Oscar Predictions of 2012 part 1 of 2
Ah yes, Oscar time is finally here. As some people may know, this is my own personal Christmas holiday. Granted, I don't always agree with the Oscar nominations and winners at times, but it's always such a prestigious event to watch. In fact, ever since I became a member of hubpages, I've always had the most fun putting together my Oscar predictions for my readers. I know the first year was a bit of an experiment, but the second year I think I may have perfected the method of outlining these predictions. I do apologize if that sounds conceited, as that's not my intention.
Having said that though, it doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't tweak this format a bit more, as I always try to find ways to improve through each hub. Granted, the changes I made this year are a bit more subtle, but I feel it was a necessary step.
Before we begin, I'd like to point out that none of these predictions reflect on who I want to see win, as all these are based on research and analysis of each nominated film, and actors/actresses nominated. Trust me, if I was basing this entire hub solely on my personal opinions, then I can already assure you that some of these films never would've been nominated here, and some of these actors never would've gotten a nomination over others that clearly deserved one like Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/ 50), for instance.
For those of you who may be new to how I do things here, I'll gladly explain the format first before we get started. First of all, I only go over the main categories like "Best Picture", "Best Animated Feature", "Best Director", "Best Original Screenplay", "Best Adapted Screenplay", and all the best acting categories. Why only the main categories? Well, unlike most film critics, I always obligate myself to watch EVERY movie that's nominated for each category that I analyze. I feel it's the most fair way to analyze each film's chances fairly and accurately. Granted, some may see it as unnecessary and obsessive compulsive, but I see it as dedication, and striving to give readers the most accurate prediction that I can muster. Sure, I know I'm not always going to be right in these predictions, but I do try my best.
Needless to say, watching all these movies is very time consuming to say the least; especially when balancing out another job and school. Therefore, I barely have enough time to watch all the films featured in each perspective main category; let alone bother watching the ones in the technical categories like "Best Make-Up" and etc. Hence, I apologize that I won't be analyzing all the minor categories. Maybe someday if I start to make enough money from hubpages alone, then I'll start to include them. But for now, I guess this will have to do.
Although I know some readers may directly notice that I did make a huge exception for "Best Visual Effects", there's actually a good reason for that. You see as a child, my favorite genre of films were mainly science fiction and fantasy movies. Granted, as I got older, I did branch out into appreciating other genres. However, science fiction and fantasy has always held a special place to me; hence like the last two predictions, I decided to make a bit of an exception with this category. Granted, I know it may sound a bit hypocritical of me, but I don't care. It's my predictions, so who's going to stop me?
Secondly, I have the predictions listed into three different sub categories such as "Winner", "Possible Upsets", and "Long shots." The "Winner" category is pretty self explanatory, as I basically tell you who I predict will most likely win in this perspective category.
"Possible Upsets" is also self explanatory as well, as it's basically the list of films/actors that could pull off the upset to win the Oscar in spite of it not being favored.
As for "Long shots", this category is basically me listing the films/actors that have relatively little to no chance to win in their perspective categories.
During each of these films/actors listed, I'll not only be delving into my thoughts about how I feel towards each perspective nomination, but I'll also be explaining to you why exactly I picked the films that I did. Also, this hub is divided into two chapters. Part one is essentially a prediction hub for the following categories of "Best Visual Effects", "Best Adapted Screenplay", "Best Original Screenplay", and all the acting categories. Meanwhile, part two covers the predictions for "Best Animated Feature", "Best Director", and "Best Picture"; while featuring trailers for the lucky movies nominated for "Best Picture" this year, in part 2.
As some of you may notice, part one and two contain links to other Oscar related hubs; including the link to part two of this hub series. However, I would like to incorporate more if I could, so if you happen to know of any that I may have missed, then feel free to e-mail me a link through my profile, or you can "copy and paste" a link in the comment section, and I'll add it later.
Anyway, I hope you all will enjoy my predictions, as it's time to get this show on the road.
