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My Oscar Picks: The Golden Review Special Edition

It's Oscar time, so here are Noah's picks!

Best Picture

Nominees:

Who I think will win:

I know, I know, this probably makes me sound like a heartless jerk. But, I didn’t really like “The Help.” It was too optimistic, too cheery in the face of such serious, realistic material. I don’t think it should have been totally humorless, but the “everything will work out in the end” tone undercut the film’s important message. My gripes aside, all signs unfortunately point to this feel-good flick taking home the top prize.

Who I want to win:

No film enchanted more this year than “Hugo.” It was extremely beautiful, well acted and, yes, even educational. I think it’s a long shot to win, but it is by a mile my favorite film of the bunch.

Who should have been included:

Lars Von Trier’s captivating, gothic character study “Melancholia”; T. Sean Durkin’s thought-prokoing thriller “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (see ); or David Fincher’s gritty adaptation of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (see ). 

Best Actor

Nominees:

Who I think will win:

While Jean Dujardin has a good chance of taking Oscar home for his charismatic portrayal of a fading silent film star in “The Artist,” my money is on Clooney for his understated, heartbreaking role in “The Descendants.”

Who I want to win:

Ditto.

Who should have been included:

Asa Butterfield (“Hugo” - see ); Thomas Horn (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” - see ); Jacob Wysocki (“Terri”); and Michael Fastbender (“Shame”).

Best Actress

Nominees:

Who I think will win:

As much as “The Help” irked me, you can’t deny that Viola Davis gave an enthralling, emotionally rich performance. Everyone loves a good underdog story and Davis is one of the best actresses working today, so I’m going with her despite some heavy hitters in the catergory.

Who I want to win:

While the chances are about the same as me getting Knighted, I’d cast my vote for Rooney Mara. Her brave performance was incredibly strong, going from stark vulnerability to kick-ass action hero; all wrapped in a compelling, disturbing character. It’s some of the best work of the year.

Who should have been included:

Charlize Theron (“Young Adult” - see ); Kirsten Dunst (“Melancholia”); Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene” - see ); Kate Winslet/Jodie Foster (“Carnage” - see ); Adepero Oduye (“Pariah”)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:

Who I think will win:

Christopher Plummer, an elder statesman of thespians, is at the top of the list to win his very first Oscar at age 82. His take on Hal, an octogenarian who comes out of the closet to his emotionally distant son, is so natural and compelling, he carries the entire movie on his shoulders.

Who I want to win:

Plummer, hands down.

Who should have been included:

Patton Oswalt (“Young Adult” - see ); Albert Brooks (“Drive”).

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

Who I think will win:

“The Help” winning streak will continue, I’m guessing, with Octavia Spencer. Walking the fine line between pathos and comic relief, Spencer brought a lot of warmth, humor and depth to Minnie and has a great future breaking out of character-actor-dom.

Who I want to win:

The Academy rarely rewards comedians, but I’d love to see Melissa McCarthy get a moment in the sun for her hilarious, feisty work in “Bridesmaids.”

Who should have been included:

Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants") 

Other Picks

Best Animated Feature:Rango” (a whimsical, visually arresting and genre-bending family adventure)

Foreign Language Film:A Separation(a moving and fascinating Iranian drama gender roles in 21th century Muslim culture)

Best Direction: Martin Scorsese for “Hugo” (see )

Cinematography: Robert Richardson for “Hugo” (see )

Original Score: Ludovic Bource for “The Artist” (see )

Original Song: Bret McKenzie for “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” (see )

Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zailian & Aaron Sorkin for “Moneyball

Original Screenplay:A Seperation

Author's Note: This Sunday at 8 p.m., the 84th annual Academy Awards will be broadcast, ending the movie-going year. It also marks the conclusion of this column which, after 9 months and more than 60 movie reviews, is coming to an end.

Let me extend a great big Thank You to Patch for this fantastic opportunity and to you, the reader. You can find me writing for The Quad News or can write me at NoahTheGolden@gmail.com or @NoahTheGolden on twitter.

Happy movie watching,

Noah

About this column: Reviews on the latest releases to hit the silver screen.

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