The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (1/12 – 1/19)

This week in television got off to a strong start on Sunday night with a Golden Globe Awards ceremony that featured plenty of laughs, more than a few surprise winners, and plenty of fun courtesy of hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. On Monday, Castle’s father made a reappearance and and a wedding date was finally set on Castle. Tuesday’s FOX comedies were all strong, as Peralta and Santiago went on the best “worst date ever” on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jess tried to bond with Coach over basketball on New Girl, and the gang from The Mindy Project traveled to LA. Nashville returned from its winter hiatus on Wednesday with new drama for all its characters, and Thursday’s Parks and Recreation opened the door to many new beginnings. Finally, the week ended on Saturday with a SAG Awards ceremony that gave us three of my favorite award-show speeches in recent memory: Jared Leto’s eloquent tribute to his mother, Lupita Nyong’o’s articulate expression of gratitude, and Rita Moreno’s reminder that there’s no one in Hollywood—past or present—who has her sense of style and class.

Overall, this was an excellent week in television. But it was hard for anything that aired this week to top the way it began. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s monologue at this year’s Golden Globe ceremony might have been even funnier than last year, and their hits just kept coming as the night went on. And as a fan of Poehler’s work for years, nothing was better than watching her finally get rewarded for her work as Leslie Knope. Poehler’s warmth came through in her genuinely surprised speech, and it proved what I’ve always believed to be true of her: She’s a living example of the fact that you can be nice and still be successful; you can be kind and still be strong and respected in your field of work. To see her finally get recognized for playing a character defined by her ability to be both unfailingly sweet and uncompromisingly strong was very inspiring for me as a young woman who looks up to both Leslie Knope and the woman who brings her to life.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 SAG Awards


Will American Hustle take home the SAG award for best ensemble?

Award season continues tonight with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which air at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS. I love actors—I love the way just the smallest change in their expression, just the slightest shift in their body language, or just the hint of a tremor in their voice can make us feel things that go beyond the pages of script.

Actors bring life to words, and as someone who lives in a world of words, I have always admired the courage and dedication it takes to make sentences on a page become a physical reality. So I love the fact that there’s an award ceremony every year where actors gather together to honor one another, to give the most deserving among them awards that mean so much because they were given by a group of respected peers.

However, I will admit that this year’s crop of nominees has left me less excited than usual about the ceremony. No love for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, or Joaquin Phoenix? Why do I have to suffer another year of Parks and Recreation being snubbed for even a nomination for best comedic TV ensemble? And where the heck is Amy Poehler’s name on the list of nominees?

I have a prior family commitment that will be keeping me from watching/live tweeting the red carpet and start of the ceremony, but I’ll join the party on Twitter as soon as I can tonight. Until then, here are my predictions for tonight’s big winners. Let me know in the comments who you think will be victorious this evening!


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
My Pick: Matthew McConaughey. Dern could be honored for his storied career, but I think McConaughey’s fellow actors will appreciate his physical transformation and emotional commitment to this role. Does this mean we’ll be hearing “All right, all right, all right…” on Oscar night?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
My Pick: Cate Blanchett. Another award ceremony, another victory on Blanchett’s road to the Oscars.

Continue reading

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2014 Golden Globes

golden globes

The Golden Globes are my favorite award show. Yes, I love seeing television get its day in the sun with the Emmys; I love the way the SAG Awards honor my favorite thing about most films (the performances); and you can’t beat the Oscars when it comes to glamour and style. But the Golden Globes are different—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) brings the worlds of television and film together, and it does so with a genuine sense of humor.

There’s something uniquely fun about the Golden Globes. The celebrities are a little more relaxed. The nominees (and winners) are often a little more random and harder to predict than other award shows. And you can’t mention “fun” and “Golden Globes” in the same sentence without mentioning this year’s returning pair of hilarious hosts: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

I’m so excited to watch one of my favorite times of year—award season—kick off tonight. I’m excited to see all of the gorgeous (and maybe not-so-gorgeous) looks on the red carpet. I’m excited to see what smart and memorable material Poehler and Fey have in store for us this year. I’m excited to watch many of my favorites from this year in film and television have their names read along with all the other great nominees. And I’m excited to celebrate film and television, two mediums that I love differently but equally and continue to love more each year.

