Four days left. From time to time during my first year as The Awards Circuit’s staff writer, I have been regarded as the snobby, deliberate contrarian who panned popular movies just to get a reaction. Those kinds of accusations are to be expected in this profession these days, but it also belied the number films I genuinely enjoyed this year, including surprisingly quite a few that improved in my eyes when giving them a second chance. Even flawed films like Shame, A Dangerous Method and Sleeping Beauty lingered far longer in my mind than most films one would label as a “disappointment.” In fact, not since 2007 have I been so fond of so many movies, and while I am not a fan of the majority of Oscar’s Best Picture nominees, the unlikely inclusion of my #1 of the year is enough for me to cheer their judgment this time. Indeed, I could not have hoped for a more exciting year to be drafted here, as it is the unpredictability of this year’s Oscar race that has yielded a surfeit of pleasant surprises and shifting bets. There were thankfully few early frontrunners that will “coast” their way to a win, with the current leaders only taking shape in the past few days. I of course have published my own ideas as to what qualified as the most award-worthy film achievements of 2011, because why should the Academy have all the fun? Here are my Oscar 2012 Will Win/Should Win/Should Have Been Nominated selections:
Best Motion Picture of 2011
Will Win: Maybe the backlash will reach critical mass at the last minute, maybe the Globes curse will rear its head, but the reality is that there is nothing stopping The Artist at this point. The epitome of 2011’s collective nostalgia is historically matched only by Slumdog Millionaire in its precursor run.
Should Win: I am simply over-the-moon that The Tree of Life has been given a chance to compete for Best Picture, though I know it has no actual shot at winning. No matter, just like The Thin Red Line, this masterpiece doesn’t need a trophy to secure its place as a future classic. Long after the pleasantries of The Artist (which I liked, promise!) fade away, I guarantee that people will still be pondering, debating, discussing Malick’s film for years to come.
Should Have Been Nominated: The astonishing A Separation would’ve been a sure nominee if it were an American production, and will be remembered more fondly than most of the actual nominees. In the wake of all the naval-gazing films last year pining away for The Way Things Were, here was a movie of startling immediacy, one that highlighted the very complex (and mostly self-created) moral, social, religious and political issues we face here and now. The Interrupters’ journey through a seemingly endless web of violence to find hope, however small, was a far more relevant and bold piece of social commentary than a film like The Help ever attempted. Speaking of superior social commentaries, post-gay cinema continued to run circles around heteronormative romances with the sensual, intelligent Weekend. All of these films would have been more than worthy Best Picture nominees and should have been nominated.
Will Win: Like last year, it appears that many are predicting a Picture/Director split; this time between Scorsese and The Artist. I won’t make the same mistake I did before, as those kinds of splits are far rarer than people like to believe. The only instances in the past twenty years where such a thing happened were shocking upsets or rare situations for the nominated directors. Scorsese is not a dual nominee like Soderbergh was and he already won an Oscar five years ago for a better film.
Should Win: There isn’t a whole lot I can say about Malick’s monumental work on his most personal project that I haven’t already elaborated on. What more can one ask of an uncompromising filmmaker’s 30-year project than a film that combines everything they are as an auteur, especially one as singular as him?
Should Have Been Nominated: Steve James’ achievement with The Interrupters was every bit the equal of Hoop Dreams, perhaps even more so since he dropped voiceover in favor of allowing his heroes to narrate their own stories. With all due respect to everyone’s favorite nebbish NYC comedian-turned-filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami’s best film since Taste of Cherry was the true director comeback story of the year; a seemingly pretentious, concepty gimmick executed with uncommon warmth, wisdom and honesty. Pina, the exhilarating dance documentary that I unfortunately missed before publishing my year-end top ten list, defied traditional biography approach to Pina Bausch in favor of letting her work speak for itself. The genius of the film lied not in the dance numbers – which of course were thrilling – but in the artistry of Wim Wenders’ capturing of the human body in its athletic versatility. His rich cinematic approach gave every movement simultaneous feelings of joy and mourning that revealed more about the famed choreographer than exposition ever could. Last but certainly not least, Asghar Farhadi’s precision with A Separation was the heart and soul of great storytelling, as every decision he made was perfectly assembled into a prism of refracting ideologies.
