Posts tagged ‘Hugo’

March 20, 2012

The First Annual Golden Enchilada Awards!

I’ve waited a very long time to post my own personal year-end movie awards, because I am a movie nerd/layperson and in order to see all of the good movies, I have to wait until things like A Separation swing around in March. And this is historically a time when the Oscars used to happen in the past right? In 2003, the Oscars were held on March 23rd, so I’m still ahead of someone’s schedule somewhere.

This year was something of a milestone for me. I watched 84 new movies this year, which is astounding, but my goal is to get up to 100 for 2012. I also attended the Cannes film festival where a large number of those came into play. Also, a movie called The Tree of Life came out, something I have been anticipating with the rest of the world since 2007 when the idea was in pre-production. America and I fell in love with a certain starlet and I also got to see many of my favorite actors and actresses give phenomenal performances. I also wanted to start formalizing this so I could build a history with not only some of the actors and actresses, but also the costume designers and sound mixers. Maybe I have favorite film editors and I don’t even know it. I’m excited to see year after year if names crop up in the below the line categories. But you have to start somewhere.

This is the space where I want to honor all of the wonderful achievements for the past film year, and finally purge 2011 from my system and try to post more regularly and about a broader topic of things in 2012. I will be updating both this page and the external link regularly as I put things together with my nominees and the winners have been officially revealed at The Golden Enchiladas page at the top of the screen. Enjoy!

Best Picture:

The Artist

Drive

50/50

Hugo

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Shame

The Skin I Live In

Take Shelter

The Tree of Life

Young Adult

Best Director:

Sean Durkin
Martha Marcy May Marlene

Michel Hazanavicius
The Artist

Terrence Malick
The Tree of Life

Steve McQueen
Shame

Jeff Nichols
Take Shelter

Best Actor:

Anders Danielsen-Lie
Oslo August 31st

Jean Dujardin
The Artist

Michael Fassbender
Shame

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
50/50

Michael Shannon
Take Shelter

Best Actress

Viola Davis
The Help

Elizabeth Olsen
Martha Marcy May Marlene

Meryl Streep
The Iron Lady

Tilda Swinton
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Michelle Williams
My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor

John Hawkes
Martha Marcy May Marlene

Viggo Mortensen
A Dangerous Method

Brad Pitt
The Tree of Life

Christopher Plummer
Beginners

Corey Stoll
Midnight in Paris

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain
Take Shelter

Anjelica Huston
50/50

Keira Knightley
A Dangerous Method

Carey Mulligan
Shame

Octavia Spencer
The Help

Best Adapted Screenplay:

A Dangerous Method
Christopher Hampton

Drive
Hossein Amini

Moneyball
Steven Zaillian,
Aaron Sorkin &
Stan Chervin

Scream 4
Kevin Williamson

The Skin I Live In
Augustín Almodóvar &
Pedro Almodóvar

Best Original Screenplay:

Another Earth
Mike Cahill &
Brit Marling

Margin Call
J.C. Chandor

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Sean Durkin

A Separation
Asghar Farhadi

Young Adult
Diablo Cody

Best Art Direction:

Hugo
Dante Ferretti
Francesca Lo Schiavo

The Skin I Live In
Antxón Gómez

Thor
Bo Welch
Lauri Gaffin

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Maria Djurkovic

The Tree of Life
Jack Fisk
Jeannette Scott

Best Cinematography:

The Artist
Guillaume Schiffman

Hugo
Robert Richardson

Moneyball
Wally Pfister

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Hoyte Van Hoytema

The Tree of Life
Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Costume Design:

The Artist
Mark Bridges

A Dangerous Method
Denise Cronenberg

My Week with Marilyn
Jill Taylor

Restless
Danny Glicker

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Jacqueline Durran

Best Film Editing:

Contagion
Stephen Mirrione

Drive
Matthew Newman

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Zachary Stuart-Pontier

The Skin I Live In
José Salcedo

The Tree of Life
Hank Corwin
Jay Rabinowitz
Daniel Rezende
Billy Weber
Mark Yoshikawa

Best Makeup:

