Happy Oscar Eve! I had to hold back my predictions until today because I wrote about them for MostlyFilm, so rather than me writing them all out again, you should go on over there to check them out. And then come back tomorrow evening, where we’ll be liveblogging it again, and I’ll be very stressed and irritable. It’ll be fun!
I’m going to be writing MostlyFilm’s Oscars Predictions again* this year and although I will do it under my own name and so can be as partisan and opinionated as I like, I just need to get the following rant out of my system beforehand. Feel free to look away now. There be spoilers ahead for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, so you may prefer to look away for that reason. Whatever, just don’t read what follows, under any circumstances!
*If you look carefully, you’ll notice that I got all the important ones right last time.
On Sunday night, Three Billboards won Best Picture, Best British Picture (it isn’t, but the rules are weird), Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Frances McDormand and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell. It was a veritable sweep, only spoiled by losses to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape Of Water in Director, which everyone knew would happen, Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 in Cinematography, which everyone hoped would happen, and Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver in Editing, which just goes to show that Edgar Wright could plop out a big poo on the red carpet and people would still defend him. (I haven’t seen Baby Driver.)
Anyway, I saw Three Billboards at its LFF premiere, in October. I’d been excited about it for months and as I settled into my seat I was prepared to laugh, to cry, to be thrilled and to be shocked.
No, wait. Actually, I was hoping for all those things, but I was prepared to be disappointed:
What I mostly remember was that Frances McDormand was amazing, that the plot made no sense and that there was a scene where McDormand’s and Rockwell’s characters throw the n-word around which made me feel uncomfortable. I did laugh and I did cry and I seem to have come out happy enough:
By the next day, I wasn’t so sure:
I know it’s weird and self-indulgent of me to retrospectively analyse my tweets, but the thing is, Three Billboards doesn’t deserve three of its five BAFTA wins because it is a bad, badly-intentioned film that treats race horribly, and there is an argument circulating that people only started to view it that way once “activists” began complaining about it, and that the rest of us are lily-livered liberals who can’t bear to be thought of as on the wrong side, and so we’re all jumping on the bandwagon. Maybe we are, but I didn’t need to read Ira Madison to have a problem with it from the get-go, and if it’s true that the longer I think about it the worse I think it is, that’s just because I’ve had more time to think about it. In a world where black people are regularly murdered by the police, where Donald Trump is president, and where white kids can shoot a dozen people dead and be excused as “bullied” and “misunderstood”, you don’t get to make a film that uses racism as a subject for glib, wisecracking, slapstick. You earn the right to write about a difficult subject by making an effort to understand it, and McDonagh big fat didn’t bother. It’s the only bad thing about the film (if you ignore the plot), but it’s BAD ENOUGH BY ITSELF that the rest of it doesn’t matter. And no, adding a couple of peripheral black characters who do and say nothing that isn’t the barest “will this do?” version of screenwriting doesn’t solve the problem.
Also not an excuse: that he didn’t mean it, it’s not central to the movie, he’s British and they don’t really have racism there (I have genuinely heard this). You don’t have to be racist on purpose to be racist! It’s like nobody’s even SEEN Get Out.
Talking of which, I will be sooooooo angry if this film beats Get Out to Best Picture. But don’t worry, it won’t. I won’t spoil you for the official predictions post (which I think is happening on Oscars weekend itself), but even if I thought Three Billboards would win I wouldn’t predict it, because I still believe in a world where good things happen to good people, and last year it totally worked, apart from the whole envelope thing.
For the third year in a row, I will be attempting to stay up as late as possible this coming Saturday night in order to adjust my body clock such that I can liveblog the Oscars for MostlyFilm, and wonder again why they can’t hold the ceremony in New York or, ideally, London, so as to make the task less arduous for us European filmwatchers. Traditionally I have enlisted the assistance of sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks to keep me going, but what also helps is having an investment in the outcome and since YET AGAIN I haven’t been nominated in a single category, I am reduced to trying to beat my record for the highest number of correct predictions. And in order to stop me cheating, I am bringing you along for the ride…
Nominees: American Hustle, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf Of Wall Street
This is, I’m sure, between Gravity and 12 Years A Slave, and I think the latter will win because being accidentally turned into a slave in real life beats losing a fictional daughter in the heartstring-tugging stakes.
