Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!

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Most people haven't seen all of the nominees for this week's Oscars. But that shouldn't stop us all from having opinions about who was snubbed and who we think will win, right? I don't feel compelled to see everything out there in order to tune into the Oscars. I think of it as mostly an opportunity to stargaze and play along with the worst and best dressed commentators.

The Oscar nominations may urge me to finally go see something I was on the fence about, like My Week with Marilyn. Alas, it is no longer in my local theater. But if Michelle Williams wins for Best Actress, it will no doubt return. The question is whether even then I will be able to get beyond my hesitation of seeing Marilyn impersonated, no matter how ably (and a mock Olivier, too).

Image Courtesy of The Weinstein Co

Here are my opinions about the lucky nominees, and my predictions about who might take home the little naked golden men statuettes on the 84th Academy Awards this Sunday, February 26. These are of course not all of the categories, just the ones that interested me. I bolded the nominees I think will win. But first, some glaring omissions:

  • What about Alan Rickman as Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Best or supporting, it doesn't matter. The man was fantastic and heartbreaking.
  • I am not a big fan of Clint Eastwood the director, and apparently neither is the Academy, as Leonardo DiCaprio was overlooked for J. Edgar.
  • Both Albert Brooks and Ryan Gosling were passed over for Drive (and Gosling as well for The Ides of March.)
  • We will not be able to see Tilda Swinton's latest amazing fashion statement as she wasn't nominated for We Need to Talk About Kevin.
  • Nothing for 50/50.
  • When will the Academy recognize voice-over artists? How can you have an animation category and not one for the voice actors, who really get the audience into the seats. Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas were both great as Rango and Puss in Boots.
  • And what about our four-legged friends? The amazing Uggie from The Artist won a Palm Dog at the Cannes Film Festival. Why doesn't the Academy want to recognize him along with all the gaffers, and other technical awards?

Best Picture

The Artist - The shoo-in. It's adorable and upbeat, which is the only thing it has going against it, as the Academy tends to favor dramas with a capital "D." But it's a phenomenon and should still win.

The Descendants - I really like George Clooney. I'm sure he is a stand up guy. But for some reason I just can't get into him in he movies. He always seems a little too disconnected.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Seriously, why was this nominated? It just sounds awful to me. Did you see it?

The Help - A lot of people love this, but I can wait for it to hit cable.

Hugo - I loved this movie, and although it's the underdog, I would love it to win, likeThe Artist it is such a celebration of the cinema.

Midnight in Paris - This is the best Woody has done in a long time, and I'm glad it got a nomination.

Moneyball - A really nice film and deserving of a nomination, but probably not best picture.

The Tree of Life - I missed this in theaters, but am looking forward to seeing it, somehow.

War Horse - Stephen Spielberg is everywhere these days. Film, TV, you name it. I wish he wasn't. I'm sorry, but I do.

Actor In a Leading Role - I would love for Gary Oldman to win this. The Academy may surprise us, but I think (hope) it's going to be Pitt, not Clooney. Brad was excellent as Billy Bean and he also helped get the picture made. His biggest competition is Jean Dujardin, who was also wonderful. If he wins it, The Artist will probably sweep.

Demián Bichir, A Better Life

George Clooney, The Descendants

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Actress In a Leading Role - I hope it's Michelle Williams, even though everyone is saying it should be Meryl. But I am against a movie that in any way celebrates Thatcher. And Meryl can suck it up. She'll get many more opportunities. Glenn Close may be brilliant in her cross-dressing film, but it's a vanity production that not many will want to see. But Viola Davis may be a surprise winner. Rooney is being honored for a great performance, but won't win.

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis, The Help

Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Actor In a Supporting Role - This had better be Christopher Plummer. Period.

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress In a Supporting Role - I would love the award to go to Melissa McCarthy. C'mon Academy, comedians are best actors, too. Bejo was adorable in The Artist, but it wasn't really an Oscar-worthy performance.

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film - I'm sure Rango will win, which was fun and beautiful to look at. I absolutely LOVE that Puss was nominated and am not upset that Tintin wasn't.

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Cinematography - I'm thinking Hugo will take home the prize, but this is one of the categories that The Tree of Life might win.

The Artist

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse

Art Direction - Hugo will probably win. The sets of the train station and the recreations of Georges Méliès's films were amazing. The Academy doesn't seem to takeHarry Potter seriously.

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

War Horse

Costume Design - The Artist will probably (and deservedly) win this one, too.

Anonymous

The Artist

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.

Directing - This is not only the most accessible, but the best Scorsese film in quite a while.

The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants, Alexander Payne

Hugo, Martin Scorsese

Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick

Music (Original Score) - There has been a lot of controversy over the use of a part of Bernard Herrmann's score for Vertigo in The Artist, but it will still probably win.

The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams

The Artist, Ludovic Bource

Hugo, Howard Shore

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias

War Horse, John Williams 

Music (Original Song) - "Man or Muppet" was the highlight of The Muppets. I'm hoping Jason Segel and Walter perform it live. It must win.

"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets

“Real in Rio” from Rio

Visual Effects - The Apes will probably get this one, although Andy Serkis should have been in one of the acting categories. C'mon, already.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - I would really like Moneyball to win this one. Team Brad.

The Descendants

Hugo

The Ides of March

Moneyball

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Writing (Original Screenplay) - It's hard going up against the Woodman, but I'd love the gals from Bridesmaids to take this one.

The Artist

Bridesmaids

Margin Call

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Short Film (Animated) - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is simply fantastic and should take the prize.

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

What do you think? Do you have very different predictions? Let me know in the comments.

Good luck to all of the nominees!

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