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“I only get one chance to get it right, and boy, did I,” he said. He also commended the other nominees in both writing categories, declaring that this would be remembered as “the writer’s year.”
The Scottish fantasy “Brave” won the invincible Pixar Studios its seventh award since the animated feature category was founded in 2002. “Paperman,” the polished romantic entry from Disney, won for best animated short against an undistinguished field of artsy, rather boring contenders.
In the cinematography award, three-time winner Robert Richardson (“Django”) faced Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”), who won the American Society of Cinematographers award, and Janusz Kaminski, whose two Oscar wins came for Spielberg’s best-director winning films “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” None of the other films measured up to the epic visual fantasy of “Life of Pi,” however, and it was no shock when Claudio Miranda — a relative newcomer — took the prize for that film.
“Pi” also predictably scooped up the best-visual-effects award for its remarkable digitally rendered images of phosphorescent sea creatures, eerie jungle islands and a thoroughly convincing 400-pound Bengal tiger that prowls and growls through more half the scenes. Though Peter Jackson’s films have never lost in this category, he shot “The Hobbit” with a new 48-frames-per-second film technology, twice as fast as standard films, in an effort to make it more “immersive.” The technique divided audiences, and snapped Jackson’s winning streak for technical Oscars.
Academy voters nominated Austrian art film king Michael Haneke’s “Amour” as a best picture contender, Haneke as a finalist for best director and his 85-year old star Emmanuelle Riva as best actress. No surprise, then, when the old-age love story won in the parallel category as best foreign film.