Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Ballot for Oscar 2012

It's that glorious time of the year. The Super Bowl of Movies. We celebrate the year that was, a remarkable time we all had at the movies in 2011.

I have no stake in the Oscars. I don't get upset when people lose or are snubbed. I don't rally around the block screaming, "HE WON!"

Because, really, none of this stuff matters. It doesn't matter who wins, who loses, what she's wearing or who he's with. All of this will be forgotten a few weeks from now. I can't tell you how many times I have to stop and wonder, "Hey, who won Best Actor last year?" What matters is that good movies are celebrated and appreciated. It's not easy making a movie that entertains the hell out of people. So when it happens, a party is in order.

It's all in good fun.

Now, if anyone has money riding on this year's Oscars, I've got a sure thing for you. BET AGAINST ME! I'm notoriously sucky at correctly picking the Oscar winners. So, do what you will with that.

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

SHOULD WIN: Of all of these films listed, my favorite of the bunch is Moneyball. But is it worthy of Best Picture? I love it, but not quite that much. In varying degrees, The Help, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life and The Artist are all rather enjoyable motion pictures. The rest are currently unseen by me. My heart simply does not belong to any one of these this year.
WILL WIN: The Artist is the frontrunner. Can't really argue with that.

Best Director 
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Terrence Malick - Tree Of Life
Woody Allen - Midnight In Paris
Alexander Payne - The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

SHOULD WIN: I think this one should go to Malick, because his Tree of Life, while a confounding, perplexing picture, is one of stunning ambition. He had the balls to make a movie like that and have it turn out to be as good as it is. Although, having not seen The Descendants and Hugo, and being big admirers of both directors, I hate saying they don't deserve to win.
WILL WIN: Hazanavicius will win this one. No one has made a hit silent film since the 1920's.

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

SHOULD WIN: This is a tough one. Really good actors and performances in this category. I'm thrilled for Oldman, but this isn't his movie or year. It's Pitt's best work in a long, long time. Dujardin is a pleasant surprise. Bichir is soulful and exquisite. I'm a big, big fan of Clooney's, and will watch him in anything. Though I can't judge this performance specifically, I am kind of hoping he wins.
WILL WIN: It's a toss up between Clooney and Dujardin, and I think Dujardin will be the surprise winner.

Best Actress 
Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Viola Davis - The Help
Rooney Mara - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michelle Williams - My Week With Marilyn

SHOULD WIN: I haven't seen Dragon Tattoo or Rooney Mara in anything, except for that brief role in The Social Network. I don't think she has a chance here. But I absolutely adore each of the other actresses on this ballot, even if I've only seen The Help. I'll be pleasantly happy with either of them.
WILL WIN: For a while, Viola Davis was a front runner. But I'm feeling buzzy about an upset for Meryl Streep in what will be her first win in 29 years. It's time to give her another one!

Best Supporting Actor 
Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Max Von Sydow - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Christopher Plummer - Beginners

SHOULD WIN: I really liked Hill in Moneyball, but I didn't think he was worthy of a nomination. Love Branagh, Nolte and Sydow, but didn't see their work here yet. Beginners was one of my favorite films of 2011, and Plummer was nothing short of extraordinary.
WILL WIN: Plummer will get what he deserves: a career-capping Oscar statuette.

Best Supporting Actress 
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Octavia Spencer - The Help
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Berenice Bejo - The Artist

SHOULD WIN: McTeer is the odd one of the bunch. Loved her in Tumbleweeds 10 years ago, haven't heard from her since! And I haven't seen Albert Nobbs yet. But I have seen and enjoyed The Help, Bridesmaids and The Artist, and these women are remarkable here. I have a deeper connection with McCarthy because I've seen her on Gilmore Girls for six seasons and absolutely adore her. But I think the nomination is the prize for her. Chastain had an amazing year, but The Help was not her best role. Spencer is a favorite here and deservedly so, but personally speaking, I thought the best thing about The Artist was Bejo. Her face is striking and gorgeous, and she played the ingenue part so very well. I think she deserves the win here.
WILL WIN: Octavia Spencer may very well be the sole winner for The Help on Oscar night...

Best Original Screenplay
The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight In Paris
A Separation
SHOULD WIN: I'm thrilled for the nomination for Margin Call. It's one of my favorite films of the year and one of the biggest surprises of this year's Oscar nominees. I'm also happy to see Bridesmaids nominated. It's not the funniest film of the year (that honor goes to The Trip) but it's nice to see a hard-R comedy get some love.
WILL WIN: Woody Allen's charming, well-received Midnight in Paris will get its sole win here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
Ides Of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
SHOULD WIN: I love Alexander Payne, and he is very well-respected in the industry. But The Descendants seems to be losing traction with audiences. And the scripts for Hugo, Ides of March and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are not exactly what's making them so well-recieved.
WILL WIN: Moneyball is popping out here, and will get its sole win of the night. Sorkin's streak is currently unstoppable.

