Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scarecrow's Oscar Picks: 2012 Edition

It's time for my annual tradition going back all the way to when I first stared developing my online presence oh so many years ago.  Oscar nominations were announced today, so that means it's time to roll out my Oscar picks!

I'm feeling kind of guilty looking forward to this year's Oscars when I still have to catch up on last year's Oscar winners.  I've been saying for a whole year now that I'm going to kill a Sunday afternoon by heading down to the video store and renting The King's Speech and Black Swan.  I've still got time...hopefully before this year's ceremony.  

Now, for those who might be new here, I've always done my Oscar picks a little bit different.  Best Director?  Best Actor?  Best Screenplay?  Pfft!  You're going to be flooded with those predictions in the media between now and when the big show is on TV on February 26.  Instead, I tend to focus on some of the smaller awards that I tend to geek out over.  And those two awards:  Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song.

Let's take a look at those categories, shall we?

Best Visual Effects

My ThoughtsHugo has been getting lots of love for it's imaginative use of 3D effects.  Real Steel has ass-kicking giant robots.  But the one that everyone is raving about is Rise of the Planets of the Apes, where virtually all of the apes were done with performance capture animation.

My Predictions:  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Original Song

Hey!  Thanks to YouTube, I can post the nominations!  The nominees are:

"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets

"Real in Rio" from Rio

My Thoughts:  Wow.  Only 2 nominations in this category this year?  I have no idea how this category works.  Help me Wikipedia...OK.  Apparently, eligible songs are ranked on a scale from 6 to 10, and to get a nomination, you have to get higher than 8.5.  And these are the only songs that scored higher than 8.5 this year.  Bit of a surprise with The Muppets...everyone knew it would score at least one nomination, but everyone thought that one nomination would be the film's opener "Life's a Happy Song."  Either way, everybody loved the songs in The Muppets...this is their category to lose.

My Prediction:  Man or Muppet

Best Animated Film

Threw this one into the mix when the category was created 10 years ago because I do so love animated films.  As I've blogged before, there was a time in my life when I'd run out to the theatre and see every animated film that came out, but I stopped doing that when every animated film became talking animals making pop culture references.  Which talking animals will be honour this year?  The nominees are:
My Thoughts:  For the first time since this category's inception, Pixar doesn't get a nomination.  That's what you get for making Cars 2!  Oh, well.  Pixar still gets some love, though, as their short film La Luna got nominated for Best Animated Short Film.  (La Luna made the rounds on the film festival circuit last year...it's going to be in front of Brave this summer.)  As always, there's a couple of art house picks that have people scratching their heads.  A Cat in Paris is a French animated film, about a little girl and her cat solving a mystery on a warm Paris evening, and Chico and Rita is a Spanish/UK co-production about two gifted musicians in the 1940s and 50s as they bounce around from Havana, New York, Vegas, and Paris as they try to achieve their dreams.  There's some controversy that The Adventures of Tintin didn't get nominated, once again sparking debate as to whether performance capture counts as true animation.  And Rango made the list as expected.  I know Rango got a lot of love, both commercially and critically, but when I finally saw it I found it fairly typical and didn't see what all the fuss was about.  But because of all that love, it's the frontrunner.

My Prediction:  Rango

Best Picture

Well, enough of my hipster Oscar predictions, I guess I should do at least one mainstream one, so why not the biggest one of them all?  I really have no idea how this category works anymore.  It used to be just 5 nominations.  Then, a couple years ago, they expanded it to 10 to try to include more mainstream films and less art house picks that no one had heard of.  This year, they're trying a new system where a film has to get a certain number of points to qualify, and there'll be as many nominations as there needs to be.  9 nominees this year, and they are....
My Thoughts:  Well, the whole point of doing this was to allow more mainstream films, and we can see that here.  The Help was getting a lot of Oscar buzz when it became the sleeper hit of the end of summer.  However, with the Golden Globes and all the various critics awards across the USA that tend to be the indicator, it seems to be coming down to Hugo and The Artist.  And many are pointing out that The Artist was brought to North American shores by the Weinstein Company, who are using many of the same successful Oscar campaigning techniques that they used last year for The King's Speech.

My Prediction:  The Artist

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