OSCARS: Pete Hammond's Final Academy Award Predictions In All 24 Categories

OSCARS: AwardsLine Nominees Profiles

Oscar Predictions 2012Take this forecast with a grain a salt, built as it is on buzz, precursors, Oscar history, nominee pedigrees, educated guesses, instinctive hunches and conversations with voters. Enter your office pool with confidence but don’t blame me if you lose to some grandmother who hasn’t been to a movie since Gone With The Wind. As the race has entered its final phase I have tweaked this forecast from an earlier article in Issue 7 of AwardsLine (see all of our AwardsLine editions here). This is where I have landed for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Predicting Oscars is not an exact science, and this year some of the categories are kinda tricky, but if you count on The Artist to make the most noise on Oscar night you’re likely to turn up in the winners’ circle. That is unless the common wisdom of collective punditry is completely wrong this year. Now wouldn’t THAT make for an interesting show?

BEST PICTURE

The clear frontrunner is The Artist with strong precursor wins at the very predictive DGA and PGA awards, not to mention a slew of others that tip this race in the direction of the first black-and-white silent film to seriously compete for best picture since the very first winner, Wings, in 1927-28. Hugo, the nominations leader with 11, will probably have to settle for some technical wins even though it is widely admired. The Descendants and Midnight In Paris are likely to win consolation prizes for their scripts, with only the real dark horse, The Help, having a shot at an upset thanks to support from the all-powerful actors’ branch. But without nominations for writing, directing or editing, it would be unprecedented as no best pic since Grand Hotel in 1930 has pulled that off. It’s not likely to happen, but this has been a weird year.

The winner: The Artist

The Competition: The Descendants, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, Moneyball, The Tree Of Life, War Horse

BEST ACTOR

Jean Dujardin Best ActorThis has turned into a real barnburner of a contest and is difficult to read. Brad Pitt started strong winning the NY Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, but good buddy George Clooney eclipsed him at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, National Board of Review and Golden Globes. It looked like a two-man race until Jean Dujardin broke his vow of silence and beat them both at the most important predictor of all, the SAG Awards, and then at BAFTA adding to his Golden Globe for comedy or musical actor. Now it’s a brawl as all three are in best picture nominees — another advantage past winners have had. There’s no clear-cut choice, but a hunch tells me Dujardin is peaking at just the right time, with France’s ‘sexiest man alive’ trumping his American counterparts. It pays to work with a cute dog.

The winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist.

The competition: Demián Bichir, A Better Life; George Clooney, The Descendants; Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; and Brad Pitt, Moneyball.

BEST ACTRESS

One of the tightest races this year has turned into a seesaw battle between 17-time nominee and two-time winner Meryl Streep vs. her Doubt co-star Viola Davis. Streep won at the New York Critics, the Globes and BAFTA, while Davis racked up the Critics’ Choice and the SAG Award, making the ultimate Oscar winner a real question mark until that envelope is opened. Could the two frontrunners split the vote and let the very deserving Michelle Williams sneak in for her impeccable Marilyn? My guess is Davis’ SAG win and emotional acceptanceBest Actress 2012 Viola Davis speeches will tip the scales in her favor, making her only the second black winner ever here.

The winner: Viola Davis, The Help

The competition: Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs; Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady; and Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Rule out Jonah Hill for being too young, Nick Nolte for being in a little-seen movie and Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant Laurence Olivier for being unlucky enough to face two way-overdue 82-year-old acting legends going for their first Oscar. Max von Sydow hadn’t figured in any previous matchups against Christopher Plummer this year, but the actors’ branch of the Academy reveres him — although opinions about his film are mixed. Still, it is a best picture nominee and that gives him a slight advantage over Plummer, who is single-handedly carrying the flag for the small indie Beginners. But with a string of great speeches at the Globes, CCMAs, SAG and others, Plummer’s got the Oscar mojo. Anyone else winning is a major upset. Again, it pays to work with a cute dog.