Best Lead Actor
Will Win: To my relief, the impossibly charming Jean Dujardin has danced, beamed and delighted his way through the precursors to being the frontrunner of the Best Actor race. I’m sure his acceptance speech will be as adorable as the others.
Should Win: Well, certainly not Clooney, who even in his best moments as Matt King only teased at actually moving past his tiresome Clooneyisms before diving right back into them for the majority of the film. It’s no wonder the tides are favoring the more effervescent work of Dujardin, but even he comes in second to my vote for Brad Pitt, who fully worked all of his strengths to full effect in making his thorny and charismatic Billy Beane a prime example of what a “Star Performance” is capable of.
Should Have Been Nominated: Short of Pitt and the tender, appropriately stoic Bichir, none of my favorite male lead performances made headway in the Oscar race. Peyman Mooadi’s Nader may have been the most important performance in A Separation, as it was his shift from moral absolutism into repressed uncertainty that formed the thematic backbone of the film’s many ideas. Michael Shannon’s tendency to showboat sometimes make me forget how magnetic an actor he can be. Luckily, the otherwise plodding, belabored thriller Take Shelter had the good sense to calibrate a slow burn performance from him; his big eyes and quivering voice as terrified of his own descent into madness as we are, so when he does get his Big Acting Scene, it feels earned. Tom Cullen’s shy, hesitant layers slowly peeling away in the face of his budding romance in Weekend was one of the sweetest and most authentic character arcs I saw all year. That his co-star Chris New, Shame’s committed Michael Fassbender, the ferocious Woody Harrelson, the reptilian Gary Oldman and Ewan McGregor’s best performance since Moulin Rouge! missed my personal shortlist is not a slight of their abilities but a testament to how great 2011 was for lead actors.
Best Lead Actress
Will Win: The narrative that pundits and Oscarphiles are pushing is Davis vs. Streep, and while some of the latter’s more, erm, ardent fans are jumping on her BAFTA victory as a sign that the tides are turning, I’m still betting that the industry-wide love for Davis in a far more popular film (honestly, does anyone even like The Iron Lady?) will make her the winner this year…
Should Win: …and why shouldn’t she? Viola Davis never outright fought Tate Taylor’s anodyne narrative but still valiantly rejected one-dimensional sanctification of The Help’s true hero, and communicated through understated resentment and saucy candor the bold work that her movie should have been. It was through her that The Help rose above the drivel of previous White Guilt films, and her refusal to let Aibileen be defined by who she served that make her the most deserving nominee by a mile and a half. It’s strange, just last year we had a Best Actress lineup so strong that even the weakest nominee (and eventual winner) held up fairly well among past victors, and now we have only one nominee that’s worth a damn.
Should Have Been Nominated: It’s pretty much a no-brainer at this point that I would have selected Juliette Binoche’s career-best work in Certified Copy as not only a nominee but the winner of the whole thing, but the real question is why almost none of the precursors also felt that way? Her simultaneous embodiment of a distinct woman and the idea of her was Kiarostami’s greatest asset in giving his think piece the lived-in quality it needed. Mia Wasikowska gave what may have been my favorite portrayal of the titular heroine in Jane Eyre, using the slightest variations of her eyes and face to convey a multitude of inner reflection that the film wisely showcased for its biggest emotional dramatics. I am confident that she will one day be given her due by the Academy. Despite her heart-wrenching journey to express herself artistically just as her mind began to shut down in Poetry, Jeong-hie Yun’s cardinal sin in the Oscar race was being Asian, apparently, and if someone with the clout of Julie Christie or Emma Thompson gave the kind of deeply wounded performance that Olivia Colman did in Tyrannosaur, this race would have been a done deal long ago.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: While the critics’ guilds were split between Brooks and Plummer, the former’s surprise (but not exactly “outrageous”) snub by the Academy has all but sealed the deal for the veteran player in Mike Mills’ beautiful film.
Should Win: Of all the frontrunners of this year’s Oscar race, this is by far my favorite of the lot. If Plummer wins for his generous and delicately-played inhabitation of a renewed soul, epitomizing both the romantic core of Beginners while remaining distinctly as a foundation to his lead’s own realization, it’ll be the first time that my favorite supporting actor perfectly aligns with the Academy’s since…damn, Martin Landau? Maybe Del Toro in 2001?
