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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

When the holiday box office bucks begin to total, it's time again for Hollywood to prepare itself for its own sort of jovial celebration — awards season! Yes, folks, it's that time again — the time for Tinseltown's finest, the recording industry's royalty and the biggest stars in the world to join forces in celebrating each other's achievements... and egos.

Here are some predictions for the year's most prestigious entertainment awards.

Less than a month before the Academy Awards are presented, the SAGs focus on the performances themselves. It's a departure from the competitive nature of films, which allows the actors to relive the year's best characters.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"

A critical darling, as well as recent Golden Globe winner for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, "The Artist" emerged as this year's aptly fitting artsy front-runner. Dujardin's role made critics and audiences alike take notice of the industry's past and relive its ups and downs all over again.

Possible Upset: It's a tie! George Clooney - "The Descendants" / Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"

These two Hollywood heavyweights (and close friends) had a big year, both receiving much praise for their respective roles. However, with his additional publicity for directing the drama "The Ides of March," as well as his Golden Globes win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, Clooney may claim the Oscar.

Possible Upset: Another tie! Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady" / Viola Davis - "The Help"

Streep is notorious for completely enveloping herself in her character, and her turn as British force Margaret Thatcher is no exception. However, even though Streep received the Globe in her category, Davis' heart-wrenching portrayal of a struggling housemaid in the segregated south of the 1960s might be powerful enough to blow away Williams' voluptuous vixen.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Kenneth Branagh - "My Week with Marilyn"

Branagh's turn as Sir Lawrence Olivier is another example of the British actor's masterful grasp of character. He embodied the stature of such a powerful stage and screen figure with intense pomp.

Possible Upset: Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"

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Arguably one of the most surprising Globe winners, Plummer's poignant portrayal of a man discovering his sexuality at an older age may follow the general pattern and snag the SAG award. (You might remember him as Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music.")

The most celebrated night in Hollywood never ceases to shock, awe and inspire the millions of viewers as the year's biggest films are recognized. Even though the nominations haven't been released yet (look for the announcement on Jan. 24), the categories generally follow a pattern after the Golden Globe winners are announced.

Best Picture: "The Artist"

In a year of films receiving nominations based on individual performances rather than overall cinematic quality, this silent, foreign film seems to have the most critical acclaim and overall approval to win the night's biggest honor.

Possible Underdog: "The Descendants"

After winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, director Alexander Payne's heavily praised work is just cause for a battle with the French film.

Best Actor: George Clooney - "The Descendants"

A professional when it comes to snagging nominations, Clooney has been heavily praised (and already recognized with both the Critics' Choice Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor) for his role as a run-down father in this film-festival darling.

On top of his trip behind the camera for "The Ides of March," the power (and publicity) of Clooney's past year could allow his win.

Possible Underdog: Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"

The Academy is notorious (and, for some, borderline pretentious) when it comes to picking "underdog" nominees - and Dujardin is no exception. Already a Globe winner, it's possible that the French actor could win the Oscar due to sheer artistic curiosity.

Best Actress: Michelle Williams - "My Week with Marilyn"

In one of the most widely talked about roles of the year, Williams is practically spot-on, both in breath and in body, as Marilyn Monroe. The magnitude of the role and the bombshell behind it may be just enough to snag the statue after her Golden Globe win.

Possible Underdog: Viola Davis - "The Help"

Davis was utterly emotional as the silent but strong housemaid in the "dramedy," and her recent Critics Choice Award win for Best Actress could be the key to winning the Oscar.

But Wait! What About...?: Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"

Unfortunately for Streep, the film doesn't seem to be getting as much attention as some of her previous roles. Streep is widely regarded as one of Hollywood's best actresses (she won the Globe this year for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama), the other knockout performances in her category may cause her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher to fall flat.

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