Contagion
Frioa Aradottir
Kate Biscoe

The Iron Lady
Mark Coulier
J. Roy Helland
Marese Langan

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Nick Dudman
Amanda Knight
Lisa Tomblin

Best Original Score:

The Artist
Ludovic Bource

Hugo
Howard Shore

Jane Eyre
Dario Marianelli

Take Shelter
David Wingo

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alberto Iglesias

Best Original Song:

Cars 2
"Mon Coeur Fait Vroom"
By: Michael Giacchino & Zaz

Hugo
"Le Coeur Volant"
By: Howard Shore

The Muppets
"Life's A Happy Song"
By: Bret McKenzie
Performed By:
Jason Segel,
Amy Adams,
Peter Linz,
Leslie Feist &
Mickey Rooney

The Muppets
"Man or Muppet"
By: Bret McKenzie
Performed By:
Jason Segel,
Peter Linz,
Jim Parsons &
Bill Barretta

Winnie the Pooh
"So Long"
By: Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward

Best Sound Editing:

The Adventures of Tintin
Brent Burge &
Chris Ward

Cars 2
Tom Myers &
Michael Silvers

Hugo
Eugene Gearty &
Philip Stockton

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
John A. Larsen &
Chuck Michael

Super 8
Ben Burtt &
Matthew Wood

Best Sound Mixing:

The Adventures of Tintin
Christopher Boyes,
Michael Hedges &
Andy Nelson

Hugo
Tom Fleischman

Super 8
Anna Behlmer,
Tom Johnson &
Andy Nelson

Take Shelter
Will Files

The Tree of Life
Craig Berkey

Best Visual Effects:

Hugo
Robert Legato

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Dan Lemmon &
Joe Letteri

Super 8
Russel Earl,
Kim Libreri &
Dennis Muren

Thor
Wesley Sewell

The Tree of Life
Dan Glass

Best Animated Feature: (# of Nominees Based on Personal Preference)

The Adventures of Tintin

Gnomeo & Juliet

Rio

Best Ensemble Cast: (Awarded to Casting Director and all actors and actresses I see fit to include)

50/50
Casting:
Francine Maisler
Actors:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
Seth Rogen,
Anna Kendrick,
Bryce Dallas Howard,
Anjelica Houston,
Serge Houde,
Philip Baker Hall &
Jessica Parker Kennedy

The Help
Casting:
Kerry Barden,
Paul Schnee
Actors:
Emma Stone,
Viola Davis,
Bryce Dallas Howard,
Octavia Spencer,
Jessica Chastain,
Ahna O'Reilly,
Allison Janney,
Anna Camp,
Cicely Tyson,
Sissy Spacek,
Leslie Jordan &
Mary Steenburgen

Margin Call
Casting:
Tiffany Little Canfield,
Bernard Telsey
Actors:
Kevin Spacey,
Paul Bettany,
Jeremy Irons,
Zachary Quinto,
Penn Badgley,
Simon Baker,
Mary McDonnell,
Demi Moore,
Stanley Tucci,
Ashley Williams &
Susan Blackwell

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Casting:
Randi Glass,
Susan Shopmaker
Actors:
Elizabeth Olsen,
Christopher Abbott,
Brady Corbet,
Hugh Dancy,
Maria Dizzia,
Julia Garner,
John Hawkes,
Louisa Krause &
Sarah Paulson

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Casting:
Jina Jay
Actors:
Mark Strong,
John Hurt,
Gary Oldman,
Toby Jones,
David Dencik,
Ciarán Hinds,
Colin Firth,
Benedict Cumberbatch,
Stephen Graham,
Simon McBurney&
Tom Hardy

Movies I Loved That I Wish I Rewarded More:

Another Earth

Midnight in Paris

The Muppets

Polisse

X-Men: First Class


Ubiquitous and Wonderful: (For all performances that  positively added to their year. There are some purposeful exclusions.)

