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Oscar Predictions 2012 -Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed

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Oscar Predictions 2012

Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed

by Kam Williams

On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Awards were staged in Hollywood at the Hotel Roosevelt. Wings, a silent film, won the Oscar for Best Picture that night, a feat which would never be repeated, given the impending innovations in sound technology that ushered in the age of the talkies.

But, as they say, wait long enough, and everything comes back into style, and such is the case with The Artist, a nostalgic throwback that’s the prohibitive favorite to prevail at this year’s ceremony. Who’d a thunk that a black & white, silent flick from France would eclipse powerhouse productions by the likes of Spielberg and Scorcese.

However, the movie will meet some tough competition in the Best Actor category, where I’m picking popular George Clooney to eke out a victory over virtual unknown Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist’s pantomiming protagonist. I also see perennial-nominee Meryl Streep (17 times) squeaking by The Help’s equally-deserving Viola Davis for Best Actress, more for her 29-year drought than for her spot-on impersonation of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

Best Supporting Actor is difficult to handicap, too, since four of the entrants, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow and Kenneth Branagh, have each enjoyed multiple Oscar nominations, but never won. My gut tells me that Plummer gets the proverbial “body of work” vote. As far as Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer will triumph, since nonpareil comic performances like Melissa McCarthy’s in Bridesmaids continue to be underappreciated by the Academy.

Besides peering into my crystal ball to forecast the winners, I have also indicated below which nominees in the major categories are actually the most deserving. And because so many great performances are invariably snubbed by the Academy, I also point out who has been overlooked entirely.

Overall, look for The Artist to garner five or six Oscars which, while not exactly a sweep, will still be better than next-best Hugo’s trio of statuettes in technical categories. The 84th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 26th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be hosted by Billy Crystal.

Best Picture

Will Win: The Artist

Deserves to Win: The Artist

Overlooked: Bridesmaids

Best Director

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Deserves to Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Overlooked: David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Actor

Will Win: George Clooney (The Descendants)

Deserves to Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Overlooked: Ryan Gosling (Drive)

Best Actress

Will Win: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Deserves to Win: Viola Davis (The Help)

Overlooked: Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Deserves to Win: Max von Sydow (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Overlooked: Albert Brooks (Drive)

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Deserves to Win: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

Overlooked: Carey Mulligan (Drive)

Best Original Screenplay:

Will Win: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Deserves to Win: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids)

Overlooked: Lars von Trier (Melancholia)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Will Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Deserves to Win: Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin (Moneyball)

Overlooked: Tate Tatlor and Kathryn Stockett (The Help)

Predictions for Secondary Categories

Animated Feature: Rango

Art Direction: Hugo

Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Cinematography: The Tree of Life

Costume Design: The Artist

Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Film Editing: The Artist

Makeup: The Iron Lady

Original Score: The Artist

Original Song: “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)

Sound Editing: Hugo

Sound Mixing: Hugo

Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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2012 Academy Awards Recap

B&W Throwback Silences the Competition

by Kam Williams

The Artist, a black& white silent film evocative of a bygone era, won the hearts of the Academy Award voters, netting Oscars in the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Costume Design and Score categories. Hugo won five times, too, but only for technical achievemnts.

After The Artist’s Jean Dujardin beat George Clooney for Best Actor, the foul-mouthed Frenchman not only broke his silence, but tricked the censors by saying the F-word in his native language during his exuberant acceptance speech. Maybe there’s a reason why silent film is his medium.

Dujardin wasn’t the only winner to resort to expletives, so did T.J. Wilson (Undefeated), the first African-American director to earn an Oscar for a full-length documentary. It’s difficult to discern exactly what T.J. said, since he was bleeped a couple times for his indiscretion. Also crossing a line was presenter Jennifer Lopez, whose daring dress failed to cover all of one of her areolas. Could this have been a deliberate wardrobe malfunction by J. Lo to have the fashion talk of Tinseltown revolve around her revealing evening gown?

But I digress. As this critic correctly predicted, Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) upset favorite Viola Davis (The Help) for Best Actress. Anybody else notice that naturally-coiffed Viola seemed to stand up as if to accept when Streep’s name was announced, as if she’d assumed she’d win?

Why did I forecast a Streep victory? My thinking was that the 94% white Academy would cast sentimental votes for her over a relative newcomer, especially since the perennial-nominee hadn’t won in 29 years. Plus, the members could easily avoid being labeled racist by simultaneously supporting Davis’ African-American cast mate Octavia Davis for Best Supporting Actress.

Replacement master of ceremonies Billy Crystal (for Eddie Murphy) did another excellent job, easily making everyone forget last year’s awkward attempts at comedy on the part of co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway. This go-round, the nine-time emcee revived such trademarks of his tenure as an opening song-and-dance as well as an inspired spoof of the Best Picture nominees via a movie montage.

Complete List of Oscar Winners

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Best Animated Feature Film: Rango

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)

Best Original Score: The Artist, Ludovic Bource

Best Original Song: "Man or Muppet" by Bret McKenzie, The Muppets

Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Best Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall

Best Cinematography: Hugo, Richard Richardson

Best Visual Effects: Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann & Alex Henning

Best Sound Editing: Hugo, Philip Stockton & Eugene Gearty

Best Sound Mixing: Hugo, Tom Fleischman & John Midgley

Best Art Direction: Hugo, Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo

Best Costume Design: The Artist, Mark Bridges

Best Makeup: The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland

Best Live-Action Short Film: The Shore

Best Documentary Short Film: Saving Face

Best Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

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The Academy membership, - which has been revealed to consist of mostly white male senior citizens, - when faced with the dilemma of which black maid to give the award to this year, let Meryl Streep make the decision. Who could argue that Streep's interpretation of Margaret Hatcher called for more acting prowess than Viola Davis' mammy re-tread.

What can be deduced from this is that the Oscars are not really significant because too many outside factors influence the outcome. Race, sex, age, previous snubs, tokenism, political correctness, fan popularity all figure into the equation when it comes to handing out a statue that is supposed to symbolize the epitome of excellence in acting, directing, writing and producing. Making things even more dubious is that the voting process is an exercise is choosing between apples and oranges in a field where comedy and drama are not treated as separate genres.

Also, once an Oscar has been won, time and time again it has been proven that this achievment is no guarantee that the career of the winner will soar.

Hollywood is a make-believe world. So it should come as no surprise that when honoring its own, credibility is not a big factor. The Tinsel Town award season is turning out to be more about celebrity than artistry. Who is wearing what on the red carpet is a major event, with a cast of fawning interviewers asking vapid questions.

But, - that's show biz! And the sky-high TV ratings these extravaganzas command make criticism pale in comparison.

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Cynique most of the winners, I suspect, feel no differently about winner the award even if it were a unbiased decision.

The amount of additional respect, or gravitas heaped upon the winner is no less irrational given the selection process. It also seems white Oscar winners are afforded more respect than Black Oscar winners. Jen Hudson is doing weight loss commercials, Cuba and Gabourey failed to shine in relatively minor follow up roles....

I don't have much interest in awards shows and I did not see the vast majority of movies nominated. I would not have seen The Help were it not for this website. i will try to catch Undefeated and The Artist (the later soley out of curiousity).

In previous years I would have created a page with the winner with images links to buy the movies, etc. This year I could be bothered.

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