And the Academy Award goes to: We predict who will win an Oscar tonight

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Who really deserves to win and who was disgracefully left off the shortlist?


What will win: The Artist

The combination of a cute dog, Harvey Weinstein and absolutely no contemporary resonances whatsoever conspire to make this the most inevitable winner since last year's cute Brit/Harvey Weinstein/absolutely no contemporary resonances whatsoever triple threat The King's Speech.

What should win: The Tree Of Life

Because none of the other nominees could match its visionary ambition while so demanding a second viewing. If only to work out what Sean Penn was doing leading that hug-a-thon.

Critical oversight: Margaret

Two recent films dealt with young people processing grief in post-9/11 New York. One, Extremely Icky and Incredibly Blah, was nommed despite stinking reviews. The other, this drama from playwright Kenneth Lonergan, was startling, intelligent, featured no U2 ballads in the trailer, and trickled into 0.2 cinemas. Go figure.


Who will win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

This one looks like a straight scrap between two directors of lavishly sentimented industry love letters, Hazanavicius and Hugo's Martin Scorsese. The former should edge it, if only because trying to differentiate between the best film and the best-directed film is a conundrum too far for the majority of Academy voters.

Who should win: Terrence Malick, The Tree Of Life

He hasn't been seen since the 1970s. He refuses to submit to the indignities of hacks' inane questioning. He would rather cut to random shots of flora and fauna than flatter star egos. He has irritated Sean Penn. Need any more be said?

Critical oversight: Lars Von Trier, Melancholia

Because when the end of the world hits, we want it to be saturated in slo-mo, dripping in gorgeous tableaux and lovingly tossed with gobbets of Wagner.


Who will win: George Clooney, The Descendants

Because here is a prize-winning example of a Hollywood hero being JHE, aka Just Human Enough. Thus the fact that George is carrying a few extra pounds and waddles very fast in flip-flops only compounds his preternatural charm.

Who should win: Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

His tobacco-stained torpor as George Smiley left us so thoroughly drained, we needed to watch three hours of Masterchef just to raise the pulse again. And that is a great thing. We think.

Critical oversight: Ryan Gosling, Everything

When film historians look back at 2011/2012, will they remember Clooney and Pitt in stolidly sentimental fare such as The Descendants and Moneyball? Or rather the anointing of a new screen god combining the existential machismo of Steve McQueen with the officially verified cuteness of a puppy? That was rhetorical, of course.


Who will win: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Much as we rate bookies' favourite Davis, the weight of Streep's unrewarded nominations – 12 since her last win – are likely to push her over the line. And, really, if she doesn't win, who knows what divisive British figure she will give a revisionist Meryl-over to next – Liz Jones?

Who should win: Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Because it is quite something for a Hollywood starlet to nail an iconic role while retaining some mystique against an unassailable wave of "Bright Young Thing" features.

Critical oversight: Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin

You give her the gong for Meh-chael Clayton, but not even a moment of envelope-opening anticipation for this exquisite study in parental exasperation? Excuse us while we take her character's lead and calm ourselves with the sounds of a pneumatic drill.


Who will win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Because a) he, alongside Max Von Sydow, is one of two Hollywood legends in a category where legendariness is all; and b) as Ewan McGregor's gay dad, his is a stirring tale of triumph over the odds in retaining his humanity amid a welter of indie-schmindie affectation.

Who should win: Jonah Hill, Moneyball

All props to Hill for being the quiet heart of a rare sports film that doesn't leave non-sporting types flailing amid chest-bumping bravado. Plus the hitertho buffoon type proves his dramatic chops with a quite astonishing repertoire of blinks.

Critical oversight: Ezra Miller, We Need To Talk About Kevin

The most skin-crawling portrayal of demonically self-absorbed adolescence this side of Hollyoaks, and one which caused Lionel Shriver herself to address Miller with the words "You little shit". Which is good enough for us.


Who will win: Octavia Spencer, The Help

As eye-rolling housemaid Minny, Spencer's eminently cheerable performance is the thing that both awards seasons and dank Sunday afternoons were made for. Plus – spoiler alert – she restores the humble pie to its place in the comedy prop pantheon.

Who should win: Octavia Spencer/Jessica Chastain, The Help

Because their double act single-handedly stops The Help from dissolving into a puddle of good intentions and bad florals. And it would be churlish not to reward Chastain in a year when cineastes will have seen her more often than their mum (Coriolanus, The Tree of Life etc).

Critical oversight: Kathy burke, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Remember when Judi won for her six-minute Shakespeare in Love turn? Well, Burke serves up a similar exocet of a cameo here, her boozed-up, "under-fucked" MI6-er Connie a paisley swirl amid a sea of blokey beigeness.


What will win: Midnight In Paris

Because there hasn't been this great a Woody Allen comeback since the last one. And it's quite something to take some of the 20th century's most tortured creative pioneers and make them as lovably LOLsome as the cast of 'Allo 'Allo.

What should win: Margin Call

Do you vaguely remember those blogs about whether cinema could adequately address the financial crisis? Well, this Wall Street drama did it, somewhat counter-intuitively, by putting some good actors in a room with some great dialogue. And portraying bankers as snivelling sociopaths, natch.

Critical oversight: Weekend

This superlative Brit drama about two men's two-night stand boasts the kind of artfully artless script that inspires you to turn down your iPod on the nightbus and listen to that couple discussing their mutual love of Fraggle Rock. And then wish you hadn't.


What will win: The Descendants

That this is one of Alexander Payne's least good films is less important than the fact that a drama which starts with a family torn asunder ends with a scene of ice-cream-eating togetherness, proving that this famously astringent director can do vanilla-scoop schmaltz as readily as the next Oscar-baiter.

What should win: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

We're struggling slightly with this category, just as we did with watching Tinker Tailor itself, but we have to plump for it purely for its stonking decision to adapt a dizzyingly complex book with more concern for wallpaper than plot exposition.

Critical oversight: We Need To Talk About Kevin

I mean, we do hate to bang on and everything, but we're still getting over those masticating noises...

The Oscars is on Sky Movies Premiere HD and Sky Living HD from 11.30pm tonight

Arts and Entertainment Musical by Damon Albarn


Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment


film review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test