Andrew: Hello readers! We're back from our brief hiatus this week. Our sincerest apologies that we went dark for a few days, especially leading right up to the Oscars(!), but I came down with the flu on Monday and am just now feeling up to it to write a coherent column. So thank you for being patient with us.
Today we begin our analysis and official predictions for the 84th Annual Academy Awards that will be presented on Sunday! In our first installment, we will be tackling the two supporting role awards, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. So, Sarah, which award should we talk about first?
Sarah: Let's start out with the category with the fewest nominees: Best Original Song! Here, I would have to say the award should go to "Man or Muppet" from…well…”The Muppets!” What do you think?
A: See this is the interesting part to me - this category only has TWO nominees! There were over 30 songs that were entered for consideration and the Academy only chose two to nominate, so it's literally a 50/50 coin-toss.
I haven't seen "Rio" so I can't tell you what I think about the song nominated from it, "Real in Rio," but I have seen "The Muppets" and I can firmly state that "Man or Muppet" is awesome and will win this award. (Readers, if you haven’t seen “The Muppets” but want to hear the song/see some clips from the movie, watch this music video!)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"
S: Ok, "Real in Rio" is a really great song. I have seen the movie and it is colorful and full of life and probably should have been nominated for Best Animated Film. But "Man or Muppet" has is heart and it's not just another animated movie song. (For comparison, here's the other nominee, too...)
"Real in Rio" from "Rio"
Since we are on the subject of music, what are your thoughts on the Best Score category?
A: My first thought is that I'm still kinda ticked that John Williams got two nominations this year and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross didn't get a nom for their "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" score. Don't get me wrong - Williams' score for "War Horse" was probably the best thing about the film (in my opinion) and I've heard that his score for "The Adventures of Tin-Tin" is pretty solid (if not derivative of his Indiana Jones' scores), but leaving Reznor and Ross off is still the biggest snub this season.
We saw "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" but I don't remember the score too well. That doesn't bode well for it. We haven't seen "Hugo" yet, but I haven't heard too much chatter about Howard Shore's score for that film; so in the end I say Ludovic Bource's score for "The Artist" takes it. Especially because as a silent film, the score is literally the only thing you hear for 99% of the movie. If it weren’t a good score, the film would've failed miserably.
S: Yea, I really don't think that there should be a rule that the same guy doesn't get nominated more than once, but Williams is a dinosaur in the industry. While “War Horse” did have a great score, I agree that “The Artist” will take home the award, as well as many others.
The fact that “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” didn't even get a nod is a shame.
Now, let's move on to the Supporting Actress category. We have Bernice Bejo for “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain for “The Help,” Melissa McCarthy from “Bridesmaids,” Janet McTeer for “Albert Nobbs,” and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
So what do you think?
A: I think at first glance you could make a case for any one of these ladies to win the award, but after seeing "The Help" I think it's Spencer's to lose. Her performance was funny, touching, serious...just an all-around great job.
But let me say why I think two of the others could upset her: I think McCarthy could come away with the award because, while the Academy doesn't generally award comedic roles/films, it wouldn't be the first time a comedic actor upset the favorite - Marisa Tomei did it for "My Cousin Vinny."
And I could also see Bejo sneaking away with the statue because she was the embodiment of a 1920s silent film star. She nailed the expressions, the dancing, the humor, everything. But when all is said and done, after Spencer's racked up 18 awards for the role already, I do think she'll bring home the big one. You?
S: Oh yea, Spencer's got it in the bag. I just don't think that McCarthy will win for this. And while “The Artist” will probably sweep the awards pretty soundly, I think Bejo's performance was lost in the other aspects of the movie.
I actually think that if anyone else were to take it home, it would be Jessica Chastain, since she has been in two of the nominated Best Pictures this year (also in “The Tree of Life'”. We have seen her in two drastically different roles, and she has shined in both.
A: You're 100% right on Chastain, she was great in both films.
Ok, so let's move on to our last category for tonight's post: Best Supporting Actor. Who ya got and why?
S: Well, we got the following: Kenneth Branaugh for “My Week With Marilyn,” Jonah Hill for “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte for “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer for “Beginners,” and Max von Sydow for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
I would have to give this one to Christopher Plummer. He is funny and has heart and definitely upstages his co-star, Ewan McGregor, in “Beginners.” His character also brings something a little newer to the table with an older man coming out of the closet to his son after his wife dies.
But I could be wrong, you never know. von Sydow does an amazing job in his role also, considering he is silent in the entire thing and could come out of nowhere and take the golden man.
A: I do think you have it pegged down to the two most likely candidates. While Jonah does a great job playing against type in "Moneyball," it's not award-worthy. Nolte was great in "Warrior" and I think in most years he'd have a real shot. Branaugh...haven't seen his performance, but it sounds like he deserved his nom and nothing more.
You saw "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and so I believe you when you say von Sydow does a fantastic job. Any acting gig where you don't speak a single line certainly must be done correctly otherwise it kills the role, and by all accounts he nailed it.
But I think Plummer wins it in a landslide. He performance was funny, charming, touching, sad...just a veritable acting lesson on the screen with how understated he was. He's won 14 awards already, and most of the non-Oscar awards he didn't win went to Albert Brooks for "Drive" and he didn't get an Oscar nom. So I think Plummer is safe.
Alright! So my head feels like it's going to explode, so I'll hand it off to you, Sarah, to do a brief run-down of the films that will be released in theatres on Friday that we're most likely to see! (Sorry again, readers, that we didn't have time to do a preview like normal.)
S: Ok, so while we probably won't be seeing anything this weekend besides the Oscars (because if the walking plague living in my house) we do want to put in the order that we would see them.
Our Weekend of 2/24 Movie List:
2. "Act of Valor"
3. "The Forgiveness of Blood"
5. "Good Deeds"
Yeah, I think it's safe to say that we are not Tyler Perry fans. “Wanderlust” has gotten some fun reviews and you can't go wrong with some of Hollywood's funniest people.
Alright readers, get ready for the next couple of days with our Oscar predictions! We know that there will be a ton of other blogs and articles on the topic, but here you will get our honest opinions based on what we know of the actor and how the Academy judges.
Tomorrow’s Post: We will make our predictions for Best Actor/Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects.