‘The Artist’ should be Sunday’s big winner at the Oscars - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

‘The Artist’ should be Sunday’s big winner at the Oscars

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Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 5:16 pm, Mon Nov 5, 2012.

I’ve given my two cents on this year’s most worthy Oscar nominees and some inexcusable snubs, like Albert Brooks. Now that the Oscar ceremony is Sunday though, it’s time to stop dwindling on what was and what should have been nominated. Now we must look ahead and predict what will win the Oscar and, more importantly, what should win the Oscar.

Best Picture

A black and white silent picture winning Oscar’s top honor seemed like such an impossible feat in this day and age. After winning virtually every major predecessor award though, it looks like “The Artist” will pull it off. This will be a more than worthy victory as no movie released in 2011 did a finer job at capturing the magic of the cinema. Hopefully, this will finally influence mainstream audiences to seek this wonderful film out. If only they could get past the fact that “The Artist” is a silent picture, they would experience one of the best times they’ll ever have at the movies.

What Will Win: “The Artist”

My Preference: “The Artist”

Best Actor in a Leading Role

For awhile it looked like this award had George Clooney’s name written all over it. Clooney could still upset here, being the most beloved man in Hollywood. Yet, the winner will likely be Jean Dujardin, who won the Screen Actors Guild award and has been making memorable appearances on everything from “The Today Show” to “Saturday Night Live.” This award truly belongs to Dujardin, who exemplifies how it is just as difficult to give an almost dialog-free performance as it is to deliver a dramatic speech.

Who Will Win: Jean Dujardin: “The Artist”

My Preference: Jean Dujardin: “The Artist”

Best Actress in a Leading Role

This category comes down to two potential winners, Viola Davis for “The Help” and Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady.” Every Academy voter would love to see Streep finally win her third Oscar, which would undoubtedly receive a standing ovation. But “The Iron Lady” was such a mediocre film and hardly demonstrated Streep at her best. Even Streep would probably agree that the award should go to Davis for her heartbreaking and honest portrayal as the strong-willed maid in “The Help.” Davis will likely prevail here, becoming the second African-American woman to ever win the Best Actress award.

Who Will Win: Viola Davis: “The Help”

My Preference: Viola Davis: “The Help”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

If there is one lock come Oscar Sunday, it’s Christopher Plummer winning his first Oscar for “Beginners.” This will be a highly deserved win for Plummer, who has been appearing in movies for over 50 years now. My personal selection in this category might actually surprise you though. It’s Jonah Hill as the timid assistant general manager in “Moneyball.” Hill demonstrates that he really has great range as an actor, playing a subtle young man who is finally encouraged to express his statically point of view through his partnership with Billy Beane. It’s a surprising performance that is crucial to the film’s success. I realize that I am likely to receive negative feedback for this choice. But part of being a film critic is being told that you’re an idiot on a regular basis.

Who Will Win: Christopher Plummer: “Beginners”

My Preference: Jonah Hill: “Moneyball”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

One performance I’ve been praying to see recognized by the Oscars since last August is Octavia Spencer in “The Help.” It makes me so happy that Spencer will almost certainly win the Best Supporting Actress award for her funny and powerful performance as the outspoken Minny Jackson. The only person that could upset Spencer is Melissa McCarthy for her scene-stealing role in “Bridesmaids.” It is quite interesting that between the two frontrunners for this award, one actress poops into a pie and the other poops into a sink. It looks like the Academy is finally lighting up towards feces-related humor.

Who Will Win: Octavia Spencer: “The Help”

My Preference: Octavia Spencer: “The Help”

Best Director

Michael Hazanavicius should and will win Best Director for taking audiences back to an era of cinema that appeared forgotten in “The Artist.”

Who Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius: “The Artist”

My Preference: Michel Hazanavicius: “The Artist”

Best Original Screenplay

Most analysts are forecasting Woody Allen’s witty screenplay for “Midnight in Paris” to win here. I’m going to go out on a limb though, and predict the love for “The Artist” to carry into this category. It will be a whole other story, however, if word gets out that Allen will definitely be attending this year’s Oscar ceremony. After dodging the Oscars for all these years, voters will want to finally see him deliver an acceptance speech.

What Will Win: “The Artist”

My Preference: “The Artist”

Best Adapted Screenplay

While “Moneyball” and “Hugo” are not out of the picture, this will probably be the category where the Academy recognizes “The Descendants.” This tragic, yet still very humorous, screenplay will bring Alexander Payne his second Oscar in addition to awarding first-time nominees Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who is best known for playing the quirking dean on “Community.”

What Will Win: “The Descendants”

My Preference: “The Descendants”

Best Animated Feature

With no “Adventures of Tintin” in the mix, nothing should stop Gore Verbinski’s wonderfully weird Western “Rango” from taking the gold.

What Will Win: “Rango”

My Preference: “Rango”

Best Original Song

I’m tempted to not make a personal selection here in protest of the Academy inexplicably nominating only two songs. But even I cannot deny the sheer brilliance of “Man or Muppet.” This will be the first time a Muppet movie will have won a Best Song Oscar, something that even “Rainbow Connect” couldn’t achieve.

What Will Win: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”

My Preference: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”

Best Cinematography

What Will Win: “The Artist”

My Preference: “The Tree of Life”

Best Art Direction

What Will Win: “Hugo”

My Preference: “Hugo”

Best Costume Design

What Will Win: “The Artist”

My Preference: “The Artist”

Best Film Editing

What Will Win: “The Artist”

My Preference: “The Artist”

Best Sound

What Will Win: “Hugo”

My Preference: “War Horse”

Best Sound Editing

What Will Win: “Hugo”

My Preference: “War Horse”

Best Visual Effects

What Will Win: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

My Preference: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”

Best Foreign-Language Film

What Will Win: “A Separation”

Best Documentary

What Will Win: “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

Best Animated Short

What Will Win: “The Fantastic Flying Boos of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

Best Live-Action Short

What Will Win: “Raju”

• Ahwatukee native and Desert Vista graduate Nick Spake is a student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for five years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com. Reach him at nspake@asu.edu.

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