Who will take home Oscar? My 2012 predictions.

The most fun of awards season is fashion-watching, and mostly laughing at the choices made. The second best part is attempting to predict the winners. In a lackluster year of films and nominations, they are only some of the reasons to pay attention to the Academy Awards.®

So here we go, my predictions for the top categories and why they’ll win. (And if they don’t, no whining here, there’s always next year.) You can cast your votes the old-fashioned way, or The New York Times interactive way.

BEST PICTURE >
The Artist, best picture prediction 2012, academy awardsOf the nine (they couldn’t make it 10, or go back to five?) nominated films, I think it’s a two-horse race: The Artist and Hugo.

Forget Extremely Loud…, War Horse, The Tree of Life – they have no chance. While the performances in The Help are good, the movie is Lifetime-ish. Neither Midnight in Paris or The Descendants are weighty enough to satisfy the “importance” factor for voters. Moneyball – baseball and stats? Not so much.

The Artist and Hugo are both homages to the movie biz, and films and filmmaking. Hugo veered offtrack from the story of an orphan into a leaden story about film preservation. I’m giving the edge to The Artist, judging by how many awards it has already picked up.

My prediction to win: The Artist
My preference: The Descendants or Moneyball

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE >
Jean Dujardin, The Artist, best actor prediction 2012, academy awardsThis one’s tough, all five actors turned in wonderful performances.

While Demian Bichir’s performance in A Better Life was heartbreaking, this newbie on the circuit has no chance. Gary Oldman’s excellent, restrained performance in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy got him his first nod – but it’s not his time, and he’ll win for a mediocre performance in the future. Brad Pitt was terrific in Moneyball, but a jock-turned-manager is not a significant enough guy for the voters.

The international race is between established Hollywood in George Clooney – in his best performance to date in The Descendants – and the French-newcomer-to-Hollywood, Jean Dujardin, in a fine performance in an old Hollywood story in The Artist.

I’m on the fence on this one, The tipping point may be the subject matter of the films. I may change my mind before Oscar night, but a Hollywood story trumps family angst for these voters

My prediction to win: Jean Dujardin (by a pencil-thin mustache)
My preference: Gary Oldman or Brad Pitt

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE >
Viola Davis, The Help, best actress prediction 2012, academy awardsThe a two-race here is between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis. Glenn Close – not sure why she got nominated for Albert Nobbs – weird and bland character.

Rooney Mara turned in a gutsy performance in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but the character is probably too weird for the conservative academy voters. Michelle Williams was both sexy and vulnerable in My Week With Marilyn, but the film was slight.

I’m picking Viola Davis for her strength of character in The Help. Meryl’s 17th nomination as The Iron Lady may not be the charm for playing a person disliked by many.

My prediction to win: Viola Davis
My preference
: Viola Davis works for me, or Michelle WIlliams

xxx

DIRECTING >
Martin Scorcese, Hugo, director prediction 2012, academy awardsPrevious Oscar winners and legendary directors Martin Scorsese (Hugo) and Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) are formidable nominees. Allen won’t win, he’s too far out of the insider’s circle and usually a no-show anyway. Alexander Payne got the nod for The Descendants, but he’ll leave with the nomination only. Terrence Malik (The Tree of Life) may be too far out there even within the industry.

Michel Hazanavicius is a serious contender for The Artist since he’s already picked up the award from the Director’s Guild. [Bias alert: The Hazanavicius/Dujardin/Bejo trio teamed up previously in one of my favorite comedies, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies].

I’m on the fence here too. But I’m going with the heavyweight.

My prediction to win: Martin Scorcese
My preference: Michel Hazanavicius or Alexander Payne

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE >
Christopher Plummer, best supporting act prediction 2012, Octavia Spencer, The Help, best supporting actress prediction 2012, academy awardsThe Oscar goes to Christopher Plummer for his late-out-of-the-closet, life-loving geezer in Beginners – that’s all folks.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE >
Octavia Spencer will bring Oscar on home for her rebellious, crowd-pleasing maid, Minny, in The Help.

xxx

OVERLOOKED AND UNDERLAUDED >
Snubs, omissions 2012, academy awards, Rickman, Gordon-Levitt, Redgrave, FassbenderAlan Rickman
is Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.  I get why he would never have been nominated (the film is 1/8th of a film series, with an ending, while the beginning and middle are long past), but come on, a great role played to the hilt over 10 years. When will we ever hear pauses like those again? Sectumsempra this academy.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young writer diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 50/50. Levitt turns in wonderful portrayals in every film he’s in, and this one walks a fine line between comedy and near tragedy. Show the guy some nom love.

Vanessa Redgrave turned in a fearsome performance as Volumnia, in Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus. She was one scary mother. Now that’s a best supporting actress nom if ever I’ve seen one.

Michael Fassbender’s brave and raw portrayal of a sex addict in Steve McQueen’s Shame. Forget about the full frontal, it takes a lot more balls to be that unemotionally exposed on screen.

I could go on for days, but this post is long enough. Your predictions please?

Images: The Artist © 2011 The Weinstein Company; The Help © 2011 Dreamworks LLC;  Martin Scorcese © 2011 Golden GLobes / HFPA; Beginners © 2011 Focus Features; Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 © 2011 Warner Bros.; 50/50 © Summit Entertainment LLC; Coriolanus: Photo by Larry D. Horricks  © 2011 The Weinstein Company; Shame © 2011 Fox Searchlight Pictures

2 Responses to “Who will take home Oscar? My 2012 predictions.”

  1. lg Says:

    It was a lean year for films. I really wish the Academy would go back to only 5 nominations for Best Picture; up to 10 seems, to me, to diminish the supposed honor. Completely agree with your “overlooked and underlauded” comments, especially for Joseph Gordon-Levitt – he is extremely talented and has made some outstanding and interesting film choices — would like to see him recognized at some point. With that said:
    Best Picture: Prediction: The Artist, Preference: The Descendants
    Best Actor/Leading Role: Prediction: Jean DuJardin, Preference: George Clooney or Gary Oldman
    Best Actress/Leading Role: Prediction: Meryl Streep. Preference: Viola Davis, Michelle Williams or Rooney Mara
    Best Supporting Actor: Prediction: Christopher Plummer. Preference: Christopher Plummer
    Best Supporting Actress: Prediction: Jessica Chastain, Preference: Jessica Chastain or Berenice Bejo
    Directing: Prediction: Martin Scorsese, Preference: Michel Hazanavicius or Alexander Payne

  2. Lebensart Says:

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