My Final 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since all of Los Angeles woke up at 5:30 AM to hear Mo’Nique read a list of 10 movies everyone knew were going to be nominated. But this year, it’s different. It seems there are so many more questions than just “which best picture nominee won’t get a screenplay nomination?!?!” Supporting Actor and Actress have so much fluidity, the Original Screenplay race has 3 spots wide open, and we don’t even know how many best picture nominees there will be this year! Count me as excited!

So without further ado, here are my final predictions for this year’s Oscar nominees.

Best Picture

  1. The Artist
  2. The Descendants
  3. Hugo
  4. The Help
  5. Midnight in Paris
  6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  7. The Tree of Life
  8. Moneyball
  9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  10. Bridesmaids

This would be my 10 list, but I am going to predict the top 7. Moneyball feels like it’s been getting just a little too little buzz in these last couple of weeks to truly go the distance. Conversely, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo struck at exactly the right moment, and I think some Fincher love will carry this one through. I’ve also been predicting The Tree of Life from the beginning and I’m going to continue to do so. It will get number 1 votes. It has to, right?

Director:

  • Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
  • Alexander Payne – The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Sorry Tate and David. I just don’t think it’s your time.

Actor:

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

While this has been the 5 all along, many are predicting a change. I think the shocker will be that it stays the same. No love for Oldman, and just enough love for a DiCaprio performance I actually can not convince myself to see. The academy loves themselves an Eastwood biopic nomination so this should be no problem. And if that nomination fails, it will be the first time since 2002 and Blood Work that a one of his movies did not score a nomination in a year when he made a film. A weird statistic, yes. But a true one.

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

Another boring slate, but I’m having a large problem putting Swinton on my list. It just almost doesn’t seem real that this incredibly weird and alienating movie will be the one weird and alienating movie she makes that actually gets her the already overdue next nomination.

Supporting Actor:

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

I feel extremely uncomfortable predicting Nick Nolte since Warrior was such a non-starter, but I wrote about it and him and I guess it just seems like the safest choice. But it’s not even that safe! There’s about a 10% chance he gets a nomination. There just so happen to be 22 other choices for the nomination. Exhausting.

Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain – The Help
  • Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
  • Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

So for those of you counting at home, I’m leaving off Melissa McCarthy, Vanessa Redgrave, and Carey Mulligan. Shame is just the Fassbender show, Redgrave only has weird non-buzz, and I don’t believe in the strength of Bridesmaids. My own feelings aside, it seems too broad to really break in anywhere interesting and McCarthy seems a little too 2011 right now.

Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I really wanted to keep Dragon Tattoo on here, but I just don’t think it has quite as strong of a literary narrative as these other choices. The Help could be weak because the screenplay is weak and Tinker Tailor could be out because it is unseen. But I think Zaillian will have to deal with one nomination in this category.

Original Screenplay:

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • 50/50
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Young Adult

It seems too lighthearted to be true. Look for some dark, sad spoiler to oust Young Adult or 50/50. I’m thinking A Separation or Take Shelter. P.S. This is easily my favorite category this year for potential nominees. It runs so deep in terms of quality, not in terms of plausibility.

Art Direction:

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

This is my most wishful of my forced nomination guesses for The Tree of Life. But I firmly believe that the art direction in that movie isn’t just amazing, but it also has the cool story of them buying an actual block and decorating the whole thing to be the set. That’s a cool narrative. Narratives get you nominations.

Cinematography:

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

I can’t even come up with a plausible 6th option. Moneyball?

Costume Design:

  • The Artist
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • W.E.

I had War Horse up there until the last second, but it all felt a little too Euro-centric. I added The Help for that flair of Americana.

Film Editing:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo

This entire plausible slate would send the world into an uproar. But I think Drive is strong enough to score outside of Brooks and The Descendants is powerful enough to clinch this necessary nomination.

Makeup:

  • Anonymous
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Iron Lady

This is the only category where I think sentimentality alone will sweep up Harry Potter to a nomination. Makeup is so unpredictable that why not? Harry Potter!

Original Score:

  • Ludovic Bource – The Artist
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Howard Shore – Hugo
  • Dario Marianelli – Jane Eyre
  • John Williams – War Horse

To all those predicting double Williams – you’re wrong! The Artist is a behemoth, Dragon Tattoo and the NIN boys are way too cool to pass up, Howard Shore and Hugo are breathtakingly obvious, and you never bet against Dario Marianelli doing a stringy classical score for a romantic British novel adaptation. Just don’t do it. So I had to choose a Williams.

Original Song:

  • Lay Your Head Down – Albert Nobbs
  • Star Spangled Man – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Living Proof – The Help
  • Life’s A Happy Song – The Muppets
  • Man or Muppet – The Muppets

I can’t believe a super hero movie is going to get a nomination in this category. It seems so wacky.

Sound Editing:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

Sound Mixing

  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

People seem to question The Artist and Hugo here when they happen to be the two that I am the most sure of. Sound Mixing is a little notorious for sneaking in Best Picture nominees. It also helps that these two films have sound mixes that are an active part of the story. And I’ve mentioned before that there exists no Pirates of the Caribbean movie nor a Rob Marshall movie without an Oscar nomination. I don’t bet against statistics so I made room for On Stranger Tides in this category. As I write this now I’m considering going back and predicting an Art Direction nomination too… hmm….

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

Hasn’t this been decided for months now?

Animated Feature:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Cars 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango
  • Rio

I just don’t believe that more than 2 sequels can get in. And Puss feels less like a cash grab than Kung Fu Panda 2, but let’s face it… It is such a weak year for this category. And I just can’t bring myself to nominate a movie with Christmas in the title. I was including it for it’s production diversity, but I guess Tintin gets to be European enough and Rio gets to be Latino.

Documentary Feature:

  • Bill Cunningham New York
  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Pina
  • Project Nim

Bio Doc, War Doc, Eco Doc… Check, Check, Check. I worry that I checked some of those boxes twice, but there are usually two of some kind.

Foreign Film:

  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • Omar Killed Me
  • Pina
  • A Separation

A film with “monsieur” in the title makes up for snubbing a French movie in Oscar math. Don’t ask questions.

Here is the overall nomination count for anything with more than 1 predicted nomination.

11 – The Artist

10 – Hugo

7 – The Help

6 – The Descendants

5 – The Tree of Life

4 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

3 – Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2 – The Adventures of Tintin, Drive, The Iron Lady, The Muppets, Pina, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, War Horse

I wish I could’ve found more room for War Horse. 2 seems awfully small. It is in 6th or 7th place in my predictions in Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Director, Best Picture. I could see it surprising and doing really well. But I’m predicting the other end of the spectrum… disaster.

I can’t wait to see how I did. Go Tree of Life!

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