Steve’s Oscar Predictions – Part One

The big night is almost here! Sure, it could be argued that the Oscars are meaningless or even worse than meaningless, but isn’t that true of most things in life? Does it really matter who wins the Super Bowl? The World Series? The World Cup? The Nobel prizes? Whether or not such things are truly important, they still are a lot of fun. Part of the fun is predicting the winners, so over the next few days I’ll take my shot at picking the winners of this Sunday’s Oscars. I’ll skip the technical categories because they are just a shot in the dark. For each category I’ll let you know which films I have actually seen, who I think will win, and who should win. With no further ado…lights, camera, action!

Best Original Screenplay

Seen: Midnight in Paris, The Artist, Bridesmaids

Haven’t Seen: A Separation, Margin Call

Will Win: Midnight in Paris – the best Woody Allen movie in years deserves to win something! The Artist will win its share (maybe more than its share) of statues on Sunday, but it’s hard to imagine a silent film winning best screenplay. That just wouldn’t seem right, but I won’t be too surprised if it happens. I’m still pulling for Woody, though.

Should Win: A Separation – I know I just said I’m pulling for Woody, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I think he should win. No, I haven’t seen A Separation yet (it takes a long time for Iranian films to make it to Montana!), but, from everything I’ve read, it sounds like it deserves this award.

Shouldn’t Even Be Nominated: Bridesmaids – I’m in danger of making enemies here, but I simply didn’t think Bridesmaids was well written. It wasn’t particularly funny or clever.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Seen: The Descendants, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball

Haven’t Seen: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Will Win: The Descendants – This won at the Writer’s Guild of America awards, so I think it will follow suit here, but I’m not sure it deserves it. Some of the writing was the best of the year, but I also thought that some of the writing was near the worst of the year. O.k., that is a bit harsh. None of it was as bad as what I saw in Thor and a few other movies, but some of it simply rang so untrue that I’m not sure it merits the Oscar.

Should Win: Moneyball – this script wasn’t perfect either, but it didn’t whiff as badly as Descendants. It also managed the difficult task of taking a book about using statistics to put together a ball team and made it into a very entertaining film, so it gets my nod.

Best Animated Feature

Seen: Rango

Haven’t Seen: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2

Will Win: Rango – Am I even qualified to make a prediction having seen only one nominee? Well, few people have seen A Cat in Paris or Chico & Rita, so I’m not alone there. Even though I haven’t seen either Puss or Panda, I certainly feel confident in predicting that Rango will win.

Should Win: Rango – Here I suppose I am even less qualified to offer an opinion, but Rango was one of my favorite movies of the year (it should be up for Best Picture!), so I stand by my uninformed, but wildly enthusiastic, opinion that it should win!

Best Original Score

Seen: The Artist, Hugo

Haven’t Seen: The Adventures of Tintin, Warhorse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Will Win: The Artist – Alright, alright, I’ve only seen two of these, but I’ll be surprised if The Artist doesn’t win. For starters, it is a “silent film” so the score is vitally important and overall it works well, although I thought it could have been a bit more subtle in a couple of scenes. I also think the split votes for John Williams (Tintin and Warhorse) will help The Artist. Hugo could be the dark horse in this race.

Should Win: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yes, I know it’s not even nominated, but I think that is one of the biggest snubs of the year. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ music was incredible! I didn’t see another movie this year where the music so powerfully became a part of the storytelling. Reznor and Ross are outsiders, so after their surprising win last year for The Social Network, I think the Academy made sure that wouldn’t happen again by seeing to it that they weren’t nominated this time.

Coming Attractions: Check back soon for my predictions on the acting categories and then director and best picture.

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