February 24, 2012 at 8:59 am #55832
E! Online’s .02, then:
Pulling for Michelle Williams? Looking
forward to a George Clooney speech? Desperately pining for Brad Pitt
to be honored for the finest performance of his career?
Well, maybe some other year.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards are
going to go down exactly as you think—or maybe even fear—they’re
going to go down. Our predictions:
Picture: The Artist
Actor: Jean DuJardin, The Artist
Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer,
Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer,
Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The
Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Art Direction: Hugo
Cinematography: The Tree of Life
Film Editing: The Artist
Sound Mixing: Hugo
Sound Editing: Hugo
Costume Design: W.E.
Visual Effects: Hugo
Why You Should Listen to Us: Because
we listened to the guilds. Every above winner was a winner at the
corresponding guild awards. In the case of art direction, Hugo shared
the guild spotlight with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,
but we opted for Hugo because it won for period film, while HP8 won
for fantasy, and come Oscar time, period almost always trumps
fantasy. In the case of visual effects, where Hugo and Rise of the
Planet of the Apes were both honorees at the Visual Effects Society
Awards, we opted for Hugo because Hugo won for best effects in a
movie, period, while Rise won for best effects in a “visual
effects-driven” movie. In the case of sound editing, Hugo and
War Horse were both winners at the Golden Reel Awards, but we opted
for Hugo because it’s Hugo. And, finally, in the case of film
editing, The Artist and The Descendants were the big Eddie winners,
but we opted for The Artist because it’s The Artist, and everything
we know about Oscar science tells us it’s going to win Best Picture.
Animated Feature: Rango
Foreign-Language Film: A Separation
Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3:
Documentary Short: Saving Face
Original Score: The Artist
Original Song: “Real in Rio,”
Makeup: The Iron Lady
Why You Should Listen to Us: Because we
perused the consensus odds, recalled that the median age of Oscar
voters is 62 (Down with the Muppets! Up with Meryl Streep’s Margaret
Thatcher look!), and generally took what we like to believe are
Live-Action Short: “The Shore”
Animated Short: “The Fantastic
Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
Why You Should Listen to Us: Because,
sue us, we took a couple of wild guesses. Also, we like saying “The
Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
The Bottom Line If We’re Right: The
Artist edges Hugo, five wins to four, and you finally catch the film
when it comes to Netflix, after which you wonder aloud, “So, um,
The Bottom Line If We’re Wrong: Oscar
night will be a whole lot of fun.February 24, 2012 at 9:26 am #55834
“Because we listened to the guilds”- I really hope they’re wrong now.
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FYC: Derbyite of the Year, 2017February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am #55835
Wow, I did not realize how good predictions are if you just straight go with the guild winners.February 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm #55836
If I never knew about Goldderby, I would take these “Predictions for Dummies” seriously. In condescending voice: “They’re cute though”.February 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm #55837
2010 Oscar Winners:
Best Picture: The King’s Speech (won PGA)
Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech (won SAG)
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan (won SAG)
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter (won SAG)
Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo, The Fighter (won SAG)
Director: The King’s Speech (won DGA)
Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech (ineligible, Inception won WGA)
Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network (won WGA)
Animated Film: Toy Story 3 (won PGA)
Documentary Feature: Inside Job (Waiting for “Superman” won PGA)
Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland (Inception won ADG)
Cinematography: Inception (won ASC)
Editing: The Social Network (won ACE)
Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland (won CDG)
Sound Editing: Inception (won MPSE)
Sound Mixing: Inception (True Grit won CAS)
Visual Effects: Inception (won VES)
Foreign-Language Film: In a Better World (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won BAFTA, BFCA)
Makeup: The Wolfman (Alice in Wonderland won BAFTA, BFCA)
Original Score: The Social Network (How to Train Your Dragon won IFMCA)
Original Song: Toy Story 3 (Tangled won GRAMMY)February 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #55838
From my hometown Philadelphia Daily News film critic Gary Thompson:
An Exciting Oscar Show? Mission: Impossible
THE ACADEMY Award favorites this year – “Hugo” and “The Artist” – are movies about the wonder of movies, the sort that do well at Oscar time. “The Artist” is a love letter to cinema’s adaptive power; “Hugo” a celebration of pioneer Georges Melies, an early effects wizard and audience-wowing showman.
