Oscar Predictions of 2012 part 2 of 2
Welcome to part two of this hub series, as it's time to get down to brass taxes. In this hub, I'll be going over my predictions for "Best Animated Feature", "Best Director" and "Best Picture"; along with featuring trailers for the lucky movies nominated for "Best Picture." For those wanting to know my predictions for "Best Visual Effects", "Best Adapted and Original Screenplay", and the various acting nominations, then please refer to part one of this series.
As I explained in the previous chapter, these predictions are based off what I've researched about the nominations and analysis of each film mentioned; hence the predictions do not necessarily reflect who I think should win. Although I will be providing a bit of my own thoughts into what I thought about each prospective nomination. Each prediction is divided into three sub categories. One is obviously me picking the "Winner" of each prediction. The second sub category will be "Possible Upsets"; which will include picks that could pull off the upset in the unlikely event that the "Winner" doesn't take home the Oscar. And finally, we have our "Long Shots." The "Long Shots" are essentially films that have relatively little to no chance to win, and I'll tell you why for each one listed.
As some of you may notice, part one and two contain links to other Oscar related hubs; including the link to part one 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 reading my predictions, as it's time to get down to brass taxes.
Best Animated Feature
Rango: Out of all the films mentioned in this category, it would seem like "Rango" Is poised to win this category. Not only was it one of the most financially successful animated movies of last year, but it was also highly praised by many film critics as well. And according to imdb, it's gotten a lot of nominations from other prestigious award ceremonies; including winning one at this year's BAFTA awards. Plus, we have to consider how ground breaking the animation is in this movie, and how it pays homage to the classic western genre of Hollywood's past. Add in all those tidbits together, and it's easy to see how "Rango" becomes the favorite in this category.
Although it's possible that it might not win this year, but I certainly wouldn't bet against it...
Chico & Rita: Quite possibly the best animated film you didn't see last year. Unlike some of the other movies mentioned here, "Chico & Rita" wasn't the biggest blockbuster of last year, as it didn't even get a non limited film release in the United States. Hell, I had a very hard time trying to find a place that was showing it. Therefore, it's very probable that many people missed out on this movie, but if you do get a chance to see it, it's definitely worth seeing.
Like "Rango", this film pays homage to some of Hollywood's earlier cinematic days with references to "Casablanca" and etc. Plus, the movie features state of the art cel shaded animation that not only enhances the beauty of the story, but it also allows for the visuals to even rival "Rango's" visual style.
Another thing worth noting here is that the film has also garnered a lot of praise from film critics as well, and it's homage to the history of Latin music and Jazz, in our pop culture, could resonate well with Oscar voters to vote in a different direction this year.
Kung Fu Panda 2: If the Golden Globes didn't show this movie any love during it's award show, by completely snubbing it for a nomination, then I doubt seriously it's going to get a lot of love from Oscar voters as well. Although "Kung Fu Panda 2" was a fairly well told film, with some impressive visuals, as it mixed in scenes featuring 2-d animation, with the traditional CGI animation, the sad reality is that you can say the exact same thing about the first movie.
If anything, the only real difference is that "Kung Fu Panda 2" uses the 2-d animation during and after the movie; whereas the first one only waited until the end credits. Therefore, there is no significant upgrade to the quality of this sequel's animation to the first one, as they're both on par with each other. In fact, the only thing the new movie does better is that it upgrades the references to the Chinese culture; whereas the first film, it seemed kind of lightly glossed over for comical and satirical effect.
Another thing is basically the story to this film. Although the story was well told, the sad reality is that there were some plot points that were ripped off from the first movie. Granted, they do introduce other new elements into this like delving into Po's past, and it made various references to the concept of family. Plus, I liked how the villain was more intricate to the plot. However, it still doesn't take away from the fact that the story still revolves around the concept of an unlikely hero, being foretold in some ancient Chinese prophecy, to save the day. Po, AGAIN, meets some of his Martial Arts heroes, and ends up fighting alongside them. The villain thinks Po is a joke (no surprise), and Po starts to doubt himself again. However, in the end, he manages to gain the confidence he needs to face the bad guy. Again, all this was recycled concepts from the first movie; hence "Kung Fu Panda 2" suffers from the same plague that haunts many sequels, in that it repeats the first movie's concepts.
Don't get me wrong, it doesn't make "Kung Fu Panda 2" a bad movie, as i believe I gave it a three out of four. However, it does make it another run of the mill sequel; hence I doubt Oscar voters will love this movie.
Puss in Boots: Steven Spielberg should be celebrating right now. Two of Dreamworks' animated films got a nomination in this category, while Pixar is left in the dust without a nomination this year. Unfortunately, this film has no shot to win though. As I said with "Kung Fu Panda 2", the upgrade in the animation here isn't that significant, as it's about the same as what most audiences saw in the previous "Shrek" films. Not to mention the fact that if you honestly broke down the story to this movie to it's simplest context, then you'd come to realize it's nothing more than a simple adventure story that revolves around the ideal of a young hero looking for treasure. Granted, there's a couple of subplots about two guys rekindling their friendship, and a cliche love story, but it's not going to be enough to help it win this year.