Kevin Bacon
Crazy Stupid Love
Super
X-Men: First Class

Jessica Chastain
The Debt
The Help
Take Shelter
The Tree of Life

Michael Fassbender
A Dangerous Method
Shame
X-Men: First Class

Ryan Gosling
Crazy Stupid Love
Drive
The Ides of March

Tom Hiddleston
Midnight in Paris
Thor
War Horse

The Movies I Regret Never Seeing:

Attack the Block

A Better Life

Margaret

Warrior

Weekend

The Call Your Friends Award: (for the most easily and widely recommendable movie)

Crazy Stupid Love

The 2011 Pants-Off Acting Hall of Fame Inductee:

Viola Davis

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January 24, 2012

THE 2012 OSCAR NOMINATIONS ARE HERE!

God, I love Oscar nomination morning. It’s like Christmas, but I wake up earlier and I can share my presents with the world.

BUT TILDA!!!!!! FASSY!!!!! BROOKS!!!!! There is also a lot of sadness today too. We must be respectful in our joy over GARY!!!! and  all of the other people that muscled their way in for a nomination.

The Biggest Winners: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, War Horse

The Biggest Losers: Drive, The Help, Tilda and Fassy.

Without further ado, here are the 2012 nominations.

Best Picture:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
How I Did: 8/9 – I missed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Even looking at the nominees, I’m still shocked it’s in. But the love in the nomination room for Von Sydow and this film was there and that was very clear. I am also so happy for The Tree of Life getting here like I knew it should and feared it wouldn’t.

 

Director:

  • Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
  • Alexander Payne – The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese – Hugo

How I Did: 5/5 – Thank God for predictability. I wonder how far away Bennett Miller and David Fincher were. They were clearly right in there.

Best Actor:

  • Demian Bichir – A Better Life
  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Brad Pitt – Moneyball
How I did: 3/5 – I guess the two most vulnerable did drop. But there are many things going on here. J. Edgar got completely snubbed which means I don’t have to see it. Tinker Tailor and Gary showed strength, but signifying nothing, and the Academy is really opening them up to worthy performances with not one but two foreign nominees. Bravo! (Sorry Fassmember! You should’ve been there!)

 

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
How I Did: 4/5 – Tilda!!! That skank  actress Rooney Mara snuck in and took a spot from our girl. I guess it really does show the strength of Dragon Tattoo and being last.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill – Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte – Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners
  • Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
How I Did: 4/5 – Poor Albert Brooks. I actually don’t feel as bad for Albert Brooks than as I do for those who wanted Albert Brooks to get nominated. It really did seem like he had it. It was never guaranteed, but nor was Jonah Hill! And for all of the 6th spot sneaker nomination Max von Sydow is not the best choice.

 

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain – The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
How I Did: 4/5 – Color me shocked. I didn’t think Melissa could do it. And poor Shailene got Andrew Garfielded which is officially the term for being a young supporting thespian in a wordy heady Best Picture contending drama that got several nominations, but was doled a telling snub at the SAG awards which led to ultimate rejection. I am just thrilled that Jessica Chastain did not get locked out. She deserved it. This and Bichir are both strong testments to looking at SAG for future years.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call
  • Midnight in Paris
  • A Separation
How I Did: 3/5 – Margin Call really had a lot of heat, but that was in November. I’m surprised to have seen it bounce back. This does confirm my one problem with my own line up that it was too happy and they threw out my comedies for not one, but two dramas. Gotta love that sadness.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
How I Did: 4/5 – Maybe a year from now someone will be able to explain to me why The Ides of March is getting any awards attention at all. But I guess if it were to be nominated somewhere, it would be the prestigious play adaptation aspect of it with the Clooney celebrity to boot. This is one category that shows The Help’s weakness. If it had a shot at Best Picture, it needed this. Sorry ladies… and Tate.

 

Best Art Direction:

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • War Horse
How I Did: 3/5 – I’m sure there is some lovely story about exterior art direction in War Horse, but this just gives the tiniest pushes to Midnight in Paris. I guess it could have gotten lots of below the line nominations, but none were really expected. I wonder if it will beat The Artist in Original Screenplay. Look for clues elsewhere in the nominees to predict winners. And the snub for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is officially my most egregious snub of the day. It is just appalling.

