The Tree of Life at the Upcoming Oscars

Since this is the only film I have seen of the Best Picture nominees, I thought I’d make a post about which of its three nominations it is most likely to win. It should be noted that it has a chance of winning all three, but there’s perhaps one in particular that I am thinking of.

Let’s first consider Best Picture. Even though there have recently been as many as 10 films nominated for Best Picture, that doesn’t mean the competition is more fierce. One of the best indicators of which film may have a shot at Best Picture is if it was nominated for Best Directing. Of the 9 films nominated this year for Best Picture, “The Tree of Life” is one of the 5 nominated for Best Directing. That is a start, to be sure. However, Best Editing nominees also seems to be an indicator. Not surprisingly, this film was not nominated for that. In any case, I really don’t see it winning Best Picture. While most critics liked it, the movie does seem to lose focus as to whether it wants to be more about plot or more artistic. It almost would have done better to have been more artsy. When the film made jumps for the audience from caring about this family to caring about the eras of time, it confused more than stunned. If enough of the Academy are blown away by this narrative, it has a chance. But by the looks of things, its nomination was its award.

Then there is Directing. While the chances are probably higher here than Best Picture, I still think that “The Artist” with its DGA win will pull this one off. So we’re left with Cinematography. You can read my Oscars post to see if I think “The Tree of Life” will actually take this award away come Oscars night, but what I will say here is that if “The Tree of Life” is to win any, it’s going to be in this category. Often, genuinely good cinematography is overshadowed by movies that do more fantastical imagery. “Pan’s Labyrinth” won over “Children of Men” for movies in 2006, and it seems a bit surprising when considering the long and technical shots of “Children of Men”. “The Tree of Life” doesn’t seem to sport as many lengthy takes as “Children of Men”, but the same cinematographer from that movie¬†shot “The Tree of Life”. He utilizes the camera in a rather mystical way here. The movie does the job of taking the audience to many different places and times. The cinematographer should do the job of showing us unabashedly the world that the director wants the audience to inhabit. We’re not even quite sure what we are looking at sometimes, but it is still shot with technical awe that certainly earns the film this nomination.

I would probably like to see “The Tree of Life” go home with an award, but it might not win any. Read my full Oscars post to find out.