May 23, 2013
Written by Mark Schumann, Father of Three
Thursday, 19 January 2012 12:16
Next Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its nominations for the 84th Oscars. For movie lovers, this begins a marvelous season of speculation and debate. Here are the Reel Dad’s picks for the Oscar nominations.
Best Picture. This year’s race may be more interesting than ever because of Oscar’s new voting system. We won’t know until Tuesday how many films will actually be nominated for the top award. It could be as few as five or as many as 10 depending on how many first place votes a film receives when Academy voters rank their top five choices in order. The Artist is a top contender for its brilliant use of silent film traditions to recreate the transition to talking pictures. The Descendants beautifully examines a family’s grief after discovering a painful secret. Midnight in Paris marks Woody Allen’s return to the wonders of film comedy, Hugo demonstrates a fresh and surprising side of Martin Scorcese’s movie magic and Moneyball dares to reinvent the baseball picture. If the Academy names additional nominees, look for the popular comedy Bridesmaids, the touching drama The Help, David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Steven Spielberg’s return to the big screen epic with War Horse and A Separation, the acclaimed film from Iran.
Best Actor. With two strong performances in 2011, look for Brad Pitt to be nominated for The Tree of Life or, more likely, for his subtle portrayal of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane in Moneyball. George Clooney will be nominated for portraying a man who tries to hold on to any anchors he can find in The Descendants and Jean Dujardin will be remembered as the actor trying to adjust to microphones in The Artist. Rounding out the list should be Leonardo DiCaprio as the mysterious director of the FBI in J. Edgar and Michael Fassbender for his devastating turn in Shame.
Best Actress. One of these years, the Academy will finally decide to give Meryl Streep a third Oscar (to go along with her awards for Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice). Whether or not this is the year, she will receive her 17th nomination for the acting master class she delivers as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Viola Davis will be strong competition for her inspiring work in The Help, Michelle Williams will get a nod for recreating Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, and Tilda Swinton should be a nominee her heartbreaking mother-in-distress in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Glenn Close will likely get the fifth spot for playing a woman who pretends to be a man in Albert Nobbs while my choice would be Charlize Theron as a confused woman in Young Adult.
Best Supporting Actor. Christopher Plummer leads the pack for his stirring work as a senior citizen who comes out of the closet in Beginners. Joining him should be Albert Brooks as a bad guy in Drive and Jonah Hill as a charming mathematical wizard in Moneyball. Kenneth Branagh will likely be in the running for playing Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn while Viggo Mortenson may be remembered for A Dangerous Method. The fifth slot should go to Ezra Miller for We Need to Talk About Kevin or Max Von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Best Supporting Actress. Octavia Spencer is sure to be nominated for her sassy work in The Help, which should also bring a nomination to Jessica Chastain. Let’s hope Carey Mulligan is remembered for her devastating turn in Shame along with Shailene Woodley’s memorable portrayal of an adolescent in grief in The Descendants. Rounding the top five should be Janet McTeer for delivering a remarkable performance as another woman pretending to be a man in Albert Nobbs.
Best Director. Now that the Academy can name up to 10 nominees for Best Picture, the selection of Best Director contenders is watched even more closely. Look for Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist and Alexander Payne for The Descendants to top the list. Woody Allen should again be nominated for Midnight in Paris as well as another past winner, Martin Scorcese, for his dazzling work in the 3-D Hugo. The fifth slot should go to Bennett Miller for Moneyball, Tate Taylor for The Help or Terence Malick for The Tree of Life.
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