And the winner is ...
Oscar buzz is in the air. By this time tomorrow, the top honours in film will have been handed out. For some it will be heartbreak; for others, a momentous evening, filled with dream-come-true moments to end a wonderful year of movie-making. And for viewers of the 84th Academy Awards, it'll be all about red carpet outfits and predicting the winners.
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal will make his ninth appearance as host. There's little surprise that Martin Scorsese's foray into 3D leads with 11 nominations, followed by the 10 nominations of the black-and-white silent film, The Artist. The two will face off in a number of categories, notably Best Picture and BestDirector.
Moneyball and War Horse received six nominations each, but there was none for Steven Spielberg's work as director of the Latter. Rounding out the top spots for nominations are The Descendants and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with five nominations each.
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- The Tree of Life
- War Horse
Our prediction: Tree of Life has polarised the public, especially as a Best Picture candidate. Many feel British espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is more deserving. Nevertheless, this comes down to a race between only two films, Hugo and The Artist. It is The Artist, we believe, that will make history as the only silent film to win in 83 years.
Actor In a Leading Role
- Demian Bichir - A Better Life
- George Clooney - The Descendants
- Jean Dujardin - The Artist
- Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- Brad Pitt - Moneyball
Our Prediction: We're disappointed that an animal-unfriendly rule set in 1929 prevents Uggie, the dog in The Artist, from being nominated. Without Uggie, Clooney and Dujardin are the front runners. Dujardin gets bonus points for achieving what he did without any dialogue. Both are deserving, but we give a slight edge to Dujardin.
Actress In a Leading Role
- 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
Our Prediction: The feel-good pick goes to Viola Davis, who was getting major Oscar buzz leading up to the awards. But the smart money - our tip, too - is on Meryl Streep. Why? Because she's Meryl Streep. Playing a female political figure only helps her chances.
- Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
- Alexander Payne - The Descendants
- Martin Scorsese - Hugo
- Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
- Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
Our Prediction: This is perhaps the most highly contested of all the categories, with all nominees in serious contention. We agree with Golden Globe voters and go for Scorsese.
Animated Feature Film
- A Cat in Paris
- Chico & Rita
- Kung Fu Panda 2
- Puss in Boots
Our prediction: A relatively new category, and, if history repeats, it'll go to a fairly commercial film. That basically narrows it down to DreamWorks Studios (Kung Fu Panda 2) v Nickelodeon Movies (Rango).
Of the two, Rango, is a piece of art. (Don't laugh!) It should get the nod, we think.