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After much deliberation, here are Awards Frenzy’s 2012 Oscar Predictions.
Last year, we had one of our most successful predictions years ever, correctly predicting 3 out of 10 Best Picture nominees a year in advance, including Best Picture runner-up “The Social Network.” We also were accurate in predicting Colin Firth to win Best Actor in “The King’s Speech” and Christian Bale to win Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter.” Let’s see how we do this year.
2012 Best Picture Nominees:
The Ides of March:
George Clooney directs this political drama about a young staffer (Ryan Gosling) who is exposed to dirty politics on the campaign trail. With 2012 being an election year, this film may just hit the spot. The fact that Gosling (Blue Valentine), Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck), and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) are all involved gives it an added boost.
Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson star in this drama about a divorced writer who returns to the midwest and re-connects with an old flame and his new family. The film is directed by Jason Reitman, one of Hollywood’s hottest directors (Juno, Up in the Air). Reitman displays great insight as a director and his movies always feature interesting, complex characters and say something profound about life. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to say he will snag his third straight Best Picture nomination.
The winner of the Sundance Jury prize, this story centers around a pair of young lovers who are separated when the girl’s visa expires and she is banned from the country. Last year’s jury prize winner (Winter’s Bone) was nominated for Best Picture and this film, which is said to be intense and pure emotion, will likely ride critical support all the way to the top.
The Iron Lady:
Five words. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. If done right, this is a film that could potentially sweep next year’s Oscars. The biggest question is whether or not the film is completed in time. Jim Broadbent plays Denis Thatcher and the rest of the supporting cast is top notch. It doesn’t hurt that this film boasts hands down the best title of all the Best Picture contenders. It just rings of prestige.
This one has a lot of promise. George Clooney stars in an Alexander Payne directed movie about a father who tries to re-connect with his adult daughters after their mother dies in an accident. Payne is overdue for an Oscar (see About Schmidt, Sideways) and Clooney has been sensational recently in challenging roles (Michael Clayton, Up in the Air). The film seems to bear some thematic similarity to “Young Adult,” and it will be interesting to see which one emerges as a stronger contender.
Call this one a sleeper. Lone Scherfig (An Education) directs Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in a touching love story about two college students who share a special night, and then revisit each other’s lives every day, once a year, for the next twenty years. Wow. If done poorly, it could be the next Lifetime movie of the week. If properly executed, nothing short of the next “Forrest Gump.” Scherfig’s powerful directing led Carey Mulligan to an Oscar nomination, and she could easily do the same for Hathaway.
A Dangerous Method:
David Cronenberg is such a wild-card. “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises” were highly regarded and embraced by critics, but fell short of Best Picture nominations. This time though, he trades in ultra violence for a searing character study of the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud and the birth of psychoanalysis. The film starts Oscar favorites Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley. This could finally be the breakthrough year for Cronenberg.
Brad Pitt stays as Billy Beane, the manager of the Oakland As who innovatively rebuilt the franchise on a shoe-string budget. The film is directed by Bennett Miller, previously nominated for “Capote.” While we’re not high on Pitt, the film’s premises seems interesting and original enough to stand out among other tried and true Oscar contenders. A strong supporting cast of Robin Wright and Phillip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t hurt either.
We Bought a Zoo:
Cameron Crowe is back, this time spearheading a film about a man who uproots his young family to a new town so they can re-open a struggling zoo. The film stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Thomas Haden Church. While we are probably least confident about this pick, we just can’t resist going with Crowe, who has now had many years to stew over the failed experiment called “Elizabethtown.” Since he’s working with two of Hollywood’s finest actors (Damon, Johansson), he should have a shot to really hit the jackpot.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:
And last but not least, the most anticipated film of the year. Fresh off the phenomenal “The Social Network,” David Fincher is back in the director’s chair, guiding Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig through the big budget adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s first book of the bestselling Swedish mystery trilogy. The story, with myriad themes and complex characters, is half “Mystic River,” half “The Silence of the Lambs.” With a box office that will likely go through the roof, this film could go a very long way if the critics get behind it too.
Just Missing the Cut:
Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” features an all-star cast of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Marion Cotillard, but it’s an action thriller about a deadly virus outbreak and we think it may be more of a box office smash than an Oscar movie. Same goes for Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret,” which is a sentimental movie about an orphan living inside a train station during 1930s Paris. Another children’s story from a renowned director is “War Horse,” about a young man who joins the war in order to be reunited with his horse. While Spielberg is beloved by the Academy, this film feels a little too light for the Academy.
Johnny Depp may get some attention for playing a journalist re-examining his life while stationed out in the Caribbean in “Rum Diary,” as will Daniel Craig for assuming the role of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Meanwhile, George Clooney will likely earn another nomination for a baity, dramatic role in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendents,” but we’re going with the vastly underrated Viggo Mortensen, terrific in everything he’s ever been in, to take home the Gold for playing Sigmund Freud in the historical drama “A Dangerous Method.”
Along with Mortensen, Knightly will probably turns heads in “A Dangerous Method,” but we feel she’s still a year or two away from her Natalie Portman “Black Swan” role. Charlize Theron seems to have a great chance in “Young Adult,” but she’s won before, which may hurt her in a competitive field. One contender has got to be Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn.” But the film, about Monroe’s relationship with Laurence Olivier on the set of a play, features two leading female performances, potentially diluting Williams’ chances. Ultimately, it should come down to Rooney Mara’s spunky, pierced and tattooed one of a kind Lisbeth Salander character from “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and Meryl’s Streep’s Margaret Thatcher from “Iron Lady.” Even though Streep has won twice before, the last was over twenty-five years ago so we think the Academy may want to hand the 16 time nominee one more trophy for her mantle.
Best Supporting Actor:
Phillip Seymour Hoffman is up to his old tricks as a team owner in the baseball drama “Moneyball” opposite Brad Pitt, while legendary Ben Kingsley will probably distinguish himself in Martin Scorsese’s magical “Hugo Cabret.” But we’re putting our money on Christopher Plummer, who plays the patriach Henrik Vanger in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Plummer, despite an illustrious career, has never won an Oscar and this would be a perfect lifetime achievement award for him.
Best Supporting Actress:
Robin Wright’s got two shots, with “Moneyball” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” with the latter probably her better bet. Remember Marisa Tomei, who pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history when she won for “My Cousin Vinny?” She could be back and among the favorites for her role in George Clooney’s political drama “The Ides of March.” We’re going to go, however, with Scarlett Johansson in Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo.” Crowe seems to bring out the best in his actresses (see past nominees Renee Zellweger, “Jerry Maguire,” Kate Hudson, “Almost Famous,”) and Johansson is one of Hollywood’s rising stars who perfectly fits the profile of a recent Best Supporting Actress winner.
Summary of Predictions:
Best Picture: “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, “A Dangerous Method”
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Iron Lady”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson, “We Bought a Zoo”