If there is one film in the Best Picture category that could possibly knock out “The Artist” (which seems unlikely at this point), it would be “Hugo”. With Martin Scorsese at the helm (who has an Academy Award for Best Director from “The Departed”) and a stellar screenplay, “Hugo” has the most nominations of any other film, which doesn’t guarantee any wins but definitely makes it a strong competitor in most of its categories.

“The Descendants” is the frontrunner in this category, but with “Hugo” being a strong competitor, it could easily take this award. Though it will probably be behind “Moneyball” in the category as well.

Many are saying the Directing/Best Picture votes could be split this year (they also said it would happen last year with David Fincher). Those saying so believe Martin Scorsese could win the Directing award while “The Artist” would go on to win Best Picture. However, this is pretty rare and I believe if “The Artist” wins, it will take Directing with it. Therefore, if “Hugo” wins, Scorsese would probably take this award and seal the deal.

If I didn’t have such a passion for “The Tree Of Life” and want to see it win, “Hugo” would be a strong competitor in this category. With the clock mechanics and sweeping Paris views, this film is strong visually. But “The Tree Of Life” is extraordinary and deserves all the praise it receives.

Art Direction is key in both of the frontrunners for Best Picture this year. “The Artist” relies heavily on the art direction to make it look of its period as does “Hugo”. The debate can then begin as to which medium relies more on art direction: a black-and-white, silent film, or a colorful adventure through Paris. My pick goes to “Hugo”, just because in black-and-white, I feel it is easier to get away with art direction. There is nothing extremely memorable from “The Artist” as far as art direction is concerned. “Hugo”, on the other hand, has many strong visuals, especially in the clock mechanics and the giant library that the kids visit. “Hugo” should have this category locked up.

I want “Hugo” to take this category as well but my better judgment places “The Artist” as the winner in this. The costumes in “Hugo” are fairly standard for this piece while “The Artist” has many elegant ensembles, worn especially by Berenice Bejo. Much like the opposite of Best Art Direction, there are few costumes that stand out of “Hugo” while “The Artist” is very memorable in the costume department.

It is quite possible “Hugo” will take Film Editing and if there is one film that could take it away from “The Artist”, this would be it. However, my vote (for no particular good reason) goes to “The Artist”.

With “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two” has my two top competitors in this category, with the steam of “Hugo”, it could easily take this award, but I feel the Academy will honor something different. Since “Apes” was snubbed elsewhere and comes from the award winning group that brought us “Avatar” it is the stronger choice. I don’t see “Hugo” taking this one.

“The Artist” likely has this one locked. The music is “Hugo” is powerful and moving, but the film does not rely on it as much as “The Artist” does and since the film is score heavy and being recognized at most ceremonies this season, don’t expect a “Hugo” win here.

“Hugo” won several sound awards this year and besides “War Horse” drew top honors. I expect “Hugo” to take both of these awards, if not sharing Editing with “War Horse”.

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