This has been a weird year in our film-going life & The Big Night really seemed to sneak up on us this time. We decided early on that we weren't going to do our Annual Oscar Push this year - we just don't have the time - & my dad & stepmom (with whom we usually have a friendly competition) had come to the same conclusion. But despite choosing to take it easy this time around, & having seen a lot of our standard fare this summer but not a lot of typical Oscar fare, we have done moderately well in movie viewing leading up to the Big Show.
Best Picture: we've seen The Artist, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, & The Tree of Life. I hated Tree of Life, it's a really weird movie. We both liked Moneyball, but it is a predictable true life piece, to use its own vernacular, it's more of a base hit than a homerun movie. Midnight in Paris is great, but I'm thinking it will win Original Screenplay. Between The Artist & Hugo, I liked The Artist slightly better - both are very good, I just thought The Artist had a better overall story & presentation. Hugo will probably get Visual Effects & quite likely Art Direction (Dante Feretti!).
Best Director: we've seen The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius), Hugo (Martin Scorcese), Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen), & The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick). As I said, I really didn't like Tree of Life, it is a very strange & hard to follow film. I liked all the others. Midnight in Paris is Allen in top form again, which is delightful to see. Hugo was beautiful. But I'm going with The Artist again here.
Best Actor: we've seen The Artist (Jean Dujardin), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Gary Oldman), & Moneyball (Brad Pitt). All three men are good in their roles, again base hits. Although I haven't seen The Descendants, I've heard great things & am betting on George Clooney here.
Supporting Actor: we've seen Moneyball (Jonah Hill). He's fabulous in this movie, possibly better than Pitt, but he's a long shot in my opinion. Here I bet on Christopher Plummer in Beginners.
Best Actress: we've seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Rooney Mara). She's terrific in this film, & they did a decent job of adapting it although the book is still better. Nonetheless, bet against Meryl Streep? No, not likely, go for The Iron Lady here.
Supporting Actress: we've seen The Artist (Berenice Bejo). Again, a talented actress in a great role, but I'm not expecting a sweep. I went with Octavia Spencer (The Help).
Best Animated Feature: amazingly, we've seen none of the nominees! Even more amazing? The Academy did not see fit to nominate the new Winnie the Pooh film! Really now. I'm beginning to think they figured the only way to get Johnny Depp an Oscar was to have a field where Rango could be the stand-out winner. Love Johnny, but Pooh's film was great - rent it, peeps!
So, we're off to the grocery store to lay in snacks for tonight. I'm looking forward to Billy Crystal hosting again. I hope it's a good show. Oh, & rent Winnie the Pooh (or buy it!), stupid Academy that was totally worthy of a nomination & possibly even Pooh's second Oscar (first won for Blustery Day in 1969).