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Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My 2011-2012 Oscar Predictions – Part 4: The Majors

And finally, the 6 awards most of the general Oscar-watching public cares about.  I must say that the acting awards this year and much more difficult to predict than last year.  And Best Picture once again seems to come down to a two show race.  What will happen?  I guess we’ll have to wait until February 26 to find out.

BEST PICTURE:
The Artist (The Weinstein Company), Thomas Langmann, Producer
The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures), Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Warner Bros. Pictures), Scott Rudin, Producer
The Help (Touchstone Pictures), Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
Hugo (Paramount Pictures), Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics), Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
Moneyball (Columbia Pictures), Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight Pictures), Nominees to be determined
War Horse (Touchstone Pictures), Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

First lets talk about the nominees, since this is an interesting palate.  I don’t think I’ve heard one good thing about Extremely Loud…, yet its here.  Meanwhile, Dragon Tattoo is not.  Also, the Tree of Life made it, which I found very surprising.  I’m happy about it, but its certainly not an Oscar-type movie, so I am kind of shocked.

As for who I think will win; well, it seems to be a race between The Descendants and The Artist.  As I watched the Golden Globes, I decided that whichever of those two films won the award for best film would be the one I would choose for my Oscar predictions. Low and behold they both won!  I forgot that the GG’s have separate categories for Drama and Comedy.  So that plan was foiled.

But lets looks at some of the films that have won lately.  The Hurt Locker, The Departed, Crash, No Country for Old Men, all very serious films with dark tones.  The Academy is probably jumping at the chance to celebrate more light-hearted fare like The Artist.  not only that, but it celebrates the history of film, which we all know the academy loves.  And its got the Weinsteins behind it, who love to tailor-make films to the academies liking.  All this leads me to believe that The Artist will be best picture of 2011.

Prediction: The Artist

DIRECTING:
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

For the last few years, I’ve been saying that a Best Picture/Best Director split has been due for a while, not since Crash and Brokeback Mountain in 2005.  But each time I’ve been wrong.  I’m not falling for it again.  If The Artist wins best picture, its likely that Best Director will also go its way.

Prediction: The Artist

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Demián Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

There are some good choices here. Jean Dujardin is water-skiing in the wake of The Artist’s popularity.  Gary Oldman is a well-respected actor who probably deserves a little golden statue.  Brad Pitt is as movie star as they come and has been in some incredible movies over the last two decades.  George Clooney is the front-runner.  he’s won an Oscar for Supporting Actor, but I think that they will give him the other one this year.  Though an upset here wouldn’t surprise me.

Prediction: The Descendants

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Another tough pick.  Who would I like to win? Rooney Mara, for providing us with a unique screen persona.  The Oscar pattern on the other hand says that Michelle Williams will win.  They usually give it to younger actresses who have “paid their due”.  Natalie Portman, Kate Winslett, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron.  And of course, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the millionth time.  But guess what? The last time she actually won was 1982.  And take into account the fact that she’s in a biopic (Oscar magnets, especially in acting categories), I think they will finally award her a second win.

Prediction: The Iron Lady

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This category contains four well known and highly respected actors each of whom have yet to win an Oscar…. and Jonah Hill.  Okay, so I’m pretty sure that the academy is not going to miss an opportunity to finally grant one of these men an Oscar for the sake of giving it to the fat kid from Superbad.  The question is, which of the four?  My metaphorical money is on Christopher Plummer.  Why?  Because its one of the oldest.  Also, Beginners was a movie most people haven’t even heard of, so he must have been pretty good in it to get recognized.

Prediction: Beginners

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help

Hmm, I don’t know.  Octavia Spencer won the Golden Globe, so I’ll go with her.  Sorry, not much insight from me on this one.

Prediction: The Help (Octavia Spencer)

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4 Responses to “My 2011-2012 Oscar Predictions – Part 4: The Majors”

  1. The Artist looks to be in for a big sweep. Nice predictions overall. I will be making mine as the month of February goes on.

    Nice listing and reasoning.

    (oh, and I, too, have yet to hear anyone say anything good about Extremely Loud)

  2. It looks like Hugo might be the show stealer, as a surprise. We must remember that The Academy never likes to make it easy to predict their choices! I still think The Descendants will win Best Pic though, it’s so rare that the most critically acclaimed film of the year, The Artist, will also win Best Pic.

    Nice choices my friend!

  3. Unique selections. Oscars have dissasspointed me this year.

  4. I am praying your predictions are correct for Lead Actress. I compare Viola’s performance in The Help to Meryl’s performance in Julie and Julia…although I don’t think Meryl should have lost to Bullock of all people (PA-LEESE!) Meryl performance this year is BEYOND Oscar worthy. If the Academy doesn’t do the right thing with that category, they should all be done away with.


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