Nominees: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Matthew McConaughey ought to win; Chiwetel Ejiofor will, which I am also OK with because he is a Palace fan and we rarely win anything. (Leo, whom I love, is fantastic in WOWS, but it’s not a fantastic film and his character is so desperately unsympathetic that I don’t think he has a chance.)
Nominees: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
This is a really strong category. I’d be happy with a win for Abdi or Cooper, but Jared Leto‘s turn as Rayon in DBC is a career-best piece of loveliness and I hope he takes it. I would also like to point out that had Behind The Candelabra been eligible for Oscar nominations, Matt Damon and Rob Lowe would both have deserved nods in this category, as would Michael Douglas in Leading Actor.
Nominees: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave), Julia Roberts (August, Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)
I didn’t love J-Law in American Hustle. Or maybe I mean I didn’t love her as much as I love her in Silver Linings Notebook or Real Life™ – but she will win this regardless.
Nominees: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises
From the buzz it’s generated among under-eights of my acquaintance, I’m saying Frozen.
Nominees: The Grandmaster, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Prisoners
I can’t imagine a world in which this won’t go to Gravity.
Nominees: The Grandmaster, American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The Invisible Woman, 12 Years A Slave
It should be nominated for hair and makeup but since it isn’t, I think American Hustle will take this one instead.
Nominees: David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Cuarón will lose out on Best Picture but I think he’ll pip McQueen to the winning post in this category.
Nominees: The Act Of Killing, Cutie And The Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square, 20 Feet From Stardom
I will admit to not having had the guts to watch The Act Of Killing when I had the opportunity, but everything I’ve heard and read about it makes me think it has to win out here.
Nominees: CaveDigger, Facing Fear, Karama Has No Walls, The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Prison Terminal: The Last Days Of Private Jack Hall
How far ahead of the ceremony does voting happen? Only the cynic in me wants to say that since Alice Herz-Sommer, the 110-year-old holocaust survivor who is the subject of The Lady In Number 6, has just died, the already-good chances that it would win have just improved.
Nominees: American Hustle, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, 12 Years A Slave
Gravity is so sparse and elegant and beautiful that again, I can’t imagine it not winning here.
Foreign Language Film
Nominees: The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, The Missing Picture, Omar
Right, so, uh, I was going to predict a win for Blue Is The Warmest Colour but I’ve just noticed it hasn’t been nominated. So in the absence of any other information I will employ my traditional method of closing my eyes and stabbing at the screen, which gives me The Broken Circle Breakdown. You heard it here first.
(One rule I have when I make my predictions, by the way, is that I can’t go googling for betting odds or anyone else’s views. It has to be based on my own knowledge. Which is why I am often wrong!)
Makeup and Hair
Nominees: Dallas Buyers Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Lone Ranger
I’ve only seen one of these, but Jared Leto is so breathtakingly beautiful in Dallas Buyers Club that I hope it wins. Mainly, though, I just hope Jackass doesn’t. There is a time and a place for Jackass, and the Oscars ain’t it.
Nominees: The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Saving Mr Banks
The rules are, when someone you know is nominated you have to say them. Now, nobody I know is nominated in this category, but someone I know knows someone who is, and so I’m going for Gravity (which also has a really good score).
Nominees: Happy (Despicable Me 2), Let It Go (Frozen), The Moon Song (Her), Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom)
Yeah, I haven’t heard any of these. Also, when was Tangled? There’s a good song in that. Let’s say Frozen.
Nominees: American Hustle, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, Her, 12 Years A Slave
Well actually this should definitely go to The Great Gatsby, but I think Gravity will win.
Nominees: Feral, Get A Horse!, Mr Hublot, Possessions, Room On The Broom
Cough. Well, Get A Horse! has the best name, right?