Best Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: If this film doesn't win, then I'll be very surprised to say the least. Not only did "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" deliver ground breaking visuals, but it was a huge evolution in the art of visual effects. Utilizing some of the same motion capture methods that "Avatar" implemented so well, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" takes that same technology and utilizes it to perfection; while taking it further than perhaps anyone ever thought would be possible. Unlike most CGI heavy films, the motion capture wasn't done in front of a blue screen. No, the motion capture technology was advanced enough to where they could produce those same CGI apes on regular sets. No, I'm not kidding here, as the technology has been advanced this far. It's amazing how far we've come in terms of visual effects that it simply blows my mind sometimes.
In fact, there was even one chilling moment in this movie that still sends chills down my spine every time I see it. I haven't felt that way about any other science fiction film scene since "Empire Strikes Back", where Vader tells Luke that he's his father. I still get chills during that scene. I'm not going to tell anyone which scene in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" has that same affect on me. However, for those that have seen the movie, lets just say it involves Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the bully from Harry Potter, and we'll leave it at that.
Needless to say, if the Oscars does award this film the "Best Visual Effects" category, then it'll be largely because of the ground breaking evolution of motion capture that it presented, and what it could mean for the future of movies in general...
Hugo: Although "Hugo" doesn't introduce the same level of ground breaking visuals that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" presents, but only a fool would count out this film as a possible upset. Not only does "Hugo" pay a great homage to a legendary film maker that created many visual effects methods for Hollywood, but the 3-D cinematography was simply amazing to the point that the characters almost leaped out of the movie at you.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2: To be completely honest, the visual effects, in this movie, are nowhere near as groundbreaking as the previous films mentioned. Sure, the visuals are great as to be expected, but a lot of the visual effects they use are no different than the level of effects that we saw in the last few "Harry Potter" films. Having said all that, I think there's a distinct possibility that it could walk away with an upset here. Why do I say this? Well lets look at the facts here. "Harry Potter" has been deemed to arguably be one of greatest film series of all time, and this is the last film in said franchise. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Academy may decide to just give "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2" the Oscar for no other reason than to make their audiences happy. After all, ratings have been a bit of an issue with the Oscars in recent years, and what better way to draw in young audiences than to give one of the most popular film franchises, in recent history, an Oscar for "Best Visual Effects."
Transformers- Dark of the Moon: Should we really be surprised that this film was nominated for "Best Visual Effects?" I'm not. Although I will give credit to Michael Bay for slowing down some of the action scenes to where we could at least see the robots fighting clearly. However, that still doesn't forgive the fact that outside of the main Autobot and Decepticon characters that the rest of them look like CGI blobs that barely have any defining characteristics. Plus, some of the fight scenes around the ending don't really hold a lot of dramatic weight. Sure, the CGI is good as to be expected, but it's kind of a shame that after all these years that the best fight scenes in "Transformers: The Movie" still hold up better than the ones featured in the live action adaptations.
Real Steel: Michael Bay if you're reading this hub, please take notes. THIS is how you make a movie with robots fighting each other. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Optimus Prime should be slugging it out in a ring with Megatron, in front of a sold out crowd. No, no, no I'm not suggesting that. However, the robots in this movie at least had some defining characteristics that made them unique, and didn't come out looking like CGI blobs half the time. Plus, when the robots were fighting, it was very well animated, and it was paced well enough to where we could see what was going on. SEE, it can be done Mr. Bay, so please keep that in mind if you ever make another "Transformers" movie again.
Of course, it does help your movie a lot when you have a legendary boxer like Sugar Ray do most of your motion capture movements for the main character robot, Atom. Unfortunately though, I don't think that'll be enough for Oscar voters to deem this movie worthy of an award. Why do I say this? Well from reading various other reviews, many have dismissed this film as something of a Michael Bay Transformers' rip off version of "Rock' em Sock' em Robots"; hence I wouldn't be surprised if many of the voters on the Academy probably feels the same way. Therefore, it's highly unlikely at this point.
Best Visual Effects Poll
Which film deserves the "Best the Visual Effects" Award?
Best Original Screenplay
Midnight in Paris: Out of all the movies nominated for this category, it seems like Woody Allen's film is poised to take home the prize this year. Although the movie is also nominated for "Best Picture" and "Best Director", it's highly unlikely it'll win either of those categories.
