Sunday, February 26, 2012

Academy Awards preview

The Oscars are on tonight. I'm only doing this for the big categories, but here are my
predictions and who I would pick to win.

Best actor:

Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
George Clooney in "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Who will win: Jean Dujardin.
My pick: Gary Oldman. I can't believe Gary Oldman has never won before. But that's beside the point. He delivered a master class on minimalist acting. I thought he was just incredible.

Best supporting actor:

Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Who will win: Christopher Plummer.
My pick: since Albert Brooks wasn't nominated, I would pick Christopher Plummer. It was a great performance, and I've never seen him give a performance quite like this one before.

Best actress:

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

Who will win: Viola Davis.
My pick: Michelle Williams. She didn't just impersonate Marilyn Monroe. She created a really
interesting character. Her performance was vulnerable and really moving.

Best supporting actress:

Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Who will win: Octavia Spencer.
My pick: Octavia Spencer. Her scenes are the ones I remember best from this movie. She just
brought so much life and energy to this performance.

Best director:

"The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
"The Descendants" Alexander Payne
"Hugo" Martin Scorsese
"Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
"The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick

Who will win: Michel Hazanavicius.
My pick: Alexander Payne.

Adapted screenplay:

"The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
"Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan
"The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
"Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Who will win: The Descendants.
My pick: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. To take such a big novel and adapt it into a 2 hour movie
is an incredible feat. They kept in everything they needed to, and it worked. There was nothing missing. The movie demands you watch it more than once, and the more you watch it the more it makes sense and the pieces all fit together beautifully.

Original screenplay:

"The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
"Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
"Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
"A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi

Who will win: The Artist.
My pick: I'm gonna go with Bridesmaids here. A very funny movie, but it would be a good movie even without all the jokes.

Best picture:

"The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
"The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
"The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
"Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
"Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
"Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
"The Tree of Life" Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers
"War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Who will win: The Artist.
My pick: Since Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wasn't nominated, I pick The Decendants. The Artist was nice for what it was, but not a great movie. Extremely Loud shouldn't be nominated.
Neither should War Horse. The Help was a good movie, but not a great one. Moneyball was written by two screenwriters, and it showed. Some parts were great, and some were kind of boring.

I really can't believe that with 9 nominees, Tinker Tailor didn't get enough votes to be in there as the 10th. But the night will belong to The Artist. Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood, and especially old Hollywood. The Artist is like a love letter to silent film and even the people who didn't love it loved what it was about and what it symbolized.

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