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« Red Carpet Sans Chatter. And Michelle Williams. | Main | 2 Days Till Oscar. Speech! Speech! Speech! »

Final Oscar Predictions: Oui, It's "The Artist" 

We'll talk more this weekend but I want to get this posted. I'll be applauding loudly when The Artist wins. Everyone always complains that Oscar doesn't appreciate comedies and then when they do, everyone always screams "trifle!" with holier than thou disgust; the Academy can't win! But this (presumed) winner is a beauty. All twinkly-eyed, big hearted and (mostly) light on its feet. The only real question seems to be how many Oscars will it win. I'm guessing seven... though three of those guesses are easy to see flopping (Actor, Costumes, Cinematography). I don't see it any scenario where it wins Art Direction, Supporting Actress or Screenplay so I'm guessing seven is the maximum. Since you can make such a viable argument for literally any of the five nominees to win Costume Design, I'm guessing the showiness / baitiness of all of them will tip things ever so slightly into the Artist column, which is also I think what's going in Cinematography. I just can't quite believe that "El Chivo" will finally win the gold he's deserved for so long (the latest chance being with The Tree of Life). I've highlighted the true nailbiter categories in red; if you get them right you win the Office Pool.

Best Picture
Will Win: The Artist
SpoilerThe Descendants and The Help are the only films with spoiler heat but even if you try and talk yourself into them, you think you're lying right?
Should Win: Haters gon' hate but The Artist is a beautiful funny rare gift. 

Best Director
Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Spoiler: Martin Scorsese started precursor season strong with Hugo but the movie has been cooling so I have to wonder if it isn't Alexander Payne in second position for The Descendants
Should Win: I'll clap loudly for Hazanavicius but if they decide not to give the Artist everything, a surprise career win for Terrence Malick would be delicious

all categories after the jump...

Best Actress
Will Win: Viola ... but it's probably a squeaker and a tie would be wondrous.
Spoiler: The Streep
Should Win: Viola

Best Actor
Will Win: Jean Dujardin
Spoiler: George Clooney... and I worry that he actually will win since this year's presumed winner list in major categories is way too deserving almost across the board. That never happens. And though I think Clooney was superb in his last two Oscar nominated performances, I can't buy this particular performance. It has some nice beats here and there but it's the least authentic feeling of the five nominated star turns.
Should Win: Brad Pitt

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Spoiler: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids (more on this performance
Should Win: It's dangerous to give an actor and Oscar too early in their career but I admit that I'd probably vote for Jessica Chastain here, given the year she had and how much I also like her work as Celia Foote in The Help. But none of my three favorites were nominated in this category.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Spoiler: Some people have floated the notion that Max von Sydow could surprise but I just don't feel there's enough love for the film out there. It's nominations felt extremely exact-timing based. Release the movie a week earlier or push the nominations a week later or whatnot and it vanishes, right? 
Should Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Midnight in Paris was well loved and widely seen, and that's often a winning combination.
Spoiler:  A Separation's fandom has been growing but Woody Allen will be tough to beat in the category that loves him most. 
Should Win: A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Though I don't understand all the praise for The Descendants writing, I'm fully aware that I'm in the minority about its value and about the film in general which is, my least favorite Best Picture nominee.
Spoiler: Moneyball has star screenwriters and if the movie can win anywhere, isn't it here?
Should Win: Moneyball

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win: A Separation
Spoiler: As Robert was just discussing, foreign film frontrunners often fail to win and if the Academy isn't truly crazy about A Separation, Poland's In Darkness fits right into the subgenre they love (World War II Holocaust related)
Should Win: A Separation

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win: Pina
Spoiler: Hell and Back Again
Should Win: I have to abstain here as I haven't seen all the films.