Before tonight’s ceremony, (which begins at 8 p.m. on NBC), I wanted to share my predictions, which should always be taken with a grain of salt because I often pick with my heart instead of my head when it comes to these things. Let me know in the comments who you think will win, who you think should win, and who you’re most excited to see tonight. And join me on Twitter around 6 p.m. when I kick off my annual Golden Globes live-tweeting coverage!


Best Motion Picture: Drama
12 Years A Slave
Captain Phillips
My Pick: 12 Years A Slave. While Gravity’s technical brilliance is hard to ignore, I think the emotional impact and sheer nerve of 12 Years A Slave is even harder to overlook.

Best Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
American Hustle
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
My Pick: American Hustle. With a cast full of talented stars used to their fullest potential in a smart, entertaining period piece (which feels weird to say since the 1970s weren’t that long ago), I think American Hustle is the kind of film the HFPA often gravitates towards.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama
Chiwetel Ejifor (12 Years A Slave)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Robert Redford (All is Lost)
My Pick: Chiwetel Ejifor. While Redford could take home the award because of his pedigree (and brilliant work), I still think Ejifor’s work as the heart and soul of the year’s most brutally emotional film will take precedence over the HFPA’s usual bias towards bigger names.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
My Pick: Cate Blanchett. While I would give this award to Bullock, I have heard nothing but ecstatic raves for Blanchett’s work, and she seems like a lock in this category filled with great actresses who gave great performances this year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
My Pick: Amy Adams. Meryl or Amy? In the battle of Hollywood royalty versus the next generation of great actresses, I think Adams is going to come out on top for her standout performance in an ensemble filled with today’s most compelling actors. It’s about time her chameleon-like ability to play nearly every kind of role was rewarded.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Comedy Or Musical
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
My Pick: Leonardo DiCaprio. As a DiCaprio fangirl since the age of 9, nothing makes me happier than the critical acclaim his work in Wolf of Wall Street is getting, and if anyone deserves some award-season love after so many years of being overlooked, it’s him.

Continue reading

The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (9/15 – 9/22)

So it begins…

The fall 2013 television season got started with a bang this week, as both new and returning shows began making their way into our homes, hearts, and DVR queues. Tuesday alone gave us the hilarious Brooklyn Nine-Nine pilot, a terrific third-season premiere of New Girl, the return of The Mindy Project, and the midseason finale of Suits. And the real kickoff to this TV season occurred last night, as television’s elite gathered together for the Emmy Awards.

Yes, some parts of this year’s Emmy ceremony were disappointing (I’ll let you fill in your own snub here), boring (Elton John’s Liberace tribute), unappealing (sorry, Aubrey Plaza and Lena Dunham) or confusing (Was Carrie Underwood paying tribute to both the Kennedy assassination and the Beatles, even though one was in 1963 and the other in 1964?). But others were touching (Edie Falco and Robin Williams paying tribute to James Gandolfini and Jonathan Winters, respectively), pleasantly surprising (Merrit Wever!), entertaining (Hello, Nathan Fillion, so nice to hear you singing again.), and stunning (Anna Gunn).

In a night filled with highs and lows, the biggest high happened at the very beginning of the ceremony, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler proved once again that they can make literally anything funny—including twerking jokes and 3D glasses. Between that bit and the moment when they both climbed up the stairs in the most absurd manner possible (including Poehler rolling onto the stage), those two women provided not only the best moment of the Emmys but the best moment of the week from the world of TV.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week? What are you most excited to see this week?

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Emmy Awards

Confession time: I don’t watch a lot of “critically acclaimed” television. My tastes aren’t exactly aligned with any years’ crop of Emmy nominees, but I was especially disappointed that some of my favorite shows and actors were overlooked this time around. However, I’m still going to attempt to predict how tomorrow night’s Emmy ceremony is going to go. I’m skipping the miniseries/TV movie categories because I have absolutely no knowledge of those nominees, but I hope my other picks (and the reasons behind them) might inspire you to fill out an Emmy ballot of your own.

Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Homeland, Showtime
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Breaking Bad. I could see House of Cards possibly playing the spoiler here (to call attention to the success Netflix is having with its original programming), but I really think the buzz around Breaking Bad is too high right now—and has been for the last year or so—for it to go unrecognized. I can’t believe it’s never won before, so I think its time has come.

