Silence Will Be Golden: Final Oscar Predictions 2012
It's interesting when you note just how much things changed throughout the year.
When The Tree of Life first came out in the summertime, it garnered high critical acclaim, then faded into obscurity, leading most prognosticators to conclude that its Oscar odds were all but nonexistent.
Before we moved into the fall, not much attention was paid to Martin Scorsese's Hugo, until people realized that the director might be able to make a kids movie that didn't include his usual dose of violence and profanity.
And until the major awards precursors came along, this was proving to be one of the more interesting years in recent memory, given the lack of a clear frontrunner.
Now, unless they decide to pull a fast one on us, it looks like the Academy will likely follow suit (for the most part) with the other awards shows. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it means we're probably in for a night of few surprises.
So then, here are my predictions for how things will unfold in all 24 categories for Sunday's festivities. . .
BEST PICTURE: "The Artist"
Save for the SAG Award, it's won basically everywhere it should have (the Globes, the BAFTAs, the BFCA, the DGA, the PGA and the ACE). If last year proved one thing, it's that the Academy really likes their feel good movies, although this one is significantly better than The King's Speech. There are some rumblings that The Help is getting a lot of votes here, but tradition shows us that, typically, you won't win Best Picture unless your director is nominated as well.
DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist")
The frontrunner for the top prize is always given the advantage here. Not to mention, Hazanavicius did a great job with this. The biggest threat is Golden Globe winner Martin Scorsese, whose film also dealt with paying homage to earlier cinematic works. Still, he's already won here before, and Hazanavicius is the guy who helmed the title critics groups can't get enough of.
ACTOR: Jean Dujardin ("The Artist")
Despite winning the Globe for comedy actor, Dujardin didn't really seem like a threat for the win until he pulled an upset at the SAG Awards. Then he followed suit with the BAFTAs. There's still a chance George Clooney could win, but his film lost a lot of steam a few months after it was released, despite the fact that it's made more money than The Artist. Honestly, though, this has to be one of the most boring Best Actor races I've seen in a while. From my standpoint, without Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling or Michael Shannon in the mix, I really don't have a dog in this fight.
ACTRESS: Viola Davis ("The Help")
Unlike the aforementioned race, Best Actress is going to be a nail-biter. On the one hand, you've got Viola Davis, an actress who, in my opinion, should have already won an Oscar for stealing the show in Doubt. Were she to win, she would become only the second African-American actress to win this honor. On the other hand, many feel Meryl Streep is way overdue for her win, which would only be her second victory in the Best Actress field. The momentum seems to be in Viola's favor, though. Her film was more warmly received, she's extremely well liked in the industry (look at how her fellow actors reacted to her winning the SAG), and Streep, herself, has stated that she wants Davis to win.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer ("Beginners")
It's been a long time coming, but Christopher Plummer will finally earn the trophy that's eluded him for years. It never hurts when a potential winner sounds like they want to win, and Plummer has mentioned on several occasions that picking up trophies has been the highlight of his career. Should be an easy win for him on Sunday.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer ("The Help")
Like her co-star Davis, Spencer has only been helping her cause by delivering sincere, oftentimes humorous speeches that paint her as a person most of us would want to befriend. Being personable doesn't necessarily guarantee you an Oscar, of course, but it's not like Spencer has had much in the way of competition all year. Also like Davis, she's had people from other films (including Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy) openly root for her to win.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: "Midnight in Paris"
When Woody brings his A-game, original screenplay writers better take note. While some appeared underwhelmed by Midnight in Paris, others embraced its creative style and witty dialogue. Plus, the film has already won the Golden Globe and the WGA, and winning at these venues often translates into an Academy Award.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: "The Descendants"
Alexander Payne already has an Oscar for adapting a script from a novel (Sideways), and it looks like he's set to repeat. His biggest competition comes from the likes of Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillain (Moneyball). The buzz has always been stronger with Payne's piece, although we've seen minor upsets in this category before (Precious over supposed lock Up in the Air).
ANIMATED FEATURE: "Rango"
ART DIRECTION - SET DECORATION: "Hugo"
CINEMATOGRAPHY: "The Tree of Life"
COSTUME DESIGN: "Anonymous"
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: "Saving Face"
FILM EDITING: "The Artist"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "A Separation"
MAKEUP: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2"
MUSIC SCORE: "The Artist"
ORIGINAL SONG: Real in Rio ("Rio")
SHORT FILM - Animated: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
SHORT FILM - Live Action: "The Shore"
SOUND EDITING: "Hugo"
SOUND MIXING: "Hugo"
VISUAL EFFECTS: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Predicted Winners Tally
5 Wins - THE ARTIST
3 Wins - HUGO
2 Wins - THE HELP
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