The Oscar nominations may urge me to finally go see something I was on the fence about, like My Week with Marilyn. Alas, it is no longer in my local theater. But if Michelle Williams wins, it will no doubt return. The question is whether even then I will be able to get beyond my hesitation of seeing Marilyn impersonated, no matter how ably (and a mock Olivier, too).
Here are my opinions about the lucky nominees, and my predictions about who might take home the little naked golden men statuettes on the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26. These are of course not all of the categories, just the ones that interested me. I bolded the nominees I think will win. But first, some glaring omissions:
- What about Alan Rickman as Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Best or supporting, it doesn't matter. The man was fantastic and heartbreaking.
- I am not a big fan of Clint Eastwood the director, and apparently neither is the Academy, as Leonardo DiCaprio was overlooked for J. Edgar.
- Both Albert Brooks and Ryan Gosling were passed over for Drive (and Gosling as well for The Ides of March.)
- We will not be able to see Tilda Swinton's latest amazing fashion statement as she wasn't nominated for We Need to Talk About Kevin.
- Nothing for 50/50.
- When will the Academy recognize voice-over artists? How can you have an animation category and not one for the voice actors, who really get the audience into the seats. Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas were both great as Rango and Puss in Boots.
- And what about our four-legged friends? The amazing Uggie from The Artist won a Palm Dog at the Cannes Film Festival. Why doesn't the Academy want to recognize him along with all the gaffers, and other technical awards?
The Artist - The shoo-in. It's adorable and upbeat, which is the only thing it has going against it, as the Academy tends to favor dramas with a capital "D." But it's a phenomenon and should still win.
The Descendants - I really like George Clooney. I'm sure he is a stand up guy. But for some reason I just can't get into him in he movies. He always seems a little too disconnected.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Seriously, why was this nominated? It just sounds awful to me.
The Help - A lot of people love this, but I can wait for it to hit cable.
Hugo - I loved this movie, and although it's the underdog, I would love it to win, like The Artist it is such a celebration of the cinema.
Midnight in Paris - This is the best Woody has done in a long time, and I'm glad it got a nomination.
Moneyball - A really nice film and deserving of a nomination, but probably not best picture.
The Tree of Life - I missed this in theaters, but am looking forward to seeing it, somehow.
War Horse - Stephen Spielberg is everywhere these days. Film, TV, you name it. I wish he wasn't. I'm sorry, but I do.
Actor In a Leading Role - I would love for Gary Oldman to win this. The Academy may surprise us, but I think (hope) it's going to be Pitt, not Clooney. Brad was excellent as Billy Bean and he also helped get the picture made. His biggest competition is Jean Dujardin, who was also wonderful. If he wins it, The Artist will probably sweep.
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Actress In a Leading Role - I hope it's Michelle Williams, even though everyone is saying it should be Meryl. But I am against a movie that in any way celebrates Thatcher. And Meryl can suck it up. She'll get many more opportunities. Glenn Close may be brilliant in her cross-dressing film, but it's a vanity production that not many will want to see. But Viola Davis may be a surprise winner. Rooney is being honored for a great performance, but won't win.
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
Actor In a Supporting Role - This had better be Christopher Plummer. Period.
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Actress In a Supporting Role - I would love the award to go to Melissa McCarthy. C'mon Academy, comedians are best actors, too. Bejo was adorable in The Artist, but it wasn't really an Oscar-worthy performance.
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Animated Feature Film - I'm sure Rango will win, which was fun and beautiful to look at. I absolutely LOVE that Puss was nominated and am not upset that Tintin wasn't.
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Cinematography - I'm thinking Hugo will take home the prize, but this is one of the categories that The Tree of Life might win.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
Art Direction - Hugo will probably win. The sets of the train station and the recreations of Georges Méliès's films were amazing. The Academy doesn't seem to take Harry Potter seriously.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
Costume Design - The Artist will probably (and deservedy) win this one, too.
Directing - This is not only the most accessible, but the best Scorsese film in quite a while.
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Alexander Payne
Hugo, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick
Music (Original Score) - There has been a lot of controversy over the use of a part of Bernard Herrmann's score for Vertigo in The Artist, but it will still probably win.
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
“Real in Rio” from Rio
Visual Effects - The Apes will probably get this one, although Andy Serkis should have been in one of the acting categories. C'mon, already.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - I would really like Moneyball to win this one. Team Brad.
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Writing (Original Screenplay) - It's hard going up against the Woodman, but I'd love the gals from Bridesmaids to take this one.
Midnight in Paris
Short Film (Animated) - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is simply fantastic and should take the prize.
Dimanche/Sunday, Patrick Doyon
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
La Luna, Enrico Casarosa
A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
What do you think? Do you have very different predictions? Let me know in the comments.
Good luck to all of the nominees!