The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Reeling in the winners: 2012 Oscar predictions

With spring finally upon us, students choose to use another form of transportation — bicycles. Many students may not be aware of a city ordinance that doesn’t allow bicycles on sidewalks in business districts, said Eau Claire Police Officer Jason Ruppert.

Sports Editor Emily Gresbrink:

2011, although weak in box office revenue, produced a handful of memorable and quality flicks — as well as the bad ones — that are worth honoring. And to honor these films, we celebrate the sacred day known as The Oscars! It’s like Christmas, but better.

There are a total of eight best picture nominees this year. Bringing in the top of the Oscar-ranking chart is “Hugo,” with 11 nods; “The Artist” followed with 10.  The buzz has been going strong since late January (upon the announcement of the nominees) and many of the honorees have already received Golden Globes, BAFTAs and other smaller-scale award ceremonies.

This year, I feel like the critics and I are once again on the same level … for the most part anyways. There are a few discrepancies, but here you go:

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Best Picture
Critics are saying: “The Artist”
I’m saying: “The Artist”

Best Director:
Critics are saying: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
I’m saying: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

The latter are for obvious reasons. Watch it and be mesmerized by what Hollywood used to be – no Michael Bay explosions or Nicholas Sparks’ poopy love stories. WIN!

Best Actor in a Leading Role: 
Critics are saying: George Clooney, “The Descendants”
I’m saying: George Clooney, “The Descendants”

It was, as mentioned, a great movie — but in previous years, a movie is nominated basically just for the actor or actress (see also: Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet). This is Clooney’s best movie to date and this Oscar is his. Sorry B-Pitt. Maybe never next year!

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Critics are saying: Meryl Streep, “Iron Lady”
I’m saying: Meryl Streep, “Iron Lady”

Give this woman a damn Oscar. I have this theory, also, that there is a formula to winning best actor or actress: One, be a minority (female, ethnic) who has to overcome something or be British royalty (see also: “The King’s Speech”).

Best Supporting Actor:
Critics are saying: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
I’m saying: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

You can’t say no to Captain Von Trapp! Plus, he’s never gotten an Oscar. EVER.

Best Supporting Actress:
Critics are saying: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
I’m saying: Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Alas, disagreement! I think both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer did a beautiful job in “Help,” but does that surprise you? No. McCarthy surprised us all with her hilarious performance, and sometimes the most surprising newcomers need the recognition.

Best Screenplay (Adapted)
Critics are saying: “The Descendants”
I’m saying: “The Descendants”

Best Screenplay (Original)
Critics are Saying: “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen
I’m saying: “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen

While “The Artist” and “Bridesmaids,” to name two, have great stories, I’ve seen those struggles in life and movies before. A struggling artist overcoming an obstacle, a hilarious “how could this get any worse?” comedy … I like them, but it’s not fresh. Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” was probably the best and most innovative story out of the nominated pictures in this category.

Editor in Chief Carolyn Tiry:

Here’s the thing: I sometimes think the Oscars are rigged. Well, not rigged exactly, but the winners do often get shamefully predictable. It’s either because there is actually one film that should be the clear winner or the Academy voters feel obligated to vote for one film in particular.

I think that makes it a little silly to predict Oscar winners and that someone who hasn’t seen the films (i.e. me) has an equally good chance of guessing the right ones. So I’m competing with Emily to see who can get the most right. She’s seen the films; I haven’t. Here we go.

Best Picture: The Artist

All right, this one is in black and white. That means it’s a shoo in. Academy, you’ve become way too predictable.

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

The film that wins Best Picture (almost) always wins Best Director. And this guy’s last name is pretty great. So he wins by default.

Best Actor: Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman is possibly my favorite actor of all time. He slips into every role seamlessly and brings such intensity, whether comedic or dramatic, that he elevates anything he’s in. Plus, he’s never won an Oscar for any other role, which is a travesty.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep

Um, it’s Meryl Streep. And she’s playing a historical figure. Again, Academy … too predictable.

Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh

I like Branagh’s work with Shakespeare plays. He seems like a pretty good actor. Is that enough?

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy

McCarthy is on a role, what with her Emmy win for “Mike and Molly” earlier this year. Plus, “Bridesmaids” was hilarious, and comedy doesn’t get recognized enough at the Oscars.

Best Screenplay (original): Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

I just really like Woody Allen. “Annie Hall” is my favorite romantic comedy and one of my favorite all-time movies. Even though his best stuff came in the ’70s and ’80s, he’s still a safe bet for an entertaining hour and a half.

Best Screenplay (adapted): Steve Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball)

I didn’t know Aaron Sorkin co-wrote this! Go him! Plus, I feel like the script has to be pretty dang good if it can make baseball statistics visually interesting and dramatically compelling (for the record, I do actually want to see this film).

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Reeling in the winners: 2012 Oscar predictions