Oscars Setup

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TYLER MALONE’S OSCAR PICKS

Who Will Win & Who Should Win

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

February 2012


BEST PICTURE

The Nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Moneyball, War Horse, and The Tree of Life.

What Should Have Been Nominated: My favorite film of the year got rave reviews from critics but was ultimately forgotten come award season: Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy.

 

What Should Win: Of what is nominated, I’d say either The Tree of Life or Midnight in Paris.

What Will Win: In a late surge, it looks like The Artist might just have what it takes to pull this off. Who’d have guessed a year ago that a silent film would be the Oscar frontrunner?

What Could Still Win: Don’t rule out The Descendants, for some reason everyone and their moms were raving about that film (everyone except myself, of course). It has the highest potential of probability to steal the top prize from The Artist.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees: Demian Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist). Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy), and Brad Pitt (Moneyball).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: The fact that Michael Fassbender is not nominated for Shame is an absolute travesty. And though Brad Pitt was rightly nominated, he should have been nominated for his even better performance in The Tree of Life (not that he wasn’t also great in Moneyball).

 

Who Should Win: Of those that are nominated, I’d give my vote to Gary Oldman.

Who Will Win: Conventional wisdom says George Clooney.

Who Could Still Win: Jean Dujardin has a great chance, especially if The Artist is sweeping other awards earlier in the night.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola David (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I wish Juliette Binoche had been nominated for Certified Copy. It was a fine actress’ career-best performance and deserved recognition. Also, Tilda Swinton not getting a nod for We Need to Talk about Kevin is somewhat surprising.

 

Who Should Win: Of those that are nominated, Rooney Mara by a mile. It’s not that Meryl Streep didn’t perfectly render Margaret Thatcher, but rather that Rooney Mara was just that revelatory as the girl with the dragon tattoo Lisbeth Salander.

Who Will Win: Viola Davis looks to now be the frontrunner, though I’d have initially guessed Meryl Streep.

Who Could Still Win: It’s neck and neck between Davis and Streep. It’ll be one of the two. (Though Streep is nominated every year, and thus has received some backlash from overexposure in that sense, let us remember that she hasn’t won since before I was born, and I’m no spring chicken. It was for 1982′s Sophie’s Choice.)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees: Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), and Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Albert Brooks for his performance in Drive–not only did I think he’d be nominated, but I thought he might win, and then snubsville on the day they announced the nominations. Colin Firth was also surprisingly overlooked for his work in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

 

Who Should Win: Christopher Plummer.

Who Will Win: Rightly so, Christopher Plummer.

Who Could Still Win: I really think Christopher Plummer has this one in the bag. I can’t see any scenario where anyone steals this from him.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees: Berenice Bejo (The Artist). Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), and Octavia Spencer (The Help).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I would have liked to see Jessica Chastain nominated for pretty much anything she was in this year besides The Help. She really deserves it for The Tree of Life (or Take Shelter or The Debt or Coriolanus).

 

Who Should Win: I’d love to see Chastain win, I’d just be bummed it was for her one mediocre movie of 2011.

Who Will Win: For some reason that I’ll never be able to grasp, the favorite is Octavia Spencer for her over-the-top performance in the mediocrity that was The Help.

Who Could Still Win: If it doesn’t go to Spencer, I think this category is wide open, but, come on, it’s pretty much guaranteed that it’s going to Spencer.

BEST DIRECTING

The Nominees: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Abbas Kiarostami for Certified Copy.

 

Who Should Win: Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life. He’s one of the all-time great directors, and should be recognized for this beautifully crafted cinematic poem.

Who Will Win: The Oscar for Best Director almost always goes to the director who won the Directors’ Guild Award. This year it went to Michel Hazanavicius, so I think he’s definitely the leader of the pack.

Who Could Still Win: I think anyone has a chance except for the one nominee that deserves it most: Malick.

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

The Nominees: Michel Hazanvicius (The Artist), Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), J. C. Chandor (Margin Call), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), and Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: As with most other categories, I would have loved to see Certified Copy nominated here.

 

Who Should Win: Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris.

Who Will Win: Woody Allen might just pull off a win here.

Who Could Still Win: If the Academy is smart enough to realize that silent films still need smart scripts then Michel Hazanvicius has a decent shot.

