For as long as I started being really interested in movies, film critic Roger Ebert has run an “Outguess Ebert” contests where readers have the chance to do just that. The contest is now open, so I thought now would be a good time to make my picks. I don’t have much time between now and when the contest closes to see more films, so there’s not much point in delaying. I entered the contest last year and since I correctly picked more than Ebert, I won a 3 month subscription to MUBI, a streaming service that offered a lot of international and independent movies. Sadly, the films on the site didn’t appeal to me at all, so it was a waste. But this year, maybe I’ll win that grand prize. Probably not…
Here’s where Ebert and I agree. “The Artist” was one of my favorite films of the year and it’s as or more deserving than any of the other nominees. It’s a safe Academy pick (except for the silent/black and white thing) but a better choice than “The King’s Speech”, which was a safe pick that was totally undeserving in my opinion. I haven’t seen “Hugo” so I may be sort of biased here, as it also garnered a TON of nods. The only other pick I could see making a case is “The Descendants” but it really doesn’t have a chance and while I really enjoyed it, it’s not Best Picture material. If “The Artist” wins I will be very happy, maybe as happy was I was when “The Hurt Locker” got its win, we’ll see.
To me, acting is when an actor plays someone that is really, someone other than themselves. George Clooney was great in “The Descendants”, but I felt like I was watching George Clooney, and not really the character. I’m starting to almost feel this way about Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling. This isn’t to say they aren’t great actors, but they just seem to be playing themselves. However, Jean Dujardin did NOT play himself in “The Artist.” Hell, look at his IMDB pictures and then at his character from “The Artist.” Dujardin was playing a modern and nostalgic take on a Hollywood legend and he really deserves to win this category. Clooney has won enough and Brad Pitt will get another chance (just not with World War Z).
Meryl Streep is a great actress, there is no doubt. However, I am getting a little tired of her nominations. If she wins, I’ll be very disappointed. Here, I’m going to agree again with Ebert and cast a vote for Viola Davis in “The Help.” Audiences loved this movie, however, I was just a little turned off by the whole “white person to the rescue” mentality and some of the humor just made it seem too campy. However, Viola Davis plays her part really well because she is so serious in a movie that probably demanded less subplots and more serious attention to its subject matter. She was the best part of the film and deserves a win. Part of me wonders about Michelle Williams in this category, but I think it’s still going to be Viola Davis. I guess we’ll get a hint if they choose Denzel or Forrest to present this one.
Best Supporting Actor
I confess to have seen only one of the movies that was nominated in this category and that was “Warrior.” Nick Notle again, was playing himself, so he won’t win this one. Christopher Plummer is distinguished and won the Golden Globe, so I’m going to agree with Ebert here. But this category could end up surprising us.
Best Supporting Actress
Here’s where I’m going to deviate a little. Ebert picked Octavia Spencer for “The Help.” Personally, I’m not sure I really liked her in the movie. She was intended to provide comic relief (along with a few other characters) and it just gave the film a screwball feel that I actually sort of hated it for doing. I’m going to go with Melissa McCarthy from “Bridesmaids” although is Berenice Bejo going to make another win for “The Artist”?
Lots of deserving nominees here. I’m going to bet that “The Artist” continues its sweep and picks up the win. Scorcese already won for “The Departed” so I think he won’t win this year simply because of that. But I could very well be wrong.
Best Animated Film
The only nominee I’ve seen from this category was “The Adventures of…” wait, just kidding. I’ve seen none of them. I actually HATE that this category even exists, but I’m going to go against Ebert here and pick “Chico & Rita” because I know nothing about it and “Rango” looked incredibly stupid to me.
Best Foreign Film
I usually only get to see these after the actual awards are given out, so I’m going purely based on hype. “A Separation” seems to be the clear frontrunner so I’m going to be safe here and go with that.
My thinking is one of three, “Descendants”, “Hugo” or “Moneyball.” I think the family dynamic of “The Descendants” and Alexander Payne’s reputation will get the win here.
To me, this is a pretty tough category to pick. “The Artist” really had no dialogue at all, so to me, it’s not a contender for once. I can’t see “Bridesmaids” winning as a comedy really needs Diablo Cody behind it to actually win (or maybe Cameron Crowe). I think “A Separation” will get its due in the Foreign Film category, which leaves “Midnight in Paris” and Woody Allen.
To tally, Ebert and I only disagreed on 2 awards, so we’ll see how it turns out. To see a full list of nominations, check ’em out here.