Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Predicting the 84th Academy Awards (EVERY CATEGORY) [UPDATED]

The biggest movie awards show is about to celebrate its 84th year on February 26; it's sure to be a night of celebrity ass-kissing and Hollywood back-deals, but it's still fun to speculate (for me anyway) and to get to  "root" for a particular favorite film or films.  For kicks, I'll post my predictions EVEN if I haven't seen any of the nominees, and maybe I'll go into who I want to win - but this is strictly business.  These are my bets, not my tastes or opinions of who or what should win (really, most of the movies/people I want to win aren't even nominated).

* = Haven't seen it...yet

[UPDATE: The actual winners will be highlighted under the nominations]


The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

I Predict:  The Artist

Let's get this out of the way: 2011 was a pretty lackluster year for movies.  Sure in terms of technology and boundary-breaking techniques (sometimes literally with the addition of a third dimension) it was a notable year, but there just weren't many "powerhouse" releases like we've seen the past few years. Anyway, enough with that rant, based on what pretty much everyone is thinking, The Artist is going to take it home this year.  Especially considering the majority of the Academy is packed with old white guys that probably remember being there during the silent age, the current-era ode to 1920's American silent comedies has been the clear frontrunner for Best Picture.  If anything else wins it'll be a shocking evening.


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

I Predict:  Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

As it typically goes the Academy hands this award to the Best Picture winner, so I'm going to say it'll be a very Artist evening.  This is a strong list of directors, but really what chance do Allen or Malick have?  There's a 99% probability that neither of them will even be in attendance so I was surprised to see them nominated at all.    Scorsese and Payne are solid runners up, but again, I'm imagining this will go hand-in-hand with Best Picture.


Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners*
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I Predict: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

This is a tough category.  Unlike the past few years, there no "that's the one" performance on the list (like in 2010 with Christoph Waltz).  I feel guilty even guessing seeing as I haven't seen 2 of the 5 films, but I think Christopher Plummer may take home the prize.  He's been in the biz a long time and has yet to get himself on Oscar, so I think he might win.  I loved Jonah Hill in Moneyball but there's no way in hell he will win.


Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Mellisa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Knobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

I Predict:  Octavia Spencer, The Help

This seems like kind of an obvious one to me (but as always there's no telling what could happen).  Why Viola Davis isn't in this category but instead is nominated as a lead actress confuses me, and it's a shame because I think she would have beaten out her co-star.  I'm very happy that Mellisa McCarthy is nominated (even though she, like Jonah Hill, has no chance of winning), especially because comedic roles like that tend to get lost in the awards season shuffle.  


Demian Bechir, A Better Life*
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy*
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

I Predict:  Jean Dujardin, The Artist

This is an incredibly difficult category to predict, as there are quite a few heavy hitters here.  I think Pitt doesn't stand a chance, and I have yet to experience A Better Life, but The Artist relied so heavily on Dujardin's performance and it's through his energy and silent film pinashe that even modern audiences don't get lost or bored with this dialogue-less movie.  But crap, then there's Gary Oldman, who could earn an Oscar similarly to Plummer in a "they've been in the business a long time and they deserve a trophy" fashion.


Glenn Close, Albert Knobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady*
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

I Predict:  Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

This is another strong category this year, but I think the Academy will fall for The Iron Actress, Meryl Streep.  I personally want Michelle Williams to win, who is slowly becoming one of my favorite actresses working today.  She might have a chance considering the relatable era to the Academy voters (aka old dudes), but Streep is a award-sucking machine, and with Harvey Weinstein Oscar-campaigning extraordinaire behind her I think she'll have to make even more room on her mantlepiece.


A Cat in Paris*
Chico and Rita*
Kung Fu Panda 2*
Puss in Boots*

I Predict:  Chico and Rita

This one's a little more difficult since I haven't seen most of the nominees (yet), and A Cat in Paris and Chico and Rita seem to be in a much different, more "indie" zone of animation.  Depending of the mood of the voters I think Rango is the frontrunner of the mainstream titles, but Chico and Rita, the more I hear about it, is supposed to be artistic and very well-made.


The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo, Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse, Janusz Kaminski

I Predict:  Hugo, Robert Richardson

Damn, 2011 was a year of amazing cinematography.  All 5 of these flicks deserve an award, this is a damn near impossible category to predict - but I'm still going to place my bet.  Why not Hugo?  It's beautifully shot AND it's the first 3D film from the legendary Martin Scorsese.  The movie blends the old with the new, which is right up the Academy's alley.


