The Academy Awards are this Sunday–and we’ll be liveblogging away at observer.com. So as to be optimally prepared for these mythical “Oscar pools” that exist only in the minds of entertainment writers, or at least to shout the winner a second before it happens, we’ve held the hive-mind of the Internet to our ear so as to decipher the buzz.
Here are your Oscar winners!
Best Picture: The Artist
We’re not ruling out a more conventional win from the more-traditional and higher-grossing The Descendants, but it’d be a surprise given the success The Artist has enjoyed among critics and different guild awards so far.
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
It’s not as though they’re rushing to award this relative newcomer, but his opposition doesn’t look credible enough to split Best Picture and Best Director. His toughest competition is Martin Scorsese, who already won this award recently and whose film is thematically similar to The Artist, if less well-loved.
Best Actor: Jean DuJardin, The Artist
Be real. Do you honestly think we live in a world where George Clooney will have won two Oscars for acting as early as this year? While his work in The Descendants was praised early on, we suspect some voters may be attracted to the fresh, new thing in this category.
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
While Meryl Streep really will win in this category one of these years, Viola Davis’s movie was an actual hit with audiences and with the Academy–and the weird, hinky truth is that an Academy member will likely feel more virtuous for rewarding a portrayal of a noble, suffering maid than a performance as a controversial political figure.
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
One of two utterly dull supporting contests whose frontrunners have been ensconced since, like, November.
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
The perpetual notion that, if one wills it hard enough, a standard-issue Woody Allen film can be a true comeback picture, became a fixed idea this year. Everyone loves Woody again! This is where this movie gets rewarded.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
And this is where The Descendants, a popular movie with no real chance at other honors besides Actor, gets rewarded.
All the rest:
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Cinematography: The Tree of Life
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Costume Design: W.E. [we know, it's weird, but the Oscars really love films about the royals in this category]
Best Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Best Documentary Short: Incident in New Baghdad [on the shorts categories, one chooses the most portentous-sounding title, except for Best Animated Short, wherein one chooses the loopiest title]
Best Film Editing: The Artist
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady [the fact that the makeup that turned Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher is likely to get its own award would seem to take away from the performance that did the same, no?]
Best Original Score: The Artist [the tempest-in-a-teapot over whether this film stole unduly from the score for Vertigo shall likely matter little, as the score blares through the entire running time]
Best Original Song: “Man or Muppet,” The Muppets
Best Short Film (Animated): The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore [see the rationale for Documentary Short]
Best Short Film (Live-Action): Pentecost [see above]
Best Sound Editing: War Horse
Best Sound Mixing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes