Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

My 2012 Academy Award Predictions (for movies released in 2011)

I think I’ve finally gotten a handle on why my Academy Award predictions always go so tragically awry. I think it may have to do with the drinking game I play on Oscar night (or on, where I live, Oscar morning). You see, for every category I get wrong, I take a drink. For every category I miss by a mile, I take two drinks. For every category I make a prediction for that doesn’t actually exist, I take five drinks. I’m starting to suspect that this may be a disincentive to even trying to make accurate predictions. It probably doesn’t help that I use a similar approach to actually making the predictions.

Once again I find myself in the position of railing against the Academy’s powers that be for not nominating one of my favorite films of the year in any category, apparently out of bias because it falls in the science fiction genre. That would be the estimable Duncan Jones’s Source Code. I think Jones is a great filmmaker, and this movie was one of the best of the year. But, despite the apparent breakthrough of Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King a few years ago sweeping up at the Oscars, it turns out that either that was the exception that proves the rule or, alternatively, that the academy is willing to recognize a great fantasy movie but not a science fiction one. Anyway, what would the Oscars be without sci-fi fans having something to grumble about?

As usual, the contest has boiled down to a battle between two major nominees. This year it is between The Artist and Hugo. Usually, I have a distinct preference for one over the other. (Usually not the one that turns out to be the big winner.) But I loved both of these movies, even though I think Hugo was the better one. Happily, I can say that I won’t begrudge The Artist any of the awards that it wins.

Only three weeks and a bit until the telecast. Time to start stocking the liquor cabinet.


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Should Have Been Nominated But Wasn’t

Best Picture

The Artist


Source Code

Best Actor

George Clooney (The Descendants)

Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Brendan Gleeson (The Guard)

Best Actress

Viola Davis (The Help)

Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

Ben Kingsley (Hugo)

Best Supporting Actress

Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)

Fionnula Flanagan (The Guard)

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Duncan Jones (Source Code)

Best Original Screenplay

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Ben Ripley (Source Code)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais and Simon Maxwell (Killing Bono)

Best Animated Feature


Chico & Rita

Winnie the Pooh

Best Foreign Language Film

A Separation (Iran)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

The Skin I Live In (Spain)