On the eve of the 84th Annual Academy Awards, we present to you our picks in all the major categories
Our Pick: Moneyball
Everything about Moneyball screams talent, from Bennett Miller’s direction and Aaron?Sorkin’s screenplay to Brad Pitt’s understated yet superb performance. Moneyball is an intellectual film in that it needs an understanding of baseball. But for fans of film, this is certainly the best film of the year.
Who’s likely to win: The Artist
The Artist is everything the Academy loves in a winner. It’s European (the perennial fad) it’s innovative, it’s emotional, and it has a cute dog in it. Academy members will love it, and plump for it, but it certainly isn’t going to be one of those that will be remembered for a very long time. Who knows, Woody might even sneak in.
Actor in a Leading Role
Our Pick: Gary Oldmen, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Arguably the finest actor among all the nominees. For far too long Gary has been underrated, cast as a character actor when he has all the ability to take on even the finest leading men. His turn in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is his best performance in a while, and it’s time he won and shouldn’t end up like Peter O’Toole.
Who’s likely to win: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
We say Dujardin simply because of the hype surrounding the film, but George Clooney also stands a good chance of taking the gong, given his solid performance verging on despairing. Brad Pitt is also due, but if he winds best actor, then Moneyball won’t win Best Picture.
Actress in a Leading Role
Our Pick: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep needs an Oscar after being so cruelly overlooked for Julie & Julia. The most nominated actress in the history of the Oscars found in Margaret Thatcher one of her most challenging roles, but delivered with her usual finesse and class. Tackling Thatcher, an icon famous, or infamous, for battling for her place in a man’s world, is no easy task… and only Streep could have done her justice.
Who’s likely to win: Viola Davis, The Help
This is not a race issue, that was discarded years ago. There’s no doubting that Davis is exceptional as the abused housemaid, but it’s the subject matter that will win it.
Best Foreign Film
Our Pick: A Separation
It’s for a reason A Separation is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing Iranian film to ever be released in the US. Backed by splendid performances, Asghar Farhadi’s incisive examination of domestic struggle and familial loyalties is universal in its appeal and is sure to hit the jackpot.
Who’s Likely to Win: A Separation
Because no one deserves it more.
Best Supporting Actor
Our Pick: Johan Hill, Moneyball
Comedy has far too often been cast aside at the Oscars, and actors don’t get much funnier than Jonah Hill. The actor showed his full range when he segwayed from his dead-pan character Peter Brand in Moneyball, to the outrageously funny Noah Griffith in The Sitter. Jonah Hill needs to get this if for no other reason than to prove that tears and rage, don’t necessarily an actor make.
Who’s Likely to Win: Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Kenneth’s got more pedigree than a Newfoundland (that’s a good thing) and here he plays another screen god, Laurence Olivier, and that might be an intoxicating combination for the Academy.
Best Supporting Actress
Our Pick: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Anyone who’s watched The Gilmore Girls and Mike & Molly will know that there are a few comdiennes with Melissa’s timing. Cherubic, but blessed with a razor tongue, she slayed the rest of the impressive cast in the hilarious Bridesmaids. Her character was, well, so out of her comfort zone, that her performance could have either bombed or soared. We’re happy it did the latter.
Who’s Likely to Win: Jessica Chastain, The Help
A truly solid performance, but once again here it will be the subject matter that tilts the votes. The Academy is not going to vote The Help in the Best Picture category and will make up for it everywhere else.