Pirates!

Production Design: "Anna Karenina," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln." I vote for Les Mis and The Hobbit

Cinematography: "Anna Karenina," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Skyfall." I vote for Django Unchained and Skyfall.

Costume: "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Mirror Mirror," "Snow White and the Huntsman." Lincoln and Les Miserables

Film Editing: "Argo," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty." Lincoln and Silver Lining.

Visual Effects: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Life of Pi," "Marvel's The Avengers," "Prometheus," "Snow White and the Huntsman." I love visual effects and wish it had more prominence. I enjoyed the CGI in Avengers, Prometheus and The Hobbit, but I give this one to Life of Pi.

All the best to the nominees, and may my favorites win :)