It’s time that we roll out our predictions on who and what will be nominated in the various (most important) categories. Sure you’ve got your expected ones, you know the ones that scream “OSCAR NOMINATION FILM” and we’ll tell you them. But we’ll throw in some of those that we think deserve, and could possibly receive, a nomination. Last year’s bash was full of surprises (not really) and there were so many deserving wins (not really). It’s down to Billy Crystal to keep the folks entertained throughout the night when all they really want to know is who to cut out of their life when they inevitably don’t win. As with any awards ceremony there are lots of winners, but far more losers. And they’re the most fun to watch on the night.
Starting first with the Best Animated Feature category. With Pixar out of this year’s running simply because they only released Cars 2 this year which was shockingly bad for a Pixar flick. It holds the record for the lowest rating Pixar feature (by far) on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic 38 and 57 approval rating respectively. (Interestingly, the second lowest is the original Cars with 74 and 73 overall.) And if we know the Academy at this stage, that holds weight in their picks for nominations. But we digress. Now the shoe-ins for nominations are probably Rango, Arthur Christmas, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rio. The dark horses in this category that we think could possibly clinch a nomination (but definitely not a win) are Gnomeo and Juliet and Happy Feet 2.
Screenplay time! First up, Best Adapted Screenplay. The front runners for this year are Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne and Jim Rash for The Descendants and Richard Curtis and Lee Hall for War Horse. It’s very possible George Clooney might get his second screenplay Academy Award nomination for The Ides of March. Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian deserve a nomination for the brilliant Moneyball. It’s very probable that John Logan will get a nod for Hugo. A bit of a dark horse in Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but we reckon they can do it.
Best Original Screenplay is a tougher category this year with so many great original movies released in the last 12 months. Woody Allen is a shoe-in for nomination for his wonderful Midnight in Paris. Another probability is Will Reiser for 50/50 because, well, let’s call a spade a spade here: a film about a cancer survivor is Oscar gold. Michel Hazanvicius should get, at the very least, a nomination for The Artist. We’d like to see JC Chandor get a nod for Margin Call and Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life.
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer for her turn in The Help and Bérénice Bejo for The Artist. We’ll call them absolutes. The rest of the category is kind of open, with fantastic stuff from Shailene Woodley in The Descendants, Vanessa Redgrave in Coriolanus, and Jessica Chastain in The Tree of Life and let’s not forget Melissa McCarthy’s role in Bridesmaids (it’s a long-shot but you never know). We’d love to see a nomination (and a win) for Ms Carey Mulligan for her role in Shame. For their male counterparts in the Best Supporting Actor category, we’re plumping for nominations for Christopher Plummer for Beginners. There’s stiff competition though with Patton Oswalt in Young Adult, Albert Brooks in Drive, and Kenneth Branagh in My Week With Marilyn along with Ben Kingsley in Hugo (who won a Best Actor statue for Ghandi way back in 1982).
Meryl Streep is going to get her 521,000,000,845th Best Actor nomination for playing Maggie T in The Iron Lady. Nope, it hasn’t been released yet, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get it. If Meryl makes any sort of “Oscar Move”, she’s guaranteed one. That’s just how the world works, like it or not. We’d love to see Michelle Williams secure a nomination (and a win) for her role in My Week With Marilyn along with Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin. Viola Davis will secure a nomination for her turn in The Help. Professional Meryl Streep lookalike Glenn Close could also get a nod for Albert Nobbs.
Best Actor: Michael Fassbender will see his first Oscar nomination for his role in the sexy Shame. Joseph Gordon-Levitt may also see his first nomination for 50/50. Very likely are nominations for Jean Dujardin in The Artist, George Clooney in The Descendants, and Brad Pitt in Moneyball. Although there are some regulars here, there are some new faces in the running for this category which is always nice to see.
We’ll lump Best Picture and Best Director together because each will likely reflect the other. Likely is The Artist, The Descendants and Hugo with The Tree of Life, The Help, War Horse and Midnight in Paris coming in just behind. Their respective directors will likely get a nomination for Best Director too with the possible exception of Tate Taylor for The Help.