I swear we're in the movies

I didn't achieve my goal of having an Oscar-themed week on this blog. I've had a pretty interesting few days, and didn't exactly get everything done that I wanted to do. but I am making time, much in the Simon Cowell fashion, for an Oscar predictions post.

this may not be very interesting to you (in which case you are free and welcome to stop reading now) but I am a little Oscar obsessed. movie-obsessed in general, actually. for a few years now I've been watching as many of the Academy Award nominated films as I can in time for the big day, and making informed decisions on who to select on my official imdb printout ballot. :)

usually Oscar night entails a party and ordering pizza and a little friendly competition for who gets the most  winners right, but I am unfortunately in Scotland and without television. thus, this year Oscar night has been downgraded to online streaming at 2am and skyping with the party people on the other side of the ocean.

which is why I am now subjecting you to this irritating little display of Oscar-mania.

first up, my prediction for best actor in a supporting role:

Christopher Plummer 

many people base their Oscar vote on who won the Golden Globe; well, Plummer won in this category, but my main reason for choosing him is that I think he deserves it more than anyone else.

I've seen three of the five nominated performances (and one of the unseen ones I'm pretty sure is not going to win), and Plummer played hands down one of my favourite supporting characters of the year. in Beginners he plays a 75-year-old man who almost simultaneously comes out as a homosexual and is diagnosed with terminal cancer. he is loveable and philosophical and so wonderfully human. a beautiful, subtle film and a beautiful, subtle performance.

but, if Jonah Hill were to win, I wouldn't be too upset either.

on to best actress in a supporting role:

Berenice Bejo

this was the hardest circle to fill in on my ballot. I find there's a constant battle between voting for who I want to win, and who I think will win. well, I compromised on this one. I kinda want Jessica Chastain to win because she's one of the only tolerable characters in The Help, and is downright adorable. I think Octavia Spencer will win because people tend to like that type of role and seem to encourage it in Hollywood. but Berenice Bejo did an amazing job in The Artist and frankly I think it's kind of an insult that she isn't in the leading role category. I thought she starred in that film as much as her male (and "leading role") counterpart and was positively enchanting.

if I can't choose between my head and my heart, I'd be happy with Berenice. and she totes deserves it.

let's take a break from the acting categories for a minute and go to the best original screenplay award:

Midnight in Paris

now here's a case where I kinda just went with my heart. I absolutely love this movie; it's one of my new favourites, and the concept is imaginative, captivating, and meaningful. it's nominated in this category with The Artist, and some might say when in doubt, always pick the critically-acclaimed heavy hitter for every category it's in. but I think Midnight in Paris should get it, and I think it has a chance.

for best adapted screenplay the choice was equally as unclear:

The Descendants

it was between this one or Moneyball, and I have to admit I'm going with the Globe winner. Moneyball's a solid choice, and Alan Sorkin has Academy Award experince (The Social Network). but The Descendants was incredibly well-received. I enjoyed the film, mostly for it's good performances and quirky-sweet portrayal of family values. I was a little surprised at its best picture nod, but hey, George Clooney is kinda the man. that's really my only reasoning.

and now, back to the acting awards with my pick for best actress in a leading role:

Michelle Williams

this was another toughie. anytime Meryl Streep is nominated (which is basically every time) I find it really hard to judge if she should/will win or not. usually, she could easily take home the Oscar and I would be pleased. Meryl Streep is a goddess. but sometimes there's another role that I found a little more interesting and a little more outstanding.

here's the thing; I haven't seen My Week With Marilyn. I tried. several times. but every download attempt after missing it in the short stay in cinema went awry, and I had to give up. but from what I've seen and what I know of Michelle Williams, it's probably her time to win.

the other problem with this choice for me is that I honest-to-God want Rooney Mara to win so bad. I think she's incredible in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. incredible and startling and deep and unrecognizable. which is what I want from a leading actress. but unfortunately I don't think she'll win. I sincerely hope I am wrong about that.

for best actor in a leading role I chose:

George Clooney

again, because The Descendants is apparently a big deal. I really did love Clooney in this movie, though, and definitely do not feel he's cheating anyone out of the award (except maybe Ryan Gosling, but we'll get to that another time...). he was endearing and believable as an oblivious and absentee father, and he brought real life and charm to an otherwise mellow film.

if Brad Pitt happens to win, I might be pleasantly surprised. I haven't really decided yet.

on to the biggies. for best director:

Martin Scorsese for Hugo

yes, he won the Golden Globe, but yes, he really should have. Hugo was a welcome and lovely surprise for me, an unbeliever in Scorsese's ability to make a genuinely heartwarming film. but I was delighted to be proven wrong because Hugo was exactly that and more. it's a magical, captivating, and beautifully complex little fairy tale for adults and kids alike, which also happens to be a love-letter to the filmmaking business itself. love the medium, love the message, love Scorsese and his melty-heart ways.

and finally, my prediction for the Oscar winner for best picture:

The Artist

I didn't give it best screenplay but I am definitely rooting for it here.

this year's best picture nominees were a little sad in some aspects, and great in others. sad because, well... there were only nine. it's like the Academy's way of saying "it's not that there were ten amazing films that were better than most of you, but only nine were even good enough to be considered". and I'd agree that it was a pretty crappy year for movies. there are a couple films nominated that I really, really don't think would be normally, even though they are arguably respectable in their own right.

but the good side is, there are a few films that I love and never expected to be nominated that are; namely Midnight in Paris and Hugo. I love that several happy, artsy, and just lovely films are given recognition, and of course one of those is The Artist. I went to see it in theatres because it was generating Oscar buzz and I was not disappointed by the hype. I think it's original, poetic, nostalgic and modern at the same time. it's unique and funny and has a happy ending, all of which movies need more of these days. it is also skillfully filmed and brilliantly acted. so I believe The Artist deserves best picture of the year.

so those are my predictions for the biggies! I'm so excited for tonight. the red carpet is already streaming here, so I'm off to indulge. enjoy your Oscar night, movie lovers!


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