Jean Dujardin and Viola Davis are the smart bets to take home Oscars

Many might say they care about best picture but in reality everyone watches for the actors.  The glitz, the glam and the biggest names in Hollywood hanging out is like a live action gossip magazine.  Although I may adore the Oscars, I can’t stand most of the speeches.  I cringe almost everytime with embarrassment for a person massively more successful and prettier than me… well successful anyways.  I hate it when someone isn’t prepared, cries or is played off by the band during their speech.  Nevertheless, I predict it will all happen and my sadistic love for the Academy Awards will live on.  Part Three of our Oscar Predictions – Acting.

Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Actor in a Leading Role: Demián Bichir in A BETTER LIFE, George Clooney in THE DESCENDANTS, Jean Dujardin in THE ARTIST, Gary Oldman in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Brad Pitt in MONEYBALL

Projected Winner: Jean Dujardin in THE ARTIST.  Some great talent is in this category.  Bichir is a surprise nomination but he’s also a great unconventional choice who gave a great performance.  I love Oldman but he didn’t do much other than sit quietly while giving pensive looks. Pitt was phenomenal in two films this year with MONEYBALL and THE TREE OF LIFE but the roles were too familiar. I think Clooney is the favorite to win but not by much.  My pick is the winner of the SAG Awards who will slip in and win this because his charming silent performance is deserving.

Christopher Plummer in Beginners

Actor in a Supporting Role: Kenneth Branagh in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, Jonah Hill in MONEYBALL, Nick Nolte in WARRIOR, Christopher Plummer in BEGINNERS, Max von Sydow in EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE

Projected Winner:  Christopher Plummer in BEGINNERS.  Jonah Hill was great as the nervous young right hand man to Pitt’s Billy Beane but his nomination is an honor in itself.  I have no idea why Kenneth Branagh was even considered and Nolte and Sydow were solid but they can’t compete in what is the biggest lock of all the categories in Plummer.  He is a highly respected veteran who never won with a delightfully deserving performance as a gay father dying of cancer.

Octavia Spencer in The Help

Actress in a Supporting Role: Bérénice Bejo in THE ARTIST, Jessica Chastain in THE HELP, Melissa McCarthy in BRIDESMAIDS, Janet McTeer in ALBERT NOBBS, Octavia Spencer in THE HELP

Projected Winner:  Octavia Spencer in THE HELP.  Chastain had a breakout year with several great performances in some excellent movies.  While I named her as a potential nominee back in the summer, the fact that she is up against her fellow cast member with a much larger and impactful part gives her no chance.  McCarthy owns BRIDESMAIDS but the nomination is the reward.  I thought Bejo should have been nominated in the lead category and is the one person with the possibility to pull out an upset over Spencer who has gone relatively undefeated in all the other awards.

Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard in The Help

Actress in a Leading Role: Glenn Close in ALBERT NOBBS, Viola Davis in THE HELP, Rooney Mara in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Meryl Streep in THE IRON LADY, Michelle Williams in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

Projected Winner:  Viola Davis in THE HELP.  Some might say this is a close race but while Streep’s performance was magnificent as usual the film was a bore, likewise for Williams as Marilyn Monroe.  Close did a great job but no one saw her film and my personal favorite performance of the year from Mara is widely considered a lucky to be nominated role, so Davis has this in the bag.  She was excellent as well.

Check back for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay

Oscar Predictions Part 1: Documentary, Foreign Language Film and Animated Feature

Oscar Predictions Part 2: Visual Effects, Score, Cinematography and other Technical Awards

By Nathan Swank


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