Howard Baldwin and his wife, Karen, of Hartford are the former owners of the
"We both thought Ben [Affleck] should have been nominated for best director. It's pretty hard to nominate a movie for best picture and then say, well, the director shouldn't be nominated," he said. "I'm thrilled for him that he got the
Baldwin added that the 10-picture, five-director nomination limit is a flawed setup. "It's pretty hard to make a good movie without a good director," he said.
He thinks best actor is cut-and-dried in favor of Daniel Day Lewis in
He is looking forward most to seeing who wins best supporting actor: the nominees are
Baldwin says that the biggest obstacle any film faces when seeking a nomination, and an award, is awareness, and that is becoming more difficult. "Right now, television is so great. To see a movie, somebody has to get off their you know what and get into the car and go to the theater and park the car and buy the ticket, when no matter what you do in six months you can watch it on your 72-inch TV. It's a supreme effort, and when somebody scores on it, that's a great compliment on a film."
Jeanine Basinger, founder and director of the Film Studies Department at
"There are two locks, Daniel Day Lewis for best actor and Anne Hathaway for best supporting actress," said Basinger. For best actress, she is rooting for
As for best picture, Basinger admits she's biased toward
"This is the true hope of the future of filmmaking. We have all this new technology that enables people to make films away from the big technical centers in Los Angeles and New York, to put tools into the hands of everybody," she said. She was delighted to see its director, Benh Zeitlin, nominated. "It's a great tribute to the Academy that they are willing to recognize such a young man, working outside their own system, for the genius that he has shown, creatively and directorially."
While "Beasts" represents new school, she said, "Lincoln" celebrates what's best about classical filmmaking. "It was a very great example of the highest level of craftsmanship filmmaking out of Hollywood," she said. "It's made by old pros who can put together an old-fashioned kind of genre, a biopic, at a very high level. ... This is the establishment, and the creme de la creme."
James Hanley co-founded Cinestudio,
Throughout the year, James Hanley noticed a running theme in a lot of movies: the ones based on real events, such as
"When you give an award for best picture, are you awarding the skills of the filmmaker in a vacuum, or are you saying this is a really good film on the subject?" he asked. "It's a sticky territory."
He pointed to the controversy surrounding the screenplay of "Lincoln";
"From the very beginning, you're throwing down something that is emotionally so powerful that anything that follows, you can do what you like as long as you catch the guy," he said.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild," he said, "has a visceral reality to it that somehow the other films don't quite have," and he said Quvenzhané Wallis deserves best actress for centering her performance in that kind of reality. Even
Hanley said if he had a best picture vote, he'd give it to "Silver Linings Playbook." "There are so many characters in that film, and they all seem right," he said. But he'd give best director to
As for best actor? "
The Italian-born Toblini is a costumer, honored this year by the Connecticut Critics Circle. His work at
"The costumes in 'Mirror Mirror' are just plain self conscious, cartoony and as unsexy as it can be. The actors in
" 'Les Miserables' gave us a good balance of feel for the period and character interpretation. These costumes helped in telling the story without desperately begging for attention.I loved the look of the men in
Actor Jefferies, a Texas native, has become a Connecticut fixture over the years with many performances at Hartford Stage ("Streetcar Named Desire," "Night of the Iguana"), as well as
When asked about the nominees for best actress, Jefferies went straight for
When asked about another nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Jefferies says "I'm not for children getting awards. I think perhaps they could receive a special award but to give the best actress Oscar to a seven-year-old? I'm sorry, no."
Tresnjak is the artistic director of Hartford Stage and now staging the musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," which premiered last fall at the theater and is opening at San Diego's Old Globe with performances beginning March 8. The show is slated for Broadway next season.
"My favorite movie of 2012, both foreign and all-around, was 'Amour.' I was not surprised to see it nominated for the best picture of the year, something that rarely happens with a foreign movie. The movie, set largely in the apartment of an old couple, is largely structured like a thriller. It made me think of 'Rosemary's Baby' or 'Repulsion,' two movies that are also set in single spaces. But the intruder that moves into this apartment is, quite simply, old age, infirmity, disease. Jean-Louis Trintignant adds another triumph to the long list of utterly uncompromising and fearless performances. It's the finest acting of 2012 and he should have been nominated. And Emmanuelle Riva is touching and unforgettable — an ingenue who has gotten old and is falling apart.