It's the second round of The Cricket’s annual Oscar predictions, which are the craft categories: Cinematography, art direction, costume design and the two music categories - original score and original song.
On Monday, the Cricket predicted the technical categories (with lots of love toward "Hugo"). The Cricket will discuss the specialty features (animated, documentary and foreign-language) and the short-film categories (animated, documentary and live-action) on Thursday. The major categories will get their due Friday, on this blog and in the print edition of The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Cricket will be live-tweeting the Oscar ceremony, starting at 6 p.m. Mountain time Sunday, February 26 — at @moviecricket.
The nominees are: Guillaume Schiffman, "The Artist"; Jeff Cronenweth, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"; Robert Richardson, "Hugo"; Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life"; Janusz Kaminski, "War Horse"
Who will win: Tough call: The momentum seems to be behind "The Artist," and Schiffman's luminous black-and-white work is part of the movie's charm. On the other hand, he's a first-time nominee going up against some veterans. I'd bet on Lubezki's dreamlike imagery on Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," which was the only aspect of the movie everyone agreed they liked.
Who should win: Cronenweth's icy grays gave a boost to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's" oppressively dark look.
The nominees are: “The Artist” (production design: Laurence Bennett; set decoration: Robert Gould); “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” (production design: Stuart Craig; set decoration: Stephenie McMillan); “Hugo” (production design: Dante Ferretti; set decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo); “Midnight in Paris” (production design: Anne Seibel; set decoration: Hélène Dubreuil); “War Horse” (production design: Rick Carter; set decoration: Lee Sandales).
Who will win: Ferretti's magical creations in "Hugo" -- from Georges Melies' silent-movie studio to a realistic automaton -- should win him his third Oscar.
Who should win: Speaking of magical worlds, it's the last chance to honor the work done to bring Harry Potter's world to life. (Craig has won three tmes before, for "Gandhi," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "The English Patient," and nominated for three previous "Potter" installments.)
The nominees are: Lisy Christl, "Anonymous"; Mark Bridges, "The Artist"; Sandy Powell, "Hugo"; Michael O'Connor, "Jane Eyre"; Arianne Phillips, "W.E."
Who will win: It's a coin-flip between the colorful work in "Hugo" and the chic black-and-white fashions in "The Artist." Go with "The Artist."
Who should win: "Hugo," for the deeper variety of looks. (Disclaimer: The Cricket hasn't seen Madonna's "W.E.," which opens in Utah in late March.)
Music - Original Score
The nominees are: John Williams, "The Adventures of Tintin"; Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"; Howard Shore, "Hugo"; Alberto Iglesias, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"; John Williams, "War Horse."
Who will win: In a silent movie, the music is the only thing holding it all together -- so Bource's score for "The Artist" is a likely winner (even with Kim Novak's grousing).
Who should win: John Williams has been doing this a long time (his two nominations this year are his 46th and 47th, and he has five wins -- for adapting "Fiddler on the Roof," and for the scores of "Jaws," "Star Wars," "E.T." and "Schindler's List"), and his rousing score for "Tintin" contributed greatly to the fun and excitement of that animated tale.
Music - Original Song
The nominees are: “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” (music and lyric by Bret McKenzie); “Real in Rio” from “Rio” (music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown; lyric by Siedah Garrett).
Who will win: In spite of the disrespect the Academy has shown the Muppets so far (like not featuring their song in the ceremony, or ignoring a fan petition to give them the emcee gig), it would be tough to deny the song that gave us one of the year's greatest movie moments.
Who should win: "Man or Muppet," no question.