 

Best Cinematography:

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
How I Did: 4/5 – While I correctly guessed the love for digital helmer Jeff Cronenweth, I didn’t expect the ultra traditional Janusz Kaminski to sneak in for War Horse. I guess that was a nomination for Most Cinematography.
How I Did: 4/5 –

 

Best Costume Design:

  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.
How I Did: 3/5 – I predicted the surprise Anonymous nomination in the wrong spot! Damn! But I did get W.E. and that makes me glad. The costume designers have yet again showed that they are clearly paying attention to the craft in a way only  a costumer designer can and are doing their honest best to nominate the best costume design of the year. A commendable branch.

 

Best Film Editing:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
How I Did: 4/5 – You win some, you lose some. The Descendants did get that nomination they so desperately wanted/needed, but at the expensive of… something undeserving? All I know is Moneyball is a true surprise and the editing there is heartfelt and tender at best. The editing brach has taken their first step in making up for the Inception snub last year…

 

Best Makeup:

  • Albert Nobbs
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Iron Lady
How I Did: 2/3 – Glenn Close’s nose.

 

Best Original Score:

  • Ludovic Bource – The Artist
  • Alberto Iglesias – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Howard Shore – Hugo
  • John Williams – The Adventures of Tintin
  • John Williams – War Horse
How I Did: 4/5 – They love John Williams and hate Dario Marianelli. What else is new? However, the Alberto Iglesias nomination for Tinker Tailor is a moody surprise stand out.

 

Best Original Song:

  • “Man or Muppet” – The Muppets
  • “Real in Rio” – Rio
How I Did: 1/2 –  I would not be surprised if this category did not exist next year. This is clearly a stand from the song branch that the field is too weak. And “Real in Rio”? Wow.

 

Best Sound Mixing:

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse
How I Did: 2/5 – Damn it War Horse! All of my Pirates always nominated nonsense caused me to take it out at the last second. Look at how strong Moneyball is! The strength in weird pockets like this and Editing should translate to wins elsewhere… in either Actor or Adapted Screenplay or both. It’s a spoiler lying in wait for sure. This is also where The Artist really missed out on what Moneyball picked up. I don’t think it shows great weakness for The Artist, just its first not-perfect performance.

 

Best Sound Editing:

  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse
How I Did: 2/5 – So I had Hugo in the wrong place. Oops. This is also the first year in a three or four without an animated feature and really only one visual effects heavy film – two staples of the category. I honestly think that’s a shift in the branch to recognize more realistic challenges in their field like in Drive and War Horse where a lot of those sounds don’t sound made up, but are painstakingly made as real as possible. Good job, Sound Editors!

 

Best Visual Effects:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
How I Did: 4/5 – REAL FUCKING STEEL! Over THE TREE OF LIFE?!?!?! This is my most infuriating snub of the day. I said it was something else, but really?!? I can’t believe it. ARGH! I wonder if the name will ever officially be changed to Best Computer Visual Effects.

 

Best Animated Feature:

  • A Cat in Paris
  • Chico and Rita
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango

How I Did: 2/5 – And proud of it. The Animator’s branch knew it was a shitty year and stuck out on a limb for the arthouse guy… twice. I’m not sure the right other films made it in, and it is definitely a comment on motion capture, but the animators have stood strong.

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Undefeated
How I Did: 3/5 – Here is one of those inside baseball times where the Joe Schmo viewer at home can’t see Harvey Weinstein shoving Undefeated down everyone’s throats. But it worked. He is the best at what he does.

Best Foreign Feature:

  • Bullhead
  • Footnote
  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • A Separation
How I Did: 3/5 – Besides the fact that Footnote is the weirdest nominee here, there is nothing too surprising. I am sad that Pina didn’t make super bizarre trivia history. It was so close…

 

Best Animated Short Film:

  • Dimanche/Sunday
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life

 

Best Documentary Short Film:

  • The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
  • God is The Bigger Elvis
  • Incident in New Baghdad
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

 

Best Live-Action Short Film:

