IWU critics debate Oscar Picks

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Both Brinkmeier and Dhue think "The Artist" will win big this Sunday.

By Dane Brinkmeier, Staff Writer and Hannah Dhue, Staff Writer

The countdown to Hollywood’s biggest night will finally hit double zeroes this Sunday, and we couldn’t be more excited.

As The Argus’ film critics, we took this opportunity to meet face to face for the first time and collaborate on this article only to discover our opinions are just about as contrasting as our reviewing styles.

So, we’ve chosen to give you our picks and predictions in the hopes that they will help you decide for yourselves.

Most of the major categories have distinct frontrunners, but the Oscar race this year is a tough one to call and is guaranteed to be a real nail-biter.

Best Picture

Favorite:

Hannah: The Help trumps all for me this year. Any film with more than four stellar performances that still bring me to tears after multiple viewings is unquestionably award worthy.

Dane: The Descendants has talented actors as well as a moving story that reflects on family and togetherness through life’s troubling times. A combination of amazing cinematography, performances, and emotion-filled music makes this movie stand out above the rest.

Who will win:

Both: The Artist – Our money is on this one. Although it may be unknown to the common movie-going crowd, it has received nothing but praise and critical acclaim from members of the film community. Having a unique charm that pays homage to classic silent films, the Oscar buzz surrounding this film is undeniable.

It may not be our number one favorite, but it’s definitely close and is one of the best pictures of the year.

Best Actor

Favorite:

Hannah: The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, who played the transitioning silent film star who finds his dancing shoes almost as well as the legendary Gene Kelly.

Dane: George Clooney in The Descendants. His role and his performance were never once over-the-top, which is sometimes hard to accomplish. Especially during the last half of the movie, his performance is truly gripping.

Who will win:

Both: Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Although neither of us saw his portrayal as a thrilling secret agent spy, in the previews and clips seen, he appears to give off a riveting and promising performance. His work is well known and seems to gain acclaim as his movie career sails upward.

Best Actress

Favorite:

Hannah: I’m behind Viola Davis one hundred percent for her performance in The Help.

Dane: It’s kind of a toss up with Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn and Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe was breathtaking and realistic, but Mara was filled with dramatic poise and captured the true emotion of her character.

Who will win:

Hannah: Meryl, Queen of Hollywood, will more than likely reign over all once again for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Meryl Streep and she undoubtedly deserves recognition for her hard work, I would just love to see Viola win Best Actress this year.

Dane: Although Hollywood loves Meryl Streep, I think her chances of actually winning are low. Her portrayal was near perfect, but the role was basically written for her. Because Viola Davis was so moving in The Help, I feel that the academy will realize Davis’ time is finally here and she will be recognized with the award she deserves.

Best Supporting Actress/Actor

Favorite:

Hannah: This category is simply a bloodbath. Though it’s a close call between Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer for The Help and the outrageously hilarious Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, I would have to give to Octavia. Her portrayal of Kathryn Stockett’s character, Minnie Jackson, has unshakeable power.

Dane: Christopher Plummer in Beginners. His role was a unique character and he was both uplifting and saddening in his role as an elderly homosexual. The others actors simply don’t measure up.

Who will win:

Both: Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer.

Though he's not their favorite, both critics think Scorsese will take home the Oscar.

Best Director

Favorite:

Both: Alexander Payne for The Descendants. We both watched this film in awe of his style and the uncanny way he has of making you feel the story. The cinematic elements he brings to the table are unique and memorable.

Who will win:

Both: It’s painful for us to not cast our vote for Scorsese and Hugo, another heartwarming film, but his direction style just didn’t seem to be of the highest caliber compared to the other contenders.

But at the same time, Hollywood adores Scorsese and he is a highly valued member of the community. Because of that, the Oscars will recognize his continuously talented achievements

Best Original Screenplay

Favorite:

Both: Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. He is a great storyteller and has a craft for creating witty, heartfelt scripts. But, at the same time, Bridesmaids was also an original piece that deserves recognition.

Who will win:

Both: Woody Allen. His way of developing characters and their personalities is just undeniably creative and smart, and this is the best we’ve seen from him since Annie Hall (1977).

Best Original Score

Favorite:

Hannah: John Williams’ phenomenal score for War Horse strikes a chord in my heart that was almost as moving as his work in The Patriot (2000).

Dane: The Artist’s soundtrack was the best, in my opinion, because each instrumental music number matched perfectly with the actions on screen. Not to mention a highly entertaining toe-taping delight.

Who will win:

Both: The Artist, whose smart score is the spine of the film, will mostly likely win.

Will our predictions ring true? Tune in to watch host Billy Crystal unveil the surprises at the 84th annual Academy Awards this Sunday evening, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. on ABC and find out.