Robin Williams: A Comedy Icon’s Top 10 Roles

The world became a little less funny this past week when legendary comedian and Oscar winning actor Robin Williams took his own life in his home in California. By all accounts, the 63 year old entertainer was not only beloved for his unmatched talent, but for his kind, generous spirit and warm heart.

It’s tragic that a man who made so many millions laugh was battling personal demons and overcome with such depression. But his legacy will live on in the countless performances and iconic roles he’s given the world over the past several decades.

Below, The Tribune has compiled a list of our top ten favorite Robin Williams characters, roles and performances from the past 37 years in which he first hit the Hollywood scene.

10. Awakenings
This 1990 film was directed by Penny Marshall and was nominated for three Oscars. Williams played a caring doctor who is giving his catatonic patients a new drug that revives them for at least a little while. The striking thing about this film was that Williams’ costar was Robert De Niro, and the comedian proved to be up to the task of standing toe to toe dramatically with one of the most legendary dramatic actors of all time.

9. Insomnia
This overlooked 2002 gem was directed by Christopher Nolan right before he jumped into the Dark Knight series. The major takeaway here for Williams was that it was the first time in his career that he played a cold, calculated and indisputably evil villain. And just like he did with De Niro 13 years prior, Williams held his own against Al Pacino, another of the world’s greatest ever actors.

8. Mork & Mindy
The television series that started it all. While Williams had been gaining buzz for his work on the stand up comedy circuit, this 1978 show about an alien who comes to Earth to study humans announced Williams’ arrival to the entire globe, made him a star and launched his upcoming movie career.

7. Mrs. Doubtfire
In many ways, Williams’ role as a father who cross dresses as an elderly female nanny so that he can be close to his kids showcases his brilliance in every facet. He is allowed room to be as zany and hilarious as he wishes to be, but the gentle heart and the dramatic chops are there in the touching scenes with his children. This Chris Columbus comedy was a blockbuster hit in 1993.

6. Popeye
While critics panned this when it released in 1980, it has deservedly since gained more of a fondness with both critics and fans over time. In our minds, Williams plays the squinty eyed sailor pitch perfectly, and he even nails his musical numbers.

5. The World According To Garp
The first time the world realized that Robin Williams was more than just a comedian. Back in 1982, the news that the guy who played Mork and Popeye was taking on the titular role in John Irving’s bestselling novel was met with much mockery. But Williams knocked the role out of the park, blending together his now respected skills as both comedian and dramatic actor.

4. Good Morning, Vietnam
Perhaps no role was ever better suited for any actor than the role of a wild, uncontrollable disc jockey was for Robin Williams. Director Barry Levinson gave Williams the creative freedom to improv on the microphone as he saw fit, and the result was comedic genius. Against the backdrop of the war in Vietnam, Williams’ acting abilities were once again stretched into dramatic territory and he was rewarded with his first Academy Award nomination in 1987.

3. Dead Poets Society
Two years after his first Oscar nomination, Williams followed up with his second nominated role as one of cinema’s all time most inspirational teachers in John Keating. From “Carpe diem” to “O Captain! My Captain!” to the everlasting image of Williams jumping onto his students’ desks, this often quoted performance is one of Williams’ most beloved.

2. Aladdin
Is it possible that an actor could get nominated for a performance in an animated film? That was the question in Oscar voters’ minds back in 1992, and the reason was because Robin Williams was a manic comedic tour de force as Genie in the Disney blockbuster Aladdin. We dare anyone to try and name a better voice acting performance in the history of cinema.

1. Good Will Hunting
Williams’ finest moment was rewarded with film’s finest prize. After being nominated three previous times, Williams finally won an Academy Award for his brilliant performance as a kind, caring, tough love Boston psychologist who takes a young mathematics prodigy under his wing. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Oscar winning script might never have seen the light of day if not for Williams’ signing on and his weight in Hollywood to get it made. Please do yourself a favor and go to YouTube immediately after putting this newspaper down and search for “Good Will Hunting park scene.” Those four minutes and 47 seconds may be the best acting of Robin Williams’ career, and it’s a pure pleasure to behold.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. And thank you for the all the laughs you’ve given the world for so many years.


