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

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This film image released by Universal Pictures shows Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean holding Isabelle Allen as Young Cosette in a scene from "Les Miserables." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Laurie Sparham)
Oscars ‘13: Predictions, part one - Technical

The 85th annual Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, so The Cricket is ready to make official his predictions for the big show.

If you followed The Cricket’s predictions last year, you could have easily won your office Oscar pool. The Cricket picked 19 of the 24 categories correctly.

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Today, The Cricket will make his picks in the five technical categories. Wednesday, it’s the craft categories (cinematography, production design, costumes and music). On Thursday, it’s the specialty features (animated, documentary and foreign-language) and short-film categories (animated, documentary and live-action — all of which are still playing this week at the Tower Theatre). And on Friday, both here on the blog and in the Tribune’s print edition (yes, they still make those), you can read The Cricket’s predictions in the major categories: Best Picture, directing, screenwriting (original and adapted) and the four acting categories.

Join The Cricket on Twitter (@moviecricket) during Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. (The ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time, though the pre-show red carpet stuff starts at 5 p.m. on ABC, and at 3:30 p.m. on E!) The Cricket also will be taking part in a live-chat with his fellow critics from Digital First Media all night (details to follow).

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Film Editing

The nominees are: William Goldenberg, "Argo"; Tim Squyres, "Life of Pi"; Michael Kahn, "Lincoln"; Jay Cassidy and Crispin Strothers, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Who will win: Editing usually goes in lock step with Best Picture, so essentially it’s between William Goldenberg’s kinetic work in "Argo" and Michael Kahn’s fluid pacing of "Lincoln." With "Argo" surging as the front-runner (after wins with all the guilds and the Golden Globes), Goldenberg is likely to take it for "Argo."

Who should win: It’s Goldenberg’s other nomination, with Dylan Tichenor for the propulsive work in "Zero Dark Thirty," that deserves the win — for compacting so much information and action into two-and-a-half hours.

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Make-up and Hairstyling

The nominees are: Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, "Hitchcock"; Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"; Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, "Les Misérables."

Who will win: Anthony Hopkins’ transformation into Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t terribly convincing, and the faces in "The Hobbit" got lost in all those beards. (In spite of the newly renamed category, it’s still more about the make-up than the hair.) So give it to the grimy, scruffy look of "Les Misérables."

Who should win: Giving every dwarf in "The Hobbit" a distinctive look was a tough challenge, and meeting that challenge rates an Oscar. (King and Lane are previous winners.)

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Sound Editing

The nominees are: Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, "Argo"; Wylie Stateman, "Django Unchained"; Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton, "Life of Pi"; Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, "Skyfall"; Paul N.J. Ottosson, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Who will win: "Life of Pi" had 11 nominations, second only to "Lincoln," and it’s in the technical categories like this one where it will clean up.

Who should win: The soundscape of "Life of Pi" deserves an Oscar for its ocean storms, sinking ship, roaring tiger, and host of sea creatures.

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Sound Mixing

The nominees are: John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia, "Argo"; Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, "Les Misérables"; Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin, "Life of Pi"; Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins, "Lincoln"; Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson, "Skyfall".

Who will win: "Les Misérables" is the likely winner here, for the much-hyped technique of singing live on the set.

Who should win: But should "Les Mis" win for sound mixing if you sometimes couldn’t understand what the characters were singing? The Cricket’s vote would go to "Skyfall," for the strong soundtrack to its nonstop action.

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Visual Effects

The nominees are: Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"; Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, "Life of Pi"; Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick, "Marvel’s The Avengers"; Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill, "Prometheus"; Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson, "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Who will win: "Life of Pi’s" many visual wonders — particularly the computer-generated tiger — will snag a statuette.

Who should win: The tiger Richard Parker in "Life of Pi" was not just visually arresting, but a full-blooded character in the film.



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