The 84th Academy Awards show is just days away, and we’re taking a look at the nominees for the big one — Best Picture.
Michel Hazanavicius’ charming silent film portrays a romance set during the end of the silent film era. It doesn’t have any dialogue, but it does have a strong chance of taking home the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday. Fun fact: If The Artist does win, it will be the first silent film to do so since 1927.
A family drama about a man connecting with his daughters and discovering secrets after his wife is involved in a tragic accident, The Descendants is beautifully shot and filled with excellent performances. It’s another true contender.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
This adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel is about a boy’s journey to come to terms with his father’s death on 9/11. Despite a wonderful performance by Max Von Sydow (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), the film was not well received by critics or the public. I don’t think it will win against this year’s tough competition.
The Help shines a light on the racial divide of the South in 1960s America. It did extremely well at the box office, due in large part to the work of Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, as well as the popularity of the source novel. Because of that, it has a good chance of winning.
Martin Scorsese’s latest has the potential to win the most hardware this year, with 11 nominations. The magical tale about a boy who lives in a Paris train station truly showcases the potential of 3D filmmaking. It’s also one of the four Best Picture favorites. If it wins, it would be the first 3D Best Picture.
Midnight in Paris
Many are calling Midnight in Paris Woody Allen’s best film in years. It’s about a soul-searching screenwriter who finds himself transported to 1920s Paris, during the time of the Lost Generation. While quirky and clever, it doesn’t seem to have the gravitas of a Best Picture.
Moneyball, based on the popular book, relates the true story of how Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane went about radically remaking his team. As I said in my Best Supporting Actor post, it’s an interesting movie from what seems a fairly un-interesting concept. But I don’t think that’s enough for an Oscar.
The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick explores the meaning of life in gorgeous, dazzling fashion. The Tree of Life is worth seeing for the visuals alone. It’s a unique piece of art, and that makes it hard to categorize — which in turn might make it hard for it to win on Sunday.
This Steven Spielberg film follows a young solider who travels across Europe during World War I in order to find his horse. Normally a Spielberg war movie would be a favorite to win, but this year I think there are at least four movies more likely to take the award.
My Best Picture pick? I think The Artist wins going away. Enjoy the Hollywood pageantry, everybody!