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

I guess overall, this was a year of many quiet surprises. Nothing ever really came out of left field, but the status quo was never really upheld. I went 72 out of 104 or about 69%. So I passed, but barely. How do I even call myself an Oscar predictor? However, I’m glad that many of my missteps were from assuming predictability and stodgy attitudes from the Academy, which I will never do again. They really spread the love this year, with many films as individual nominees and a few of the choices were almost inspired. Moneyball as the 3rd place nomination count holder? Just shocking. And with the snub of Shailene Woodley, it is officially the end of the chances for The Descendants. The Oscar goes to The Artist and I’m as pleased as punch. What is exciting is that since Bridesmaids stumbled ever so slightly, that Supporting Actress race is still hot, which means 3 of the 4 acting races are still up in the air, as are director, and both screenplay races. This season is not over yet.

 

11 – Hugo

10 – The Artist

6 – Moneyball

War Horse

5 – The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

4 – The Help

3 – Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Midnight in Paris

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Tree of Life

2 – Bridesmaids

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Iron Lady

My Week with Marilyn

A Separation

1 – The Adventures of Tintin

Anonymous

Beginners

A Better Life

Drive

The Ides of March

Jane Eyre

Kung Fu Panda 2

Margin Call

The Muppets

Puss in Boots

Rango

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

W.E.

January 23, 2012

My Final 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since all of Los Angeles woke up at 5:30 AM to hear Mo’Nique read a list of 10 movies everyone knew were going to be nominated. But this year, it’s different. It seems there are so many more questions than just “which best picture nominee won’t get a screenplay nomination?!?!” Supporting Actor and Actress have so much fluidity, the Original Screenplay race has 3 spots wide open, and we don’t even know how many best picture nominees there will be this year! Count me as excited!

So without further ado, here are my final predictions for this year’s Oscar nominees.

Best Picture

  1. The Artist
  2. The Descendants
  3. Hugo
  4. The Help
  5. Midnight in Paris
  6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  7. The Tree of Life
  8. Moneyball
  9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  10. Bridesmaids

This would be my 10 list, but I am going to predict the top 7. Moneyball feels like it’s been getting just a little too little buzz in these last couple of weeks to truly go the distance. Conversely, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo struck at exactly the right moment, and I think some Fincher love will carry this one through. I’ve also been predicting The Tree of Life from the beginning and I’m going to continue to do so. It will get number 1 votes. It has to, right?

Director:

  • Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
  • Alexander Payne – The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Sorry Tate and David. I just don’t think it’s your time.

Actor:

  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Michael Fassbender – Shame
  • Brad Pitt – Moneyball

While this has been the 5 all along, many are predicting a change. I think the shocker will be that it stays the same. No love for Oldman, and just enough love for a DiCaprio performance I actually can not convince myself to see. The academy loves themselves an Eastwood biopic nomination so this should be no problem. And if that nomination fails, it will be the first time since 2002 and Blood Work that a one of his movies did not score a nomination in a year when he made a film. A weird statistic, yes. But a true one.

Actress:

  • Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis – The Help
  • Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Another boring slate, but I’m having a large problem putting Swinton on my list. It just almost doesn’t seem real that this incredibly weird and alienating movie will be the one weird and alienating movie she makes that actually gets her the already overdue next nomination.

Supporting Actor:

  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Albert Brooks – Drive
  • Jonah Hill – Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte – Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners

I feel extremely uncomfortable predicting Nick Nolte since Warrior was such a non-starter, but I wrote about it and him and I guess it just seems like the safest choice. But it’s not even that safe! There’s about a 10% chance he gets a nomination. There just so happen to be 22 other choices for the nomination. Exhausting.

Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain – The Help
  • Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
  • Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

So for those of you counting at home, I’m leaving off Melissa McCarthy, Vanessa Redgrave, and Carey Mulligan. Shame is just the Fassbender show, Redgrave only has weird non-buzz, and I don’t believe in the strength of Bridesmaids. My own feelings aside, it seems too broad to really break in anywhere interesting and McCarthy seems a little too 2011 right now.

Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I really wanted to keep Dragon Tattoo on here, but I just don’t think it has quite as strong of a literary narrative as these other choices. The Help could be weak because the screenplay is weak and Tinker Tailor could be out because it is unseen. But I think Zaillian will have to deal with one nomination in this category.

