Oscars… oh how I love thee… usually…

The artist formally known as The Artist

In most years, awards season is truly my favorite time of the year… sure spring is pretty, summer is great, but movie awards season?  Spectacular!  Usually. 

This year, unfortunately, has left me a bit cold.  After a wonderful chunk of movie goodness in the summer months, as prestige films began rolling out, I could barely muster the enthusiasm to see any of them.  In fact, of the nine nominated Best Picture films, I have seen three.  Not much to go on in terms of predictions or anything to stand behind and root for.  That being said… I will still give my break down of predictions based more on word of mouth and the predictions of others than on my own particular take on anything… with the exception of The Tree of Life… which I wish would win every award… but I understand not everyone is interested in Terrence Malick’s rumination on life and loss.  Pity.

With that said… may I present to you Mr. Blahg’s 2012 Oscar predictions…

Best Picture

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

Ever since The Dark Knight was snubbed for a nomination, the Academy has been scrambling to come up with a system that would encourage genre films and other fan favorites to be included… and the original idea was to open the field to ten films as opposed to five.  That led to the inclusion of a couple of laughable films in the last couple of years.  This year, the idea was to give a field of “up to ten, but no less than five” films based on the percentage of #1 votes each movie received.  Somehow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close received enough votes to be included… which gave us nine Best Picture nominations.  Of these nine, as I mentioned, I have seen three… The Help, Hugo, and The Tree of Life.  The Help was lovely, and I get the complaints… but not Best Picture.  Hugo I adored… possibly could win, especially since it’s a love letter to film.  The Tree of Life, the only true art film in this category… I would love for it to win, but I know it won’t.

Based on what I’ve heard, The Artist seems to be a lock.  I don’t feel like going against the grain on this one… my prediction… The Artist.  I wouldn’t be shocked if The Descendants win… I would be shocked if any of the others do.

Best Director

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

More often than not, the director of the Best Picture wins Best Director… my prediction is Michel Hazanavicius.  I would not rule a single one of these guys though.  Alexander Payne is an incredible director, Martin Scorsese is always great and could win based on his career more so than Hugo, Woody Allen… sigh… everyone has a hard on for this guy… except me.  That’s right, I said it… I don’t like Woody Allen.  I would say he is the only one of these five I am actively rooting for his loss.  Terrence Malick… only if the world were a more just and wonderful place.

Best Actor

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

If it was Brad Pitt for The Tree of Life, I would be campaigning… but it’s not.  I have seen zero of these films… my prediction, again based on what I’ve heard, and the Golden Globes… Jean Dujardin.  I’m thinking this is going to be a very good night for this French film.  I would like Clooney to win, only because I think we need more actual movie stars… and Clooney is one of our last.

If the Academy wishes to honor Oldman’s career by giving it to him, I would stand and ovate… love that guy.

What the hell is A Better Life?

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

Credit where credit is due… this year, the best aspect of the Oscar nominations is the realization that women gave the greatest all around performances this year… period.  The categories for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress are chock full of nothing but incredible performances. 

For starters… Glenn Close as a man… the Academy eats that stuff up.  Rooney Mara… bleached her eyebrows and pierced her face and nipple for real, that has to count for something.  But the real race seems to be between Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, and Michelle Williams.  My prediction… Viola Davis will take this one.  It was an incredible role and this will probably be a slight backlash against the Golden Globes giving it to bother Streep and Williams.

As for Meryl Streep… I wish everyone would quit saying, “well, she already has so many”.  No she does not.  She has been nominated a billion times (actually 15 I think), but has only won two.  That is not “so many”… she is probably the greatest actress of our time and should be honored thusly.  Michelle Williams is probably great as Marilyn and may be one of our greater young actresses… but she has time… give it to Viola.

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

Honestly… I haven’t seen any of these.  My prediction based on the Golden Globes, word of mouth and the sheer Oscar baity-ness of Christopher Plummer’s role of an elderly man who comes out of the closet after his wife’s death, is that… Christopher Plummer.  If Max Von Sydow wins, it will be a career win versus this movie in particular.  As a special side note… both Plummer and Sydow are voice actors in Skyrim… just saying.

I would love it if Jonah Hill won… only because I think living in a world where Johah Hill was an Oscar winner would be interesting.

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help

As I said earlier… the actresses are giving this year’s Oscar the only interesting races… and this may be the best.  If by some chance Octavia Spencer does not win, it will only be because Jessica Chastain split the vote… and the only other possible winner will be Melissa McCarthy for what may be the ballsiest, most over the top, hilarious performance of the year, if not the century so far.  Unfortunately, I don’t think she will win… the Academy has a massive stick up it’s collective ass as far as comedy goes.  My prediction… Octavia Spencer, for the terrible awful.

Best Animated Feature

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

OK… where is Pixar?  And… where the hell is TinTin?  This may be the weakest group of animated films ever.  I have never seen nor heard of A Cat in Paris or Chico & Rita… I can’t speak for them… but Kung Fu Panda 2?  Puss in Boots?  Really?  My prediction, Rango by a mile.  I’m not a huge fan, but it is inventive and fun.

My prediction for the 2013 Oscars… Brave… because Pixar is great and Cars 2 was a fluke.

Well… there are many other categories I could go into, but they would be every more woefully uninformed than everything else I’ve mentioned.  The only other category I will predict is cinematography… the winner will be Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life.  Say what you will about it being boring and you don’t understand it and what were those dinosaurs doing there… it is the most gorgeous film you have probably ever seen… EVER!

I would also love to see Kristin Wiig win for Best Original Screenplay for Bridesmaids, but I don’t think that will happen either.

So there you have it… eight predictions for this Sunday’s Oscars.  Who will win?  How will my percentage be this year?  Last year it wasn’t so great… the year before I nailed a great number of them… and in both of those years I had seen more movies.  Anyway… I will be watching… at least until The Walking Dead starts, and then I will have to read about the last wins later.  But until then… enjoy the show.

And the Oscar goes to…
Cornelius J. Blahg

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