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2012 OSCAR PREDICTIONS

Oscars 2012 poster

 

BEST PICTURE

The Artist
The Descandants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight In Paris
Moneyball
War Horse
Tree of Life

The Artist image

Who Will Win
With it fan favourite cred, critical acclaim and momentum on its side, The Artist looks like the sure winner for best picture.

Who Should Win
For me the best film of 2011 was The Tree of Life. Artful, heartfelt, and theologically rich, it is exactly the kind of film that doesn’t win at the Oscars. At least the nomination gives The Tree of Life a semblance of a fighting chance.

Who Was Snubbed
Quite a few films were unfairly looked over this year. Warrior moved with its blue collar, MMA fighter dramatics; A Separation intrigued with its taut mystery and social commentary; and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy featured the best ensemble cast of the year deliver a slow burn of a thriller. Add these three titles and remove The Help and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and you will have a near perfect best picture list.

 

DIRECTING

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Michel Hazanavicus (The Artist)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Alexander Payne (The Descandants)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

The Artist image

Who Will Win
Look for Oscar presenters to have their work cut out for them when they announce Michel Hazanavicus is the winner of best director for The Artist.

Who Should Win
Hazanavicus did a great job with The Artist, doing the impossible and making silent cinema relevant in our noisy times. Yet this is award deserves to be given to Terrence Malick for his work on The Tree of Life. The man is simply a master filmmaker who has delivered his masterpiece. This would be my wish for upset of the night.

Who Was Snubbed
Exactly where is the logic of giving Moneyball a best picture nomination, yet with no love for its director Bennett Miller? When will Gavin O’Connor get his due as one of the best American directors working today with his Warrior unforgivably snubbed? Why did the Academy ignore Tomas Alfredson’s superb handling of John Le Care’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? These are questions still to be answered.

 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
George Clooney (The Descandants)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

The Artist image

Who Will Win
Jean Dujardin has charmed American audiences on and off the screen, with his turn as a silent film star fallen on hard times in The Artist touching a nerve among the public as well with critics. Look for Dujardin to trump mega stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Who Should Win
Brad Pitt probably gave the best performance of his career in Moneyball, using that magnetic presence and naturalistic charm to great effect. A win for Actor in Leading Role would be a worthy one, although it would be cool to see Gary Oldman walk up to the podium for his introverted turn in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Who Was Snubbed
There was no way in hell that the Academy were ready to award Andy Serkis for his phenomenal motion capture work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so there is some logic in that snub. Yet for the Academy to ignore the phenomenal performances from Michael Fassbender in Shame and Michael Shannon in Take Shelter is a travesty.

 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
Viola Davis (The Help)
Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)

The Help image

Who Will Win
Viola Davis memorably stole the scene from Meryl Streep in Doubt. Look for history to repeat itself when Davis steals the golden boy from Streep’s seasoned hands come the Oscars.

Who Should Win
Meryl Streep has received 12 Oscar nominations since her last Oscar win for Sophie’s Choice (her second) and with good reason. The Iron Lady only strengthens Streep’s case as the greatest actress of all time, with her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher going beyond imitation to make for quite the phenomenal turn, worthy of an Oscar win.

Who Was Snubbed
Two performances that were criminally ignored by the Academy were Vera Farmiga’s heartfelt turn in Higher Ground and Tilda Swinton at her fearless best in We Need to Talk About Kevin. That Glenn Close’s gender bending award baiting “performance” in Albert Nobbs was chosen instead should be called what it is: crap.

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

 

Beginners image

Who Will Win
This award is Christopher Plummer’s to lose, with his heartfelt portrayal as an elderly man coming out of the closet in Beginners winning every award from the BAFTA to the SAG. Look for Plummer to add an Oscar to his growing collection.

Who Should Win
Yes, Plummer was good in Beginners. Yet better was Nick Nolte in Warrior, with his turn as a reformed alcoholic trying to reconnect with his two sons a thing of grizzly beauty. Hopefully Notle will pull an upset, but with Plummer’s momentum it is highly unlikely.

Who Was Snubbed
How, oh how, does Brad Pitt’s performance as the domineering father in The Tree of Life not get nominated? Same question can be asked of Corey Stoll’s entertaining portrayal of Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris. Both performances are much more deserving than Max Von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, who seems to have gotten in more on name recognition than anything else.

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)


Help imahe

Who Will Win
Much like the supporting actor category, this award is a lock with Octavia Spencer sure to win the Oscar for his sassy performance in The Help.