But here’s a question: If Melies were alive today, what movie would he be watching? “Hugo” or that other backward-looking piece of nostalgia, “The Artist”?
I think Melies would be scratching his head, wondering why the latter is not even tinted.
My guess is you’d find him in an IMAX theater enjoying Brad Bird’s skyscraper sequence from “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” “MI” is the sort of well-made, big-tent picture the revamped Oscars were meant to include. Also “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part II.” Neither made the cut this year, giving the blockbuster crowd less incentive to watch the show, which airs locally on 6ABC at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Odds are that “The Artist” (a prohibitive 1-12 favorite) will win – but it’s a movie people don’t want to see. I know, because I’ve tried to persuade them and failed. It’s black-and-white? It’s silent? No thanks.
And despite the Weinstein Co.’s typically shrewd campaign and release strategy, it has only made $28 million. “The Descendants,” second favorite at 10-1, has made $75 million. There’s only a single $100 million movie among the nominees, “The Help” (12-1) and it’s almost guaranteed not to win because director Tate Taylor wasn’t nominated. I don’t sense overwhelming industry support for “The Artist.” It could be beaten. But by whom? “The Descendants” is good, but it’s Alexander Payne’s fourth- best movie. And again, “The Help” is screwed without that director nomination. So you have to go with “The Artist.”
My other predictions:
Best Actress. Meryl Streep again, for “The Iron Lady”? She was eerily perfect, as usual, but voters like Big Emotions, and “Lady” wasn’t that kind of movie. Viola Davis, on the other hand, made everybody cry in “The Help.” I predict Davis wins again.
Best Actor. The academy membership has been showing more of an international bias in recent years, good news for Jean Dujardin in “The Artist.” He’s in a very close race with George Clooney for “The Descendants,” though I thought Clooney was better in “Michael Clayton” and “Up in the Air.” The academy probably knows the show needs a dose of Clooney’s glamour, but Dujardin has been campaigning very hard and very engagingly for this award, and I think he’ll win.
Best Supporting Actor. Beloved veteran Max Von Sydow (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) is reportedly making a late push here, but he’s up against another beloved veteran in Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), and Plummer had a deathbed scene, so he will win.
Best Supporting Actress. I know there’s an upset somewhere on this board that I’m missing, and this is usually the upset category. Melissa McCarthy, for “Bridesmaids”? There’s a chance favorite Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) could split votes with co-star Jessica Chastain. But the academy loves the story of Spencer, longtime under-the-radar supporting player who’s finally gotten her chance to shine. Spencer wins.
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius.
Best Original Screenplay: “The Artist.”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Descendants.”
Best Animated Movie: “Rango.”
Best Foreign-language Film: “A Separation.”
February 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm #55839
Video predictions, the first of a few, from EW.com’s Owen and Lisa:February 26, 2012 at 6:37 am #55840
Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea:
The Academy Awards ceremony is, by nature, a rite of self-congratulation and self-love – the movie industry showers plaudits and prizes on itself for the work of the last year, but also for achievements of a lifetime.
Venerable stars and filmmakers are honored for the length and breadth of their careers, vintage clips are spliced into thematic reels, the actors, screenwriters, shooters, costumers, composers, and directors who passed away in the preceding 12 months are remembered.
But as we get ready for the 84th Academy Awards endurance test Sunday night – which is promised, as always, to be fleeter and more fun – Oscar is looking more narcissistic and nostalgic than usual.
Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist, the improbable front-runner in the best-picture race, is a dialogueless, black-and-white film set in, and saluting, Hollywood’s silent era. Martin Scorsese’s best-picture nominee Hugo, while heavy on CG effects, harks back to moviedom’s nascent days, paying tribute to, and projecting footage from, the earliest cinematic endeavors of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, D.W. Griffith, and, of course, turn-of-the-century motion picture pioneer Georges Méliès (played in the film by Ben Kingsley). Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh are in the Oscar hunt for their portrayals of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn – about the American sex goddess and the British Shakespearean’s problem-plagued collaboration on 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl.
Another best-picture contender, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris – in which a modern-day protagonist magically time-travels back to the 1920s – parades a squadron of Jazz Age artists, composers, writers, and photographers, including Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, the duo behind the surrealist classic Un Chien Andalou.
Even the animated-shorts nominees conjure up gems of yesteryear: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” (Oscar-poolers take note: This one is going to win) happily homages Buster Keaton and The Wizard of Oz.
“Celebrate the movies in all of us” is the theme of this year’s Academy Awards show. Brian Grazer, the veteran Hollywood producer (and Oscar-winner, for A Beautiful Mind), is overseeing the telecast, and has dispatched his troops to “reimagine” the ceremony’s venue, the 2001-built Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, to feel more like an old-time movie palace. The idea is not only to tip the hat to vintage Hollywood, but also to get people to consider watching their movies the old-fashioned way, in real brick-and-mortar, wide-screen venues, rather than streaming them on the home computer or watching on an iPhone.
And you can be sure host Billy Crystal (his ninth turn as emcee) will insert himself into some sort of Artist–Hugo–Midnight in Paris parody reel. Wardrobe folks and hairstylists must be going mad with throwback couture and coifs, as the nominees, presenters, and audience members all try to ride the retro wave.
Fans of old movies should be thrilled with this (backward) turn of events. (I am – Turner Classics is my default-mode TV station.) And clearly, the crowd-pleasing The Artist is pleasing crowds in large part because it recognizes the communal, almost primal, experience of watching moving images on a big screen.
But the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the governing body behind the Oscars, may be kicking itself Monday morning when the audience numbers come in. After expanding the list of best-picture nominees from five to as many as 10 (depending on a first-choice voting system) to embrace more mainstream, mass-appeal movies such as 2010’s The Blind Side and last year’s Inception, AMPAS and its 5,783 voting members have this year nominated some particularly anemic box-office performers.
To date, the highest-grossing of the nine best-picture candidates is The Help, with $169.6 million in ticket sales. (By contrast, last year’s top-grossing best-picture contender was Toy Story 3, earning $415 million, according to boxoffice.com.) The Artist, with Harvey Weinstein and his troops engineering a brilliant marketing campaign, has thus far taken in a modest $28 million at the ticket booth. And if Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, starring best-actor front-runner George Clooney, pulls off an upset and wins the best-picture statuette, more people will probably see it when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in two weeks than saw it in theaters. Its domestic box office grosses, $75.5 million, aren’t bad for an ambitious, complicated family dramedy. But that’s by no means a huge number.
If Oscar show ratings correlate with the commercial success of the nominated movies and moviemakers featured therein – the year Titanic won best picture, for example, the Oscars enjoyed some of the largest ratings numbers ever – then the 84th Academy Awards show could be in trouble.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Grazer, who stepped in to produce the show after first choice Brett Ratner was booted out, was asked about the big box office/big Nielsens ratings theory.
“I think the movies are important, but I don’t subscribe to that entirely,” he responded. “I think the host is pretty central,” he added, noting that the Titanic telecast was an aberration – “the most successful movie in the history of film.”
The top movies being celebrated Sunday are all about the history of film, but even their cumulative box office doesn’t come close to sinking Titanic.
Will: The Artist; Should: The Descendants
Will and Should: Clooney
Will and Should: Streep
Will and Should: Plummer
Will: Spencer; Should: Janet McTeer
Will: Hazanavicius; Should: Payne