Good lord are the Oscars early this year. They keep moving it up, and it always seems to creep up on me.
Anyway…hi there! If you’ve never read my annual Oscar picks (previously posted on my now retired blog, and long before that on Blue’s News), I take the annual Academy Awards very seriously. No really. I don’t watch sports, I watch movies. Therefore to me (and I fully understand that this is just me), the Oscars are my Super Bowl.
When it comes to choosing the winners, my motivation is based on my traditional Oscar bet with my father, which we’ve been doing every year for over two decades. I used to win handily, but in the last ten years he’s really ramped up his research, which has made it both more difficult and more exciting.
We bet on more categories than most, but not all of them. So if you’re looking for the shorts or sound categories, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But we do cover everything else. Doing just the top six is much too easy. All the real fun happens when you get down into the crazy ones everyone forgets about, like Costume Design.
In any event, my choices are based on who I believe will win, not who I believe should win. I don’t really care about who should win. I am only concerned with who will take home the statue. If the people who actually deserved Oscars regularly won, we would live in a world where Stanley Kubrick left behind a mantle full of golden statues (he never won for anything other than Visual Effects, for 2001).
And to be clear, I really do love the Oscars. They’re absurd. They’re crazy. They’re fun!
So let’s get to the picks.
Best Picture: The Artist.
If you had asked me last year if I thought a black and white, silent movie made by a French dude was going to win best picture, I’d have thought you were crazy. But it is. It won the Producer’s Guild award, it’s got the buzz, it’s going to win.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
If Scorcese hadn’t won a few years ago (at long freaking last) for The Departed, he certainly would have won this year for Hugo. As it is, I still think he’s got a shot, as does the inestimable Terrence Malick for Tree of Life. But the buzz and awards trail points squarely at Michel Hazanavicius, for having the balls to make a film nobody ever thought could be made. And a damn fine film it is.
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
A tough category this year, with a previously unknown Frenchman up against the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Clooney is the one with more buzz, but I think Pitt is the dark horse here. Nonetheless, I tend to go conservative with my picks, and I think Jean Dujardin is going to take it (he won the SAG award).
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
I feel very confident in this pick. She’s got all the buzz and the awards trail. I thought this was Michelle Williams’ award to lose early on, but that movie pretty much fizzled. Glenn Close has zero buzz, Meryl Streep is excellent in anotherwise forgotten movie, and the less said about Rooney Mara the better (she was fine, I just didn’t care for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Two Skyrim actors are in this category? How awesome is that? I could see either of them getting it, but Plummer edges out Von Sydow based on other award wins. Jonah Hill is really the dark horse here, but I think even he would be shocked to win over such seasoned veterans.
Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
I feel pretty good about this one, too. She’s won a lot of other awards, and none of the other actresses have much in the way of buzz.
Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s most popular movie ever and he’s won a metric ton of awards (including the all-important WGA award). Nothing else here has much buzz.
Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants
How great is it going to be seeing Dean Pelton from Community win an Oscar? Pretty damn great. The trio behind the Descendants has all the buzz this year, even though Alexander Payne said some really stupid things about the state of the screenplay before his draft (seriously dude, WTF?). I feel good about this one.
Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Roger Ebert rarely steers me wrong in this category, although by his own admission, he hasn’t seen most of the nominees. Still, this is by far the most acclaimed film, and it’s nominated for a screenplay award. I feel good here.
Animated Feature: Rango
You know it’s a weak year for animated features it is when two Dreamworks flicks make the cut and nothing from Pixar. I haven’t seen it, but Rango’s the most acclaimed, and it won the Annie Award, so that gets my pick.
Original Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
The music in this film was just lovely, except for that sequence that lifted Bernard Herrmann’s score from Vertigo (that just smacked of laziness, and felt wrong to me). An easy win. It’s hard for any other movie to compete with a silent film on music.
Original Song: Man or Muppet from The Muppets
Two nominees, and one’s from Rio? Yeesh.
Art Direction: Hugo
This movie was lush and gorgeous from start to finish. Also it won an ADG award. I can’t imagine any of the other nominees winning, but I guess Harry Potter has a shot.
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
This film was too out there to really have a shot at any other category, but it was most highly acclaimed for its cinematography, even by its detractors. Also it won the ASC (do you see a pattern here? You should…they matter).
Costume Design: Arianne Phillips, W./E.
Critics hated this movie by Madonna, but loved the costumes. I could really see this category going to any of the nominees (especially The Artist, which would indicate a full sweep) but I feel pretty good about this choice.
Makeup: Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady
Also known as, “Hey they made Meryl Streep look just like Margaret Thatcher!”
I always hate this category. This seems to be the one that everyone else is picking because it’s highly emotional. I don’t know. Proceed at your own risk.
Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Good lord, if this doesn’t win, someone’s going to get hurt. I don’t necessarily think that this film should have gotten an acting nomination, but it absolutely deserves this VFX win.
Best Editing: The Artist
Most years that the same film wins Best Picture and Director, it also wins editing. I think that will happen again this year, and feel pretty good about it. As usual, the Eddie awards didn’t help much, as they gave awards to both The Artist and The Descendants (grumble grumble grumble). I think it’s a tossup between those two anyway, and I’m going with The Artist.
So there you have it…my 2012 Oscar picks. I feel good about this year, and can’t wait to see the show.
As always, have fun watching. I know I will.