Our annual Academy Award prediction for the year of 2012 was published in Images on Sunday, Sunday, 26th February 2012 (Dawn Newspaper). This post is the unedited version. The link, and the image, of the published version is at the end of the post.
Prognosticating Oscar Day
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid
Making the predictions is, as always, a painstaking process involving, amongst other things, a lot of movie watching.
As the awards fever resonates, with unexpected titles appearing strong late in the race, the experience becomes overwhelming to calculate. Still it is mostly rewarding as we find ourselves an opportunity to watch the finest products of the year.
Most will never win an award. A few, obvious products of marketing hyperbole by their respective studios, will convince Oscar voters – the 5,783 members of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – to bypass their reasoning. They will have selective wins at various individual guild awards.
Clearly, there is a science to the process.
The Producers Guild of America (PGA), Directors Guild (DGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Writers Guild (WGA), carry a distinct voice in the outcome: their members are also prominent in the AMPAS. The Critic’s Choice Awards impose persuasive opinion. The Golden Globes and the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), notwithstanding their foreignness, are still considerable to a lesser intensity. There are other awards, but as they happen early in the year we refer to them, more or less, as a graph outlining a change in trend.
Another factor, the numbers of nominations per film, does not matter this year. Today the game is about achieving excellence in individual categories.
Be that as it may, the toughest part is making an informed evaluation. They may differ from the vogue based on our attraction to a particular title in a category. Often, they will be unanimous with the prediction win. Rarely a category will stage an upset.
Unfortunately we are not able to cover the shorts, because it is impossible to obtain and watch. As a principal, we do not judge anything we have not seen.
Irrespective, we are rooting for one category in the shorts this year – the Best Documentary, Short Subject. Half-Pakistani in origin, “Saving Face”, co-directed by Daniel Junge and our own Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, is the first Academy Award nomination for Pakistan (and crossing fingers, maybe the first win).
But that’s enough insight into our process. Continuing our tradition for the seventh year running, thus far still exclusive to Images on Sunday in Pakistan, here are our predictions for the 84th Annual Academy Awards (aka. the Oscars).
MKJ/FJ: "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
Prediction: "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
Rationale: Every SAG male winner wins best picture for 7 years; "The Artist" won the PGA for Best Feature.
Unanimous: "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
Rationale: Clean-swept DGA, Critics Choice, BAFTA. Wins at PGA and SAG also help its kinesis
Actor in a Leading Role
MKJ/FJ: Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
Prediction: Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
Possible Upset: George Clooney in "The Descendants"
Rationale: Dujardin is statistically impossible to beat even with Clooney’s powerhouse performance. Swept SAG, Critic’s Choice, BAFTA and the Golden Globes (the last two do not count, though). Possible upset by Clooney owing to his industry-ranging star power.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Unanimous: Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
Rationale: Nobody beats Plummer this year.
Actress in a Leading Role
Unanimous: Viola Davis in "The Help"
Possible Upset: Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
Rationale: Viola Davis, clearly the darling right now with critics and guilds, has gained remarkable momentum with wins at Critic’s Choice and SAG. Meryl Streep already has fifteen nominations from the Academy and two wins – one for "Kramer vs. Kramer", 1980 and "Sophie’s Choice", 1983; her last Oscar win was thirteen nominations ago, which could raise a possible upset.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Unanimous: Octavia Spencer in "The Help"
Rationale: In the same boat as Christopher Plummer.
Unanimous: "Rango" Gore Verbinski
Rationale: Critic favorite with a strong forward momentum; winner at Annie (Animation) Awards, Critics Choice, BAFTA. Rango lost the PGA and the Golden Globe to "The Adventures of Tintin", the year’s critical favorite not nominated in this Oscar category.
Unanimous: "Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Possible Upset: "The Artist" Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Unanimous: "The Tree of Life" Emmanuel Lubezki
Least Possible Upsets: "The Artist" Guillaume Schiffman or "Hugo" Robert Richardson (though only by a slight margin)
Rationale: Emmanuel Lubezki’s fifth nomination. The film is an existential/spiritual drama riding on overpowering visual spectacle. This is a no-brainer. Already won the ASC (Cinematographer’s Guild) Award.
MKJ/FJ: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Prediction: "The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
Possible Upset: "Hugo" Thelma Schoonmaker or "The Descendants" Kevin Tent
Rationale: Schoonmaker has strong critic/expert push. Tent won Best Dramatic and Bion and Hazanavicius won Best Comedy/Musical Eddies (the Editor’s Guild Award), making an upset probable by Oscar day.
MKJ: "Anonymous" Lisy Christl
FJ: "Hugo" Sandy Powell
Prediction: "The Artist" Mark Bridges
Possible Upset: "Jane Eyre" Michael O’Connor
Rationale: Almost every critic, expert and poll is divided. This category is conflicted between our personal opinions and that of the industry pull, "The Artist" (one which we also liked a lot), which also won Critics Choice and BAFTA. As of this writing the Costume Designer’s Guild Awards were still a day away.
Unanimous: "The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Least Possible Upset: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng.
Unanimous: "The Artist" Ludovic Bource
Rationale: Music was the film’s supporting character. Winning the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics Choice creates a safe bet.
MKJ: "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
FJ: "Real in Rio" from "Rio" Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett
Prediction: "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
MKJ: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
FJ: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Ren Klyce
Prediction: "Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
MKJ: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
FJ: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Prediction: "Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Unanimous: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Unanimous: "The Descendants" by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Rationale: Winning the WGA. Clearly the best adapted film of 2011. Period.
MKJ/FJ: "A Separation" by Asghar Farhadi
Prediction: "Midnight in Paris" by Woody Allen
Rationale: Hollywood – and the Guild’s – love Woody Allen (winning Best Original Screenplay at WGA). A Separation is strictly our personal opinion. We would have voted for it, but still it would not have won.
Possible Upset: "The Artist" by Michel Hazanavicius, but by a long-shot, if everything goes topsy-turvy in the days following this write-up.
Foreign Language Film
Unanimous: "A Separation" Iran…nuff said
Prediction: "Pina" Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
Possible Upset: "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Rationale: Having not seen any of the five documentary nominees, the prediction is dependent on industry speculation. All major awards share different titles making an actual guess-timation near impossible. For now the flow is torn between "Pina" and "Paradise Lost 3".
The published version is here: http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/26/academy-awards-hail-oscar-day.html
And it looks like this in the paper: