The 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions: The End of Summer Edition

In just a couple of mercifully short days, the festival circuit will start, Oscar-bait movie season will be here and I’ll never have to struggle to find something in the movie theatre until February! In order to get my final two cents in before the storm, I’m making another big ballsy set of Oscar Predictions now. I recently read something by (I think) Jeff Wells on how all of the Oscar pundits, like myself, all start predicting things to win. Then the voters will think, “Well if they’re saying it might win, we should at least be talking about it!” So they talk, the pundits hear more buzz, the talk increases and soon everyone is only talking about the same films.

I’m here to buck the system a little. I tried to stay as faithful as possible to the unseen predictions I had made in March. Of course I didn’t stay 100% faithful, but my decisions are nevertheless different and I am truly confident with a lot of my choices. I’ll give a little bit of analysis after the list, but first I want to explain how I’m going to predict Best Picture under the new system.

With the new rules, a movie needs 5% of the vote to be a #1. That means it has to be over 600 people’s favorite film. That is no easy task. So long as 5 movies get over that 5%, how ever many make it, make it. Those who don’t, well, there’s a surplus rule, and you need the #2 votes of the more popular #1 votes, but also the #2 votes of those that got nearly 0 number #1 votes, and the whole thing is a statistical nightmare. In the end, there will be anywhere from 5 to 10 nominees, with the number to only be revealed after you count up all of the names they read out in February. It’s making the pundits nuts, so what I’m going to do is list my Top 5 unranked. Then numbers 6 through 10 will be in order of likeliness to be nominated with a small break where I think the cutoff will fall. Kapiche?

Best Picture:

  • The Artist
  • A Dangerous Method
  • The Help
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
  • 6. Albert Nobbs
  • 7. Young Adult
  • 8. The Rum Diary
  • 9. Midnight in Paris
  • 10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Best Director:
  • David Cronenberg – A Dangerous Method
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
  • Jason Reitman – Young Adult
  • Steven Spielberg – War Horse
Best Actor:
  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Johnny Depp – The Rum Diary
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50
Best Actress:
  • Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis – The Help
  • Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
  • Charlize Theron – Young Adult
Supporting Actor:
  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method
  • Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners
  • Alan Rickman – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Supporting Actress:
  • Elle Fanning – Super 8
  • Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method
  • Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
  • Andrea Riseborough – W.E.
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
Adapted Screenplay:
  • Albert Nobbs
  • A Dangerous Method
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • War Horse
Original Screenplay:
  • Like Crazy
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Midnight in Paris
  • The Tree of Life
  • Young Adult
Art Direction:
  • The Artist
  • A Dangerous Method
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • War Horse
  • W.E.
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Rum Diary
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
Costume Design:
  • Albert Nobbs
  • A Dangerous Method
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • W.E.
  • Wuthering Heights
Film Editing:
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Rum Diary
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
  • Albert Nobbs
  • J. Edgar
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Original Score:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – John Williams
  • The Artist – Ludovic Bource
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Nico Muhly
  • The Ides of March – Alexandre Desplat
  • War Horse – John Williams
Original Song:
  • “Star Spangled Man” by Alan Menken – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • “Collision of Worlds” by Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams – Cars 2
  • “The Living Proof” by Mary J. Blige – The Help
  • Untitled Chris Cornell Song – Machine Gun Preacher
  • “Think You Can Wait” – Win Win
Sound Editing:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Source Code
  • Super 8
  • War Horse
Sound Mixing:
  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
Visual Effects:
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
Animated Feature:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Happy Feet 2
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Rango
  • Rio
Assorted Notes:
  • A Brief list of movies that weren’t  at all or were barely on my radar 6 months ago: A Dangerous Method, War Horse, The Artist, W.E., The Help. Good.
  • Animated movies this year are just not up to snuff. Pity.
  • I gave Young Adult the exact same nomination spread Juno got. It seems logical and I love Jason Reitman.
  • The Original Song category is just made up of original songs I know exist. I firmly believe “The Living Proof” will make it, and “Collision of Worlds” has a chance, but the others are mostly fillers. I know I’m the first to predict anything for Original Song so you heard it here first!
  • I think J. Edgar is going to be terrible. Like Invictus terrible. There is a high possibility it will be too long, bloated, and just scenes from this man’s life. Leo will still get the nomination (like they did for Invictus) but it’s just going to be a non-starter otherwise.
  • My love for The Tree of Life is undying, so I somehow managed to go down from 12 nominations to 8. Since the individual branches vote on nominations, I think they will be smart enough to reward all of the wonderful work.
  • Michael Fassbender or Viggo Mortensen?
  • I’m the only one with The Rum Diary really on the radar, but it was all abuzz about a year ago. I’m still interested.
  • I once heard train movies did really well in Sound Editing because they have to supply the constant sound of the train chugging. This proved true when Unstoppable got a nomination. Ergo Source Code.
  • Boy was I wrong about One Day. 6 nomination guesses down the drain.
  • I’m most proud of my set of 2 nominations for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Cinematography and Film Editing – a very Fincher film strong set) and the 3 nominations for Madonna’s W.E. (Supp. Actress, Art Direction, Costume Design). They just seem ultra appropriate.
  • My Best Picture slate seems really devoid of thriller action stuff. It’s very 2008.
  • The strongest category is Supporting Actor, the weakest is Supporting Actress.
There is a short list of movies that either only have 1 nomination or are altogether absent from my predictions. I want the world to know that I do know they exist and I am shunning them for a variety of reasons.
  • Carnage – Roman Polanski is officially a pariah and moreover he seems wrong for the film. Christoph Waltz has problems with the English language (see Water for Elephants). No amount of Kate Winslet will make this not seem like a stage play.
  • Drive – I forgot about it while making my list. I could also say it will be too extreme/hip/wonderful for the Oscars. They might find it a little too much of an exercise in fun serious movies.
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I gave it a score nomination possibly only because it suggests something about the score in the title. I have a feeling it will play very similarly to The Town or Secretariat. Very-well liked, Oscar buzzed a little, and then it may or may not go a couple places. And Stephen Daldry films are usually very musical.
  • The Ides of March – I feel like it’s going to be The Ghost Writer but with more attractive people. I wanted to give Alexandre Desplat something and since he did so well with the similarly themed The Ghost Writer, I thought this would be a lovely nomination for score. Political thrillers don’t usually do well. Sorry.
  • Moneyball – I had this in a lot of categories once upon a time. And then other things just became more interesting and shinier.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – This is the one I’m most likely to be completely wrong about. I’m again hoping it plays too minor, but something tells me my nomination slate is going to be spoiled by this.
  • We Bought a Zoo – I don’t trust Cameron Crowe. I did once, but no longer.