KD’s Southern Cuisine: A Foodie Reviewie


Let’s be honest with ourselves. Kevin Durant could lend his inimitable name to a chow truck called “KD’s Greasy Nasty Tacos” and Oklahomans would flock to the four wheeled food carrier like fourth graders flock to an open-armed Rumble.

But the homegrown NBA superstar’s new restaurant is more pleasantly named “KD’s Southern Cuisine,” and based on my visit on opening night, I believe this new food spot will be routinely as crowded as Chesapeake Energy Arena on game night.

The first thing any Thunder fan will notice as they walk around the building towards the front door are the many pictures, jerseys and memorabilia of our beloved hero lining the outside walls. Before I could even reach for the shiny silver handle, a hostess had already opened the door and greeted me with a welcoming smile and a cheerful “Welcome to KD’s!” It was like the high class version of entering CiCi’s Pizza.

Seeing as how KD is the most popular Okie (yes, I’m claiming him) since Will Rogers and that I was attempting to get a table at 6 p.m. on opening night, I assumed a minimum two hour wait was in my immediate future. I was shocked when one of the five knockout hostesses, all sporting black dresses, asked me to wait just a moment while they prepared my table. It was obvious they were nearing capacity and close to full, but a two hour wait? More like the time it takes Russell Westbrook to lead a fast break from one end of the court to the other.

As soon as I took my seat in one of the booths adjacent to a bar lined with flat screen TV’s, another hostess popped out of thin air to ask if I wished for her to take my coat. Immediately following my jacket removal, my waitress appeared and hand-placed a cloth napkin on my lap. The leather bound, Encyclopedia Britannica-sized menu glowed like Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase when I opened it up. The menu actually lit up! Hooter’s this ain’t, people.


Once settled, I finally had the chance to really check the place out. The best way to describe the atmosphere is so: if a sports bar and a four star restaurant had a baby, they’d name it “KD’s Southern Cuisine.”

The entire place illuminates with a Thunder tint, as the light radiates from a blue backlit bar and a gorgeous glass encased wine room. A not often enough used Thunder yellow shines from the granite and marbled bar. A private dining area reserved for VIP (i.e.: KD and his famous friends like Jay Z and Beyonce) is set off to the side, but you, me and the rest of the peasant folk can still sneak a peek through the clear enclosing from our seats at the room’s impressive make up and its celebrity inhabitants.

But remember, as classy and fancy as the joint is, it’s still equal parts sports bar as well. Which is why in addition to the high dollar decor, you’ll also discover walls displaying several of Durant’s personal trophies, shoes, and newspaper clippings. Shades of Hard Rock Café abound when you gaze at real life NBA and NCAA awards such as “NBA Rookie of the Month” and “NBA Free Throw Percentage Champion” that KD donated to his restaurant. As cool as it is to see the suit that Robert Plant wore at a Led Zep show at Madison Square Garden back in ’77, it’ll be an even greater pleasure for Thunder diehards to feast their eyes on KD’s magnificent hardware.

While not especially large in terms of options, the menu boasts a nice variety of true Southern choices. If you can’t find something you like, then you gotta be a Yankee. There’s no doubting my heritage though, because I had a hard time narrowing my selection down to even two or three items. I made my date order one of my contenders so that I could eat a little (a lot) of my top two finalists. And being in awe of your favorite athlete’s new establishment works up an appetite, so we ordered an appetizer to hold us off.

The Thunder Sticks are four long, flat orange chicken strips, each on a skewer. The orange must be a Thunder thing and not a flavor thing, because they tasted nothing like orange or any other citrus fruit. If they were being honest, they would have added Heaven food coloring to them, because that’s what they tasted like. And this $12 appetizer comes fully equipped with a pretty cool back-story. Our extremely friendly waitress explained that these delicious pre-meal treats are KD’s favorite things to order at his favorite restaurant in New York City. He requested that his new namesake carry these items, so the staff flew to New York personally to learn how to make them. And when they were put to the test, they passed with flying colors. KD told the chef that they tasted exactly like the ones in New York.

I ordered the Honey Chicken, partly because it sounded amazing and mostly because it was tagged as a “KD favorite.” Yes, I’m a fanboy, so I only want to eat what KD likes to eat. And man, does KD have great taste. My plate, priced at right around $15, boasted a generous helping of three pieces (breast, thigh and drumstick) of fried chicken glazed in honey. Think of Rachael Ray doing her best Bobo’s Chicken impression. The two sides I chose did not disappoint either. The sweet and mildly spicy red beans and rice and impeccably textured (which is for some reason important to me and every female I have ever met) green beans and bacon both perfectly complimented the mouthwatering chicken.

