Win a year of great cinema at Phoenix Leicester - vote in our online Oscar poll
The race for this year’s coveted Academy Awards has started and we want to know what you think. Read Nigel Powlson’s guide, and join our online vote.
THE Oscar is the one award that everyone in the movie business wants to win but the American Academy has an appalling track record when it comes to handing them out.
Charlie Chaplin Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Mike Leigh, Ridley Scott, Cary Grant, Johnny Depp, Orson Welles, Fred Astaire and Greta Garbo have never won a real Oscar (although one or two have won a 'sorry we forgot you' special award).
Meanwhile, while movies as dodgy in quality as Mrs Miniver, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rocky, The Last Emperor and Ordinary People have been named Best Picture, real 'classics' such as It's a Wonderful Life and The Shawshank Redemption have failed to win an Oscar of any description.
That's why The Mercury, Phoenix and www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk have got together to see what you think.
The annual Oscars ceremony takes place on February 24 and before then we want you to tell us who you think should take the honours.
The real Oscar winners are selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an elite bunch of less than 6,000 Hollywood insiders.
The Academy is often out of touch, fails to spot future classics and instead plays safe, handing awards to actors and directors it likes and knows. There are also certain types of film (big, gushing epic dramas) that fit the Oscar bill, whilst anything brave, daring and different is ignored. For example, until Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, no fantasy film had been named Best Picture and anything not in English, although occasionally nominated as Best Picture (Life is Beautiful, Crouching Tiger) is normally confined to the consolation prize of Best Foreign Language Film,
Almost perversely, it's the wayward nature of the Oscars that often makes it such compelling viewing. It is one of the reasons that the Mercury is getting together with the Phoenix, the best place to see all the Oscars contenders, and www.thisisleicestershire in asking you to pick your winners and losers.
Before you cast your votes and second guess the Academy, here's few crazy decisions you might take into account.
1952: A vintage year for movies that featured perhaps the best-loved musical of all-time and one of the most famous westerns. In 2007, Singin' in the Rain was ranked as the fifth greatest film of all-time by the American Film Institute but back in 1952 it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture. Nor was the Ealing classic The Lavender Hill Mob.
High Noon, the seminal Gary Cooper western and the John Ford favourite The Quiet Man did get an Oscar nod but lost. You could have made a case for any of those films receiving the Best Picture award but not for the actual winner – the turgid circus drama The Greatest Show on Earth.
1976: Important, seminal works like All The Presidents' Men, Network and Taxi Driver were released but the Academy preferred to honour the cliched boxing drama Rocky.
1987: The Bafta voters are sometimes a little out of step as well but in 1987 they recognised the quality of the French drama Jean De Florette and put prejudices against foreign language films aside to name it that year's Best Film. At the Oscars, this world cinema classic was ignored in both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language film nominations. Still there were lots of classy English language films around that year – Wall Street, Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Moonstruck, Hope and Glory and The Untouchables. Sadly, The Last Emperor, a film that feels all of its 160 minutes length, was named Best Picture. Martin Scorsese: Often described as 'the greatest living director', the Academy have seriously underestimated all of his landmark films.
Taxi Driver lost out to Rocky, Raging Bull to Robert Redford's Ordinary People and Goodfellas to Dances With Wolves. Marty was nominated six times as Best Director losing out in 1976, 1980, 1988, 1990, 2002 and 2004.. After a career of remarkable talent and originality, he finally received a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar in 2006 for The Departed – a film that was an unoriginal copy of the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs – go figure.
OSCARS 2013: Tell us who you would vote for at the 85th Academy Awards
1. We want to know which nominated movie, director and actors you think should win the 2013 Oscars.
2. We have a Phoenix Golden Ticket to give away. To be in with a chance of winning a year’s free cinema tell us which film you think the judges will choose (all answers go into a prize draw. The first correct answer to be drawn out will win the Golden Ticket). Phoenix is Leicester’s multi-screen independent cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to smaller award-winning films from around the world. The Phoenix Golden Ticket will enable the winner to watch any regular film, at any time, for free, at Phoenix until February 28, 2014, subject to seat availability.
It cannot be used for satellite shows (such as NT Live), double bills and other festivals and events. The ticket will not be transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. To vote go to www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/oscarvote
VOTING CLOSES 11pm (GMT) Sunday, February 24, 2013.
The Oscar nominations are:
Picture: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.
Director: Michael Haneke (Amour); Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi); Steven Spielberg (Lincoln); David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook).
Actor: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook); Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln); Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables); Joaquin Phoenix (The Master); Denzel Washington (Flight).
Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty); Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook); Emmanuelle Riva (Amour); Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild); Naomi Watts (The Impossible).