Don't get me wrong, I thought "Puss in Boots" was a great film, and I stand by what I said about it being one of the best animated films of last year. However, I'd by lying if I said it had any chance to pull off the upset.
A Cat in Paris: If the "Best Animated Feature" award came down to which film presented arguably the most visually interesting film last year in terms of cartoon movies, then I'd say "A Cat in Paris" would be a sure thing. Unfortunately, the film suffers from it's limited exposure; hence making it a rather obscure film at best. Don't get me wrong, it's a great movie, as it could easily rival any animated film out there. However, it's a bit of a long shot to win to say the least. Although one could use that exact same argument against "Chico & Rita's" chances, but the key difference here is that "Chico & Rita" makes various references to pop culture, and pays homage to Hollywood's earlier years too, in similar fashion to "Rango" with the western genre. Therefore, I wouldn't count on this film pulling away with the upset. Sure, if "Chico & Rita" or "Rango" weren't nominated here, then it could have a legitimate chance. But to beat out both of them for the Oscar? It's not going to happen.... Sure, it might be able to beat out one of those films, but not both of them, as that would be too much of a tall order to fill.
Best Animated Feature Poll
Which film do you think deserves an Oscar for "Best Animated Feature?"
Martin Scorsese: Although it's not really a sure thing here, but my money would be on Martin Scorsese taking home the Oscar for this category. After winning a Golden Globe for "Hugo", it should be somewhat expected that Scorsese would repeat that success here. After all, with "The Artist" pretty much dominating this year's Oscars, and Woody Allen's chances of more than likely getting an Oscar for his screenplay, then it's safe to say that the Academy might be willing to let "Hugo" walk away with something at least. Besides, "The Artist" isn't the only film this year that pays homage to the golden years of Hollywood, as "Hugo" does as well. Therefore, if "Hugo" doesn't win the Oscar for "Best Picture", then you can expect Scorsese's chances to increase tremendously. Although it's kind of a shame that he's won one already..otherwise..it would be pretty much a sure thing.
Woody Allen: This is a bit of a loaded category this year, as most of the nominees have valid reasons to be considered possible upsets. However, if for some reason Woody Allen's screenplay does not earn him an Oscar this year for "Best Original Screenplay", then we could be looking at a possible upset with Woody Allen for "Best Director." As I mentioned earlier, Oscar voters love Woody Allen a lot, so you know he's not going to walk away empty handed this year. Granted, it could happen, but I doubt it.
Michel Hazanavicius: With as much press "The Artist" has been getting recently, one would be a fool to count out Michel Hazanavicius from this category. Not only does his film pay great homage to a film style that hasn't been used in ages, but it's garnered the most nominations this year for the Academy Awards.
Add in the fact that "The Artist" has been highly praised by various film critics throughout 2011, so it can only increase it's chances. Therefore, he could pull off the upset in this category.
Alexander Payne: Although he's a bit of a long shot in comparison to the other people mentioned earlier. However, I wouldn't dismiss his chances either. Although I don't know if I would say "The Descendants" is anywhere near as great, or as innovative, as such films like "The Artist", "Midnight in Paris" and "Hugo", but it's one of those movies that's getting hot at just the right time. Like "The Artist" and "The Help", "The Descendants" is garnering a lot of attention from the media lately; which makes it a very hot movie for Oscar voters.
Although I doubt he'll win, but I wouldn't be surprised if Alexander Payne walks away with the Oscar this year anyway. After all, "The Descendants" was a very popular film last year, and if for some reason George Clooney doesn't pull away with an Oscar for "Best Actor", then you can expect a possibility of an upset here by Alexander Payne.
Terrence Malick: Although I will say that I thought "The Tree of Life" was a rather interesting film to watch, but the reality is that it suffers from coming out way too soon. Not only have most Oscar voters probably forgotten about the film by now, but it's hardly getting any press around Oscar time; hence it's not a good sign for Terrence Malick. Don't get me wrong, I like "Tree of Life" a lot, and I do agree with the decision to nominate it for the awards that it garnered. However, the sad reality is that Terrence Malick may have created arguably one of the most innovative films of last year, but it's not going to be enough to win him an Oscar for "Best Director."
Best Director Poll
Who Do You Think Should Win "Best Director" this year?
The Artist: If any other movie wins this category, I'm going to be very surprised. Not only has "The Artist" garnered the most buzz among any other film mentioned in this year's Academy Awards, but it's also garnered a lot of other awards as well; even receiving a Golden Globe for the "Best Musical or Comedy."
Plus, like "The Descendants", it's a very hot movie right now that's been getting a lot of buzz right before Oscar time. Add in the fact that it deals with paying homage to a classic style of film making that hasn't been used in years, and you can pretty much bet that "The Artist" is the automatic favorite for this category.