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Bryan Cranston. The Emmys like to stick with what they know, and what they know is that Cranston is a force to be reckoned with. Spacey shouldn’t be counted out here, but I can’t see this award going to someone other than Cranston until Breaking Bad is done (which means, yes, I am already picking him to win next year’s Emmy, too).

Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC
Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Kerry Washington. This is a diverse category of fantastic leading ladies, but Washington has the kind of star power that Emmy voters love to call attention to. She’s the center of one of the most talked-about shows on television, and she turns in consistently great work, even with increasingly crazy storylines.

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime
My Pick: Mandy Patinkin. Homeland is probably going to win at least one Emmy tomorrow night, and I think it’s going to go to the man who was overlooked for any recognition last season. Patinkin’s restrained performance grounds a show that is known for its emotional breakdowns, hysterics, and crazy plot twists. I don’t know much about the character dynamics on Homeland, but it seems to me that Patinkin’s Saul is the steadfast glue holding the show together when it’s at its craziest.

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Anna Gunn. If I know nothing else about Breaking Bad, I know that Anna Gunn has turned in a performance that’s controversial, powerful, and polarizing. But there’s no denying that this woman has talent and has held her own opposite her commanding costars. Plus, she wrote this fantastic New York Times piece about her character, and that kind of love for the role she plays earns her big points in my book.

Continue reading

The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (8/18 – 8/25)

After a few weeks in which nothing very special happened in the world of television, this week was like a breath of fresh summer air. So You Think You Can Dance had its best episode in ages as the All Stars took on the role of choreographers for the night, with some incredible results. Suits gave us a fantastic flashback episode that gave us new insight into Harvey and Donna’s complex relationship and finally answered the eternal “Will they or won’t they?” question with “They did.” And the VMAs provided audiences with plenty of things to discuss—both the good (Jennifer Hudson’s “Same Love” appearance) and the shockingly bad (I’m looking at you, Miley).

In fact, my favorite TV moment of the week comes from last night’s VMA ceremony. While Harvey and Donna’s chemistry on Suits was insane this week, there was nothing hotter than Justin Timberlake’s decades-spanning performance on MTV. I may be biased because he’s my favorite all-around entertainer and live performer (and #1 celebrity crush), but that performance of his biggest hits proved why he is the celebrated showman he is today. His skills as a dancer are mind-blowing, and he has stage presence and easy charisma to burn.

Also,  *NSYNC reunited, and it was beautiful. I didn’t know how much I needed to see all of them singing “Bye Bye Bye” together again until it was happening.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Five Reasons the Emmys are the Worst

Okay…The title of this post may be a little hyperbolic, but let’s call a spade a spade: The 2013 Emmy nominations (which were announced yesterday) weren’t exactly exciting. In fact, they left many (myself included) disappointed. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up for the majority of my favorite shows and actors getting nominations, but that should be part of the fun of nomination day. But I guess “fun” and “nomination day” are two words that only go together for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

Over at Media Through a Mom’s Eyes, you’ll find some great reactions and analysis of the Emmy nominees, especially in the dramatic categories. Here, I just want to point out five reasons I’m convinced the Emmys are out-of-touch with what’s actually going on in the world of television.

1. I don’t love you, and I don’t like you. Once again, Parks and Recreation was left out of the running for Best Comedy, with only Amy Poehler securing a nomination in a category which I’m sure she’ll be overlooked in once again. I’ve grown sadly jaded about Parks and Rec’s chances of ever getting nominated again, but I really thought they stood a chance this season. While it wasn’t the strongest season overall, it had two of its most compelling episodes ever with “Halloween Surprise” and “Ben and Leslie.” To see such a heartfelt, well-acted, genuinely funny television show go without any recognition (beyond its fabulous leading lady) continues to break my heart and make me wonder what exactly voters are looking for. If you don’t love Parks and Rec, I don’t think you’re the kind of person I want to know—or the kind of awards show I want to watch.

Continue reading

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards

A week from today, television’s best will be in the spotlight as the fabulous Retta hosts the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards. I was incredibly pleased with the nominees chosen by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA); I feel like they’re a strong representation of what has been an outstanding year for television.

As is usually the case in the world of television awards, who I’d like to see win is often different from who I think will win—although that isn’t always the case. My predictions for these awards will include both the actor or show I feel is most deserving and the one I think the critics will most likely honor. However, I know practically nothing about the nominees in the “Mini-Series or TV Movie” categories, so I’m just going to pick who I think will actually win those after doing some intense research (aka going on Google for a couple of hours to read reviews from critics I trust).

