In the Mix

February 20, 2012

The Oscar Hypothesis

More articles for »
Written for: Communicado Magazine
Tags: , ,

I don’t know why I put myself through this every year. What I think about films and what the people in Hollywood think about films are oxymorons. It’s diametric at best.

I think that’s why I dismiss the term “Oscar predictions.” There will be no predictions because there is no understanding of how/why/whatever the Academy decides who wins. Their track record for awarding the wrong person, then redeeming themselves in a subsequent year by giving the Oscar to the right person in the wrong year. I won’t be doing that…

My plan is to decide who the winner should be based on the actual performance, not based on the popularity contest or political agenda or redemption. Predictions are for gypsies and genies. My crystal ball is broken, so, I’ll hypothesize.

Hypothesis: An educated guess. Emphasis on the educated.

Best Actor: George Clooney for The Descendants, Brad Pitt for Moneyball, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Demian Bichir for A Better Life.

Oversights: Ryan Gosling for Ides of March; Dominic Cooper for The Devil’s Double. Take out Clooney and Oldman. The Gary Oldman nomination must be because he’s been overlooked so many times, they’re giving him his due. This is how the academy redeems themselves. Also, Leo DiCaprio as J. Edgar doesn’t make the cut for me either.

Hypothesis: Jean Dujardin for The Artist. He expresses himself in vivid detail without saying a word. The other nominees speak and make a powerful statement, but, they had to speak to do so…

Best Actress: Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Viola Davis for The Help, Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs and Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn. Nominations spot-on…

Hypothesis: Viola Davis for The Help. This is a tough one. All of these performances are worthy, but, the combination of the performance and the story puts Viola Davis over the top. Meryl Streep could be an upset because her performance was spot-on though the way the story was told was not so great. I’m going with Viola though I won’t be surprised if it ends up being Meryl.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer for Beginners, Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn, Nick Nolte for Warrior, Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Jonah Hill for Moneyball.

Hypothesis: Nick Nolte for Warrior. Christopher Plummer has swept the other awards this season, but, winning should be based on the actual performance, not the details of the character. Nolte’s performance was powerful; Plummer’s CHARACTER was 75 years old and gay. Nick Nolte better win. It’s about the performance not the demographics…

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids, Jessica Chastain for The Help, Octavia Spencer for The Help, Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs and Berenice Bejo for The Artist.

Hypothesis: Octavia Spencer for The Help. This is a tough category as well – All of these performances were really, really good, but, Octavia Spencer really made you believe she was Minnie. I can find value in each of these performances, but, there can only be one winner… even if it’s a squeaker.

Best Director: Alexander Payne for The Descendants, Martin Scorsese for Hugo, Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Terence Malik for The Tree of Life and Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris.

Hypothesis: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. I would really like to see Woody Allen take this award because the story of Midnight in Paris is put together so well, but, again with the, No-words-making-a-more-powerful-statement thing, the award has to go to the man behind The Artist. The Tree of Life is the only movie in this category that just has no chance… It doesn’t have enough substance.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Ides of March, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Descendants, Hugo and Moneyball.

Hypothesis: The Descendants. The story is very touching, focused on tradition and family loyalty – makes people feel good. Tinker Tailor is the only film in this category I find questionable. It appears to be too adapted – the makers didn’t leave enough in.

Best Original Screenplay: The Artist, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids, A Separation.

Hypothesis: Another close one between The Artist and Midnight in Paris, but, I’m going with Midnight in Paris because it’s a story I hadn’t heard before. The Artist gets the nod on performances; Midnight in Paris wins on story. And someone in leadership at the Academy should be shot for allowing Bridesmaids to be nominated at all. SHOT.

Best Picture: The Descendants, Hugo, The Artist, The Tree of Life, War Horse, The Help, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris.

Hypothesis: Has to be The Artist. It’s just so different; Such a departure from movies of today. Forces you to stop and think about how you watch movies and what you’re watching. I think the Academy will struggle with reasons why it should be The Help or The Descendants, but, in the end, the symbolic statement will be The Artist. The writer in me wants it to be Midnight in Paris, but, I’m not holding out hope. I’m pretty sure the Academy doesn’t like Woody Allen enough to give him more than one award and will likely be a little miffed if he gets ONE. He just doesn’t fit in the popularity contest…

Final Thoughts

So, there are 3 categories that I’m giving even odds: Best Actress can go either way with Meryl or Viola; Best Original Screenplay can go either way for The Artist or Midnight in Paris; And Best Picture could be The Help, The Descendants or The Artist. I’m allowing for the unpredictable nature of the Academy.

See you Sunday, February 26th…