The 84th annual Academy Awards is shaping up to be full of surprises and suspense. Sure, there are some favorites, but, compared to last year when all the top categories were practically done deals long before the ceremony started (The King's Speech, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale all won as expected), there are precious few sure things this go-around.
For Best Actress, will it be Viola Davis or Meryl Streep? Or could they split the vote and allow Michelle Williams or long-overlooked Glenn Close to sneak in?
For Best Actor, could the Oscar go to George Clooney or Brad Pitt or the French guy from The Artist (Jean Dujardin)?
For Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer from The Help is a heavy favorite, but could Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy take the top prize?
For Best Supporting Actor, it's shaping up as a battle of sentimental favorites, as Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) — both 82 years old — duke it out to become the oldest Academy Award winner in history.
And the Best Picture category is muddled, with The Artist, Hugo, The Help and The Descendants all in the mix. If they split the vote, a wild card like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close could score a major upset.
CultureMap has teamed with Sundance for our first (and hopefully annual) Pick the Oscar Winners contest.
Here's how it works:
Click here to go to CultureMap's Facebook page and pick the winner in any (or all) of the following six categories:
Best Supporting Actor — Now through Feb. 2
Best Supporting Actress — Feb. 3-7
Best Actor — Feb. 8-12
Best Actress — Feb. 13-16
Best Director — Feb. 17-21
Best Picture — Feb. 22-26
Unlike other Oscar contests, you don't have to select all the winners. If you pick the winner in any category you will be entered in a drawing, where the randomly selected Grand Prize champ will receive a year-long pass to Sundance Cinemas, along with 10 runners-up, who will each receive a pass to a movie at the downtown Houston complex.
Winners will be announced Feb. 27, the day after the Oscar telecast on ABC/Channel 13.