Without further ado, here are my predictions!

• The Big Bang Theory – CBS
• Louie – FX
• The Middle – ABC
• New Girl – FOX
• Parks and Recreation – NBC
• Veep – HBO
Should Win: As much as I love Parks and Rec, New Girl was both the funniest and most emotionally honest comedy on television this year.
Will Win: Louie is loved by critics and fans alike, and I don’t see it losing to any network comedy. Veep is the only show I could see giving it a run for its money as far as awards go.

• Don Cheadle (House of Lies) – Showtime
• Louis C.K. (Louie) – FX
• Jake Johnson (New Girl) – FOX
• Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) – ABC
Should Win: Jake Johnson was one of the best actors on television this year in any genre. Whether he was dancing to Taylor Swift, delivering an emotional eulogy for his father, or kissing Jess “like a man” on more than one occasion, Nick Miller surprised me as a viewer every week, and thanks to Johnson’s charming, hilarious, and surprisingly sexy screen presence, it was always a pleasant surprise.
Will Win: Louis C.K. is hilarious, and he’s a critical darling. While this category is stocked with some great names (Adam Scott’s inclusion makes me especially thrilled), no one’s beating him.

• Laura Dern (Enlightened) – HBO
• Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) – FOX
• Lena Dunham (Girls) – HBO
• Sutton Foster (Bunheads) – ABC Family
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) – HBO
• Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: I’ve been burned with this prediction many times before, but I think it’s finally Amy Poehler’s time to win. Parks and Rec is loved by so many critics, and it wouldn’t be anywhere near as entertaining without Poehler’s sunny and smart presence at the center of it. This was a big year for Leslie Knope—she became a city councilwoman, got engaged, and got married—and Poehler made us laugh, cry, and smile along with this character through all of it.

• Max Greenfield (New Girl) – FOX
• Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Alex Karpovsky (Girls) – HBO
• Adam Pally (Happy Endings) – ABC
• Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Danny Pudi (Community) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: There’s no character on TV right now like Schmidt, and I really think critics are going to find some way to reward New Girl for its excellent sophomore season. These two factors should combine to give Max Greenfield some well-deserved love from the BTJA. Greenfield’s talent for playing the world’s most lovable douchebag has made him a critical darling even when the rest of the cast was struggling to gain recognition. While I think he had less to do this season than last season, his unique combination of quirky overconfidence and genuine vulnerability were still put to excellent use.

• Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory) – ABC
• Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) – ABC
• Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Eden Sher (The Middle) – ABC
• Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) – ABC
Should Win: Sarah Hyland has always been an underappreciated force to be reckoned with on Modern Family, and I’m so happy to see her getting the recognition she deserves.
Will Win: It wouldn’t be a TV award show without The Big Bang Theory winning something, so my money’s on the charming Kaley Cuoco to take home the show’s obligatory award.

• Melissa Leo (Louie) – FX
• David Lynch (Louie) – FX
• Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Patton Oswalt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Molly Shannon (Enlightened) – HBO
• Patrick Wilson (Girls) – HBO
Should Win/Will Win: Molly Shannon is always a treat whenever she shows up onscreen—and I think most critics would agree with me. ‘

Continue reading

The 2013 Oscars: Winner and Losers

It may have been long. It may have been riddled with bad jokes and too many musical numbers. But when the right people win (which was almost completely the case last night), it’s hard to see the Oscars as anything but a fun night at the movies. So here they are, the winners and losers in my eyes from what was a memorable 2013 Oscars.

Winners: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

d47aff52da9036985f6987111ab70e20ec7d7266 Ben Jen US Magazine

Source: Us Weekly

Not only did they both look great, they proved once again to be the sweetest, most normal couple at the Oscars when Ben talked in his acceptance speech about how marriage is work but, “…it’s the best work. There’s no one else I’d rather work with.” Real, lasting marriages take hard work, but the key is to find someone you love working with—and I’m so happy two of my favorite people in Hollywood found that in each other.

