Final Oscar Nomination Predictions 2012

It all comes down to this. In fewer than 48 hours the 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced. Over the past several months we have been analyzing, predicting, and commenting on this year’s Oscar race and finally we will learn if we knew at all what we were talking about. Below I have broken down every category at this year’s Oscar race and offered my thoughts on why the nominees I have chosen in the major categories will show up. Feel free to share your predictions in the comments!

Best Picture

1) The Artist
2) The Descendants
3) Midnight in Paris
4) Hugo
5) The Help
6) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
7) Moneyball
8) War Horse

Alternates:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Bridesmaids

This is the only category where we have no idea how many nominations we will see, which is why I ranked the predictions. The top 4 films on this list are the ones I would consider locks because they are also likely to score in the Best Director category. The Help has a lot of fans, so it is likely to be put down as number one on many ballots. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has enjoyed a recent surge that peaked right when the Oscar ballots were sent out, so I have a feeling it will make it in. The two weakest on the list are Moneyball and War Horse. Moneyball has a lot of fans, but it might not have enough people choosing it as their number one film of the year. War Horse has been altogether neglected by many critics groups and guilds. On last week’s podcast, I predicted that Spielberg’s film missing in Best Picture could be the biggest surprise of this year’s nominations. However, ultimately I had to go with my gut and the Academy’s longtime appreciation of Spielberg.

There could be numerous films that make it into the top ten in lieu of the predicted eight (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Bridesmaids, The Ides of March, Drive, The Tree of Life), but I think it is more likely that the eight films I predicted will be whittled down to seven or six.

View the Updated Oscar Charts for Best Picture

Best Director

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
David Fincher – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorcese – Hugo

Alternate:
Steven Spielberg – War Horse

The way I see it there are four spots that are strong contenders and a fifth spot that is pretty wide open in this category. Hazanavicius, Scorcese, Payne, and Allen will ride the success of their films to gain nominations. The fifth spot could be filled by David Fincher of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tate Taylor of The Help, Steven Spielberg of War Horse or George Clooney of The Ides of March. Ultimately I decided to predict a rare 5 to 5 match between the Oscar nominations and the DGA awards. Many believe that David Fincher was denied a win last year and many will support him again. Also, as mentioned above, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was enjoying a popularity swell around the time Academy members were filling out their ballots.

View the Updated Oscar Charts for Best Director

Best Actor

George Clooney – The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Michael Fassbender – Shame
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Alternate:
Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

One of the reasons this year’s Oscar race is so excited because not only is it unclear which films and performances are the top five in their respective categories, but there are also numerous potential alternates. The Best Actor category is one where that certainly is the case. It seems like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Jean Dujardin are the only strong contenders and everyone else is a toss-up. We could see the two Michaels – Fassbender and Shannon – or the SAG nominees – Leonardo DiCaprio and Demian Bichir – or a couple of first timers in the category – Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I am going with DiCaprio and Fassbender, but pick some names from a hat.

View the Updates Oscar Charts for Best Actor

Best Actress

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Alternate:
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This is another category where I am going to go 5 for 5 with the guild nominations, largely because anything else would be quite a surprise. Rooney Mara could ride The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo surge to a nomination, but I doubt she can overcome the highly touted Glenn Close, the potential frontrunner Viola Davis, the real-people players Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams, or the frequently nominated actress Tilda Swinton. Close has the disadvantage of being in a bad movie and Swinton’s film has not received the attention that might be necessary, so both of them are shaky, but I think they’re in.

View the Updated Oscar Charts for Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
Albert Brooks – Drive
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Alternate:
Armie Hammer – J. Edgar

This is one of the few categories where the nominees could come from anywhere, but the winner is all but decided. Christopher Plummer has been dominating the precursor awards and has enormous respect within the Academy. He will probably win with the four others above lined up neatly behind him. The weak link might be Jonah Hill of Moneyball whose performance is good, but not necessarily Oscar worthy. We could see J. Edgar‘s Armie Hammer or The Tree of Life‘s Brad Pitt sneaking in to replace him.

View the Updated Oscar Charts for Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help

Alternate:
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

I find it hard to believe I am not predicting Shailene Woodley for a Best Supporting Actress nomination considering how well The Descendants was received. However, I also have a hard time envisioning SAG nominees Janet McTeer and Melissa McCarthy not getting nominated. I would be shocked if a different actress other than those top six were to get a nomination, but the final five are still somewhat of a mystery. The main hope I have is that Jessica Chastain gets a nomination to reward her for the great work she has done all year.

