The Academy Awards air this Sunday , Feb. 26, 8pm on ABC.
This year’s Oscar showdown is about the roots of filmmaking history from its very beginnings — Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — to the stylish era of 1920s silent movies (The Artist). Hugo will likely win minor Oscars, while The Artist and The Descendants will be battling it out for the biggest prizes on Oscar night. After adding five movies to the best picture category two years ago, then deciding that 10 might be too many, there is now a complicated mathematical formula to determine the amount of nominees. This year there are nine films up for best picture.
Here are my predictions and preferences for the major categories, plus my quick picks for the rest of the awards. The Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 26, 8pm, on ABC with popular Oscar host Billy Crystal back in charge of keeping the show lively.
Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Christopher Plummer
Preference: Christopher Plummer — This is a mortal lock, with the much respected Plummer killing it in a showy role of a man who finds out he is dying and comes out as gay to his son. Veteran Nolte also has a lot of support, but not enough to topple Plummer.
Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Octavia Spencer
Preference: Octavia Spencer — Spencer has been doing small roles for years but when a breakout role came along, she was marvelous as the Southern maid with attitude in The Help. It would be a total shock if anyone else won.
Prediction: George Clooney
Preference: George Clooney — Clooney might never be better as a husband and father in crisis in Alexander Payne’s superb dramedy. However, there has been a late rush of support for The Artist and the touching and funny performance by Jean Dujardin. This category will be a suspenseful highlight of Oscar night.
Prediction: Viola Davis
Preference: Viola Davis — Normally one might predict that Streep is due since she hasn’t won since 1983 despite her record-shattering 17 acting nominations, but Davis’ SAG win suggests she is still the frontrunner. As an aside, the only performer nominated two years in a row in any acting category is Michelle Williams.
Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius
Preference: Alexander Payne — Hazanavicius won the Directors Guild Award, which pretty much locks up the Oscar victory, although there is still a slight chance that Payne pulls off the upset.
Best Motion Picture
Prediction: The Artist
Preference: The Descendants — I loved both these movies but give the edge to The Descendants for the emotional connections as well as a witty screenplay and brilliant performances. However, if The Artist wins, and the buzz is pointing in that direction, I will be satisfied that an excellent film has taken home the prize. Hugo has the most nominations, but will only win for some of the lesser categories.
Here are my choices for the rest of the awards: adapted screenplay, The Descendants; original screenplay, The Artist; animated feature, Rango; art direction, The Artist; cinematography, Hugo; costume design, Jane Eyre; documentary feature, Pina; documentary short, Incident in New Baghdad; film editing, The Artist; foreign language film, A Separation (Iran); makeup, Albert Nobbs; original film score, The Artist; original song, “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets; animated short, La Luna; live action short, Time Freak; sound editing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; sound mixing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; visual effects, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
AC Weekly's Film Critic, Lori Hoffman, will discuss her Oscar predictions this Friday, Feb. 24, on WOND 1400AM radio's Sport Goombas Show at around 7pm. Call in at 927-1100
and have your say or listen on the Web site.
The fifth annual AC Cinefest, presented by the Downbeach Film Festival, will feature Robert Downey Sr. in addition to Terry Winter, award-winning creator of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and actor Peter Dobson.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this weekend, I’ve put together a list of my favorite movies with an Irish theme or locale. This list includes dramas, comedies, a drama with music, a movie with Sean Connery singing and, of course, the most popular Irish-themed movie in American film history.
After watching the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday night, it was clear that The Artist was going to sweep all the major categories on Oscar Sunday and it did, winning for best picture, actor and director, as well as costume design and best film score.