After all, "The Artist" seems like a forgone conclusion for "Best Picture", and if there is an upset in that category, it's not going to be from "Midnight in Paris" sadly. Plus, there's really no guarantee that Woody Allen will win "Best Director"; although it's very possible. However, assuming that he doesn't win "Best Director", then you can bet on the Oscars wanting to give Woody some type of an award this year, so it would seem this one would be the heavy favorite.
Granted, the Academy Award members don't usually tend to favor comedies, but Woody Allen is certainly no stranger to being loved by them either. Besides, did you know that he currently holds the record for most screenplay nominations by the Oscars? Therefore, I'm sure the Academy has no problem making an exception for Mr. Allen, as there's a distinct possibility he won't win "Best Director."
The Artist: Although I'm still feel fairly confident that "Midnight in Paris" will win this year for "Best Original Screenplay", I wouldn't necessarily count out "The Artist" either if there is an upset to be made here. "The Artist" has been the most talked movie this year; thus it's very possible that "The Artist" could pull off the upset.
Plus, we also have to consider this is the first silent movie that we've seen in decades, so it's possible the Academy would love to make history by having it win even more awards besides "Best Picture." Not saying it won't if it wins "Best Picture" alone, but we have to remember the Academy has struggled with ratings lately as well; thus having a record setting show wouldn't exactly hurt the Oscar's chances to increase viewership this year.
A Separation: Arguably one of the best foreign films of last year, it would be rather foolish to overlook this film's possibility to cause the upset here. Not only was the film one of the deepest dramas of last year, but it also gave audiences an in depth look at the domestic problems a Iranian couple go through when they start to separate.
Although the movie does tend to drag a bit, the movie has been deemed very popular among audiences and critics; thus there's a very strong possibility it could win "Best Original Screenplay."
Margin Call: To be honest, I never would've saw this movie if it had not been for it's nomination, but I'm glad I did. It's arguably one of the deepest, and most innovative movies concerning wall street.
Unfortunately, like "A Separation", the movie tends to drag along slowly at times, but it's actually rather interesting, as it gives the viewer an in depth look at how Wall Street sees us as nothing more than expendable commodities. How in the end, it's not about doing the right thing, but saving your collective rear ends to make a quick buck. After all, it's only money right? If you haven't seen "Margin Call" already, then you should definitely check it out.
Having said all that, I'll be very surprised if "Margin Call" wins this year. Why do I say this? Well if it were up to me, I think this movie should win it out of all the films nominated here, but the reality is that it suffers from being a rather obscure film in 2011. Plus, it hasn't really garnered any kind of hype before the Oscars; which makes it a very big under dog here. Granted, there's always the possibility of an upset, but it doesn't seem likely it would be from "Margin Call."
Bridesmaids: As much as I loved "Bridesmaids", I'd be lying to a lot of people if I said it had any kind of chance to win this category. Don't get me wrong, it's a great comedy that meshes in the chick flick sub genre with the low brow comedy style of "Hangover" quite well. It's a very entertaining film. Sadly, the Oscars don't usually favor comedies, and since I doubt seriously that Wiig is going to receive the same admiration as Woody Allen, who'll probably end up swaying voters to make an exception for "Midnight in Paris", so it seems like "Bridesmaids" would have to be deemed a long shot at this point.
Best Original Screenplay Poll
Which movie deserves "Best Original Screenplay?"
Best Adapted Screenplay
Hugo: Although this is one of the few films that has a legitimate shot at winning the "Best Picture" Award this year, it seems like it's a forgone conclusion that more than likely "The Artist" will probably win it this year. And given the fact that there's also a very distinct possibility that "The Help" could upset it, since it did win the "SAG Award" for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture"; which is usually a strong indicator who'll more than likely win "Best Picture." Don't get me wrong, I still believe "The Artist" will win for various reasons, but I'll get into that in part 2 of this hub series. However, it doesn't bode well "Hugo's" chances for winning "Best Picture."
