Matt and Adam Predict the Winners of the 84th Academy Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 153 days ago

2012-oscars-slice

This Sunday, Hollywood will give itself a big, hearty slap on the back and hand out statues that can boost careers and boost box office (although the latter is somewhat debatable).  But since art is being forced into competition, we may as well make our predictions as if this were a sporting event.  I usually bat around .750, and it will be interesting to see who’s better at guessing how old white men vote.  I’ll also note that I think I’ll do far worse this year in my predictions since films I thought were a lock for a nomination didn’t even receive one.  My nomination predictions were so awful that I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Adam has been running point on our Oscar coverage this year, and I’m happy to have him join me in my annual Oscar prediction article.  Hit the jump for what we think should win and what we think will win.  The 84th Academy Awards will air live this Sunday on ABC at 7pm EST.

Before we begin, I must stress that the “Should Win” is limited to the nominees in each category.  In almost every major category, the person or movie we would like to win wasn’t nominated.

the-help-movie-image-viola-davis-octavia-spencer1BEST PICTURE

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse

MATT

Should Win: The Tree of Life

Will Win: The Help

It’s hard to even provide some enthusiasm for my “Should Win”.  I don’t think any of these nine films will really stand the test of time, except for The Tree of Life, which will be a favorite of cinephiles for years to come (Hugo‘s beloved but its shelf-life is contingent on whether 3DTV becomes the new standard).  However, I enjoyed The Artist more than The Tree of Life, and I don’t base my “Should Win” picks not on which film might be best-remembered since there’s no way of being absolutely sure.

However, I think The Help will win because it won the SAG award for Best Ensemble (the Screen Actor Guild’s equivalent of Best Picture) and actors make up 25% of the Academy.  Although The Artist appears to be the front-runner, The Help is the kind of faux socially-conscious movie that the Academy likes to reward (see: Crash).

the-artist-movie-image-1ADAM

Should Win: Moneyball

Will Win: The Artist

Though a revolving door of films have been pegged as the “upset” Best Picture winner over the past few months, The Artist has maintained its frontrunner status throughout. While many bemoan the film as undeserving of the top spot, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that outright hates The Artist. It’s a fluffy, lovely movie that everyone can agree on, not unlike last year’s The King’s Speech, and ultimately that’s why I think it’s going to win.

For what it’s worth, I think Moneyball was the best film of the year. From the performances to the script, the film fired on all cylinders and repeat viewings have only strengthened my opinion. Billy Beane’s desperate fight for validation reverberates with audiences young and old alike, and Pitt’s brilliant performance takes audiences on an emotional yet enjoyable journey. Alas, the movie has lost a considerable amount of steam and has virtually no shot at the top prize.

michel-hazanaviciusBEST DIRECTOR

  • Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist
  • Alexander PayneThe Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese – Hugo
  • Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

MATT

Should Win: Michel Hazanavicius

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius

The Help‘s director, Tate Taylor, isn’t nominated and that’s the biggest counter to my case for why his movie will win Best Picture.  But I’m sticking to my guns and I believe the Academy will honor The Artist not with the Best Picture Oscar, but by giving it to Hazanavicius.  However, this will be a category that makes or breaks prediction lists.  There’s an outside chance that Malick could pull an upset if The Artist, The Descendants, and Hugo all take away votes from each other.  It would also function as an award for his body of work up to now.

ADAM

tree-of-life-movie-image-brad-pitt-jessica-chastain-03Should Win: Terrence Malick

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius

Hazanavicius crafted a silent film for modern audiences and did so with splendidly entertaining results. He’s been a favorite throughout the race, and I think the Academy will reward the Frenchman for capturing the Hollywood of old. Martin Scorsese could prove the spoiler with his own ode to filmmaking, Hugo, but given that he’s already won I think they’ll want to give it to the newcomer. While I’m a huge fan of Terrence Malick’s brilliantly layered work on The Tree of Life, I think the film’s simply too polarizing for him to pull out the win. Ultimately, I’m predicting a big night for The Artist and Best Director goes hand-in-hand with the film’s near sweep.

BEST ACTOR

  • Demian Bichir – A Better Life
  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Brad Pitt – Moneyball

descendants-movie-image-george-clooney-shailene-woodley-02MATT

Should Win: George Clooney

Will Win: George Clooney

While I would like to see Gary Oldman pick up an Oscar, it would feel more like a lifetime achievement award.  He gives a great performance in Tinker Tailor, but it doesn’t start happening until halfway through the movie.  Up until that point, his one note is “inscrutable”.