Best Animated Feature
Will Win: Rango
Spoiler: Chico and Rita
Should Win: I should abstain as I haven't had the time to watch Chico and Rita which I know that Jose is rooting for but I personally love Rango

Best Cinematography
Will Win: Most people think The Tree of Life's gorgeousity is a surefire win here, but I'm not so sure. Emmanuel Lubezki is a genius and his films often deserve to win but he never does. I'm guessing the black and white nostalgic beauty of The Artist surprises.
Spoiler: It's worth noting that The Tree of Life is Emmanuel Lubeszki's first cinematography nomination connected to a Best Picture nominee, so perhaps I shouldn't worry that he's going to lose again.
Should Win: The Tree of Life

Best Art Direction
Will Win: Hugo seems to have it locked up given that it's Most Art Direction and Hugo is the most nominated film. It has to win somewhere, right?
Spoiler: But if they want to finally give the Harry Potter series a win, this is the best category for it. 
Should Win: If you're one of those people who is okay with career wins, shouldn't Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 win this for the whole series? The Art Direction is definitely the most worthy element of that scene franchise for trophies.

Best Film Editing
Will Win: Best Picture usually takes this so The Artist it is.
Spoiler: Unless The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo surprises to give Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall a second consecutive statue. 
Should Win: Moneyball's editing is the clear champ here if you ask me. That movie flows beautifully.

Best Costume Design
Will Win: Such a tough category to predict. W.E. and Anonymous are underseen but they both feature royalty porn which Oscar voters go wild for. Will they split each other's vote? Sandy Powell doesn't really care about winning these but Hugo is showy and a film with supporters everywhere (but for maybe the actor's branch). Jane Eyre is deserving but the film was the earliest of the candidates reach.  Can love for The Artist make this an easy win given that so many of the film's seem viable? Or is it a five way race? Given the votes going every which way let's guess that The Artist just barely perseveres.
Spoiler: W.E.
Should Win: Jane Eyre

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Spoiler: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Should Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Makeup
Will Win: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Spoiler: Albert Nobbs
Should Win: The Iron Lady... In reality any of these films could win but the reason I am doubting The Iron Lady as a frontrunner is that the Oscar voters en masse tend to like to view tremendous biopic transformations as solely the job of the actor in question. I'm still pissed that the great makeup team on Monster (2003) was snubbed.

Best Original Score
Will Win: The Artist... though I do wonder if John Williams might surprise for either of his films since he hasn't been working regularly.
Spoiler: War Horse
Should Win: The Artist regardless of the whole Vertigo brouhaha. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy would also be a worthy winner.

Best Original Song
Will Win: "Man or Muppet"
Spoiler: "Real in Rio"
Should Win: "Man or Muppet"... though really what's even the point of the category with those voting systems that make the state of songwriting for the movies look even more pauper-like than it actually is.  


Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: I'm predicting Hugo for both sound categories but honestly I have no idea what the general voting body of the Academy will go for. Maybe they'll even finally give it to a Transformers movie if the Best Picture type films divvy up all the non action-oriented support?
Spoiler: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Should Win: Moneyball

Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Hugo
Spoiler: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Should Win: Drive


Best Documentary Short
Will Win: Saving Face
Should Win:

Best Live Action Short
Will Win: Raju
Spoiler: Tuba Atlantic 
Should Win: I have to abstain but Amir thinks it should go to Tuba Atlantic.

Best Animated Short
Will Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (which I quite liked)
Spoiler: Wild Life
Should Win: I have to abstain but Amir thinks it should go to Wild Life

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Reader Comments (27)

you know, I still believe The Artist will take Original Screenplay. It will be underserving and boring, but I think that's the way Oscar has been leaning as of lately (think The Hurt Locker over Inglourious Basterds)

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Except, The Hurt Locker was not written by director Kathryn Bigelow. While it does happen, one person taking Oscars for both Directing and Writing is rarer than you'd think, and it tends to happen when that director has co-writers (think Peter Jackson, who wrote The Lord of the Rings films with Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, or Francis Ford Coppola who wrote both Godfather films with Mario Puzo, or even Woody Allen who wrote Annie Hall with Marshall Brickman). Some of the exceptions to that rule are James L. Brooks (who won both for Terms of Endearment) and the Coen Brothers (who won both for No Country for Old Men). I think the fact that Michel Hazanivicius wrote The Artist puts it at a disadvantage with Original Screenplay, because he's most likely winning Best Director. It could happen, but I wouldn't bet on it.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

It's nice to see predictions with some positivity regarding The Artist. I now know what fans of Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech had to go through when they rooted for a film that seemingly everyone on the Internet hates. I had no trouble joining in then, but The Artist is so deserving to me, and all the backlash is really sad.

