Scene staffers make their Oscar picks
Scene Staff Report | Thursday, February 23, 2012
Associate Scene Editor
The best picture category is cluttered as ever, but no film can compete with the award season momentum of “The Artist.” It just has so many qualities awards voters love. It’s weird. It’s a movie about a movie about a movie about a movie or something like that. Like 13 people saw it, and, best of all, it has that intangible quality of giving those 13 people an undeserved sense of being cultured. Also, it’s a really good movie and deserves the award.
KEVIN’S PICK: “THE ARTIST”
It’s a neck and neck race between Dujardin and Clooney. Clooney had long been favored to take home his second Oscar (the first was for “Syriana”) but the tide has swiftly been moving in Dujardin’s favor, with wins at the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA awards. Dujardin is riding high on the tails of “The Artist’s” sweeping success this awards season. At this point, it seems the award is Dujardin’s to lose.
MAIJA’S PICK: JEAN DUJARDIN,
This one belongs to Viola Davis. Streep completely embodied Margaret Thatcher, but Davis captured our hearts. Taking what could have easily been an offensive role in the hands of someone less talented, Davis infused her downtrodden Southern maid with real pathos. She made audiences feel joy, heartache and weariness with each nuanced facial expression and her body language. Davis deserves it for this role.
BRANDY’S PICK: VIOLA DAVIS,
Best Supporting Actor
Mary Claire O’Donnell
In “Beginners,” Christopher Plummer plays a father who comes out of the closet at age 75. Plummer portrays the role beautifully, embracing his character struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Nick Nolte, however, in his role as the alcoholic father of two mixed martial arts fighters, however, should have garnered more praise and Oscar buzz.
MARY CLAIRE’S PICK: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, “BEGINNERS”
Best Supporting Actress
Mary Claire O’Donnell
Mary Claire O’Donnell
This was a tough choice. Bérénice Bejo played Peppy Miller fantastically, especially given that she was in a silent film. But in the end, Octavia Spencer’s performance as Minny Jackson captured hearts and minds. She is sassy and speaks her mind, but at the same time must deal with a tough situation at home.
MARY CLAIRE’S PICK: OCTAVIA SPENCER, “THE HELP”
This is Allen’s seventh nomination in the Best Director category, with his only win coming for 1977’s “Annie Hall.” “Midnight in Paris,” Allen’s nostalgic paean to the city, is his best movie in a long time. It is a timeless tale with a unique message and is deftly woven together by the septuagenarian director.
PATRICK’S PICK: WOODY ALLEN,
“MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”
Best Original Screenplay
“Midnight in Paris” is the obvious winner in this category. Woody Allen charmed his audiences by fulfilling everyone’s fantasy of living in a different era. The eclectic cast of literary and artistic figures comes together seamlessly. But ultimately, it’s about pursuing the ideal life, and against the backdrop of Paris, it’s perfectly enchanting.
MEGHAN’S PICK: “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”
Best Foreign Film
Apart from the absolute disgrace that Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey” was not nominated, this year’s Foreign Film nominees pack a hard-hitting international punch. This fashionista’s bet, however, lies with Iran’s “A Separation.” The film centers on a wife who desires to divorce her husband because he will not leave the country with her due to his father’s ill health. However, she must stand by him when he is accused of murdering that same father’s caretaker.
FELICIA’S PICK: “A SEPARATION”
Best Original SongAlexandra Kilpatrick
This catchy piece, written by Bret McKenzie of “Flight of the Conchords,” was just one of a number of Oscar-worthy songs in the all-ages appropriate comedy, among them “Life’s a Happy Song” and “Pictures in My Head.” Performed in the movie by Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother Walter (voiced by Peter Linz), “Man or Muppet” is the third Muppet song to be nominated for an Academy Award.
ALEX’S PICK: “Man or Muppet”
(BRET MCKENZIE FOR “THE MUPPETS”)
Best Original Score
Although there is some controversy over the film’s inclusion of Bernard Hermann’s “Vertigo” score, Bource’s grand and stately score carries “The Artist.” It both celebrates and comments on Hollywood during the late 1920s and early 1930s as silent cinema gradually falls out of fashion.
ALEX’S PICK: “THE ARTIST”