Plus, Woody Allen is still to be considered a strong contender to pull off the upset in the "Best Director" category, so chances are Martin Scorsese may or may not win an Academy Award this year, as many experts believe. Therefore, the Academy is going to want to give "Hugo" some sort of award, so this could be the only sure fire shot they have right now. Granted, if Scorsese hadn't already won his first Oscar, then it would increase his chances to win it this year, but since that's not the case, it'll be interesting to say the least.
The Descendants: Although the film is a bit over rated by Oscar standards, but I would still have to be some sort of damn fool to ignore that "The Descendants" is a very hot movie right now. It was released recently last year, and it's been getting a lot of buzz at just the right time. Therefore, if there is an upset here, then you can definitely bank on "The Descendants" pulling it off.
Plus, there's a strong possibility that Alexander Payne will not win the "Best Director" award, so it only fuels even more reason that "The Descendants" could walk away with this Oscar, as the Academy will at least want to give them something for their troubles.
Moneyball: First of all, I would like to say that I loved this movie. Seriously, if the Oscars were ran by me, then I'd give this movie the award for this category hands down. No questions asked. Why you may ask? It's simple. Unlike most sport movies of today's era, "Moneyball" was arguably one of the few that not only managed to tell a deep innovative story involving baseball, but it did without ever settling for those cheap stereotypical Hollywood cliches that we've come to expect. Truly a great film indeed. Although it's highly unlikely it can win this category, but like "The Descendants", it's a very hot movie that's generating a lot of buzz right now at just the right time. Plus, "Moneyball" is not going to win "Best Picture", as it didn't even receive a nomination for "Best Director", yet it's a very hot movie that's garnering a lot of hype; hence I suspect that the Academy might try to give this movie some sort of award.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Although this film suffers from a lot of pacing issues, the movie was still arguably one of the deepest spy movies ever made. Granted, it's not going to draw in the same crowd that usually goes off to see things like "James Bond" or "Mission Impossible", but it's more realistic, and grounded in reality. And considering that it doesn't seem to be getting enough love around Oscar time, or any kind of hype, it seems like this movie may end up becoming a long shot at best. Kind of sad, as I thought "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" was a damn good movie. One that anyone would be lucky to check out if you really want a realistic spy film.
Ides of March: Deep engaging political drama that was mainly carried by the performances of it's actors. Although the film does offer a deep introperspective look into the corrupt world of dirty politics, the sad reality is that it's rarely mentioned these days; especially around this time of the year, which really isn't that good if you're hoping to win an Oscar.
Best Adapted Screenplay Poll
Which film do you think deserves "Best Adapted Screenplay?"
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer: According to the "Screen Actors' Guild" ceremony, Octavia Spencer was given an award for "Best Supporting Actress" in this movie. And knowing how well it's always served as a good indicator on who's going to walk away with the grand prize, I see no real reason to vote against it. Although, "The Help" isn't a great film by any means, but it deals with a rather volatile social issue that's always a popular film topic among Academy voters. Plus, knowing how the Oscar voters think, I know they'd love to give her the award based on political reasons. Not saying she wasn't any good in the movie, but we need to be honest with ourselves here. If she wins, it'll be mainly fueled by a political agenda in an effort to be politically correct. I do apologize if I offended anyone with that statement, as I'm merely making an observation.
Janet McTeer: Like Octavia Spencer, Janet's role could also force the Oscar voters to be politically correct here as well. Why do I say this? In "Albert Nobbs", Janet plays a homosexual woman that disguises herself as a man in 19th Century Ireland. And as I just stated with Octavia about how the Oscar voters love to be politically correct, it wouldn't be all that surprising if they elect her instead of Octavia for the very same political reasons.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Janet in "Albert Nobbs", and she certainly deserved the nomination. However, I can't ignore the painfully obvious.
Melissa McCarthy: Although I know I'll get a lot of flak for this pick, but I figured what the hell. I feel like living dangerously today anyway. Of course, I'm joking for those that can't tell. However, all kidding aside though, I think Melissa McCarthy could potentially pull off the upset here, and it's because of "The Marisa Tomei" factor. What is the "Marisa Tomei" factor that I just made up? Well, I'll gladly explain. Although it's been a widely perceived conspiracy about Marisa winning the Oscar purely by accident, but I never bought into it though, as it never seemed logical to me; especially considering the world wide web era we live in, then it would stand to reason that SOMEBODY would've found concrete evidence to prove it. That is unless we're honestly suggesting that the Oscars went through such extreme lengths to cover up said mess.
