Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

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Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards
It’s that time of year again. Time to make the final predictions about how this Sunday’s Academy Awards is going to turn out as well as naming which nominee(s) I feel to be the most worthy of taking home the award. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

(Please note that I have not made any predictions for Best Documentary, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, or Best Live-Action Short as I have not seen a single nominee in any of those categories, nor is there really any buzz around them.)

BEST SOUND EDITING
DRIVE
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
HUGO
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
WAR HORSE

BEST SOUND MIXING
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
HUGO
MONEYBALL
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
WAR HORSE

Who I think should win:

For Sound Editing, I would like to see Drive take it, because not only did it have a great use of sound, but this is also the only nomination it received, and I would like to see it given at least this. Sound Mixing I think should go to Hugo, because it also had a great use of sound.

Who I think will win:

These categories are not nearly as easy to predict as they were last year when Inception was in contention, so, for no other reason than the Cinema Audio Society saying it had the best sound in a motion picture, I am predicting Hugo will take both of these categories. I have a feeling Hugo will have to make do with some of these smaller awards as it’s looking like it doesn’t have much of a chance at anything much higher.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2
HUGO
REAL STEEL
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

Who I think should win:

For Visual Effects, I would be happy seeing either Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Harry Potter take it. Apes had amazing motion capture while Harry Potter has had incredible visual effects for eight films now, so it would be more than worthy to take the award.

Who I think will win:

This category seems to be a lock for Rise of the Planet of the Apes as it’s been winning the award left and right throughout awards season.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Man or Muppet,” THE MUPPETS
“Real in Rio,” RIO

Who I think should win:

I think The Muppets should take this as it’s the better song.

Who I think will win:

I also think The Muppets will take it.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
THE ARTIST
HUGO
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
WAR HORSE

Who I think should win:

I would have to give this one to The Artist simply because Ludovic Bource’s score is incredible and is basically the driving force behind the film.

Who I think will win:

I think the Academy will give it to The Artist as it’s won the award from several important groups including the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Broadcast Film Critics.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

BEST MAKEUP
ALBERT NOBBS
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2
THE IRON LADY

Who I think should win:

I think both Harry Potter and The Iron Lady are both very deserving here. Makeup helped Meryl Streep vanish inside the character of Margaret Thatcher while it has also been spectacular throughout the Harry Potter series.

Who I think will win:

This is one of the categories that I’m not particularly sure about. The consensus seems to be that The Iron Lady will take it, so that’s who I’d have to go with, but this also seems to be the one place where Harry Potter could take its one and only Oscar, and seeing as how the Academy has not honored the series with a single award to date, this would be their one chance to do so since it doesn’t stand much of a chance in the other two categories it’s nominated for.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
BULLHEAD
FOOTNOTE
IN DARKNESS
A SEPARATION
MONSIEUR LAZHAR

Who I think will win:

I can’t say who I think should win because I’ve only seen one of these nominees, but I can say that it would be a complete shock if any film but A Separation were to take this category as it’s been the clear favorite throughout awards season.

BEST FILM EDITING
THE ARTIST
THE DESCENDANTS
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
HUGO
MONEYBALL

Who I think should win:

I would have to give this one to The Artist as well as it is assembled in such a skilled manner to perfectly replicate the silent film experience.

Who I think will win:

Well, the ACE Eddies named both The Artist and The Descendants the winners of their respective categories, but I’d have to say that the Academy is going to go with The Artist as not only is it very well edited, but also because it’s going to be the favorite film of the evening.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
ANONYMOUS
THE ARTIST
HUGO
JANE EYRE
W.E.

Who I think should win:

This is a category with many deserving nominees, so I would like to see it go to either Anonymous (a great film that was unfortunately shunned by most), Hugo, or The Artist.

