24 Guessed Categories – Oscar Picks 2012

presented by j:

time for the final Oscar post of the year: “24 Guessed Categories.”  this is actually the first year in a long time that i haven’t even seen all of the Best Picture nominees, so much of what i do here will be based on hear-say and educated guessing from past Oscar years.  last year, i correctly predicted 16 winners out of 24 categories, which gave me a percentage of 67%.  not bad, but hoping to improve upon it this year.

for my predictions in all 24 categories…continue below:

i’ll start with the categories no one gets a rip about, just because i feel like it.  oh – and most of the links actually go to the movie trailers if you’re curious about individual titles.

Best Short Film, Live Action
Pentecost
Raju
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

will win: Tuba Atlantic
could win: The Shore
i’d vote for: the only one i’ve seen is “Time Freak,” and i don’t even think i’d vote for it.  it’s a good short film, but not really worthy of an Oscar compared to other shorts i’ve seen.

Best Short Film, Animated
Sunday
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

will win:  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (this links to entire film)
could win: La Luna (never count out a Pixar flick, even if they haven’t won this category since 2002)
i’d vote for: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the only one i’ve seen here, but it would be a worthy winner; gorgeous animation, creative storytelling, and by far the best title of the nominees.

Best Documentary, Short Subjects
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

will win: Saving Face
could win: Incident in New Baghdad or The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
i’d vote for: haven’t seen any of these yet, but “God is the Bigger Elvis” has the best title, “Tsunami” looks beautiful and emotional, and “Face” looks hard-to-watch but important.

Best Documentary, Features
Hell and Back  Again
If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Undefeated

will win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
could win: If A Tree Falls
i’d vote for: i’ve only seen the first two so far, but of the two, i’d go for “If A Tree Falls.”  it’s an interesting look at environmental radicalism and so-called environmental terrorism.  frankly, “Senna” and “Project Nim” are both better documentaries that should have been here, “Senna” being the best i saw in 2011.

Best 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

will win: Hugo
could win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
i’d vote for: “Apes,” but conventional wisdom says the only Best Picture nominee in the group will be the winner.

Best Sound Editing
Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

will win: War Horse
could win: “Hugo” or “Drive”
i’d vote for: “Drive,” but Oscar loves war movies in this category, so they’ll probably go with “Horse.”

Best Sound Mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Moneyball
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

will win: this one’s harder to call, but i’m leaning towards “Hugo”
could win: War Horse
i’d vote for: Hugo

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

will win: The Iron Lady
could win: Albert Nobbs
i’d vote for: i’ve only seen “Harry Potter,” but i hear nothing but praise for the makeup in “Iron Lady.”

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

will win: Jane Eyre; conventional wisdom: category should be called “Most Costumes.”
could win: Hugo or The Artist could get some Best Picture love here.
i’d vote for: Hugo – the movie set costumes looked just like they came out of a Lumiere film.

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

will win: Hugo
could win: Harry Potter could get some send-off love here or The Artist
i’d vote for: Midnight in Paris for the most seamless, subtle art direction of all the nominees.

Best Film Editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Moneyball

will win: The Artist
could win: Hugo
i’d vote for: The Artist

Best Cinematography
Guillame Schiffman, for The Artist
Jeff Cronenworth, for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson, for Hugo
Emmanuel Lubezki, for The Tree of Life
Janusz Kaminski, for War Horse

will win: Robert Richardson, for Hugo
could win: Emmanuel Lubezki, for The Tree of Life
i’d vote for: Emmanual Lubezki for “Tree of Life” and i really, really, really hope he does.

Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, by Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett

will win: “Man or Muppet”
could win: “Real in Rio”
i’d vote for: “Man or Muppet.”  still surprised the song “Life’s a Happy Song” (watch this) from The Muppets was not also nominated since it’s the type of song that typically wins.  the way Oscar has treated this category the past few years, i wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually got nixed.  otherwise, you can count on Flight of the Conchords alum Bret McKenzie winning on Sunday.

