Oscar Predictions 2012: Best Picture

Last Updated: January 22, 2012 (FINAL PREDICTIONS)

Red = virtually guaranteed a nomination

Orange = good chance of nomination

Yellow = a strong contender

Green = in the mix

Blue = don’t count them out yet

Oscar Predictions Home | Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting Actress | Screenplays | Cinematography | Art Direction | Costumes | Makeup

1. The Artist

Director: Michael Hazanavicius

Cast: Jean DuJardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell

Pros: This film had everyone talking at Cannes, and buzz has only grown since. It’s said to be quite a crowd-pleaser. DuJardin and Bejo are shoe-ins for an acting nom.

Cons: None. It’s in, and it’ll probably win.

2. The Descendants

Director: Alexander Payne

Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard

Pros: Payne has already had Oscar success with Sideways, and this time he has the high-profile Clooney helping the film earn attention. The Descendants is the right mix of heavy (giving it legitimacy) and uplifting (giving it the crowd-pleasing factor). Clooney and Woodley are also looking to be strong bets for acting nominations.

Cons: The film hasn’t been a huge hit so far, staying somewhat under-the-radar. Could be too modest for the Oscars?

3. Hugo

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sascha Baron Cohen, Jude Law

Pros: Critics gushed upon its release, and audiences seem to be enamoured with it, too.

Cons: Children’s movies don’t tend to get Best Picture noms (but then again, most kids films aren’t directed by Scoresese).

4. The Help

Director: Tate Taylor

Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Allison Janney

Pros: Huge summer hit based on one of the biggest novels of the past few years. Feel-good story with a great cast, and it’s only gaining momentum.

Cons: Too glossy? That hasn’t stopped voters before, but there are a lot of other blockbuster-y type films in contention this year. Also, the early release date could hurt it.

5. Moneyball

Director: Bennett Miller

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Pros: Moneyball earned raves from critics, and it was a hit with audiences. Pitt has gained huge traction in the Best Actor race.

Cons: Miller hasn’t been the presence in the Best Director race that he should be for this kind of movie.

6. Midnight in Paris

Director: Woody Allen

Cast: Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Stoll, Kathy Bates

Pros: It was a summer hit, and people always get excited when Woody Allen makes a good film. Buzz has yet to die down for this quirky, highly enjoyable film.

Cons: Is it too light of a film? Comedies have a tougher time at the Oscars, and it this one wasn’t even released during “Oscar season”.

7. War Horse

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Toby Kebbell, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddelston

Pros: It’s a Spielberg film that has done fairly well at the box office so far, and it seems tailor-made for Oscar voters.

Cons: Reviews were a bit muted, and Spielberg was snubbed by the Director’s Guild in favour of David Fincher, and also by the Globes for George Clooney.

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgaard

Pros: This film has garnered a lot of support from critics. And while it didn’t have an especially strong start at the box office, it has steadily brought in solid returns, and it’ll definitely pass the $100 million mark. Support for Fincher is strong after The Social Network, and he got a DGA nom for this film.

Cons: It hasn’t become the phenomenon that The Social Network was, and while it does have a devoted fanbase, it hasn’t reached as wide of an audience. It’s presence this awards season has been very spotty.

9. The Tree of Life

Director: Terrence Malick

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler

Pros: Film geeks and critics have been hyping this film up for years (literally). And while The Tree of Life proved to be divisive, it had many viewers declaring it a masterpiece. It’s been a quiet but steady presence in awards season, so far. Some think that Mallick could receive a Best Director nom.

Cons: It could definitely be too out-there and divisive for a lot of voters. It’s a film without any linear narrative, and highly experimental films rarely make a dent in the Best Picture category.

10. Bridesmaids

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm

Pros: McCarthy has an unexpected amount of buzz, and the film got a Writer’s Guild nomination and, most importantly, a Producer’s Guild nom.

Cons: It’s still a flat-out comedy film, which rarely hits with the Academy.


Other Possibilities

10. The Ides of March

11. Drive

12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


Previous Predictions

December: 1. The Descendants, 2. The Artist, 3. War Horse, 4. Moneyball, 5. The Help, 6. Hugo, 7. Midnight in Paris, 8. The Tree of Life, 9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

November: 1. The Descendants, 2. The Artist, 3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 4. War Horse, 5. Moneyball, 6. Midnight in Paris, 7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 8. J. Edgar, 9. The Help, 10. The Ides of March

September: 1. The Descendants, 2. The Artist, 3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 4. J. Edgar, 5. War Horse, 6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 7. The Ides of March, 8. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 9. Moneyball, 10. Martha Marcy May Marlene

August: The Artist, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Ides of March, Like Crazy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse

July: Carnage, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Ides of March, J. Edgar, Like Crazy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse

June: A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Drive, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Ides of March, J. Edgar, Martha Marcy May Marlene, War Horse, Young Adult

May: Coriolanus, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Ides of March, J. Edgar, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

March: A Dangerous Method, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Hugo, The Ides of March, Like Crazy, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse, Young Adult


6 responses to “Oscar Predictions 2012: Best Picture

  1. Excellent as always. Are Iron Lady/Marilyn lower down simply because no one has seen them? Everything else seems pretty par for the course, though I’m wondering whether there are other unlikely TIFF films like The Lady or Take This Waltz that be outside chances (assuming they do indeed have a fall release). Those seem the only marginally plausible alternatives, at least skimming TIFF releases.

  2. Oh, but I hope we still get a post TIFF specific reflection ala Venice!

  3. I could definitely be underestimating them, but The Iron Lady and My Week With Marilyn seem more like acting showcases to me. It’s hard to say when we haven’t seen even a trailer from either (aside from The Iron Lady teaser), and that also probably factored into my ranking.

    It seems like there’s definitely room for a smaller film to get in, since the new format leaves things wide open. I just have no idea what that would be! 🙂

    I actually have a half-written TIFF post saved on my computer. Maybe I’ll finish it and post it?

  4. The Artist(albeit my most anticipated film of the year), War Horse and Ideas of March doesn’t have a chance. Also doubt The Descendants, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close will get BP noms but it is plausible. On the other hand I think The Help (not seen it, but it screams oscar nominee) and The Tree of Life are certain nominees. Carnage is also a pretty safe bet. Drive might also be a wild card. Also, have you considered Warrior? The academy is known to adore dramas about boxers and it has been getting a lot of acclaim.

  5. Any prediction updates in light of Golden Globe awards having been declared?

    • I am planning to do one more round of updates before the Oscar nominations are announced (I guess I better get on that, since it’s only a couple of days away!) The Globe winners probably won’t factor into that too much, but The BAFTA nominations might have a bit of impact (right now I’m very conflicted about Shailene Woodley’s chances).

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