Oscar predictions: Can Jean Dujardin beat George Clooney?

DUJARDIN-CLOONEY

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Last night’s Screen Actors Guild Award results certainly made at least one Oscar category a lot more interesting. Jean Dujardin’s win changed Best Actor from a race between George Clooney and Brad Pitt to a fight between Clooney and Dujardin. And as we’ve seen over the years (The King’s Speech, Gladiator, American Beauty), the Academy often likes to pair up Best Picture and Best Actor. I’m not quite ready to predict Dujardin as the Oscar winner just yet, but after I talk to some more voters, I may change my mind in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, The Help‘s Best Cast win (one of three victories for the film last night) was a wonderful moment for that group of actors, but history is not on its side when it comes to its Oscar chances next month. The last time a film won Best Picture without writing or directing nominations was all the way back in 1932. In my mind, The Artist—which has won the Producers Guild and Directors Guild awards—is still the clear favorite. Even though there are several films that lost Best Picture after winning the PGA and DGA (among them Brokeback Mountain and Saving Private Ryan), I don’t sense another film with enough overall support to unseat it. So here are my current rankings in the top 8 categories.

Best Picture
1. The Artist (last week: 1)
2. Hugo (last week: 2)
3. The Help (last week: 4)
4. The Descendants (last week: 3)
5. Midnight in Paris (last week: 5)
6. Moneyball (last week: 6)
7. The Tree of Life (last week: 7)
8. War Horse (last week: 8 )
9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (last week: 9)

Best Director
1. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (last week: 1)
2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo (last week: 2)
3. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris (last week: 4)
4. Alexander Payne, The Descendants (last week: 3)
5. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life (last week: 5)

Best Actor
1. George Clooney, The Descendants (last week: 1)
2. Jean Dujardin, The Artist (last week: 3)
3. Brad Pitt, Moneyball (last week: 2)
4. Demián Bichir, A Better Life (last week: 4)
5. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 5)

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. Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 5)

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: 3)
4. Nick Nolte, Warrior (last week: 4)
5. Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (last week: 5)

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. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs (last week: 4)
5. Jessica Chastain, The Help (last week: 5)

Best Original Screenplay
1. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris (last week: 1)
2. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (last week: 2)
3. Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids (last week: 3)
4. Asghar Farhadi, A Separation (last week: 4)
5. J.C. Chandor, Margin Call (last week: 5)

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, and Stan Chervin, Moneyball (last week: 1)
2. John Logan, Hugo (last week: 3)
3. Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon, The Descendants (last week: 2)
4. George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March (last week: 4)
5. Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 5)

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

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