Academy Award Predictions Pt. 2 – What Will Be Best Picture? [VIDEO]
Who will be the Queen of the ball Sunday night? Which octogenarian could win their first Oscar of their illustrious career? Is Billy Crystal ready for the night he's been the King of in past years? What is Sasha Baron Cohen thinking? What is the best film of the last year? No answers to these questions until Sunday night on ABC with the 84th Annual Academy Awards from Hollywood, but we can try to figure out who might win.
Yesterday we peeked at 4 categories that are male dominant (Best Actor, Best Director and both Screenplay categories - find the post on my Posts page). Today we look at everything else that includes the women, the music, the "Old Men", the "controversy" and the best film of 2011.
First question that needs asking is how will Billy Crystal do hosting. Billy has been down this path 7 times previously, but not since 2004. Crystal has produced some of the most memorable Oscar moments in television history - from him music medleys to start the show, to his Jack Nicholson jokes, being rolled out dressed like Hannibal Lector, being pulled out sitting on top of a huge Oscar statue pulled by Jack Palnace (who played Curly opposite Crystal in City Slickers), superimposing himself on film characters to ask if he should host again, and a personal favorite - What Are The Stars Thinking (look and remember 2001).
The pressure on one level is off of Crystal because he has come in with not a great deal of time to set up for hosting. Remember that Eddie Murphy was suppose to host but stepped down when Brett Ratner (who worked with Murphy on the hit film Tower Heist) was removed as this year's producer of the show. Crystal can be a true savior like he was once before (after the Letterman hosting debacle), and he's keeping everything secret (the usually heavy tweeter has shut it down). Odds are that Crystal should kill it - the man deserves an Oscar for his work as the greatest host in the show's history.
Another question is surrounding Sacha Baron Cohen, who is a part of the cast of the film Hugo (up for numerous Oscars including Best Picture). Rumors had him banned from the ceremony because he has hinting that he will show up dressed as The Dictator (the lead character of his new film). The Academy has said he is welcome to come, just not to use this show as a potential stunt for him to promote his film. Isn't the Oscars a whole night of shameless promotion - from what the stars are wearing on the Red Carpet, to being announced as "Starring in the upcoming film ........"? Cohen has responded to the Oscar ban (realize that he is kidding!):
The whole thing seems hypocritical, but the Academy does not want to look bad and they know what Cohen is capable of (just ask presidential candidate Ron Paul about what happened to him in Bruno). Drama here is increasing, and what if Cohen attempts to do the Red Carpet before the Oscars as The Dictator? Maybe?
On to the nominees in 5 categories and let's see who may see good fortunes on Sunday:
Best Supporting Actress -- Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”); Jessica Chastain (“The Help”); Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”); Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”); Octavia Spencer (“The Help”).
SHOULD WIN -- McCarthy / WILL WIN -- Spencer
Octavia Spencer has swept just about every award leading up to the Academy awards, making this an easy prediction. Spencer is more than deserving, but people still talk about how McCarthy stole the biggest comedy of 2011 with her performance as Megan. Being nominated for your work in a raunchy comedy is a major coo coming from the voters of the Academy who in the past have not looked favorably at comedy.
Best Supporting Actor -- Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”); Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”); Nick Nolte (“Warrior”); Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”); Max von Sydow (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close")
SHOULD WIN -- Plummer / WILL WIN -- Plummer
Plummer like Spencer has won virtually everything leading to here. The only may hurt him was his recent snubbing of the recent Academy Award luncheon. Von Sydow was a surprise nomination from a film that got very little award love this season, and could be a dark horse here. In the battle of 80-somethings (giving hope for Nolte that this nomination at 71 may not be his last), Plummer looks unstoppable (and the oldest Oscar winner in the 84-year history at 82)
Best Original Song -- "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets, and "Real In Rio" from Rio.
How is there only 2 nominees in this category? Zooey Deschanel earned a Grammy nomination for "So Long" from Winnie The Pooh, Madonna won the Golden Globe for "Masterpiece" from W.E., and Elton John created "Hello Hello" for Gnomeo & Juliet. This is a sin of oversights by the Oscars! Give The Muppets the win here.
Best Actress -- Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”); Viola Davis (“The Help”); Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”); Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”); Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”).
This is the most anticipated battle of the evening. Real life figures, much hyped films, and past winners outline this category. The award season has seen a split voting between film festival awards, critics, and the major awards leading up to Oscar night. The dark horse here could be Glenn lose, a 6 time Oscar nominee without a win who played a man in a true life story. Any other year she would be a lock, but she ran into one of the deepest field of actresses in the Academy history.
Williams has a Golden Globe this year for playing Marilyn Monroe, and has her 3rd Oscar nomination for this role. What would have helped her would have been a BAFTA (British Academy Award), but her film shot in London saw her lose to Streep. Kind of hard to defeat the woman who portrayed the former British Prime Minister.
Streep has 17 Oscar nominations and 2 wins, but has not won since 1983. Many have hailed Streep's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as the best of her long historic career, but the film for the most part has been a box office disappointment. Normally not a factor in Oscar voters eyes, but in a very close race this could sway the decision.
Davis has won the Critics Choice Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award (2 of the larger awards before Oscar night) for her work in a film that has made $200 Million worldwide. The film has earned much respect for a film that was out in the summer, and was not forgotten during this ward season.
SHOULD WIN -- Davis / WILL WIN -- Streep (this may be more the reward for her career than anything else, and that is not unprecedented in Oscar history.
Best Picture -- The Artist / The Descendants / Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close / The Help / Hugo / Midnight in Paris / Moneyball / The Tree of Life / War Horse.
The Academy could have nominated 10 films but only chose 9. How is it that Bridesmaids was one of the 5 best Original Screenplays of the year, featured one of the 5 supporting actresses of the year, and is not one of the 10 best films of the year? As bad as the Best Original Song category is this year, the Bridesmaids non-inclusion has to be the biggest snub of the year!
SHOULD WIN -- The Help / WILL WIN -- The Artist
The ode to the silent film era has way too much momentum to be stopped. Voting here has been divided as The Help won the SAG Award, and The Descendents won the Golden Globe over The Help. The Artist is one of those films that Academy voters will gravitate toward, and it has not hurt that stars of the film like Penelope Ann Miller has done just about every talk show to get the word and hype out for this film. We could definitely see a total surprise here (like Hugo or Midnight In Paris), but we'll follow the buzz here.