Live Action Short
Nominees: Aquel No Era Yo, Avant Que De Tour Perdre, Helium, Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?, The Voorman Problem
I wonder whether you tick a box or have to write in your answers, when you vote? Because nobody’s going to take the time to write out Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? by hand if they don’t have to. But it’s bound to be checkboxes, isn’t it? So let’s go with that. One day, when I grow up, I will be a person who watches the short films ahead of the Oscars (or even afterwards).
Nominees: All Is Lost, Captain Philips, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Lone Survivor
Nominees: Captain Philips, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lone Survivor
I think Gravity will take both of these.
Nominees: Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Star Trek Into Darkness
I can’t remember whether the argument over possible or desirable punctuation in the name of the latest Star Trek movie came to a conclusion, so I’m leaving it out rather than get it wrong and risk the wrath of…well, you know. Obviously this will also go to Gravity.
Nominees: Before Midnight, Captain Philips, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Before Midnight is an adaptation? Who knew? Well, the Academy, it would appear. I’m racing through these last few categories not because I want to go to bed, although I do, but because I think there’s barely any debate to be had about most of them. 12 Years A Slave will win this.
Nominees: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska
Whether he did or whether he didn’t, Woody will take this for Blue Jasmine, although I would give it to Dallas Buyers Club. But for some reason, nobody asked me. I know!
I should have posted this on Monday, but it took me two days to recover from staying up until 5.30am on Oscars night, liveblogging for Mostly Film. But I’m better now, you’ll be pleased to hear, so I’ve gone back and done the maths and I am delighted to be able to inform you that I did beat my 50% hit rate from last year, though not by much – I correctly predicted 15 of the 24 winners, which (I think, I’ve never been brilliant at sums) works out at 62.5%. The joy is tempered slightly – only slightly – by the fact that the beloved managed 19 out of 24, but I console myself with the knowledge that had I allowed myself to change my mind in the moments before some of the awards were announced, I would have done better (it was pretty obvious by halfway through the night that Jessica Chastain for actress, Lincoln for picture and Spielberg for director were all going to be off the mark, though I still wouldn’t have guessed at Ang Lee, even though I am glad he won because he’s so nice).
Anyway, that’s enough of that. On to the dresses! It wasn’t a standout year, I think. There was less beige than usual, but it was mostly replaced by bridal white (click on images to enlarge):
All of which made anyone who turned up in a bright colour look very daring, although it’s far to say that Jane Fonda’s choice was, in fact, pretty daring:
I had two favourites in the end. Jenna Dewan-Tatum is clearly one of those women who looks even better pregnant – look at her literally glowing in that picture at the top of the page! – and I love her dress, even though it’s the same as everyone else’s. But for me the very best combination of dress, hair, makeup and all-out movie-starry stunningness came from Jessica Chastain:
In a non-vintage year not just for frocks but for both the ceremony and the winners too, it’s good to know that there are still nominees who can turn up and knock it out of the park, even if they don’t go home with the prize.
Next year, though, I might take two days off work afterwards.
This, I promise, is my last Oscars post for 2012. It’s the one where I compare my predictions to the results, although I can already tell you that I wouldn’t have won the million. The calculations are complicated by the fact that I made two sets of predictions, so I’m only counting the newer ones where I was specific, and not the one where I said “Hugo will win a load of technical categories”. On that basis, I accurately predicted the winners of eleven of the 24 categories, although if I wanted to be generous I could award myself an extra point for saying of the VFX category that I thought Hugo would win if the opening shot counted as a visual effect, and since awarding myself an extra point would give me a 50% hit rate, I think I’ll go ahead.
(Although I was so adamant that Woody wouldn’t win Original Screenplay that I almost think I should deduct another half-point.)
How did you do? Anyone win a million?
