For Your Consideration…

The red carpet at the 2009 Oscars
Licensed by Creative Commons (BDS2006)

The big night isn’t till the 26th, but now that the Grammys are done… Let’s get our Oscar Prediction Post out of the way, shall we?

Now, this isn’t really a list of Oscar predictions — in the sense that I make no predictions about who will actually win Academy Awards in these categories or any others. (For the record, I’ve only seen five of the films nominated for any Oscar this year: Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Help, The Iron Lady, and Moneyball.)

However, I do predict that I will be very, very happy if the following nominees collect statues on Feb. 26:

Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) for Best Actor

In a perfect world, I would have the power to go back in time, suspend certain Academy rules, and give the 1980 Best Actor award to Sir Alec Guinness for his performance as George Smiley in the BBC miniseries version of T, T, S, S. (Though I wouldn’t want to take that award away from Raging Bull‘s Robert De Niro… Could I possibly allow both the original and altered timelines to continue simultaneously without warping the time-space continuum? Argh – time travel is hard!)

But since that’s unlikely to happen, I’ll just wish fervently that one of the finest British actors of this generation will finally get an Oscar. (Can you believe it’s his first nomination??)

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash (The Descendants) for Best Adapted Screenplay

Jim Rash
Jim Rash, not (?) in character as Dean Pelton

Haven’t seen it. But since I’ve liked everything Alexander Payne has done since Election, I’m willing to make a guess here.

But that’s not why I want this to happen. I just want to watch Jim Rash give his acceptance speech in character as Dean Pelton from Community while the camera cuts to fellow nominee Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball) grinding his teeth into powder.

Prediction-within-a-prediction: George Clooney, another loser in this category (The Ides of March), will look completely happy. Here’s why:

  1. He’s an actor; he can act happy.
  2. He’s an actor who said the words written by the people accepting this writing award; he can tell himself that he made the writers sound good.
  3. He’s an actor who will win an Oscar later in the evening for saying the words written by the people accepting this writing award; he knows which award is more important.
  4. He’s George Clooney. Wouldn’t you be happy?

Janusz Kaminski (War Horse) for Best Cinematography

Ah, 1997… My salad days… when I was green in judgment, and still believed that there was some correlation between artistic achievement and the Academy Awards. And then Fargo lost the Best Picture race to, of all things, The English Patient (ranked by Entertainment Weekly as the 6th worst Best Picture choice in history). Ditto for the Best Cinematography race, where the great Roger Deakins was bested by whoever filmed that other movie. And Deakins has been nominated seven more times since (twice in 2008 alone) without winning. So I’m strongly inclined to predict that I would be very, very happy if Roger Deakins took home the Oscar in 2012.

Unfortunately, not only is he not nominated, but the only movie he shot last year was the Justin Timberlake vehicle that didn’t co-star Mila Kunis, so…

Moving on – Janusz Kaminski could shoot a Yakov Smirnov concert film in Branson, Missouri and it would be Oscar-worthy. So the idea of him behind the camera for a movie about World War I done in the style of John Ford actually overwhelms all my trepidation about Steven Spielberg handling this subject matter.

Bret McKenzie, “Man or Muppet” (The Muppet Movie) for Best Original Song

Again, haven’t seen it. But people I know, respect, and trust have and think this movie in general and this song in particular were awesome.

But that’s irrelevant — I just want to see Bret from Flight of the Conchords (and Figwit from Lord of the Ring) win an Oscar. For the record, I’d also like to see Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords win a Grammy and Murray from Flight of the Conchords win an Emmy.

Well, let’s not be greedy… Make Murray’s a Daytime Emmy.

The Iron Lady for Best Sound Mixing

This would be a real shocker, seeing as how The Iron Lady isn’t nominated for Best Sound Mixing.

And… I’m not entirely sure whether I mean Best Sound Mixing or Best Sound Editing.

The Iron Lady PosterBut I predict that I would be very, very happy if this Margaret Thatcher biopic won either sound award via some kind of stunning write-in campaign. Since this was the first time I watched a movie and at one point actually thought to myself, “The sound mixing and/or editing in this film is really Oscar-worthy.”

Seriously. It’s not the kind of movie you’d normally associate with these technical categories; instead of mixing and/or editing the sounds of things blowing up or cars crashing, the technicians involved in The Iron Lady created a soundscape of hushed voices behind Meryl Streep’s lead that rise in the mix only enough to make us strain to listen in. As Streep’s Thatcher walks through her lonely apartment, slipping further into dementia, she’s surrounded by the voices of anxious aides, confused friends, her beleaguered daughter and absent son, and her dead husband and the other ghosts of her fading memories.

But no, give it to Transformers 3. That’s fine, too. I’m sure the Decepticons have never sounded so good.

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