The biggest night of the year for the movie industry is this Sunday and the civilized world is all a titter wondering who will win the Best Picture…the silent movie that no one saw or the overrated movie that George Clooney was in? Speaking of Clooney will he take home the Best Actor trophy or will Brad Pitt finally be recognized as a real actor by his peers? And will the two men remain BFF’s when it is all over? And most important of all who will win the Best Actress throw down? Will Glenn Close finally win an Oscar? Can Meryl Streep’s great performance overcome the crappy movie she was in? Or will Viola Davis continue the long tradition of the Academy recognizing black people only when they play one five types of roles…the crook, the ho, the clown, the crackhead, or the help? How the hell should I know? And why am I asking all of these rhetorical questions?
Well like 99.9% of the rest of the bloggers on the Intertubes, I may not have any inside knowledge on the Oscar races this year but I do feel an uncontrollable need to share my own opinions and prognostication skills with the World Wide Web. So to find out what a humble citizen of this Earth with too much free time on his hands and a love of cinema thinks will and should happen at the Oscars just click the linky-dink below this sentence.
Best Supporting Actor
The Nominees: Kenneth Branagh (MY WEEK WITH MARILYN), Jonah Hill (MONEYBALL), Nick Nolte (WARRIOR), Christopher Plummer (BEGINNERS), Max Von Sydow (EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE)
Will Win: Christopher Plummer is a lock for this award. He gave a wonderful performance in BEGINNERS, he is really old and he has never won and this is his second nomination in 3 years so unless the Academy wants to give him a posthumous award for career achievement, this is going to be the most likely time to honor the guy. Besides none of the other actors really stood out all that much besides Branagh. I am pretty baffled by why Nolte, Hill and Von Sydow are even nominated.
Should Win: Christopher Plummer
Got Robbed: Andy Serkis (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES); I know the idea of nominating a guy who did an entirely motion capture performance is insanity to the stuffy, old white guys who make up the Academy but Serkis was the emotional core of APES and his performance was the best thing about the movie. And for anyone who thinks what he did isn’t acting I say watch this video and tell me that this guy wasn’t acting his ass off. He was definitely putting in more effort than James Franco.
Best Supporting Actress
The Nominees: Bérénice Bejo (THE ARTIST), Jessica Chastain (THE HELP), Melissa McCarthy (BRIDESMAIDS), Janet McTeer (ALBERT NOBBS), Octavia Spencer (THE HELP)
Will Win: Octavia Spencer is even more of a lock than old man Plummer. She has won every award under the sun and she had the most acceptably showy role of the nominees. She was also very good in the role. Chastain canceled herself out with so many good performances this year even though I though she was great in THE HELP. McTeer and Bejo are probably lovely women but neither of them has a snowball’s chance in hell at this award. And Melissa McCarthy, who I enjoy immensely, has a couple of knocks against her. First, she is nominated for a role in a movie that many in the Academy will consider too crass and lowbrow. Secondly, she is currently the star of one of the lamest shows on TV and I can’t see the Academy allowing one of their acting awards to go to the star of MIKE & MOLLY.
Should Win: Octavia Spencer
Got Robbed: I know the conventional wisdom is to say that Shailene Woodley was snubbed and deserved an Oscar nom for her role in THE DESCENDANTS. I really didn’t like the movie all that much and didn’t see what the big deal was abut Woodley’s performance. She didn’t embarrass herself but she was not all that noteworthy either. I do think Carey Mulligan however, was noteworthy and greatly deserved some recognition for her role in SHAME. She was raw and naked (in more ways than one) in that film and its a shame she got snubbed by the Oscars.
The Nominees: Demian Bichir (A BETTER LIFE), George Clooney (THE DESCENDANTS), Jean Dujardin (THE ARTIST), Gary Oldman (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY), Brad Pitt (MONEYBALL)
Will Win: George Clooney. Clooney has all the buzz and good will of Hollywood this year so he seems like the smart pick for this award although Jean Dujardin is a dark horse for this category. I’m going with Clooney though just because it feels like it is his time to win this award and aside from Dujardin no other nominee has the same amount of heat. Demian Bichir should just be happy he was nominated and Brad Pitt was barely acting in MONEYBALL; he was just being Brad Pitt.
Should Win: Gary Oldman. Oldman gave the best performance of all the fellas nominated and then when you consider the fact that he has never been nominated before despite the extremely high quality body of work he has put together over his career, well to say he deserves it even more would be an understatement.
Got Robbed: While Ryan Gosling had a good year, I would have to say that his movies were great but his performances were not at the same level as the films. For my money the biggest Best Actor snub has to be Michael Fassbender for SHAME. I mean the guy had a banner year where he put out a billion movies that were all good but I think he scared the Academy away by unleashing his trouser snake in SHAME. Edgy and sexually open has never been a hallmark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Nominees: 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)
Will Win: Viola Davis. Williams was really good as the moral center of THE HELP and there were many moments in the film where she just broke the audiences heart but would then come right back with a show of quiet strength and dignity that would make the audience stop feeling sorry for her but instead admire her. Also, I know this horse has been beaten to death but I would love to see a black actress in a role that doesn’t require they get buck stark naked and rut around like a pig in heat (Hi Halle!) or play an AIDS afflicted, abusive welfare queen (How you doing, M’Onique?) or a mammie to some white folks babies?
Should Win: Glenn Close. Meryl was sufficiently Meryl but THE IRON LADY was not very good and Michelle Williams has to deal with the same issue as Ms Streep. Rooney Mara was great as Lisbeth Salander but this is one of those be happy with the nomination situations. Close, who has never won despite six noms which is a criminal slight in my book, was utterly amazing in ALBERT NOBBS and I think she has a good shot at the upset just because she has never won and the gap between this nomination and her last one (1988 for DANGEROUS LIAISONS) may make the Academy think that this is possibly the last time they will have the chance to honor her.
Got Robbed: Tilda Swinton was spellbinding in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and her not being nominated is mindboggling.
The Nominees: Woody Allen (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS), Michel Hazanavicius (THE ARTIST), Terrence Malick (THE TREE OF LIFE), Alexander Payne (THE DESCENDANTS), Martin Scorsese (HUGO)
Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius. THE ARTIST was cinematic perfection in my book and most of that credit goes to the skillful directing of Hazanavicius. No other director has a shot…I think the Academy just nominates Woody Allen for being Woody Allen, Payne made an overly episodic bit of lightweight triteness in my opinion, and Malick must have incriminating photos of Oscar voters because there is no way that any of them sat through THE TREE OF LIFE let alone liked it. The only challenger to Hazanavicius is Scorsese but as good as I found his directing of HUGO to be I don’t think it beats the work that Michel Hazanavicius did with THE ARTIST.
Should Win: Michel Hazanavicius
Got Robbed: David Fincher (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO); I guess forced fellatio and ass rape is not the type of one-two punch that the Academy looks for.
The Nominees: THE ARTIST, THE DESCENDANTS, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, THE HELP, HUGO, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, MONEYBALL, THE TREE OF LIFE, WAR HORSE
Will Win: THE ARTIST. Best movie of the year in my opinion and if it didn’t charm you then you have a lump of coal where your heart needs to be. This is the only movie of the bunch that is even approaching flawlessness.
Should Win: THE ARTIST
Got Robbed: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO should have gotten nominated. I found it to be better than the original movie it was based on and despite the dark nature of the plot it was one of the few films of 2012 that I eagerly watched more than once.