However, I don't buy that for a minute. But if there is a conspiracy theory that I do buy into, it's that the Oscars are already decided way before the show is ever put on the air. In fact, as my father and I discussed years ago, his theory was that all the nominees already know beforehand if they're going to win or lose. And, that the whole ceremony was nothing more than elaborate act to fool audiences into believing that the actors/directors/etc didn't know whether or not they're going to win to build up suspense, but secretly..they do know. In fact, if you want my honest opinion, the whole Oscar ceremony is rehearsed. The nominees already know who's going to win beforehand, so it's only the viewers that are left in the dark.
Anyway, to get back to how this relates to Melissa McCarthy, then I'll get into that now. Like "My Cousin Vinny", "Bridesmaids" was not a favored movie by the Oscars, but both films won various other awards, and were deemed highly popular by the masses. Therefore, it's my theory that the only reason why Marisa Tomei won back in 1993 was for no other reason than to boost ratings, to try to appeal to the younger audiences. Don't believe me? Then why else was she nominated? Don't you think it's rather odd that Marisa Tomei CONVENIENTLY got nominated for a role that doesn't seem like the sort of part that the Oscar voters would acknowledge? I don't know about you folks, but I have a feeling there's a good reason why Melissa McCarthy was nominated here; hence the "Marisa Tomei" factor comes into play. Think about it.
"Bridesmaids" was a critically acclaimed movie, and it won various other awards, but it snubbed by the Academy for various categories except for "Best Supporting Actress" and "Best Original Screenplay." Plus, we all know the chances of it winning "Best Original Screenplay" isn't that high; considering the competition.
Add in the fact that the Oscars have been struggling with ratings lately, so what better way to boost said ratings than to give Melissa McCarthy the award, to appeal to the younger masses. Hmmm....do I detect a strong possibility for upset here?
Jessica Chastain: I really liked Jessica in "The Help" a lot, as she was certainly one of the highlights of the movie. Unfortunately, she's competing wither co-star, Octavia Spencer, who seems be garnering a lot of press before the Oscars over her. Therefore, that's probably not a good sign for Jessica.
Berenice Bejo: Again like Melissa McCarthy, I know I'll get a lot of flak for this pick, but I'll try to explain my point. I doubt seriously the Oscars will give Berenice the award for this part, as Octavia, Janet and Melissa would seem like a more beneficial pick on the Oscars voters' part. As I explained earlier with Janet and Octavia, the Academy loves to be politically correct; thus it wouldn't surprise me if they hand it to either one of them for political reasons. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they wouldn't deserve the award, but we have to take in mind how politically correct the Academy tries to be. If Melissa won the award, then it would definitely make a lot of mainstream movie goers happy, and possibly boost ratings. Meanwhile, Berenice Bejo is a fairly young actress that starred in a movie that wasn't commercially popular, so it doesn't seem likely that she'll win this award; which is kind of a shame considering that I think out of all the actresses nominated here, I think she deserves the award if it were up to me.
Best Supporting Actress Poll
Which actress do you think deserves the "Best Supporting Actress" award?
Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer: Although many people would disagree with this pick, but the sad reality is that the Academy Awards loves to be political; hence it's easy to see why Christopher Plummer is the favorite in this category. Not only is he a straight guy playing a homosexual, but Christopher Plummer is long overdue for an Oscar; hence it shouldn't shock anyone that he's the automatic favorite here. I do apologize if I offended anyone by saying this, as there's nothing wrong with people being gay. However, anyone who knows the Oscars well enough, they know how political it can get sometimes. Add in the fact that the SAG awards named him "Best Supporting Actor" as well; thus it's already a forgone conclusion that he'll win.
Granted, he did deserve the nomination, but he wouldn't have been my pick for this category, but what can you do?
Max von Sydow: Although calling this pick a possible upset is like saying a ten year old kid has a legitimate shot at winning the UFC championship, but I'll try to make my case anyway. First of all, I just want to say I thought "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" was a good film. Not a great movie by any means but for what it tries to be, it's okay, and well worth checking out.
