Predicting Tomorrow's Oscar Nominations

Tomorrow's Academy Awards nominations marks the official beginning of Hollywood's most wonderful, excruciating time: Oscar season! And we have some ideas for who will be having a fun morning and who will not.

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Tomorrow's Academy Awards nominations marks the official beginning of Hollywood's most wonderful, excruciating time: Oscar season! And we have some ideas for who will be having a fun morning and who will not. Some predictions for the big eight categories:

Best Picture

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • War Horse

This list could be anywhere from five to ten movies long, so it's possible that The Ides of March, Tree of Life, or even Drive could slip in there. If it's only five or so movies, you can probably get rid of Moneyball, Hugo, and The Help

Best Actor

  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball

It's possible that Gosling will be nominated for Drive, though he certainly said a lot more in March. Either way, he's had a big year and seems a likely nominee. Of the other four, DiCaprio is the least sure bet, as he could lose a spot to Michael Fassbender or possibly Gary Oldman. But, the Academy loves a good biopic performance, so we think DiCaprio has the better shot.

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

Though Close's film has made little impact otherwise, we think her long-standing esteem in the industry and decades-long commitment to this role will put her on the list. Davis, Streep, and Williams are locks, while Swinton's spot could possibly go to Charlize Theron for her fine, mean work in Young Adult or to Berenice Bejo for The Artist, depending on whether or not she's counted as a lead or a supporting (there's been some variation with that so far this season).

Best Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
  • Albert Brooks, Drive
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

Most of these guys have shared this category on other awards lists this year, so four of those guys are safe bets. But the Oscars always contain a couple surprise nominees, and that fifth spot is wide open, so why not give a general nod to Midnight in Paris' universally excellent cast by nominating its most beloved member? This is just a guess on our part, or maybe wishful thinking, but it's also not beyond the realm of possibility.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Berenice Bejo, The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain, The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer, The Help

If Bejo gets swung up into the Best Actress category, look for The Descendants' Shailene Woodley to land on this list. And yes, we do think that Melissa McCarthy will secure a spot here just as she has for the SAG awards. Chastain is a lock for one of the approximately three hundred and seven movies she did this year, but The Help looks like her best shot. But this is looking more and more like Spencer's to lose.

Best Director

  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Fincher is a bit of a wild card here. His spot could be taken by George Clooney for Ides of March or Terrence Malick for Tree of Life. But we think Fincher is still riding a wave of Social Network good will. The other four feel like sure things.

Best Screenplay, Adapted

  • Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, Nat Faxon - The Descendants
  • John Logan - Hugo
  • George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - The Ides of March
  • Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian - Moneyball
  • Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It's possible that Tate Taylor could sneak in here for The Help, and possibly Lynne Ramsey and Rory Kinnear for We Need to Talk About Kevin. They'd likely replace Tinker Tailor if anyone.

Best Screenplay, Original

  • Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
  • Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig - Bridesmaids
  • Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
  • Thomas McCarthy - Win Win
  • Diablo Cody - Young Adult

Allen and Hazanavicius are just about guaranteed, and we think Bridesmaids is a safe bet too. We think this will be the "good job" nod to Young Adult, while Thomas McCarthy, with his quirky actor casting and Pixar connections, is a favorite of in-the-know Hollywood types. It's also possible that Ehren Kruger could wind up here for his beautiful, haunting script for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. (Well, if not him, possibly Jeff Nichols for Take Shelter or Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene.)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.