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84th Academy Awards Predictions

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Tomorrow is the day where the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences celebrates the movies. We’ve waited all year and its finally here. By the time host Billy Crystal delivers his last punchline and concludes the 84th Academy Awards, the evening will have seen many celebrity-presenters appear on the Oscar stage at the Kodak Theatre.

Here’s my predictions for Hollywood’s big night.

Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
George Clooney in “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Clooney’s performance was like none other he’s given before and with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN) and Jeff Bridges (CRAZY HEART), Fox Searchlight is on a roll. However, THE ARTIST’s Dujardin will take home his first Academy Award.

Possible upset – Brad Pitt is an all around good guy and it would be nice to see him win.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Captain Von Trapp will win the gold – he’s won every award leading up to the big night.

Possible upset – Max Von Sydow

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis in “The Help”
Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

While this may be Streep’s 17th nomination, Viola Davis has the win based on the pre-awards and all her campaigning.

Possible upset – I’ll play the Adrien Brody card and say Streep and Davis split the vote and Close finally wins an Oscar!

Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

She won everything else up to this point, so Spencer for the win. Spoilers need not apply

Animated Feature Film
“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
“Kung Fu Panda 2″ Jennifer Yuh Nelson
“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Easy race to call – pretty much a lock and so different than anything we’ve seen in animation.

Possible upset – I have to put my support with first time nominee Nelson – an upset in this category and the first woman to win would make for a special evening.

Art Direction
“The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
“War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

In case of a technical sweep by HUGO, this will be one of many wins over the evening.

Possible upset – THE ARTIST

Cinematography
“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
“Hugo” Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

The Academy’s way of acknowledging Malick’s film.

Possible upset – HUGO or THE ARTIST – they both have about an equal chance of an upset.

Costume Design
“Anonymous” Lisy Christl
“The Artist” Mark Bridges
“Hugo” Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Having won 3 previous times, Sandy Powell is another lock.

Possible upset – period piece THE ARTIST and because it has 10 nominations

Directing
“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” Alexander Payne
“Hugo” Martin Scorsese
“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Michel Hazanavicius; win will go part and parcel with the DGA award.

Possible upset – Payne pulls a Roman Polanski surprise win.

Documentary (Feature)
“Hell and Back Again” (Docurama Films) A Roast Beef Limited Production, Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Oscilloscope Laboratories) A Marshall Curry Production, Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” An @radical.media Production, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
“Pina” (Sundance Selects) A Neue Road Movies Production, Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
“Undefeated” (The Weinstein Company) A Spitfire Pictures Production, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory wins as it was the Cause Celebre of late.

Possible spoiler – PINA. The first 3D film nominated in this category dances its way home with the gold statuette.

Documentary (Short Subject)
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
“God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
“Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione
“Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

SAVING FACE for its intense look at women being defaced in Pakistan.

Possible upset – “God Is the Bigger Elvis” for its Hollywood story/connection.

Film Editing
“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

The way THE ARTIST was put together makes up for the lack of dialogue.

Possible upset – Consolation prize goes to either HUGO or THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

Foreign Language Film
“Bullhead” Belgium
“Footnote” Israel
“In Darkness” Poland
“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
“A Separation” Iran

A SEPARATION is the frontrunner…however…

Possible upset – The Holocaust based IN DARKNESS might pull off the win. This category always has some big surprise like when BIUTIFUL lost. You thought it had the edge but A BETTER WORLD won. Another example was when presumed winners WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2009), WHITE RIBBON (2010) lost to DEPARTURES and SECRET IN THEIR EYES.

Makeup
“Albert Nobbs” (Roadside Attractions) Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” (Warner Bros.) Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
“The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Company) Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

THE IRON LADY has the frontrunner status for Meryl Streep’s transformation as Lady Thatcher.

Possible upset – The gender bending ALBERT NOBBS.

Music (Original Score)
“The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
“The Artist” Ludovic Bource
“Hugo” Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse” John Williams

Easy one to call. It’s such a big part of the story.

Possible upset – THE WAR HORSE himself, John Williams.

Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Something is broken in this category and I still don’t know what’s going on in this group. Not exactly the most memorable of songs from THE MUPPETS, so I’ll go with Sergio Mendes’ catchy tune.

Best Picture
“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer
“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

The Weinstein Company’s THE ARTIST wins and becomes the 2nd silent movie to win Best Picture.

Possible upset – THE DESCENDANTS. It also has editing, directing, writing and the all important acting nods.

Short Film (Animated)
“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” was one of the sweetest and uplifting movies of 2011. And technically impressive.

Possible upset – With the family angle, LA LUNA.

Short Film (Live Action)
“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
“Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Possible upset – RAJU.

Sound Editing
“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Possible upset – TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Sound Mixing
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
“Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
“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
“War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Unlike the rest of the pack, I’ll go with TRANSFORMERS for the upset.

Visual Effects
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
“Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
“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
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

The Academy’s way to acknowledge the work of Andy Serkis and one of the best reviewed films of 2011.

Possible upset – When a movie is nominated for both Best Picture and Visual Effects, the film wins. HUGO.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Possible upset – If MONEYBALL wins anything, it will be here.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

Possible upset – It’s harder to tell a story without any words. THE ARTIST.

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Huge passion for film scores, Lives for the Academy Awards, Loves movie trailers.

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