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Oscar Buzz - Ladue News: Tangential Thinker

Oscar Buzz

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:23 pm | Updated: 4:32 pm, Thu Feb 2, 2012.

It’s an exciting year for Oscar: Lots of firsttime nominees and incredible performances and as always, lots of snubs. Here are the nominees in the six big categories:

BEST PICTURE

War Horse: Steven Spielberg’s WWI story about a horse, drafted for cavalry service, trying to get home to his beloved owner. The Artist: The jaw-dropping silent film about a star losing his career in the dawn of talkies.

Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen’s wildly creative romantic comedy about a writer who wanders through Paris, and through time.

Moneyball: Brad Pitt stars as Oakland A manager Billy Beane as he reinvents the game of baseball.

The Descendants: George Clooney stars and directs this drama about a family trying to cope with a sudden tragedy.

The Tree of Life: The sweeping story of a man trying to find his way after a difficult childhood with a dictatorial father in the ’50s.

The Help: A moving story about the strained relationship between white employers and black help in 1960s Mississippi.

Hugo: An orphan living in a Paris train station tries to repair a strange robotic machine.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A young boy struggles to find meaning in life after his father is killed in the 9/11 attacks.

Prediction: The Artist

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)

I would have put money on Michelle Williams… until I saw The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep’s performance is a tour de force. The only thing going against her is that Thatcher was a conservative, and Hollywood loves the liberals.

Prediction: Meryl Streep

BEST ACTOR

Demian Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

On the list of actors who don’t have an Oscars but deserve one, Gary Oldman’s name is at the top. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is his year.

Prediction: Jean Dujardin

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)

Melissa McCarthy is surprisingly the favorite here as the Academy sets out to prove that they do recognize comedy, but I’m going to disagree.

Prediction: Octavia Spencer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

This is the one category that everyone seems to think has a clear runaway favorite, and I agree.

Prediction: Christopher Plummer

BEST DIRECTOR

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

Woody Allen seems to have such disdain for Oscar and gets no love back. Tree of Life and The Descendants left audiences divided. That leaves Scorsese and newcomer Hazanavicius. Either Scorsese is going to get a well-deserved second statue after being neglected for so long or…

Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius

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