Original Screenplay:

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • 50/50
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Young Adult

It seems too lighthearted to be true. Look for some dark, sad spoiler to oust Young Adult or 50/50. I’m thinking A Separation or Take Shelter. P.S. This is easily my favorite category this year for potential nominees. It runs so deep in terms of quality, not in terms of plausibility.

Art Direction:

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

This is my most wishful of my forced nomination guesses for The Tree of Life. But I firmly believe that the art direction in that movie isn’t just amazing, but it also has the cool story of them buying an actual block and decorating the whole thing to be the set. That’s a cool narrative. Narratives get you nominations.

Cinematography:

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

I can’t even come up with a plausible 6th option. Moneyball?

Costume Design:

  • The Artist
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • W.E.

I had War Horse up there until the last second, but it all felt a little too Euro-centric. I added The Help for that flair of Americana.

Film Editing:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo

This entire plausible slate would send the world into an uproar. But I think Drive is strong enough to score outside of Brooks and The Descendants is powerful enough to clinch this necessary nomination.

Makeup:

  • Anonymous
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Iron Lady

This is the only category where I think sentimentality alone will sweep up Harry Potter to a nomination. Makeup is so unpredictable that why not? Harry Potter!

Original Score:

  • Ludovic Bource – The Artist
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Howard Shore – Hugo
  • Dario Marianelli – Jane Eyre
  • John Williams – War Horse

To all those predicting double Williams – you’re wrong! The Artist is a behemoth, Dragon Tattoo and the NIN boys are way too cool to pass up, Howard Shore and Hugo are breathtakingly obvious, and you never bet against Dario Marianelli doing a stringy classical score for a romantic British novel adaptation. Just don’t do it. So I had to choose a Williams.

Original Song:

  • Lay Your Head Down – Albert Nobbs
  • Star Spangled Man – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Living Proof – The Help
  • Life’s A Happy Song – The Muppets
  • Man or Muppet – The Muppets

I can’t believe a super hero movie is going to get a nomination in this category. It seems so wacky.

Sound Editing:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

Sound Mixing

  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

People seem to question The Artist and Hugo here when they happen to be the two that I am the most sure of. Sound Mixing is a little notorious for sneaking in Best Picture nominees. It also helps that these two films have sound mixes that are an active part of the story. And I’ve mentioned before that there exists no Pirates of the Caribbean movie nor a Rob Marshall movie without an Oscar nomination. I don’t bet against statistics so I made room for On Stranger Tides in this category. As I write this now I’m considering going back and predicting an Art Direction nomination too… hmm….

Visual Effects:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life

Hasn’t this been decided for months now?

Animated Feature:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Cars 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango
  • Rio

I just don’t believe that more than 2 sequels can get in. And Puss feels less like a cash grab than Kung Fu Panda 2, but let’s face it… It is such a weak year for this category. And I just can’t bring myself to nominate a movie with Christmas in the title. I was including it for it’s production diversity, but I guess Tintin gets to be European enough and Rio gets to be Latino.

Documentary Feature:

  • Bill Cunningham New York
  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Pina
  • Project Nim

Bio Doc, War Doc, Eco Doc… Check, Check, Check. I worry that I checked some of those boxes twice, but there are usually two of some kind.

Foreign Film:

  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • Omar Killed Me
  • Pina
  • A Separation

A film with “monsieur” in the title makes up for snubbing a French movie in Oscar math. Don’t ask questions.

Here is the overall nomination count for anything with more than 1 predicted nomination.

11 – The Artist

10 – Hugo

7 – The Help

6 – The Descendants

5 – The Tree of Life

4 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

3 – Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2 – The Adventures of Tintin, Drive, The Iron Lady, The Muppets, Pina, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, War Horse

I wish I could’ve found more room for War Horse. 2 seems awfully small. It is in 6th or 7th place in my predictions in Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Director, Best Picture. I could see it surprising and doing really well. But I’m predicting the other end of the spectrum… disaster.

I can’t wait to see how I did. Go Tree of Life!