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Carl the Critic's Road to the Oscars [What SHOULD be Nominated for Best Picture]

Updated on February 26, 2012

Oscar Night


America's most highly anticipated film award, "The Academy Awards for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" (also known as "the Oscar's®"), has been a tradition that's been held since 1929. Of course many filmmakers, actors, writers, and engineers have all been looking forward to this event, in the hopes that their work may be recognized.

As a child, I use look into a mirror, hold up my cat and give my "I would like to thank the academy..." speech (just like every other child who fantasied about being famous, and winning an Oscar®). Because I haven't quite gotten my foot in the door to Hollywood's house just yet, my chances of being recognized for my 20 minute documentary of a squirrel eating an apple core, has little chance of being nominated, BUT we are not here to talk about that, we're here to talk about real celebrities (or should I say "reel" celebrities... That joke never gets old).

Now because I haven't see all the movies of 2011, I am going to do what many people of the Academy do and just look at the films that are getting the most attention and judge from the trailers... What did you think I'm going to actually watch every single film ever made in 2011? Don't be silly, how do you think a film like "Moulin Rouge" got nominate for Best Picture? And, more importantly, how did you think that "No Country for Old Men" won? Sometimes, a few members of the academy just pick a random film that got a good reviews, or whose trailer looked prettiest.
Now, not everyone in the Academy picks their favorite film by pulling a random film title out of a hat, but in the past it was quite clear that some members didn't even watch the film that was nominated. Sometimes they just go down a list and go a list to see if a film has one or more of the following:

1a. Is It Based on a True Story

50% of movies ever nominated (now a days) were based on a true story. For this reason "50/50" (which would be funny if it get's nominated, because "50/50" would have a "50/50" shot at winning), "My Week With Marilyn", "Moneyball", and "The Iron Lady" (apparently someone found it necessary to make a film about one of England's least favorite Prime Ministers), should all have a shot at being nominated. But just because it's based on a true story doesn't mean it will be. There's another factor about the film's back story that needs to be looked at.

1b. If It was Based on a Novel or Play (but never a T.V Show), How Popular Was It?

Looking at the other film awards, it seems as though the majority of nominees are based on popular novels. "The Descendants", "The Help", "Hugo", "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", "Tinker Taylor Solider Spy", "Albert Nobbs" (...I'm going to be honest, I've never heard of this movie, all I know is that Glenn Close is trying to pass herself off as a man... I actually forgot that she was ever a woman to begin with but apparently she was), and "War Horse" are all looking like the movies that are going to have a shot at being nominated.

But wait, what about "The Artist", "Midnight in Paris" or "Tree of Life" or or "Ides of March", or "Young Adult" or "Bridesmaids"? Well some of them might also be nominated for best picture, but their chances of winning are 1 in 100. But don't be discouraged, it doesn't mean that they wont win it just means that it's going to be a slim chance that they do, and besides they all have shots at being nominated for best original screenplay.

"But what about 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2'?" you might be wondering, "That was a popular novel and film, and you said yourself that it should be 'nominated for an Oscar®'." True I did say that it should be nominated for an Oscar®, but for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Rickman), and I also am not sure if he will be nominated for that.

"But what about 'We Bought a Zoo'? That was based on a true story, will that get nominated?"
"No," I would reply, "just no!"

Moving on, we now have to see what the story is like.

2a. Does the Main Character have Some Sort of Disability that they Over Come?

This is also another popular thing to view from the academy. Not a lot of films this year had main characters with disabilities. The only one I can think of is "50/50" (again, I would really love this film to be nominated but that's just me.) You could also make the argument that "The Help" might fall under this category, but racism isn't really a disability it's just stupid. You could also argue that "War Horse" would fit here has a Joey who has a fear of jumping, but first off that wasn't the focus of the story as much as Joey getting back with Albert was, and second the Academy doesn't usually nominate based on if the main Horse has a disability (this isn't "The London Film Critic's Circle").

But this year there isn't really anything I can think of that could be nominated for this reason (if you can think of another one, please put it in the comment section below). So then what else could be nominated?

2b. Is Setting Based Around a Time of War

As soon as you read this you immediately thought of one movie!... "We Bought a Zoo" (NO! STOP SAYING THAT TITLE!) "War Horse" should have come straight to mind with this one. But "The Help" can definitely count in this one as well (it's based in the 1960's, during the time of "The Cold War", which was technically still a war) however that wasn't the focus of the film, the focus was racism.

But so far it looks like that's about it... This year is really sucking so far, what else is there?

2c. Does it Follow the Interesting or Bizzar Life of a Person (or animal)?

