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2012 Oscar Predictions

When the 84th Annual Academy Award nominations were announced there were, as usual, plenty of snubs.  The Academy has a habit of ignoring some of the more deserving contenders.  That aside, the nominees this year are very solid, and should make for an interesting awards night.  However, the race itself is a bit dry considering that almost all the categories have their winner set in stone.  This could change though, since the Academy has always been known to have surprise winners, i.e. Crash and Shakespeare in Love.  While I do love surprises, I am the driver of The Artist bandwagon, and will be extremely upset if it does not take home the top prize.  Anyways, since the winners are mostly predetermined, I am going to spice up my predictions by adding in “Dark Horse” candidates, as well as “Shoulda Been There” for the unfortunate snubbed candidates.  I hope that makes this list a little more interesting to read.  Since Hugo and The Artist will sweep the technical categories, I will skip all those and begin with the major awards, starting with Best Animated.  Here we go:

Best Animated Feature:

Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli for A Cat in Paris

Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal for Chico & Rita

Jennifer Yuh for Kung Fu Panda 2

Chris Miller for Puss In Boots

Gore Verbinski for Rango

Will/Should win: Rango

Dark Horse: None

Shoulda been there: The Adventures of Tintin

The Academy really threw moviegoers for a loop in this category by adding in two left field nominees: A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita.  Very few outside of the animation world have heard of these two until now, which I guess is pretty damn good publicity for those filmmakers.  As a result of those being nominated, Spielberg’s Tintin got the boot, and with it out of the way, Rango has this category in the bag.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash for The Descendants

 John Logan for Hugo

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon for The Ides of March

Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin for Moneyball

Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

Who will win: Moneyball

Who should win: The Descendants

Dark Horse: Hugo

Shoulda Been There: The Help

It is hard to compete with Moneyball‘s out of this world witty dialogue, yet somehow The Descendants does it.  Payne along with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash created a dynamic script with plenty of humor, and even more heart.  The style is unique in its way to connect with modern audiences of all forms.  Unfortunately, while Payne’s family dramedy will not take home the gold, the biggest loser is The Help.  The civil rights drama was originally a frontrunner, however was unable to gain many nominations.  Despite its fair share of corny dialogue, Tate Taylor gave each and every one of The Help‘s actresses plenty to work with.  Either way there is plenty of talent in this category, and each of the nominees should be proud.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:

Michel Hazanvicius for The Artist

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo for Bridesmaids 

J.C. Chandor  for Margin Call

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris

Asghar Farhadi for A Separation 

Who will win: The Artist 

Who should win: Midnight in Paris 

Dark horse: Bridesmaids 

Shoulda Been There: 50/50 

A silent film winning for Best Writing doesn’t seem to make much sense, but one may not realize that writing a script without dialogue is actually harder than one with.  The Artist is fun and full of so much life, but I think we should throw Allen a bone.  The guy made his highest grossing film in his 70s, and shows no sign of giving up.  Midnight in Paris marks a return it form, and considering that this is the only category that the film has a shot at winning, the Academy should simply hand the trophy over to one of the greatest cinematic writers.  Do not be so quick to look past the funny ladies of Bridesmaids though!  The film has a lot of lovers, and could gain enough momentum to win one of its two nominations.  Alas, 50/50 got no love.  I guess cancer is serious business for the Academy.

Best Achievement in Directing:

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris

MIchel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life

Alexander Payne for The Descendants

Martin Scorsese for Hugo 

Who will/should win: Michel Hazanavicius

Dark Horse: Martin Scorsese

Shoulda Been There: Tate Taylor

Infinite kudos to the Frenchie among the Americans!  Hazanavicius continues to defy the odds as he was not only nominated, but is now the frontrunner to beat out some of the most prestigious directors in the business.  The only thing that stands in his way is the up and coming director: Martin Scorsese.  You may have heard of him.  Hugo leads the nominations and has the potential to take down the unstoppable force of The Artist.  A win in this category would cause a major shift in the ceremony, and lead to a major upset.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

Bérénice Bejo for The Artist

Jessica Chastain for The Help

Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer for The Help

Who will win: Octavia Spencer

Who should win: Jessica Chastain

Dark Horse: Bérénice Bejo

Shoulda Been There: Shailene Woodley

One of the most crowded categories of the year, yet one of the most boring when it comes to the actual race.  Despite the number of superb performance by actresses in supporting roles, it is Octavia’s trophy to lose.  The scene-stealer has won every perquisite, and it is almost certain that she will win the biggest award of them all.  The only thing that could possibly stop her is the vote being split between herself and her costar, Chastain, which would then cause the award to be given to Bejo.  Although this has happened in the past, there is little possibility of it.  Looks like the boredom of this race will continue.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Nick Nolte for Warrior

Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

Who will/should win: Christopher Plummer

Dark Horse: None

Shoulda Been There: Albert Brooks

Christopher Plummer is going to win, without a doubt.  That is not to say that none of the other nominees are deserving of a win, it is simply that most voters have joined on the Plummer bandwagon, and those who aren’t on it feel they would be wasting their vote by giving it to another nominee.  The veteran actor has a lot of friends in the community, and after viewing his performance in Beginners, even his enemies have to give the guy his props.  Poor Albert Brooks though.  While he never stood a chance at winning, it would have been grand to see him nominated for Drive, giving both the film and the actor the recognition they deserve.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis for The Help

Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn 

Who will/should win: Viola Davis

Dark Horse: Rooney Mara

Shoulda Been There: Kirsten Dunst

This set of women was basically set in stone until the youngin, Rooney Mara, came along and shook up the race a little.  Thank goodness for that.  The whole race got a bit boring, and despite knocking Tilda Swinton out of the race, Rooney deserves to be up there with these fine actresses.  As a result of her last minute momentum, the rising star could snag the gold from Viola.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a lot of lovers out there, and many of them are pushing for Rooney since a majority of the film rides on her performance.  Unfortunately, I have to play politics with this one.  There has only been one Black actress (Halle Berry) to ever take home this prize, and only a handful of others were nominated.  This would not be a pity win though.  Viola shines in the spectrum of talented actresses of The Help, and gives a performance that is truly deserving of Best Actress.  The Help may have caused some controversy, but it is hard not to fall under the spell of Viola’s mesmerizing performance.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

Demián Bichir for A Better Life

George Clooney for The Descendants

Jean Dujardin for The Artist

Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt for Moneyball 

Who will: George Clooney

Who should win/dark horse: Jean Dujardin

Shoulda Been There: Michael Fassbender

That suave bastard, George Clooney!  The icon seems to have finally found the performance that will immortalize him with a coveted Best Actor win.  Yet, a little know French actor may be the David to his Goliath.  The Artist continues to sweep every awards ceremony, however, besides the Golden Globes, its lead actor has gotten little love.  Now as the clock is ticking, Dujardin could pull off the win where it matters most.  While Clooney is staying strong, The Descendants has fallen back.  Could its lead actor suffer the same fate?  It is very possible, and semi probable.  Well, seeing as there is not much time before the ceremony, we will all know very soon.

Best Motion Picture of the Year:

Thomas Langmann for The Artist

Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor for The Descendants

Scott Rudin for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Bruson Green, Christopher Columbus, and Michael Barnathan for The Help

Graham King and Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum for Midnight in Paris

Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, and Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner, and Grant Hill for The Tree of Life

Stephen Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy for War Horse 

Who will/should win: The Artist 

Dark Horse: Hugo 

Shoulda Been There: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 

Should NOT Be There: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

There is little doubt that The Artist will win this major prize.  The silent film that could has gained too much momentum for it not to win.  However, there is one peculiar aspect of the nominations.  Hugo leads the pack will eleven nominations, and typically the film with the most nominations wins Best Picture.  Yet, this is not enough for Scorsese’s tour de Paris to defeat Hazanavicius’s juggernaut.  As I mentioned before, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close can see it way in order to let more deserving nominees (aka snubs) have their chance in the spotlight.  Kudos to all the other nominees as well!

2011 was an interesting year, but I think it time to bring it to a close.   While there were a number of noteworthy films from 2011, the awards have been relatively boring.  That is perfectly fine by me though, just as long as the deserving nominee gets the gold.  Let’s say goodbye to the films of 2011, and there is not better way to do that than with the Oscars.  Au revoir 2011!

Be there on February 26th, and celebrate the biggest night in movies!

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2 comments on “2012 Oscar Predictions

  1. Pingback: Before the Oscars, I finally get to my Top 15 of 2011! « nediunedited

  2. nediunedited
    February 25, 2012

    As you now know, I too, am an Oscar freak! But, I am not on the Artist band wagon–sorry! (Check out my review–It was a good movie, but now I am Anti-Artist on principle because of all the hype!).

    Biggest snubs for me? 50/50 (across the board)–Instead of the old male standards how about–Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)–And some new female blood like–Brit Marling (Another Earth)–Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)–Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)

    I totally agree about Tintin and Harry Potter–and Extremely Loud (WTF?)–I felt this year, more than most, there were many excellent films left unrecognized–one way or the other. Oh well, since my top-top films are not represented, I decided to root for The Help.

    Also, I can’t wait to see Billy Crystal again!

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