Oscar Predictions 2012In general, I look forward to the Super Bowl for two reasons: (1) The entertainment –I am all about the commercials, the halftime show and the national anthem — and (2) because I know that when the Super Bowl is over, the Oscars are just around the corner. What can I say? The Academy Awards are my Super Bowl and without question one of my favorite nights of the year. As far as I’m concerned, New Year’s Eve ain’t got nuthin’ on Oscar Night especially for those of us who happen to live in Hollywood.

This year, I am taking my love for the Oscars to another level by hosting the First Annual MoxieQ Oscar Party at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles (stay tuned for more details). In honor of this auspicious and long overdue event, I will be painting the town Oscar for the next week and a half, starting with my predictions for this year’s big winners.

Check back on MoxieQ for more updates and random thoughts about this year’s Academy Awards celebration in the lead up to Hollywood’s biggest night.

My 2012 Oscar Picks Are:

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer

At this year’s Oscar ceremony there is perhaps no surer thing than Octavia Spencer whose supporting role as the saucy, strong-willed Minnie in the hit film The Help has left an indelible impression upon moviegoers and critics alike. With a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG  Award and a Critics Choice Award, among the many nods she’s already received in this category, it seems almost inevitable that Miss Spencer has a lock on this one Oscar night  and, truth be told, she deserves it. In recent years, this category has been one of the more predictable ones and there is little reason to think this year will be any different.

Runner-up: My choice would be Berenice Bejo whose performance in The Artist is pure joy. (Oh and for the record Bryce Dallas Howard was robbed of a nomination in this category for her no-holds-barred performance in The Help. Better luck next go round Bryce…for what it’s worth, I loved to hate you in The Help.)

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer

Like Octavia Spencer, Christopher Plummer seems to have a lock on the this year’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his poignant portrayal of a man who decides to come out at the tender age of 75 in the film Beginners. The power of his performance aside, at  82 years-old, Plummer has been at his craft for six decades and has never come quite this close to Oscar before, so me thinks this time around the Academy will acknowledge him with the gold.

Runner-upKenneth Branagh turns in a brilliant performance as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn. In another year, he might certainly be the shoo-in for this award.

Best Actress:  Meryl Streep

Conventional wisdom says this award will go to Viola Davis for The Help, particularly after she took home the SAG Award for best actress in this category, but I’m going to go out on a limb and call it for 17-time Oscar nominee, Meryl Streep. The Iron Lady may not be one of the year’s best pictures, but Streep’s portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is drop dead phenomenal. Another tour de force performance from the best actress of our time. Add to that the fact that she has already scored the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for her performance in The Iron Lady and I’d say the odds are pretty good that Madame Streep will likely take home her third Academy Award this year.

Runner-up: Viola Davis. Hands down! (However, I’m secretly really rooting for Tilda “We Need To Talk About Kevin” Swinton simply because I secretly always want her to win everything because she’s just so damn cool. However there’s no real science to support that call so that’s really just a blatant plug for Tilda Swinton and maybe a not so good reason for me mention her name in this category. C’est la vie!)

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin

Again, conventional wisdom says George Clooney will take home this year’s Oscar for Best Actor, and again I’m going to go against that wisdom and call this one for The Artist’s Jean Dujardin. Not only does Dujardin deliver one of the most intoxicating and endearing performances in recent memory in The Artist, he’s also taken home the SAG, the BAFTA, the Palme d’Or and the Golden Globe for Best Actor. The Academy may love Clooney, but I suspect that this year they might just love the undeniably, irresistibly charming Monsieur Dujardin, just a little bit more. I mean, did you see his speech at the SAG Awards? Can you say ‘swoon-a- thon’? Anybody who wasn’t already in love with Dujardin and his mega-watt smile before that speech, was surely in love after. Ah l’amour!

Runner-up: George Clooney — Though a real (and unlikely) upset would be Brad Pitt for Moneyball.  But then again, does a guy with Pitt’s looks, career, significant other and gorgeous brood of children, really need any more rewards? I’m asking…does he?

Best Picture: The Artist

A film doesn’t get more Hollywood than The Artist. Period. It’s a film about Hollywood, that is set in Hollywood and hearkens back to the birth of Hollywood as we know it. And it’s genius. Rarely do I watch a film and get the sense that it is a classic right away but with The Artist that is exactly what I felt 20 minutes in. Put simply, The Artist is a cinematic triumph that reminds us all how powerful the medium can be sans the bells and whistles that have become standard theatrical fare. The 59 Awards the film has already earned going into this year’s Oscar ceremony, don’t hurt it’s chances in this category either.

Runner up: The Help, which deserves an award for ensemble cast. Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard all gave bravura performances.

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

French director Michel Hazanavicius, made pure movie magic with The Artist and he’s taken home this year’s DGA award for Best Director, which is usually a big indicator of what will happen at the Oscars. Besides…(see above).

What do you think? Who are your picks? Let me hear from you on Twitter at MoxieQ or at TheDuaneWells. We’ll be tweeting all week about the lead up to the Oscars and picks for other categories, so give us a shout and tell us your picks and why. And then join us on Oscar Sunday for the 84th Annual Academy Awards when me and some of my favorite tweeps will be tweeting live about all things Oscar from the Red Carpet to the actual awards ceremony. Get in on the conversation! It’s gonna be uber fabulicious.

See you on the Red Carpet!

Cheers…

Duane