Is it just me, or are the tech predictions trickier than usual? Hugo is a real variable; it could either do a mini-sweep of the techs a la The Aviator or go (nearly) empty-handed like Gangs of New York.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRax

@Nathaniel - Looks like we're predicting mostly the same things (same as everyone else, I guess)

@Lucky I'm not sure "undeserving and boring" really describe The Hurt Locker's screenplay. Not that Basterds would have been undeserving (or boring), either. (But I still think Oscar made the right choice... a brilliant, tight script that communicates its ideas with such simple elegance).

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Also, I too am not sure what to do with the sound categories, and I don't see Hugo winning both (but it would make sense). Maybe it's wishful thinking?

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I totally agree with you on The Descendants! I was so underwhelmed and unmoved by both Clooney and the film itself. I'm rooting for Dujardin for Leading actor, but if not him, then definitely Pitt!! And Moneyball for Adapted screenplay. PS: <3 The Artist :)

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMysjkin

Just from my own perspective on music, if "Man or Muppet" wins, it's because the voters want The Muppets to be an Oscar winning film. "Real in Rio" is a very strong song. No one knows for sure how the voting went down to only get two nominees, but I think "Real in Rio" was the only possible nominee that cleared the idiotic scoring threshold system. The song plays a lot with genre (and does it well), it's catchy, and it's a really solid composition. "Man or Muppet" works well in the film, but I didn't care for it nearly as much when I listened to it by itself. How many voters actually listen to the song nominees at all before voting? How many voters are going to go out and watch two films just so see the song nominees in context?

Then again, when was the last time the quality of the composition meant anything in Best Original Song? I'm still mad about "Blame Canada" losing, not to mention "Belleville Rendez-Vous" and "I've Seen It All."

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Steve -- wishful thinking that it doesn't or that it does?

February 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Well, my predictions are in line with yours, with a few changes (usually my spoiler is different than yours):

Original Screenplay: I'm betting 'The Artist' just because I feel its frontrunner status gives it the edge here. It's difficult not to imagine people ticking its box in this category. Nevertheless, 'Midnight in Paris' got the usual winning combo for Woody (Director, Picture, Screenplay nods, winning the latter; a shame that no one got recognized for their acting in that movie).

Cinematography: I say if Lubezski doesn't win, then Richardson wins.

Editing: I can't see people NOT voting for Thelma Schoonmaker if they don't pick The Artist.

Costume Design: Four players for one spot. I say 'Jane Eyre' still is the smart choice but I'm fearing that 'Anonymous' wins. 'The Artist' wins here if it sweeps, which I think it won't do.

Make Up: I'm still betting on The Iron Lady but I see your reasoning for picking HP7.2. Huh. Maybe I have to change my prediction here.

Sound Editing and Mixing: What about a split between 'War Horse' and 'Hugo'? I'm betting the latter for Editing and the former for Mixing. But I also think it's more probable that either 'Hugo', 'Dragon Tattoo' ou 'War Horse' wins both.