My date ordered (through my urging) the Deep South Meat Loaf. It too was about a $15 entrée, and as much as I enjoyed my chicken, I’m still not sure who ordered the tastier meal. The fried onion topped meat loaf was plated beneath with white gravy and made me wax nostalgic for the days of grandma’s home cookin’. Meat loaf gets a bad rep because of the trauma that lunch ladies have inflicted onto small school children who head to the cafeteria filled with dread on Meat Loaf Mondays. But the underrated entrée gets a makeover at KD’s new digs, and the results are delectable. The red skinned potatoes were on par with most any other restaurant’s, but nothing spectacular, and if you’re into fried okra, you’ll love their soft and lightly breaded rendition.

Oh, and the red velvet cake, ya’ll. Let’s just say that I like red velvet cake like Kendrick Perkins likes technical fouls, like Scott Brooks likes Derek Fisher, and like James Harden likes yacht parties. And this was some of the moistest, yummiest, velvetiest red velvet I’ve ever devoured.

kds pic 3

My only knock on KD’s Southern Cuisine was that I was genuinely confused whether or not this was the right kind of environment to watch a Thunder game. The first bucket that OKC scored against the Grizzlies, I let out a big clap and a cheer, thinking I’d be joined by a chorus of the same, but it turned out to be a solo act. It seemed about half the people were watching the game, while the other half were eating and socializing. But nobody was hootin’ and hollerin’ like this was Loud City Lite. But I’m gonna write that off to the opening night crowd being a bit more reserved. I think the rowdier fans will start showing up in droves to support our three time scoring champ.

After the meal, we moved to the bar to watch the rest of the game, and the smoking hot bartender (unless my girlfriend is reading this, in which case I mean the completely average looking bartender) introduced herself, stuck out her hand and shook mine. Seeing as how I was watching a Thunder game at the Thunder’s best player’s restaurant, I felt it my Thunduty to order their signature Thundertini. After a few sips and a few cha-ching Thunder moneyballs, I was sold on the fact that this was indeed an ideal place to watch a game.

KD’s Southern Cuisine is a Hal Smith Restaurant Group operation, and there’s no denying Smith and his crew know how to do food right. From Charleston’s and Mahogany to Red Rock Canyon Grill and Upper Crust, his restaurants have become staples in OKC. And with a brand like Kevin Durant’s, there’s no doubt that the city’s newest and hippest food place is going to be anything but a massive success.

But to me, the coolest part of it all is that KD is further entrenching himself into the fabric of Oklahoma. He’s already the state’s greatest ambassador. The guy is a world famous superstar who also happens to be a high character role model for kids not only in the red dirt state, but kids in every corner of the planet. Heck, he’s a role model to ADULTS in every corner of the planet. And now he has once again adamantly declared his love of and loyalty to his adopted home by planting a restaurant bearing his name right in the middle of our downtown.

KD feels like a part of our family. And now we can go have dinner over at his place anytime we want.


Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Staff friendliness/professionalism: 10/10

Food: 9/10

Overall: 9/10

by: Brandon Rahbar

From Amour to Zero Dark Thirty: #145 – #121

2012 movies banner small box

I watch a lot of movies. Like, a ridiculous amount. Some people spend their money on practical things like clothes or shoes, some people spend their money on responsible things like insurance or a 401K. Not me, no sir. Keep your future stability and ease of mind, I’ll take some Paul Rudd, a bag of popcorn and a cushy seat in a darkened movie theatre, thank you very much.

While some of these were watched on DVD, for the most part, all of them were seen in a theatre. I’m a purist that way, I suppose. And it’s my idea of fun. Just cause all my friends like to throw it in my face, and I’m sure you may be curious, let’s go ahead and do the math. I go to the movies at least twice a week, if not more. So let’s just use that as a guide. Two movies a week, with an average ticket price (sometimes I go to Tinseltown for $6, sometimes I go to Harkins or AMC for $9.50) of $7.50. That’s 104 movies, $7.50 a pop… for a grand total of $780 a year spent at the movie theatre. And that’s before a couple dozen dill pickles, half a hundred small popcorns, and a century mark of small Cherry Cokes, ICEE’s or Caramel Macchiato’s, plus whatever else I happen to smuggle into the theatre via my date’s purse.