View the Updated Oscar Charts for Best Supporting Actress

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
Hugo
Moneyball

Alternate:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Original Screenplay

50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
Win Win

Alternate:
The Tree of Life

Best Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tintin
Cars 2
Chico & Rita
Puss in Boots
Rango

Alternate:
Arthur Christmas

Best Documentary Feature

Bill Cunningham New York
Buck
Pina
Project Nim
Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Alternate:
We Were Here

Best Foreign Film

Footnote – ISRAEL
In Darkness – POLAND
Monsieur Lazhar – CANADA
Omar Killed Me – MOROCCO
A Separation – IRAN

Alternate:
Pina – GERMANY

Best Art Direction

The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Jane Eyre

Alternate:
The Help

Best Cinematography

The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Alternate:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Costume Design

The Artist
The Help
Hugo
Jane Eyre
Anonymous

Alternate:
My Week with Marilyn

Best Film Editing

The Artist
The Descendants
Hugo
Moneyball
War Horse

Alternate:
The Tree of Life

Best Makeup

The Artist
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
The Iron Lady

Alternate:
Albert Nobbs

Best Music – Original Score

The Adventures of Tintin
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
War Horse

Alternate:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Music – Original Song

“Lay Your Head Down” – Albert Nobbs
“Life’s a Happy Song” – The Muppets
“The Living Proog” – The Help
“Man or a Muppet” – The Muppets
“Star Spangled Man” – Captain America

Alternate:
“Pictures in My Head” – The Muppets

Best Sound Editing

Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Alternate:
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Sound Mixing

Hugo
Moneyball
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Alternate:
Hanna

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life

Alternate:
Captain America: The First Avenger

There you have it! Look for a side by side predictions and results post coming the night before nominations are announced. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comments!

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  • These are superb picks, almost exactly like what i think. I posted my predictions on my Blog. Good Job !!

  • Our predictions are very similar in some categories.

    Best Picture: 1. The Artist, 2. The Descendants, 3. Hugo, 4. Midnight in Paris, 5. The Help, 6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 7. Moneyball, 8. Drive, 9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 10. War Horse

    Best Director: Woody Allen, David Fincher, Michael Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne, Martin Scorsese

    Best Actor: George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jean Dujardin, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

    Best Actress: Viola Davis, Rooney Mara, Meryl Streep, Tilda Swinton, Michelle Williams

    Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, Albert Brooks, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer

    Best Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Shailene Woodley

    Best Original Screenplay: The Artist, Bridesmaids, 50/50, Midnight in Paris, Young Adult

    Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Beyond that I have no idea.

  • mads

    I think these are the safe choices that anyone who has been following this season closely would agree on. Ultimately, though, I fir my believe that there will be a couple of left field choices in several of the categories, not least best picture, which obviously is difficult to predict this year. But I sense that there is definitely room for a surprise or two in the best supporting actor category (Kingsley, Mortensen, Hammer, Oswalt, Von Sydow etc.) and I could easily picture either Shannon or Oldman (or BOTH of them, really!) get in for best actor. Original screenplay is difficult territory, there are a lot of indie films vying for the fourth and fifth spot. It is almost impossible to know which way the Academy will go here…

  • Jose

    I do not want to live in a world where Jonah Hill is an Academy Award nominee.

    • You’re about to live in a world where Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen are both Oscar nominees.

      • Jose

        Kill me now.

      • Jose

        Why would Rogen be a nominee?

      • Best Original Screenplay – ’50/50′

      • Jose

        He’s not listed as one of the writers, just Will Riesner. He a producer.

  • As much as i can’t stop babbling about the performances of The Help, i didn’t thought the movie was that great and same goes for War Horse which was a more technically well made. I would love to see Drive and The Tree Of Life instead of both of them.

    Last year, i knew the exact 10 movies which were going to be nominated and was happy at all of them, not a single doubt or a single movie that was left out but this year, as much as people say was a good year, i don’t see it. I wish Academy acts as mature adults and nominate the exact worthy people. I have high hopes!!!

  • Raphael

    Wow, compared to last year, this year is such a toss up. I mean it was so easy to predict last year with Colin Firth and Natalie Portman. But this year, each actor could take it home. My prediction is Clooney (though I want Dujardin to win) and a well-deserved Plummer and Octavia (though I prefer Chastain). But the msot interesting of the acting categories is best actress. I wonder if they would honor Meryl again after two decades, Viola who rightfully should win and so they can revoke Halle’s, or Williams who is fantastic.

  • Matt Awards

    Hopefully there will be some surprises to liven up a pretty predictable year. I still wish Melancholia would show up somewhere.

    mattawards.com

  • Jose

    I still can’t beleive that cars 2 is more likely to get nominated than Winnie the Pooh.

    And what’s a “Proog”?

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