Best Original Score
The Adventures of Tin Tin, by John Williams
The Artist, by Ludovic Bource
Hugo, by Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, by John Williams

will win: Ludovic Bource for The Artist
could win: Howard Shore for Hugo or Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
i’d vote for: “The Artist.”  perfectly-executed “silent film” score and one of the best aspects of the film.

Best Foreign Language Film
Bullhead, from Belgium
Footnote, from Israel
In Darkness, from Poland
Monsier Lazhar, from Canada (it’s shocking how often Canada ends up in this category)
A Separation, from Iran

will win: A Separation
could win: In Darkness
i’d vote for: sadly, i haven’t seen any of these this year, but “Separation” from our friends in Iran seems to be the one to beat.

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

will win: Rango
could win: Kung Fu Panda 2
i’d vote for: i’ve only seen “Panda 2” here, which i’d like to see win, though i’d also like to see “Chico & Rita” win, because it looks fantastic.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants, by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash (the Dean from “Community”)
Hugo, by John Logan
The Ides of March, by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, by Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan

will win: The Descendants may get its only win here
could win: Moneyball could gets it only win here as well
i’d vote for: it’s hard to pick between “Descendants” and “Moneyball,” but i think i’d go with the latter.

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

will win: Midnight in Paris
could win: The Artist
i’d vote for: Midnight in Paris, which is quite possibly the most original film of the year.

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

will win: Octavia Spenser in The Help.  don’t even try guessing any one else at this point.
could win: Berenice Bejo could magically win for The Artist
i’d vote for: Jessica Chastain in The Help.  she had a fantastic year and thought she was fantastic in this movie.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branaugh 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

will win: Christopher Plummer in Beginners
could win: Max Von Sydow in “Extremely Loud”
i’d vote for: Kenneth Branaugh for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn, though i won’t mind seeing Christopher Plummer winning.

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

will win: Viola Davis for her sincere performance in The Help
could win: Glenn Close could get a “career achievement award” for Albert Nobbs
i’d vote for: Michelle Williams for perfectly capturing the enigma and icon that is Marilyn Monroe.  she will win an Oscar one day, but this probably isn’t her year.

Best Actor
Demian 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

will win: Jean Dujardin in The Artist
could win: George Clooney in The Descendants
i’d vote for: tough call between Dujardin and Clooney, but in the end i have to choose Dujardin’s charming and nostalgic performance as a silent-era actor struggling with the film industry’s transition to “talkies” that has rendered him useless.

Best Director
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Martin Scorsese for Hugo
will win: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
could win: Martin Scorsese for Hugo
i’d vote for: Michel Hazanavicius for creating the wonderful throw-back to the silent era that is “The Artist.”

and finally…

Best Picture

The Artist
has nominations in all the right categories and has swept the DGA and PGA, the two best indicators of the eventual Best Picture winner.

The Descendants
has nominations in all the right categories but its early support has hence evaporated.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
with a piddling 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you can count this one out; not even the infamous Blind Side is rated so lowly.

The Help
super-popular with actors, who make up the largest voting block in AMPAS, but it’s hard to win without editing, directing, or writing nominations.

Hugo
leads the pack with 11 nominations, but has no acting nominations.  a tough win, but not impossible if it gets enough support – especially if Scorsese ends up winning Best Director.

Midnight in Paris
without a film editing or acting nomination, this is just wishful thinking.

Moneyball
well-liked film, but with no directing nomination, it doesn’t really stand a chance.

The Tree of Life
much too polarizing, even with those who liked it.  i’m pleasantly surprised it got nominated, but you can count it out.

War Horse
has a lot of guild and craft support, but with no directing nomination for Mr. Spielberg and no acting, writing, or film editing nomination, you can count it out.

will win: The Artist
could win: Hugo
i’d vote for: i found Midnight in Paris to be the most surprising film of the year and it would get my vote.  but i won’t be disappointed when The Artist wins because of its creativity and charm.

if i’m right, The Descendants will end up with 1 win, War Horse with 1 win, Midnight in Paris with 1 win, the Help with 2 wins, Hugo with 4, and The Artist victorious with 5 Oscars total.  i guess we’ll wait and see.

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