The Oscars are this Sunday and yesterday I posted my predictions for who I believe will win, but today I thought we would look at the films and contenders we are pretty sure won't win, but would enjoy the moment if they did.
For me, this task wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Only three of the films in my top ten of 2011 were nominated for Best Picture and obviously none of them are top contenders. And if you look back at my RopeofSilicon Awards two of my Best Actor contenders were nominated, one from my Best Actress field, one from Supporting Actor, one from Supporting Actress and none from my Best Directors.
Not even one of the five scores I named or any of the three films I named for Best Cinematography were nominated. So how could I pick a "surprise" that would actually please me? So many of this year's Oscar nominees are such "blah" contenders I'm having a hard time mustering up much interest, but hopefully you can help me out and inject a little passion with your personal wishlist.
So, that said, have a look at my five surprises I wouldn't mind seeing (in no particular order) and share your personal wishlist and let's see if something we're hoping for can come true this Sunday night and give us something to care about.
Midnight in Paris
It was #3 on my top ten for 2011 so clearly I would rather see it win more than any of the top three contenders, which includes The Artist, The Descendants and Hugo (you could also throw The Help in there if youi're feeling optimisitc), but just for its level of sheer magic I would like to see it win. If you want a runner-up I wouldn't mind seeing Moneyball announced and I would pay to see the number of heads that would explode should Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close win.
Everyone, even the people that rush to every blog post about the Oscars proclaiming how they don't matter, would turn beat red and begin hammering on their keyboards in every message board and comment section they could find if Exxtremely Loud won. It just might end up being the greatest moment in Oscar history if that happened.
Jean Dujardin (The Artist) is likely to win the Oscar for Best Actor. If he doesn't then it will go to George Clooney whom I believe is far more deserving. Even more deserving still is Brad Pitt for Moneyball in my opinion. Though very much along the lines of Clooney's performance in its ability to reveal a layer of vulnerability, I felt Pitt's didn't have that occasional farcical aspect to his performance that ends up keeping it slightly more grounded. Then again, I've loved Pitt's work for a long time and watching him grow as an actor has been a pleasure. I believe he'll be rewarded some day, but like most Oscar winners, it will ultimately be for lesser work.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
There were equal parts strength and fragility to Rooney Mara's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I don't think is easy for an actor to tap into. I will agree that some of it had to do with the physicality of Mara, but I'm not going to ding her just because she fit the role from a body type standpoint and ignore what was going on behind the eyes. She was great in this role; a role, that when you look at the rest of the contenders, certainly stands out in my opinion.
Best Supporting Actress
Perhaps the fact I didn't like Albert Nobbs plays some role in my appreciation for the work Janet McTeer put in, but, more than any other performance last year, I looked forward to every opportunity she would be on screen while watching this film, if only to add some life and personality to a film that was like watching paint dry.
Everyone loves A Separation and it is going to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and I really have no problem with that, I agree it's a great film, but I like Bullhead just a bit more and I also needed a fifth category to make a top five. I considered going with Moneyball for Best Adapted Screenplay over The Descendants, but I didn't consider that much of a surprise.
I also considered Woody Allen for Best Director as I would like to see any of the four contenders other than Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) take that award, but in truth, I don't feel all that passionate about it one way or another. So Foreign Language got the fifth spot, if only because I felt it was a bit meaningless to care of A Morning Stroll won for Best Animated Short, though you could add that to my list if you like.
And so that does it for me, now it's your turn. What surprises could Sunday night offer you that would make the Oscars that much better? If you need a refresher when it comes to the nominees you can get the full list right here. Add as many as you can so I'll have a little something extra to talk about and consider this Sunday during the live blog.
Also, if you missed my Oscar predictions and your chance to vote on who you think will win click here and add your voice over there as well.