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

The Nominees: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants), John Logan (Hugo), George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon (The Ides of March), Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin (Moneyball), and Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I think the scripts of both Jane Eyre and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were better adaptations than either the script for The Descendants or The Ides of March, but what do I know?

Who Should Win: Of these nominees, I’d say the writers of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Or Moneyball.

Who Will Win: Unfortunately, it’ll likely go to Payne and co. for The Descendants.

Who Could Still Win: I can’t imagine it going to any film but The Descendants (which I don’t understand, but let’s move on…).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Nominees: Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson (Hugo), Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life), and Janusz Kaminski (War Horse).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Wally Pfister for Moneyball, one of my favorite cinematographers working right now.

 

What Should Win: I say Emmanuel Lubezki.

What Will Win: And I think Emmanuel Lubezki might pull it off.

What Could Still Win: Robert Richardson’s Hugo cinematography is certainly a contender.

BEST FILM EDITING

The Nominees: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Kevin Tent (The Descendants), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Thelma Schoonmaker (Hugo), and Christopher Tellefsen (Moneyball).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Mat Newman’s editing in Drive was great.

Who Should Win: The best part of Moneyball was probably it’s crisp editing. Similar things could be said for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo too. So one of those two editors should win.

Who Will Win: I think the fact that The Artist may be riding a wave, could propel it to victory in some of these, the technical awards.

Who Could Still Win: Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s go-to editor, is always a possibility.

BEST ART DIRECTION

The Nominees: Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould (The Artist), Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo (Hugo), Anne Seibel and Helene Dubreuil (Midnight in Paris), and Rick Carter and Lee Sandales (War Horse).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which had phenomenal art direction.

Who Should Win: Of what is nominated, probably Hugo.

Who Will Win: I’m thinking probably Hugo.

Who Could Still Win: For any of these awards, The Artist should not be ruled out.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Nominees: Lisy Christi (Anonymous), Mark Bridges (The Artist), Sandy Powell (Hugo), Michael O’Connor (Jane Eyre), and Arianne Phillips (W.E.).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Erin Benach for Drive. After all, that jacket of Gosling’s kind of stole the show.

Who Should Win: Jane Eyre.

Who Will Win: I think Jane Eyre will pull it off.

Who Could Still Win: Don’t rule out The Artist for anything. And a period piece like Anonymous always has a good shot (even if the film was ridiculous).

BEST MAKEUP

The Nominees: Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle (Albert Nobbs), Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), and Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland (The Iron Lady).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Who Should Win: The Iron Lady.

Who Will Win: The Iron Lady.

Who Could Still Win: This is probably one of the few places where the Potter franchise could eke out some sentiment, and get a win more for the whole franchise than for the final film.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Nominees: Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning (Hugo), Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg (Real Steel), Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Mathew Butler and John Frazier (Transformers: Dark of the Moon).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: The Tree of Life–how was this not up? Or Melancholia? Both visually stunning films with big visual payoffs. One showed the beginning of the universe, the other the destruction of our planet. Come on Academy!

Who Should Win: No question it should go to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Who Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Who Could Still Win: Hugo could definitely win. And I wouldn’t be too upset since it did have great visuals. And also this is one of the other places where the Potter franchise could eke out some sentiment, and get a win more for the whole franchise than for the final film.

BEST SOUND EDITING

The Nominees: Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis (Drive), Ren Klyce (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty (Hugo), Ethan Van der Ryn (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom (War Horse).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Super 8 or Rango or Hanna?

What Should Win: I’m thinking The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What Will Win: I’m gonna guess something like War Horse or Hugo, though in full disclosure I never guess the sound awards correctly.

What Could Still Win: Transformers: Dark of the Moon was a terrible movie, and is a barrage of sound, but it shows great work in this technical field.

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Nominees: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Tom Fleischman and John Midgley (Hugo), Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick (Moneyball), Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson (War Horse).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Super 8 or Rango or Hanna?

What Should Win: I’m thinking The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What Will Win: I’m gonna guess something like War Horse or Hugo, though in full disclosure I never guess the sound awards correctly.

What Could Still Win: Once again I’ll say: Transformers: Dark of the Moon was a terrible movie, and is a barrage of sound, but it shows great work in this technical field.

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

The Nominees: John Williams (The Adventures of Tintin), Ludovic Vource (The Artist), Howard Shore (Hugo), Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and John Williams (War Horse).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Last year’s winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were robbed by not receiving a nod this year for their work on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not only should they have been up, they should have won again, back-to-back.

Who Should Win: I think it’s clear that The Artist should win here, though I probably prefer Alberto Iglesias’ work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Who Will Win: Ludovic Vource for The Artist.

Who Could Still Win: Never rule out those cheesy, tug-on-the-heart-strings John Williams scores. The Academy eats that shit up.

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

The Nominees: Bret McKenzie for “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets), and Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett for “Real in Rio” (Rio).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I don’t really care what is nominated, I’d just like more than two songs, thank you. “Life’s A Happy Song” from The Muppets could have been up. “So Long” from Winnie the Pooh was a great track by She & Him. Elton John could have been up for his duet with Gaga on “Hello Hello” from Gnomeo and Juliet. J. Ralph’s “Hell and Back,” which was sung by Willie Nelson, for the documentary Hell and Back Again would have been a great choice. Hell, even million-time nominee and winner Alan Mencken with his “Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America didn’t make the cut?

 

Who Should Win: Obviously, “Man or Muppet.”

Who Will Win: “Man or Muppet.”

Who Could Still Win: I guess technically the dark horse would be “Real in Rio” since that’s the only thing that can upset “Man or Muppet” since the Academy only nominated two thanks to their stupid music rules.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Nominees: Bullhead from Belgium, Monsieur Lazhar from Canada, A Separation from Iran, Footnote from Israel, and In Darkness from Poland.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Because nominees are determined by foreign governments, many great foreign films go unrecognized. This should change.

What Should Win: A Separation, for sure.

What Will Win: A Separation.

What Could Still Win: I think A Separation has this one in the bag.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Nominees: Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Paradise 3: Purgatory, Pina, and Undefeated.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I’d have nominated either of Werner Herzog’s documentaries from this year (Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Into the Abyss), and also the lovely doc Nostalgia de la Luz.

What Should Win: Of the nominees, Hell and Back Again is the film I’d give my vote to.

What Will Win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. I mean, the three Paradise Lost documentaries actually made a major change in the lives of three people. Without these docs having been made, three innocent young men would still be in jail for a murder they didn’t commit. I think the Academy might recognize the importance of that. But who knows?

What Could Still Win: The Academy loves Wim Wenders, and his film Pina has beautifully shot dance sequences.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The Nominees: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, and Rango.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Winnie the Pooh deserved to be nominated, not just to prove that hand-drawn 2D Disney animation still has a place in our hearts, but because it was the only animated film up to the level of Rango‘s greatness.

What Should Win: Rango, which was finally an animated film for adults (that kids can love too).

What Will Win: I think Rango rightfully has it.

What Could Still Win: One of the two foreign animated films could pull an upset.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

The Nominees: The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, God is the Bigger Elvis, Incident in New Baghdad, Saving Face, and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Dunno.

What Should Win: If The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom had been half it’s length, I’d say that, but it got tedious (and for a short film, that’s doesn’t bode well). It was the most beautifully shot though, and I loved what it was going for. Since that one was overly long though, I’ll say Saving Face, which had a really interesting subject (acid burn victims of spousal abuse in Afghanistan).

What Will Win: I’ll guess Saving Face.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

The Nominees: Dimanche/Sunday, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, La Luna, A Morning Stroll, and Wild Life.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Skylight, a mock-documentary animated short, was really weird, but really funny, and a great short concept.

What Should Win: A Morning Stroll had everyone in the theater–me included–laughing. I loved it. And the three separate animation styles used were all lovely (especially the first third).

What Will Win: La Luna is Pixar, so I’m gonna go with that.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

The Nominees: Pentecost, Raju, The Shore, Time Freak, and Tuba Atlantic.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Dunno.

What Should Win: The Shore or Raju or Tuba Atlantic. I liked all three for different reasons, but didn’t love any.

What Will Win: Who the heck knows?

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

Oscar Picks Chosen by Tyler Malone

Written by Tyler Malone

Photography by Patrick McMullan & Co. for PatrickMcMullan.com

Design by Jillian Mercado

Captions:

Page 1:

Atmosphere, 82nd Academy Awards – Oscars Setup, Hollywood, Ca, March 7, 2010, Photography by Patrick McMullan & Co. for Patrick McMullan.com

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