22 Feb 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions

1 Comment Opinion, Oscars

At long last, here are my 2012 Oscar predictions for who will win, as well as my thoughts on who should actually win. If your gut is telling you otherwise or you are outraged that one of your favorite nominees might get shut-out this Sunday, post your thoughts in the comment section below!

Best Picture

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

Will Win: The Artist
- It really is this year’s “The King’s Speech.” Everyone that sees it loves it and, on top of that, they are surprised they could love a silent, black and white film so much. It has won all the major precursor awards (Golden Globe, Producers Guild and BAFTA, aka the British Oscars), making it one of clearest winners come Sunday.

Should Win: The Artist
- Out of the three “nostalgia” films this year (“Hugo” and “Midnight in Paris” being the other two), its message is clearest and the production is the most flawless. It isn’t only a love-letter to Hollywood and its golden age, but a subtle message to filmmakers and filmgoers alike that you don’t need a lot to make a truly beautiful motion picture.

The title alone is a work of art!

Best Director

Nominees: Michel Hazanavicius “The Artist,” Alexander Payne “The Descendants,” Martin Scorsese “Hugo,” Woody Allen “Midnight in Paris” and Terrence Malick “The Tree of Life”

Michel Hazanavicius

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius
- No matter how hard his name is to pronounce, everyone in the industry keeps calling it out. He won the Director’s Guild award, which just happens to be one of the most reliable indicators who will win at the Oscars: 26 of the past 30 winners have gone on to manhandle Mr. Oscar. And if no-name Tom Hooper did it for “The King’s Speech” last year, nothing should be any different this year.

Should Win: Michel Hazanavicius, Woody Allen, or Martin Scorsese
- All three men crafted undeniably unique and equally impressive films about topics that inspire them. Just because Hazanavicius’ “Artist” is the best overall production doesn’t mean that the other two don’t deserve recognition for the work that only they could have brought to life.

Best Actor

Nominees: Demian Bichir “A Better Life,” George Clooney “The Descendants,” Jean Dujardin “The Artist,” Gary Oldman “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and Brad Pitt “Moneyball”

Will Win: Jean Dujardin
- Even though all the acclaim and buzz for the “best male performance” of the year has gone to Clooney all season, Dujardin has quietly been building his campaign off of the success of his film. With everyone swooning over good ole’ American boy George, the Frenchman has won the Golden Globe, Actors Guild and BAFTA award, paving a clear path to the first ever Best Actor Oscar for a French actor.

Should Win: Jean Dujardin
- An agent once told Dujardin, “You won’t make films; your face is too expressive.” It’s doubtful that his performance in the “The Artist” was one big “F*ck you” to that agent, but it sure appears that way. With all the emotion and heart of the film resting on him, that sparkling grin and those flaring eyebrows, Dujardin gives a performance for the ages… All while speaking only two words of dialogue.

Best Actress

Nominees: Glen Close “Albert Nobbs,” Viola Davis “The Help,” Rooney Mara “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Meryl Streep “The Iron Lady” and Michelle Williams “My Week with Marilyn”

Viola Davis

Will Win: Viola Davis
- In the tightest and most exciting race of the night, it is a coin-flip between Davis and Streep. While Streep gave the more stand-out performance of the two, Davis brought the heavy emotional weight to “The Help,” which is undeniably better than “The Iron Lady.” Both have won important precursor awards and both are equally appealing, classy ladies to Academy voters. So how do you choose?

Being perfectly honest, you must take into consideration the race card. How would it look to give a third Oscar to a white Hollywood veteran with an illustrious career versus the middle-aged black woman who worked her way up from the bottom to become one of the best African American actresses of her generation? This may just be a cynical look from an outsider, but in a race dominated by politics and image, this might just be the deciding factor if voters can’t choose.

Should Win: Meryl Streep
- Over the seemingly billion roles in which Streep was nominated but didn’t win, this is her most deserving work since “Sophie’s Choice” in 1982. Yes, it’s been 30 years since she last won! It’s rare when such a known actress as Streep can completely disappear into a role and make viewers feel for a person they have never met. She does just that and more.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Kenneth Branagh “My Week with Marilyn,” Jonah Hill “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer “Beginners” and Max Von Sydow “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

Christopher Plummer

Will Win: Christopher Plummer
- He’s never won before. It’s almost as shocking as that time when Scorsese had never won, but a rap group named Three 6 Mafia had. Beyond that small detail, Plummer has won the hearts and awards of the entire industry and is tied for the biggest lock of the night to win along with a certain Supporting Actress.

Should Win: Nick Nolte
- Not having any real enthusiasm about any of these performances, I suppose I must go with Nolte. His deeply affecting role as a bad dad trying to learn how to be a good father was one of the best surprise performances of the year.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Berenice Bejo “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain “The Help,” Janet McTeer “Albert Nobbs,” Melissa McCarthy “Bridesmaids” and Octavia Spencer “The Help”

Will Win: Octavia Spencer
- Has there ever been a better portrayal of a sassy black woman on-screen? The answer is almost unequivocally “no” and having won nearly every supporting actress award up to this point, she basically has had this award since the film came out last summer.

Should Win: Berenice Bejo
- In similar nature to Dujardin, Bejo gave a spot-on impersonation of a young Hollywood starlet who we just can’t help but fall in love with. Hell, she deserves an award just for the scene in which she passionately fondles herself in Dujardin’s jacket. Pure cinematic magic!

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris and A Separation

Will Win: Midnight in Paris
- Woody’s best screenplay in countless years is getting the recognition it deserves. Like most of the other races, this film has been the frontrunner for awhile now and the precursor awards have only affirmed that. Since the film most likely isn’t winning anything else, voters will be happy to award the iconic filmmaker his third Original Screenplay Oscar.

Woody Allen

Should Win: Midnight in Paris
- While looking into the past may bring out the best of memories, it is only the present that can make your life worth living. A simple, yet elegant message that almost seems to be a nod to Allen’s amazing career. Add in the awkward quirkiness and fast-witted dialogue and you have the most entertaining and thought-provoking screenplays of the year.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: The Descendants, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

George Clooney and co.

Will Win: The Descendants
- Alexander Payne and his fellow screenwriters capture the best of humanity during the worst of times like no-other. Their screenplay is so deeply affectionate, raw and superbly written, critics and awards voters have not hesitated in showering it with love. Like “Midnight in Paris,” it most likely won’t win anything else, so this category just feels like the perfect place for it to not go home empty-handed.

Should Win:The Ides of March
- While we all know boy George can act his heart out, but he also can adapt a script with the best. Clooney’s “love-letter” to political campaigns and the idea that power corrupts was not only one of the most thrilling screenplays of the year, but also one of the most eye-opening to the dark politics of politics.

And just in case you were curious about how I felt about this year’s Best Picture nominees, here are my rankings of the prestigious nine:

  1. The Artist – A
  2. Midnight in Paris – A-
  3. Moneyball – B+
  4. The Help – B+
  5. The Descendants – B+
  6. Hugo – B
  7. War Horse – B
  8. The Tree of Life – B-
  9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – C


written by Jay Brissenden
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One Response to “2012 Oscar Predictions”

  1. Reply Tom Nikosey says:

    Hi Jay,

    Love your Oscar Calls…I agree about The Artist 100%. If the Hollywood politics and nepotism is set aside and the Academy members vote with the true criteria for which they are urged, than The Artist will walk away with a few deserved Oscars.
    Thanks for the review.
    Love to the family,


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