If you're betting against The Artist on Sunday, you'll lose. Ignore the backlash especially when people call it a safe unadventurous choice. ("Yes, because comedies and black and white silent films win so often," he said sarcastically). This is a highly unusual year in that it seems like most of the best nominees in each category are going to win.
Will Win: The Artist
Spoiler: The Descendants and The Help are the only films with anything like spoiler heat but not enough of it.
Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Spoiler: If Oscar gets cold feet about giving everything to the French on Sunday, this could go to an American legend Martin Scorsese (Hugo) or to Alexander Payne (The Descendants).
Will Win: Viola Davis, The Help
Spoiler: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady … and it might happen since it's been 29 years.
Will Win: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Spoiler: George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean, George and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) were still campaigning hard right up into the finish and it feels like a squeaker. I'm rooting for Brad and Hollywood always roots for Clooney but Dujardin's extravagantly expressive face and dancing feet might prove irresistible.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Spoiler: None. Plummer is so far out front I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood can't remember who the other guys are.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Spoiler: None. She's been sweeping the precursors.
Who would you vote for?
WHAT TO SEE THIS WEEKEND THAT YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T YET…
Matthias Schoenaerts as a steroid addled man in "Bullhead"
If you haven't seen The Artist yet, you need to see what the fuss is about. Otherwise try and find Iran's A Separation which has been slowly trickling in to more cities. The family drama slash legal thriller is a full stop masterpiece and if it loses Best Foreign Film Sunday it'll be the night's most depressing moment. (It's also nominated for Best Screenplay but there's probably no stopping Woody Allen's amusing Midnight in Paris there.) A Separation has tough competition, though, from Poland's In Darkness, a Holocaust drama (and you know how much Oscar loves those) and maybe even from Belgium's Bullhead, a critically acclaimed crime drama about illegal growth hormones that has a lot of people talking. If you've seen all the Big Name players, you could also try a couple of the Best Documentary nominees: Hell and Back Again and If a Tree Falls are both streaming on Netflix.
If you've already seen all the nominees and have no time to see movies anyway because you're busy prepping for your massive Oscar party to shame all Oscar parties, well done!