Who Should Win
Of the five actresses nominated Berenice Bejo gave the best performance in The Artist, yet it would be great to see Jessica Chastain win the Oscar for The Help as well as the million over performances she gave in 2011.

Who Was Snubbed
Out of all of the categories, Supporting Actress is the most disappointing with the likes the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard in The Help and Jessica Chastain in The Tree of Life not given their due. Also, the best supporting turn in Bridesmaids was not from the highly overrated Melissa McCarthy but from Rose Byrne.

 

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Michel Hazanavicus (The Artist)
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
J.C. Chandlor (Margin Call)
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)

 

The Artist image

Who Will Win
Although my heart tells me that Woody Allen will win for his sublime Midnight in Paris, my head says that Michael Hazanavicus will ride the wave of popularity and grab his first of many Oscars of the night for The Artist.

Who Should Win
I love The Artist as much as the next guy, yet it has never been its script that has had critics and audiences howling in applause. Woody Allen’s great writing in Midnight in Paris on the other hand has been universally lauded as some of the master’s best work, and more than deserving of an Oscar win.

Who Was Snubbed
It was a surprise to hear Thomas McCarthy’s name not announced during the Oscar nominations telecast, for his Win Win had one of the best screenplays of 2011.

 

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash (The Descandants)
John Logan (Hugo)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon (The Ides of March)
Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian(Moneyball)
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

 

The Descendants image

Who Will Win
While The Descendants will come up short in most of its categories, look for Alexander Payne and cohorts to win the Adapted Screenplay gong.

Who Should Win
Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian are two of Hollywood’s best scribes who delivered the best script of 2011, so don’t be surprised if Moneyball gets the win.

Who Was Snubbed
It’s hard to dispute the 5 adapted screenplays nominated here, yet it would have been good to see Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe stirring script for Higher Ground, or Rory Kinnear and Lynne Ramsey’s work on We Need to Talk about Kevin get a nod.  

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

 

Rango image

Who Will Win
Rango is by far the odds on favourite and with good reason.

Who Should Win
2011 proved itself to be a rather weak year for animated releases, yet Rango was an exception with its great voice work, direction, script and animation more than worthy of winning the Oscar.

Who Was Snubbed
As predicted the animation branch at the Academy were not kind on motion capture with The Adventures of Tintin and the vastly underrated Mars Needs Moms kept out, but then again with the bad reputation of the latter it was expected. Even more deserving was the Ardaman release Arthur Christmas.

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

 

A Seperation image

Who Will Win
A Separation is by far the favourite to win, with its nomination for Best Original Screenplay assuring its victory.

Who Should Win
There is no reason as to why A Separation shouldn’t win. It’s simply one of the best films of 2011, superbly written and directed by Asghar Farhadi and acted by a cast of mostly rookie actors.  

Who Was Snubbed
The controversial nature of how the Academy selects its Foreign Language Film nominees has saw many criminal snubs in years past, and this year is no different with France’s Of Gods and Men, Spain’s The Skin I Live In and Japan’s 13 Assassins all overlooked.

 

DOCUMENTARY

Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Movement
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Undefeated

Paradise Lost 3 image

Who Will Win
It’ll come down to the college gridiron dramatics of Undefeated and the true crime tragedy of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. Considering the political nature of the Academy, look for the latter to win the Oscar.

Who Should Win
Having not seen the majority of the films nominated a proper analysis cannot be given. However…

Who Was Snubbed

Out of all of the categories at this year’s Oscars, Best Documentary makes me both sad and angry for the quality of films that have been looked is nothing short of tragic. Both Senna and Project Nim have been justly praised as the best films of the year and yet no love from the Academy? Shame on them.

 

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

John Williams (The Adventures of Tintin)
Ludovic Bource (The Artist)
Howard Shore (Hugo)
Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
John Williams (War Horse)

 

The Artist image

Who Will Win
Ludovic Bource’s swinging and sentimental score for The Artist has won plenty of awards thus far and will continue to do so come the Oscars. But then again, with the legendary John Williams nominated twice don’t be surprised if an upset will occur.

Who Should Win
The Artist is a film that relies on its score as its emotional voice. Thus it stands as the strongest nomination worthy of winning the Oscar.

Who Was Snubbed
Cliff Martinez was unfairly shunned for his great work on Contagion and Drive, meanwhile the industrial tinged compositions of Hanna and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were also unfairly looked over.

 

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Man or Puppet” Bret Mackenzie (The Muppets)
“Real in Rio” Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett, Sergio Mendes (Rio)

The Muppets image

Who Will Win
With only two nominations there can only be one victor, and that will be the fantastic “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets.

