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The Critics’ Choice Awards: Who Should Win — and Who Will Win

The Critics' Choice Awards: Who Should Win -- and Who Will Win

This Thursday, the Critics’ Choice Awards (or Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, as they are more officially and less popularly known) will take place in Los Angeles, presaging the Golden Globes on Sunday.

Non-existent a few years ago, the ceremony has quickly grown from into a televised event (on VH1) where the vast majority of nominees and winners even show up and make speeches. They also have become a fairly remarkable predictor of the Oscars themselves. For two years’ running, they predicted every single acting winner (and probably would have in 2008 too, had Kate Winslet not been in a different category than she was come Oscar night).So let’s take a look at what might go down Thursday night, which should also give us a good idea as to where Oscar might be heading next month.

So let’s take a look at what might go down Thursday night, which should also give us a good idea as to where Oscar might be heading next month.

Best Picture

“The Artist”

“The Descendants”

“Drive”

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

“The Help”

“Hugo”

“Midnight in Paris”

“Moneyball”

“The Tree of Life”

“War Horse”

Who Will Win: “The Artist.” While “The Descendants” or “Hugo” could be spoilers, this group is generally a fan of bandwagons and there’s none bigger this year than Michel Hazanavicius’s ode to Hollywood’s silent era. If they want to keep up their Oscar-predicting track record, it’s their best bet (they’ve correctly predicted it four of the past five years… though last year they went with “The Social Network” over “The King’s Speech”).


Who Should Win: Subjective arguments could clearly be made for a wide variety of the nominees, but for this Oscar prognosticator it would be down to “Drive” and “The Tree of Life,” the only truly great films on this list.

Best Director

Stephen Daldry, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Nicolas Winding Refn, “Drive”

Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”

Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”

Who Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius and “The Artist” have a slightly less assured chance here, with a picture-director split quite possible via Martin Scorsese and his work on “Hugo.” But I’ll still call it for Hazanavicius.

Who Should Win: Nicolas Winding Refn, though it’s a shame Terrence Malick and Lars von Trier aren’t nominated (especially considering since Stephen Daldry made the cut).

Best Actor

George Clooney, “The Descendants”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”

Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

Ryan Gosling, “Drive”

Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Who Will Win: A very, very tough call. Clooney, Pitt and even Jean Dujardin all stand very reasonable chances. There’s even an outside shot DiCaprio or Fassbender could surprise, considering how much vote-splitting is going on. So basically, anyone but Ryan Gosling? Though if I had to go there (which I kind of do), I’d call it for Brad Pitt – with Clooney just behind.

Who Should Win: Anyone but DiCaprio? This is an incredible field, though Michael Fassbender stands out to me as perhaps the best performance of the year, male or female. His work in “Shame” was so raw and moving it puts most of these other men to, well, shame.

Best Actress

Viola Davis, “The Help”

Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”

Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”

Who Will Win: Twice in the past three years this group has bizarrely tied in this category; both times, one half of that tie was Meryl Streep (once with Anne Hathaway, once with Sandra Bullock). Doing it a third time would basically make certain there’s something shady going on with the vote counting, so I’ll suggest this one will be Meryl’s and Meryl’s alone. Though Viola Davis and Michelle Williams are both definite possibilities in one of the tightest best actress races in years.

Who Should Win: Tilda Swinton. Completing a hat trick of remarkable depictions of mothers (or mother figures), Swinton’s work in “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is simply astounding.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marilyn”

Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Nick Nolte, “Warrior”

Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult”

Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Andy Serkis, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Who Will Win: Christopher Plummer. While all the other acting races are murky three-way contests, Plummer seems all but assured this award and an Oscar. Albert Brooks is his main competition (perhaps more here than on Oscar night), but expect Plummer to walk away with this one.

Who Should Win: Plummer. Everyone nominated in this category is on top of their game, but Plummer brought such an authenticity and tenderness to his role in “Beginners.” It’s nice to see what is likely going to be seen as a “career award” given to someone who actually deserved it for the winning performance.

