The Oscars are serious — important people making important, relevant, thought-provoking movies about race, marital relations, horses and Owen Wilson seeing dead Parisians. The dresses and jewelry are beyond fancy. The tuxes are bespoke. Sidney Poitier and Steven Spielberg are usually there. Serious stuff.
Except this year, Melissa McCarthy is nominated for s---ting in a sink.
Nothing against McCarthy; she's hilarious. But in honor of her garnering the rare Oscar-considers-a-comedy-a-real-film nomination, we decided to do our annual Oscar predictions panel a bit differently. This year, we enlisted some of our favorite funny people to give their picks for who they think should win in the major categories when the Oscars are handed out at 8:30 p.m. Sunday (WMAR/ABC). Forget the actual quality of the performance, the awards won leading up to the ceremony ... you know, who deserves it the most. We asked them to go with their irreverently random gut.
And, really, all we wanted to possibly do is make Rooney Mara crack a smile. — Jordan Bartel
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
"Midnight in Paris"
"The Tree of Life."
Casey Wilson: My pick is "Bridesmaids"! I'm sad it wasn't nominated, so glad Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig were though. More on that later!
Sarah Colonna: "The Artist" should win because it represents a time when people wore really good outfits and men had manners, or at least pretended to. I also appreciate that it's a silent film so even if someone isn't actually interested in seeing the movie, they can still totally go and take a nap in a place with nice air conditioning.
Rich Vos: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Finally a movie about my sex life gets the recognition it deserves.
Jason Weems: "The Help." Any movie with Cicely Tyson in it when an award is being presented during Black History Month has to win. The legislation was signed into law after "Blacula" wasn't nominated in 1973.
Heather Moyer: Definitely "Midnight in Paris," because watching Rachel McAdams fall in love with a horse during World War I was super romantic.
Evan Siple: "The Descendants." It has been a while since we got a really good, blowhardy Cloondawg speech/ I need to be reminded again why Priuses are superior cars for the environment. Make it happen!
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
Colonna: I want Glenn Close to win because I own a pet and I don't want to come home and find it boiling in a pot on my stove.
Vos: It's a photo finish for me between Meryl Streep and Glenn Close for who turns me on less.
Moyer: Meryl Streep can "iron" my "lady" any day. And then tell me what that euphemism means.
Siple: Viola Davis can have the award if, and only if, she doesn't follow up with a horrific set of movies like "Gothika" or "Catwoman." Where's your integrity Halle Berry?!?!
Demian Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Gary Oldman, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"
Wilson: Jean Dujardin! His character is the perfect man. Funny and sexy, but doesn't speak a word.
Colonna: I'm always for George Clooney winning an Oscar. He's only won one for supporting, and I'm pretty sure we can all agree that Clooney's face is the face of a leading man. Also, I'm hoping he reads this and is like "She seems sweet, maybe I should take her out for a steak dinner and then sex."
Vos: As long as it's not Brad Pitt or George Clooney I will be happy. Haven't they been rewarded enough in life?
Moyer: No one deserves the Oscar more than Jean Dujardin, both because I love alliteration, and because we shouldn't reward George Clooney for getting to work in Hawaii.
Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Wilson: How dare you make me pick! Every woman in this category deserves an Oscar; they are all beyond the beyond. If pressed, I'd say I have a borderline obsession with Melissa and Octavia (I love that I'm brazenly referring to them by their first names) and would love to see one of them win.
Colonna: I want Bérénice Bejo to win so I can have a drinking game centered around how many times the presenters and announcers screw up the pronunciation of her name.
Vos: Since Adele recently cleaned house at the Grammys, Melissa McCarthy will win to further help the cause of chubby white women.
Weems: Being a professional stand up comedian myself, I respect funny. And Melissa McCarthy is FUNNY. Sorry, other nominess. You should have been funnier. There's always next year, so start preheating those jokes if you want my vote.
Moyer: Octavia Spencer needs to win this because her sister, Septuagenaria, was totally denied last year.
Siple: "Bridesmaids" is the only movie nominated that involves female poop jokes ("The Help" notwithstanding) and a horny Midwestern heavy-set woman ("Albert Nobbs" notwithstanding), so obviously McCarthy is the natural choice!
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Max von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Wilson: Jonah Hill was wonderful. He is so funny yet keeps it subtle — something I have yet to master!!
Colonna: Nick Nolte has to win because there isn't a category for Best Mugshot Ever Taken so however he can go home with an award, I'm on board with.
Weems: Nick Nolte's Smoking Gun DUI mugshot from 2002 still haunts me, and I'm afraid that he'll show up to my house if I don't vote for him. Fear motivates me.
Moyer: Christopher Plummer, because he was great as Captain Picard and Magneto.
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Michel Hazanavicis, "The Artist"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Wilson: Michel Hazanavicius! "The Artist" is such a perfect little gem and he cast his wife as the lead- extra points in my book.
Colonna: Scorsese wins. Why? One word: "Goodfellas." Technically that is two words, but that's how he decided to spell it and who wants to question Martin Scorsese? Not this girl.
Weems: Michel Hazanavicius. This guy's name would kill in Scrabble.
Moyer: Martin Scorsese. We need more undiscovered male talent in Hollywood to get the recognition they deserve.
"A Cat in Paris"
"Chico & Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss in Boots"
Wilson: OK, so I haven't seen any of these but just going by their names I'm most intrigued by "Chip & Rita." Who is Chip? Who is Rita? And who are they together?
Colonna: I can't vote for any of the animated films. They freak me out more than any of the "Saw" movies ever could and I don't want an angry animated animal pissed off at me.
Vos: I choose "Kung Fu Panda 2" for entertaining my 4-year-old daughter for hours on end so I don't have to.
Weems: "Puss in Boots." I know this speaks directly to my maturity level, but every time I hear this title, I laugh silently in my soul. Anything that makes my soul chuckle trumps everything else.
Moyer: "Kung Fu Panda 2," an important film that really opened my eyes to the plight of wild animals trained in various martial arts.