Oscars 2012The winner: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

The competition: Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn; Jonah Hill, Moneyball; Nick Nolte, Warrior; and Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

It has been a long, long time since Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American Oscar winner, taking the supporting actress award for playing a Southern maid, Mammy, in Gone With The Wind in 1939. Octavia Spencer’s turn as a Southern maid in The Help should be able to pull off the same feat, especially since she’s been on a roll winning a number of key supporting awards whenever and wherever her nominated co-star Jessica Chastain hasn’t heard her name called. Chastain may be the supporting actress of the year in number of roles, and Berenice Bejo may have done it without saying a word, but they will probably have to settle for just the nomination this time around.

The winner: Octavia Spencer, The Help

The competition: Bérénice Bejo, The Artist; Jessica Chastain, The Help; Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids; and Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

BEST DIRECTOR

Only six times since its inception in 1949 has the winner of the DGA Award for best director failed to go on and collect the Oscar. The last time was nearly a decade ago. It is one of Oscar’s most reliable indicators and the fact that it went to Michel Hazanavicius, director of frontrunner The Artist, only goes to show he may be invincible. However, voters wanting to spread the wealth may decide one career Oscar is simply not enough for Martin Scorsese, whose Hugo is much-loved, and let him sneak in. But for the safe bet …

The winner: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

The competition: Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris; Terrence Malick, The Tree Of Life; Alexander Payne, The Descendants; and Martin Scorsese, Hugo.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The three best picture nominees in the category are the only ones with a realistic chance of winning here. Of those, Hugo  is thought more to be a director’s triumph than a writer’s. The final contest probably comes down to a knock-down drag-out between The Descendants and Moneyball. The latter boasts two heavyweight writers in Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin (with story by Stan Chervin), both past winners in this category, but they go up against another past winner, Alexander Payne, who with his co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash have pulled off a strong humanist comedy-drama, and it won the WGA Award. Moneyball was almost an impossible job of adaptation, but it was turned into a masterful script. Toss a coin.

The winner: The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

The competition: Hugo, John Logan; The Ides Of March, Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon; Moneyball, Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian and Stan Chervin; and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Although The Artist is likely to win best picture, even its writer (and director) Hazanavicius told me he thinks voters will probably not even realize the silent, dialogue-challenged masterpiece was written (of course it was). He thinks Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris has this one in the bag. In fact, Woody’s most successful film ever, a best picture nominee, is the solid frontrunner to take the consolation prize and win for its magical script. This was one of the surest bets in any category until Hazanavicius grabbed the BAFTA away from Woody, who responded the next week by winning at WGA (where The Artist wasn’t eligible).

The winner: Midnight In Paris, Woody Allen

The competition: The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius; Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig; Margin Call, J.C. Chandor; and A Separation, Asghar Farhadi.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The category has some of its strongest entries in years but for a number of reasons, including its winning run at earlier awards ceremonies, Iran’s A Separation — which tries to put a universally relatable human face on that country and its people — should easily pull out a victory. But beware: This is the category where the most surprises happen. At BAFTA it was upset by Pedro Almodovar’s non-Oscar nominated The Skin I Live In. If that’s the case, Canada’s Monsieur Lazhar might be the most user-friendly.

The winner: A Separation (Iran)

The competition: Bullhead (Belgium), Footnote (Israel), In Darkness (Poland), Monsieur Lazhar (Canada).

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

With Pixar completely out of it for the first time in a year when they competed (Cars 2 ran into a speed bump) and disdain for motion capture sinking Steven Spielberg’s PGA and Globe winner The Adventures Of Tintin, the field opened up. It includes a couple of obscure entries from tiny distributor GKIDS along with a trio of films distributed by Paramount including two DreamWorks Animation entries. Yet Gore Verbinski’s Rango looks to be the one to beat. Puss In Boots conducted a massive trade campaign and could prevail, but it’s probably not got enough juice to get by the frontrunner.

The winner: Rango

The competition: A Cat In Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The rules are changing next year in order to open this controversial category to more deserving entries. This year the branch managed to fill it with a number of lesser-known entries and in the process probably has turned it into a race between HBO’s much-talked-about Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and The Weinstein Company’s remarkable high school football doc Undefeated. Wim Wenders’ dance film Pina is a documentary told almost solely in terms of actual performance and might have been better off in the Foreign Language contest, where it was also short-listed. It seems a bit out of place here but is so different from the rest it just might have a shot. Still, I have a hunch voters will mark their ballots based on the film with the biggest heart and best-told story.