Documentary: I keep changing back and forth between 'Undefeated' and 'If a Tree Falls'. I can't read this category.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I beg to differ about Davis beating Streep.
* For starters there's one thing I don't understand. Why have so many people started using the term "mimicry" to refer to performances in biopics? Meryl Streep´s recreation of the Iron Lady is a Master Class in acting. All her scenes as an old lady are precisely that. Forget she's supposed to be Margart Thatcher. She could be any ordinary old lady. Her body language is dead on. Her facial expressions. Her voice.
* There's no indication that Academy members are getting tired of biopics! Quite the contrary. There's not a single year when they have not rewarded a player in a biopic in the last 13 years! Add to that the long-overdue status of Streep and you have the near certainty that she'll get her Oscar.
* Academy's infatuation with biopics:
1998: Judi Dench.
1999: Swank
2000: Roberts, Gay Harden
2001: Broadbent, Connelly
2002: Brody, Kidman
2003: Theron
2004: Foxx, Blanchett
2005: Seymour Hoffman, Witherspoon
2006: Whitaker, Mirren
2007: Cotillard
2008: Penn
2009: Bullock
2010: Firth, Bale AND Leo!
If this unequivocal trend is to be maintained, who other than Streep will it be this year? If DiCaprio was "snubbed" it's because the category was too crowded and the film itself received no love at all, in spite of other possible nominations.
I sincerely hope I am right!

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Marcos your queen Meryl Streep is going down...down!

I'm going to finish watching Music Box today in the name of the Anti-Streep Jessica Lange.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfull

LOL 3rtfull! As the Iron Lady would put it: I shall do battle! As I have done e-very day of my life! ;)

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Nathaniel, I've predicted pretty much the same as you. Your comments on The Artist sum up exactly how I feel about, the race, and its chances! (I also agree with your comments re: the chance of a Malick win.) In the sound categories, I've plumped for War Horse for sound mixing (because of the war scenes) and Hugo for sound editing (because of all the cogs and mechanics), but I'm not confident with either choice. I've predicted Jane Eyre for costumes - but again, I'm not too confident there. I've folloshly predicted Moneyball for adapted screenplay. (I always allow myself one 'wishful thinking' prediction, and it usually doesn't pay off.)

Robert G: I agree with you on Best Original Song. I've predicted 'Man or Muppet' but I'm rooting for 'Real in Rio' (and I love the Muppets). I also agree with you about 'Blame Canada' and 'Belleville Rendezvous'. Re: 'I've Seen It All', I like it (and love Dancer in the Dark), but I think the Academy got it right that year with 'Things Have Changed'. Bob is a legend, and the song he wrote for Wonder Boys was perfect for that wonderful film.

Happy Oscar weekend!

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Actor: Jean Dujardin -And I'm glad for it- While I think Clooney is a threat, the frenchman has the advantage: Charming personality + Strong character in a BP Winner + Humble attitude + Great participation in the USA media.

Actress: Meryl Streep - Marcos had a point. Also, I don't think Davis will have it so easily. Her film got less nominations than expected and Meryl's rise for her performance is in right time -BAFTA speech + TIME mention + Vogue...

Sound Mixing / Sound Editing: I tend to believe it would be a split between Hugo/War Horse. If a crappy film like Pearl Hrbor won in Sound Editing. Also: Letters from Iwo Jima won S. Editing. They love war films.

Song: I think Rio will win this. The song is fun and folklore without being "outsider" by AMPAS tastes.

Original Screenplay: Maybe is me, but I have a feeling for A Separation in this category instead foreign language film -In Darkness could win there-. This category is warm for foreign auteurs and the theme is almost universal in core even with the particular background

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Marcos - Your argument for a Streep win is very convincing. Oscar loves biopics and 13 years in a row of a biopic acting winner is hard to refute.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermed

Thank you Leon and med. Just don't think that I am blinded by the Streep! There are some minuses to consider:

1. Davis' The Help was indeed expected to get more nominations, but The Iron Lady only got one and The Help got a couple of Ensemble awards.
2. Davis seems to be well liked by her peers.
3. Some voters who might vote for Streep are bound to think "Well, let her wait another year!"

It is kind of a toss up, but I believe Streep will get it...
... unless there's a repeat of the 1950 battle between Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson, who split their votes to such an extent that Judy Holliday ran away with the Oscar! (Michelle Williams, anyone?)

OMG I'd better stop thinking, or much to my dismay I'll be crying for HELP!

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

@Nathaniel... wishful thinking that it won't win both (even though it probably will). Hugo certainly has its merits, but, at least for me, the sound elements aren't at the top of that list. Wins there would be particularly galling when it's up again such deserving contenders as Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, and War Horse (probably a controversial title to include on the list, but I thought the movie was excellent).

