Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire admitted that when it comes to predicting Sunday night's winners at the Academy Awards, only one category really stymies him:
Will Best Actor go to George Clooney or Jean Dujardin?
Miss the event?Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire discusses his Oscar predictions with hosts Judy Hsu and Hosea Sanders on ABC7's "News This Morning" at 6:20 a.m. Friday.
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"I've been pulling out what hair I have left trying to figure out who is going to win Best Actor," Gire said.
Gire gave a sneak peek of his Oscar predictions -- to be published in Friday's Time out! -- to Daily Herald Subscriber Total Access members Wednesday at John Barleycorn in Schaumburg. More than 100 people attended the exclusive event, which was free to STA members.
Gire presented clips from the Oscar-nominated films and unveiled his predictions for the major categories.
He said the academy doesn't necessarily pick the year's finest film when naming Best Picture.
"Academy voters are interested in one thing: Winners that make them look good," he told the crowd.
Gire predicted that Academy voters will give "The Artist" the top prize, even though "Hugo" and "The Descendants" are better films. He said "The Artist" -- a true feel-good movie -- resonated with a public tired of recession and war.
"It is such a sweet and loving and wonderful movie," he said.
Gire's prediction on who will win Best Actor?
He said Dujardin is a good bet for "The Artist," but in the end he went with Clooney as the redeemed dad in "The Descendants."
"I'm going to stick with Clooney," Gire said. "It's a great performance."
STA members Jeff and Becky Maichel of Palatine agreed with Gire's choice of Clooney.
"He's not bad to look at," Becky said, "but he's also a really great actor."
STA member Bill Stone of Wheaton said he learned a lot about the nominated films from Gire's presentation.
"His reasoning is very well-constructed," Stone said. "I agree with most of his predictions."