Who I think will win:

This is one of the tougher categories to call. Based on the buzz, it seems to be down to The Artist and Hugo. The former could take it because of the overall love of the film, while the latter could take it because some might feel that the film might not be honored enough. Then again, the Academy’s sheer love of opulence in costumes could lead it to the other three nominees. A very tough pick indeed. However, I am going to go with The Artist, which took this category from BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
THE ARTIST
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
HUGO
THE TREE OF LIFE
WAR HORSE

Who I think should win:

Even though I didn’t care for the film that much, I would have to give this category to The Tree of Life. While the lack of narrative made it a bit of a slog to sit through, the stunning cinematography, which covered not only a small family in a small town, but also the creation of the universe, kept me interested.

Who I think will win:

The Tree of Life seems to have a lock on this category having won the award all over including taking the top prize from the American Society of Cinematographers.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

BEST ART DIRECTION
THE ARTIST
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2
HUGO
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
WAR HORSE

Who I think should win:

Here’s another category with several deserving nominees, making it hard to choose just one. Again, Harry Potter would be very deserving in this area as it has excelled in art direction for all eight films, but Hugo is also very deserving with amazing recreations of a Paris train station and the hidden area within its walls.

Who I think will win:

I think Hugo will take this as it’s been a favorite in the category, having taken the award from the Art Directors Guild, BAFTA, and the Broadcast Film Critics.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo, BRIDESMAIDS
JC Chandor, MARGIN CALL
Asghar Farhadi, A SEPARATION

Who I think should win:

I would have to go with Woody Allen’s brilliant Midnight in Paris. It’s such a delightful grab bag of artistic personalities that comes to life even when simply reading it.

Who I think will win:

I think the Academy is going to choose to honor Allen’s Midnight in Paris here and only here, but it would be well-deserved. He’s already won it from the Broadcast Film Critics and The Hollywood Foreign Press (the WGA award doesn’t mean anything in this case as The Artist was disqualified from competing). The only thing that could stop this from happening would be if Academy members just end up voting for The Artist instead because it’s their favorite film, not necessarily because it’s the best screenplay. This has actually happened the last two years in a row.

Back in 2010, Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds was the clear frontrunner going into the Oscars, but because The Hurt Locker was the favorite film of the evening, Academy members ended up voting for it regardless of being the inferior screenplay. Likewise, in 2011, Christopher Nolan’s Inception was the frontrunner up until it was obvious that The King’s Speech could not be stopped, making it clear that it was going to take the category, though it was quite deserving as well.

This year, the Best Picture frontrunner’s screenplay is a mere 40-odd pages that is not that impressive of a read. The magic of the film is more in its visual aspects. So, though it’s unusual for a film to win Best Picture and not screenplay, I think it will actually happen this year. However, if you end up hearing The Artist announced on Sunday night, you’ll at least know why.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne and Jim Rash, THE DESCENDANTS
Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, MONEYBALL
John Logan, HUGO
George Clooney and Grant Heslov, IDES OF MARCH
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY

Who I think should win:

The best screenplay out of this category is Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian’s Moneyball. Much like Midnight in Paris, I’ve been praising it throughout awards season. The screenplay crackles with great dialogue and memorable characters that makes it the clear choice for the category.

Who I think will win:

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Academy is going to agree. It seems The Descendants has picked up steam in the last few days, winning both the WGA award in contention against Moneyball as well as taking the USC Scripters award, making it the most likely nominee to win the award on Oscar night. I found The Descendants to be a rather disappointing film mainly because of its screenplay, so this is one prediction that I honestly hope I’m wrong about.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
RANGO
CHICO AND RITA
A CAT IN PARIS
KUNG FU PANDA 2
PUSS IN BOOTS

Who I think should win:

This is where the Academy made their biggest flub of the year: the omission of The Adventures of Tintin. I found this to be a great adventure that clearly earns the title of Best Animated Film of 2011, and it even won the Golden Globe and Producers Guild awards for their animated categories, so it’s a shame that the Academy chose not to recognize it.

Who I think will win:

With no competition from The Adventures of Tintin, the overrated Rango will have no problem winning the category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo, THE ARTIST
Melissa McCarthy, BRIDESMAIDS
Janet McTeer, ALBERT NOBBS
Octavia Spencer, THE HELP
Jessica Chastain, THE HELP

Who I think should win:

I would have to go with Octavia Spencer’s amazing performance in The Help.

