Counting Down to Oscar 2012 – Winner Predictions

It’s less than 24 hours until the 84th Academy Awards. But hey as my friend David @ Never Too Early Movie Predictions just posted his predictions on Friday, I suppose it’s not too late until the presenter takes out the card from the Oscar envelope, right?

As I’ve posted in my nominees predictions, I missed the number of Best Picture nominees by one (I thought they’d go with 8 noms) and I thought Bridesmaids got in instead of War Horse. So clearly my predictions has no scientific value whatsoever, it’s just for the fun of it just to see how off base (or not) I’d be 😀 I’ve also talked about my reaction to the nominations in general on this post.

So, will Oscar make history tomorrow night by awarding both the lead and supporting female acting categories to black actresses? So far only five black actresses have taken home the statuettes, and only one of them for a leading role (Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball in 2001 (per Wiki). And will a silent film instead of a ‘talkie’ win Best Picture again in 85 years since Wings took that honor? Well, we’ll find out soon enough would we?

So anyway, below is the list of nominees and the one highlighted in gold is my predicted winners:*

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Moneyball
War Horse
The Tree of Life

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

Best Actress
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

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

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

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

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
JC Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Animated Feature
A Cat In Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

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

Best Achievement in Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Anonymous
The Artist
Hugo
Jane Eyre
W.E.

Best Achievement in Makeup
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady

Best Achievement in 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

* I left out a few categories such as editing/sound effects as well as documentaries as I have not seen any of them to have any opinion on those.

Btw, allow me to indulge a bit here by sharing this video of my beloved Gregory Peck’s gracious Oscar acceptance speech for his role in To Kill a Mockingbird. Special thanks to my friend Aurora who tweeted me the link last Friday, bless her heart!


All right, so are you going to watch the telecast tomorrow night? I’m going to see if I have the energy to live blog tomorrow. Stay tuned folks 😀

Oscar 2012 Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

All right, now that the nominations are announced, it’s time to pick ’em all apart 😀 You can view the full nominations here (thanks to Red Georges at AM).

The Good:

  • First off, I’m thrilled to see both Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis getting nominated for The Help! Now I’d be even more thrilled if Davis will take home the statuette instead of Streep.
  • Bérénice Bejo up for Best Supporting Actress, yay! Her performance is as equally compelling as Dujardin, so I’m glad she wasn’t left out. I’m equally stoked for Jessica Chastain getting recognized for her compelling supporting role in The Help.
    ///
  • Gary Oldman and Nick Nolte getting a nod, yes! It’s about darn time for Mr. Oldman! As I said on this post, the thespian has never gotten a single nomination, atrocious if y’ask me. So I’m glad he got recognized for his turn in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s also nice to see veteran actors like Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer getting acting nods.
    ///
  • Nice to see such an international mix on the Best Actor list… Mexican Demian Bichir, French Jean Dujardin and English Gary Oldman against two American heartthrobs (well to some anyway, not moi) Pitt and Clooney.
    ///
  • Legendary composer John Williams breaking Alfred Newman’s record for the most Oscar-nominated composer/conductor ever (45 times) by not one but TWO nominations for War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin!
    ///
  • Even though The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so not my cup of tea, I’ve read enough about Rooney Mara‘s dedication to the role that I’m glad she got a nod.
    ///
  • Glad to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes amongst Best Visual Effects nominees… but the good is outweighed by the not-so-good,

    which brings me to…

The Bad

  • Well let’s start with the one snub that I shouldn’t be surprised about but yet I’m still disappointed with… As I mentioned on my review, I really think Andy Serkis deserves a nomination, darn it!
  • So The Academy loves Scorsese more this year than Spielberg, eh? No, I was NOT going to suggest Spielberg for Best Director for War Horse, but seriously, The Adventures of Tintin deserves to be amongst the Best Animated Feature before Rango does! As a huge fan of the comics, I had trepidation how Spielberg could translate than to screen but I think he did a great job. It captured the adventurous spirit of Herge’s story and it was wholly entertaining from start to finish. I think Rango is fine but too uneven to be Oscar-worthy!
  • Last but not least, I was really hoping to see 50/50 to be singled out in the Best Original Screenplay category. The beauty of this cancer-themed comedy is in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance AND the brilliant writing, it strikes the perfect balance between whimsy and poignancy, not a mean feat considering the dismal subject matter. Ok so I have yet to see three out of the five nominees in this category but is Margin Call REALLY better than 50/50‘s script??  Those who’ve seen both, perhaps you can enlighten me…

The WTF

As is customary every year, the bigger news come Oscar nominations time is always, who gets snubbed? There are just a couple biggie I could think of right of the bat…

  • The snubs of the Michaels… both Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon are absent from the nominees. Say what?? Granted I have not seen Shame or Take Shelter yet but even from the trailer and reviews, it seemed that either one of them would garner a nod? I’d be happy to see either one instead of Pitt who’s curiously nominated for Moneyball instead of Tree of Life [shrugs]
    ///
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close up for Best Picture?? I have not read a single review praising it and it’s only got a paltry 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m not saying the critics should always agree with Academy voters but still, it’s a real head-scratcher this one.
  • I had just seen Ides of March over the weekend and I was pretty sure either Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman (who pretty much stole the scenes from the lead actors) would be nominated, but NO, they’d rather give that to Jonah Hill instead. Maybe I’m being harsh, those who’ve seen Moneyball thinks he’s worthy of a nomination over these two. No?
  • What’s with just the two nominations for Best Song??? Is the qualifying system so bonkers this year that a whole bunch of great songs just aren’t eligible?