I like how Clooney played against type.  Rather than his usual character (a guy who thinks he knows everything but learns that he may not know anything), Clooney played a humble, low-key guy who was overwhelmed by his circumstances and was constantly trying to find a way to become a good father and deal with his wife’s betrayal.  Watching his farewell scene still breaks my heart.

ADAM

the-artist-movie-image-6Should Win: Brad Pitt

Will Win: Jean Dujardin

George Clooney seemed to have this race wrapped up early in the season, but The Artist star Jean Dujardin has made a late surge with both a SAG and BAFTA win. This is one of the closer races to call, but I’m giving the edge to Dujardin because I think the Artist love is going to spread throughout the other categories. I was really pulling for Pitt to land his first Oscar this year, but he’s since fallen back making this a two-man race.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis – The Help
  • Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Meryl Streep The Iron Lady
  • Michelle WilliamsMy Week with Marilyn

MATT

the-help-viola-davisShould Win: Viola Davis

Will Win: Viola Davis

The Help only deserves one Oscar and that’s for Davis.  She gave a wonderful performance and she’s easily the best choice among the nominees.  She’s also got the SAG award under her belt and if the Academy is going to award The Help with Best Picture, I think Davis is the strong lead performance that falls in line with that victory.  Streep has built up her own momentum, but it’s not one of her best performances, and it’s in a movie that’s not very good.

ADAM

Should Win: Viola Davis

Will Win: Viola Davis

When Meryl Streep was on the awards circuit for 2008’s Doubt, she praised Viola Davis’ scene-stealing performance in the film and pleaded for someone to give her her own movie. Well someone did, and now the two are neck-and-neck in the Best Actress race. Though Streep is undeniably superb, The Iron Lady hasn’t been particularly well received as a whole. I think the lack of love for The Iron Lady and the massive commercial success of The Help will result in Davis nabbing a very much deserved first Oscar win, making her only the second African-American in history to win Best Actress.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Jonah HillMoneyball
  • Nick NolteWarrior
  • Christopher PlummerBeginners
  • Max von SydowExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

christopher-plummer-beginners-imageMATT

Should Win: Christopher Plummer

Will Win: Christopher Plummer

The “Best Supporting Actor” category also functions as a back-door Lifetime Achievement Award, and usually goes to an older actor unless there’s a memorable villain performance and/or undeniable breakthrough role.  Plummer has all the momentum (as well he should).  An argument could be made that von Sydow has a shot, but he has yet to win a single award from a guild or a critics group.

ADAM

Should Win: Christopher Plummer

Will Win: Christopher Plummer

One of the biggest snubs this year was Albert Brooks in Drive. He and Plummer had been the frontrunners in the category all season long, so with Brooks gone this one is Plummer’s for the taking. He definitely deserves the award, as his performance in Beginners was brilliantly touching and grounded. The only possible upset I could foresee would be Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but it’s a long shot.

the-artist-movie-image-berenice-bejo-01BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Berenice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica ChastainThe Help
  • Melissa McCarthyBridesmaids
  • Janet McTeerAlbert Nobbs
  • Octavia SpencerThe Help

MATT

Should Win: Berenice Bejo

Will Win: Octavia Spencer

Like the Best Picture and Best Actor categories, I couldn’t be more indifferent to the winner in this category.  None of the performances really stand out.  McCarthy and Spencer pose as dramatic contenders because they have a little break from their comic relief roles to have a serious moment.  While Bejo’s character doesn’t even bother with the serious moment, she’s really more of a lead actress and The Artist‘s success depends on her just as much as it depends on Dujardin and Uggie.