The winner: Undefeated

The competition: Hell And Back Again, If A Tree Falls: The Story Of The Earth Liberation Front, Paradise Lost: Purgatory, Pina.

BEST ART DIRECTION

The two films about the early days of Hollywood should rule the day here. With its true Hollywood flavor and the fact it was a homemade product, The Artist is certainly a contender, but Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo’s stunning production design and set decoration for Hugo is in a class with the past winners when movies were made on a much larger scale.

The winner: Hugo, Dante Ferretti (production design), Francesca Lo Schiavo (set decoration)

The competition: The Artist, Laurence Bennett (design), Robert Gould (set); Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Stuart Craig (design), Stephenie McMillan (set); Midnight In Paris, Anne Seibel (design), Hélène Dubreuil (set); War Horse, Rick Carter (design), Lee Sandales (set).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

This one is wide open. The critics favorite is The Tree Of Life, and it won the ASC Award, but it is a polarizing film in the Academy and that could cost it votes among some branches. Janusz Kaminski’s widescreen vistas and work with horses in War Horse inexplicably failed to receive an ASC nod but thankfully was recognized here, representing the kind of work that Oscar voters usually reward. And once again there is a showdown between The Artist and Hugo, both having reasons to win. The former’s perfectly pitched black-and-white photography caught in the 1:33 ratio of the old silents vs. Robert Richardson’s challenging work on Hugo, which also required him to match and re-create images of some of the earliest movies in existence. Wow. This is tough.

The winner: The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman

The competition: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth; Hugo, Robert Richardson; The Tree Of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki; and War Horse, Janusz Kaminski.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Another sterling collection of worthy nominees, but again in the battle between Hugo and The Artist, give the edge to Mark Bridges’ cheeky re-creations of the silent movie era, a wonder in black and white. Anonymous is exactly the kind of period piece that almost always wins here, but did anyone actually see it? Madonna’s combination period and modern film, W.E., gave designer Arianne Phillips some real challenges and is probably the most fashion-conscious film in the bunch, which may be why it just won the Costume Designers Guild award. Still …

The winner: The Artist, Mark Bridges

The competition: Anonymous, Lisy Christl; Hugo, Sandy Powell; Jane Eyre, Michael O’Connor; and W.E., Arrianne Phillips.

BEST FILM EDITING

This category also seems to come down to a battle between The Artist and Hugo (although The Descendants beat the latter for the ACE Eddie drama editing prize). The unique challenges her longtime collaborator Scorsese threw at her with Hugo — particularly in piecing together new versions of Georges Melies early films — dictate the prize could very well go to Thelma Schoonmaker. She rose to the occasion, making the master director’s first foray into 3D pure cinema gold. But a sweep may be developing for the silent, and so in that case …

The winner: The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion

The competition: The Descendants, Kevin Tent; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall; Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker; and Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen.

BEST MAKEUP

This usually goes to the most obvious. Last year’s winner, The Wolfman, over more subtle entries is proof of that. The seamless work on both Glenn Close and Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs and Meryl Streep miraculously turned into Margaret Thatcher — younger and older — in The Iron Lady could split the vote giving the prize to the more pronounced makeup wonders of the final Harry Potter film. But expect Thatcher to pull out one more victory in her career.

The winner: The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

The competition: Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle; Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin.

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE

It is a given that if John Williams has done a score it will likely get nominated. He is revered by his peers in the music branch and this year he did two scores and both are up. Hell, if he had scored Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star that would have gotten nominated too. However, the love for Williams will stop this year with the nominations (his 46th and 47th). Howard Shore’s Hugo might have a shot, but in its continuing battle with The Artist it seems highly likely this lively score for the silent homage by Ludovic Bource will prevail. Take that, Kim Novak!

The winner: The Artist, Ludovic Bource

The competition: The Adventures Of Tintin, John Williams; Hugo, Howard Shore; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias; and War Horse, John Williams.

