Buzzmeter panelists: 'Artist' is tops but how about acting?
At The Envelope's Gold Standard, we’d like to think we meet all your awards-season prognostication needs. We've predicted the winners of each of the 24 Oscar categories for you this week and have asked so little in return. But we’re not the jealous type either. We understand there are other voices out there and you may feel the need to play the field. (Though in our heart of hearts, we’d like to believe that you’ll eventually return and remain true to our own Oscar picks -- look for a complete list here on Sunday before the show.)
That commitment to diversity is why we have Buzzmeter, The Envelope's handy little compendium of six Oscar experts' picks for the top six Oscar categories. (Sorry, Mr. Sound Mixer, though the Gold Standard has plenty to say about you here.)
No surprise: Each of the Buzzmeter panelists has checked “The Artist” for best picture. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone believes academy voters will make room on their ballots to honor that other nostalgic love letter to Hollywood’s past and give Martin Scorsese the Oscar for director. All other panelists pick “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius to win.
The lead actor race has prompted more division. Buzzmeter voters Travers, Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger, Indiewire’s Anne Thompson and USA Today film critic Claudia Puig are going with “The Descendants’” George Clooney, while Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil and myself believe Jean Dujardin will win for “The Artist.”
The race appears so close, in fact, that Thompson says she has changed her mind “literally five times” since Monday. She’s now picking Clooney, though the Buzzmeter indicates her earlier vote for Dujardin.
There’s also a 4-2 split for lead actress with Travers and O’Neil calling the race for Meryl Streep and her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” with the four other panelists picking Viola Davis for “The Help.”
“Most Oscarologists are betting on Viola Davis because she won SAG, but most SAG voters didn’t see ‘Iron Lady.’ The DVD screener arrived in the mail long after most ballots were in,” O’Neil says. “However, Oscar voters have seen everything and must vote for the most dynamic screen performance in the late career of the greatest actress of our time.”
There’s less division in the supporting races, with “The Help’s” Octavia Spencer the unanimous pick for “The Help” and five of six panelists picking Christopher Plummer for “Beginners.” Only Puig disagrees, believing Max von Sydow will win for “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” (To which, Claudia, we can only silently raise our notepad with the following message about your Oscar pool chances.)
-- Glenn Whipp
Photo: Berenice Bejo with Uggie in "The Artist." Credit: Peter Iovino/The Weinstein Co.