Leigh Paatsch’s Oscar predictions
A silent French film made in black and white and a kitchen- table tale of civil rights are tipped to take the lion’s share of awards at this year’s Oscars, writes Leigh Paatsch
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Demian Bichir in A Better Life George Clooney in The Descendants Jean Dujardin in The Artist Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Brad Pitt in Moneyball
Focus on what to tweet afterwards: If there was an Oscar for Best at Standing Perfectly Still and Letting Everyone Else Act, then Oldman would win by light years ( unless he was up against Ryan Gosling for
Drive ). No truth to rumours that the mega- obscure Bichir was hospitalised after pinching himself for two days straight when nominations came out.
Deserves to win, but won’t: Back in October, Clooney was modestly telling everyone The Descendants would make a clean sweep of the Oscars. Must have missed a screening of The Artist when he was in Cannes. Bit of a shame Clooney will miss out here, as this is his finest lead performance of a very consistent career. Ditto Le Pitto, the most under- rated major star of the modern age.
And the winner is . . . Jean Dujardin ( pictured). Some might argue the absence of sound meant the charismatic French star only had half the job to do. That’s total tosh. What he brought to le tableau was a controlled display of overacting – always charming but never overbearing.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jonah Hill in Moneyball Kenneth Branagh in My Week With
Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Nick Nolte in Warrior Christopher Plummer in Beginners
Check for after- parties on Google Maps: Hill’s ( pictured) victory is that Academy voters recognised the finesse of his finelypitched work in
Moneyball. Though no chance of winning, this well- earned nom will steer some quality work his way in future. It is baffling that the veteran von Sydow made the field at all. Being such a gent, he won’t mind a jot at being trumped by another old- timer.
Deserves to win, but won’t: Branagh has more than a hope than many might suspect. Everyone else is here for understated work of a decidedly serious bent. Ken’s sly impersonation of Sir Laurence Olivier at his vainglorious worst is fun, fun, fun. Nolte’s grizzly alcoholic dad was the hungover heart and soul of
Warrior, a movie many misread as a
re- telling of Rocky.
And the winner is . . . Christopher Plummer. I know, they always hand this straight to the old codger if one happens to be in the line- up. However, those who have seen the low- key indie
drama Beginners will know that Plummer’s poignant take on a man coming out of the closet as cancer comes a- calling was magnificent.