I think my problem is that I get so passionate about my personal favorites, my judgement gets clouded when it comes to how the Academy will vote. I had a near perfect record only once in my Oscar watching career; it was the year CRASH swept the Academy Awards. Since then, my picks have been so so when it comes to the technical awards and screenplays. This year, I will try to put aside my personal opinion and think like a true Academy member. By the way, what does one have to do to become an Academy member? Not to toot my own horn, but I think I'm pretty qualified.
OK, here goes nothing:
Well, this is a no brainer. THE ARTIST will pick this one up as well as a few other categories. It's a wonderful film that I actually saw again this past weekend. The music is outstanding which you would expect since it is a silent film. But, nothing compares to the adorable Jack Russell terrier, Uggie, who has won everyone's heart. Seriously, that dog is amazing and I can't wait to see him in a little tux come Sunday. If you haven't seen this film yet, I suggest to watch it in a theater to really appreciate the score. THE ARTIST is definitely the big contender this season. Too bad Lars Von Trier shot himself in the foot last year and pretty much sealed his fate when it came time to nominate MELANCHOLIA. Such a beautiful film was unfortunately marred by petty controversy which the Academy tends to frown upon. I guarantee you MELANCHOLIA was better than half the nominees in this category. I mean come on, WAR HORSE?
Some people are saying Scorsese has a shot at this one, but I really think it's gonna be THE ARTIST's Michel Hazanavicius who takes the statue. Sure Hazanavicius is a relatively unknown director from France, but THE ARTIST has made such a huge impact in the film world. I'm a big Scorsese fan, yet I still haven't seen HUGO. A family, adventure, dramatic film just doesn't appeal to me even if it came from the mind that brought us GOODFELLAS. I'm sure I will catch it on DVD at some point, but I just don't have any interest in seeing it immediately. I could be wrong, please let me know otherwise! My final answer is still Hazanavicius
It pains me to write this section. I was completely shocked to find out that this was Gary Oldman's first nomination ever! I was certain that he had at least six Oscars by now! How can Anna Paquin have an Oscar at the age of twelve, but one of the greatest actors of our time just now got nominated? I've always loved Oldman. Since the day I saw him on the big screen as Dracula I've been enchanted by his good looks, great hair, and his remarkable acting style. I recently read an interview where he talks about his long career and current nomination. Here's an excerpt from it:
When you read a script, what makes you want to do a film?
It can be many things. It normally is the material and the director. But I can give you a specific example. When I read the script for "Dracula," it had a line in it, he said, "I've crossed oceans of time to find you," I wanted to do the movie for that line. I wanted to say that line to someone. I just thought that was an amazing line, and I thought, Who wouldn't want to say that to someone they loved? And that hooked me.
That line is my absolute favorite line from any film I have ever seen in my life. My cold, little, black, goth heart just melts when he gazes into Winona's eyes and utters that little phrase. You see Gary and I are on the same page, so why can't the Academy get on that page too? All my research so far has led me to believe that Clooney is taking the Oscar even though he already got one in 2006 and this is his seventh nomination. Yeah, the dude from Roseanne has an Oscar. Also, Michael Fassbender was robbed of a nomination in this category for SHAME. The joke is on everyone else because he has his own Oscar that's bigger than any Academy member if you know what I mean.
There's some pretty weak competition when it comes to this category. My research has narrowed it down to Viola Davis for THE HELP or Meryl Streep for THE IRON LADY. I'm gonna go with Meryl even though she gets a fucking Oscar every two years or so. People really like political dramas possibly even more than civil rights films which is why I think Meryl has it this time. However, as much as I despise Kirsten Dunst and her tiny whale teeth she should have been thrown a bone for MELANCHOLIA. I have to admit she showed some serious acting chops in that film.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max Von Sydow, and Jonah Hill...tell me which one doesn't quite fit in. Another travesty is the fact that Sergio Leone was never even nominated for an Oscar , but the fat kid from SUPERBAD is. Not that he has a chance of winning. This category is going to Christopher Plummer. I would love to see Max Von Sydow, whom I loved in THE EXORCIST and THE SEVENTH SEAL win. Shame on the Academy for nominating Johan Hill! He should be penalized for GET HIM TO THE GREEK and not rewarded for some Brad Pitt movie. If anyone deserved a nomination more than Jonah Hill in this category it was Uggie from THE ARTIST. He was robbed!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
All newbies in this category. The reason why I don't think THE HELP will get Best Actress is because I think it will get Best Supporting Actress with Octavia Spencer. I have no personal preference for this category. I'm already bored with this category so I'm moving on.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
So much buzz and momentum has built around A SEPARATION that it has to win this category. It's the first Iranian film to win a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. This is definitely a shoe-in. I would love to see Alamo Drafthouse distributed film BULLHEAD win, but that's just not going to happen. By the way, A SEPARATION is currently playing at The Arbor theater if you wanna see it.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
I love Woody Allen even though he's a pretentious prick. He makes delightful films that really capture the human spirit whether it be good or bad. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was really clever and engaging. I really enjoy reading so I just loved all the literary references and characters in this film. Didn't Adrien Brody make a great Dali? And Carla Bruni was absolutely charming. My bet is that MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is taking this one.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Lots of people didn't really get TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY so as much as I'd like to see it take this category, I doubt it will happen. Instead, people want to see Clooney, the self proclaimed bachelor portray a struggling parent. I think THE DESCENDANTS will take the Oscar in this category, but whatever.
At first I thought PARADISE LOST 3didn't stand a chance with all the controversy surrounding the case. Now, I'm beginning to think it has the best odds. Of course I am completely biased since I have closely followed the West Menphis 3 case for several years and I really liked the first two installments of PARADISE LOST. We finally get to see Damien, Jesse, and and Jason on the red carpet instead of behind bars. That's a very surreal thing to think about. I believe PARADISE LOST 3 will win nonetheless.
Again, if MELANCHOLIA was nominated it would have swept this category. That film was just beautifully stunning. Since it was systematically left out, I choose THE TREE OF LIFE. While it was also exquisitely shot, it pales in comparison to MELANCHOLIA. The whole big bang sequence in TREE OF LIFE was pretty astounding.
Well, there you have it folks, there's my predictions. Feel free to tell me what your picks are. We shall find out the results next Sunday. See you at the party!