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Critics weigh in on rest of Oscar ballot

Sun., Feb. 26, 2012

Our dueling film critics cast their eyes to some of the other categories on this year’s Oscar ballot.

Best Cinematography

DW: OK, I can with all full confidence predict that “The Tree of Life” should take this Oscar. Unless, uh, “The Artist” or Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” plays spoiler.

NW: The American Society of Cinematographers recently honored Emmanuel Lubezki for his spectacular photography in “The Tree of Life,” but I’m sticking with my assumption that “The Artist” will sweep most of the awards and will therefore take home this award, too.

Best Original Screenplay

DW: Never bet against Woody Allen, nominated here for “Midnight in Paris.”

NW: Ditto on Woody Allen. Everyone seemed to love “Midnight in Paris,” and since it doesn’t really have a shot in any of the major categories, this is how voters will reward it. If Allen does win, this will be his third Oscar for writing – he was previously awarded for “Annie Hall” and “Hannah and Her Sisters” – and although “Midnight in Paris” is not in the same league as those two incomparable films, it’s still one of the best things he’s written in years.

Best Adapted Screenplay

DW: Looked for a time that “The Descendants” would win. But my prediction now is “Moneyball.”

NW: I’m going out on a limb here and predicting John August’s script for “Hugo.” This was the most-nominated film of the year, but the odds of it winning for best picture or director are pretty slim. Therefore, using the same logic in picking “Midnight in Paris,” I think the Academy’s good will toward the film will land it the award.

Finally, Webster chimes in on the shorts, the songs and the foreign films.

Best Animated Short

“La Luna” is a Pixar creation, but “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is an ode for bibliophiles. And the Academy loves to reward literacy.

Best Live Action Short

The Norwegian short “Tuba Atlantic” is offbeat, weird and well made. It should edge out “Raju.”

Best Foreign Language Film

“A Separation” is as certain a winner as any of the 2012 nominees can be.

Best Original Song

Only two songs were deemed good enough to earn nominations. Which do you prefer, “The Muppets” or “Rio”? Flip a coin – but then go with Jim Henson’s legacy.

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