Rex Linn, actor (TV’s “CSI: Miami”)
If they don’t give the Academy Award to [Best Actress nominee] Viola Davis for “The Help,” they should not give that award out. She was phenomenal. If any young actor asks me what’s the best thing they could see other than an acting class, I would tell them to see “The Help.”
Gray Frederickson, Oscar-winning producer (“The Godfather”)
“The Help” captured beautifully that period in the U.S. For me, it was very special, as that is how I grew up in Oklahoma in the ’50s. “The Artist” was brilliant as a silent movie in black and white, while still remaining entertaining and moving — very difficult to pull off.
Lance McDaniel, deadCENTER Film Festival executive director
My sentimental favorite is Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor. I grew up watching “The Sound of Music” with my family. It has been so fun to see him get interesting roles in major movies like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” while also doing great work in independent films like “Beginners.”
right Still from “The Artist”
Carol Littleton, Oscar-nominated editor (“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”)
One of the best movies of the year is an Iranian film, [Best Foreign Language Film nominee] “A Separation.” It was amazing. You get an idea of the pressures of Iranian life, the pressures within the family and the notion of a bureaucracy completely insensitive to the needs of the two characters who are trying to get a civil separation.
Fritz Kiersch, director (“Children of the Corn”)
I think “Hugo” was outstanding. It reflects film history as well as film craftsmanship and artistry, and it was a comprehensively good film product. But “Moneyball” was a terrific human-interest story, which is what a film is all about. Both were wonderful.
Mickey Liddell, producer (“The Grey”) and co-distributor (“Albert Nobbs”)
I was obviously impressed with [Best Actress nominee] Glenn Close’s performance in “Albert Nobbs.” It’s been her passion project for 30 years, originally playing the title character on Broadway, and she did an equally amazing job in this version. I just couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
Hunt Lowry, producer (“A Time to Kill”)
I’ve got a soft spot for “The Help” because it was written and directed by Tate Taylor. We hired him in Jackson, Miss., as a production assistant for “A Time to Kill” 16 years ago. Another fun thing with “The Help” is [Best Supporting Actress nominee] Octavia Spencer — she was an extras coordinator in local casting on “A Time to Kill” and “The Last of the Mohicans.”
Mickey Reece, director (“Knights of Malice”)
In “Hugo,” Martin Scorsese is utilizing the newest 3-D technology and making it accessible to film enthusiasts who have otherwise shunned the format. On the other hand, “The Artist” is using the oldest technology in the book and churning out an audience-friendly popcorn flick. I’ll be happy with either one of these movies taking the top prize.
Matthew Mungle, Oscar-winning makeup artist (“Albert Nobbs”)
I believe Glenn Close should receive the Oscar for “Albert Nobbs.” Her dedication to the role was outstanding and, of course, the performance was stellar.
Ryan “Staples” Scott, director (“Wolf Head”)
Nothing was quite like “Hugo.” It gives us insight into where filmmaking was and where we should be. It’s also one of those films that makes me proud to say I make films instead of people sort of rolling their eyes. It gives weight to not only filmmaking, but the pursuits of the artist in general.
Darryl Cox, actor (“Bottle Rocket”)
These days, flash and dazzle typically seem to draw the eyes of voters in these contests. Me, I get more drawn to the sublime subtlety that is the true measure of quality film acting. And that’s what [Best Actor nominee] Gary Oldman accomplishes in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” It’s one of the most brilliantly intelligent, yet honest performances I’ve seen in years.
Mark Potts, director (“S&M Lawn Care”)
I wish the Academy had given more love to “Beginners.” Although Christopher Plummer is deservedly the shoo-in to win Best Supporting Actor, the film deserves more recognition. Also, the dog in “Beginners” is better than the dog in “The Artist.”