Should Have Been Nominated: Contrary to Academy Award history and hyperbolic critics, the best supporting performances of the year are not often ones that “steal the show,” either through attention–grabby acting or simply being a fraudulent lead, but ones who actually support their film and co-stars. They arrive subtly, infuse their characters with more life and presence than their screen time allows, and leave with indelible but not always obvious contributions. As an advocate for these kinds of unselfish performers, I took extra care to comb over and single out the most essential supporting character work this year, including a second and slightly more rewarding look at A Dangerous Method (kudos to Joseph’s review for persuading me to do so) to appreciate Viggo Mortensen’s sly, robust portrayal of Sigmund Freud. On the surface his smug demeanor and cigar chomping seemed like mere comic relief until I noticed the deeper finesses of his characterization. His ego proved only one facet of his focused observational eyes and pithy but meticulous voicing of his famed theories. I complained previously at how he “simply isn’t challenged enough” by A Dangerous Method, but I now see he was the one challenging Cronenberg’s uneven film the whole time. Or how about Shea Whigham, the least recognized but perhaps most vital player of Take Shelter, whose disintegrating trust in his friend provided us with the most relatable view of our wholly untrustworthy protagonist? Shahab Hosseini’s hot-headedness was more volatile acting than my other preferred nominees, but his naked, unpredictable emotion was perfectly matched in the context of A Separation’s flawed characters and moral compromise. Not that I am entirely averse to a secondary character stealing the show, as was the case of Corey Stoll’s shamelessly obvious impersonation of the Ernest Hemingway persona. His ace monologue supplied nearly all of the humor and wit that I desperately looked for in the rest of Midnight in Paris.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Precursor support would suggest that Octavia Spencer will take this one to the bank, and while she still doesn’t “feel” like a Best Supporting Actress winner, I can’t honestly see anyone else overtaking her at this point. Bejo and Chastain’s nominations seem to be viewed as breakthrough “nomination is the reward” deals, McTeer’s film is a dead shark, and I don’t have faith that the Academy will Go There with a performance as raucous as McCarthy’s.
Should Win: Yep, I’m still rooting for the woman who shit in the sink. Sure, Melissa McCarthy got the funniest lines handed to her on a silver platter, but she earned each and every one of them with her bold, fiercely dedicated portrayal of what could have easily been a vulgar stereotype. Because of McCarthy, we laughed at Megan’s chutzpah, but not at her, and that’s an important and praiseworthy distinction.
Should Have Been Nominated: The infidelity drama Tuesday, After Christmas boasted not one but two remarkable supporting performances from Mirela Oprişor and Maria Popistaşu as the wronged wife and the cheating mistress, respectively. Popistaşu avoided the easy naïveté or cynicism that most would lazily portray the Other Woman with, instead discovering a character of unexpected poise even as she slid into doubt. Oprişor’s contained breakdown at discovering her husband’s betrayal was unbearably heartbreaking to witness. One of the most clichéd stock characters to emerge in recent cinema is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which is why it was so refreshing to see Mélanie Laurent – an actress I normally don’t care for – convey the moony, charming and slightly odd Anna as much more than a tired screenwriter’s conceit. Towering above them all, however, was the tremendous Sareh Bayat. Visibly weighed down by her lack of education and the unforgiving doctrines of her religion, Razieh’s conflicting motivations of fear, faith and an unexpectedly strong sense of pride ended up the standout of the best ensemble of 2011. While I applaud Jessica Chastain’s phenomenal year, there just wasn’t enough room for her on my own shortlist, though her fleshing out of the Concerned Wife stock character in Take Shelter came the closest.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Only a field as weak as this one could turn the most offensive Oscar contender of the year, and really of the past several years, into an Academy Award winner. Opening with an in-your-face elitist monologue about how misunderstood the obscenely wealthy are, this supposed glimpse into a “complicated” relationship and “flawed man” proceeded to bend over backwards to protect Matt King from us feeling anything even approaching conflicted thoughts toward him, surrounding us with an array of coarse, ugly exaggerations of implausible characters to distract us from his own passive-aggressive behavior. Then it had the gall to expect us to cry with him during his constipated farewell to his wife (whom we get zero insight into) that had not one iota of believability. This reprehensible attempt to have its tearjerking cake and eat it too is going to win an Oscar for its writing. Despicable. Payne and co. can happily join Simon Beaufoy and Eric Roth among the worst Adapted Screenplay winners of the past twenty years.
