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Oscar set to be a tight-knit battle between greats

Jackson Santy ’13
THE ROUNDUP

Ah, Oscar night—to avid moviegoers, this is the Super Bowl.

And just like the hard hits and clutch moments we saw this past February, Oscar night will deliver quite the same thing.

With the countless five star films that have received nominations this year, there will be a hard fought battle between them to see who will rein champion of each category.

Here are my predictions.

Cinematography:The Tree of Life”

Just watch the trailer—then you’ll be convinced.

Documentary: “Undefeated” or “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”

This year, the Best Documentary category is a complete tossup.

Both potential winners are both relatively unknown, yet were both gripping films.

“Undefeated” follows an about as inner-city as it gets Memphis high school football team and their grueling journey to a perfect season.

“If a Tree Falls” explores the inner workings of the “Earth Liberation Front,” a revolutionary movement devoted to crippling facilities involved in deforestation, which some people refer to as “eco-terrorists.”

“If a Tree Falls” is just as groundbreaking as “An Inconvenient Truth,”  telling a compelling story of the differences of opinion over what constitutes desperate measures, and how easily we as Americans throw around terms like terrorism.

Animated Feature: “Rango”

In the absence of any Pixar films, this year is anybody’s game.

Without any “Wall-E’s” or “Toy Story’s” the animated feature category has remain pretty quiet.

Actor in a Leading Role: George Clooney in “The Descendants”

Let’s face it, everybody knows whose name they’re going to call when this award is presented.

George Clooney has had a monumental year for an actor this year, starring in not one, but two blockbusters (“The Ides of March.”)

Clooney is one of the most admired and beloved actor in Hollywood and he’s backed by an incredible performance in “The Descendants.”

Although some are saying that “The Artist’s” Jean Dujardin could very well pull out an upset (just as he did at the Screen Actors Guild awards weeks earlier), I think it’s safe to say Clooney’s got this one in the bag.

Actress in Leading Role: Meryl Streep “The Iron Lady”

Meryl Streep, those two words alone simply scream Oscar winner.

Meryl Streep, the reigning Academy Queen has been up for the statuette a record 17 times in her career and when she sees her name next to that Oscar, she intends on getting it.

Her latest nomination is for her role as Margaret Thatcher in the biopic “The Iron Lady.”

Although the film itself received less than mediocre reviews, Streep worked her magic and made it what it was.

Because of the film as a whole’s review, people are saying that Viola Davis will win for her lead in “The Help” but I say otherwise. Queen Meryl is in her throne and she will remain there.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer “Beginnings”

If there’s anything that the Academy loves, it’s an actor playing against his character type and emerging victorious.

This is the precise reason why both Jonah Hill got on base for “Moneyball” and Christopher Plummer was nominated for “Beginnings.”

Second-time nominee and almost-definite first-time winner Christopher Plummer  is set to win for his poignant role as a fatally ill senior who’s just fallen out of a long time marriage and come out of the closet in “Beginners.”

Actress in a Supporting:  Octavia Spencer “The Help”

Over the past few years, the category of best supporting actress has been full to the brim with magnificent talent.

However this year, it has rather died down.

Sure each nominee delivered stellar performances, but this year lacks the Helena Bohnam Carter’s, Maggie Gyllenhaall’s and Penelope Cruz’s, all duking it out in one category with predicting the winner being nearly impossible.

Although we all got a good laugh when Melissa McCarthy got a surprise nomination for “Bridesmaids,” she unfortunately will not be going home with the golden statuette.

This year it comes down to Bérénice Bejo in her vivacious performance in “The Artist” and Octavia Spencer with her performance alongside former Xavier Gator, Emma Stone, as the tough-but-vulnerable, African-American maid Minnie in “The Help.”

Directing/Best Picture: “The Artist” 

“The Artist” is a crowd-pleasing homage to the wonderment of silent cinema; the film is jubilant and craftily ingenious with charming performances and visual styling.

Upon its release, “The Artist” was almost completely unknown, but eventually word spread about this now instant-classic silent film and its all the rage in the film world.

Despite it being a silent film, “The Artist” will be making a lot of noise come Oscar night.