But you know what? It’s worth it to me. I love movies. And since I’m an ultra-nerd who rates every movie he sees after watching it, I’ve decided to rank and comment on every single movie I saw in 2012.

This past year, I saw 145 movies. And I now present them to you, ranked from worst to first. I completely expect some people to get angry at your favorite film’s placement (you Batman fans are gonna love me) and others to laud this as the greatest piece of movie blogging to hit the internet since Franklin Roosevelt’s “Top 10 Fireside Film Chats of 1940”.

Read, enjoy, laugh, get ticked, and call me stupid in the comments section…


145. That’s My Boy

I know what you’re thinking: no way could a movie starring Adam Sandler, Vanilla Ice, Sonny Corleone and Borat’s hooker girlfriend be the worst movie of the year! Shocking, I know.

144. Battleship
It would take far more brainpower to beat the 12 year old version of me in the game of Battleship than it did to write, produce and direct this movie.

143. Premium Rush
If your idea of a premium rush is watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt ride around on his BMX for an hour and a half, this movie’s for you! And you’re lame!

142. The Vow
It’s pretty bad when the worst thing about a movie isn’t that Channing Tatum stars in it.

141. Wrath of the Titans
Wrath of Khan > the Tennessee Titans > Wrath of the Titans. And I hate Star Trek and I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.

140. The Raven
Thanks for taking a big dookie all over my favorite writer of all-time, Hollywood. Quoth the Brandon, I will watch this movie nevermore.


139. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I was expecting a lousy romantic comedy, and I got what I expected.

138. Gone
All I remember about this movie is that some weirdo creeper came into the theatre by himself halfway through the movie and got up to change seats like 5 times, finally ending up just a few seats away from me and my date in a mostly empty theatre. It was far scarier than anything in this “thriller”.

137. The Bourne Legacy
This should have been titled: A Two Hour Motorcycle Chase Scene With Some Dude Who Knows Some Of The Same People That Jason Bourne Does.

136. Resident Evil: Retribution
Wait, was this the yearly sequel where Milla Jovovich gets naked and fights vampires and werewolves or the yearly sequel where Kate Beckinsale dresses up in an S&M outfit and fights zombies?

135. Taken 2
Remember how ridiculous it seemed when Kevin McAllister’s parents left him all alone for the second time, and you just couldn’t enjoy the movie cause the entire time you couldn’t get over how stupid it was that they would do the exact same thing all over again? Yeah, well, the makers of Taken must be big Home Alone 2: Lost In New York fans.

134. The Apparition
You know those movies that you have to look up on IMDB when you are writing about them for your year-end blog because you don’t even remember watching them at all? Yeah… that’s a good sign those aren’t good movies.

133. Alex Cross
Turns out, Dr. Jack Shephard didn’t die on the island, he became a roided out skinhead! That’s why Mr. Eko, Michael, Walt and Ana Lucia all had such quick exits from the island! *LOST*


132. Step Up Revolution
Shut up! I only watch these for the dancing!! It’s an art!! And I only read “Maxim” for the stories!! It’s real journalism!! Leave me alone!

131. Dark Shadows
Oh, look. Johnny Depp is playing a pale, socially awkward weirdo with salon fresh dark hair and a trendy gothic wardrobe in a Tim Burton movie also starring Helena Bonham Carter. What an original concept.

130. Underworld: Awakening
Wait, was this the yearly sequel where Milla Jovovich gets naked and fights vampires and werewolves or the yearly sequel where Kate Beckinsale dresses up in an S&M outfit and fights zombies?


129. Safe House
Previews made it seem like a tense Denzel vs. Reynolds mano a mano verbal and psychological showdown in a safe house. Well, that scene lasts exactly 40 seconds, then it was run, chase, hide, shoot, run, chase, hide, shoot… just like every other one of these kinds of movies, ever.

128. Madea’s Witness Protection
These movies always stink in terms of acting and production, but Madea is usually good for a handful of big laughs, along with a dozen or so chuckles. But the Madea laugh/chuckle-o-meter was a real drag (get it?) this time around.

