Thursday, 19 January 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: One Last Update Before The Nominations

I can't believe were are a mere 5 days away from the announcement of the 2012 Academy Award Nominees. When I did the last update, we were 2 months away, and that feels like yesterday. In fact, it feels like just yesterday I was raging about The King's Speech beating The Social Network. Unfortunately this year doesn't seem as exciting. I don't know if the race has been drearier, of if the fact that I was in LA this time last year made me so much more excited. I suspect a combination.

In a nutshell, my last Oscar update favoured The Descendants and The Artist, touted War Horse as the new favourite (after some rave reviews and the Academy's love for Spielberg Porn), and revealed the shattered hopes of films like J Edgar. After the jump I will give the best picture race one last look before the nominees are announced on Tuesday 24 January at 15h30 PM (South African time) and attempt to predict some other categories too.

Best Picture

The first question is, how many nominees will there be? As stated in my first Oscar post, the rules have changed, and now the number of nominees will depend on the number of votes per film. A really strong, evenly spread field will crack 10 nominations, whereas a few horse race will result in 5 only. The consensus seems to be that there will be 8 nominees, and it seems good to me (even though for some reason I feel there may be 9). This is who I think will be nominated:
  • The Artist - a sure bet, I just don't know if it can beat The Descendants. It won the Best Comedy or Musical Golden Globe, and The Descendants won Best Drama. Damn, it's a tricky one. But this is a prediction of nominees only, so it's easy for now.
  • The Descendants - see above.
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - this not certain at all. I have added it because I absolutely loved it, and because I'm quite sure David Fincher will be nominated for Best Director (a category which goes hand in hand with Best Picture)
  • Hugo - I don't think anybody expected Hugo to receive the praise it did (but what were they expecting, it's Martin Scorsese after all). However, with all its love and innovation I reckon this one is at number three right now. Out of nowhere.
  • Midnight In Paris - still a solid bet for a nomination. However, no chance of a win.
  • The Help - see the previous entry.
  • Moneyball - see the previous two entries.
  • The Ides of March - this one is a very close call. I almost had War Horse instead, then I had 9 nominees, and now I settled with this list. The Ides of March is simply too good to ignore.
No War Horse? Oi vey, this went from the top of my list to out the bottom. Seems like I was a little hasty and over reliant on those reviews. My gut tells me the Academy is going to snub this one, but I may very well be wrong. I'm going with my heart and my gut here.

Best Director

Believe it or not, I am quite confident in this one. For one, the DGA nominees have been announced, and the Globes have come and gone. This is my prediction:
  • Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
  • Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
  • Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
  • David Fincher (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
  • Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris)
Acting Awards

It's The Descendants v The Artist again in the Best Actor race, with George Clooney facing up agains Jean Dujardin. However, I think the real race is between Brad Pitt in Moneyball and Clooney, and that Clooney is going to take the gold next month. My other two predictions are for Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Michael Fassbender in Shame, a risky choice since I am picking him over Leonardo DiCaprio in J Edgar. Screw it, let DiCaprio win next year for Django Unchained!

For the Best Supporting Actor I would have to go for Christopher Plummer (Beginners) as the favourite. He took home the Globe, was brilliant in the role, and is due. Other than Albert Brooks (Drive), I am not sure of the rest. Hmmm, I'm going with Jonah Hill in Moneyball, Kenneth Branagh in My Week With Marilyn and Nick Nolte in Warrior. It's called Rubber Stamping.

This is the year Meryl Streep finally wins another Best Actress Oscar for The Iron Lady, even though I secretly hope Viola Davis takes it for her role in The Help. Actually, to be frank, I would want Rooney Mara to win for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo followed by Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene and Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin, but we don't always get our way. Those are my nominee predictions too by the way, except that I hereby (begrudgingly) replace Elizabeth Olsen with Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. Meh.

Lastly, I reckon Octavia Spencer is dead-on favourite for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. She was great, but I liked Jessica Chastain (in the same film) even more. Next I will go for Bérénice Bejo in The Artist because she is hot, Shailene Woodley in The Descendants because she is going to be hot (not sure if I can say she's hot yet) and... hmmm, Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids. "I met a dolphin down there and I swear to God that dolphin, looked not at me, but into my soul, looked into my Goddamn soul."

Other Categories?
Fuckit. I'm not going to bore you by listing all my guesses, which are largely based on other, more informed, guesses anyway. I will make a few loose predictions (based on movies I saw):
  • Dragon Tattoo is going to be nominated for editing, cinematography as well as original score. If not, I will hang my head in shame. 
  • For some reason, I don't think Drive is going to be nominated for cinematography despite how cool it was. My unadulterated love for this category means I often get it all wrong though.
That's it for now. I will put up the nominees when they are announced (unless I was way off the mark).

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