ADAM

the-help-movie-image-viola-davis-octavia-spencerShould Win: Jessica Chastain

Will Win: Octavia Spencer

Spencer has had this one in the bag for months now, and I don’t expect she’ll go home empty-handed come Oscar night. The Help is an extremely well liked movie, and while most will probably be voting for The Artist as Best Picture, they can spread their Help love in the acting categories. Spencer was good in the film, but I found Chastain’s performance to be the most impressive next to Davis. She handled a wholly unique character that quickly went from quirky to touching with grace and nuance. She’s had a remarkable year in film and I expect this won’t be the only time we see her name listed as an Oscar nominee.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

rango-imageMATT

Should Win: Rango

Will Win: Rango

I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita, and if they turn out to be better than Rango, I will eat my “Should Win” words.  But I doubt they’ll beat out such a fun, trippy, and thoughtful flick.  The movie threw us back not only to a mixture of Chinatown-meets-Western, but to when a CGI-animated movie didn’t have to be 3D.  Thankfully, Rango is the front-runner and I’ll be happy to see it take home an Oscar.

ADAM

Should Win: Rango

Will Win: Rango

Rango all the way. Gore Verbinski’s animated feature was one of my favorite films of the year, and it’s deservedly the frontrunner in this category. Its main competition seemed to be The Adventures of Tintin, but Spielberg’s film failed to make the nomination cut leaving Rango virtually unchallenged. An upset isn’t totally out of the question, especially from one of the foreign entries, but I expect Rango will come away with the gold.

BEST ART DIRECTION

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • War Horse

MATT

hugo-movie-image-ben-kingsley-asa-butterfield-01Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: Hugo

It’s the only one with memorable art direction and the sets of that movie stand out as something special rather than The Artist, Midnight in Paris, and War Horse, which are just solid recreations.  I can’t even think of any new locations in Harry Potter and reducing Hogwarts to rubble doesn’t feel like a noteworthy achievement.

ADAM

Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: Hugo

As in many of the technical categories, this one comes down to The Artist vs. Hugo. I’m giving the edge to Hugo not only because of the gorgeous color scheme that permeates throughout, but for the fantastic recreations of George Melies’s sets. A close call, but I think Hugo takes it.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse

tree-of-life-movie-image-jessica-chastain-01MATT

Should Win: The Tree of Life

Will Win: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is too pretty to lose.  Unless The Artist is an absolute powerhouse on Sunday night, expect the award to go to Emmanuel Lubezki.  The Oscar can go on the shelf next to the one he picked from the American Society of Cinematographers last week.

ADAM

Should Win: The Tree of Life

Will Win: The Tree of Life

Emmanuel Lubezki, the cinematographer behind such visually stunning fare as Children of Men and The New World, has been nominated in this category five times but has never won. I expect that’ll change this year, as his work in The Tree of Life is just too great to overlook. While the film has as many detractors as it does diehard fans, the visual beauty of Malick’s drama is undeniably poetic. Hugo and The Artist are also possible winners in this category, but I think Tree of Life will squeak by.

hugo-movie-image-asa-butterfield-sacha-baron-cohen-01BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.

MATT

Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: Hugo

Costume designers love period costumes and this year’s nominees offers nothing but.  Hugo stands out because the period costumes are blended with the heightened reality of the movie.

ADAM

Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: The Artist

This one’s a tricky category to predict. Generally, the award goes to a period film with lavish costumes. This time we’ve got two period Best Picture heavyweights that have very passionate fans who may want to recognize their favorite film of the year in the technical categories. I’m really on the fence between Hugo and The Artist, but I think the latter may win by a nose if only because it’s the favorite for the major award of the night and voters may feel inclined to single it out as much as possible. I wouldn’t be shocked (nor upset) at a Hugo win though, as the costumes used in the Melies scenes were beautiful. A real toss-up, but I’m going with The Artist.

paradise-lost-3-purgatory-image-2BEST DOCUMENTARY

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

MATT

Should Win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Will Win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

I haven’t seen Hell and Back Again and If a Tree Falls, but the West Memphis Three getting released worked out really well for Paradise Lost 3.  It highlights the power of documentaries to effect real-world change.  I think too much of it is a recap of the first two movies, but I’ll be happy as long as Pina doesn’t win.

ADAM

Will Win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Out of the nominated films here, I’ve only seen Paradise Lost 3. From what I hear, any one of the nominees could take the prize, but I’m giving the edge to Paradise Lost 3 on account of its current relevancy and the fact that the West Memphis 3 will be fresh on people’s minds. The Paradise Lost series is also kind of responsible for saving Damien Echols‘s life, so it’s got that going for it too.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
  • God Is the Bigger Elvis
  • Incident is New Baghdad
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

MATT

Will Win: Saving Face

saving-face-imageI haven’t seen any of these movies, and I won’t get a chance to before Sunday.  The experts have Saving Face and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom running neck-and-neck.  I’m going with Saving Face based on its synopsis: “Saving Face profiles a British-Pakistani plastic surgeon who helps women injured in acid attacks.”  And here’s the synopsis for Tsunami: “[The film] takes place in the wake of the devastating tsunami that hit Japan, where the hardest-hit region finds hope in the annual cherry blossom season as they attempt to put their lives back together.”  Seeing people with melted-off faces probably sticks with you longer.