Best Animated Feature Film
A Cat In Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss In Boots
SHOULD WIN: I've only seen Rango, and liked it quite a bit. It's a fresh, funny and spirited comedy. I have no opinion on the others.
WILL WIN: Rango appears to be the front-runner

Best Foreign Film
Monsieur Lahzar
A Separation
In Darkness
SHOULD WIN: No opinion, haven't seen any of these.
WILL WIN: A Separation is well-loved worldwide. It's a clear cut winner.

Best Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Tree Of Life
War Horse
SHOULD WIN: The best looking movie of the year is The Tree of Life. There is no competition.
WILL WIN: The Tree of Life

Best Art Direction 
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
War Horse
SHOULD WIN: The Academy usually rewards extravagance here, and while I haven't seen Hugo, that one looks like a clincher for this award. That being said, I always thought all of the Harry Potter movies were designed beautifully and the finale was no exception. I'm rooting for Potter.
WILL WIN: Most likely, Hugo

Best Costume Design
Jane Eyre
The Artist
SHOULD WIN: I'm not going to pretend I know anything about costumes. 
WILL WIN: I'm going to take a stab and guess that Hugo will walk away with this one

Best Editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
SHOULD WIN: For a movie about statistics and baseball, Moneyball moved at a furious pace and didn't seem to waste a shot.  
WILL WIN: Usually the Best Picture winner walks away with the editing award. So, I'm picking The Artist.

Best Makeup
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
The Iron Lady
SHOULD WIN: Our favorite muggles looked pretty convincing as 30-something-year-old parents, didn't they? I thought so. 
WILL WIN: Meryl Streep will win an Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher and so will her makeup artist for making Streep look just like her.

Best Original Score
The Adventures Of Tintin
The Artist
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse
SHOULD WIN: The only sound we hear in The Artist is the score. That's a huge undertaking and a big part of what makes the film so #winning.
WILL WIN: The Artist

Best Original Song
Man Or Muppet (The Muppets)
Real In Rio (Rio)
SHOULD WIN: No opinion here.
WILL WIN: Due to popularity, I'm going with the Muppets.

Best Sound Editing
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Transformers 3
War Horse
SHOULD WIN: Like much of America, I'm not well-versed in the area of sound editing and mixing. So, I really have no opinion.
WILL WIN: Let's give it to Hugo.

Best Sound Mixing
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Transformers 3
War Horse
SHOULD WIN: See above.
WILL WIN: Hugo again.

Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Real Steel
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Transformers 3
SHOULD WIN: I would love to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes take the trophy here for its amazing use of motion capture. But I'm not sure if it's "big" enough for the Academy.
WILL WIN: I think Hugo will continue its sweep of technical awards here. The 3D supposedly is pretty amazing.

Best Documentary (Feature)
Hell And Back Again
If A Tree Falls
Paradise Lost 3
SHOULD WIN: No opinion, haven't seen any of these yet.
WILL WIN: Despite positive rumblings about Hell and Back Again, I have heard even more amazing things about Pina, so that's the winner. Plus, it's from Wim Wenders!

Best Documentary (Short)
The Barber of Birmingham
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
SHOULD WIN: No opinion
WILL WIN: God is the Bigger Elvis, based on the title alone. Yes, that's grounds for winning.

Best Short Film (Animated)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life
SHOULD WIN: No opinion
WILL WIN: Hands down, without a doubt, it's clearly A Morning Stroll. Have you ever seen anything so pleasant? (That's my bullshit meter going in overdrive, by the way).

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic
SHOULD WIN: No opinion
WILL WIN: Time Freak. But only because it describes me very, very well. Well, the freak part, anyway.


Sam Fragoso said...

I can't see MONEYBALL winning best adapted, but I understand your love for it.

The Iron Lady is just so attrocious that I can't in good conscience pick Streep.

Nice job here overall.

Dave said...

Thanks for your comment, Sam. I do love Moneyball, yes, but I know I'm not alone. Like Midnight in Paris, it's just a very well-liked, widely acclaimed film. I think it has a good chance for screenplay.

As for Streep, well, sometimes it's not just about the movie. (Think Training Day for Denzel)

The Cinemaniac said...

I think you have your predictions right more than your picks. But they're your picks, regardless. :)

Please vote for my next review:

Bunched Undies said...

I agree with alot of your choices and picks are here
I agree Moneyball is underrated. I'd love to see it and Tree of Life do well..I doubt it but we'll see.

3guys1movie said...

Nice choices Dave, I like how did all the catagories. My own selection post ran out of steam after the big selections. Enjoyed checking out your blog.


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