Yep, it's that time of year again. It's Oscar Sunday. You know what that means, it's time to play the who-will-win game? I'm less invested emotionally in this year's Oscar race then the whole The Social Network vs. Inception vs. The King's Speech last year but the thing I'm looking forward to most is Billy Crystal hosting and Sacha Baron Cohen showing up, in character, as The Dictator. But I digress, onto the Oscar Ballot!
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
Will win: The Artist. It's won practically every other award there. It's a safe bet.
Should win: Hmm, now let's see. I feel the closest film to challenge The Artist is Hugo but I doubt it's going to cause an upset at this stage of the game. Although, the film I really loved this past year has been Midnight in Paris. I don't think I've been so enchanted by a film in a really long time. War Horse moved me to tears but I don't think that too has a shot. I am hearing that many people's favorite film this past year has been The Help and many are rooting for it.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Will win: Michel Hazanavicius. He's won the DGA and that's a sure sign he's likely to win here too. Usually!
Should win: Martin Scorsese. Hazanavicius is up against Scorsese, Woody Allen and Terrence Malik all of whom have fans in the Academy. I don't know, I'm kind of hoping for an upset in this category.
Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Will win: Jean DuJardin. Yes, he's in a silent role but he has been charming audiences on talk shows and award shows where he's usually winning.
Should win: Brad Pitt. Yes, he's regarded as such a big celebrity and all but people forget that he's also a very good actor. His role as baseball manager showed great depth and maturity.
Actress in a Leading Role
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. I go back and forth on this. Meryl Streep hasn't won another Oscar since 1982 and think of all the wonderful iconic roles she had in that time. It's disgraceful that she hasn't won for them.
Should win: Viola Davis. Everyone always think Meryl will come back again with another great role next year and it's true! I do think it's Viola's year.
Actor in a Supporting Role
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. His role as a gay man who comes out after the death of his wife to his son is hard to be denied, he's so good in it.
Should win: Christopher Plummer. No contest.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Will win: Octavia Spencer. Her role was one of the strongest in The Help and there are many The Help fans out there.
Should win: Octavia Spencer. This is the category that usually causes upsets and if it's anyone, I'd love to see Melissa McCarthy to win for her hilarious role in Bridesmaids.
Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Will win: Rango. A fun, wild Western with a cast of zany characters especially the lead seems like a sure bet here.
Should win: Rango.
The Artist, Production Design: Laurence Bennett, Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Production Design : Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephanie McMillan
Hugo, Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris, Production Design: Anne Seibel, Set Decoration: Helene Dubreuil
War Horse, Production Design: Rick Carter, Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
Will win: Hugo. The sets have been designed especially to incorporate 3D and the period of Paris looks very detailed.
Should win: Harry Potter. Last chance for Stuart Craig and his team to win an Oscar.
The Artist, Guillame Schiffman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo, Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse, Janusz Kaminski
Will win: Emmanuel Lubezki. The Tree of Life has many fans out there and it looks a win here is a good way to honor the film.
Should win: Janusz Kaminski. Spielberg said that there only three digital shots that lasted only a few seconds and the rest is all realistically shot.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, John Logan
The Ides of March, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorking, Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan
Will win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash. The best thing about The Descendants was the flowing and moving script, it's going to win.
Should win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash. No real contest here.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
A Separation, Asghar Farhadi
Will win: Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen never really shows up at any awards show but this one seems pretty much a lock.
Should win: Midnight in Paris. I would keep an eye out for Asghar Farhadi's A Separation too.
The Artist, Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen
Will win: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius. The winner here usually ends up winning Best Picture.
Should win: Kevin Tent. Although my personal bias leans towards Thelma Schoonmaker and Hugo.
Drive, Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ren Klyce
Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
Will win: War Horse. I never know how to pick in these categories. War Horse is a war film so I'm sticking with it.
Should win: War Horse.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Hugo, Tom Fleischman and Jon Midgley
Moneyball, Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Pete J. Devlin
War Horse, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson
Will win: War Horse. See above. Winners in the sound categories usually go two-for-two.
Should win: War Horse.
Anonymous, Lisy Christl
The Artist, Mark Bridges
Hugo, Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre, Michael O'Connor
W.E., Arianne Phillips
Will win: W.E. The costume designers guild picked W.E. so I'm going to pick it too.
Should win: Hugo. Don't count out Sandy Powell who's a three-time winner with eleven previous nominations.
Foreign Language Film
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran
Will win: A Separation. No contest.
Should win: A Separation.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richarson
Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
Real Steel, Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark Of the Moon, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier
Will win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. A win here should make up for the fact that Andy Serkis was noticed or nominated for his work as Caesar.
Should win: Harry Potter. Ten year's of wizarding magic should count for something.
Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Will win: The Iron Lady. If you put a picture of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher next to a picture of Margaret Thatcher herself, you'd have a hard time telling the two apart.
Should win: Harry Potter. A cast of hundreds of principals and thousands of extras all to be transformed into wizards and witches take a lot of hard work and vision.
Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse
Will win: Ludovic Bource. The most prominent thing in The Artist (a silent film!) was the music.
Should win: John Williams for the War Horse. Like most Spielberg films, Williams score was the emotional center of the film.
Music (Original Score)
Man or Muppet, The Muppets Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
Real in Rio, Rio Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett
Will win: Man or Muppet. Come on, it's the Muppets. Plus you don't want to tick of Miss Piggy, you don't want to make her mad.
Should win: Man or Muppet.
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Will win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. There have been many changes in the actual case and there's also talk about a narrative feature being made from the documentary.
Should win: Pina. A lot of fans for this documentary out there.
Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Will win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. As the first anniversary of the tsunami/earthquake that devasted Japan approaches, I feel this documentary short is apt for a win.
Should win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Short Film Animated
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
A Morning Stroll
Will win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. I loved this short about the role of books in our lives what colors and friendships they bring to it. A truly charming short.
Should win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Short Film (Live Action)
Will Win: Raju. I am just going by name here, I have no clue in this category. I'm going try to update myself before the actual show.
Should win: No clue.
UPDATE: I inexplicably lost my original blog post online and had to re-create it by memory, just as I was getting ready to post the winners. *facepalm* Apologies in advance!