ADAM

Will Win: Saving Face

I’ve yet to see any of the nominated films so I’m simply going with the consensus pick of Saving Face, though Cherry Blossom certainly seems to have some steam behind it.

BEST FILM EDITING

  • The Artist
  • asa-butterfield-chloe-moretz-hugo-imageThe Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball

MATT

Should Win: The Artist

Will Win: Hugo

The Artist is an impressive movie because it has to figure out how to heighten cinema’s other tools in order to give voice to the characters and the story.  The editing is particularly noteworthy since it has to find the right beats without the characters providing any dialogue.  However, Hugo, with its big sweeping camera movements, and particularly the Melies montage, calls attention to its editing and that look-at-me style usually gets the Academy’s notice and votes.

ADAM

the-artist-movie-image-jean-dujardin-missi-pyle-01Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: The Artist

Editing is a crucial award for any Best Picture winner, and the majority of the time the winner of Best Editing ends up winning Best Picture as well. A notable exception was last year’s The Social Network, but I think the Academy will be back to routine this year with The Artist. Martin Scorsese’s longtime collaborator (and 7-time winner) Thelma Schoonmaker could pull off the upset, but given my predicted big night for the silent film, I say The Artist takes this one too.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Bullhead
  • Footnote
  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • A Separation

nader-and-simin-a-separation-imageMATT

Should Win: Bullhead

Will Win: A Separation

I haven’t seen In Darkness or Footnote, but I have no problem getting behind Bullhead.  It’s an intense, moody crime drama with a terrific lead performance.  However, A Separation has the momentum.  It’s a fine movie that manages to come around to some thoughtful drama regarding family dynamics, but too often it feels like “See!  Iranians are people too!  They’re not like their crazy leader!” 

ADAM

Will Win: A Separation

I haven’t seen any of the foreign language films nominated, but A Separation is being hailed as the clear frontrunner. With a nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category to boot, I think it’s safe to say that A Separation will be the victor.

BEST MAKE-UP

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

MATT

Should Win: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Will Win: Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter has some creativity with its make-up while The Iron Lady is nothing but reference photos and latex.  Nobbs is a mixed bag.  The make-up on Janet McTeer is terrific, but Close’s transformation into a “man” is totally unconvincing, but I suspect that Academy members are easily fooled.  At least I can half-agree with their choice.

ADAM

Should Win: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

meryl-streep-the-iron-ladyWill Win: The Iron Lady

Turning Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher is no easy task, but the makeup team behind The Iron Lady did a damn fine job. This is really a two-man race between Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs, but the safe bet is with the former. The magnificent work in the Harry Potter series has yet to be recognized in this category during its decade run, so sadly I don’t expect this year to be any different. A Harry Potter upset would be delightful, though.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • War Horse

MATT

Should Win: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Will Win: The Artist

The Artist doesn’t work without its score (even though the music at the climax was taken from Vertigo), but it’s a score that doesn’t work without a movie.  The music also starts to feel redundant and a little too much on the side of parody.  Tinker Tailor‘s music, on the other hand, is what keeps the movie absolutely captivating even though the slowest moments.  As opposed to Ludovic Bource’s work on The Artist, Alberto Iglesias’ Tinker Tailor score feels like a rich homage to 70s spy thrillers rather than a knock-off.

ADAM

Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: The Artist

This one seems a bit unfair as the music in The Artist is virtually the only thing the audiences hears throughout the duration of the film, but that’s just what will be on voters’ minds when they’re filling out the ballot. Composer Ludovic Bource carried an incredibly heavy burden and sufficiently pulled it off, so all signs point to an Artist win here despite Howard Shore’s lovely Parisian score for Hugo.

the-muppets-kermit-banjo-imageBEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • The Muppets – “Man or Muppet”
  • Rio – “Real in Rio”

MATT

Should Win: The Muppets

Will Win: The Muppets

I forgot Rio even had songs until it got nominated.  Expect me to shout “Are you fucking kidding me?” if The Muppets doesn’t win.

