Well, the time has come to share my thoughts on this year, which was extremely weak in general. Really, I didn't really warm up to many movies. :)
should win: The Tree of Life
thoughts: The Tree of Life was such a life-changing, wonderful, terrific experience for me and I couldn't imagine not voting for it. However, The Artist was almost as cathartic and terrific for me so if it wins the Best Picture, I'll be just ecstatic. I feel The Artist will really be a movie that will go down in history (at least because it's a B&W silent film). I absolutely HATED The Descendants, our dark horse, but I loved Moneyball.
should win: Terrence Malick
thoughts: OK, the same goes for this category. I'll be VERY happy for Hazanavicius (I'M BEGGING TO THE BEST DIRECTOR PRESENTER TO TRY TO PRONOUNCE HIS NAME CORRECTLY IF HE WINS). I admire all the other directors (lifelong Woody and Scorsese fan here), except for Alexander Payne and his movie.
should win: Meryl
thoughts: IF NOT NOW, WHEN??? It's the perfect time, but I guess the Academy will screw up this perfect opportunity as well. I will applaud Viola's win because she's so talented and wonderful in The Help, but she's typically an actress whose career could be ruined by the win. I think she'll get the great roles as long as she's hunting for the Oscars (which she will definitely win some day, I'm sure). If she wins now, expect more Aibileens from her in the following years. I'd love to see a Great Glenn upset, but I'm dreading all the shit she will be getting, if she wins (which she won't). I just hope this nomination will bring her back to the mind of Hollywood and she will get a role that will bring her the Oscar (the Sunset Boulevard musical movie, maybe? Or Therese Raquin?).
should win: Jean Dujardin
thoughts: OK, so Jean Dujardin gives, hands down, the best performance of the bunch. But if we consider Brad Pitt's body of work this year, he really deserves an Oscar for his efforts. I actually preferred him in The Tree of Life, which was, in my opinion, the performance of the year. He was fantastic in Moneyball as well, but Dujardin was better. I absolutely loathed Clooney, so I guess if the Academy wants to continue its habit of pissing me off with the Best Actor winners, he'll win.
Best Supporting Actress
should win: Bérénice Bejo
thoughts: OK, first of all, I just LOVE Octavia Spencer in The Help and in general and nobody will cheer louder than me if she wins, but I have been so taken by Bérénice's surprisingly unpopular performance. She's just fantastic, in many ways like Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins: she uses the most simple emotions and tricks, relies a lot on her charm and as a result, she evokes such wonderful feeling inside me. The character may be underwritten but there's much more inside her than it seems for the first time. BTW, this is an extremely strong category (probably the only one better than last year) and I love all the three other ladies. I wouldn't even mind a Melissa McCarthy upset. Some are really hoping for that, but if anyone upsets, that will be Bérénice who can benefit from her movie.
Best Supporting Actor
should win: Christopher Plummer
thoughts: What a f-ing wasteland, save for the fantastic Plummer. Next!
Best Original Screenplay
should win: to be determined
thoughts: I'm watching A Separation in a couple of hours so at the moment Midnight in Paris whose fantastic, wonderfully entertaining and smart story is a real treat. The movie might be a bit slower than it should be, the screenplay is extremely strong. The Artist isn't very original if we see the story, it's rather the way it's made that makes it so brilliant and original. I won't mind if it wins, though. Bridesmaids was one fun movie but I somehow can't connect Oscar to it. :) Imagine that a movie with 5 minutes of shitting and puking women wins for Best Original Screenplay. I don't think it's a threat. I guess Margin Call
Best Adapted Screenplay
should win: Moneyball
thoughts: Seriously? The Descendants? Really? (Insert Amy Poehler's Really??!! face here) Moneyball is easily the best of the bunch, with its smartness, intelligence (Sorkin's brilliance) and real honesty. I love sport movies so I guess it was obvious for me, though I believe that it's also the best one objectively. Some people praise Tinker Tailor... which had an interesting story but occasionally it became dreary and too slow (it was great, though).
should win: The Tree of Life
thoughts: Are you kidding? There's no other way to go here. I'll take it if The Artist wins, but this one belong to Emmanuel Lubiezki. That movie was almost a divine revelation and Lubiezki had quite a lot to do with it.
should win: The Artist
thoughts: If you ask me, the editing is one of the strongest parts of The Artist. It was so excellent and it helped such a great deal to feel the atmosphere of the movie. I also admired the editing of Moneyball quite a lot.
Best Foreign Language Film
thoughts: I haven't seen any of these, but I'm watching A Separation today if everything goes well. I'll be quite happy if In Darkness wins, because the friends in Poland deserve an Oscar (you know Hungarian-Polish friendship is very significant in our lives here since the medieval era).
I don't want to get into the other categories as I don't have much to do with Sound Mixing and Editing. I don't really care about these categories though I love the winners there because it's so nice to see very moved ordinary people among the stars. :)