Who I think will win:

I think the Academy is going to agree with me and award it to Octavia Spencer. She has been a clear favorite throughout awards season having won the award from the Screen Actors Guild, The Hollywood Foreign Press, BAFTA, and the Broadcast Film Critics.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
Nick Nolte, WARRIOR
Jonah Hill, MONEYBALL
Max von Sydow, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Christopher Plummer, BEGINNERS

Who I think should win:

I’d probably go with either Jonah Hill or Kenneth Branagh for their excellent performances.

Who I think will win:

Christopher Plummer is the clear frontrunner here having won the award from the Screen Actors Guild, The Hollywood Foreign Press, BAFTA, and the Broadcast Film Critics.

BEST ACTRESS
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

Who I think should win:

I’d be more than happy to see either Meryl Streep or Viola Davis win the award for their amazing performances.

Who I think will win:

It’s an extremely close race between Streep and Davis, but I think when Davis won the SAG award, it gave her the slight edge, making her the favorite for Oscar night.

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, THE DESCENDANTS
Brad Pitt, MONEYBALL
Jean Dujardin, THE ARTIST
Damien Bachir, A BETTER LIFE
Gary Oldman, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY

Who I think should win:

I would like to see either Brad Pitt or Jean Dujardin take it for their amazing performances. Pitt really knocked it out of the park while Dujardin was able to emote so much with just body language.

Who I think will win:

Best Actor has been an unusual race. Up until the SAG awards, it seemed like George Clooney had this one in the bag, but then Jean Dujardin unexpectedly won the SAG award, which puts him as the frontrunner for the Oscar. Therefore he is my pick to take it home on Sunday night.

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Alexander Payne, THE DESCENDANTS
Martin Scorsese, HUGO
Woody Allen, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Terrence Malick, THE TREE OF LIFE

Who I think should win:

Another category with a few deserving recipients. Allen would be deserving for his simple and delicate direction of Midnight in Paris, while Hazanavicius would be deserving for his amazing recreation of a silent film. Then you have Scorsese’s own excellent tribute to silent cinema. So hard to choose just one!

Who I think will win:

Well, since Michel Hazanavicius won the Directors Guild award, he has a 90% chance of taking home the Oscar as the DGA and the Academy almost always agree on the best director of the year. There have only been six instances where the DGA winner has not gone on to win the Oscar.

Predicting The 84th Annual Academy Awards
BEST PICTURE
THE ARTIST
THE DESCENDANTS
THE HELP
THE TREE OF LIFE
HUGO
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
MONEYBALL
WAR HORSE
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE

Who I think should win:

I would have to go with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a great film that deserves more recognition than it’s getting.

Who I think will win:

Unquestionably, this category is going to go to The Artist. It has been the extremely clear favorite throughout awards season having won multiple Best Pictures from groups such as the Producers Guild, The Broadcast Film Critics, BAFTA, and The Hollywood Foreign Press.

This year was the first test of the new Best Picture system where a film had to get 5% of first place votes to earn a nomination, and it turns out that it still has a few kinks to iron out what with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close inexplicably making its way into the category after having gotten mostly bad reviews. I think they were on the right track with this system, but perhaps they need to raise that 5% a little higher to help make sure the nominees are all truly deserving.

As I’ve noted before, 2011 was a rather weak year as no one film really stood out from the pack as being the best of the year. There were a few great films in there, but none that really blew me away (i.e. none of them earned a four star rating from me). As far as Best Pictures go, The Artist is a great film and a fine choice to represent the year, but I definitely saw better film in 2011 like Midnight in Paris, Hugo, and Moneyball. The Artist just happened to be a slice of old Hollywood that critics and guild members ate right up, and we can almost certainly add the Academy to that list very soon.

The 84th Annual Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, February 26th with Billy Crystal returning for his ninth time as host.

Now it’s time for you to give us your predictions. Who do you think will be taking home Oscar gold on Sunday night? Who would you like to see win?

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