Here we go!

In this category we have a whole bunch of films, "Tree of Life", "Moneyball", "My Week With Marilyn", "Midnight in Paris", "Hugo", "50/50", "War Horse", and "The Artist" all fall into this catagory.

"But wait a minute!" You might ask, what about 'The Iron Lady'?"

Unless Margaret Thatcher had a stuttering problem, and Geoffry Rush is in it, I don't think this will be nominated for Best Picture... maybe Best Actress, but it's Meryl Streep so obviously she'll get nominated for that.

2d. Is it Confusing?

This was a category that I don't see coming into play with any film of this year. The only movie that confused me was "Sucker Punch", and that has as much of a chance at getting nominated for Best Picture as "The Smurfs".

So yeah no film this year that I can think of can fit here, so let's move on to what films I think might be nominated!


So here are the 10 films I think MIGHT get nominated (based on the evidence given):

  1. "50/50"
  2. "War Horse"
  3. "Hugo"
  4. "The Help"
  5. "The Artist"
  6. "Tree of Life"
  7. "The Descendants"
  8. "Moneyball"
  9. "Midnight in Paris"
  10. "The Ides of March"

These are the films that I have on my prediction list.

But which might win?

Prediction of Best Picture

Now some people who work at the Academy don't watch the films they vote for. Not everyone, but some actually just pick a film based on either the things I've listed above or by viewing the trailer. If this is the case, "50/50" might not get a nomination which is very sad, because it's a great film, but the trailer doesn't do it justice.

So, if my favorite film of 2011 is not going to be win, what will? I have no idea, but if I was to take a guess...

...I'd say...

..."We Bought a Zoo".
Instead I see another film being the winner...

A film called...

The Artist

I've never seen this film, but I can tell based on the trailer that it is something to look into. It's a beautiful looking film, everything is visual, and stylized. I'll be sure to watch this before Oscar® night and see if it's as good as I think it is. I know I mentioned earlier that films that are original works have a very slim chance at winning Best Picture, but I feel like this one may be an exception.

Until then, click here to read a great review of the movie from someone whose actually seen it. My good friend and fellow writer, Robwrite.


Carl the Critic © 2012


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    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      LOL Yeah I've been meaning to see it too (and soon seeing that the Oscars are this weekend). I've seen almost all the nominees (with a few exceptions) and can't wait to the results. Thanks for the comment PDXKaraokeGuy, always great to hear from you :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Cal, I don't go to movies often. The bets movie I saw in the theatre last year was moneyball. I was as good as the book, which is rare (plus, the oakland athletics are my fave baseball team)

      I want to see the artist badly

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      lol thanks Rb, can't wait to see your list as well. Always great to hear from you :) Thanks for the comment :)

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi carl; I agree that the 'Artist' has a good shot to win and if it does it would be a deserving winner. The 'Descendants' was the early favorite but 'Hugo' and 'War Horse' have gotten all the buzz lately.

      I think your 10 nominess are right on the money. As for the winner--well, I'll do my own hub on that soon.

      Nice job,


    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      @writer20: lol, that's awesome. Thank you for your comment, votes, and insight, I'll be sure to check out those films as soon as I can :)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      I loved Midnight in Paris the music was so good. I would see this one again anytime.

      War Horse enjoyed immensely.

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so very good. I want to this one again to see what I missed the first time.

      Tinker Tailor ect. was mind blowing good, and yes have to see this again because there was so much going on in it.

      The Descendents was very good too.

      See what can happen when your retired. Here in Las Vegas other there's a few hotel casinos with movie theaters in them that let retirees get in for $4

      Voting your hub up and awesome.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      @Alicia Murphy: Yes, a lot of films that are nominated are usually those made by a small studio, and also use actual film (as oppose to digital). Sometimes the Academy does add a few surprises here and there, but for the longest time it's pretty easy to predict whose going to win/be nominated. Thanks for your comment, and votes it's always great to hear from you :)

      @Sunshine625: lol I still need to see "The Descendants", I hear that it's really good, We'll have to wait and see. The Oscars can be boring at times, but I usually find it fun to still guess who will win :) Thanks for stopping by Linda, it's always great to hear from you :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love watching award shows but the Oscars are so boring, I usually pass. I'm rooting for We Bought A Zoo!! Ok, The Descendants ... fantastic movie!!!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      You make really good observations and I agree with your analysis, Carl. I noticed the Academy tends to lean toward more high art films based on books and plays as well as real stories/characters. And most of these films are almost always small studio efforts or independents. Blockbusters are usually out the picture. Great hub voted up and interesting!