BEST SONG

In a really good year for movie songs, the music branch in its infinite wisdom saw fit to nominate only two of them (the lowest total of nominees ever in the category thanks to a complicated scoring system that seems destined to destroy the song competition altogether). With Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Elton John , Sinead O’Connor and other high-profile singers not being invited to perform their non-nominated tunes on the Oscars this year, you have a 50% chance of getting this one right in your office pool. I’m going with Kermit.

The winner: “Man or Muppet,” The Muppets (music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie)

The competition: “Real in Rio,” Rio (music by Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, lyrics by Siedah Garrett)

BEST SOUND EDITING

Since the entire Academy votes on sound awards even though most of them don’t have a clue what goes into sound design, the winners are often war films or musicals for whatever reason. This category has no discernible favorite, so it’s possible they will go with an overall favorite, Hugo. But this could be a category where some love is finally delivered to the unfairly neglected War Horse, a sterling example of the sound art if ever there was one, if only for all those horses’ hoofs.

The winner: War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

The competition: Drive, Lou Bender and Victor Ray Ennis; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Ren Klyce; Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty; and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Many voters don’t know the difference between mixing and editing where sound is concerned, but we think they will know enough to spread the wealth and go with nomination leader Hugo here.

The winner: Hugo, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley;

The competition: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson; Moneyball, Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick; Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin; and War Horse, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

With the category now expanded to five nominees, it becomes a little more competitive, but it is likely to come down to a photo finish between Harry Potter and the Apes. Both were critically acclaimed and used effects to tell the story, not be overwhelmed by them as fellow nominee Transformers: Dark Of The Moon did in a 40-minute final assault on our senses. Hugo’s re-creation of early cinema as well as a thrilling train crash deserves the prize too.

The winner: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson.

The competition: Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Hanning; Real Steel, Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg; Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett; and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

A very good bunch of films but give the edge to the harrowing Saving Face, although actress-turned-nun Dolores Hart has a story that is wonderfully heartening and compelling in God Is The Bigger Elvis. It might take more than one vote from Mother Dolores, who is still a voting member of the actors branch.

The Winner: Saving Face

The competition: The Barber Of Birmingham: Foot Soldier Of The Civil Rights Movement, God Is The Bigger Elvis, Incident In Baghdad, and The Tsunami And The Cherry Blossom.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Despite competition from perennial fixtures like the National Film Board of Canada and Pixar, it is the year of the silent film, and that extends to silent ‘toons too.

The winner: The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The competition: Dimanche/Sunday, La Luna, A Morning Stroll, and Wild Life.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Feature filmmaker Terry George, a past two-time writing nominee for Hotel Rwanda and In The Name Of The Father, is slumming in the short category this year with The Shore, but this poignant and quite wonderful 30-minute film should finally turn him into an Oscar winner along with his daughter who produced.

The winner: The Shore

The competition: Pentecost, Raju, Time Freak, and Tuba Atlantic.

  1. Pete,

    In a very competitive year, I cannot find fault with any of your choices although a few may differ at the end of the night.

    Well done.

    1. It’s not really a matter of choice, it’s more a matter of which film the Weinsteins have bet their house for. We have known for a couple of days that the average Academy voter was white, 62 and male.

      The Weinsteins have already been able a few times before to pick one movie that will appeal this kind of audience: The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, A King’s Speech. A love letter to the Old Hollywood is even more tailor-made for them than a bribe for the HFPA.

      It doesn’t hurt that the competition is not specially strong this year. You’ve got “White People Solve Racism”, a Clooney vehicle that produces a peak of estrogens for the 40+ audience (and is a slight disappointment for the Alexander Payne fans), an edutainment piece by Scorsese in 3D, and a nice story by Woody Allen that would have done wonders as a short, like his New York Stories contribution, but spends too much time nailing the idea into your skull.

      The Artist is far from being a masterpiece. Actually, even if I’m French and could support our national contender, I felt it was, apart from a few wonderful scenes, a mere exercise in style, with lots of tedious sequences that’s actually less true to the spirit of silent movies than Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie”. A lead character in a silent movie would never lack energy. That’s how you exist in a silent movie, by trying to get some stuff done. You must have some kind of obsession that translates into visual terms. Keaton, Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon and many others played strong headed characters who were at odds with society or nature. Here, we watch again and again a guy without any aim, who has complacently given up for not very good reasons and who then suddenly starts from scratch for an even weaker motive.

