Oscars 2012: My Predictions

Yesterday I told you about why I’m still going to tune in to the Oscars on Sunday night. In the tradition of many movie critics, I figured I’d supplement that article with my official predictions for the award winners.

Below, you’ll find a complete list of who I think will win each of the major awards, as well as who I want to win, and who I think is the “dark horse” in that particular category. If you’d like to play along, draw up your own list and compare it to mine, and then tell me if I’m wrong in the comments!

Best Picture

Who Will Win: The Artist (Thomas Langman, Producer)

The Artist has won many of the other big film awards going into the Oscars, and from seeing it myself I know it’s one of the best movies of the year.

Who I Want to Win: 3-way tie between The Artist, The Descendants and Midnight in Paris

Dark Horse: The Tree of Life (Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers)

Best Director

Who Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Above all, Hazanivicius made The Artist (a silent, black and white film) look like he’d been making those kinds of movies his whole life.

Who I Want to Win: Michel Hazanivicius (The Artist)

Dark Horse: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Actor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Dujardin is the epitome of charisma and arrogance in the role of George Valentin, a silent era film star who doesn’t believe in the promise of “talkie” pictures. We both love him and hate him, and despite Valentin's many faults, Dujardin allows us to become invested  in his well-being.

Who I Want to Win: Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Dark Horse: Demián Bichir (A Better Life)

Actress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

Michelle Williams has long been an indie film darling, languishing in the shadows. Her chances are also improved by how her major competitors are in movies that revolve around the main performance and contain little else.

Who I Want to Win: Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Dark Horse: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Plummer won the Golden Globe in this category, and everyone thinks it’s time he gets this trophy before he’s in Lifetime Achievement Award territory.

Who I Want to Win: Jonah Hill (Moneyball)

Dark Horse: Nick Nolte (Warrior)

Actress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Octavia Spencer (The Help)

The buzz has been all around Spencer for her work in The Help. Because I’m not sure that her co-star Viola Davis will take Best Actress, the Academy will choose Spencer as a “consolation prize”.

Who I Want to Win: Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)

Dark Horse: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: The Descendants (Alexander Payne)

I just saw this movie the other day, and its profound, funny and touching writing is some of the best  of the year. Plus, Payne likely won’t take Best Director, so this will be his second-place finish.

Who I Want to Win: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan)

Dark Horse: Moneyball (Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin)

Best Original Screenplay:

Who Will Win: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)

Like The Descendants’ Payne, Allen won’t take the Directing prize, and the Academy will recognize Allen for what he does best: writing lovable characters and thrusting them into quirky situations.

Who I Want to Win: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)

Dark Horse: Margin Call (J.C. Chandor)

Best Animated Feature:

Who Will Win: Rango (Gore Verbinski)

This one’s been tied up for ages. In the absence of a standout Pixar film this year, and based on its own well-recognized merits, Rango’s going home with the gold.

Who I Want to Win: Rango (Gore Verbinski)

Dark Horse: Kung-Fu Panda 2 (Jennifer Yuh Nelson)

Foreign Language Film

Who Will Win: A Separation (Iran - Asghar Farhadi, director)

Another choice that’s been pretty obvious for a while. Foreign language films are the category that the fewest people catch up on, but A Separation has been on critics’ lips (or fingertips) for months.

Who I Want to Win: Monsieur Lazhar (Canada – Philippe Falardeau, director)

Dark Horse: Bullhead (Belgium – Michael R. Roskam, director)

Best Cinematography

Who Will Win: Hugo (Robert Richardson)

Hugo’s nominated for 11 awards, and yet I can’t see it taking the biggest prizes of the night. Much has been made of Martin Scorcese’s work here with 3D and how he brings all his directing mastery to family material.

Who I Want to Win: The Artist (Guillaume Schiffman)

Dark Horse: The Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Film Editing

Who Will Win: Hugo (Thelma Schoonmaker)

Another win for Hugo based mostly on numbers. With 11 nods, it would be strange for Hugo to leave with less than 4 or 5 wins, and editing will likely be among them.

Who I Want to Win: The Descendants (Kevin Tent)

Dark Horse: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)

There you have it. I didn’t predict each category because I figure these are the ones most people are interested in (and frankly, the ones that can actually be predicted). As for categories like Sound Mixing, Visual Effects or the music awards, you can follow me on Twitter tomorrow to get my thoughts on the probable winners as the telecast plays out.

Am I right or wrong about the winners I named above? Will you be playing along tomorrow night to see who wins? Join the conversation about the 2012 Oscars in the comments section below!