Oscar Picks, First Pass

Christopher Plummer, who is an old guy pivotal to the movie, as opposed to Von Sydow, who is an old guy, who has less dialogue than Jean Dujardin

I tend to think of movie years from Academy Awards night to Academy Awards night, not so much because I’m an Oscars fan – though I am – but because some of the movies that get nominated don’t even make it to small markets such as Albany, NY until January or even February. Yeah, I know the Oscar nominations were very conservative this year, for the most part.

*means I have actually seen it

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

Saw 6 out of 9, so far, 3 in the last couple weeks. War Horse is still playing, so maybe I’ll still see it. I’d love to watch Moneyball, which is available on DVD.
WILL WIN: The Artist, which I liked. It’s a film about film. I mean, so is Hugo, but not as directly.
WANT TO WIN: Midnight in Paris, or The Descendants
PLEASE! NOT: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

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

WANT TO WIN: George Clooney. Used to be that when an actor had a good year, a couple of strong performances, that’d help him. I heard good things about Ides of March.
WILL WIN: Clooney or Jean Dujardin; can’t decide yet.
DON’T KNOW: the movie A Better Life, or its star

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

WANT TO WIN: Meryl Streep, who’s been nominated about 117 times, but has won only twice and not since the early 1980s
WILL WIN: I keep predicting Streep, so why stop now? Naturally, then, it’ll be Davis.

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

WANT TO WIN, WILL WIN: Christopher Plummer, who is an old guy pivotal to his movie, as opposed to Von Sydow, who is an old guy, who has less dialogue than Jean Dujardin

Best Supporting Actress

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

WANT TO WIN: actually any of the ones I’ve seen for different reasons. McCarthy because comedy is undervalued.
WILL WIN: Spencer.

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

WILL WIN: Hazanavicius

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

WANT TO WIN, WILL WIN: Woody Allen. The screenplay categories have traditionally consolation prizes, and I think, since Woody’s not going to get film or director, this is where he’ll get some love.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

WANT TO WIN, WILL WIN: Payne, et al, who will lose out on picture and director, but likewise takes this prize.

What Oscar-nominated movies did you see this year, and what are YOUR picks?

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