B’s Pre-nomination Oscar Predictions: The Tech/Art Categories

The technical and artistic category awards at the Oscars are generally the most misunderstood among those without a background in film. And, yes, that includes me. My nomination predictions in all of these categories are pretty much a crapshoot, and so expect minimal analysis after each category. I will, however, do my best to explain what earns a nomination in each category and why I’ve chosen my winners and nominees.

So, here goes nothing:

Best Film Editing
1. The Artist
2. Hugo
3. Drive
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. The Descendants 

The Film Editing category encompasses all of the primary editing done on the film, namely: cuts, pans, and transitions. Over the years, the Best Film Editing nominees have been closely correlated with the Best Picture nominees, with 2008’s The Dark Knight being the only film in the last 3 years to be nominated for Best Film Editing and not for Best Picture as well. However, this is a different year, and with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo earning an Eddie Award nom and Drive a Critics Choice Editing nom, I’m putting them in here as well. I have to think that Drive will get a nomination somewhere, at least. I’ve chosen The Artist as my winner: more often than not, the Best Picture winner wins for Film Editing as well, and the editing was so central to The Artist as a whole.


Best Sound Editing
1. Hugo
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
3. Super 8
4. War Horse
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Best Sound Mixing
1. Hugo
2. Moneyball
3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
4. Super 8
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 

Sound Editing and Sound Mixing are easily the two most misunderstood of all the Academy Awards given out. Very few people know what they are, including me until a year ago. Sound Editing involves the creation of artificial sound, and Sound Mixing is the mixing of all sound elements, such as dialogue, effects, and music. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Hugo wins both, as the winners in these categories, if not the Best Picture winner itself, is generally a film that the Academy likes for other reasons as well, such as Inception last year which took home both prizes. Hugo is probably the film that is just outside the race of a Best Picture win, so I think it fits the bill.


Best Visual Effects
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2. Hugo
3. The Tree of Life
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon 

Recent Visual Effects winner have included Inception, Avatar, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. While I think Andy Serkis’s performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes while be overlooked in the acting categories, I have to believe that the film will take home the award for its excellent use of motion capture and computer effects. I also see Hugo, Harry Potter, and Transformers earning nods, as well as The Tree of Life, which is heavily effects-driven in its flashbacks to primordial times.


Best Art Direction
1. Hugo
2. The Artist
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Best Costumes
1. The Artist
2. Jane Eyre
3. Hugo
4. Midnight in Paris
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Makeup
1. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
2. Hugo
3. The Iron Lady

And now for the awards that I have little to no clue about, the artistic categories. I think that the Art Direction nominees will bring in a couple films that didn’t get nominated in other larger categories, including Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter. Harry Potter could have a decent shot at Art Direction (Alice in Wonderland took home the prize last year), but I think Hugo will win for its stunning re-creation of 1930s Paris. I also think The Artist and Dragon Tattoo will get noms here for their creation of foreign (to us, anyways) settings.

Best Costumes and Best Makeup are two awards I could care less about, but if you’re gonna predict nominees, you gotta do it for all of ‘em. The costumes in The Artist, Jane Eyre, and Hugo have all been talked about a great deal, and everyone has been impressed with Rooney Mara’s transformation into Lisbeth in Dragon Tattoo. Midnight in Paris my also get a nod here for its period piece costumes, but I’m betting The Artist will take this one.

As for Best Makeup, there was an initial belief in J. Edgar taking home the top prize, but that wave has long since hit the shore. The makeup for Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady is done very well from what I’ve read, as is that in Hugo, but a little known frontrunner, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, has emerged, and I choose to root for the underdog.


Whew, am I glad to be done with that. As I said, the technical and artistic awards are among the most misunderstood and hardest to predict, especially when it comes to predicting the nominees. These categories often have a wide variety of movies earning nominations (such as Hellboy 2: The Golden Army winning Best Makeup last year), so you really never know where exactly the race is at.

That being said, I hope I’ve been able to give you all a bit more insight into these awards, and please check out the other nomination predictions I’ve made for the acting categories, the feature categories, the major film categories, and of course, Best Picture.


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