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Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Asa Butterfield portrays Hugo Cabret, left, and Ben Kingsley plays Georges Méliès in a scene from "Hugo." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)
Oscars '12: Predictions, part one - Technical

The 84th annual Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday -- but why wait when the Cricket's fearless predictions can tell you this year's winners now?

Last year, the Cricket's track record wasn't the greatest -- 15 out of 24 categories -- but that's still better than average in most office pools.

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Today, the Cricket will make his picks in the five technical categories. Wednesday, it’s the craft categories: Cinematography, art direction, costumes and music. On Thursday, it’s the specialty features (animated, documentary and foreign-language films) and the short-film nominees (still time to do your research at the Tower, which is playing programs of most of the nominees this week). And on Friday, both on the blog and in the Tribune’s print edition, you can read the Cricket’s predictions in the major categories: Picture, acting, directing and screenwriting.

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Film Editing

The nominees are: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"; Kevin Tent, "The Descendants"; Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Thelma Schoonmaker, "Hugo"; Christopher Tellefsen, "Moneyball."

Who will win: This award usually goes hand-in-hand with the Best Picture winner, so the front-runner, "The Artist," will likely take the statuette.

Who should win: Schoonmaker has been nominated six times before and won three ("Raging Bull," "The Aviator" and "The Departed," all with Martin Scorsese), and in any other year would be a lock for her graceful work on "Hugo."

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Make-up

The nominees are: Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, "Albert Nobbs"; Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"; Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, "The Iron Lady."

Who will win: Two transformations -- turning Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher, and turning Glenn Close into a man -- will duke it out, with "The Iron Lady" winning.

Who should win: The folks behind "The Iron Lady," for matching Streep's vocal impersonation with a physical match for Maggie.

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Sound Editing

The nominees are: Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis, "Drive"; Ren Klyce, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, "Hugo"; Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"; Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom, "War Horse".

Who will win: "Hugo" has broad Academy support (hence the leading 11 nominations it received), and with "The Artist" likely to take the top honors, this is one way Oscar voters can make sure Scorsese's movie gets some love.

Who should win: The aural atmosphere of the train station in "Hugo" is impressive, but the sonic soundscape of Los Angeles in "Drive" was an integral part of that movie's beauty.

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Sound Mixing

The nominees are: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, "Hugo"; Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick, "Moneyball"; Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"; Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson, "War Horse."

Who will win: "Hugo," again.

Who should win: The dense, nerve-jangling sound mix of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

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Visual Effects

The nominees are: Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"; Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning, "Hugo"; Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg, "Real Steel"; Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"; Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Who will win: The charm of "Hugo's" visual miracles may be too much for Oscar voters to ignore.

Who should win: The scarily realistic simians of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."



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