However, we need to be honest with ourselves. IF "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" had nothing to do with 9/11, and the father died of say a train crash or something else instead, then would it still be nominated for "Best Picture?" Granted, EVERYTHING ELSE would still be the same. Same story. Same characters. Same everything, but we just change how the boy's father dies. Having said all that, would you still say it should be nominated for "Best Picture?"
Look, I would never condemn anyone for liking a particular movie, but the sad reality is that "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" got nominated because it's reference to 9/11. Again, we all know how the Oscar voters love to be political here. I do apologize again if I'm coming off as a jerk, as I would never make light of such a horrific tragedy. In fact, I send all people that lost their families and friends during such an event my sincerest regards. Seriously, it was a tragic time in our history, but I can't give this film a pass just because it deals with such an horrific event. No, I have to judge every film on it's own merit; regardless of the subject matter involved. Granted, you don't have to agree with my methods, but I see it as the most fair way.
As far as what does this have to do with Max von Sydow, I'll get into that now. The sad reality is that the film has no shot to win "Best Picture." Sure, it's nominated, but it's not going to win because of the fierce competition it has to overcome. If anything, "The Help" has a way better shot to win than "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close", but as I mentioned before, the Oscar voters love to be political. Plus, ratings have been a bit of an issue for the Oscars in recent years, and what better way to boost ratings than to give "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" some type of award considering it references 9/11.
Don't get me wrong, I think Max von Sydow was great in his role, as he should get the Oscar if you ask me. However, if he wins, it'll be largely due to the reasons I stated.
Jonah Hill: Well he's a young man competing for this category, in a sports film. Yeah, I just don't see him winning here. Sure, I liked Jonah Hill a lot in "Moneyball", but I'll be very surprised if he wins. If anything, Brad Pitt has a better chance to pull away with an Oscar than Jonah Hill does.
Nick Nolte: For some reason, the Oscar voters don't really care for Nick Nolte that much. According to imdb, this is only his third career Oscar nomination. Plus, he's acting in a sports movie that hasn't really been getting too much buzz before the Oscars to boot. Therefore, if I were Nick Nolte, I'd hold off writing that acceptance speech, as I'm afraid this won't be his year to win an Oscar.
Kenneth Branagh: Although if it were up to me, I think the top two contenders for this year's Oscars should be Max von Sydow and Kenneth Branagh, but I'd be lying if I told anyone that I thought Branagh had a snow ball's chance in hell to win this award. As great as he was in "My Week With Marilyn", the sad reality is that he's over shadowed by his co-star Michelle Williams, who not only plays the infamous Marilyn Monroe, but she becomes her. Therefore, it doesn't look good for his chances.
Best Supporting Actor Poll
Which actor do you think deserves the "Best Supporting Actor" award?
Michelle Williams: Although I'm probably a damn fool for picking this actress to win this category; especially considering Viola Davis just won this year's SAG award, and she's the odds on favorite according to Vegas' odds. However, if my hunch is right, then Michelle Williams should be able to walk away with the award, and here's my rationality behind that claim.
Although it's a known fact that the Oscar voters love to be political, but it's also a known fact that they love it when actors/actresses play legendary film stars of the past as well. Not only does Michelle Williams play the part of the legendary Marilyn Monroe perfectly, but she ends up becoming her as well. For those that don't remember, Marilyn Monroe was a star like no other, as there will never be another actress like her again. And knowing how much the Oscar voters know and appreciate the history of cinema, the nostalgia feel of Michelle's performance could sway Oscar voters to pick her this year for the "Best Actress" category.
Viola Davis: As I mentioned earlier, Viola is coming off her recent SAG award victory, and she's already the odds on favorite according to Vegas' odds. Therefore, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if she walks away with the Oscar for this role. Plus, we have to keep in mind that if for some reason that "The Help" doesn't win an Oscar for "Best Supporting Actress", then the odds of Viola winning increase exponentially; considering that the Oscars will want "The Help" to walk away with some award for it's volatile subject matter.
