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The Rundown 2011: Final Predictions

Today, we present our final predictions for this Sunday's Oscars. While we would love to keep making guesses and then second guessing ourselves for another day and a half, it's time to put everything to rest and say "this is it." After the jump, you'll find our final predictions in every category and our runners-up. Although Peter and Tripp have chosen not to provide any commentary for their changes (they didn't make any), I've made a few and I'll post my commentary after each. And did you miss all of our commentary for the last three weeks? Check it out with the links immediately following the jump

KEY:

Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton
(New) = New Prediction
(O) = Original, Post-Nomination Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series Prediction

Best Picture

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist (O) (O) (O)
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Hugo (R) (R)
  • The Descendants (R)

Wesley Lovell: Really? Is there any potential that The Artist won't win? Not really. All precursor prizes and buzz indicates it will take the award, so I didn't change my predictions.

Best Animated Feature

Winner Predictions

  • Rango (O) (O) (O)
  • A Cat in Paris
  • Chico & Rita
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Puss in Boots

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Chico & Rita (R)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 (R)

Wesley Lovell: Another fairly obvious category. While I'd love it for Gore Verbinski not to have the moniker "Oscar Winner" attached, I see little hope of an alternative. No changes.

Best Director

Winner Predictions

  • Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
  • Michael Haznavicius - The Arist (O) (O) (O)
  • Terrence Malick - The Tree of Life
  • Alexander Payne - The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese - Hugo

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Martin Scorsese - Hugo (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: Some categories, like the previous two, have been so set in stone for so long that changing them now seems pointless. The same can be said about this category where DGA annointed Hazanavicius against precedent, so he's got this award sewn up still.

Best Actor

Winner Predictions

  • Demian Bichir - A Better Life
  • George Clooney - The Descendants (R)
  • Jean Dujardin - The Artist (R) (R)
  • Gary Oldman - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy
  • Brad Pitt - Moneyball

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Jean Dujardin - The Artist (R)
  • Gary Oldman - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy (R)
  • Brad Pitt - Moneyball (R)

Wesley Lovell: There's still the chance of a late-breaking shift in this category, but after all of the momentum shifted started with SAG, I don't see how Jean Dujardin can lose. And if he does, it will be something of a shock. And there are plenty of alternatives...just not Demian Bichir.

Best Actress

Winner Predictions

  • Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis - The Help (R) (R) (R)
  • Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: The only real horse race in the top six categories, Meryl Streep has suddenly shifted into upset territory. Until now, it seemed like Viola Davis would cruise through with her early prognosticator favorite status, but Streep has been closing and even managed the BAFTA and since she already had a SAG award, it was a given that Davis would win there. The Golden Globes Also gave Streep the prize. So why is my prediction still Davis? Because voters won't be able to resist the temptation of honoring a Best Picture nominee with two acting prizes, both to black actresses and setting a record for it.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner Predictions

  • Kenneth Branagh - My Life With Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill - Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte - Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer - Beginners (O) (R) (O)
  • Max von Sydow - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Kenneth Branagh - My Life With Marilyn (R)
  • Max von Sydow - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: I still see Plummer as the frontrunner and nothing since his SAG victory has changed my mind, not even his failure to show up at either the official nominees' lunch or the BAFTA Awards.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner Predictions

  • Bérénice Bejo - The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain - The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer - The Help (O) (R) (O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Bérénice Bejo - The Artist (R)
  • Jessica Chastain - The Help (R)
  • Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids (R)

Wesley Lovell: Spencer's star has risen and it will remain in ascendance through the end of Oscar season. None of the other candidates really seem all that strong, which is why the three of us have selected three different runners-up.

Best Original Screenplay

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist (O)
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call
  • Midnight in Paris (O) (O)
  • A Separation

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Artist (R) (R)
  • A Separation (R)

Wesley Lovell: I keep waffling and while I'd love to say The Artist carries out a sweep, the chance to recognize Woody Allen for the first time in over a decade may be too overwhelming even if he won't be there to accept the award.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner Predictions

  • The Descendents (O) (O) (R)
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Moneyball (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: This is Alexander Payne's to lose. After the double win last weekend at the USC Scripter and Writers Guild of America awards, I have little doubt the end result will be in The Descendants' favor.

Best Original Score

Winner Predictions

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • The Artist (O) (R) (O)
  • Hugo
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • War Horse

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Hugo (R) (R)
  • War Horse (R)

Wesley Lovell: Of all the tech categories where the races have seemingly bounced back and forth, this has remained the one constant. It could be because the film hasn't had a guild award to go after, but it could also be that even at the BAFTA's, the score took the prize. There's something to be said for a silent film relying so heavily on its score being deserving of praise.

Best Original Song

Winner Predictions

  • Man or Muppet - The Muppets (O) (O) (O)
  • Real in Rio - Rio

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Real in Rio - Rio (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: Some say the name recognition behind "Real in Rio" could propel it to the Oscar. However, "Man or Muppet" remains the most entertaining of the selections and a lot of people want to recognize The Muppets deserved or not.

Best Editing

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist (R) (O)
  • The Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo (R)
  • Moneyball

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Artist (R)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R)
  • Hugo (R)

Wesley Lovell: With no film having slap-you-in-the-face intense editing, and the one most likely to win the prize any other year gaining no traction, it seems odd going any direction other than with the Best Picture frontrunner in a tandem prize.

