If you’re a film fan then you’ll probably be aware that the 84th Annual Academy Awards (or The Oscars for most people) is happening tomorrow night (Sunday Feb 26th). To me, this is a night filled to the brim with coffee, lists of films, coffee, food, coffee, splashing of the face and (yes,you guessed it) more coffee because of an annoying little thing called time-difference.
This year’s Oscars will probably be the same as most years’ ceremonies. It will be long, it will have very few highlights, it will be very self-congratulatory and some of the best films of the previous year will be overlooked (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Ides of March, Life in a Day, Tyrannosaur, Moneyball – The list is almost never ending). This year though, I’ve decided to make it a little more interesting for myself and (hopefully) less of a crushing disappointment by having a bit of a flutter on the films.
I had heard people talking about making football or horse racing more fun by having something at stake whilst watching so when I realised I could do the same with the Oscars and bet on films (which I already like…A LOT) I snapped up the opportunity. BUT who should I bet for; after all, I’ve already told you my favourite films were either not nominated or out of the running! So these are what I have placed my bets on and why. Enjoy!
This one was a VERY easy decision. The Artist is so sure of winning the big gong at tomorrow’s awards that nothing short of all the academy dying would prevent it from winning. However, what is the fun in backing the guaranteed winner? If I were to go all out and put all my £10 allocated for the betting on The Artist then I would only get £12 back. So I went for the second most likely to win; The Help. This film was the biggest grossing of all the films nominated (and Hollywood likes money, it likes money a lot!), it also has the subject matter the Oscars like (adversity), it has lovely performances from some stellar actresses and importantly, it has won a number of awards (AFI awards, Image Awards, some golden globes etc) in the pre-oscars season. Plus if my bet of £1 wins I get £21 back so that’s always good!
This category is a little less clear cut than Best Picture, although Jean Du Jardin (The leading man in The Artist) has won the acting gong at the BAFTAs and Cannes those two are very different places than Hollywood (plus we’re European and the Oscars tend to be a little xenophobic about foreign actors succeeding). Also, although Du Jardin’s performance is terrific it isn’t the traditional explosive and emotional performance we usually see win Oscars (which is why the derserved winner Gary Oldman has no chance) this is why I’m backing American superstar George Clooney’s performance in The Descendants. Clooney is fantastic in the film, his performance is very emotional and showy, he won the Golden Globe and how can you not love him!? You’ll double your money if he wins.
Surprisingly, despite what the British Press have been raving about for the last few months, Meryl Streep isn’t guaranteed her Oscar for The Iron Lady. Viola Davis (lead actress in The Help) is actually the bookie’s favourite here and stateside. This is because us Brits are far more familiar with Margaret Thatcher than Americans are so her achievement in capturing Maggie’s mannerisms and presence aren’t as impressive to them. Despite this, the Academy is made up of an old majority who would be far more familiar with Thatcher & Meryl Streep. Kudos must be given to the lady, she has had a whopping seventeen nominations before now and only two wins (back in the 70s for Kramer vs Kramer & Sophie’s Choice) she deserves the award and the Oscars often honour their alumni. I’ve backed her and should double my money.
Best Animated Feature
Usually this award goes to this year’s Pixar film (and deservedly so) but with Cars 2 being a crushing disappointment the fate has been left to a mixed bag. Kung Fu Panda, Puss in Boots, Rango and two foreign films, A Cat in Paris and Chico and Rita, are all in the running, although I wouldn’t be too surprised if Rango won (it is well animated and won the BAFTA). I’m backing Chico and Rita because A) it wasn’t in the running for the BAFTA because it was released here a year earlier than in the USA and B) it has been raved about constantly by critics for the last year (including recently on this site) and would be a shame for it to lose out to something as stupid and childish as the three American films. Having said that A Cat in Paris will probably win now but still, you’ve got a chance of making £10 off your quid if you back mine!
So there you have it, my OSCARs picks. If you fancy reading my favourite films of the year list click here because let’s face it, the Oscar winners are rarely the best film of the year!
The Oscars Ceremony is broadcast Live on Sky Movies Premiere at 23:30 GMT Sunday 26th February