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The 84th Academy Awards: We Predict Winners, Losers, and WTFs

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The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards have been announced and we are totally, completely…underwhelmed. Although some of the noms made us think, Yeah, we get that, a few left us wondering, Huh?
 
But although we sometimes disagree with what the Academy thinks is Oscar-worthy, we’ll still tune in to watch on February 26th. Unfortunately now that Billy Crystal is returning as the host this year, we can’t count on him wearing eight gorgeous couture looks styled by Rachel Zoe like last year’s hostess Anne Hathaway. The upside is that he generally doesn’t look stoned when on national television. So you win some and lose some. Here are our opinions, gripes, and predictions about how this year’s show will go down. Let us know if you agree.
 
Best Actor
The nominees: Demián Bichir in A Better Life, George Clooney in The Descendants, Jean Dujardin in The Artist, Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, and Brad Pitt in Moneyball
Who Gets Booed: George Clooney. As staff writer Allison’s mother said said about the film, “I don’t understand why people think Clooney poops gold bars. He was fine, but what’s the fuss?”
Who Got Screwed: Definitely Michael Shannon for his role in Take Shelter, but we also miss seeing a nod for Ryan Gosling, who should be at least nominated for Best Abdominals for his work in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Who Will Win: We hope Brad Pitt, but probably George Clooney. 
 
Best Actress
The nominees: Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis in The Help, Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, and Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn
Who Gets Booed: Hey Academy, just because Rooney Mara’s a Fresh Young Thing playing a beloved character in a hotly anticipated adaptation of a bestselling book doesn’t mean her performance was Oscar-worthy.  
Who Got Screwed: Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin. No performance this year made us feel so simultaneously queasy, sympathetic, and repulsed. Also Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia.
Who Will Win: Michelle Williams


Best Supporting Actor
The nominees: Kenneth Branagh in My Week With Marilyn, Jonah Hill in Moneyball, Nick Nolte in Warrior, Christopher Plummer in Beginners, and Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Who Gets Booed: “Academy Award Nominee Jonah Hill” just sounds bizarre. Also, most of his performance in Moneyball consisted of sitting still and not smiling.
Who Got Screwed: Albert Brooks’s turn as a crime boss in Drive was lauded as one of the best of his career.
Who Will Win: Christopher Plummer won the Golden Globe, so he seems like a lock.
 





Best Supporting Actress
The nominees: Bérénice Bejo in The Artist, Jessica Chastain in The Help, Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs, and Octavia Spencer in The Help.
Who Gets Booed: We have no complaints about this totally respectable list of outstanding performances. Brava, ladies!  
Who Got Screwed: If Jessica Chastain had been nominated for her performance in Take Shelter, she might actually have a shot at winning.
Who Will Win: Octavia Spencer
 
Best Director
The nominees: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Alexander Payne for The Descendants, Martin Scorcese for Hugo, Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, and Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life
Who Gets Booed: People really hated Hugo, so Scorcese’s nom seems a tad out of place.
Who Got Screwed: Nicolas Winding-Refn was the darling of Cannes for Drive. (We would suggest Lars von Trier for Melancholia, except for the whole Nazi thing.)
Who Will Win: Alexander Payne. He’s already won an Oscar (for Sideways), but the Academy loves that guy.

Best Picture
The nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse
Who Gets Booed: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was very poorly reviewed. And did we mention how much people hated Hugo?
Who Got Screwed: The Ides of March. Seeing as it was written and directed by George Clooney and full of Hollywood liberalism, it seemed tailor-made for Oscar wins.
Who Will Win: We have a feeling that The Help will pull out a win. Everyone likes feel-good stories about racial tolerance.

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