Oscar predictions part 3: Screenplay and the “other” feature awards
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash)
Hugo (John Logan)
The Ides of March (George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willmon)
Moneyball (Stephen Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan)
This category has all the makings of a former Best Picture frontrunner being thrown a bone so it doesn’t walk away empty-handed. Alexander Payne got the same deal for Sideways in 2004, and he’ll probably win his second Oscar (along with Dean Pelton from “Community”!)
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
Bridesmaids (Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig)
Margin Call (J.C. Chandor)
Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
The same deal as above, with the added narrative a legend regaining his form. Woody Allen won this award for his first two Best Picture nominees (Best Picture winner Annie Hall and shoulda won Best Picture Hannah and her Sisters) and the Academy will be happy to give him another for his third.
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Even with the snubs for Albert Brooks and Michael Fassbender and the Best Picture nod for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Chico & Rita and A Cat in Paris pulled off perhaps the biggest surprise of nomination morning when they beat out Tin Tin in this category. The surprised will end there, however. Rango was something of a sleeper hit whose reputation only grew as the year went along. I’d prefer Kung Fu Panda 2, personally, but Rango will make for a perfectly fine addition to the category’s winners list.
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls Short: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
The Academy has been awarding this to the most buzzed documentaries of their given years recently. They then went and snubbed the year’s two most talked-about docs: The Interrupters and Project Nim. That leaves Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory as an option to have a do-over for one of the best and most socially important documentaries of the last 20 years: the haunting, original Paradise Lost, which won an Emmy but somehow missed out on Oscar consideration.
Foreign Language Film
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)
In Darkness (Poland)
While some pundits (Slant Magazine, for example) have predicted that the Academy’s love for the most cloying nominee will lead to an upset for In Darkness, I think the buzz for A Separation is overwhelming. Where Slant falters is in the buzz category. The Sea Inside, for example, was a favorite all Oscar season, and The Secret in Their Eyes was buzzing something fierce at the last moments in a year with a tight race. A Separation has the buzz/acclaim combo that usually leads to a win here.
Tomorrow (later today, really): The acting Oscars