ADAM

Should Win: The Muppets

Will Win: The Muppets

This one’s no contest. When you’re forced to choose between Muppets or no Muppets, the correct answer is always Muppets.

the-fantastic-flying-books-of-mr-morris-lessmoreBEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Dimanche/Sunday
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life

Should Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Will Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Both in feature-length and live-action animation, the committees always go outside the confines of America and find captivating films, and their daring choices far out-shine their safe and predictable peers.  All of the movies in the animated shorts category are worth watching, but the one that made me tear-up was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. This is pure bias, but I can’t understand how anyone couldn’t be moved by that movie.  If the Academy goes for La Luna, I won’t be shocked or angered, but I’m giving the edge to Lessmore.

ADAM

la-lunaShould Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Will Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Gut reaction is to go with Pixar here because, well, it’s Pixar. But anyone who’s seen The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore knows that it’s above and beyond anything else in this category. The whimsical and heart-tugging story is ripe with nods to classics like The Wizard of Oz and predominantly centers on the power of books. Unless people go with La Luna sight-unseen, I think Lessmore takes the win here, though I wouldn’t be entirely shocked by an upset from the sublimely satisfying A Morning Stroll. Seriously though, Lessmore is incredible.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

the-shoreWill Win: The Shore

Should Win: Pentecost

Last year, the Academy went with a light and fluffy choice for their Best Live Action Short Film (God of Love), and by that reasoning, Pentecost or Time Freak should have the edge.  But the experts are going with The Shore, and I yield to their expertise when it comes to the shorts categories.  I can also see how the academy would like the movie, although I think Pentecost is the best of the bunch since it finds a clever and entertaining way to mock empty liturgy.

ADAM

Will Win: The Shore

I haven’t seen any of the nominees here, and there doesn’t seem to be an out-and-out frontrunner so I’m going with the consensus pick of The Shore.

SOUND EDITING

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

Ryan-Gosling-Drive-movie-imageMATT

Should Win: Drive

Will Win: Hugo

I think Drive should win everything it’s nominated for, and this is the only thing it’s nominated for.  The sound editing is terrific and does a tremendous job of building tension.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tries to do the same, but it doesn’t come close to DriveTransformers would seem like the frontrunner since there’s so much sound work to put together, but I think the Academy would rather give the action of War Horse the award rather than have people say “Oscar-winner Transformers: Dark of the Moon“.  Then again, you can say that about Speed, which won for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.  My gut wants to say War Horse, but Awards Daily (the bible of awards season), makes the point that the Cinema Audio Society selected Hugo, and so I’m going to follow their lead.

ADAM

Should Win: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

hugo-image-chloe-moretz-asa-butterfieldWill Win: War Horse

The sound editing and sound mixing categories are hard to decipher for most outside of the moviemaking business, but the main difference is this: editing is creating sounds and background noises from scratch and mixing is how all the audible elements of a film are put together and presented. The safe bet here is Hugo, but I’m on the fence between Scorsese’s pic and War Horse. The latter had some incredible sound work, but the film overall just isn’t well liked. Hugo is being hailed as the favorite in both categories, but I’m gonna go with my gut here and pick War Horse for sound editing. No matter where you stand on the film as a whole, the sound work (particularly during the war scenes) was a standout. The fantastic audio of the Transformers series has yet to be recognized so it’s doubtful that the third time will be the charm, but I’m a big fan of what the audio team pulled off in Dark of the Moon.

BEST SOUND MIXING

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

transformers-dark-of-the-moonMATT

Should Win: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Will Win: Hugo

The winners of sound editing and sound mixing are almost always the same movie.  Also, as AD notes that “No Sound Mixing winner has ever won without a CAS nom since 1993.”  Hugo and Moneyball are the only two with those nominations.

ADAM

Should Win: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Will Win: Hugo

Given that Hugo and Moneyball are the only two with CAS noms (who am I to blow off history?), we’re down to those two. Moneyball is a single nominee in the sound categories which doesn’t normally bode well for a film’s chances, so I think Hugo will take it.

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-movie-image-04BEST 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

MATT

Should Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Academy awarded The Two Towers with Best Visual Effects, and I’m sure part of that was Gollum.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the evolution (no pun intended) of that accomplishment.  None of the other nominees come close to what WETA pulled off with Caesar.

