Oscar predictions: Final pre-nomination rankings

Artist-2011-film

Image Credit: Peter Iovino

We’re now only a week away from the Oscar nominations, and this morning’s BAFTA nominees announcement certainly spiced things up a bit. So it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth has been for the last few months and settle on my final predictions in the eight major categories.

BEST PICTURE
1. The Artist (last week: 1)
2. The Descendants (last week: 2)
3. The Help (last week: 3)
4. Hugo (last week: 4)
5. Midnight in Paris (last week: 5)

6. War Horse (last week: 6)
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 7)
8. Moneyball (last week: 8 )
9. Bridesmaids (last week: 10) 
10. The Tree of Life (last week: 9)
11. The Ides of March (last week: 11)
12. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 13)
13. Drive (last week: — )
14. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (last week: 12)
15. My Week With Marilyn (last week: 15)

Falling off: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

The strong BAFTA showings for Tinker Tailor and Drive raised their stock a bit, but it’s probably too little too late to impact the Academy results. Meanwhile, War Horse has seen its Oscar hopes fade significantly by failing to earn nominations from the Directors Guild or in any major BAFTA races. Below the top five films on my list is a very crowded and evenly matched field of potential contenders, which makes me wonder if any of them will be able to score five percent of the overall No. 1 votes. So at this point, I’m thinking that after all the hype surrounding the Academy’s new voting rules, which allow for anywhere between five and 10 nominees, we may simply end up with five Best Picture candidates next Tuesday after all.

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (last week: 1)
2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo (last week: 2)
3. Alexander Payne, The Descendants (last week: 3)
4. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris (last week: 4)
5. David Fincher, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 5)

6. Steven Spielberg, War Horse (last week: 6)
7. Tate Taylor, The Help (last week: 8 )
8. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life (last week: 7)
9. George Clooney, The Ides of March (last week: 9)
10. Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (last week: 10)
11. Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (last week: 12)
12. Bennett Miller, Moneyball (last week: 11)

It’s never prudent to bet against the DGA. So whether or not Dragon Tattoo lands in the Best Picture race, Fincher is still a great bet for his second consecutive Oscar nod. But if Tate Taylor is able to muscle his way into this category, then The Help will be well within striking distance for the Best Picture win.

BEST ACTOR
1. George Clooney, The Descendants (last week: 1)
2. Brad Pitt, Moneyball (last week: 2)
3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist (last week: 3)
4. Michael Fassbender, Shame (last week: 4)
5. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar (last week: 5)

6. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 8 )
7. Demián Bichir, A Better Life (last week: 7)
8. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter (last week: 6)
9. Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March (last week: 9)
10. Woody Harrelson, Rampart (last week: 10)
11. Ryan Gosling, Drive (last week: 11)
12. Daniel Craig, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 12)

Finally, Gary Oldman scores his first major nod, making the BAFTA shortlist over DiCaprio. They’re neck-and-neck for the fifth slot.

BEST ACTRESS
1. Viola Davis, The Help (last week: 1)
2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady (last week: 2)
3. Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn (last week: 3)
4. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs (last week: 4)
5. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin (last week: 5)

6. Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 6)
7. Charlize Theron, Young Adult (last week: 7)
8. Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids (last week: 8 )
9. Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene (last week: 9)
10. Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method (last week: 10)
11. Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (last week: 11)
12. Felicity Jones, Like Crazy (last week: 12)

BAFTA put The Artist‘s Bérénice Bejo in the lead category, but I’m not expecting the Academy to do the same. So consider the top four ladies locks, while Mara seems like the only possible spoiler.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners (last week: 1)
2. Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn (last week: 2)
3. Jonah Hill, Moneyball (last week: 4)
4. Albert Brooks, Drive (last week: 3)
5. Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (last week: 5)

6. Nick Nolte, Warrior (last week: 6)
7. Ben Kingsley, Hugo (last week: 7)
8. Armie Hammer, J. Edgar (last week: 8 )
9. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March  (last week: — )
10. Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady (last week: — )
11. Patton Oswalt, Young Adult (last week: 9)
12. Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method (last week: 10)

Falling off: Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes; George Clooney, The Ides of March

By including The Iron Lady‘s Jim Broadbent and The Ides of March‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman on its list of five nominees, BAFTA confirmed that this is by far the kookiest category of the year. Plummer, Branagh, and Hill are in. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Will SAG nominees Nolte and Hammer sneak in? Can critical favorite Brooks mount a comeback after being overlooked by SAG and BAFTA? Or can someone like Von Sydow or Kingsley be the surprise acting nominee of the year? Nothing would make me happier than to see Nolte recognized for Warrior. But I’m going with Brooks and — my way-out-on-a-limb choice, given how much the movie has faded — Von Sydow. So let me have it.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Octavia Spencer, The Help (last week: 1)
2. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids (last week: 2)
3. Bérénice Bejo, The Artist (last week: 3)
4. Jessica Chastain, The Help (last week: 4)
5. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs (last week: 5)

6. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants (last week: 6)
7. Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus (last week: 7)
8. Carey Mulligan, Shame (last week: 8 )
9. Judi Dench, My Week With Marilyn (last week: — )
10. Carey Mulligan, Drive (last week: — )
11. Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (last week: 9)
12. Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life (last week: 11)

Falling off: Judy Greer, The Descendants; Kate Winslet, Carnage

I know I’m getting a lot of static from many of you for putting McCarthy at No. 2 in this race. It’s important to remember that she’s landed on every major list except the Golden Globes, and that oversight is most certainly a direct result of the fact that (as with Taraji P. Henson for Benjamin Button a few years ago) the HFPA chose not to have a press conference with her. There’s a lot of industry affection for Bridesmaids, and though Spencer probably has the win in the bag, McCarthy is a very viable contender. As cool as it was to see Mulligan’s name among the BAFTA nominees, that it was for Drive and not Shame (for which she was a semifinalist in the lead category) probably does nothing except confirm that she won’t get an Oscar nod for either one. The only question in my mind is whether Woodley can capitalize on all the love for The Descendants. But if she does, whom does she displace? If anyone, it may be McTeer.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
2. Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist
3. Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
4. Will Reiser, 50/50
5. Tom McCarthy, Win Win

6. Diablo Cody, Young Adult
7. Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
8. Mike Mills, Beginners
9. Abi Morgan, The Iron Lady
10. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
2. Tate Taylor, The Help
3. Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
4. John Logan, Hugo
5. Steven Zaillian, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

6. Richard Curtis & Lee Hall, War Horse
7. Peter Straughan & Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
8. George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
9. Eric Roth, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
10. Lynne Ramsay & Rory Kinnear, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Okay, I’m ready: What have I gotten wrong? Or right? And most important, how many Best Picture nominees are you expecting?

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

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