11 Responses to “The 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions: The End of Summer Edition”

  1. Alan Rickman better get nominated…and its not just for his latest stunning performance in the last Potter film…he was absolutely brilliant in every one he’s appeared in. So…to sum it all up…Alan must get at least nominated…he must.

  2. Have to say…I think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is going to be getting a good few winners, let alone nominations. Oldman looks fantastic from what I have seen, and read. Also, the cinematography in the trailers looks absolutely world-class.
    I agree, you are probaly going to be very wrong.

  3. I could be wrong on TTSS, but it seems like I was right for discrediting The Ides of March after these luke warm reviews out of Venice. 1 down. 5 overlooked movies to go.

    • Yours seems to be the only website that does not seem to regard ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ for anything. If you say, you will think about it after you see the film, fair enough.

      But then, all other Oscar 2012 prediction websites (updated August 2011), have put down TTSS for Best Picture (a strong certainty), Gary Oldman for Best Leading Actor (looks like he has it locked down, and could be well set for his first Oscar nomination), Best Adapted Screenplay (quite strong chances), and a possible nomination for Tomas Alfredson for Best Director (he’s an outsider at this point in time), and other categories as well (which seem favorable). But these four categories (Best Picture, Lead Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Director) are creating a buzz.

      • Of course I’ll think about it after I see the film! We all can’t be lucky enough to go to Venice or Telluride to see these in advance. These are just fun predictions. As I mentioned, if everyone predicted the same thing, where would be the fun in that? I was possibly already correct in avoiding Carnage and The Ides of March and there are those, like Guy Lodge, who are saying Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy might be a little too British or too restrained to gain American awards traction as well. It doesn’t seem to be the emotional blow The King’s Speech was. It might be as cold as The Social Network without the cool, which can make for a great film, but no oscar love. Only time will tell.

  4. It looks like I’m also kind of right about Carnage. We obviously have to wait and see and these guesses are all for fun, but that’s 2 that I’ve sniffed out.

  5. Alan Rickman must win. His performance as Snape was heartbreakingly beautiful. He has to win. He just has to.

  6. I just hope Alan Rickman will be nominated for an Oscar for Harry Potter.

    I mean, his performance was AMAZING and very emotional.

    I really cried my eyes out when I saw him in this movie and I don’t usually cry that much for any movie.

  7. The Ides of March – Alexandre Desplat


    I mean, sure it was good, but his Potter score surpasses anything he’s done this year. It’s not fair just to give it to The Ides of March because it seems more oscar-baity.

  8. I can see Nick Nolte getting a best supporting actor nomination for Warrior. Surprised you haven’t picked up on it.


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