Oscar Thoughts

Alrighty then!  It is that time of the year folks and I am joining the mass of Internet people bluntly throwing out their thoughts about the upcoming 84th Annual Oscars.  I am excited to see what comes of this years film awards as they are some of the most interesting nominations I have ever seen.  So, sit back, relax, and please enjoy my thoughts on the Oscars airing this Sunday on ABC at 4pm Pacific.

First, a quick personal note on the Oscars.
I want to remind you that this is all just a guessing game.  What the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says is the best picture or who was the best actor and actress of 2011 does NOT in any way make it the final word in the matter.  I have described this to friends as such:  Suppose we asked a class of Math Majors to pick the best Mathematician of all time via a vote.  Suppose further that we then asked all of the Math and Physics majors to try to guess what the class’s selection would be.  This is what the Oscars is – a hopefully objective guessing game at what another group of people subjectively chooses as the Best.  More often than not it ends up being a subjective prediction of subjectivity and that inevitably leads to a lot of angry Harry Potter fans. 🙂

With that said, I want to remind you that the members of the Academy are professionals in the field of the Cinematic Arts.  They know their stuff and a lot of them create the works that vie for the Academy Awards, so one cannot discount their opinions as being entirely misguided.  HOWEVER, please do not take their opinions or mine as Motion Picture Gospel.  We are all just people, trying to grasp Truth in the medium of film.  In short, don’t get worked up when the Academy doesn’t choose your favorite film.  They are doing their best and they pick whom they will.  As my friend Ryan likes to say, “My predictions are not who I WANT to win.  They are who I think WILL win.”  Don’t like it?  Blog about it. 🙂

On to the important stuff!  Below is the list of each category of awards and, next to that, my prediction of who will win.  The are broken up by type of award – starting with the “BIG 5” Oscars, followed by the Technical Awards, and, finally, the ancillary film awards.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but I believe I have a good sense of this year’s picks and further predict a 50+ percent success rate for these prognostications.  Please enjoy and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!
After the ceremony, I plan to go back in and highlight each film I predicted correctly in Red Text and mark each one that I missed via Strikethrough.

“BIG 5”

Best Picture — The Artist
Best Actor — Jean Dujardin
Best Actress — Viola Davis *Meryl Streep
Best Supporting Actor — Christopher Plummer
Best Supporting Actress — Octavia Spencer

Technical Awards

Art Direction — Hugo
Cinematography — Tree of Life *Hugo
Costume Design — Anonymous *The Artist
Directing — Michel Hazanavicius
Film Editing — The Descendants *Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Makeup — Harry Potter 7 pt 2 *The Iron Lady
Music (Score) — The Artist
Music (Song) — Man or Muppet (The Muppets)
Sound Editing — Drive *Hugo
Sound Mixing — Hugo
Visual Effects — Rise of the Planet of the Apes *Hugo
Writing (Adapted) — The Descendants
Writing (Original) — The Artist *The Shore

Ancillary Film Awards

Animated Film — Rango
Documentary Feature — If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front *Undefeated
Documentary Short Film — The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom *Saving Face
Foreign Film — A Separation
Short Film (Animated) — A Morning Stroll *Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Short Film (Live Action) — Tuba Atlantic *The Shore

Brief Thoughts

I would like to end on a few comments on the films that are nominated that I have been able to actually see, both as justification for why I did or did not pick them to win, and to inform you of my personal opinions of each.  These reviews will be short and sweet, giving you as much as you need to know in a very short caption.  Enjoy and again, PLEASE let me know what you think of these films.  I absolutely love Oscar talk and I look forward to breaking the winners down after Sunday has past.

War Horse — Black Beauty in WWI; Go cry over either the gorgeous horse or the gorgeous lighting and ignore the wisp of a plot they tacked on (Horses can’t act).

The Artist — A wonderful homage to the films that made all of this possible; Beautifully Meta (I have never been so aware of the audience), it encapsulates the joy of the movies…and of winning all the Oscars.

Tree of Life — Very simply, SEE THIS FILM.  It is a magical and mysterious visual version of John Cage’s 4’33”.

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt.2 — Gotta love HP but aparently the Oscars don’t (though after having rewatched it, I feel/hope I am wrong about the Visual Effects award.

*Puss in Boots — One Thousand times better than I would have given it credit for, I do actually recommend you see this film.  It isn’t exactly soul-changing and I have problems with the ending, but it certainly was a very fun take on the Western genre.  Viva el Gato!

*Rango — So, it is to be a showdown between an American Western and a Mexican Western for the Animation Award this year.  🙂  Beautifully quirky and existential, Rango is a hilarious, serious, and beautiful film that all should see.

*The Help —  I saw this just before the Oscars and it left me with two thoughts.  First,  I am very comfortable with my best leading and supporting actress picks.  Second, this film beautifully uses the motif of tackling Racism to ACTUALLY tackle Sexism.  Go see this film that is one of the best portrayal’s of women I have seen in a long time.

* = Added after the post went live on Thursday

Thank you again for stopping by!  I have a lot more in the works so check back soon for more content here soon!  Until next time, happy Movie-Watching!

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Author: Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar

2 thoughts on “Oscar Thoughts”

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