Best Supporting Actress

Bérénice Bejo, “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain, “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Carey Mulligan, “Shame”

Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

Who Will Win: The toughest call of them all, and that’s saying something considering the lead actress and actor races. Carey Mulligan is probably the only one with no chance, and strong arguments could be made for all of the others. But I’m making probably the boldest choice among these predictions by suggesting “The Help” ladies cancel themselves out and Bejo takes this one, all of a sudden becoming an unlikely Oscar frontrunner.

Who Should Win: Jessica Chastain. And not just because she was great in “Take Shelter” and “The Tree of Life” too. But because her work in “The Help” (along with the work of all her co-stars including Octavia Spencer, who I almost suggested instead) transcended a mediocre screenplay to bring considerable dimension to characters that were quite one-note on the page.

The rest…

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Descendants”

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

“The Help”

“Hugo”

“Moneyball”

What Will Win: “The Desecendants”
What Should Win: “Moneyball”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Artist”
“50/50”

“Midnight in Paris”

“Win Win”

“Young Adult”

What Will Win: “Midnight in Paris”
What Should Win: “50/50”

Best Art Direction

“The Artist”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

“Hugo”

“The Tree of Life”

“War Horse”

What Will Win: “Hugo”
What Should Win: “Hugo”

Best Cinematography

“The Artist”

“Drive”

“Hugo”

“The Tree of Life”

“War Horse”

What Will Win: “The Tree of Life”
What Should Win: “The Tree of Life”

Best Costume Design

“The Artist”

“The Help”

“Hugo”

“Jane Eyre”

“My Week with Marilyn”

What Will Win: “Hugo”
What Should Win: “Hugo”

Best Editing

“The Artist”

“Drive”

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

“Hugo”

“War Horse”

What Will Win: “The Artist”
What Should Win: “Drive”

Best Makeup

“Albert Nobbs”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

“The Iron Lady”

“J. Edgar”

“My Week with Marilyn”

What Will Win: “The Iron Lady”
What Should Win: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2”

Best Score

“The Artist”

“Drive”

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

“Hugo”

“War Horse”

What Will Win: “The Artist”
What Should Win: “Drive”

Best Song

“Hello Hello” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”

“Life’s a Happy Song” from “The Muppets”

“The Living Proof” from “The Help”

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”

“Pictures in My Head” from “The Muppets”

What Will Win: “Pictures in My Head”
What Should Win: “Pictures in My Head”

Best Sound

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

“Hugo”

“Super 8”

“The Tree of Life”

“War Horse”

What Will Win: “Hugo”
What Should Win: “Hugo”

Best Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

“Hugo”

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

“Super 8”

“The Tree of Life”

What Will Win: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
What Should Win: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Best Animated Feature

“The Adventures of Tintin”

“Arthur Christmas”

“Kung Fu Panda 2”

“Puss in Boots”

“Rango”

Who Will Win: “Rango”
Who Should Win: “Rango”

Best Foreign Language Film

“In Darkness”

“Le Havre”

“A Separation”

“The Skin I Live In”

“Where Do We Go Now”

Who Will Win: “A Separation”
Who Should Win: ” A Separation”

Best Documentary Feature

“Buck

“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”

“Page One: Inside the New York Times”

“Project Nim”

“Undefeated”

Who Will Win: “Project Nim”
Who Should Win: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

Best Action Movie

“Drive”

“Fast Five”

“Hanna”

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

“Super 8”

Who Will Win: “Drive”
Who Should Win: “Drive”

Best Comedy

“Bridesmaids”

“Crazy, Stupid, Love”

“Horrible Bosses”

“Midnight in Paris”

“The Muppets”

Who Will Win: “Bridesmaids”
Who Should Win: “Bridesmaids”

Best Young Actor/Actress

Asa Butterfield, “Hugo”

Elle Fanning, “Super 8”

Thomas Horn, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Saoirse Ronan, “Hanna”

Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

Who Will Win: Shailene Woodley
Who Should Win: Elle Fanning

Best Acting Ensemble

“The Artist”

“Bridesmaids”

“The Descendants”

“The Help”

“The Ides of March”

Who Will Win: “The Help”
Who Should Win: “Bridesmaids”

This Article is related to: Awards