Oscars 2012 – Best Picture

After months of preliminary awards and tons of predictions, the 84th Annual Academy Awards will air tonight at 8pm on ABC! Now that I’ve broken down the major categories, I can turn my attention to the most prestigious award of the night – Best Picture. Thanks to a new voting system, this year there are 9 nominees (yup, I don’t understand it either but ok!) so let’s get right to it:

The Nominees for Best Picture

  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • War Horse
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • The Artist
  • Moneyball
  • The Descendants
  • The Tree of Life
  • The Help

1) Why Hugo Should WinPart thrilling adventure and part love letter to the foundations of cinema, Hugo’s two halves weren’t as flawlessly connected as I hoped they would be, but in there own, individual parts they struck all the right chords. The second half, in particular, sensationally brought George Melies’ films to life in stunning 3D that was even more of an exhilarating ode to past cinema than The Artist was.

2) Why Midnight in Paris Should Win: Out of all the films nominated for Best Picture,Midnight in Paris is by far the most clever, witty, and utterly original film of the year. The movie applies specifically to a scholarly level of humor, and if it clicks for you it’s hard for the film to be anything but joyously irresistible. Oh, and it also has the Best Original Screenplay of the year too.

3) Why War Horse Should Win: Though a bit fragmented like Hugo, War Horse still provided an admirable blend of “homage Spielberg” (the film is full of sweeping landscape shots that bring to mind John Ford’s epics) and “typical Spielberg” (the gruesome, shaky WWI battle sequences are just as harrowing as Saving Private Ryan). Never afraid to strike a sentimental chord, the film was humorous at times and seriously graphic at others, stretching the juxtaposition between war and peace out extremely.

4) Why Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Should Win: Though it boasts memorable performances by Max Von Sydow as Thomas Horn’s mute neighbor, Viola Davis (is there anything she can’t do?) as one of the people on Horn’s long list of names, and Sandra Bullock as Horn’s distraught mother, there’s no other way to say it other than that this film should not win the Oscar for Best Picture – it’s overly sentimental, dramatic, and tries to shove post-9/11 realizations in our faces when we’ve already been through this not only in our own real lives but also in much better films such as United 93.

5) Why The Artist Should Win: From brilliant lead performances to exceptional direction,The Artist is the feel good movie of the year that’s equal parts original as it is nostalgic. Even if you don’t pick up on the dozens of homages to the early age of silent cinema, there are still plenty of incredible scenes (the final once is a wiper snapper of joy) to feast your eyes on and to realize that silent and black & white doesn’t mean dull and boring. If anything, The Artist proved that the treasure of the silent film era is not lost, and it’s a message like this that any film lover must appreciate.

6) Why Moneyball Should Win: On paper, the story of how the Oakland A’s general manager changed the game of baseball by hiring cheaper talent that had great on base percentages sounds like a film with things most people can’t stand: watching baseball and statistics. However, thanks to Brad Pitt’s great lead performance, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin’s complex screenplay, and Bennett Miller’s energetic direction, Moneyball became a thrilling character study of human interaction as opposed to a baseball-focused snooze fest. Not only is Moneyball one of the best baseball films of the past couple of years, but it’s also, I think, one of the greatest sports movies of the past years as well.

7) Why The Descendants Should Win: As I’ve been saying all awards season, The Descendants is a genuine emotional rollercoaster, brilliantly combining moments of depressing heartbreak with moments of awkward hilarity. The film also has every thing you could possibly want from a Best Picture: a great ensemble headed by George Clooney’s best performance to date, a dynamite adapted screenplay, an authentic score that infuses the conflicts on screen with traditional Hawaiian chants and ukuleles, and perfectly understated direction. This is a film where every emotion hits home and goes straight to your heart; it’s a perfect American dramedy.

8) Why The Tree of Life Should Win: Although extremely polarizing, The Tree of Life is the finest achievement of the year – a film so epic in scope but so personal in tone that it often feels like you’re watching your own memories and experiences on screen. I can’t remember another film that has made me think so hard about its beautiful complexities; in fact, I’ve seen this film about six times already and each time I’ve found something new and brilliant to think about and to praise Malick for. With incredible acting, music, visuals, and direction, The Tree of Life is a masterpiece in the tradition of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – what more of a compliment could you possibly give any film?

9) Why The Help Should Win: Though it has a basic screenplay and straightforward direction, The Help has something that no other Best Picture nominee does: the best ensemble of the year. From Oscar nominees Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain to the equally as brilliant Emma Stone, Allison Janney, and Cicely Tyson, every actress was at the top of her game, impeccably fleshing out her character’s personality to give us real woman who we could all connect to.

And the award goes to… The Artist! After winning nearly every major pre-Best Picture prize, The Artist is the frontrunner and predictable winner of this year’s Academy Awards. In fact, a loss for Best Picture would be an extreme upset for The Artist and possibly one of the biggest Oscars upsets in history.

If I got to vote my ballot ranking would look like…

  1. The Tree of Life
  2. The Descendants
  3. Midnight in Paris
  4. The Artist
  5. The Help
  6. Moneyball
  7. Hugo
  8. War Horse
  9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Most painful snub in the category: The Academy really screwed up here! Where wasDrive? We Need To Talk About Kevin? Bridesmaids? Even the last Harry Potter was more emotionally exciting than the dud Extremely Loud.

Who I’d Swap Out: I would 100% get Extremely Loud off this list of 9 films and probably even War Horse too so that 2 more films could’ve gotten proper recognition.

What do you guys think? Is The Artist the definite winner at this point? Who do you think should win? Let me know!

Article by Zack Sharf

Syndicated from www.sharfatthemovies.wordpress.com

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