Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Oscar Picture as it Looks Now

Alrighty. It has been a big week in terms of Oscar, with the Golden Globes ceremony the other day and the BAFTA nominations coming out yesterday. I'm not going to make a list of the GG winners or BAFTA noms because you've already seen them. What I am going to do is give the lowdown on what these things mean for the Oscar scene, category by category.

Best Picture
This is basically the same thing that it was after the Critics Choice. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy got just as many nominations as The Artist (12). I sort of expected that because the BAFTA always look after their own first. This always happens because they obviously have more of a chance to campaign in their own country. (Australia is the same way). Anyway, The Artist won the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical/Comedy and it the still the favourite for the Oscar. My previous assertion that Hugo was the favourite for Best Picture was wrong and there are only a few more possibilities left. The only question is: will Tinker Tailor ride this BAFTA boost to an Oscar presence?

Best Director
This is where I think it gets interesting. The Director race is open. Both the Golden Globe and BAFTA have proved that there is more love for Scorsese as a director than there is for Hugo as a film. Thats a no brainer. What I am proposing is that Martin Scorsese is now the favourite to win the Best Director Oscar. I can hear you yelling "what about Hazanavicius?" and I have some facts to share with you. Hazanavicius is an unknown director. Sure he is getting attention now because of The Artist but he was unkown to everyone a year ago. The last time an unknown director won the Oscar was Sam Mendes for American Beauty in 1999. Also, I think Fincher and his Dragon Tattoo may be making an Oscar splash; but I will get to that later in the week.

Best Actress
Meryl is now the favourite. She knows how that feels. I was really quite surprised when she won the Golden Globe. I had prepared myself for a Viola victory and for to burst into tears (there is just something about African American women that makes me emotional when they succeed) but Meryl really does deserve it for The Iron Lady. She is outstanding and it looks like she will FINALLY win her third. BAFTA will surely give it to her because she is in a British film playing a famous British person (see Geoffrey Rush last year) and if the SAG rewards her as well, it is in the bag. Viola is the only one that could push her off the purch. And again, will Rooney Mara sneak in? After Viola, Meryl and Michelle, this category is wide open. People are even whispering Wiig. Could you imagine?

Best Actor
I am actually quite distressed that George Clooney looks to be in the lead over Brad Pitt. I just think that Pitt pulled out a better performance. Anyway, Clooney is the favourite to win with Pitt maybe sneaking in (depending on what the SAG have to say). What I am still trying to figure out is who will take that last place. I think we're looking at Clooney, Pitt, DiCaprio and Dujardin. They all got Golden Globe & SAG nominations, but Leo missed out on a BAFTA nod. What does that mean? That means that Fassbender and Oldman (who both got BAFTA nods) are both waiting in the wings to push him out of the nomination pool. I've got this weird feeling that BAFTA is going to give Best Actor to Gary Oldman. It wont make much of a difference though. Clooney is sort of on a roll.

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia is (deservedly) the favourite to win. She will probably win the SAG and probably win the Oscar. It's not definite but thats the way it's looking at the moment. I've heard whispers that Melissa McCarthy is in trouble and may not get a nomination. She has won almost as many guild awards for her performance as anyone else. How could she be in trouble? The SAG nominated her, the Critics nominated her, the BAFTA nominated her. The Golden Globes didn't, but thats never stopped anyone before. So there's that. I also think that McTeer is going to slip. Close is not getting the love everyone thought she would, and the films has slipped out of every other category. It looks like to me that she is next. Woodley may slip in due to the film's love and Chastain & Bejo are also basically locks. The 5th spot is open.

Best Supporting Actor
Unless the Actor's branch of the Academy is smoking something and have not been paying attention or have seen Beginners, Christopher Plummer is going to win this. It is a sure thing. Although Albert Brooks has won one or two more critics orgs than him, the fact that he did not get a nomination for the SAG means to me that he does not have the support in the branch that Plummer does. Brooks will most likely be nominated but he will not win. The only thing that is not almost 100% in this category is the 5 nominees. Other than Plummer and Brooks, there is Branagh who is also a lock for a nomination. That leaves two spots open for Nick Nolte (Warrior), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method), Armie Hammer (J. Edgar), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Ides of March), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of The Apes). RIGHT? This category is wide open. Expect some surprises on nomination morning.

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