1- War Horse (dir. Steven Spielberg)
2- J. Edgar (dir. Clint Eastwood)
3- The Descendants (dir. Alexander Payne)
4- Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick)
5- Ides of March (dir. George Clooney)
6- The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius)
A Dangerous Method (dir. David Cronenberg)
Young Adult (dir. Jason Reitman)
Hugo Cabret (dir. Martin Scoresese)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. David Fincher)
Having now seen Super 8 and Tree of Life, I feel confident in assuming the former doesn’t have what it takes to warrant the required votes and the latter will definitely have some devotees that will make it a nominee. Trailers for Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller) and A Dangerous Method also premiered. Sports films have their fans but despite the trailer’s slightly unconventionally inspirational tone, this film has to be really special to get that many number one votes and I’m not gonna bet on that until I see the actual film. A Dangerous Method looked a little too twisted for their taste so I’ll leave it out for now. As for The Artist, word from Cannes says it’s a crowd-pleaser despite being almost silent and in black and white. But it’s the type of film that might generate the passionate response this voting system needs and we should also bear in mind that it has all the power of the Weinsteins behind it, given that their other pets this year don’t look like best picture contenders at all.
1- Steven Spielberg (War Horse)
2- Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
3- George Clooney (Ides of March)
4- Terrence Malick (Tree of Life)
5- Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar)
David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Something tells me the directors’ branch will embrace Malick for his vision and the time he put into materializing his film. Eastwood may seem like the more obvious choice but he hasn’t been the Academy favourite he used to be recently, so have to see how good the film turns out to be.
|He seems to be adding his usual dose of charm to this role. Will the film be a big awards player at all though?|
1- Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
2- George Clooney (The Descendants)
3- Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
4- Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
5- Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo)
I kept my predictions the same here, except for the alternate that used to be Michael Fassbender for Shame. He looked like he really owned the role in A Dangerous Method’s trailer, which is actually not going to be helpful when the voters have to choose him for either of the two films.
1- Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
3- Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk about Kevin)
4- Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
5- Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
5- Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
Charlize Theron (Young Adult)
Recent buzz about My Week with Marilyn indicates that the show-stealer is Kenneth Branagh rather than Williams so I moved her down a bit. Mara looks a little too high up the list to myself and I wonder if that role is going to be embraced by the older members of AMPAS. They did prematurely invite her to join their Academy though, which makes me wonder, if her The Social Network performance impressed them that much...
Plus, we all know they like women to take their clothes off, and you just need to take a look at the poster to see what we can expect.
Best Supporting Actor
1- Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
2- Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)
3- Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Ides of March)
4- Albert Brooks (Drive)
5- Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method)
Niels Arestrup (War Horse)
There is some talk here and there about Plummer’s chances for Beginners but having seen the film now, I don’t think the performance is strong enough to carry him all the way through the awards season, unless the field is really weak (always a possibility). I’ve also removed Brad Pitt from this category as again, having seen the movie now, I’m sure he’s neither a supporting character and nor gives the type of performance they like. I decided to leave Arestrup out of my top five for now, just because he isn’t a well-known face this side of the Atlantic, but the newly released teaser trailer for War Horse put a lot of emphasis on his character, so he’s likely to be in the running.
|Rising star Andrea Riseborough in W.E. All we've heard so far is great words about her.|
1- Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)
2- Andrea Riseborough (W.E)
3- Carey Mulligan (Shame)
4- Emily Watson (War Horse)
5- Marisa Tomei (Ides of March)
Elle Fanning (Super 8)
Elle Fanning was the only thing that salvaged Super 8 for me. (She did the exact same thing last year with Somewhere.) Depending on the film’s campaign, she might have a chance at a nomination but I’ve left her out this time. I’m not sure how the screen time is distributed in War Horse, but Emily Watson is a dependable actress and if the film hits the right notes for them, some acting nominations are likely to follow.
Best Original Screenplay
1- J. Edgar (Dustin Lance Black)
2- Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
3- Take This Waltz (Sarah Polley)
4- Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
5- Rampart (Oren Moverman and James Elroy)
Win Win (Thomas McCarthy, Joe Tibani)
I’ve included Win Win as my alternative this time, on the account of “some people are bound to remember how amazingly written Win Win was”, but we won’t know if the critics’ awards will embrace it enough to give it the push it needs yet, so I’ll leave it out of my top five for now.
Best Adapted Screenplay
1- War Horse (Lee Hall and Richard Curtis)
2- The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
3- The Ides of March (George Clooney and Grant Heslov)
4- We Need to Talk About Kevin (Rory Kinnear, Lynne Ramsay)
5- Moneyball (Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zailian)
We Bought a Zoo (Cameron Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna)
We Need to Talk about Kevin was super popular as a book and outside of Tilda Swinton, this is the easiest place for them to reward the film. I also moved We Bought a Zoo down a notch. Who knows how that movie will turn out?
|Typically prestige work from Kaminski on a Spielberg film.|
1- Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki)
2- War Horse (Janusz Kaminski)
3- Hugo Cabret (Robert Richardson)
4- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Jeff Cronenweth)
5- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Edoardo Serra)
Moneyball (Wally Pfister)
I’ve kept my prediction mostly the same, but for the switch between the top two. If Tree of Life has one guaranteed nomination, this is it. It has everything going for it, as far as cinematography nominees usually go. I hesitated on Captain America too, but opted to leave it out for now. Once the film comes out, we’ll have a clearer idea. Something tells me a summer blockbuster can show up in this category.
1- War Horse (Michael Kahn)
2- J. Edgar (Joel Cox, Gary Roach)
3- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)
4- Hugo Cabret (Thelma Schoonmaker)
5- Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Paul Hirsch)
Ides of March (Stephen Mirrione)
Am I overestimating The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? It feels like I’ve included it way too many times. And best picture nominees usually fare well in this category, so maybe Ides of March is a smarter prediction. Stephen Mirrione has previously won this category for a best picture nominee (Traffic) and been nominated for another (Babel), so it could happen again.
Best Art Direction
1- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan)
2- War Horse (Rick Carter; Lee Sandales)
3- Hugo Cabret (Dante Ferretti; Dorothée Baussan, Francesca Lo Schiavo)
4- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Sarah Greenwood; Alison Harvey, Katie Spencer)
5- Jane Eyre (Will Hughes-Jones; Tina Jones)
A Dangerous Method (James McAteer; Gernot Thondel)
This is another category where I left my predictions untouched. This tentative line-up and the alternate choice include all the stuff voters in this branch really dig.
Period piece? Check! Fantasy? Check! Best picture nominees (or best picture looking film)? Check! Harry Potter? Check!