Meryl Streep: Only a damn fool would count out Meryl Streep from this category, and thankfully, I'm not such a fool. Although if you want my honest opinion, I don't know if I'd say this is Mery's best role, but it's no secret that Oscar voters love her. In fact, according to imdb, she has a total of 17 nominations under her belt for the Oscars, and won two of them for "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Sophie's Choice." Therefore, she's a serious threat for any of these actresses to compete with in this category. Although it's kind of a shame she already has two Oscars, as she would've been the favorite in this category if she didn't have any yet...
Glenn Close: I liked Glenn Close a lot in "Albert Nobbs", as I honestly thought it was one of the most under rated dramas of last year. Plus, from looking at imdb, it looks like she's been nominated six times by the Oscars, but she's never won an award. Therefore, it looks like she could pull off the upset here. After all, if the Academy can give the award to Christopher Plummer for his career vs the role he's in, then it's not unlikely to assume the same can happen with Glenn's case here.
Rooney Mara: Although I know I'm in the minority here on this, but I actually liked Rooney a lot in the movie, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", just as much as I did Noomi Rapace in the original. However, as I said in my first Oscar prediction hubs in 2010, the Academy voters don't like violent films. Sure, there's exceptions like "The Departed", but those are kind of rare, as Oscar voters tend to be politically correct.
Another thing we have to keep in mind is that Rooney Mara is still very young, so Oscar voters might be more prone to simply ignore her.
Best Actress Poll
Which leading actress deserves the Oscar?
George Clooney: As I mentioned earlier, "The Descendants" is a very popular movie, and it's getting a lot of buzz right before the Oscars. Plus, after recently coming off his victory at this year's Golden Globe Awards, it could be possible that George Clooney repeats the same level of success here. Not only did he deliver arguably one of the best performances of last year with this movie, but arguably one of the best of his career.
Jean Dujardin: Throughout the year, "The Artist" has been garnering the most buzz around Oscar time, and it's already acquired the second most nominations among any other film; which automatically makes it the favorite to beat this year for "Best Picture." Coming off his "SAG Award" for "Best Actor", it does seem likely that he could pull off the upset here.
Sure, some people may be put off by the fact that "The Artist" is a silent movie, but Jean Dujardin proves that the art of silent film acting isn't such a lost art as it would seem.
Brad Pitt: For the exact same reasons I just stated for Clooney, Brad Pitt could also pull off the upset in this category. "Moneyball" is garnering a lot of attention at just the right time; which could be very beneficial for him to win an Oscar this year.
Gary Oldman: For some reason, Gary Oldman isn't exactly a favorite among Oscar voters. Not only has he proven countless of times to be arguably one of the most versatile actors on the big screen, but he's also won various other awards to prove it. Yet, he's never been acknowledged by the Oscars before now? Talk about a huge snub there. Anyway, I doubt seriously Oldman gets an award here. Sure, it was nice that he got nominated, but I doubt his first trip will end with the Oscar. Maybe someday when he gets older, and he's still acting, he'll probably make some film that ends up getting him nominated again. Of course, around that time, the Oscars will want to make up for it, and give him an Oscar for his career rather than for the role he plays at the time. Kind of sad too, as I thought he did a better job than both Pitt and Clooney in their perspective films; with all due respect.
Demian Bichir: If you haven't seen "A Better Life" yet, then shame on you. Not only was "A Better Life" arguably one of the deepest and most emotional stories of last year, but it touches on the heart of what many illegal immigrants go through, whenever they move into the United States to try to start a new life. Granted, you don't have to agree with the concept of illegal immigration, but the story is so endearingly sincere and heartfelt that one can easily get wrapped up in it's tragic story. Having said all that though, Demian Bichir has absolutely no shot to win this award.
Granted, it's a nice nomination to add to his resume, but let's be honest here. Not only is "A Better Life" a rather obscure film to begin with, but there were several other actors that were snubbed for this category that were far more deserving than Demian Bichir. No offense. In fact, Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/ 50) both did far better jobs conveying their characters, and they both deserved a nomination more for their roles. Don't get me wrong, I thought Demian was good in his role as well, and I can see why he'd end up with a nomination, but to be nominated over the other two I just mentioned? I don't think so.