So. We’re now a week out from this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. By this point, the campaigns will have run their course and the ballots will have been cast. You know what that means: Time to predict the winners!

As with last year, I’ll be putting down my cut-and-dried predictions here on record. When I say that a picture “Will Win,” that’s my choice based strictly on the various news articles and expert analyses floating around the web. Last year, I managed to get two out of three right. Not bad, but I’m sure I can do better this time.

I’ll also include my choices for “Should Win” and “Should’ve Been Nominated” where I feel necessary, but all color commentary will otherwise be held until after the trophies are handed out on February 26th. Now let’s get this over with.

It’s showtime! The results with my commentary will be posted below in the order that the awards are given out.

Best Cinematography:

Should Win: The Tree of Life

Will Win: The Tree of Life

Did Win: Hugo

There are not enough expletives to express my anger with this choice. Don’t get me wrong, Hugo was brilliantly shot, but Tree of Life was heavenly. Every single frame was a shot of art, and its combination of film and digital was revolutionary. No movie deserved this more than Tree of Life, and shame on the Academy for not giving this film its due.

Best Art Direction:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Bellflower

Should Win: Hugo

Will Win: Hugo

Did Win: Hugo

Okay, no complaints for this one. The other nominees had brilliant period works and some had brilliant fantasy works, but Hugo beautifully did both.

Billy Crystal is on fire tonight. Oh, and for those who don’t get all the jokes about the formerly “Kodak” Theater, give this a read.

Best Costume Design:

Should Win: Jane Eyre

Will Win: Hugo

Did Win: The Artist

Guess I lost the coin toss. Also, foolish me for assuming that the Best Art Direction winner would also get Best Costume. Well, there’s no denying that the costumes here were great nonetheless.

Best Makeup:

Should Win: The Iron Lady

Will Win: The Iron Lady

Did Win: The Iron Lady

Yeah, this was inevitable. Even Streep admitted that this movie would’ve had nothing without the makeup.

Best Foreign Language Film:

Will Win: A Separation

Did Win: A Separation

This was the only candidate I saw, and I think it might be the only one I need to see. It was always going to be the winner. I’d love to think that this might improve American/Iranian relations, but I know better. At least the Academy didn’t play the director off during that great speech.

Best Supporting Actress:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Melanie Laurent (Beginners)

Should Win: Jessica Chastain (The Help)

Will Win: Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Did Win: Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Great for her. I do love to see such a genuine show of humility, and I love it when Oscars go to breakout talents. Here’s hoping that this leads to a bright career for Spencer.

That said, I’m still steaming over the fact that Jessica Chastain didn’t get a Best Leading nomination. Lucky her career is taking off anyway, and she’s got a lot of great performances left. In point of fact, all of these nominees are really quite good, never mind that two of those great performances were wasted on a movie like The Help.

Best Film Editing:

Should Win: Moneyball

Will Win: The Artist

Did Win: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The winners weren’t expecting this, and neither was I! This is an extremely pleasant surprise, and I’m thrilled that this movie got some degree of recognition.

Best Sound Editing:

Should Win: Drive

Will Win: Hugo

Did Win: Hugo

Sounds about right.

Best Sound Mixing:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Drive

Should Win: War Horse

Will Win: Hugo

Did Win: Hugo

Once again, we find proof that even the best and brightest minds in Hollywood don’t know the difference between sound editing and sound mixing. But hey, I won’t deny that Hugo was brilliant on a technical level.

I have to admit, I groaned out loud when Miss Piggy announced that the Oscars were trying interpretive dance again. God knows that worked out terribly the last time they tried that a few years ago. But then Cirque du Soleil came out. And I was reminded that these guys are the best of the best. Their show was entertaining and executed impossibly well, but it was still totally unnecessary filler.

Best Documentary Film:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Will Win: Pina

Did Win: Undefeated

I have got to get a new coin. The one I’m flipping is worthless. Incidentally, the whole RDJ/Paltrow sketch was just terrible. These are both great actors, but sheesh.

Best Animated Film:

Should’ve Been Nominated: The Adventures of Tintin

Should Win: Kung Fu Panda 2

Will Win: Rango

Did Win: Rango

Eh. I’m not a fan of the movie, but I know I’m in the minority on that. And anyway, this category was essentially worthless without Tintin.

Oh, great. The overrated comedy of Bridesmaids all warmed over. Ha. Ha. Nothing against Melissa McCarthy, but I hope she’s got more than this. That’s not as much as I can say for Emma Stone, who I know is better than this shit.