This list would’ve been a lot longer had I seen more films released in 2011, but anyway, these are my two cents. At least some folks still have their sense of humor intact. Movieline captured Patton Oswalt’s (Young Adult) tweets from this morning about organizing an Academy’s snubculture party with fellow snub-ees (ok I just invented a new word) Albert Brooks, etc.

Ahah, I think I’d rather attend that party than the Oscar luncheon any day!


So what’s your picks of ‘biggest snubs’ and which nominations make you go jump for joy?

Musings on Oscar’s Best Picture Nominations… and My Predictions

Hello and welcome to the eve of the Oscar nominations or Oscar night, namely the night only Hollywood folks and movie buffs give a damn about 🙂 Truthfully I almost forgot about the Oscar nominations if it weren’t for the Classical NPR station I listened to during rush hour traffic. They actually ran a special program called ‘Roll Credits’ where they played some Oscar-nominated scores, including one from The Big Country that’s on my top five list from Gregory Peck films.

All kinds of predictions have been circulating all over the place, and I’ll get to that later, but before that I just want to share some Best Picture history/trivia I learned recently. Now, out of a total of 24 categories given out at the Academy Awards, the one on everyone’s mind is which film is going to win Best Picture?’ That’s why it always came on last as people’d want to stick around to find out which movie take top honors.

The big question this year is…

How many Best Picture nominees will there actually be??

As you know, a couple of years ago, Oscar expanded the Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10. Now there’s yet another mind-boggling qualifying system… A film must receive at least 5% first place votes in the nominating process to qualify as one of the 5 to 10 nominees (per hitfix.com) so there might be somewhere between 5-10 Best Picture nominees this year.

Here’s just a brief history of the Best Picture category specifically, thanks to AMC Filmsite:

The Oscars®, have been presented annually since 1927 (the first awards ceremony was held in May 1929) by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The Best Picture category has been identified with a variety of names over the years: Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Motion Picture, Best Motion Picture, and Best Picture.

For the 1927/28 through the 1950 Awards, the nomination and ‘Best Picture’ Oscar went to the production company or studio that produced the film. [For example, Gone With The Wind‘s Best Picture Oscar was officially presented to Selznick International Pictures, not to David O. Selznick.] Thereafter, the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar was given to the producer(s).

The ever so fascinating—as well as discombobulating—tidbits about Best Picture nominees is the genre biases:

Most Likely to Be Nominated (or Win) For Best Picture: Serious dramas or social-problem films with weighty themes, biopics (inspired by real-life individuals or events), or films with literary pretensions are much more likely to be nominated (and win). Glossy, large-scale epic productions with big budgets (of various genres) often take the Best Picture prize.

Least Likely to Be Nominated (or Win) For Best Picture: Action-adventures, family-oriented animation, “popcorn” movies, suspense-thrillers, science-fiction, superhero films, horror, comedies (including teen comedies), Westerns, foreign-language films, and spy thrillers are mostly overlooked, as are independent productions and children’s films (although there have been a few exceptions).

Miscellaneous Trivia on Best Picture category:

  • The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) was the first non-US made film to both earn a Best Picture nomination, and win an Oscar of any sort (Best Actor for Charles Laughton, in this case). The first non-Hollywood (foreign-made) film to win Best Picture was Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948).
  • Only two novels that were made into films have won both the Best Picture Oscar and the Pulitzer Prize: Gone With The Wind and All the King’s Men
  • As I was researching about The Macomber Affair over the weekend, I found out from this Leonard Maltin site that the first film ever to win Best Picture Oscar, Wings, a silent film about WWI pilot starring Clara Bow and Gary Cooper, is NOT available on DVD. That’s a shame isn’t it?
  • In recent times since the advent of modern box-office tabulations, Best Director-winning Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2009) was the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner of all time. Its domestic gross earnings were $12.6 million at the time of its nomination, and only $14.7 at the time of its award.
  • Precious (2009) was the first-ever Best Picture nominee to be directed by an African-American filmmaker, Lee Daniels.
  • Oh and get this: Wings was also the only silent film to win ‘Best Picture’ … would this year the Oscar ‘come full circle’ if you will, with The Artist?

Anyway, I could go on and on as I love movie trivia, so I invite you to check out the comprehensive Oscar history on AMC Filmsite.

So, here are my best guess of Best Picture Nominees, just for the fun of it really as I haven’t seen everything that might considered. But hey, I won’t let that stop me 🙂 I just take a wild guess that there’ll be eight nominees, so here goes (in alphabetical order):

  1. The Artist*
  2. The Descendants
  3. Bridesmaids
  4. The Help
  5. Hugo
  6. Midnight in Paris
  7. Moneyball
  8. The Tree of Life
Wildcards:
  • Drive
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Ides of March
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

*
The Artist is the one I’m rooting for this year and I have a feeling it just might be the picture that’ll sweep the Oscars this year.



Any thoughts on Oscar or Best Picture noms specifically? Feel free to make your own predictions before the nominees are announced tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM eastern time.