My Oscar Picks

I did it!  For the first time ever, I managed to make it through all the Best Picture nominees.  Unfortunately I did miss out on a bunch of the other films, but hey, it's not possible to see everything, right?  Here are my thoughts.

Get it?  Cause it's Oscar the Grouch?  Screw you guys, that's hilarious.

Best Picture Rankings

1. Hugo
2. Moneyball
3. The Artist
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
5. War Horse
6. The Descendants
7. The Help
8. Midnight in Paris
9. The Tree of Life

I'm a film buff, I studied film in college, I write a film blog, and in my spare time I like to watch movies.  So I think it's fair to say that I might be a teensy bit biased in favor of Hugo, which is essentially one giant love letter to the cinema.  It celebrates the magic and innovation of cinema, as well as telling a pretty engaging story and containing fantastic visuals. is the only 3D movie I've ever seen and not hated.  Seriously.  I have a vision problem that makes 3D movies very painful to sit through, but I gladly watched Hugo, and it was almost worth the irreparable eye damage! (Kidding.)  So that was my favorite of the nominees...although I would have liked to see 50/50 or Drive squeak in there, as I enjoyed those more than any of the films that were actually nominated.

The Artist will probably win, though, and I'm actually on board with that.  It's a very daring film to come out with, and I think that it deserves to be rewarded for its creativity and charm.

Winner: The Artist

Best Actor

This one is pretty much between Jean Dujardin and George Clooney (unfortunately, the underrated Gary Oldman isn't even in the conversation at this point).  And I have to go with Dujardin.  George Clooney is good in The Descendants, but it's not his best work.  Dujardin, on the other hand, brings such expressiveness and charisma to a really difficult role for an actor.  Most actors have little to no experience with silent film (outside of maybe a pretentious thesis film), so he really is acting in uncharted waters here.

Winner: Jean Dujardin

Best Actress

This is turning into another showdown, between acting legend Meryl Streep and the more relatable Viola Davis.  It's kind of interesting, because Meryl Streep had a lot of momentum early on, but it seemed to fizzle as more and more people realized that The Iron Lady really wasn't that great of a film, and switched over to Team Viola.  She gives a strong, crowd-pleasing performance as a down-trodden maid in 1960s Mississippi who works with a white writer to make her voice heard.  But lately, I feel like some of the momentum has been swinging back towards Meryl...yeah, she gets nominated pretty much every other year, but she hasn't actually won since 1983.  And I think this one might just land in favor of Ms Streep.

Winner: Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Actor

Yeah, OK, points to Max Von Sydow for putting in a great performance as the Renter (this apparently is the year for silent performances), and kudos to Jonah Hill for not making me want to punch him in the face, but this one is Christopher Plummer's baby all the way.  Pretty much as close to a sure thing as you're ever going to get.

Winner: Christopher Plummer

Best Supporting Actress

Octavia Spencer seems like a lock in this category, although I would rather see Jessica Chastain or Berenice Bojo get it.  Spencer is good and all that, but I feel like it's just the same old Mammy stereotype and that there were better performances.  Berenice Bojo is a vision in The Artist, she just exudes that 1920s It girl glamour...she brings a lot of humor and fun to the role as well, and I just think she was great.  Jessica Chastain has just had a banner freaking year in 2011, and I would love to see her recognized for that.

Winner: Octavia Spencer

Best Director

I would love to see Martin Scorcese win for Hugo, just because of how well he used the medium of 3D and how beautiful everything in this film was.  However, I feel like it's going to Michael Hazanavicius for The Artist (and I dearly hope that the presenter is someone bimbo-ish, so I can watch them struggle with the name), and I would support that decision as well.

Winner: Michael Hazanavicius

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) - Because if there's one thing Woody Allen knows how to do, it's write a good screenplay.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Moneyball

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Rango

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: A Separation

Best Cinematography
Winner: Hugo (Screw you, Tree of Life!)

Best Editing
Winner: The Artist

Best Art Direction
Winner: Hugo

Best Costume Design
Winner: The Artist

Best Makeup
Winner: Albert Nobbs

Best Original Score
Winner: Hugo

Best Original Song
Winner: "Man or Muppet" - Bret McKenzie

Best Sound Mixing
Winner: Transformers (Don't action movies usually win these?)

Best Sound Editing
Winner: Transformers

Best Visual Effects
Winner: Hugo

Best Documentary, Feature
Winner: Pina

Best Documentary, Short Subject
Winner: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Animated Short
Winner: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore (Loved this!)

Best Live Action Short
Winner: Raju

I'll be live-blogging throughout the Oscars tomorrow night, so we'll see how many of my guesses carefully thought-out predictions turn out to be accurate!

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