Bullhead*, Belgium
Monsieur Lazhar*, Canada
A Separation, Iran
Footnote*, Israel
In Darkness*, Poland

I Predict:  A Separation, Iran

A totally blind speculation but this one seems to be getting the most attention (plus it's nominated for Best Original Screenplay).  A Separation is the only foreign film on this list that I've seen; from what I hear Bullhead is supposed to be a "wild card" pick that likely won't win.


The Descendants
Ides of March*
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy*

I Predict:  Moneyball

Aaron Sorkin is a writing god.  He's practically a character in Moneyball and totally deserves an award for it.


The Artist
Margin Call*
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

I Predict:  A Separation

Maybe I'm crazy, but why should The Artist win for Best Original Screenplay?  There's no dialogue in the entire thing, and most of the magic came from the actors and the style.  The story was pretty much a carbon-copy of other silent films.  If you ask me, A Separation should and could win because the whole thing works because of its script.  Not knowing a word of Farsi, I still felt the impact of the words the characters spoke through the subtitles.  It might be a stretch to think the Academy would hand this off to a foreign picture, but I'll stick with it.


"Man or Muppet," from The Muppets
"Real in Rio," from Rio*

I Predict:  "Man or Muppet," The Muppets

This is like a joke category.  We all know The Muppets will win; it's kind of sad that there are only two songs "good enough" to be nominated.


The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
War Horse

I Predict:  Hugo

Even though the "leading" film this year is The Artist, Hugo is still nominated in the most categories this year.  Clearly the Academy took a liking to the first kid-friendly Scorsese film, and I think it'll be in these smaller categories where it will win.


The Artist
Jane Eyre*

I Predict:  Jane Eyre

Every nominee in this category is a period piece - so what now?  I'll give it to Jane Eyre, it just seems like it's the type of thing aristocratic costume-people would faun over.


Hell and Back Again*
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front 1/2* (I never finished it on Netflix)
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory*

I Predict:  Pina

Don't know anything about most of these movies, so I'm going to go with the one I've heard of the most!  Clearly you're reading the words of a true authority figure on this.


The Barber of Birmingham*
God is the Bigger Elvis*
Incident in New Baghdad*
Saving Face*
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom*

I Predict:  Incident in New Baghdad

I literally know nothing nor have heard one thing about any of these, but clearly the one about Baghdad is going to win.


The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

I Predict:  The Artist

I really am not an expert when it comes to these highly technical aspects of film, but The Artist really did have some pretty clever uses of editing (especially towards the end of the film).


Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady*

I Predict: Albert Nobbs

I don't agree with this at all, but I do think Albert Nobbs will win.  Glen Close never looked more like a woman than when she was dressing up as a man in this film.


The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy*, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

I Predict:  The Artist, Ludovic Bource

The score is the only thing we hear the whole damn movie; it's hard to look past something like that.  I did find myself surprisingly enjoying Tintin's soundtrack, but I'm disappointed that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was not nominated.  Damn Academy.


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

I Predict:  La Luna

I actually have seen all of these shorts, and none of them were particularly spectacular.  La Luna was Pixar's entry and accordingly it was cute and clever as always.  A close contender might be The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, but despite high quality animation, I thought it was not at all good.  Wild Life is the most "artsy" (with each frame being an actual painting) and probably would win if this were a different awards show.


The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

I Predict:  Raju

I've also seen all of these shorts as well; the live action shorts were so much better than the animated ones.  I personally enjoyed Time Freak the best, but it seemed too light and more likely to live a life on College Humor than to be awarded an Oscar.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon*
War Horse 

I Predict:  Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I'm not going to pretend like I know the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, but I do know that those big robots sound cool.  I'm probably stupid for not going with Hugo for the two sound categories...


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon*
War Horse

I Predict:  Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Just look at that guy in the picture.  Looks like he knows what he's doing, look at his beard.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel*
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon*

I Predict:  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This movie really paves a step forward for legitimizing motion-capture technology.  Andy Serkis's performance is captured perfectly onto a big CGI monkey and transforms this cheese-territory b-movie into a grade-A summer blockbuster.

Well that's it.  Feel free to comment or whatever about who/what you think will win, and we can see how ridiculously off I was in every category!

[UPDATE: Yeah, ok.  I got 11 out of 24 right...I'm sorry - but I did at least get all the major categories right.  If I'm still blogging by this time next year, I promise I'll do better.]

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