Hugo: Although "The Artist" pays great homage to Hollywood's earlier years, some people may forget that "Hugo" does as well. It pays great homage to the legendary film maker, Georges Milies. And it was also a lot more commercially popular last year than "The Artist", so there's a distinct possibility that it could pull off the upset here.
The Descendants: As I said earlier about this movie, "The Descendants" is a very hot film coming into this year's Oscars. Recently coming off it's Golden Globe victory for "Best Drama", it's very possible it could repeat the same level of success among Oscar voters.
Although it's highly doubtful, but it was a commercially successful film last year, and it was praised by a lot of critics as well. Therefore, I wouldn't dismiss this movie's chances.
The Help: According to Cogerson's latest 2011 rankings for movies, "The Help" surprisingly made it's way to the number one slot. If you haven't read his hubs, then I would highly recommend checking them out, as it shows you the statistics of critics' scores, audience scores, and box office earnings into an equation to figure out where each film ranks. It's very interesting how he puts it together. Anyway, to get back to the predictions, it seems "The Help" is another hot movie that's getting a lot of buzz around Oscar time.
Although it's a bit of a long shot though in comparison to the other films mentioned because it wasn't even nominated for "Best Director", nor did it receive a nomination for "Best Adapted Screenplay." And as many movie buffs know, no movie has ever won "Best Picture" without getting a screenplay nomination. And the last movie that won without a "Best Director" nomination was "Titanic"; which was largely due to it becoming the highest grossing film of all time that year.
However, I think it has a chance. I know I'm sounding like a hypocrite to some degree, but please hear me out first, as I put a lot of thought process into this argument. As I mentioned earlier, "The Help" has garnered a lot of attention at just the right time. Plus, it did win a Screen Actor's Guild Award recently for "Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture." Plus, there's always a possibility that "The Help" will not win an Oscar for "Best Actress" and "Best Supporting Actress" this year, so if it doesn't win an acting award, then it becomes a very big possibility; especially considering how the Oscar voters love to be politically correct at times, as "The Help" does involve a very volatile subject matter.
Midnight in Paris: Although this film has a great chance at walking away with an Oscar for "Best Original Screenplay" and "Best Director", I'll be very surprised if it wins "Best Picture." Although Oscar voters love Woody Allen, it's also known that they don't normally acknowledge romantic comedies either. Plus, like "The Tree of Life", it suffers from the fact that it came out way too soon during the year; which makes it very probable that many voters forgotten how great "Midnight in Paris" truly was. Don't get me wrong, I personally loved the film, and I liked it a helluva a lot more than "The Descendants" and "The Help", but I'd be lying if I said it had any sort of chance to pull off the upset.
Moneyball: As much as I loved "Moneyball", the sad reality is that it has no shot to win this award. Although the film did get a screenplay nomination, it still failed to receive a nomination for "Best Director", so that's not a good sign for any film's chances to win this category. Granted, I know I gave "The Help" some slack for failing to receive both, but "The Help" deals with a very volatile issue that's very popular among Oscar voters. Whereas "Moneyball", it's essentially a film about baseball, so it's highly doubtful it's going to garner a lot of support here.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: To be honest, I don't even think this should have been nominated for this category, but since it is, I'll gladly explain why it has no chance to win this year. Not only did it fail to receive a screenplay and directing nomination, but it's hardly been getting that much love from other prestigious awards like the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Broadcast Film Critic's Association and etc. Therefore, it's a nice nomination for the movie, but I'll be very surprised if it walks away with the prize this year.
The Tree of Life: As I mentioned earlier, "The Tree of Life" suffers from not only coming out way too early, but it also suffers from the fact that it was a rather obscure film in 2011. Therefore, it's highly doubtful it'll win this year for "Best Picture." Plus, it didn't get a screenplay nomination either, so that's not going to help it's chances. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it was nominated here, as it was a great film, but I wouldn't expect it pull off the upset.
It's kind of sad too, as it truly was a remarkable film to say the least...
War Horse: Well aside from the obvious points that "War Horse" doesn't have a screenplay or director nomination, but it also suffers from the fact that it was bit over rated as a film. Don't get me wrong, I loved the movie personally, as I truly do feel it's one of the few great emotional driven movies out there. However, it's also highly over rated as well. If you honestly broke down the film's plot to it's simplest context, it's basically another variation of a "boy and his pet" scenario going through some fantastic emotional journey together.
Sure, the film has it's moments, and I'd have to tip my hat off to Mr. Spielberg for pulling off such a monumental movie. And to pull it off without using CGI (according to Spielberg), it's even more amazing when you stop to think about it. It's a very beautiful film, as I'm not knocking the movie, nor would I condemn anyone else that loves it. However, it's not as great as the hype it garnered last year, and quite frankly there's a lot of films that deserved a nomination for "Best Picture" over "War Horse" if you want me to be brutally honest about it.
Therefore, it's highly doubtful that "War Horse" will repeat the same success it's Broadway play counter part garnered with the "Tony Awards." Sure, it's a great movie, but I doubt it has any chance to win an Oscar this year for "Best Picture."