ADAM

Should Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

While this category may seem like an easy pick, the truth is that history highly favors Best Picture nominees in the visual effects category. Despite the film’s impeccable effects, that statistic makes Rise of the Planet of the Apes a bit of an underdog here. I’m thinking that the rightful winner will still take this one home, but don’t be surprised if Hugo lands the award.

moneyball-movie-image-brad-pitt-jonah-hill-01BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

MATT

Should Win: Moneyball

Will Win: The Descendants

The Descendants is going to get beat in a lot of categories, but I’m betting the Academy is going to want to throw some love towards Alexander Payne, and this category is where they’re going to do it.  While Moneyball isn’t an amazing screenplay, the script has got more pop and it does a solid job of translating a non-fiction novel filled with stats into an entertaining story.

ADAM

Should Win: Moneyball

descendants-movie-image-george-clooney-shailene-woodley-02Will Win: The Descendants

Once heralded as the Oscar frontrunner, The Descendants may go home with only one win on Sunday night: Best Adapted Screenplay. The pic has the WGA in hand and I think it’ll pull the Oscar win. Its only real competition comes from Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian’s fantastic script for Moneyball. The film is a very talky drama whose success owes a great deal of gratitude to the script. Sorkin won last year for The Social Network, so I wouldn’t exactly be shocked if Moneyball took home the prize. That said, The Descendants is a pretty clear favorite and I presume it’ll go all the way.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call
  • Midnight in Paris
  • A Separation

owen-wilson-midnight-in-paris-movie-image-3MATT

Should Win: Midnight in Paris

Will Win: Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is a safe choice for the Academy, popular with the public, and compared with the rest of the nominees, I’ll be fine if it wins.  My main issue with Midnight in Paris is that it’s a slight screenplay, but I’d rather have a well-written light movie than a poorly-written heavy movie (Margin Call).

ADAM

Should Win: Midnight in Paris

Will Win: Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was the best film he’s made in years, and I anticipate the Academy will want to recognize the legend in some way come Oscar night. While he’s overshadowed in the bigger categories, screenplay is where I expect he’ll be singled out. This one’s a tough call though, as Oscar-favorite The Artist has a solid chance at winning as well. I’m going with my gut and predicting Woody as the victor not only because he’s such a well loved talent, but also because he hasn’t won since 1987’s Hannah and Her Sisters.




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  • Goop

    “too often it feels like “See! Iranians are people too! They’re not like their crazy leader!”

    Matt, by now you must be aware of the fact that you’re a disgusting human being (or maybe a disgusting pig, still not sure) and this is just another piece of evidence to prove my point.

    And some of your “will win” picks are embarassing.

    • cloxlider

      You need to get out of the house more often.

  • Angel of Death

    THE HELP WILL WIN BEST PICTURE??? YOU ARE HIGH OFF YOUR ASS, GOLDMAN! You’re also a lousy reporter.

    SAG doesnt predict anything except Acting categories. Case in point–Inglourious Basterds won in 2009. Went home empty handed (except for supporting actor)

    Moron!

    • Jordan

      They’re predictions dude, chill out.

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  • Chrille

    The angel above says-case in point and makes reference to one year. Great logic there. Well,guys,you are optimistic when it comes to Hugo but I support it.

    You can´t be serious with Pitt though..just cause it´s his most mature,restrained and natural performance doesnt mean it should be rewarded. A blank character and very hard to feel sorry for Billy(Worst that can happen this millionaire is moving) in a film that fails to deliver any criticism towards overpayed entertainers.”Only” payed 236,000 dollars per win. So absurd,this years failed TSN.

    War Horse reception is actually prttyon par with The Help 75,77% according to critics and Critics choice awarded the cinematography,I think(hope) the academy might do the same. With the schizophrene mix of nominees this year and the Help neither getting costume design or Song,3 for 3 is asking too much.

    With the lack of tension and suspense overall this year,Tinker tailor just might steal adapted screenplay,it has some wins.One dead co-writer for sympathy points. Its art direction was ignored somehow and it´s cinematography nom was traded with Girl with dragons… score nom,so that now,none of them have a shot.