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I meant "boring" as in the choice the Academy made by rewarding the film that was going to take the top prize anyway. With "underserving" I was just stating an opinion, as I thought Inglourious Basterds was the superior screenplay.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Are you not picking Costumes at all, or waiting for a last minute bolt of inspiration?

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

@Lucky - That's certainly fair. When it comes to handing out awards to artistic achievements, where the determinations of quality are so subjective, I just don't understand the impulse to label a winner that isn't my absolute first choice as "undeserving". This year, for instance, The Tree of Life is my favorite film, but I'd also consider The Artist or Moneyball to be worthy winners (even though they fall at #6 and #7 on Top 10 List, respectively). But maybe you were just cool on the The Hurt Locker in general?

I do see your point regarding the potential win for The Artist's screenplay. Still, even if I wouldn't have nominated it myself, I can certainly appreciate that it's a significant accomplishment, and I'll be happy if it won. Oscar could certainly make better choices (A Separation, Bridesmaids), but there are also lesser options (in my opinion, Midnight in Paris and Margin Call).

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Steve, I agree with you mostly, but I'd just like the Academy to spread the wealth a little more. They love The Artist, that's fine, but that does not mean they should justify that love by handing it awards in categories where it doesn't excel (It may be a ok winner, certainly better than The King's Speech or Slumdog Millionaire, which also took a lot of Oscars in technical categories). What I'm saying is I would be saddened to see The Tree of Life losing Cinematography -for example- just so The Artist could sweep.

The Artist may be the best movie in their opinion, and it certainly is a good film, but that doesn't mean it's the best pick for every award.
Of course this is speculatory because we don't know how things are going to turn out.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

SanFran -- i updated the post to include my costume pick. Going with the Artist by way of a five way race tipping toward Best Picture. But I'm not at all confident.

Lucky -- i absolutely agree. I hate sweeps. Very few films deserve prizes in a billion categories. But tehse are predictions not preferences (i desperately want Lubezki to win cinematography.)

Marcos --- that is the most depressing statistic ever but it is the only worrying one about a very real reason Viola might lose: she's not pretending to be a real person but making Aibileen feel real instead. Oscar, for better and worse (usually worse) thinks that biopic mimicry is the greatest type of acting.

February 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@Lucky - Good points all. And I'm with you regarding sweeps (mostly).

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

The Artist wouldn't just be one of the few comedy winners (if we can categorize it as such), it'd also be the second silent film to win (again, if we can call it that), the first true foreign winner that isn't British, and arguably the first remotely experimental film to win. Sounds weird to call it that because we reserve that label for the serious and the intellectual, but as far as I'm concerned that's exactly what it is. It's just that its experimentation is part of its joy and its irreverence. I don't think any other BP winner openly declares itself as a MOVIE the way this one does (masterfully in its first sound sequence, but also all throughout the film in other ways), or ask us to rediscover sound, silence, acting, in ways that often catch us completely offguard. Far from being traditionalist it shows a future made from collaboration and contrast between the past and the present, but it's not adorable nor clueless enough to pretend the world thinks the way it does. At the end of the film, the Hollywood "machinery" is just as merciless as it was at the start.

Even if The Artist gives Oscar voters the illusion that it's celebrating them and their industry (probably why it'll win), it's basically celebrating diversity in a fundamental way. Its view of progress is an abyss away from the cult of technology going on today, but it's also wary of nostalgia (though it plays with both notions). For those reasons alone, and many more that have been stated here and elsewhere, this would make one hell of a winner tomorrow.

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJavi

My guesses for who will win:

Sup. Actor: Plummer
Sup. Actress: Spencer
Actor: Dujardin
Actress: Davis
Director: Scorcese
Orig. Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Ada/ Screenplay: Moneyball
Picture: The Artist

But I hope, hope, hope we have some surprises, like Brad Pitt or even Max Von Sydow.

February 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Looks like Streep won!!!!! HA HA justice is served!

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason Travis

You bumped this thread for that! Muthafucka

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful
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