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The 2012 Academy Awards – Predicting the winners

It’s that time again – time to watch me try to second-guess the Academy voters for the third year running! 2010 is still my best year, as I guessed 18/24 correctly. I should’ve tied that mark last year, but The King’s Speech stole best picture/best director, so I dropped down to 16/24. Not that I’m bitter or anything…

This year’s a bit weird for me. Usually, I’ve seen the Oscar-nominated acting performances by the time the big night arrives. But I didn’t catch either The Help or Beginners, so I’m mostly going with the popular opinion in picking Davis, Plummer, and Spencer to win. And I think most people consider Jean Dujardin the favourite for best actor, but I’ve already predicted Clooney (whose performance I didn’t even like) on the podcast, so now I’m stuck with him. Dammit…

Usually I’m pretty invested in the best picture/best director race. Like last year with Fincher vs. Hooper. Not so this year. I liked The Artist more than Hugo, but neither one really floored me. If anything, the category I’m pinning my hopes on this time around is best original screenplay, and it looks like Woody Allen has that pretty sewn up (knock on wood). Midnight In Paris was definitely my favourite film of 2011, so it would be nice to see it get at least one statuette.

One of the awards I’m really torn about is best cinematography. If it were up to me, Emmanuel Lubezki would walk away the winner no questions asked. His work on The Tree Of Life was quite simply astonishing. But the two powerhouses at this year’s show (aka The Artist and Hugo) are considered strong contenders. That begs the question the whole ceremony is built around this year: do you go with the throwback, or the one that’s pushing the medium forward with 3D? My heart says neither – go with the one that’s straight-up mindblowing: The Tree Of Life. Lubezki won the American Society Of Cinematographers Award earlier this year, but that’s far from a guarantee. In the last ten years, only half the ASC winners have gone on to claim the Oscar.

So who actually gets the award then? The Artist feels like the “safe” pick, so I’m going to give it the nod, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it go another way. Time will tell.

My complete predictions are below.

Best Picture: Thomas Langmann for The Artist
Best Actor: George Clooney for The Descendants
Best Actress: Viola Davis for The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer for Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer for The Help
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, and Jim Rash for The Descendants
Best Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist
Best Editing: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo for Hugo
Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges for The Artist
Best Makeup: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland for The Iron Lady
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource for The Artist
Best Original Song: Bret McKenzie for “Man Or Muppet” from The Muppets
Best Sound Mixing: Tom Fleischman and John Midgely for Hugo
Best Sound Editing: Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom for War Horse
Best Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, and Daniel Barrett for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Best Animated Feature Film: Gore Verbinski for Rango
Best Foreign Language Film: Asghar Farhadi for A Separation
Best Documentary, Features: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Best Documentary, Short Subjects: Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for Saving Face
Best Short Film, Animated: William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg for The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Short Film, Live Action: Terry George and Oorlagh George for The Shore

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