With 1,001 good and not so good distractions keeping me away from my movie-watching life this month, I recognize I am late to the game on offering my take on this particular Oscar season. I commend my colleagues for their incredible work this year and while I may not have contributed as much as them, either in volume or in content, I have loved being a part of the Awards Circuit team for nearly one full year. I therefore recognize that once Billy Crystal tells us goodnight Sunday evening, everyone will exhale, purge all their memories of the good and bad of the 2011 Oscar year, and recharge their batteries in anticipation of which next great film will emerge out of the ether and leap off the page.
A year ago when I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the Awards Circuit, no one knew that a clever and loving ode to the silent film era would become the frontrunner to win Best Picture. For the few of us who are still passionate about The Artist, it takes great comfort that the film has withstood a backlash that would have derailed other films. You can call it “slight”, “understated”, “nothing all that memorable” if you choose to. However, I guarantee that Michel Hazanavicius, Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, and the team behind The Artist never, in their wildest dreams, envisioned that they would be in this position with their humble little film. If The Artist does indeed walk away with Best Picture, it will be a thrill because not only does that film work indelibly well with me, almost inexplicably so, but it marks something different and unique. For everyone who railed against the older Academy reverting back to their recliners and heating pads in selecting The King’s Speech last year, The Artist does feel like the safer, older-skewing choice but I would argue that the selection of The Artist falls more in line with an Academy who tested the unpopular waters in selecting the low budget, ambitious, and festival worn The Hurt Locker in 2009.
Excited as I anticipate being with the final call of the night, I am reminded of many films that are not here and this year provided many more disappointments than successes for me as an Oscarwatcher; or more accurately, an Awards Circuiter (I am registering the trademark…). To those who mention that this was not a good year in film, it absolutely was. However, to borrow a tired narrative for American politics, the youth vote stayed home while the older vote came out in droves. Take out the nominations for Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara this year, and the Academy plugged in older names and older-themed dramatic work to recognize this year, discarding bold and innovative cinematic offerings that would have ushered in a new crop of talented actors and filmmakers, receiving profound and global attention for the first time this weekend.
Read more on Oscar 2012: Will Win/Should Win (Ward)…
There’s probably no awards show I like more year in and year out than the Independent Spirit Awards. It’s quirky as can be and tends to honor films the Academy wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. As always, there’s some crossover with Oscar, but no more than usual (though ‘The Artist’ did as well here as indie favorites ‘Drive’ and ‘Take Shelter’, so make of that what you will). As for how the ceremony might go, I admit to not always being the greatest with these predictions, but I always take a crack at it. This year is as hard a one to decipher as ever, but that’s not going to stop me from doing my best to give you a complete look at the potential wins, upsets, and everything in between, since…well, it’s my job and all. Anyway, enough of me waxing poetic on my love of the Spirit Awards, since that’s not what you want to read. You want a real preview of the show, so it’s time for that. Let’s go ahead now and take a look at how the Spirit Awards might turn out on Saturday night, starting right off with the big categories!
Read more on Previewing the Spirit Awards…
It’s Friday. Oscars are on Sunday. I’ve rattled my brain for hours, days, weeks. It hurts. I can’t. I am fully ready to be wrong in many categories. I also chickened out in several categories.
I wanted to put Max Von Sydow instead of Christopher Plummer. Not happening. Can I get some type of credit if it happens? No? I thought so. I wanted to place “The Artist” winning Original Screenplay over Woody Allen and “Midnight in Paris.” Terrible. I’m usually good at taking the big stabs. I chose Amy Adams when everyone said it was Rachel Weisz. I acknowledged I was wrong but I still went for it. It happens. But I have called great things like “The Hurt Locker” in May or Alan Arkin over Eddie Murphy and when I was in high school and had no idea what I was talking about I said Marcia Gay Harden for “Pollock.” Maybe it’ll be a safe year, maybe it’ll be a complete mind-trip, but at least it’ll be over. And then we can start this painful process again on Monday morning with the Year-In-Advance predictions.
You can check out each category through the Oscar Prediction pages with commentary for each category and my Who Will Win/Should Win. If you read the Davis Awards 2011, then you know my dream nominations and winners. Collectively, they are after the jump.
Read more on Editor’s Final Oscar Predictions…
Categories: Article, Editor, Oscar Circuit
Tags: Alexander Payne
, best picture
, Christopher Plummer
, Emmanuel Lubezski
, jean dujardin
, Jim Rash
, Michel Hazanavicius
, Midnight in Paris
, Nat Faxon
, Octavia Spencer
, oscar predictions
, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
, the artist
, The Descendants
, The Help
, The Muppets
, The Tree of Life
, Viola Davis
, Woody Allen
And the Nominees Are:
Demian Bichir for “A Better Life”
Oscar scene: Telling his son that he does everything for him
George Clooney for “The Descendants”
Oscar scene: Saying goodbye to his wife
Jean Dujardin for “The Artist”
Oscar scene: Our introduction to George Valentin
Gary Oldman for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Oscar scene: Smiley describing the time he met Karla
Brad Pitt for “Moneyball”
Oscar scene: Telling Jonah Hill that if they win, they’ll have changed the game forever
The strongest of the acting categories this year, Best Actor is one of the few that has multiple possibilities of an outcome, and that’s a tremendous thing to have this late in the game. This year’s slate is made up of one prior Oscar winner, one prior nominee, and 3 newcomers, including one long overdue gentleman. Even though there were lots of snubbed performances in this category in 2011, that speaks more to the quality of the lead acting performances during the season than the actual work of the nominees. These are 5 of the top 20 acting jobs of 2011, and that’s a solid grouping by any regard. To learn about how this race might go down, let’s start by looking at some history for Best Actor, shall we?
Read more on Oscar Circuit: Best Actor…
Categories: Oscar Circuit
Tags: Best Actor
, Brad Pitt
, demian bichir
, Gary Oldman
, George Clooney
, jean dujardin
, Oscar hopefuls
, the artist
, The Descendants
, tinker tailor soldier spy
Take a gander at what the ICS awards looked like:
01. A Separation
02. The Tree of Life
03. Mysteries of Lisbon
04. Certified Copy
07. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
09. Meek’s Cutoff
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
runner-up: Asghar Farhadi – A Separation
Read more on International Cinephile Society Award Winners!…