Oscar Predictions Part 1: The Pretty Categories

With the Oscars now five days away, I’m unveiling my predictions in batches. I’m starting with some of my favorite, most overlooked categories of the night: the art categories. Or as I, and some of my friends at Culturish call them, the Pretties. I’m a sucker for a movie that looks good, so these actually matter to me quite a bit, more than Best Picture most years (if only because my favorite film in a given year tends not to win, as is the case with most people I imagine). Anyway, on to the predix (predicted winners in italics)

Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Midnight in Paris

War Horse

This category leans lush. All things being equal, that’d favor the gothic, battle-torn Hogwarts, but the Harry Potter series has yet to win an Oscar. It can be hard to tell when Hugo’s sets end and special effects begin, but that didn’t hurt Avatar or Alice in Wonderland. It’s literally the most visible film in the batch. That should be more than enough.

Costume Design


The Artist


Jane Eyre


Presence in other Oscar categories matters little in the category. Past winners include The Young Victoria, The Duchess, Marie Antoinette, and Restoration. Period films dominate the category, and the older the setting the better. Eight of the last 13 winners have been set in the 19th century or earlier.While The Artist and Hugo are both threats, I’m going with Jane Eyre and its designer Michael O’Connor, who won previously for The Duchess.


The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

My favorite Oscar category. This is the one time I’ll let my heart dictate my decision. Emmanuel Lubezki should win this handily. Hell, he deserved to win already for The New World  and Children of Men,  and probably for A Little Princess  as well. I pray he doesn’t become another Roger Deakins. The Tree of Life is one of the immaculately shot films I’ve ever seen, but I suspect War Horse with its countless pretty canvases and vistas is more attuned to the Academy’s taste. Hugo, for that matter, might ride the Avatar “it’s shiny, so let’s throw these awards at it and call it a day” rail to a win. Still, my fingers are crossed.


Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Iron Lady

Unless the Academy is deeply impressed by Meryl Streep’s overbite, I expect the Harry Potter series finally gets an Oscar here. I know they seem to hate Harry for some odd reason but come on. They made The Wolfman an Oscar winner last year. I doubt their resentment goes so far as to reward that film and deny Harry Potter here out of spite.

Tomorrow: The tech and short film awards

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About johnmichaelmaximilian

Freelance writer from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Movies are my favorite thing.

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