The nominations for the Academy Awards were announced on January 24th, celebrating the best in film of the past year. Well, best according to the producers, actors, writers, directors, etc. who make up the Academy. Not to mention there’s a really long process as to determine the nominees for Best Picture (you can read about it here, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly’s writers). Seeing as how I didn’t get this post up in a timely manner (as in the day of the nominations), I figured I might as well make my predictions to go along with my thoughts on this year’s nominees. Hugo leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed closely by The Artist with 10 nominations.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
It was certainly surprising to hear Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close being nominated, as it seems critics and audiences weren’t very kind to it in terms of reviews and box office revenues. Granted, before the movie came out there was the idea that the movie would be an Oscar contender, but that was before. Also, it seems that every year (or at least since the Academy expanded the number of nominees from 5) there’s at least one movie that makes it, which causes everyone to say “REALLY?” The rest were either locks for nominations or were expected to be nominated. I really wish though that the final installment of the Harry Potter series had been nominated, just as a cap to the whole series, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t entirely shocked that it wasn’t.
Unlike the past two years, I didn’t watch all the nominated movies. I got through 7 out of the 9 movies, and that was barely getting through The Tree of Life. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I wasn’t even the least bit interested in seeing it. And this is coming from the fact that I sat through Winter’s Bone last year, and A Serious Man the year before.
As for predicting who will win, at this point, odds are in The Artist‘s favour. It has won the most “precursors” if you will, so it has got a lot of momentum going for it. Personally, I’d rather not see The Artist win (not that it wasn’t a good movie) but as happens most years, I always find myself rooting for a movie that isn’t the frontrunner. I like underdogs. Last year, it was a toss up between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, with the edge going to TKS. But I loved TSN, so I was really hoping it would win (obviously it didn’t). The year before, with everyone going on about how it was between Avatar and The Hurt Locker for the win, I was all “Screw that! I want Inglorious Basterds or Up In the Air to win!” This year, I’d really like it if The Help won – such a wonderful movie with great acting all around.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Most surprising is that The Help‘s Tate Taylor didn’t get nominated, instead Malick took his place. It’s hard to decide who should win in this category. The frontrunner in the category is Hazanavicius – I mean a silent movie, in this day and age? It was crazy talk, but it worked.
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
I still can’t believe that this is the first time Gary Oldman has been nominated for an Oscar. But without a doubt, the race is between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin. It’s so hard to choose because both performances were great. I mean Clooney has really never been better, but at the same time, Dujardin conveyed so many emotions without saying anything. I think I’m going to have to give the edge to Clooney.
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
Prior to awards season truly kicking in, there was talk that Elizabeth Olsen might get in for her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene, which I think would’ve been great. She was absolutely amazing in that movie. Alas, that was all talk. I’ll admit that I’ve only seen The Help out of the 5 performances, so that makes me biased a little bit. But you know what? I don’t care, Viola Davis absolutely deserves the win. I know Meryl Streep is LEGEND, but Davis’ performance was incredible.
Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Christopher Plummer has been the winner all awards season, so there’s no doubt that he’s going to win the Oscar as well. I’ll say this though, how funny is it that we’re going to be seeing “Academy Award Nominee Jonah Hill” on movie ads from now on? I mean who woulda thunk it?
Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
There’s some reservations that both Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are nominated for The Help, which may lead to votes being cancelled out. But Spencer’s totally got the win – like Plummer for Supporting Actor, she’s won every other award this season.
Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Midnight in Paris might not stand much of a chance in winning the top prize, but Woody Allen sure as hell is winning here.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The way I see it, I can only really judge this category if I’ve read both the book and seen the movie – I haven’t read any of the original books and only saw 3 of the nominated films. Surprisingly, the screenplay for The Help wasn’t nominated, which REALLY doesn’t bode well for its Best Picture chances, but hey, weirder things have happened at the awards. Aaron Sorkin did the same thing with Moneyball, as he did with The Social Network – that is turn a subject/book that could’ve been really boring under the wrong hands, and co-wrote a screenplay that kept you interested regardless of whether you know baseball or not. Unfortunately, seeing as how Sorkin did just win last year for TSN, I don’t think he’s going to repeat. Chances are the writers of The Descendants are going to take it.
Best Animated Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
For the first time in what feels like forever, a Pixar movie (Cars 2) didn’t get nominated, which means anything goes this year. Seeing as how The Adventures of Tintin didn’t get nominated, I think Rango‘s going to win.
Music (Original Score)
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams
How did John Williams get nominated twice, leaving Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and also last year’s winners) out of the race? For the fact that The Artist is a silent movie, making the score all the more important, I really do feel that Ludovic Bource will win.
Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, and Siedah Garrett
2 nominees? That’s it? I don’t know what to say about it really, but between the two, Bret McKenzie should win. It’s the Muppets after all!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Let Harry Potter win this please! A series ending, compilation win! I will admit though that the effects for Hugo were pretty incredible, not to mention the work at creating the apes of Rise. But seriously. Harry Potter!
The Oscars air on ABC, this Sunday Feb. 26th at 8:00 P.M. Billy Crystal hosts.