Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Matching wits with the Academy: How did I do?

Yesterday I posted my predictions for this year's Oscar nominations. And as Academy President Tom Sherak and last year's Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence announced the nominations this morning, among the gasps heard from time to time were some of mine.

I didn't match the Academy in any category although I accounted for nearly all of the places where I was wrong in my analysis in yesterday's post.

Here are the major nominations and where I missed the boat.

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Up Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
Tree of Life
War Horse

So I predicted 7 nominees in this category instead of the 9 we wound up with. The 7 films I predicted were nominated, as was Tree of Life, which I mentioned as a possibility. Given the lukewarm critical reaction, the nomination for Extremely Loud and Up Close was a pretty big shock.

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

I went 4/5 in this category. I'm sad that Michael Fassbender wasn't nominated, although Demian Bichir was fantastic in the little-seen A Better Life.

Best Actress
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

Analysis: Although I went 4/5 in this category, I did say that Rooney Mara was the potential spoiler, either at Tilda Swinton or Glenn Close's expense. And that's what happened. Can't quibble with this category and I'm really excited about Mara's nomination. Plus, Meryl Streep hit the big 17.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Up Close

Analysis: First of all, I am so aggravated that Albert Brooks didn't get nominated for Drive, I can hardly see. (Brooks, however, was a pretty good sport about the snub.) Second of all, I went 4 for 5 again, thinking Von Sydow wouldn't be able to overcome the lukewarm reception his film had gotten thus far.

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Analysis: No surprises here, although I'm disappointed that Shailene Woodley didn't get nominated for The Descendants. Although I predicted Woodley might get the nod, I thought she might get bumped for Janet McTeer.

Best Director
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, Tree of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Analysis: I tend to forget that the directors' branch of the Academy doesn't like to follow the expected path. While I thought the nominations in this category might parallel the Directors Guild, which included David Fincher, the Academy went with Malick instead. Sigh.

For a complete list of Oscar nominees, click here. And tune in on February 26 to see who walks away with the little golden guy...

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