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 was very proud of myself for once again pulling an all-nighter and staying awake until nearly 5 a.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) to watch the Academy Awards telecast in real time. You see, I was a bit run down because of one of those perpetual viruses that always seem to going around in the west of Ireland during the eleven and a half non-summer months of the year. Plus I still hadn’t fully recovered from a two-and-a-half day film watching mini-marathon the previous weekend at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. So I had seriously considered not staying up Sunday night/Monday morning instead watching the broadcast sometime in the next day or so. But in the end, I manned up and toughed it out. I was very proud of myself that, in the morning, I could recite the highlights of the ceremony to the Missus.

“Sure,” she said, “I had all that information after listening to the radio for five minutes.”

I’m sure there really was a good reason for staying up all night, but right now I’m a bit too tired to remember it.

It sure wasn’t to be wowed by surprise after surprise. The powers that be have long since made sure that the event itself would have few, if any, unplanned moments. And the winners pretty much went as prognosticated by pretty much everybody. I think this is the first time ever (fairly sure anyway, I’m too tired to actually check) that not a single of my picks in the “Most Deserving to Win” column hit pay dirt. And I would have run the “Most Likely to Win” table if I could only get a handle on the two major acting awards. The conventional wisdom switched to George Clooney to Jean Dujardin as the big night approached, but my self-imposed rules prevented me from changing my prediction. And it was always going to be a toss-up between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis for Best Actress, and frankly I was surprised that the voters wound up going with the frequently nominated and occasional winning Streep, doing a sympathetic portrayal of a conservative icon.

I’ll have more to say after I get some more sleep.


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win


Best Picture

The Artist


Best Actor

George Clooney (The Descendants)

Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Best Actress

Viola Davis (The Help)

Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

Best Supporting Actress

Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Best Original Screenplay

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

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

Best Animated Feature


Chico & Rita

Best Foreign Language Film

A Separation (Iran)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

Total Scores

8 instances of predictability

0 cases of personal vindication for me

2 middling surprises