a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

This is a very exciting, award-filled weekend with the DGA(the Director’s Guild) announcing its’ winner Sat. nite & SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) giving out its’ awards in Film and Television on Sunday. The DGA is not televised, and goes on for a loonnnng time. So it will be late on Sat. PST before we know for sure that Michel Hazanaviscius, the triple Oscar nominee for “The Artist,” will have won this most coveted award.

Why is this so prized? Because it is the CLOSEST to a sure-thing predictor of the Oscar for Best Director next month. And every pundit and Oscarologist in the book has lined up behind the brilliant Frenchman, who not only directed the Black and White and SILENT phenom, but also WROTE it. Yes, there was a script! And he also got a co-Oscar nomination from the very astute Editing Branch, because, yes, he co-edited “The Artist,” too! Talk about a triple threat!

He’s new to the US, but a very successful film director/writer in France. But we all know that being a newbie stateside didn’t hurt first time nominee British Director Tom Hooper at all last year. And it was when Hooper won the DGA last year that the whole Oscar race was turned upside/down and “The King’s Speech” started winning everything.

And look for that winning streak to continue at the SAGS, which is exactly what happened last year, too, for “The King’s Speech” won for Best Ensemble there, which is the SAGs equivalent of Best Picture.

Yes, I’m predicting that “The Artist” will win there, too. And what do these two films have in common? Well BOTH have the same producer! Harvey Weinstein! Who else? Who Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone has famously nicknamed the Oscar Whisperer www.awardsdaily.com

And yes, even Sasha is predicting “The Artist” to win here.

It sure looks like George Clooney is way out in front(instead of waaay over-exposed) for Best Actor for “The Descendants.” But “The Artist”s suave, charming, funny leading man Jean Dujardin is breathing down George’s neck. HEAVILY. And who’s his producer? Well, Harvey Weinstein! AGAIN!

And last year, it was Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” in a walk. This Best Picture/Best Actor match-up could occur again this year. And who was his producer? Harvey Weinstein!

No wonder George seemed so rattled and wan when he won the Golden Globe last week. Last week? Was it ONLY a week ago???? Or was it two weeks? I’m living in an Oscar bubble, a time-warp where only Oscars( & the Oscarologists who love them) exist.

And Best Actress is not the done deal that Entertainment Weekly predicted soooo boldly on its’ cover of THE OSCAR RACE which was only three weeks ago. Or was it just two?

It’s changed its’ tune regarding “The Help” and Viola Davis. Oscar God David Karger of EW admitted on ew.com that he was now predicting Davis, but “only by a hair.” WHOA! What’s changed? And who’s in?

Well, Meryl Streep won the Golden Globe over Davis, and who is NOW on the cover of EW? Well, it’s got a celluloid strip running over the Oscar statuette with OCTAVIA SPENCER on it! *faints*recovers*

And Viola Davis is NOWHERE IN SIGHT!

At least not a picture of her. And also pictured is MELISSA McCARTHY of “Bridesmaids”!!!! WHOA! And every other picture is a man. So reading left to right, we have ROONEY MARA! In all her “Dragon Tattoo” regalia, Jean Dujardin in Black and White, M. McCarthy, Brad Pitt, Octavia Spencer and finally George Clooney at the tail end…

This Oscar issue cover banner,plus Karger’s “by a hair” statement ,ads up to him thinking that someone else is winning Best Actress. Perhaps Meryl Streep?

Or also perhaps Michelle Williams, who is no where in sight on the cover! And who is the producer of both Meryl’s and Michelle’s films? You guessed it. Harvey Weinstein! How can he lose? He’s in a win-win-win situation!

Meryl and Viola get a print “tease” as its’ called in journalism. If this can be called journalism. Which says something to the effect of “Meryl  v. Viola. Who will win ?” It also has the Best Actor race just reduced to “George v. Brad. Who Will Win?”

So in other words EW has REALLY back-pedaled on helping “The Help.” WTF? Well, it didn’t get the Oscar nods it really needed to remain competitive. No director, writer or editing. VERY important nods. Although THREE Best of the Actresses nods. Davis, Spencer and Jessica Chastain.

As has happened many, many times in Oscar history, two Supporting actresses from the same film, in this case, “The Help”, can split the vote, and it goes to someone else, like Berenice Bejo of “The Artist”. Who in real life is Mrs. Hazanaviscius, and also a big star in France.

I also feel, and Tom O’Neil at www.goldderby.com does, too, that they are going to want to give “The Artist” SOMEthing, besides Best Ensemble and either Jean Dujardin upsets in Best Actor or Berenice Bejo upsets in Best Supporting Actress. Or Mon Dieu! BOTH!

Me? I’m totally IN with that scenario. Though if pressed, I would say that Jean D. has a better shot. Octavia Spencer is seemingly unstoppable.

I said “seemingly”. Her ride could end at SAG. And so could Clooney’s.

He’s NEVER won a SAG award. That says something right there, doesn’t it?

And of course, Christopher Plummer will once again win Best Supporting Actor for “Beginners.” HE’S unstoppable! And he’s doing it WITHout Harvey Weinstein! His film is handled by Focus Features.

Also over at www.goldderby.com is an adorable video of the creative team of “The Artist” getting the news via television(it seems to be in Paris) of their Oscar nominations. It’s a beautiful, champagne-filled moment. Just like, well, just like “The Artist”! And IT’S unstoppable.

You can see my interviews with Jean, Berenice, Michel and Penelope Ann Miller, too, over at www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

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