Full predictions and results in this attractive table, if you really don’t have anything better to do:
Then I said
They gave it to
Chico and Rita
Chico and Rita
Tree of Life
The Barber of Birmingham
The Barber of Birmingham
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Iron Lady
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore
On the other hand, there were quite a lot of fantastic dresses, and because I have only had four hours’ sleep and I have to go to work soon, I am going to make you talk about them so I don’t have to. Here are the four which really knocked me out: tell me which you like best, or if I’ve left out your favourite.
(Click on the pictures for bigger versions)
1. Penelope Cruz was stunning in a soft blue. She’s gone from kookily pretty to old-school glamorous without me noticing:
2. George Clooney’s escort Stacy Keibler effortlessly outshone her ageing squeeze in a dress that made her look exactly like an Oscar, only better:
3. Viola Davis combined gorgeous green Vera Wang with red hair au naturel and a breezy confidence that made me wish she was my friend:
4. J-Lo looked (as always) like a sculpture of the perfect woman:
(I will compare the actual Oscar results to my various predictions later. I think if you combine both sets of predictions judiciously I got about half of them right, including precisely none of the technical categories.)
Happy Oscars Day! I’ve changed my mind about tonight’s big winners. The momentum behind The Artist appears to be unstoppable, and I think it’ll win best picture after all, and Michel Hazanavicius best director. Hugo will win some of the technical categories in which it’s nominated, including cinematography (the one it deserves the most), but Jean Dujardin may well beat George Clooney to best actor, not because it’s a better performance, which it is, but because in the last few weeks he has gone on a charm offensive which could put even Clooney to shame. This is his time, and he knows it.
Streep is still a shoo-in for best actress, naturally, and I stand by Bérénice Bejo and Christopher Plummer as best supporting actress and actor. I can’t remember what I said about any of the others and it’s too early and I am too lazy to check, but I expect I was right.
See you over at Mostly Film from 11.30pm for live! Oscars! updates! – in the meantime I have a lunch date as well as an Oscars-themed quiz this evening, so for now please excuse me while I go and put some clothes on.*
*I am not writing this naked, you understand, but I feel like my lunch hosts deserve better than a Primark nightshirt, jogging pants and woolly snowman socks.
If you are in the UK and want to follow the action from this Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, there are lots of ways to do it that don’t involve taking out a Sky subscription. One of them is illegal so of COURSE I shan’t mention it here, but lots of them aren’t. Here are my picks:
The Oscars website has a “buzz” section showing an aggregation of Oscars-related tweets which is already trotting along at a healthy rate, leading me to suspect that it might start moving so fast as to be unreadable on the night. For a more streamlined view, try following @TheAcademy, tweeting from behind the scenes, @OscarInterviews for glimpses of the stars and @OscarGoer for an audience-eye-view of the ceremony.
The red carpet is being shown live on E!, which I think is on Freeview, although half-hearted attempts at independent verification of this have failed, because I can’t work the internet. Anyway, it’s definitely available through Virgin cable packages, and you can always come over and watch it at mine. Bring popcorn.
If you want to go meta, follow @LostRemote, who will be tweeting all of “their favourite social media moments” on the night.
Finally, an all-woman team featuring Jo, Tindara, Concetta and your correspondent will be live-blogging the whole affair from 11.30ish on Sunday evening over at Mostly Film, as well as taking over the Mostly Film twitter account for the evening (I have promised not to tweet every thirty seconds, but who knows where the mood will take me?).
I don’t usually make Oscar predictions, because I have only ever seen half the films on the list, and because I am no good at guessing games. But this year there are two good reasons to give it a go. Firstly, a company with whom I am professionally connected is running a competition where you can win £1m if you correctly predict all 24 winners. I can’t enter, but I’d like to record my guesses for posterity, just in case it turns out that I could have won a million.
Secondly, I am going to be live-blogging the Oscars red carpet over at Mostly Film, which will be much more fun if I have favourites to cheer for.
Caveat: I have only seen about half of the films with multiple nominations, and less than half of those nominated in a single category. If you want educated predictions by people who actually know what they’re talking about, you have come to the wrong place. But if you want half-assed guesses from an on-off film fan, I’m your girl!
