Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscars LiveBlog

84th Annual Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spenser, The Help
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated
Best Foreign Language Feature: A Separation
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: Hugo
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Film Editing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Original Song: The Muppets
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Visual Effects: Hugo

Saturday, February 25, 2012

84th Oscars - Final Predictions

I usually wait until right before the ceremony to post these, but I honestly don't think I will switch at this point, and since I've already gotten some ballots in my Oscar pool that virtually match this list, I might as well put it out there.

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredible Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Will Win: The Artist
Should Win: Hugo
The Upset: Hugo
Reasoning: The Artist has simply roared through this race since the Critics Choice Awards. It won that, the Golden Globe, the Producers Guild, and the Directors Guild. To bet against it at this point would be pure folly. Its only serious competition—Hugo—probably deserves this win (even if I like The Tree of Life most out of this slate) because of what it says about film and the revolutionary way it goes about saying it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Film. Now more than ever.

My favorite moment in The Artist isn't one of Michel Hazanavicius's deep focus, cross-compositional gags where signs comment on or joke about the action or the lack of talking. It doesn't involve Uggie, either.

My favorite moment in the movie is where Peppy recovers George's film and holds it up to the light, examining it carefully. The film cuts to a close-up of the frames, and as she looks, they animate ever so slightly. It is an image of the two of them in the outtake from earlier in the film, dancing for one moment and collapsing into laughter the next.

This is, for me, the soul of The Artist, and the whole reason it will win Best Picture, the whole reason it may become the platform from which many an impassioned blogger will campaign for the necessity of film. This is one of the few moments where The Artist overcomes its own nostalgia to revel in the beauty of its medium.