My picks are italicized and bold, because that's how I roll. Feel like actually winning your office Oscar Pool this year? Stick with me, kid (just don't play against me).
Special Bonus: "A Separation" cops the Best Foreign film.
My colleagues have selected Clooney in possibly the most overrated film and performance of the year but I predict that Dujardin will take home the gold.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
>Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Max von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Joe and Lexi got this one right. It's Plummer in the let's give it to the senior citizen playing a gay person role.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
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"
Joe got it right with Davis. Lexi opted for Streep, the perennial bridesmaid.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
>Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Lexi and Joe both score a bulls-eye with Spencer.
The little lizard by a landslide. Lexi and Joe score again.
ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Midnight in Paris"
Lexi and Joe are streaking now. Scorsese's labor of love, with art direction by Dante Ferretti (Production Design) and Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration) scores big.
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
>"The Tree of Life"
Lexi and Joe are both hopelessly lost here with "The Artist" and "Hugo." "The Tree of Life," this year's most enigmatic entry, is most likely to score here. I'm out on a limb on this one. Let's hope the branch is strong.
Probably going to be "Hugo" even though "The Artist" deserves it, so I reluctantly agree with Joe and Lexi.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"Hell and Back Again"
"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
>"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
It's going to be HBO's "Paradise Lost 3." Joe agrees. Lexi abstained.
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
And the Oscar goes to... "The Artist." Both Lexi and Joe got this one right.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"The Adventures of Tintin", John Williams
>"The Artist", Ludovic Bource
"Hugo", Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse", John Williams
Everyone knows this has to be "The Artist." When a film has no dialog, the soundtrack becomes even more critical, and Ludovic Bource knocked this one out of the park.
What a joke to have a category with two nominees. Yeah, I agree with Lexi and Joe, that "The Muppets" will win, but honestly, who cares?
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
Joe scores with "Hugo." Lexi is all inked up with no place to go with "Tattoo."
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
>Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
John Logan, "Hugo"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, "The Ides of March"
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, "Moneyball"
Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Both my colleagues are right on with "The Descendants" but I remind everyone again that this flick is so overrated as to be almost comical.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
J.C. Chandor, "Margin Call"
>Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Asghar Farhadi, "A Separation"
Woody absolutely crushes the competition. Joe and Lexi understand that. So should you. Pick Woody for the win.
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
>Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"
Yeah, we all agree that it's Hazanavicius with "The Artist."
With this category, "The Artist" applies the final choke hold on Clooney and Scorsese. "The Artist" is a clever idea and good filmmaking, but the fact that it will win Best Picture should serve as an indictment to the entire filmmaking industry. Joe and Lexi agree. At least about the part that "The Artist" shall win.
Please note: if you win your office Oscar pool, please feel free to send any percentage of your winnings to me care of Big Picture Big Sound. And if you lose, well, you should know not to trust everything you read on the Internet!