      But, as I said, I don’t feel the competition is really strong. With the Weinsteins applying their knack to promote the hell out of their contender, a victory by The Artist would actually bother me much less than A King’s Speech winning over The Social Network last year. Even if they’re both innocuous and slight films.

      1. Dwight I find your comment really sexist. You sound like a white, 62 year old male. To dismiss The Help and The Descendents the way you do because they have a strong female audience is to do what Hollywood does every day.

        1. Oh please. calling someone anti-feminist for not liking those movies is bullshit and you’re obviously smart enough to know that. And I really liked The Descendents, btw. But The Help looks to my eyes like one of those movies where white people heroically save a group of helpless black people: exactly the sort of story so many African-Americans have been complaining about. Why aren’t there more stories about the African-Americans who have empowered themselves without the intervention of white people first?

      2. Dwigt,

        Your points are all valid with a caveat. I don’t believe this years films are in the league of Braveheart, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia or any of the classic best pictures.

        And so, in this year the competition is between several varied good films with no clear cut leader until recently as The Artist has been dominating other awards. This makes it more competitive. For example, and I favor Michelle, if Meryl, Michelle or Viola win best actress, it would be hard to make a case that another was more deserving.

        And yes, Harvey is Harvey. To this day it kills me that Shakespeare in Love was a best picture. I am always torn between the ‘honor’ of the Oscar versus the ‘marketing’ for the Oscar. Although I would prefer it to be about honor, I live in a world where ‘selling’ is everything…and, so reluctantly, I give Harvey his due.

        He is a master salesman.

        1. To this day, it kills me that people really think Saving Private Ryan was any good after the opening sequences (which were absolutely some of the most amazing film-making in movie history). Plodding, sleep-inducing, ordinary? SPR had all of those qualities. Greatness worthy of a decade of misplaced rage against Shakespeare in Love? Uh, no.

          1. um Mark, go ask 10 people what movie they remember and enjoyed more, Saving Private Ryan or Shakespeare in Love….9 of 10 will say Private Ryan, and that year was a total joke when Shakespeare and Love was bought for best picture.

  2. Kaminski has to win the Oscar for War Horse’s cinematography which is IMO hands down the best cinematography this year, and that includes GWTDT, or Hugo, The Artist doesn’t deserve it, but since it’s in B&W, I fear it’ll win.

    Sound editing and mixing should go to War Horse too, the battle scene most notably is out of this world. Best score for Williams too, fantastic score.

    1. John Williams’ score was horrendous. Heavy handed and blatantly manipulative. Just like the movie itself.

    2. I have not seen war horse, but I think tree of life should get it — even though I may not have been too thrilled about the movie. The artist will sweep unfortunately.

    3. Dagger, I fear that the woefully-underappreciated War Horse will end up with *maybe* a win for Williams, although I also would love to see the cinematography statue go to Kaminski. Apparently we saw a different movie than Rich or Daniel.

  3. A pretty exciting year and I agree with all the picks except Best Actress – I still think Meryl will grab that one.

  4. I think you’re right in all the major categories, but I’d LOVE an upset. Please. Something shocking and unexpected. Otherwise, I’ll be taking a long nap during the ceremony.

    1. It’s not her best work, she was so much better in doubt and julie and julia and the movie kinda is a bore. Viola has long deserved it since her performance in Doubt and if she doesn’t win, I would hope it’s michelle williams, who was superb. Glenn close has been nomonated 5 times and has never won.

    2. Oh yes, so true. Unfortunately we’ve had 30 years of annual disappointment in this race, so hang in there, Dustin. Her time has to come sometime? Doesn’t it?

    3. Don’t do that. The thinking may be that Meryl – while absolutely deserving of the award – has 2 awards already while Viola has none. And when would Viola have another chance to receive a nomination? Sadly, there are not that many good film roles for non-white women.

  5. Perhaps someone who loves the artist and any of those who dislike it — can explain to me why the impending sweep of this movie that is pure fluff with no substance can win this many awards? I found it to be borderline boring and I’m sorry but jean dujuardin does not deserve best actor — that should be george clooney — who gives such a powerful performance — if they only would watch each movie side by side, it would be clear which one is the better picture.

