Oscar Night is my favorite holiday of the year and I usually celebrate online by writing in-depth reviews of the Best Picture nominees and explaining my picks in exacting detail here on the blog. A lot of work and thought goes into the process ever year, but I've had this conversation too many times:
Friend: "So what do you think of the Oscars this year, Doug?"
Me: "I've been publishing all of my opinions and picks online for the last month. Haven't you been reading my blog?"
As much as I love writing them, the exhaustive string of blog posts just doesn't get read and all anyone really wants to hear about is who is going to win. So here are my final picks for this year's Academy Awards:
Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight In Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Editing: The Artist
Best Cinematography: Tree of Life
Best Score: The Artist
Best Song: "Man or Muppet" The Muppets
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Costumes: The Artist
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Sound: Hugo
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
As always, I don't pick documentaries or short films, because I don't get to see most of them during the year and can't make an informed decision. This year, the same goes for Animated Feature, a category which features two films that have yet to get wide release and (for the first time since the category was established) no Pixar entry. I feel surest about the Actresses, least secure about the technical awards, and am pretty sure that The Artist will charm its way to the top spot and receive five other awards, but not Best Original Screenplay. The movie with the most nominations, Hugo, is also a marketing nightmare and will walk away with a respectable three statuettes.
Several prognosticators predict a win for George Clooney, but I think Jean Dujardin will be named Best Actor. The closest we have to a lock this year is Christopher Plummer for Supporting Actor.
I'm making some pretty daring picks this year in other categories. The visuals in Hugo blew me away, but I think Tree of Life's artistic camera work will impress voters more and will win the Cinematography prize. Harry Potter 7b was last year's highest-grossing movie, but I'm predicting that Planet of the Apes will best it for Visual Effects and The Iron Lady's prestige will vault it ahead of Potter for Best Makeup. I usually don't pick a Foreign Language film, but I'm taking a guarded chance this year with Iran's A Separation, which is the clear favorite.
We can all see how my predictions pan out on Sunday, February 26. Tune in to ABC at 7pm EST for the red carpet (or E! will have coverage all day if you want an early start).