Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oscar predictions, actor and actress

OK, time to get serious. We're approaching the three awards that tend to be most remembered: best actress, best actor and best picture. Don't get me wrong. It's great that Oscar gives the rest of the industry its due. We need reminders that art direction, music, cinematography, make-up, costumes and editing are vital parts of the movie industry. But you rarely hear folks leave a movie gushing about a great editing job, and most of the time cinematography seems to be equated in the poplar mind with pretty pictures. If most people are willing to admit to a bit of ignorance when it comes to the technical aspects of movies, nearly everyone feels qualified to opine about actors, as well as on the overall quality of a film. So let's get to my predictions about who'll win best actress and actor at this Sunday's (Feb. 26) Oscars.

Best actress, the nominees:
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

I wasn't a big fan of The Help, but I am an admirer of Viola Davis, and I think she'll win in this category. Most observers seem to argue that the best-actress contest boils down to a battle between Davis, who played Mississippi maid Aibileen Clark in The Help, and Meryl Streep, who portrayed former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. I'd rule out Rooney Mara, who was fine and flinty in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She's young, and should have more shots at an Oscar. I didn't buy Glenn Close as a woman masquerading as a man in Albert Nobbs, and although Michelle Williams, as Marilyn Monroe, was the best thing about the slight and negligible (I know, lots of people love it) My Weekend With Marilyn. She'll probably go home without a statue.

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

I suppose this one boils down to a race between George Clooney (The Descendants) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist). I initially favored Clooney, but shifted after the Screen Actors Guild went for Dujardin. An awful lot of actors cast ballots in the Oscar voting. I certainly wouldn't be upset if Clooney were to win, but as we inch toward Sunday, Dujardin seems to be the favorite.

And did I happen to mention the Cinema Salon Wednesday, Feb. 22? No, well let me clue you in. I'll be joined by Denver Post Film Critic Lisa Kennedy, Starz Denver Film Festival Director Britta Erickson and Oscar maven Bob Becker at 7:30 p.m., Wed., Feb. 22 at the FilmCenter/Colfax, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. Chances are good that we'll put on a more interesting show than you'll see Sunday night when the Oscars are awarded.

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