    But the artist absolutely puzzles me.

  6. When did Viola become the favorite? Just b/c she was selected by her union? When did that become the barometer? No question Viola is one of the best in Hollywood, but come on….

    No question Streep will win…she’s got the performance & Harvey behind her. Viola will win in another year for a performance that will be remembered for its merits.

  7. I think The Descendants should win for Best Picture and Best Actor for Clooney, simply because it’s a better movie than The Artist. However, The Artist has “the buzz” and that is hard to beat for Hollywood types (they always want to say they picked the winner).

  8. It all goes as predicted which is why the oscars want to move even sooner when really they should be moving to March — the last time there were any true shockers was when the pianist won best actor, editing and director and nicole kidman had won and renee had won the sag and that show was in march. There needs to be time for academy members and audiences to see the films — I don’t think that everyone has seen all 9 films and therefore just voting with what everyone else is going with.

  9. Pete,

    Hard to argue with most of your pics. But I think it’s been only a mediocre year for movies. There hasn’t been a great movie this year just some very good ones. The Descendants will win best adapted screenplay, but it is overly long and clunky in parts.And some of the basic plotting is ridiculous. I love Woody, but Midnight in Paris is not one of his best. It may be the best original script of the year, but that speaks more about the year than the script.

  10. Dear Pete,
    As Kim Novak’s manager, I’d like to make clear to you that she really liked the original score of “The Artist.” Her objection was only to the use of “Vertigo’s” score. Take that, Pete Hammond.
    Sue Cameron

  11. Thanke, Pete. Last year’s predictions yielded me $200 in the office Oscar pool. Where do I send your cut?

  12. I agree with most of Hammond’s predictions, but I think Oldman might stand a chance at a surprise win in the Best Actor category. If he had been nominated for the SAG and lost to Dujardin, then I’d say Dujardin had it locked up, but that wasn’t the case. Yes, I know the SAG and the actor’s branch of the Academy have a lot of the same members, but the Academy loves to give out lifetime achievement awards disguised as a Best Actor award.

    I just think that Dujardin’s SAG win may have been more of a backlash at the Clooney and Pitt press machines, as opposed to a true vote in favor of Dujardin. Nothing against Dujardin’s performance, as he did admirably in ‘The Artist’, but he’s come out of complete obscurity the last few weeks. Oldman has been around a long time, is an actor’s actor, and people like him. We’ll see what happens…..

  13. A bunch of crap movies in a crap business that has made it almost impossible to find one gem in the pile of manure. The Help and The Descendants? Two TV movies not even worthy of mention. The Artist was probably the best of the bunch, and why? Because the Weinsteins only acted as domestic distributor and didn’t have a hand in the casting or production — otherwise Gwyneth would have been playing Lina LaMont. It was a pleasure seeing a French screener of the movie, without any mention of the Weinsteins.

    In a business where most film executives don’t know the difference between King Vidor and King Kong, we are in serious trouble.

    Now excuse me as I try to finally get through my screener of “Tree Of Life”. I should have finished it by the voting cutoff, but it kept putting my DVD player to sleep.

    Don Lockwood

  14. Great work as always Pete. And, yes, War Horse is unfairly neglected. It is one of the best of the year.

  15. “The Artist” is the cinematic equivalent of the sweeping vistas of Overton, slightly acerbic in it’s rendition, yet delightfully willful, as marshals in post-modern terms can frightfully suggest. The audience, and those with whom calibrated responses aren’t always apparent, are similarly forged, and seem to be relegated to what R. Chapely once referred to as “the infinitesimal brilliance of scandal”. No wonder then that wherever “The Artist” is conditioned to a trove of careful cynicism, an equal number of participants encounter a seemingly endless well of unvarnished aplomb. Well done!

  16. with Hugo and Extremely Loud being nominated for best film, and Tinker Tailor for best script, it’s fair to say that the line between the Oscars and the Razzies has never been more blurred. Plus, Michelle Williams should have been nominated for Meek’s Cutoff, not Marilyn.

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