127. House at the End of the Street
The movie sucked, but Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence are now officially in the running for the title of All Time Hottest Movie Mother and Daughter. Please feel free to submit other nominations, cause I tried to google for some ideas to make a joke here, and all I got was a bunch of naughty websites. It’s so hard to find innocent “hot mother and daughter movie” searches these days. Gah, society!

126. Total Recall
Dear Hollywood: When remaking awesome 80’s action movies, please retain some of the joy, humor and fun that made them so great in the first place. PS: Thank you for putting Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel in the same movie.

125. The Awakening
A supernatural fright film based in early 1900’s England about spooky dead children. Sounds just like The Others, right? And it is, if The Others wasn’t scary at all… and sucked.

movielistTHISIS40124. This Is 40
I was so hyped for this. But not even Paul Rudd’s charm and lovability (he’s way past likability)  could save this overlong, overly serious “comedy”. I turn 40 in four fourteen years, and if this is truly what it’s like, 40 is gonna be pretty funny for the first half of the year, then it’ll become bleak, depressing and I’ll be spending way too much time with Albert Brooks and John Lithgow.

123. Juan of the Dead
You know those little indie gems that you’ll find on Netflix that are so campy, quirky and funny that you feel like the Magellan of movies for exploring the dry and barren Netflix landscape and finding cinema treasure? Yeah, well, those successes sometimes lead to more explorations and you’ll up end feeling like the little kid whose mom has to help him find Easter eggs to put in his basket cause his finding skills are so bad. This one’s an Easter mom-assist movie.

122. Ice Age: Continental Drift
Here’s my breakdown of the Ice Age franchise: Ice Age– ehh. Ice Age: The Meltdown – mehh. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – ehh, mehh. Ice Age: Continental Drift – bleh.

121. The Campaign
I thought the previews were pretty hilarious. Too bad those two minutes were surrounded by another 83 unfunny ones.

Coming up next: #120 – #101

Brandon Rahbar is the entertainment writer for The Tribune.
You can read his articles weekly by subscribing online at

2013 Oscars Preview

The biggest night in movies is upon us, as the best of the best will be honored at the 85th annual Academy Awards this Sunday night at 7:30pm. We want to help you win your office pool, so get out your ballots and check out our Oscars Preview to see who we think should and will win in the six major categories.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams for “The Master”
Sally Field for “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt for “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver for “Silver Linings Playbook”

Weaver has no business being nominated to begin with, as the veteran Australian actress’s surprise nod was simply a byproduct of the “Silver Linings” bandwagon. Does anyone remember her character doing one compelling anything besides baking cookies? Hunt, a former Oscar winner for “As Good As It Gets”, gave her first noteworthy performance in 15 years as a sex surrogate to a paralyzed virgin with an iron lung, but she will not be picking anne-hathaway-les-miserables-photoup Oscar number two. Adams has become the Susan Lucci of the Supporting Actress category recently, as the young actress has now been nominated four times in this slot over the past seven years and has never won. And she won’t win this year either. When awards season first kicked off, this seemed like a two woman race between Field and Hathaway. Field’s turn as Mary Todd Lincoln produced her first Oscar nomination since 1985, when she won for “Places In The Heart”. While her “You really like me!” speech for her “Norma Rae” win in 1980 might be the most famous acceptance speech in Oscar history, she won’t have a chance to give another. Hathaway has deservedly taken all the momentum and buzz over the past several weeks because of her stirring, tear-inducing one-shot take of “I Dreamed a Dream”, the famous “Les Miserables” showstopper.

Who should win: Hathaway
Who will win: Hathaway

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin for “Argo”
Robert De Niro for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman for “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained”

An incredibly loaded field, every actor in this category is a former Oscar winner. His turn as a gambling and football addicted father gave De Niro, long considered one of the finest actors in film history, his seventh overall nomination, but his first since “Cape Fear” over 20 years ago. De Niro has little to no chance of winning his third Oscar, though, as his work is considerably light compared to his peers. Seymour 559110_455311761186394_1535249350_nHoffman, one of this generation’s greatest working actors, is revoltingly riveting as the morally ambiguous leader of a religious cult in “The Master”, but the film itself received mixed reactions from critics and audiences, so his odds of winning will be hurt as a result. “Argo” has picked up considerable steam over the past month, and as Arkin provides much of the film’s needed comic relief and is the universally loved picture’s only acting nomination, the 78 year old is the dark horse here. Most insiders believe this race comes done to Jones and Waltz. Here’s betting that Oscar voters decide that Waltz, while again fantastic, gives a performance that is too similar to his already-awarded role in another Tarantino film, “Inglourious Basterds” and that the scene-stealing Jones’ portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens, which gives “Lincoln” not only a comic touch but a touching emotional payoff, wins the gold.