Losers: Seth McFarlane’s attempts to be edgy
With jokes about 9-year-old nominees dating George Clooney, Rihanna and Chris Brown, and actresses looking great after getting the “flu” (a not-so-subtle reference to bulimia), there were more than a few spots where McFarlane didn’t just fall flat; he crossed the line. And I kept feeling uncomfortable when he would call out the crowd for not laughing or for reacting poorly to his jokes. It just wasn’t my style of humor, but I suppose we sadly can’t have Amy Poehler and Tina Fey host everything.

Winners: Dancers
Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron looked gorgeous during their old-Hollywood-style routine, as did Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. If there’s one thing McFarlane and the producers did right, it was bringing back some panache to the show in the classiest way possible: good-old-fashioned dance numbers.

Loser: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Her performance of “All That Jazz” was just painful. If you’re going to lip-synch, at least have the decency to match up your mouth with the music.

Winner: Jennifer Hudson
Now that is how you relive your Oscar glory, Ms. Zeta-Jones.

Losers: James Bond fans
Was anybody else severely underwhelmed by the Bond tribute, or was that just me? Halle Berry was the best you could do, producers? Did none of the past (or present) Bonds want to come to the Oscars?

Winners: Musical Theater Nerds
Seeing the cast of Les Misérables all on stage at once, belting their hearts out to “One Day More” was enough to give me chills and keep me rewatching multiple times. Kudos to Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and, of course, Hugh Jackman for standing out and making the Oscars feel for a brief moment like the Tony Awards—and I mean that as a compliment.

Losers: The men of America not named Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper
After Jennifer Lawrence’s unfortunate tumble on her way to accept her Best Actress Oscar, Jackman and Cooper immediately rushed to her aid, proving to all the women watching that chivalry isn’t dead and gentlemen do still exist. My expectations for the opposite sex may have just been raised more than a little bit.

Continue reading

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Oscars

kristen bell so excited

It’s finally here! After months of going to see movie after movie (my credit card will thank me when award season is finally over), analyzing critical reactions, and watching every award show possible leading up to tonight, it’s finally time for the culmination of the 2013 movie awards season: The Oscars.

I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a little kid. I remember Ben Affleck and Matt Damon winning and thinking they were my new Hollywood crushes (some things don’t change). I remember Halle Berry’s very emotional (and very long) acceptance speech for Best Actress. I remember that fantastic feeling you get when the first time a movie you actually saw in theaters wins Best Picture.

I’m a movie fanatic—always have been, always will be. Movies hold a special spot in my heart; there’s nothing quite like sitting in a theater with a bunch of strangers, experiencing the same emotional highs and lows but knowing that this one film can touch each person in this theater in a unique way. I know more about film history than I do about American history; I can probably name more Best Picture winners than I can name presidents. And I can’t wait to watch history be made again tonight.

Enough waxing poetic about my lifelong love affair with the silver screen. Here are my picks for who’s going to be taking home an Oscar tonight:

Picture: Argo
After the way it’s swept the rest of the major awards so far, I can’t see anything beating this film—and that’s more than okay with me. Although I thought Silver Linings Playbook was a better film overall, I wouldn’t be disappointed in this slightest to see Ben Affleck and the rest of the team behind this filmmaking tour de force win for this inspiring adrenaline rush of a film.

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
No one else stands a chance, as sad as that makes me as a fan of both Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper’s great performances. This has been Day-Lewis’s Oscar since the day Lincoln opened in theaters.

Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
I just saw this film for the third time yesterday, and every time I see it I walk away even more impressed with the level of maturity, depth, and detail Lawrence put into her performance. She is this movie’s igniting force, the spark that intensifies the performances of everyone around her.

Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
De Niro delivered his best work in years in this film, and I think he’s going to get recognized for that. His performance in this film is nuanced, surprisingly subtle, and grounded in a warmth that infuses the film with the sense of deep, familial love that makes it so beautiful.

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Like Day-Lewis, this has been Hathaway’s Oscar from the start, with the first trailer that was released for this film. And she more than earned it with her incredible physical dedication to the role and her gut-wrenching performance.

Director: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
In what should have been Ben Affleck’s category to lose, I’m picking the man who I felt got the most out of his actors and crafted the most heartfelt, quietly powerful movie of the year. In order for Silver Linings Playbook to resonate so strongly with audiences, it needed a director who could bring truly great performances out of all of his cast, and Russell certainly accomplished that—with four acting nominations for his cast to testify to that fact.

And here’s what the rest of my ballot looks like:

Continue reading