    5 for The Artist; Picture,leading actor,(slight chance for Bejo snub)score,costume design,editing.
    4 Hugo: Director,Art direction,Soundmixing,visual effects.
    2:The Help:Leading actress,Supporting actress.
    Emptyhanded:I PRAY…The Descendants. Can´t reward Clooney for constantly playing Clooney,he has to step out of his safe zone. Already 1 win and 4 noms.Thats what Jon Voight had when his career was over,Only difference is one of them tried to become their characters.

    Good post and Have a good night.

    PS.The Guard…no Gleeson,no screenplay. Instead feminists got equality in the shape of guilt,pity and mediocrity. I wonder why Wedding crashers or 40year old virgin wasnt nommed.Hmm….sarcasm.

    Swinton was robbed and Maras studio purchased the nom…sad.

    • Julie

      “Can´t reward Clooney for constantly playing Clooney”

      Amen

      • Angel

        Ok so, @Chrille

        1) You’re kind of an ass for trying to single out someone and trying to make them look stupid. Shut your mouth if you know what’s good for you.

        2) If you want more examples:
        1995- Winner: Apollo 13–LOST BEST PICTURE
        1996- Winner: The Birdcage –WASNT EVEN NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE
        1997- Winner: The Full Monty –LOST BEST PICTURE
        2000–Winner: Traffic –LOST BEST PICTURE
        2001–Winner: Gosford Park–LOST BEST PICTURE
        2004–Winner: Sideways–LOST BEST PICTURE
        2006–Winner: Little Miss Sunshine–LOST BEST PICTURE
        2009–Winner: Inglourious Basterds–LOST BEST PICTURE

        That’s 8 films in the 16 years SAG has been giving the award for Best Ensemble. That means the SAG awards have predicted the winner only 50% of the time.

        Versus say the PGA Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture which has predicted the winner 70% since 1990, and over 60% of the time in the same time frame SAG has existed.

        Case in point, YOUR the one who’s logic is flawed. Learn something about movies you dumb piece of crap.

  • Indiana

    ‘a poorly-written heavy movie (Margin Call).’

    Really? Poorly-written? Personally, I thought Margin Call had one of the best screenplays of the year and was glad to see it recognised. I mean, it achieved the hard task of making bankers human beings again and that’s no mean feat.

    • cloxlider

      True. But you’re also a complete idiot, so there is that to consider.

  • Brandon Avery

    Matt, how can you say the tree of life should win best picture when YOU gave it a B minus rating??

  • sofasobad

    “See! Iranians are people too! They’re not like their crazy leader!”

    Matt, hard for you to grasp this, I know, but the USA is not the centre of the universe. A Separation was made for an Iranian audience.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Matt Goldberg, you ignorant pig!

    • cloxlider

      uh oh, nap time for Bryce.

  • Bonobo

    The feat of A Separation is not so much that it shows that Iranians are human beings, but that it really portrays human beings. It hits that acting-writing-directing sweet spot where the momentum of the film and inherent, overall quality elevates every scene and performance to the level of truth. And the almost imperceptible but constant, tectonic shift of sympathies that you experience watching it makes it not just the most insanely well written film of the year, but one of it’s very best films.

  • Derek

    All interesting choices. Glad to see someone predict something besides “Artist” and “Descendants” winning, both entirely overrated films.

    I’ll to have to disagree that Jessica Chastain should win for Best Supporting for her work in “The Help”. Spencer is in some of the best scenes in the film and balances comedy and some drama. Without her, “The Help” would be too heavy to relate to as many as it did. She provided comedic relief with dignity and substance (if excrement is substance). Now, if Chastain were nominated for “The Tree of Life”, I’d agree she deserves the award over Spencer. Only Michael Fassbender had a busier 2011 than she, and she put in some of the year’s best performances, but none better than the grounded, compassionate mother in “Tree of Life”. She was the glue to the family and audiences. I’d even take her performance in “Take Shelter” over “The Help”.

    And, for Best Foreign Language, “A Separation” deserves it more than any other. Haven’t seen “Footnote” or “In Darkness”, but I have “Separation” & “Bullhead” — and while “Bullhead” is certainly very interesting with a great lead performance, it’s weighed down by its subplot in illegal cattle hormone trading. It’s an obvious form of symbolism that isn’t necessary with the main plot. “A Separation” is carefully-plotted and intelligent, while showing Iran in a light not many Westerners view it in.

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