Who should win: Hoffman
Who will win: Jones

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts for “The Impossible”

Wallis and Riva made headlines for becoming the youngest and oldest actress nominees in Oscar history, both in the same year. Wallis, 9, shot her “Beasts” role, her career first, when she was 6 years old, while 85 year old
331-slp-07104r-lg-jpg_165143French actress Riva has been acting since 1958. Both actresses, along with second time nominee Watts, will take a back seat to Lawrence and Chastain on Oscar night. Both actresses were virtual unknowns only a few years ago and are now two of the hottest names in the industry, commercially and critically. Lawrence plays an emotionally unstable widow who falls for an even more emotionally unstable divorcee, and she is at times funny, angry, tender, forceful and vulnerable. It’s a dynamo performance, but Chastain is equally magnetic as a one-woman wrecking crew with her sights on finding Osama bin Laden. Her transformation from wide-eyed torture onlooker to confident commander is the best lead female performance of the year.

Who should win: Chastain
Who will win: Lawrence

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman for “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix for “The Master”
Denzel Washington for “Flight”

Cooper went from comedy superstar (think “The Hangover”) to serious leading man, Phoenix made a welcomed comeback from an infamously strange absence from acting and living legend
Washington turned in one of the most acclaimed performances of his career, and none of them even have a chance. Jackman sang every one of his lines, took on a beloved character and turned daniel-day-lewis-lincoln-615x400it into its defining portrayal and gave the performance of his lifetime, and he’s merely an afterthought, settling for the consolation of the consensus second best performance of the year. Those four guys don’t even need to
bother wasting their time writing speeches. This one’s a done deal. Day-Lewis will undoubtedly join Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson as the only thespians to win three Oscars for his perfectly poignant and powerful performance as the most beloved President in U.S. history.

Who should win: Day-Lewis
Who will win: Day-Lewis

Best Director
Michael Haneke for “Amour”
Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”
Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”
Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

The film industry was reeling when nominations were announced and neither Kathryn Bigelow lincoln-movie-poster-08222012-110324 (“Zero Dark Thirty”) nor Ben Affleck (“Argo”) were on the list for Best Director. In their absence, Haneke and Zeitlin reaped the benefits and were awarded surprise nods. Lee and Russell both have past pedigree working to their advantage, as Lee won this award seven years ago for “Brokeback Mountain” and Russell was nominated two years ago for “The Fighter”. But none of them can touch Spielberg. The two time winner and seven time nominee in this category is unmatched in both reputation and success. And his previous two wins (“Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List”) came for historical non-fiction dramas, much like “Lincoln”. With Affleck and Bigelow out of the picture, Spielberg should join John Ford, William Wyler and Frank Capra as the only directors to win three or more Oscars.

Who should win: Spielberg
Who will win: Spielberg

Best Picture
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Misérables”
“Life of Pi”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

This is the most wide open Best Picture race in recent memory. Typically, there are one or two frontrunners, while the other nominees stand virtually no chance of winning the biggest prize of them all. But this year, the only films that look to have no shot are “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (too small), “Django Unchained” (too controversial) and “Amour” (too foreign). The other six movies all have a legitimate chance to claim the top prize. A month ago, it seemed like “Lincoln” might have the slightest of edges, but “Argo” has all the recent momentum due to a few big precursor award wins. We like “Zero Dark Thirty” for its timely relevancy, high stakes drama and tense action, but “Argo” supporters may claim those traits as well. Affleck may have been unfairly snubbed in the Best Director category, but he will get the last laugh after all.


Who should win: “Zero Dark Thirty”
Who will win: “Argo”

Brandon Rahbar is the entertainment writer for The Tribune.
You can  read his articles weekly by subscribing online at