This must be the 40,000th still from "The Artist" we've run this year.
The danger in predicting anything, especially horse races and awards shows, is balancing what you want to happen with what you think will happen. This year’s Oscar race seems to be set as everyone just waits for “The Artist” to roll over everyone — which is probably the right thing. But at some point the Academy will mess it up. Here’s the scale weighing what the voters will get right and their inevitable mistakes.
Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
This indie about a man (Plummer) who comes out late in life was adorably quirky, and Plummer’s performance gave it a depth it would have otherwise lacked. Also, if he wins, he might sing “Edelweiss” during his speech.
Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
We call this Kim Basinger Syndrome — the actress won for 1997’s “L.A. Confidential,” we suspect, because the Academy wanted to recognize an excellent film but, with a “Titanic” sweep, had no place else to do it. “The Help” is no “L.A. Confidential,” but people want it to take home something, and this will be it — leaving Melissa McCarthy, who should take it, the bridesmaid.
Best Picture, “The Artist”
It’s rare when the film that takes home the top trophy is actually the best film of the year, and the little silent film that could is set to rightfully to claim its prize.
Best Actress, Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady.”
“The Help” had problems, but Viola Davis’ performance wasn’t one of them. Streep is, surprisingly, a perennial loser when it comes to the Oscar and seems due. Which is a shame, because Davis should take it for one of the most devastating and authentic performances ever committed to film
Best Director, Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
This award could go to Martin Scorsese for “Hugo,” his outstanding it’s-a-children’s-film-no-just-kidding, but the director of the best picture typically takes home the directing award.