Oscars 2012: The Winners – ‘The Artist’ Tapped as Best Picture

The 84th Academy Awards offered minimal surprises, as the silent film “The Artist” took home five awards including three of the biggest prizes: Best Director, Best Actor and Best Picture.

“Hugo,” nominated for 11 Oscars, tied “The Artist” with five wins, but all for technical achievements including both sound categories, Best Art Direction and a couple small upsets in Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

In the acting categories, Meryl Streep took Oscar gold for the first time in nearly 20 years for “The Iron Lady.” Streep was expected to get edged out once again by Screen Actors Guild winner Viola Davis, but the Academy saw it fit to crown her once more, which even Streep said in her acceptance speech she believes will be her last.

Find all the winners below including how my predictions faired.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Winner: “The Artist”

  • “The Descendants”
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
  • “The Help”
  • “Hugo”
  • “Midnight in Paris”
  • “Moneyball”
  • “The Tree of Life”
  • “War Horse”

My Prediction: “The Artist.” One of the most unquestioned winners in years, it would’ve been foolish to bet on anything else. “The Artist” might not have been the year’s best in everyone’s eyes, but it had all the charm and charisma necessary to win the biggest majority of supporters.


Best Achievement in Directing

Winner: Michel Hazanavicius – ”The Artist”

  • Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
  • Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
  • Alexander Payne  – “The Descendants”
  • Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
My Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius – ”The Artist.” The Directors Guild Awards proves right again. Despite the clout on this list, Best Director and Best Picture become even more closely intertwined.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner: Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

  • Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”

My Prediction: Octavia Spencer – “The Help.” Spencer won most of the precursor awards, and she fits the mold of a great Best Supporting Actress. Her humility on the stage was touching.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner: Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

  • Kenneth Branagh – “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
  • Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
  • Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
My Prediction: Christopher Plummer – “Beginners.” Plummer’s march to being the oldest Oscar winner of all time began more than a year ago, so to see it come to fruition isn’t surprising. At the same time, you did feel as if you were witnessing history.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Winner: Meryl Streep – ”The Iron Lady”

  • Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis – “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”
My Prediction: Viola Davis – “The Help.” Many thought Davis and Streep would go head-to-head this season, but Davis emerged as the likely winner with her SAG award and People’s Choice Award. The Academy clearly felt the need to finally award Streep after an insane amount of unrewarded nominations. A high-profile prestige biopic got the job done.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”

  • Demian Bichir – “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney – “The Descendants”
  • Gary Oldman – “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Brad Pitt – ”Moneyball”
My Prediction: Jean Dujardin – “The Artist.” The Cannes winner for Best Actor rode the waves all the way to Oscar gold. You could compare George Clooney to Meryl Streep, but Clooney has won more recently and hasn’t lost nearly as many times.


Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Winner: “Midnight in Paris” – Woody Allen

  • “The Artist” – Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” – Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumulo
  • “Margin Call” – J.C. Chandor
  • “A Separation” – Asghar Farhadi
My Prediction: “Midnight in Paris” – Woody Allen. If only Woody had been there. There was a good chance “The Artist” took this one too, but the chance to award Woody after so long was too good pass up.


Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Winner: “The Descendants” – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

  • “Hugo” – John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” – George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” – Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian, Stan Chervin
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
My Prediction: “The Descendants” – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash. Glad to see my favorite film of the year get its due. It needed to win something.


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Winner: “A Separation” (Iran)

  • “Bullhead” (Belgium)
  • “In Darkness” (Poland)
  • “Monsieur Lazhar” (Canada)
  • “Footnote” (Israel)
My Prediction: “A Separation” (Iran). The Academy occasionally goes with a more obscure film over the major favorite, which “A Separation” was, but the film was apparently too good to ignore.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Winner: “Rango”

  • “A Cat in Paris”
  • “Chico and Rita”
  • “Puss in Boots”
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2”
My Prediction: “Rango.” An easy choice blending the artsiness of the foreign nominees with the mainstream appeal of the DreamWorks nominees.


Best Achievement in Cinematography

Winner: “Hugo” – Robert Richardson

  • “The Artist” – Guillaume Schiffman
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Jeff Cronenweth
  • “The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “War Horse” – Janusz Kaminski

My Prediction: “The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki


Best Achievement in Art Direction

Winner: “Hugo” – Dante Ferretti; Francesca Lo Schiavo

  • “Midnight in Paris” – Hélène Dubreuil; Anne Seibel
  • “The Artist” – Laurence Bennett; Robert Gould
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Stuart Craig; Stephenie McMillan
  • “War Horse” – Rick Carter; Lee Sandales

My Prediction: “Hugo” – Dante Ferretti; Francesca Lo Schiavo


Best Achievement in Costume Design

Winner: “The Artist” – Mark Bridges

  • “Anonymous” – Lisy Christl
  • “Hugo” – Sandy Powell
  • “Jane Eyre” – Michael O’Connor
  • “W.E.” – Arianne Phillips

My Prediction: “Hugo” – Sandy Powell


Best Achievement in Film Editing

Winner: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

  • “The Artist” – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
  • “The Descendants” – Kevin Tent
  • “Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Moneyball” – Christopher Tellefsen
My Prediction: “Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker


Best Achievement in Makeup

Winner: “The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

  • “Albert Nobbs” – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin

My Prediction: “The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Winner: “The Artist” – Ludovic Bource

  • “The Adventures of Tintin” – John Williams
  • “Hugo” – Howard Shore
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – Alberto Iglesias
  • “War Horse” – John Williams

My Prediction: “The Artist” – Ludovic Bource


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Winner: “Muppet or Man” by Bret McKenzie from “The Muppets”

  • “Real in Rio” by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett from “Rio”
My Prediction: “Muppet or Man” by Bret McKenzie from “The Muppets”


Best Documentary, Features

Winner: “Undefeated”

  • “Hell and Back Again”
  • “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
  • “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
  • “Pina”

My Prediction: “Undefeated”


Best Documentary, Short

My Prediction: “Saving Face”

  • “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
  • “God is the Bigger Elvis”
  • “Incident in New Baghdad”
  • “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”

My Prediction: “Saving Face”


Best Short Film, Animated

Winner: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

  • “Dimanche/Sunday”
  • “La Luna”
  • “A Morning Stroll”
  • “Wild Life”

My Prediction: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”


Best Short Film, Live Action

Winner: “The Shore”

  • “Pentecost”
  • “Raju”
  • “Time Freak”
  • “Tuba Atlantic”

My Prediction: “Tuba Atlantic”


Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Winner: “Hugo” – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

  • “Drive” – Lou Bender and Victory Ray Ennis
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Ren Klyce
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahi
  • “War Horse” – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
My Prediction: “War Horse” – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom


Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Winner: “Hugo” – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
  • “Moneyball” – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Gianmarco and Ed Novick
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffre J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
  • “War Horse” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Neslon, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson
My Prediction: “War Horse” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Neslon, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson


Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Winner: “Hugo” – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
  • “Real Steel” – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Dan Glass, Brad Friedman, Douglas Trumbull and Michael Fink
My Prediction: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett


Final Award Count

  • The Artist: 5
  • Hugo: 5
  • The Iron Lady: 2
  • The Help: 1
  • Midnight in Paris: 1
  • The Descendants: 1
  • Beginners: 1
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: 1
  • The Muppets: 1
  • Rango: 1
  • A Separation: 1


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