Should Win: While the narrative was dense to a fault, O’Connor and Straughan’s simultaneous condensation and restructuring of John le Carré’s byzantine spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the most ambitious feat of adaptation this year, peppered with sharp touches in plotting and dialogue that made its shadowy intrigue all the more compelling…if occasionally hard to follow.
Should Have Been Nominated: Speaking of making interesting changes to source material, Moira Buffini’s take on the seemingly over-adapted Jane Eyre was a deft blend of faithfulness and creative changes that placed it among the best of the Brontë adaptations. Despite a tad too much exposition in its first hour, 13 Assassins nevertheless breathed new life into the jidaigeki genre by blending equal doses of reverence and satiric bite toward the Edo value system. Kudos also to Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe for conveying through Higher Ground what must have been a lifelong struggle with faith in just under two hours without setting up strawmen or narrative contrivances. No film adapted from an existing source material last year was an unqualified success, but these five all had noteworthy merits.
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: I don’t think I’ll ever “get” the widespread adulation for Woody Allen’s thin, airless Midnight in Paris, but at this point I am fully on board with the theory that they’ll honor his most financially successful film here. It is exactly the kind of “writer’s film” that can overthrow a Best Picture juggernaut in this category, as Eternal Sunshine did in 2005, The Pianist pulled off in 2003 and Almost Famous managed in 2001.
Should Win: The more I think about A Separation – which is a lot, by the way – the more I fear that its widely-agreed upon brilliance may be taken for granted over time. While I have no illusions of an upset win for the best-written film of 2011, I feel a stronger desire for it live on past the Oscars; to have its potent insights continue to haunt us for years to come.
Should Have Been Nominated: Abbas Kiarostami and Andrew Haigh infused their romantic dramas with probing ideas on relationship ambivalence and identity, ending up with far more to say than Allen managed in the entirety of Midnight in Paris. While not nearly as heady, Mike Mills’ semi-autobiographical script for Beginners was beautifully tender and generous in creating its achingly sympathetic characters. Even with its occasional long-winded and overfamiliar moments, Chang-dong Lee still accomplished an impressively literary and, yes, poetic screenplay for Poetry, with one of the year’s most bracing endings.
Best Art Direction
Will Win: One of the few done deals of this race, Ferretti and Lo Schiavo have all but won the Oscar for their colossal (if overwrought) undertakings on Hugo.
Should Win: As I argued in my Oscar Circuit piece on the subject, War Horse’s showcase of international film styles was made all the more impressive by its handsome, era-specific production design.
Should Have Been Nominated: The Academy’s snub of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s bleak, oppressive post-Modern offices and seedy meeting rooms ranks among the most infuriating this year. It was a blessing in this age of unimaginative visual sense to see a director utilize detailed, evocative mise-en-scène (among other tools unique to cinema) to pull his audience into his story, especially one as convoluted as that one. Only slightly behind it was Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty, with striking, thematically relevant spaces recalling the best of Buñuel and Breillat. No love either for the thick, eerie locations of Jane Eyre, Antxón Gómez’s textured use of color, props and locations to fit the deviousness of The Skin I Live In, or the deceptively peaceful deathtrap constructed for 13 Assassins. Oh well…
Best Film Editing
Will Win: In the past ten years, this award has been doled out to the Best Picture winner six times and the ACE Eddie winner every time. With no visibly edited films competing for this prize, it looks like The Artist has yet another Oscar in the bag. Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall perhaps might spoil due to their nominee being the “most” edited, but with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo missing out in Best Picture I can’t imagine this category’s first ever back-to-back winners.
Should Win: Moneyball’s back-and-forths were as zippily cut as the best of classic screwball comedies, with enough measured pacing to make its dips into backstory and introspection feel organic rather than jarring.
