By Ryan Hiller
On Sunday, Hollywood hosts its biggest night and awards for the best in their industry at the 84th annual Academy Awards. Personally, I love to watch the Oscars to see who wins coveted awards. It’s always fun to predict the winners and see how well the predictions matched up with actual results. This year should be especially exciting because while some categories have clear front runners, others are not as easy to predict. Here is my prediction for who will take home the top 6 prizes and why.
There are 9 films nominated for Best Picture this year; however The Artist should easily snag the night’s biggest honor. I have heard a lot of people say that a silent film shouldn’t win because it shows a lack of progress in filmmaking but I have to say I disagree. The movie is a perfect homage to the silent films of the past. While I agree that the story isn’t the most original, it faithfully recreates the world that the lavish stars of silent film lived in and how quickly they fell when talkies came into vogue. The use of color, light, framing and music all reflect what was used in the early days of film. The film’s stars also carry the plot without relying on a vocal performance and do so successfully. My money is on The Artist.
Best Director and Best Picture awards typically match up with each other (the last time they didn’t correlate was in 2005 when Ang Lee won for Brokeback Mountain while Crash was named Best Picture). Given the odds of a match up, I say Michel Hazanavicius will win for his work on The Artist.
This award has been heavily split between George Clooney of The Descendants and Jean Dujardin of The Artist. Both men took home Golden Globe Awards while Dujardin bested Clooney at the SAG Awards. I say Dujardin will be the winner given all the love The Artist has received and because Clooney won an Oscar in 2005 for Syriana.
Like the Best Actor award, this too has been split between two actresses at all the major award shows. These strong contenders include Viola Davis for The Help and Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady. This award is hard to call because both women are amazing actresses (Streep broke her own record with her 17th Oscar nomination this year, but she has not won since 1982). The Help was a much better received movie (the cast won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast) therefore I think it betters Davis’s chance of winning. That being said, the academy is probably getting sick of sending the most nominated actress home as a loser every year. I’d like to see Michelle Williams cause an upset and win for My Week with Marilyn, not because it was a great movie but because I think she should have won in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain and was overlooked because of her work on a WB soap. I think this is Streep’s year, after 15 losses she deserves to win again.
Best Supporting Actor
The supporting categories are much easier to predict because the same individuals have won almost every award this season. Christopher Plummer will win for this work in Beginners. After a career that has spanned several decades this will be Plummer’s first win.
Best Supporting Actress
This has been a great year for actresses in supporting roles. It’s wonderful that the academy honored Melissa McCarthy for her hilarious role in Bridesmaids. However, the academy will never award that performance. Berenice Bejo steels The Artist from her co-star but this year’s winner was decided long ago. Octavia Spencer has deservedly won every major award leading up to the Oscars for her role in The Help. There are few sure things at this year’s show but Spencer is one of them.
I expect The Artist to be the night’s biggest winner (although Hugo has the most nominations). James Earl Jones will receive the Academy Honorary Award and Oprah Winfrey is being awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Host Billy Crystal returns to host the show for his 9th time and always delivers an entertaining telecast.