Sunday, February 26, 2012

27 Days of Oscar: Day 27, Final Oscar Predictions

Here, at last, are my predictions.  They aren't as messy as last year...but I seriously don't have time to don't criticize me too much.

They have been up at Awards Daily for a few days now, but here I will try to justify the madness...redeem myself from last year's embarrassing 12 correct guesses...yet cover my tail if there is a differing win.  If you want to see how my peers are predicting, go to Awards Daily's Big Bad Predictions Chart.

Best Picture:

Will win: The Artist
Should win: Hugo
spoiler: Ummm...not gonna happen

I rewatched The Artist a couple of nights ago, and I do believe I have been a bit too harsh on it. It is a delightful film. And Berenece Bejo is so incredible. I still have my issues with Dujardin. But...people just find the movie so darn charming, not able to look beyond the surface.
Hugo was my favorite of the bunch, followed very closely by Moneyball. But sadly, I think Moneyball will be completely shut out and Hugo will have to settle for the tech awards.

Best Director:

Will win: Michel Hazanavicius
Should win: Martin Scorsese
spoiler: Terrance Malick

Up until the DGA I thought Marty had a chance. I do believe he deserves it.  Hugo is a masterpiece. The fact that he defies expectations and chose to allow Hugo's storyline to begin slowly, not giving away everything in the beginning bothered many people. But for me it was a daring bit of storytelling, allowing us to enjoy the world that was created. (See Art Direction). And although I didn't love “Tree of Life,” Malick challenged in many, many ways, giving us a film truly unlike anything I have ever seen. But, It will be Michel...unless the Academy decides not to give it to a foreign director two years in a row.

Best Actress:

Will win: Viola Davis
Should win: Michelle Williams
spoiler: Meryl Streep

As phase 2 (the post nominations part of the awards race) progressed, I became so wrapped up in Viola and her incredible presence, her speeches, everything about her. I almost forgot that I actually didn't include her in my top performances of the year. And I included Williams. This reminds me a lot of the year that Sandra Bullock won. I wanted her on that stage even though I didn't consider her to give they best performance amongst the five women. Of course...Viola is more deserving...don't get me wrong. But I forget the hype and remember how I felt, based solely on the way I actually judged the performances at the time of seeing the films, it's Williams all the way.

Best Actor:

Will win: Jean Dujardin
Should win: George Clooney
spoiler: George Clooney
if there's a split: Gary Oldman, Demian Bechir

This is the award that I am most invested in, mostly because I believe Dujardin gives, by far, the weakest performance of the bunch. And I believe that George Clooney gives the strongest. Followed quite closely by Demian Bechir. I honestly can't understand how an actor of any legitimacy can't see that Dujardin is, at times, almost marking time. The moment he hears about the talkies his expression is blank...and not like someone who is trying to digest what he is hearing...but an actor who isn't feeling...well anything in response to what is happening to him.  Maybe this is a choice...and he is a man who doesn't truly know how to react to what's happening to him...but for the moment before he trashes the studio...his eyes simply aren't portraying the desperation.  Even when he lights his films on's almost as if...well...he's throwing a flame onto a film set...and not destroying his life's work. Clooney, however, is truly digging deep. And Bechir, in those final scenes in “A Better Life.” Wow...Really, really deep. This is what acting is about, finding truth and showing real emotions. At least the acting I believe. Not just a raised eyebrow and a charming smile. I've said it all year long, and I honestly can't really say it anymore. Here the wrong actor will win...and it will be a travesty.

Best Supporting Actor:

Will win: Christopher Plummer
should win: Nick Nolte
spoiler: Max von Sydow

I almost believe that if there is an upset, it might be in this category. Everyone is so convinced that Christopher Plummer is going to win this award...and I'm just not sure anymore. It's almost an afterthought...and I was incredibly moved by MVS. But it's Nick Nolte who gives one of the best performances of they year, by any sex, (and regretfully didn't make my top performances of the year because I saw it too late.) who really deserves it.

Best Supporting Actress:

Will win: Octavia Spencer
should win: Jessica Chastain/Octavia Spencer
spoiler: Jessica Chastain

Maybe I'm cheating by saying that either actress from “The Help” deserves to win this award, but I did cheat when I did my top performances of the year. In my mind, they are a team in that film. More so than Spencer and Davis, and in a perfect world they would both win ( never know!)

Best Editing:

Will win: Hugo
should win: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
spoiler: The Artist

Although this year my predictions aren't incredibly off the wall, this is one of the spots I'm going against the Eddie's and most of the other Oscar progs. I think the best editing of the year belongs to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I just can't see the Academy, not this year...when their choices are as bland as ever, giving this movie more that the few nominations it received. But I also can't understand giving it to The Artist. There is just nothing special there, and a win here will only be a win for a film they liked, not giving the actual category they are voting for actual consideration. But Thelma is the best editor alive (in my opinion) and I don't think she will be ignored. She is (interestingly enough) in the club having won for The Aviator, The Departed, and Raging Bull.

Best Cinematography:

Will win/Should win: Tree of Life
spoiler: The Artist, War Horse

Although I initially had problems with “Tree of Life,” I still think about the immaculately way it was shot...and although part of me still wishes the film would've been a little more silent, post prologue (ironic, right?) some of those “pictures” are just incredible. But if we have a sweep, watch out.

Best Art Direction:

Will win/Should win: Hugo
spoiler: The Artist, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Maybe it's wishful thinking here that “The Artist” won't win, but how can Hugo not win for the incredible world that is created. Seriously. And everything about the Art Direction of The Artist is borrowed. But the Academy can't be quite narrow sighted and see pretty sets and not innovation.

