FINAL Oscar Predictions

So this is it. In less than 48 hours, the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced. It’s been a pretty good race, in my opinion. It seems more unpredictable than the past couple of years, which is fun. Movies and performances that should been major contenders have kind of fallen by the wayside, while unexpected dark horses have emerged. I’m still conflicted about a couple of the acting categories, and I feel like there are definitely going to be some surprises on Tuesday morning. Here are my final FULL predictions for the nominees (the individual category pages, which include rankings, have also been updated).

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball

War Horse

I’m predicting that the Academy will nominate these seven films, though I could definitely see War Horse potentially missing the cut. The other six are pretty much sure bets. If the Academy wants to nominate more than seven (or snubs War Horse), then The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo would be my next guess, since it does seem to be picking up steam. The Tree of Life is another viable contender, but ultimately, I don’t think either film will make it in.

Best Director

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Steven Spielberg, War Horse

In some ways, this has been one of the least predictable categories. Hazanavicius, Scorsese, and Payne are obvious choices, but what about the other two slots? Spielberg should be a shoe-in for the visually grand War Horse, but what if the Academy snubs it for Best Picture. And what about that fifth slot? Bennett Miller for Moneyball seems like a solid choice, but his support really hasn’t been strong this awards season (he hasn’t gotten any major directing nominations this year). Similarly, Terrence Malick would be a very deserving nominee, but The Tree of Life seems too “out there” for the Academy (and if it doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination, could he still get in?). That’s why I’m going with Woody Allen. His film was an unexpected hit, he got the DGA and Golden Globe noms, and everyone loves Woody, right?

Best Actor

George Clooney, The Descendants

Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Jean DuJardin, The Artist

Michael Fassbender, Shame

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

This is one of those categories that seem like they’re all sewn up. But while I am predicting Fassbender, I also wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him miss out on a nomination thanks to his controversial, small film. (Despite what some people are saying about Leo, I think he’s locked.) I just can’t come up with a compelling enough alternative to switch Fassbender out for. Gary Oldman would be the most likely replacement, I suppose, but aside from the BAFTA nomination, he really doesn’t have much momentum. Gosling, Birchir, and Shannon are all vaguely possible. I say Fassbender’s in, but there could definitely be an upset here.

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

These category appears to be a little bit more cut and dry. Sure, Close or even Swinton could miss out in favour of Charlize Theron or Rooney Mara, but I don’t really see that happening.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

Albert Brooks, Drive

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

We’ve got our winner already in this category, it’s just a matter of figuring out who the other nominees will be. Branagh is in, and Brooks and Hill look like pretty safe bets (but Brooks did miss out on that SAG nomination…). Nick Nolte is the most obvious fifth pick, but while lots of people like the performance, it doesn’t seem like he’s exactly taking this Oscar season by storm. I still think Max von Sydow could sneak in as a surprise, but he’s been almost completely absent this awards season (just like his film). Even Stanley Tucci had some precursor support when he got nominated for a similarly disliked prestige picture. Hammer, Oswalt, Mortensen, and Serkis have at least received a bit of precursor support, but I can’t really see any of those happening. What about Ben Kingsley? At least his film has some traction. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset here, but for now, I’ll go with the “obvious” picks.

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

I’ve probably agonized over this category the most. Spencer is the only sure bet. Bejo and Chastain are quite likely. But I could see any combination of McTeer, Woodley, and Melissa McCarthy getting in for the last two spots. No matter who misses out, it will be surprising (to me, at least). I know a lot of people think Woodley will miss out because she didn’t get a SAG nomination (or a BAFTA nom), and that is very possible. The same kind of thing happened to Andrew Garfield last year. But I’m sticking with her (barely). Maybe it’s more wishful thinking on my part, but it just seems like the right film and the right role to get a young actress nominated.

Best Original Screenplay

50/50

The Artist

Bridesmaids

Midnight in Paris

Young Adult

I’m not sure if so many comedies can get in, but the WGA went solid comedies in this category, too. And these were some of the best original screenplays of the year, so why not recognize them accordingly? Margin Call is definitely a possible spoiler, though.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants

The Help

Hugo

Moneyball

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The last couple of spots are murky, and The Ides of March or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo could easily get in over Hugo or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Cinematography

The Artist

Hugo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The Tree of Life

War Horse


Art Direction

The Artist

Captain America: The First Avenger

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Hugo

War Horse


Visual Effects

Captain America: The First Avenger

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Hugo

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Costumes

Albert Nobbs

The Help

Hugo

Jane Eyre

My Week With Marilyn

Make-Up

The Green Lantern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

J. Edgar

Film Editing

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

War Horse

Sound Editing

Captain America: The First Aveger

Drive

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Sound Mixing

The Adventures of Tin-Tin

Hugo

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Original Score

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

War Horse

Original Song

“Lay Down Your Head”, Albert Nobbs

“Star-Spangled Man”, Captain America

“Hello Hello”, Gnomeo & Juliet

“The Living Proof”, The Help

“Life’s a Happy Song”, The Muppets

Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tin-Tin

Happy Feet 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Winnie the Pooh

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