Who Should Win
If The Muppets lose to Rio then the Original Score category has official lost all credibility, of which is very thin to begin with.

Who Was Snubbed
Only two nominations? Really? The Muppets at least had two other songs that should have been nominated in “Life’s A Happy Song” and “Me Party”, Chris Cornell had a moving composition in “The Keeper” from Machine Gun Preacher, and who can resist the glorious 1940s camp of Alan Menken’s “Star Spangled Man” from Captain America?

 

VISUAL EFFECTS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Hugo
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Rise of the Planet of the Apes image

Who Will Win
Rise of the Planet of the Apes featured the most seamless motion capture work yet, and weaved its ultra-realistic digital creation into a live action setting. Plus WETA are a respectable effects house within the Academy. Look for them to win once again.

Who Should Win
While the visual effects category features a strong group of nominees, Rise of the Planet of the Apes deserves the Oscar for its brilliant effects work.

Who Was Snubbed
The list is long, but Super 8 and The Tree of Life especially deserved some love.

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist)
Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Robert Richardson (Hugo)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)
Janusz Kaminski (War Horse)


Tree of Life image

Who Will Win
Although The Tree of Life has polarised many people, what is universal is the love for Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography. Look for the 5 time nominee to finally get that Oscar.

Who Should Win
Lubezki’s work on The Tree of Life is simply stunning and deserving of the Oscar.

Who Was Snubbed
While the Cinematography nominations are solid, it would have been nice to see Anna Foerster’s name among the nominations for his lush digital photography on Anonymous.

 

FILM EDITING

Anne Sophie-Bion, Michel Hazanavicus (The Artist)
Kevin Tent (The Descandants)
Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Thelma Shoonmaker (Hugo)
Christopher Tellefsen (Moneyball)

Hugo image

Who Will Win
Hugo has received much acclaim for its technical work, plus Thelma Shoonmaker is very popular with the Academy so it will be a fourth win for her.

Who Should Win
Out of the films nominated Hugo is the most deserving.

Who Was Snubbed
Plenty of fine editing work has been snubbed this year, with particular mention to Dino Jonster’s work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the five headed monster editing team on The Tree of Life.  

 

ART DIRECTION

Laurence Bennett, Gregory s. Hooper (The Artist)
Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2)
Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo (Hugo)
Anne Siebel, Helene Dubreuil (Midnight in Paris)
Rick Carter, Lee Sandales (War Horse)


Hugo image

Who Will Win
Once again look for Hugo to win, this time for the Art Direction team which gave us a fantastical view of post WW1 Paris.

Who Should Win
While Hugo is deserving, it would be nice to see the Harry Potter tandem of Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan win for their work on the series.

Who Was Snubbed
The lush period detail of Anonymous was unfairly looked over, as was WWII set comic book movie Captain America and vibrancy of Water for Elephants.

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Listy Christl (Anonymous)
Mark Bridges (The Artist
Sandy Powell (Hugo)
Michael O'Connor (Jane Eyre)
Arianne Phillips (W.E.)

The Artist image

Who Will Win
It’ll be a tussle between period flicks The Artist and Anonymous, with the golden era Hollywood costumes by Mark Bridges in The Artist the victor. Yet don’t count out W.E., which despite poor reviews is receiving universal acclaim for its costume design.

Who Should Win
Sandy Powell done a magnificent job in Hugo, with her costumes catching the eye yet doing so without being gaudy.

Who Was Snubbed
It is such a shame that the late, great Eiko Ishioka didn’t get a nomination for her work in Immortals, dressing up the Gods in garb worthy of their majesty.

 

MAKEUP

Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady image

Who Will Win
The make-up team on The Iron Lady convincingly transformed Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher and will get an Oscar for doing so.

Who Should Win
In all fairness the Harry Potter movies should win this category every time it’s nominated, but there are only so many times the great Lord Voldermort make-up can win, so The Iron Lady it is.

Who Was Snubbed
This category should expand its nominations to 5, and The Fighter and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 should have been recognised for their stellar makeup work.

 

SOUND EDITING

Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

War Horse image

Who Will Win
War Horse.

Who Should Win
War films are popular among the Academy’s sound voters, and with Steven Spielberg’s group of superb sound technicians at their best on War Horse it will win the Oscar.

Who Was Snubbed
Ben Burtt’s work on Super 8 was magnificent and unfairly looked over.

 

SOUND MIXING

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Moneyball
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

War Horse image

Who Will Win
War Horse.

Who Should Win
War Horse.

Who Was Snubbed
Super 8.

 

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Created and Edited by Matthew Pejkovic / Contact: mattsm@mattsmoviereviews.net
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