Movie industry insiders pull for their favorites - Omaha.com
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Movie industry insiders pull for their favorites
By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


We asked some Nebraskans connected to the movie industry what they are most looking forward to about this year's Academy Awards. Their answers were a reminder of how personal the Oscars can be, even as they're watched on a global scale.

Mike Hill, Omaha's Oscar-winning film editor (“Apollo 13”): “I'm kind of interested to see how 'Zero Dark Thirty' does, regarding the question of torture and the controversy that's come up about that. I'm curious to see how much that affects its chances. For me, voting for best picture came down to 'Lincoln' and 'Zero Dark Thirty.'”

Mauro Fiore, Omaha's Oscar-winning cinematographer (“Avatar”): “I'm flying out to be at the Oscars. My friend, Janusz Kaminski (cinematographer nominated for 'Lincoln'), invited me. I have no idea who will win, but he really deserves to win. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing if 'The Master' will get any awards. That was a really interesting film.”

RELATED: Fischbach picks his Oscar winners

Jon Bokenkamp, screenwriter from Kearney, Neb. (“The Call,” “Taking Lives”): “I'm a huge fan of 'Argo.' It felt so real, so lived in. I think Ben Affleck has done one of the most amazing career transformations in recent history, so I'm super rooting for 'Argo.' For adapted screenplay, I also thought 'Silver Linings Playbook' was delightful.”

ALEXANDER PAYNE

Alexander Payne, Omaha's Oscar-winning director-screenwriter (“The Descendants,” “Sideways”): “I'm not very concerned about who wins any particular category, but my favorite film this year has been 'Amour,' and I think the performance by Emmanuelle Riva was really extraordinary. I will attend the show this year, up in the nosebleed seats with my friend and fellow Omaha native, Dr. Ann Beeder.”

Rachel Jacobson, Film Streams founder and director: “Everyone thinks 'Argo' is the (best-picture) frontrunner, but I still think 'Lincoln' has a good shot. If I were picking, it would be 'The Master.' (Not nominated for best picture.) Or 'Amour.' Documentaries this year were really strong. 'How to Survive a Plague' would be my pick. And since we play the Oscar shorts, it's fun to see if they match up with our viewers' picks. 'Curfew' and 'Paperman' are leading as we tally the votes.”

Jim Fields, Omaha filmmaker (“Bugeaters,” “Preserve Me a Seat”): “I kind of think the best-actress race is the one to watch. I think people expect (Jennifer) Lawrence ('Silver Linings Playbhook') to win, but I think (Emmanuelle) Riva ('Amour') will win. And I wouldn't be surprised if Robert De Niro ('Silver Linings Playbook') wins supporting actor, rather than Tommy Lee Jones ('Lincoln'). Michael Haneke ('Amour') could be an upset winner for director.”

VIDEO: Fischbach talks Oscar favorites

Matt Brown, manager of the Dundee Theatre in Omaha: “I'm most interested in best actress and best picture, because neither seems to have a clear-cut winner heading into the awards. I'd guess Jennifer Lawrence will win for 'Silver Linings Playbook' (my favorite film of last year) and 'Argo' might claim best picture, but “Lincoln” could also emerge victorious. I'd be happiest if 'Silver Linings Playbook' or 'Zero Dark Thirty' won. Also, as a longtime “Simpsons” fan, I hope 'The Longest Daycare' bags best animated short.”

WHEELER WINSTON DIXON

Wheeler Winston Dixon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln film professor: “I'm interested to see whether 'Lincoln,' a film I do not particularly like, will sweep the field. (Steven) Spielberg has gone into full-court press to win all the marbles. A lot of people are beginning to wonder if he's pushing a bit too hard. 'Argo' has picked up (Directors Guild and Writers Guild) awards. Is it going to win best picture? Ironically, it's like when Spielberg wasn't nominated for director with (best-picture nominee) 'Jaws.'” (“Argo” director Ben Affleck wasn't nominated this year.)

Seth Kotok, Omaha native and Hollywood cinematographer: “Being a cameraman, the cinematography race is always interesting to me. I think Roger Deakins will win for 'Skyfall.' He won the American Society of Cinematographers award. This was the first time he shot digitally. He's an old-school (film) guy, and the movie looks great. 'Life of Pi' was shot in 3-D, so that was interesting, too.”

Shawn Metzler, manager of Aksarben Cinema in Omaha: “I think this year the interesting thing will be (host) Seth MacFarlane. I'm looking forward to seeing if he stays edgy, compared to how it's been the past few years. I think they (the academy) are trying to gear it toward the younger viewers more than they have in the past.”

Bruce Crawford, Omaha film historian: “It's fun to watch the Hollywood old guard on the show. I'm looking forward to the James Bond stuff. I don't know who all they're going to have there. Maybe even Richard Kiel (he played the villain Jaws in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'), whom we brought to Omaha. It's odd the Oscars have not honored the Bond franchise in the past. I also hope 'Lincoln' gets some awards.”

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

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