One of the tightest races this year has turned into a seesaw battle between 17-time nominee and two-time winner Meryl Streep vs. her Doubt co-star Viola Davis.
The clear frontrunner is The Artist with strong precursor wins at the very predictive DGA and PGA awards, not to mention a slew of others that tip this race in the direction of the first black-and-white silent film to seriously compete for best picture since the very first winner, Wings, in 1927-28. Hugo, the nominations leader with 11, will probably have to settle for some technical wins even though it is widely admired. The Descendants and Midnight In Paris are likely to win consolation prizes for their scripts, with only the real dark horse, The Help, having a shot at an upset thanks to support from the all-powerful actors’ branch. But without nominations for writing, directing or editing, it would be unprecedented as no best pic since Grand Hotel in 1930 has pulled that off. It’s not likely to happen, but this has been a weird year.
The winner: The Artist
This has turned into a real barnburner of a contest and is difficult to read. Brad Pitt started strong winning the NY Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics, but good buddy George Clooney eclipsed him at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, National Board of Review and Golden Globes. It looked like a two-man race until Jean Dujardin broke his vow of silence and beat them both at the most important predictor of all, the SAG Awards, and then at BAFTA adding to his Golden Globe for comedy or musical actor. Now it’s a brawl as all three are in best picture nominees — another advantage past winners have had. There’s no clear-cut choice, but a hunch tells me Dujardin is peaking at just the right time, with France’s ‘sexiest man alive’ trumping his American counterparts. It pays to work with a cute dog.
The winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist.
One of the tightest races this year has turned into a seesaw battle between 17-time nominee and two-time winner Meryl Streep vs. her Doubt co-star Viola Davis. Streep won at the New York Critics, the Globes and BAFTA, while Davis racked up the Critics’ Choice and the SAG Award, making the ultimate Oscar winner a real question mark until that envelope is opened. Could the two frontrunners split the vote and let the very deserving Michelle Williams sneak in for her impeccable Marilyn? My guess is Davis’ SAG win and emotional acceptancespeeches will tip the scales in her favor, making her only the second black winner ever here.
The winner: Viola Davis, The Help”