Monday, January 23, 2012

And The Nominees Are...: Our Predictions for the 84th Academy Awards Nominations

Andrew: Hello readers! I know Sarah and I say at the top of this blog that we are going to focus on movie reviews, and for the most part that's true. But because we're avid movie lovers in general we also have a fascination with the awards shows for films, and that includes the Academy Awards. And wouldn't you know it, Sarah, but the nominations for this year's Academy Awards are being announced tomorrow! What timing!

Sarah: Perfect timing works for me! I will definitely be watching “Good Morning America” tomorrow to watch the nominations unfold. This year has been an interesting year in movies. For the most part, the "Oscar-worthy" films have really stood out among the crowd. And, actually, there were some that fell off the radar *cough* “Warrior” *cough* and that is a real shame. 

A: You're spot on with the real Oscar candidates standing out above the rest. The real problem comes with guessing which of the nominees really aren’t front-runners. And with that we're going to kick off our Oscar Nominations Predictions. Just so you know, we're only going to focus on the main six categories tonight: Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Lead Actor and Actress, Best Director and Best Picture. Sarah, want to take a stab at which five gentlemen you think will be the nominees for Best Supporting Actor?

S: My predictions for Best Supporting Actor are:

 - Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
 - Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
 - Armie Hammer, “J. Edgar”
 - Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
 - Alan Rickman, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

Plummer is a shoe-in, and I know it’s probably in my dreams, but I do think Rickman deserves the nom. Call me crazy but Rickman and Nolte were the only ones to bring me to tears this year.

A: I have a couple of the same ones as you, and a couple of different ones. The ones I agree with you on are Plummer, Nolte and Branagh. But I have to disagree with you on Hammer and Rickman. While I think they both did a great job, I think Jonah Hill will get recognized for his low-key job in "Moneyball" and that Albert Brooks will get recognized for his portrayal of a mob boss in the underrated "Drive."

S: Alright, I agree that Jonah could pull a sneak attack. I do love that we both have some young blood on the lists. I did not like Brooks in 'Drive' so I will have to leave it at that. Ok, Andrew, what about the Supporting Actresses?

A: For Supporting Actress my predictions are:

 - Shailene Woodley, "The Descendents”
 - Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
 - Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
 - Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
 - Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Spencer’s been the front-runner for a while so she’s an easy choice, and Chastain has had a breakout year (yet I haven’t seen any of her films this year). I'm really hoping McCarthy gets the nom because she deserves it and because it’s for a comedic role.

S: I agree with all of them except I think that McCarthy will be replaced with Janet McTeer. I am reading really good things about her performance in “Albert Nobbs” as a powerful, swaggering cross-dresser. It will be interesting. The Academy may decide that Woodley is a little green to be up with the big girls. It‘s really a toss-up for many of these except Spencer. Best Actor?

A: While I am interested in all the other awards, Best Actor is actually the award I think is the tightest. My predictions:

 - George Clooney, "The Descendents"
 - Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
 - Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"
 - Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
 - Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

Clooney got to cry over an unfaithful wife in a coma, Dujardin is the star of a silent film in 2011 and Pitt played real-life Oakland A's GM Billy Beane - the Academy eats that stuff up. The last two spots are the tough ones to pick, and I'm going to guess the Academy goes for Leo's performance in "J. Edgar" even though I wasn't a fan, and (I hope) Michael Fassbender gets nominated for "Shame.” He had an awesome year all-around but will probably get a nod for playing a sex-addict.

S: For this one, you and I are exactly on the same page. I would love to see Fassbender get a nomination because he is the future of Hollywood. He gives a powerhouse performance in every one of his roles. Not looking over the fact that he is incredibly good looking (I'm only human, c'mon) he is able to take the movie that he is in to the next level of art.

Ok, enough fawning over him. It's time for my predictions for Best Actress.

 - Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
 - Viola Davis, “The Help”
 - Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”
 - Rooney Mara, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
 - Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”

Hands down, Streep will get a nomination and she should. The woman has been in more movies than most actors could shake a stick at and she's good at it. She should probably win too, but that's getting ahead of myself.  Automatic nominations also go to Davis and Williams. They both gave amazing performances in their roles playing such iconic women. Mara threw herself into creating her version of Lisbeth Salander and it is an amazing transformation. The last spot is a little hard for me to pick because I have been hearing amazing things about both Tilda Swinton and Glenn Close for their roles in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “Albert Nobbs,” respectively. My money would probably be on Glenn Close.

A: To make this short, I agree with 4 out of your 5 predictions. The only one I'm going to go differently on is I think Glenn Close misses out and Tilda Swinton gets in. We haven't seen either movie, so this is pure speculation, but there's just something about how Close LOOKS in "Albert Nobbs" that strikes me the wrong way. I don't buy it. I have nothing else to add on the Best Actress nominees, you said all that needed to be said. So let's move on to Best Director.

S: Oh man this is where my expertise fails. I'm not good at predicting. So for my amateur predictions I am going to say:

 - Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
 - Alexander Payne, “The Descendents”
 - Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
 - David Fincher, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
 - Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Hazanavicius, Payne and Scorsese will be automatic. The last one will probably go to Allen for “Midnight in Paris” but I was not as impressed with that movie as a lot of people. It was very creative and art nouveau but I'm not sure about it being this hard-core Oscar film.

Ok, now this last category is a tough one. Best Picture is tough because this year the Academy introduced a new formula for determining the number of nominees (a change from the ten nominees the past two years). Will it be five? Seven? Ten? We won’t get into the specific formula, so we will just give you our projected top ten and see where it goes tomorrow.

A: First, let me say that I actually agree with all of your Best Director guesses. Of the five, I think Fincher is most likely to get bumped, and probably for "The Help" director, Tate Taylor. If Fincher does get bumped, I’ll be ticked. He got jobbed last year when he didn’t win for “The Social Network,” but I digress.

For Best Picture, we'll just list our top ten and then guess where the cut-off will PROBABLY be. My top ten for the Best Picture nominees, in order, are:

1.) The Artist
2.) The Descendents
3.) Hugo
4.) The Help
5.) Midnight in Paris
6.) Bridesmaids
7.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
8.) The Tree of Life
9.) War Horse
10.) Moneyball

And if I had to guess (and that's what we're doing here) I'll say the cut-off is at "Dragon Tattoo." I’m probably overestimating there, though. Sarah, what do you think?

S: I agree with your guesses for Best Picture. I hate the idea that “Bridesmaids” will get in that list. In my opinion, it was grossly overrated, emphasis on gross. But I understand that I am in the minority on that. Well, readers, we know that this was a very long-winded's the Oscars. It's the definition of long-winded!

A: And after all the writing, and after all that reading if anyone actual reads this, the Oscar nominations are tomorrow morning at 8:48 AM! So I'm sure we'll be immediately wrong on a number of these guesses. Thank you, reader, for giving us your time. And hopefully we weren't TOO long winded!

Tomorrow's post: We review the actual Oscar nominations and give our take on who made it and who didn't.

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