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Fearless Oscar Picks

The Academy Awards are this Sunday. Here are my Fearless Oscar picks for the 2012 season:

Please note, I am picking the nominee whom I think will win, not who should win. Last year, I correctly picked 8 out of 10 Oscar winners.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer Beginners    Plummer is superb in the role of a dying gay man. Max Von Sydow, in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, who was the best thing about the 9/11 film, could sneak in, but I think Plummer is a sure bet.

Actress In a Supporting Role: Octavia Spencer The Help    I think Spencer will win and should win, as she has won just about every other award for her role. Berenice Bejo for The Artist could sneak in, but I doubt it. Spencer is the sure thing for the night.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Nash The Descendants    Alexander Payne is well-respected for his writing talents. John Logan for Hugo might slip in because of Hollywood's love for Martin Scorsese.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Woody Allen Midnight In Paris    This is without a doubt the best film Allen has done in years. Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist just might get in because of a very creative script.

Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran) This is almost a sure thing, though Bullhead (Belgium) has received lots of good reviews.

Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki The Tree of Life    While a lot of people walked out of screenings for The Tree of Life, no one would say it wasn't a visually stunning film. Guillaume Schiffman could win for The Artist if that film sweeps all its nominations.

Animated Feature Film: Rango    The Johnny Depp voiced film will win in what is probably the weakest field the Academy has had since they started this award. This category had so few strong nominees that the Academy had to add two foreign films to fill out the category. The infrequently-seen Spanish film, Chico & Rita, could get in, but it's a long shot.

Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin The Artist    Dujardin is brilliant as a silent film actor who sees his world crumble when sound comes to film. This year, this category is the most wide-open race, as George Clooney for The Descendants or Brad Pitt for Moneyball could easily win.

Actress in a Leading Role: Viola Davis The Help    Her performance in The Help is the reason to see the film. Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady probably would have won if the film was written better.

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius The Artist    Should be a big night for The Artist. Too bad there isn't a Best Animal award for the dog, Uggie. Martin Scorsese could win for Hugo, another film that celebrates the silent film days.

Best Picture: The Artist    This awe-inspiring silent film (yes, it's a silent film) should win the big award. The Help is the type of movie that Hollywood loves, with its big, sweeping cast in a film that runs full-circle with social meaning and message, so it could take The Oscar.

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