Movie Maniac

January 22, 2012

Who will receive Academy Award nominations?

The Academy Award nominations come out Tuesday, and I wouldn’t be a true movie geek if I didn’t make predictions on who could make Oscar’s short list. So here we go (keep in mind these are films and performers I think will be nominated, not necessarily should):

Best picture

In tweaks to the Academy’s rules, this year there can be up to 10 nominees for best picture, but at least five. I’m predicting there will be seven:

“The Artist”

“The Descendants”

“The Help”



“Midnight in Paris”

“The Tree of Life”

Wild card: Why “The Tree of Life” is so widely applauded baffles me, but I think it will still get in. “War Horse” could either take its place or be added to the list, though it seems to have lost steam.

Would like to see nominated: “Drive,” which just made the BAFTA (the British equivalent of the Oscars) best picture list (which came out Tuesday and final Oscar ballots were due by Jan. 13, so the attention would have been too late to affect its nomination chances stateside).

Best actor

George Clooney, “The Descendants”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”

Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Wild card: Fassbender, who could be squeezed out by Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

Would like to see nominated: Michael Shannon for his riveting turn in “Take Shelter,” and he just might — though it’s certainly a longshot (he would probably replace Fassbender).

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”

Wild card: This seems to be locked tight (though I think Swinton’s chances with a little-seen film aren’t as sure as everyone seems to think).

Would like to see: Charlize Theron, who magnificently downward spiraled in “Young Adult.” She would squeeze out Swinton.

Best supporting actor

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marilyn”

Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”

Nick Nolte, “Warrior”

Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Wild card: This list seems to be secure, as well, though Armie Hammer made the Screen Actors’ Guild nominee list instead of Brooks for “J. Edgar.”

Would like to see nominated: Brad Pitt, who raged with love and fury for his sons in “The Tree of Life,” but he’s nowhere on the radar in this category.

Best supporting actress

Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain, “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”

Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Wild card: Shailene Woodley is a long shot, but did get a Golden Globe nod for her turn in “The Descendants” (while I thought it was a fine performance, it was hardly Oscar-quality).

Would like to see nominated: Bryce Dallas Howard, for her deliciously dastardly turn in “The Help.”

Best director

Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”

Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”

Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Wild card: Even though, again, I don’t understand the accolades for “Tree of Life,” this seems to be a locked list.

Would like to see nominated: Bennett Miller for “Moneyball” — he made the politics and statistics of baseball not only digestible, but exciting and emotionally rewarding.

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