Best Visual Effects:

Should Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Will Win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Did Win: Hugo

Okay, this is where I draw the line. I can deal with taking sound editing and mixing, and robbing the cinematography award was bad enough. But taking away a mo-cap Oscar from Andy Serkis is one step too fucking far.

Best Supporting Actor:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Albert Brooks (Drive)

Should Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Will Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Did Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

A worthy victor in a field of outstanding nominees. Such a pity the movie hasn’t gotten more recognition, though.

They invited that dog from The Artist?!

Best Original Score:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Should Win: Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Will Win: Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Did Win: Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Damn right this won the Oscar. The music was the whole film! The acceptance speech wasn’t so hot, but I’m assuming that English isn’t his first language.

Best Original Song:

Should’ve Been Nominated: “Life’s a Happy Song” (The Muppets)

Should Win: Fuck ’em both.

Will Win: “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)

Did Win: “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)

Well, at least the right composer won and the right movie won, even if it was for the wrong song.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Should Win: Steven Zailian and Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball)

Will Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Did Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Such a pity that Aaron Sorkin couldn’t get two Oscars in a row, much as he deserves it. Still, it amuses me that “Community” can now boast an Oscar-winning cast member. Maybe now it can finally get renewed for good!

Best Original Screenplay:

Should Win: Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)

Will Win: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

Did Win: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)

The scenes with Rachel McAdams’ character should have knocked this screenplay out of the running. Still, it’s Woody Allen, and the movie wasn’t all bad by any means. Still, A Separation had a screenplay far and away better than anyone might have guessed from that stupid clip they chose.

…And the Academy drags out the entire cast of Bridesmaids so Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph can make dick jokes. Gag me.

Best Live-Action Short:

Will Win: Tuba Atlantic

Did Win: The Shore

This one is always a crap shoot, since it’s extremely difficult to find any commentators who know anything about this category. Even most Academy members can’t be bothered to see short films.

Best Documentary Short:

Will Win: Saving Face

Did Win: Saving Face

I heard that this film was just the right amount of depressing, hopeful, and timely for the Academy. I’m overjoyed to have called such a difficult category. As for the film itself, it sounds like a fascinating subject.

Best Animated Short:

Will Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Did Win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I can’t believe I found a reliable source to predict the short film categories. I can’t wait to see this movie.

Best Director:

Should’ve Been Nominated: David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Should Win: Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Did Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

I wish I could’ve supported Terrence Malik, but Tree of Life was just too obscure. Scorsese did a staggering job directing Hugo, but I’m okay with Hazanavicius winning this. He proved himself a wonderfully strong director with The Artist, and I’m sure his next film will be very interesting.

What an unfortunate choice of song. I’m sure it was well-intentioned, but I’d hate to have people singing how it’s “A Wonderful World” once I’m gone, is all I’m saying.

I also find it questionable that Steve Jobs was represented as an “executive,” Cliff Robertson’s lengthy career (111 credits on IMDB!) was represented by one of his lines as Uncle Ben Parker, and Elizabeth Taylor was eulogized with a clip from one of history’s most notorious box-office bombs.

Best Leading Actor:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Michael Fassbender (take your pick)

Should Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Will Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Did Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Brad Pitt and George Clooney were both in contention, as well as Gary Oldman for his first nomination… and Dujardin still won. Tremendous.

Please, please, please don’t let this be Roberto Benigni all over again.

Best Leading Actress:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Jessica Chastain (Either Take Shelter or Tree of Life)

Should Win: Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Will Win: Viola Davis (The Help)

Did Win: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

So Meryl Streep gets another Oscar to lose in the shuffle of her many other far more prestigious awards. And then she gives a shout-out to all who share my frustration. I find consolation in the fact that Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, and Rooney Mara have so many great performances left in them.

More than anything, I remain extremely upset with Glenn Close. She made an Oscar bid, the Academy was stupid enough to grant her a nod, and for what? All we got was a crappy movie, all Close got were awards chances that sunk to nil overnight, and the Academy wound up with a wasted nomination that should have gone to Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, or Elizabeth Olsen. I hope Close is fucking happy.

Best Picture:

Should’ve Been Nominated: Take your pick.

Should Win: The Tree of Life

Will Win: The Artist

Did Win: The Artist

Of course they bring the dog up onstage.

The Artist was a very gimmicky film, to be sure, but it was brilliantly made all the same. It’s a rare movie that can equally satisfy the general crowd as well as the arthouse crowd. This is a rare time when the safe choice is also the right choice.