Oscars: Going silent this year on the Best Movie | Latte Guy | Jan. 27

I’ve been under the weather all week, burning up with an unquenchable case of Oscar Fever. The 2012 Academy Awards nominees were announced early Tuesday and I haven’t slept a wink since, except for an hour here and there at work.

I’m feeling a bit better now, thank you, for which I give credit to Obamacare and the fact that this year I’ve already seen five of the nine films nominated for Best Picture.

I’ve already decided who I think should win in each major Oscar category, an activity that, for me, is entirely unencumbered by the handicap of not having seen all the nominated films or performances.

Like Congress, I am not one to let a mere lack of facts or knowledge stand in the way of having an opinion. So, without further ado, here are my picks for the 2012 Oscars:

For Best Picture, I’m going to go with “The Artist,” which I did see, over “The Descendants,” which I did not see. I loved “Hugo,” “The Help,” and “Midnight in Paris,” but I think it makes me look like more of a sophisticated movie buff if I pick a movie that is both artsy and French.

For Best Actor, I go with George Clooney in “The Descendants.” I’m sure he was great in it, and I plan to see it someday. It seems like Clooney has everything else a man could want in life, so I figure why not toss him a Best Actor Award.

Gary Oldman was very impressive at smoking and looking intently out windows in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” but I was so baffled by the movie that I never really understood what he was looking at or thinking about. Besides, Clooney looks better in a Hawaiian shirt than Oldman does.

For Best Actress, I’m putting my money on Viola Davis in “The Help.” I know the smart money will be on Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady,” but my money is usually pretty dumb. My darkhorse candidate is either the actual dark horse from “The War Horse” (assuming she’s a mare), or Rooney Mara from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” who was dark but far from equine.

My backup long shot is Glenn Close, an actress with a man’s name who played a female character impersonating a male character in a film (“Albert Nobbs”) named after the male character. Now that I think of it, that may actually describe the plot of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

As Best Supporting Actor, I like Christopher Plummer in “Beginnings” since I saw it and thought he was great. If I were a voting member of the Academy (which I’m not, for reasons I’ve pretty well demonstrated here), I’d write-in Uggie the dog from “The Artist” in this category.

Uggie played a Jack Russell terrier so convincingly you’d have sworn he was one. Regrettably, Uggie was not nominated by the homo sapiens-centric Academy, although he did receive two nominations for Golden Collar Awards.

For Best Supporting Actress, I feel like I should be picking Octavia Spencer from “The Help” or Berenice Bejo from “The Artist,” both of whom were fantastic and sure to make excellent acceptance speeches. But I have to go with Melissa McCarthy from “Bridesmaids.” Just thinking about her performance in that movie makes me laugh, which I realize cancels out any cinephile credibility I may have earned by picking “The Artist” for Best Picture.

Finally, for Best Director, I’m casting my vote for Michael Hazanavicious, who did a great job directing a movie without using dialogue. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a Best Director awarded to someone with that many letters in his or her last name. I can’t vote for Terrence Malick for The “Tree of Life” because I didn’t really care for his film, except for the part with the dinosaurs.

I think Martin Scorsese should win some kind of special directing award for having directed “Hugo” after also directing “Goodfellas,” “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.”

That’s it for my Oscar picks. Feel free to use them to make a killing in Las Vegas. Until next year, see you at the movies.

Tom Tyner is an attorney for the Trust for Public Land. He is author of "Skeletons From Our Closet," a collection of writings on the island's latte scene.

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