DVD, Blu-ray Releases That Won 2013 Oscars. Now that the champagne’s been drunk and the last sequin swept up the surprise (or heartbreak) of a win or loss at the Academy Awards has had a chance to sink in. If you did not have the opportunity to see some Sunday’s big Oscar winners in the theater, fortunately, some of them have already started to appear on DVD and Blu-ray:
Argo, an examination of a secret CIA-led mission to rescue diplomats held in Iran, is Ben Affleck‘s career-defining work. Released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19th, it was a favorite to win Best Picture, and is so universally-liked, many considered it a snub he was not nominated for Best Director as well; it is the first film in 23 years to win the Best Picture prize without a concurrent nomination for the Best Director slot.
Brokeback Mountain‘s director, Ang Lee, finished just ahead of favorite Steven Spielberg to receive the Best Director nod for Life of Pi. Many thought this film was unfilmable, but Lee managed to coax out a stunning performance in the tale of a boy shipwrecked with a huge tiger. Interestingly, just like Brokeback, Pi took home the director statue without Best Picture. The film is currently available for streaming and is due out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 12th .
Daniel Day-Lewis won a record third Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of America’s Lincoln. With his third Academy nod, he surpasses the greats Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, and Dustin Hoffman who have each received two. Day-Lewis previously won for 1989’s My Left Foot and in 2007 for There Will Be Blood.
Day-Lewis received a hearty laugh in his acceptance speech for this quip:
“It’s strange because, three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl was Steven [Spielberg’s] first choice for Lincoln. I’d have liked to see that version.”
The film went into the ceremony with a whopping 12 nominations in all and took home two statues, Day-Lewis’ Best Actor and Best Production and Set Design.
Jennifer Lawrence trumped favorite Emmanuel Riva—on Riva’s 86th birthday, no less—and a minor fall on the way to the podium to gracefully claim the statue for Silver Linings Playbook. Due out in April, the dramedy follows Tiffany (Lawrence) in her quest to help Pat (Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper) reclaim his old life after losing his job and family and moving in with his parents (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver). Many considered Riva a shoe-in for her role in the Oscar-nominated Amour based upon her life’s body of work, but Lawrence graciously wished her a happy birthday during her speech; Lawrence’s other successful film of 2012, blockbuster The Hunger Games, was completely shut out from the nominations.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The requisite periodic re-do of fan-favorite Les Miserables netted Anne Hathaway her first career Oscar as well as a Golden Globe. Les Miserables walked away with three Oscars out of eight nominations; the other wins were for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Sound Mixing. The musical is due on DVD and Blu-ray March 22nd.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Waltz won for Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds just three years ago, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him called to the podium once again for Tarantino’s Django Unchained. In an unusual turn, every nominee in the Best Supporting Actor category this year was a previous winner. Many favored Tommy Lee Jones‘ role in Lincoln, but Waltz won over the Academy with his comic portrayal of a German bounty hunter in Tarantino’s refreshing spin on the traditional western. Django Unchained is due out on DVD and Blu-ray April 16th.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Brave competed against another strong Disney entry, Wreck It Ralph, to win the Best Animated Feature statue. Set in the highlands of Scotland, the film was strong on a number of counts: music, animation detail, and originality of plot. Fans of the girl-positive tale of family and coming-of-age will relish the excuse to watch it again, even before the kids suggest it. Read my review here.
The latest edition in the James Bond Franchise, Skyfall, was stunningly snubbed for the Best Cinematography statue in favor of the post-production, CGI-laden Life of Pi by Claudio Miranda. Pi was unarguably gorgeous, however 10-time nominee Roger Deakins’ lush capturing of locales as varied as Shanghai, Istanbul, and Scotland had all the detail and luxury of a master oil painting. Skyfall was a jaw-dropping visual feast, one that should have been rewarded.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Academy nominated Michael Haneke‘s poignant and dignified romance, Amour, for five categories this year; unsurprisingly, the film about a French couple affected by the stroke of one spouse won for Best Foreign Film. Since winning the Palme d’Or at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Amour has gone on to win a series of awards including the Best Foreign film awards at the Baftase and the Golden Globes.
Refreshing and humble documentary of rock star, Sixto Rodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man, received the nod for Best Documentary after sweeping other awards shows since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Malik Bandjelloul tells the story of Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez who all but faded into obscurity after his heyday in the 70’s. Dedicated fans in South Africa—where he still enjoys a huge level of success—tracked him down in Michigan and brought him back to the forefront. Not wishing to claim any credit for its success, unlikely star chose not to attend the show on the big night; instead, he was on tour in the country that brought him back from the brink.
Did you watch the Academy Awards this year? Have you seen any of the winning films? Will you on the home format?