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Opinion

Academy Awards bring once-a-year excitement to TV

February 24, 2012

Well folks, this is it. The award show of award shows. The cherry on top. The grand finale. This Sunday on ABC at 6 p.m., the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, will be the beginning of the end of the long run of award shows.

After this Sunday, life gets considerably less glamorous as I stop daydreaming about gowns, jewels, and fancy updos. March, the wettest and sometimes nastiest of the winter months, will kick in and I will only have memories of sunny California and red carpets to accompany me while trekking around campus in soggy boots.

I have my favorites picked out for the Oscars, and I will, however poorly, attempt to predict the winners of the following Oscar categories: actor in a leading role, actress in a leading role, actor in a supporting role, actress in a supporting role, and, the most coveted award of all, Best Picture. Here goes nothing.

The nominees for actor in a leading role are Demián Bichir in “A Better Life,” George Clooney in “The Descendants,” Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and Brad Pitt in “Moneyball.” What a category. Any of these fine actors deserve the award, but if I were the higher power at the Academy, Oldman would walk away with the Oscar. Clooney will probably win this award because this is a different role for Clooney, certainly, because he isn’t the fatherly type, rather the eternal bachelor.

The nominees for actress in a leading role are Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” Viola Davis in “The Help,” Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady,” and Michelle Williams in “My Week With Marilyn.” Honestly, how is anyone supposed to pick the best out of those five actresses? As much as I loved these movies, I would choose Davis because her performance was so good I forgot I was watching a character instead of a real person.

I think the award could go to either Davis or Streep, since anything Streep touches turns to gold. I love Streep, but I would love for Davis to win even more.

The nominees for actor in a supporting role are Kenneth Branagh in “My Week With Marilyn,” Jonah Hill in “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte in “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer in “Beginners,” and Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

I loved von Sydow’s character so much in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” that he is my personal choice and predicted winner. He says not one word in the entirety of the film, but is by far the most complex, interesting, and endearing character of all. I could go on and on about von Sydow; his character is just that good.

The nominees for actress in a supporting role are Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain in “The Help,” Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids,” Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs,” and Octavia Spencer in “The Help.”

What is unfortunate in this category is that two actresses from the same movie are nominated, therefore probably splitting their votes in a way so neither wins. Which is a pity because I don’t think their chocolate pie scene will be forgotten anytime soon. If those two don’t win, my hope is that McCarthy takes home the Oscar. She is hysterical in “Bridesmaids.” There is no other explanation needed. Finally, we are at Best Picture. A few years back, the rules were changed so more than five films could be nominated for this award. The limit is 10 films, however, there are only nine films nominated this year.

“The Artist” is a black and white film with no dialogue. It is not silent, like many believe, because it contains a musical score. This is the film I believe will win Best Picture because there is simply nothing else like it this year.

Also, the real star of the show, Uggie the dog, gives it the kick it needs to clinch the win. My personal favorite, and the film I wish would win, is “War Horse,” a truly epic tale of a boy and his horse separated by war and their adventures in finding their way back to each other.

Every nominee is worthy of his or her nomination, and I am thrilled to be able to watch another certainly memorable Oscars. For a complete list of nominees, check out oscar.go.com/nominees. Watch the Academy Awards, and all its glamorous trappings, this Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC at 6 p.m.

Amanda White is a junior majoring in journalism. She appreciates good books, good style, and good conversation.