These are my pre-BAFTA predictions: I may revise them after this evening.
Nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse.
I think it’s a two-horse race here between The Artist and Hugo. They are both lovely films, but the nailer is that they are both about the history of film-making, and Hollywood loves movies about the movies. On the basis that The Artist is a film about American cinema made by a French director and Hugo is a film about French cinema made by an American director and deep down Americans like Americans best, I’m going to plump for Hugo.
Nominees: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick (Tree of Life)
I’ve been back and forth on this one. The only person I’m sure won’t get it is Woody, partly because he hates the Oscars and partly because Midnight in Paris, despite being better than anything else he’s made in the last decade, isn’t all that good. It’s quite good, but it’s not that good. Any of Hazanavicius, Payne or Scorsese could take it, but I’m going to go for Malick, because he’s never won before and his average of a film every seven years means he doesn’t have many more stabs at it left.
Nominees: Demián Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Jean Dujardin should win, but I think they’ll give it to George. I have not seen The Descendants, because a film whose trailer includes a shot of three people sitting silently on a sofa is a film for which there is not room in my life. But everyone loves George, and George as the betrayed husband of a possibly-dying wife has Oscar written across it in 48-point Helvetica.
Nominees: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
I haven’t seen Iron Lady either, because there has been enough Margaret Thatcher in my life. But of course they’ll give it to Meryl.
Best supporting actor
Nominees: Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Max von Sydow might just upset this, but on balance I think that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is not the 9/11 film we are looking for, and will go ungarlanded. Christopher Plummer, on the other hand, plays a gay 75-year-old dad dying of cancer in Beginners. I’m pretty sure he has it in the bag.
Best supporting actress
Nominees: Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Apparently Uggie the dog is not eligible for a prize, but Bérénice Bejo is the second-cutest thing about The Artist and I think will reap the benefits of the affection that the film has inspired.
Animated feature film
Nominees: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango
Yeah, I haven’t seen any of these. I think Chico and Rita will win, because it has the best poster and is about humans.
Nominees: The Artist, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, War Horse
I haven’t seen War Horse, but in the stills it looks sort of grey and dank. The others are all good-looking in their own ways, and although part of me thinks Hugo might sweep all the visual design categories, I’m going to go for The Artist, because it is visually more unusual than the others.
Nominees: The Artist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, The Tree of Life, War Horse
If they give the directing prize to Malick, they’ll want to back it up with another one, and this is the most likely candidate. Tree of Life ftw.
Nominees: Anonymous, The Artist, Hugo, Jane Eyre, W.E.
This is another category where I haven’t seen most of the candidates, so I have just gone and looked at some pictures (see how seriously I am taking this?). The costumes in Anonymous and Jane Eyre look exactly like the costumes from every other film covering the same ground. The costumes in W.E. are a bit more interesting, but I’m never sure you should give awards for costume to films about real people on the basis that there are photos. The costumes in Hugo are good but caricaturish, and the costumes in The Artist are perfect, so that’s my bet for this one.
Nominees: Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Undefeated
Nominees: The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, God Is the Bigger Elvis, Incident in New Baghdad, Saving Face, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
<splutter> The Barber of Birmingham.
Nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball
I’ll come clean: I don’t really know what this category means. And the nominees are the same as in all the other categories. Might as well close my eyes and take a stab at the screen.
<closes eyes, takes a stab at the screen>
I landed on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Well, why not?
Foreign Language Film
Nominees: Bullhead, Footnote, In Darkness, Monsieur Lazhar, A Separation
I haven’t seen any of these either, although I do have A Separation sitting on my hard drive ready to be watched, so I’ll go for that. I never said this would be scientific, OK?
Nominees: Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Iron Lady
Harry Potter has to win this one, really, if only for that bit at the end where everyone is old, and they handled the makeup by hardly doing any, and just getting everyone to act old. Watch and learn, J Edgar.
