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Yesterday was round one of my attempts to predict this year's Academy Award winners, a foolish task for anybody, but one you've gotta do if anybody wants to win their Oscar pool. Today brings us round two, still full of technical prizes, but with some standout categories like Best Original Score and Best Original Song, as well as a few hotly contested spots, where it's basically Academy favorites Hugo and The Artist duking it out to see who's prettier. I do my best to sort through the madness and try to give you an Oscar-predicting leg up in the predictions below.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse
And the winner is: The Artist. I would love to call this category for Hugo, and Howard Shore's work on that film would be my pick for an upset, but The Artist has steamrolled this category throughout the season, and as strong as it looks going into Sunday's awards, it seems wishful thinking to expect it to falter here.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
"Real in Rio" from Rio
And the winner is: "Man or Muppet." This category is an unmitigated disaster this year, but no matter how many other songs from The Muppets ought to be here, "Man or Muppet" should be easily capable of taking this one. Even if they don't get to perform it onstage...
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
And the winner is: The Artist. More often than not this category correlates directly with the Best Picture winner, and without really showy work in this category-- like the year The Bourne Ultimatum won this-- The Artist ought to be able to take this easily.
BEST ART DIRECTION
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
And the winner is: Hugo. If The Artist were in color or not taking place in just a few sets, it might be more of a contender here. But with 11 nominations Hugo clearly has a lot of love out there, and this should be one category where it pulls ahead.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
And the winner is: Hugo. This is an especially tricky category, and it's not impossible for an impressive period piece with no other nominations like Jane Eyre to swoop in here. But Hugo's Sandy Powell has won this award three times and seems well poised to do it again. This is one of the tightest races in the technical categories, though, so many other things are possible.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady
And the winner is: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. A lot of diehard Potter fans hoped the final film in the franchise would manage to get some proper Oscar attention-- that is, a Best Picture nomination. That didn't pan out, but it should be possible for the series to rally one last time in this category, for the feat of erasing Ralph Fiennes's handsomeness if nothing else.