Should Have Been Nominated: Any editor that works on a Malick film deserves credit for cutting the piles of footage that he assembles into a manageable feature. For the team behind The Tree of Life, their work was a triumph, deliberately pacing their intangible memory-poem like a symphony flowing through all of its expansions and collapses of time and space. Beginners also managed similar feats of organically moving through past, present and future with the free-flow momentum of memory. Less smooth but no less vital to its effect was Melancholia. Arguably the best edited Lars von Trier film yet, its disorienting cuts threw me off in the first half before implying an odd continuity between it and the second chapter, which was the most convincing factor in me theorizing that “Claire” was Justine’s dream. When it came to fast pacing, no movie could match the relentless roller-coaster ride that Paul Tothill constructed out of Joe Wright’s admittedly empty thriller Hanna. But even that did not amaze me as much as how uncannily precise the editing of A Separation was, not only because of the exactitude of its story progression, but in how Hayedeh Safiyari’s invisible hand so easily manipulated my own perspective through the layers of conflicting accounts and muddled truths of its feuding characters.
Will Win: I’m REALLY trying not to get my hopes up here, but with all the critics’ awards, ASC victory and nomination for a Best Picture contender, it looks like Emmanuel Lubezki will finally score his long-overdue Academy Award for The Tree of Life. If by some travesty he doesn’t, I think it’s safe to assume that he has at some point killed and eaten the first-borns of every Academy member.
Should Win: That this is only the third-best lensing in the career of my favorite living cinematographer should tell you just how accomplished this man is. But honoring his prolific career is certainly not the only reason why his expert use of soft light is far and away the most deserving nominee.
Should Have Been Nominated: Manuel Alberto Claro has been praised – and rightly so – for his visually stunning apocalypses that bookend Melancholia, but even smarter was his use of dim yellow lighting and stark digital photography to match Justine’s inner gloom. I’ve advocated for the neon haze of Drive and the haunting greyness of Jane Eyre before, but I should also extend kudos to Chris Blauvelt’s captivating use of 1.33:1 aspect ratio to capture the harshness of Meek’s Cutoff in a way that felt both old-fashioned and appropriately anachronistic.
Best Costume Design
Will Win: This category, as we noted in this week’s podcast, is a fucking crapshoot this year. There are persuasive arguments for each and every one of the nominees. While I originally advocated for Jane Eyre’s complex threads, I am now switching my vote for the glamorous costumes of The Artist, winner of the BAFTA, BFCA, CDG award for its outfits.
Should Win: Having not seen the affront to literary integrity that is Anonymous, or Madonna’s W./E. (yes, that’s how it’s officially spelled), I will admit upfront that my initial stumping for Jane Eyre’s textured work was based partially on it being my personal favorite of the nominees.
Should Have Been Nominated: 2009’s winner, the legendary Sandy Powell, hilariously and refreshingly scolded the Academy for rarely recognizing the achievements of contemporary costume design. If they had listened to her, David Robinson’s work in Jason Reitman’s otherwise rubbish Young Adult would have almost certainly been a nominee here for his ingeniously character-specific costumes revealing tantalizing details about its mostly far-fetched characters. Also a contemporary achievement were the simple, memorable outfits of Drive, with the scorpion jacket being the most iconic single piece of clothing I saw last year. The most vital costume work of the year arguably goes to Meek’s Cutoff, not only for its historically accurate and realistically worn-out designs, but their vital contributions to the psychological intensity and themes of its characters holding on in the the desolate frontier that had become their prison.
Will Win: Looking at the history of fantasies scoring in this category, as well as the decade-long buildup of goodwill leading its jaw-dropping box office success, I am inclined to believe that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will score the franchise’s only Oscar here.
Should Win: I would normally be very happy with the boy wizard’s final film winning for its impressive prosthetic work and transformation of Ralph Fiennes into a noseless monstrosity…but then I remember the ending. Oh sweet Jesus, that ending. I just can’t support any makeup award going to such laughably poor old age effects, especially with The Iron Lady doing a much better job of making Meryl Streep into an elderly, broken shell of Margaret Thatcher.
Should Have Been Nominated: The work that went into Sigmund Freud alone should have guaranteed a spot for A Dangerous Method in this category, but even without him you had impressive accentuation of Knightley’s ruddy, bony features and Fassbender’s chiseled handsomeness. The surprising severity of Jane Eyre’s hair and makeup, especially for the women, contributed greatly to its gothic iconography. Choosing a winner, I would go with Contagion taking full advantage of its audience’s biological paranoia with makeup work that nailed the look of both disease and fatigue on a terrified populace.
Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, on top of being a surprise sleeper hit last summer, has by far the most widely-praised and technically ambitious motion capture work of the nominees and has been touted as the frontrunner. However, since Best Visual Effects was officially established as its own category in 1977, no Best Picture nominee has ever lost this award, so I am betting that Hugo takes it instead.
Should Win: I just never fell in love with Rise of the Planet of the Apes the way my colleagues did, and not just because of its bland story and character arcs being spelled out in the first act, or the almost comically wooden performances from its “human” actors. What disappointed me most was how its much-ballyhooed visual effects left me cold. The final effect just didn’t persuade me at any point that I was looking at anything other than CG apes, and that sense that they were just a little bit “off” took me out of the experience, but I cannot deny the extraordinary technical undertaking it must have been…
Should Have Been Nominated: I try to avoid calling these categories the “technicals.” It comes off as a backhanded put-down to some very hardworking folks whose contributions are no less artistically vital than the actors and writers of a film. But when I see the Academy ignore the beautifully abstract cosmos, planets and single-celled organisms rendered for The Tree of Life in favor of more expensive but far less interesting visuals for films like Real Steel, I wonder if maybe they too see themselves as nothing more than simple technicians. The joyous Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol boasted some of the most organic visual effects of the year, giving its often ridiculous sequences a modicum of plausibility. Of course it wasn’t nominated.
Best Sound Mixing/Editing
Will Win: No use having separate entries for what will most likely go to the same film. Despite its flat sound, Hugo has won the CAS, MPSE and BAFTA awards, and since the winner of one sound award usually wins the other, I’m inclined to believe that it will take both Mixing and Editing.
Should Win: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is easily my pick among the Sound Mixing nominees, with its foreboding, constant howls of its setting’s perpetual snowstorm giving the film the refreshing feel of an ominous horror flick. As for Sound Editing, I’d love to see a bone thrown to the roaring engines of Drive’s only nod (cheer up, fans; Fight Club’s only Oscar nomination was also for Sound Editing!).
Should Have Been Nominated: Other than Rampart, which I’ve argued for previously, Meek’s Cutoff and The Tree of Life had essential soundscapes that contributed greatly to their respective experiences. I’m a bit more of a sucker for loud and obvious sounds when it comes to Sound Editing, though, so sue me for believing that the crashes, engine purrs and revs of Fast Five and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol were almost as delicious to hear as Drive’s. Rango also was a smorgasbord of wonderfully inventive sounds to compliment its cartoon logic, from Rattlesnake Jake’s gattling gun to the chaos unleashed by the falcon in Dirt. Hell, I’d even give a nod to We Need to Talk About Kevin. As much as I disliked its puerile themes and lurid imagery, the individual sound effects of Lynne Ramsay’s freak show were exquisite.
Best Original Score
Will Win: The debate over whether or not the Best Picture frontrunner will pull off a “sweep” or not rages on, but if there is only one below-the-line Oscar that The Artist is poised to take it’s this. Crammed with music from start to finish, not even the mini-controversy over its aping of a Bernard Herrmann piece really slowed down Ludovic Bource’s momentum.
Should Win: Alberto Iglesias’ idioms were well-matched with the shadows of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The insinuating blend of delicate melodies and sinister rhythms gave a quirky personality to Alfredson’s Cold War maze.
Should Have Been Nominated: This year – even more than the last – was a standout for experimental/electro-rock scores for films. My favorite among them was Cliff Martinez’s slick synth score for Drive. While I have cooled on that film in the months since, its dazzling flow of music and sound cannot be overpraised. The Chemical Brothers achieved a similar synergy with Hanna, with their distinct style kiln-blasting Joe Wright’s thrill ride with forceful and sometimes disorienting electronica. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross did not create a score as iconic as The Social Network but in many ways more fitting and effective to David Fincher’s tight, rough textures applied to a project far beneath their collective abilities.
As for the rest, it goes without saying that I’m thrilled to see Gore Verbinski’s fabulously bonkers Rango be the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature, I’m still wary of thinking A Separation will beat out a Holocaust drama for Best Foreign Language Film, and that I just don’t give a shit about Best Original Song anymore to even care that The Muppets’ third-best song will probably win the award.
So…what do you all think? Am I on to something with my predictions, or do you think I shamefully overlooked someone or something when giving you my own personal picks? Let loose in the comments. Don’t hold back!