Best Animated Short:

Will win: Flying Books
Should win: A Morning Stroll
spoiler: La Luna/A Morning Stroll

I thoroughly loved A Morning Stroll It was unusual, incredibly animated, showing different times with different types of animation. And the end was incredibly witty. But, I was burned last year by going with my favorite in this category. After a conversation with Krist Tapley and listening to others, I have to cave. “Flying Books,” has an incredible heart. It is the only animated short that made me cry. And it is beautiful. And heck...the lead character even reminded me of ME! The upset could be La Luna...because it is Pixar. In the past, Pixar has lost this category because they always win the Animated Feature category. This year, they aren't even this could be their first here.

Best Live Action Short
Will win: The Shore
Should win: Raju
spoiler: Tuba Atlantic/Raju

Like I said above...last year, when I went with my favorite...also in this category I was burned. For me “Raju,” is far and away the best of the group. But The Shore has a famous director, recognizable actors, blah blah blah. How can you deny that? Well, some are citing Tuba Atlantic, which is better than The Shore.

Best Documentary Short

Will win/should win: Saving Face
spoiler: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

I considered choosing Tsunami and Cherry Blossom until I remember the year that I didn't predict Smile Pinki and was wrong. My dear friend Colleen said to me: how could you NOT have chosen Smile Pinki. And that's exactly how I feel this year. Saving Face was so incredibly moving. Telling a story I wasn't aware of. I love Lucy least half of the time. Last year she made one of my favorite and one of my worst documentaries. This year, she also seemed to make 2...but in 1. But don't discount her.

Best Visual Effects:

Will win/should win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
spoiler: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

There is some thought that Potter needs to win something for all of its years and lack of a a Best Picture nomination. Maybe it unseat The Artist in Art Direction if there is no sweep and for some crazy reason Hugo doesn't win, but this is the most likely place that could actually happen. But in all honesty, how could they possibly deny “Rise.” Well...they ignored Serkis, that's how.   

Best Original Screenplay:

Will win: Midnight in Paris

Should win: Margin Call
spoiler: The Artist

I thoroughly enjoyed Midnight in Paris, especially when Owen Wilson's character got away from his shrew of a wife (sorry Rachel McAdams!) things got really exciting...but I personally feel "Margin Call" is the screenplay of the year.  I loved this movie so very much...and I really feel that it spoke of our times unlike any other movie this year.  But I have a feeling that the Spirit awards are the winner for that film.  But don't be surprised if "The Artist" wins.  If it does, it will be (I think) the first time that a Best Picture winner also wins an original screenplay award, scribed by one individual...who also directed it.  Will be a real tribute to Hazanavicius.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Will win:  The Descendants
should win:  Moneyball
spoiler: Moneyball

I love Alexander Payne, and unlike many other people, I actually don't have any problems with the screenplay.  In my opinion, it just doesn't have a "porch scene" like the one from "Sideways."  That all being said, especially accounting for degree of difficulty, "Moneyball" deserves this.  How they made a book about stats, with an unahppy ending so smart, yet also moving...well, that's because it has some of the best screenwriters out there working on it.  Some guys named Sorkin and Zallian.

Best Animated Feature:

Will win: Rango
should win:  Chico and Rita
spoiler: Chico and Rita

I actually didn't get the appeal of Rango when I first saw it.  But then people kept telling me about all the connections it has to other films and cinema...and I started to get it...a little.  But to me, this category, is all about the surprise hand drawn treasures.  And both "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico and Rita" are incredible.  I give the edge to the adult "Chico."  At least for my favorite.  I guess there is no denying "Rango."

Best Documentary Feature:

Will win: Undefeated
should win: Undefeated
spoiler: Paradise Lost 3/If a Tree Falls

This is one of the most exciting categories in the bunch.  In both this category and live action short, the progs are predicting winners based heavily upon the star power connected to the films, not the quality of the pictures.  I found Paradise Lost 3 a very interesting story...and the story has been told again from Peter Jackson (which premiered at Sundance...and will be seen this year).  Before today I would've said that Marshall Curry's If a Tree Falls deserved the award...but Undefeated is so beautiful.  It's not the "message" film either Tree or the wonderful Hell and Back Again is...but it is a wonderful, moving story about character and discipline.  And by golly, I wept like a baby at the end.

Costume Design:

Will win:  The Artist
should win: W.E.


Will win:  The Iron Lady
should win:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
spoiler: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Sound Editing:

Will win: Hugo
should win: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I am reminded of the year that The Hurt Locker won both of these categories...and even though that year it was part of a sweep...I feel that this will be the Academy's way to honor Hugo before they get to the Artist sweep.  (Even though I'm predicting Hugo to win Art Direction and Editing...hmmm...maybe I'm overthinking the Hugo Love.)  Anyway.  I think the sound in almost all Fincher films is a "part."  And even though the branch recognized that fact....the whole Academy...probably another story.

Sound Mixing:

Will win: Hugo
should win: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
spoiler: Moneyball/War Horse

This is the category that celebrates the use of all sound and how it is incorporated into the picture.  Again....Tattoo really succeeds here.  But (see above) I feel these will be the Academy's consolation prizes.  But look out for Moneyball...this is it's only real chance at a win (unless Adapted Screenplay is a shocker.)  And there are people out there who are saying that War Horse could win too.

Original Score:

Will win: The Artist
should win: The Artist
spoiler: Hugo, War Horse

I'm actually a bit shocked that I'm saying this...but I think The Artist will and should win this category.  Although I feel there are many more worthy scores NOT nominated.  Of this list...The Artist deserves it as it IS the dialogue.  Unless the fuss Kim Novak made about the fact that 8 minutes of Vertigo score gets people thinking negatively.  Doubtful though.  In that case, Hugo or War Horse could sneak in.

Original Song:

Will win/should win: Man or Muppet

Of the two songs, it's the one that actually drives the plot.  But who knows.

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