Music (Original Score)
Nominees: The Adventures of Tintin, The Artist, Hugo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse
I can never remember the music from films, or at least not until I’ve seen them several times*. What I mean is, I can’t remember the music from any of these films. But if you had to guess without hearing any of the music, you’d go for John Williams’s War Horse, wouldn’t you? It’s probably very sweeping and dramatic and heart-rending.
Nominees: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”, “Real in Rio” from “Rio”
Why wouldn’t they give it to The Muppets? I think they’ll give it to The Muppets.
Short Film (Animated)
Nominees: Dimanche/Sunday, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, La Luna, A Morning Stroll, Wild Life
<blink> La Luna.
Short Film (Live Action)
Nominees: Pentecost, Raju, The Shore, Time Freak, Tuba Atlantic
<falls over> Raju.
Nominees: Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse
I don’t understand why The Artist isn’t nominated in either of the sound categories. It does clever and interesting things with sound, that no film has done before and probably no film will do again. But since it isn’t, I am going to take a wild stab at Transformers.
Nominees: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse
I have no real idea of the difference between this and the last category. Anyone? In the absence of any expert knowledge I shall take the same wild stab at Transformers.
Nominees: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo , Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I’m not sure whether that opening shot in Hugo comes under Cinematography or Visual Effects. If the latter then I think it will win this, but if the former then I think a decade’s patient work on the Harry Potter franchise should reap its reward here.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Nominees: The Descendants, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
This is another tricky one! I feel like they might give it to The Descendants, because the Academy like to think it’s a bit quirky (it isn’t).
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Nominees: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight In Paris, A Separation
I can’t call this one either. The obvious choice is The Artist, with an outside chance for Midnight in Paris, but Bridesmaids is a better screenplay than either. But it won’t win, will it? So, The Artist.
Reviewing my choices, I see I have ended up predicting that Hugo will win Best Picture and nothing else, which doesn’t seem very likely. Perhaps it will win costume and cinematography and art direction after all. Or perhaps The Artist will live up to early expectations and sweep the board. I sort of hope so, because it is such a likeable film.
Tonight’s BAFTAs may or may not provide a clue to the eventual outcome, and I expect I will cravenly come back and change my mind tomorrow. But for today, those are my predictions. Now please tell me yours.
I always think the Oscars are kind of a strange idea. I used to imagine annual awards for accountancy, say, or plumbing, and use them as an illustration of what why I thought the Oscars were kind of a strange idea, but there probably are annual awards for accountancy and plumbing these days, and what’s more they are probably televised, so my illustration no longer works. Nonetheless, I do think it’s weird to give prizes to people for doing their jobs, and for a self-appointed committee to decide what’s “best” in a competition which is limited in its scope and necessarily subjective. You might as well give a prize for the “best” marriage guidance counsellor, or the “best” GP.
But I don’t really care about any of that, because I like looking at the dresses, and while I can take or leave the ceremony itself, I do love the red carpet moments. Last night’s costume choices seemed to be dominated by an inexplicable preference for silver, grey and silvery-grey dresses that made the wearers look thin and pale and bosomless, but I suspect that’s a popular look in Hollywood all the year round. Three cheers, then, for Charlize Theron, who couldn’t look bad if she tried, but who I thought looked sensational in this dress, which walks the unsteady line between old-style glamour and Bjork-ish overindulgence, and gets it exactly right:
On TV it seemed pinker than it looks here, so the clash with the red lipstick was stronger. Those boob-roses are almost too much, but the old-fashioned shape of the rest of the dress and the elegant hair and lack of accessories bring the overall effect right back to understated glamour. She looks classy and interesting and hellasexy all at once.
My favourite red carpet interview was with that nice chap Colin Firth, who as far as I could tell in two hours of watching was the only nominee who, when pulled over for questioning by Ryan Seacrest, shuffled around to make some more space in front of the camera and included his wife in the interview. “And here’s Livia!”, he said brightly, as though she was the real star for whom they’d all been waiting. What a nice man, and how nice to see a couple who seemed not to have to make an effort to look as though they were enjoying each other’s company. And what a strange place Hollywood is.