Best Cinematography

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life (R) (R) (R)
  • War Horse

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Artist (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: The plethora of precursors have kept me from switching my prediction from The Tree of Life to Hugo, War Horse or The Artist. And normally, I would say the small Malick fanbase would have a difficult time winning here, the lack of unified opposition keeps its in the lead.

Best Art Direction

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Hugo (O) (R) (O)
  • Midnight in Paris
  • War Horse

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Artist (R)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: The pretties production usually wins and Dante Ferretti is a legend, so chalk one of the few awards for Hugo on Oscar night up in this category.

Best Costume Design

Winner Predictions

  • Anonymous (O)
  • The Artist (R) (R)
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Hugo (R) (R)
  • W.E. (R)

Wesley Lovell: After the Costume Designers Guild chose W.E., my opinion of this race wavered. However, as I look at the splendor of the costumes, I couldn't help but think Anonymous would still be the prototypical Oscar winner any other year. I'm still not sold on its win and I could see just about any of the others winning the prize.

Best Makeup

Winner Predictions

  • Albert Nobbs
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (R)
  • The Iron Lady (O) (O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Albert Nobbs (R)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (R)
  • The Iron Lady (R)

Wesley Lovell: Will a tribute Oscar be handed over to Harry Potter or will the film go down in history without a single Oscar among its several nominations. In this category, I doubt it. Streep's makeup job in The Iron Lady should deliver her film a trophy, but no guilds exist for this category, so we're left to imagining which set of prosthetics the Academy will reward.

Best Sound Mixing

Winner Predictions

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo (R) (R) (R)
  • Moneyball
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

Runner-Up Predictions

  • War Horse (R) (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: Hugo's win at the Cinema Audio Society pretty much sealed the film's chances of an Oscar. And while it's still possible for any other film to win, Scorsese's film should hit a lot of creative award marks this year and earn most of its ultimate total through this category and one or two others.

Best Sound Editing

Winner Predictions

  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo (R) (R)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse (O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Drive (R)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (R)
  • War Horse (R)

Wesley Lovell: I still think Spielberg's film will need to be rewarded somewhere. I think the Academy members who haven't seen the film will look at his past history in the category and believe he deserves the win even if he doesn't.

Best Visual Effects

Winner Predictions

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (O) (O) (O)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (R)
  • Hugo (R)
  • Real Steel (R)

Wesley Lovell: They say the category is still wide open, but Caesar the ape still holds a lot of inspiration for people. And considering this is the only chance the Oscar voters have of honoring a commercially and critically successful film, I think it will win bolstered by its win at the Visual Effects Society. Of course this, Makeup and Art Direction are the only places Harry Potter has a remaining chance, so it could follow the BAFTA lead and win here. Or the award could go to Hugo. We'll just have to wait and see.

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner Predictions

  • Bullhead
  • Footnote
  • In Darkness (New)(F)
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • A Separation (O) (O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • In Darkness (R) (R)
  • A Separation (New)(F)

Wesley Lovell: I originally went with the precursors and general opinion that A Separation couldn't lose. Then I came to the realization that whatever improvements they've made to this category, Academy voters still love a good, sappy Holocaust drama. And while I would love to pick A Separation and I'm rooting for it to win, I can't help but think In Darkness will win out. It may be a perfectly capable drama, but the Iranian entry should win.

Best Documentary Feature

Winner Predictions

  • Hell and Back Again (R)
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (R)
  • Pina
  • Undefeated (New)(F)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Hell and Back Again (New)(F)
  • Pina (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: I've picked nearly every film on this list as a frontrunner at some point and I still can't be certain which will win. So, I decided I would look at them from a campaigning and subject matter perspective. Although the Academy does love political films, they don't want them too political. In addition, they also love inspirational stories. Undefeated fits this latter category and has the added benefit of a push from Harvey Weinstein. I think those two factors should hand the film the trophy. Yet, any of the others could easily win and I wouldn't be at all surprised with the result.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Winner Predictions

  • The Barber of Birmingham
  • God Is Bigger Than Elvis (O)
  • Incident in New Baghdad
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (New)(F) (O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • God Is Bigger Than Elvis (R)
  • Saving Face (R)

Wesley Lovell: These documentary and short film categories are a mystery to me every year. I usually go with the coolest sounding title, which has led me to more than a few wins; however, I can't help but predict this year based on the films in the race. Tsunami has that inspirational element that often rears its head in the Short Subject Documentary category more frequently than i the Feature category. Yet, Saving Face has similar threads. Hollywood may seem like it loves itself, but recognizing a documentary about itself is far more infrequent. So, while I think God Is Bigger Than Elvis could be a spoiler, I also wouldn't be shocked if it lost.

Best Animated Short Film

Winner Predictions

  • Dimanche/Sunday (R)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (O)
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life (R)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Dimanche/Sunday
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (R)
  • A Morning Stroll (New)(F) (R)

Wesley Lovell: I haven't seen any of these, nor do I think watching them would change my opinions on the category. Here, I'm going primarily with the most interesting title (think Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase). Any of the others could win, but the BAFTA selection A Morning Stroll could repeat at the Oscars.

Best Live Action Short Film

Winner Predictions

  • Pentecost (R)
  • Raju (O) (R)
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Pentecost (New)(R)
  • The Shore (R) (R)

Wesley Lovell: Another category where anything can happen. Raju seems more in the Academy's interest than any of the others, but Pentecost is said to be pretty good. I honestly don't know what to pick here, so I'm sticking with my guns.

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