And so we’re down to the big awards: Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Actress, Director and Picture. There are a couple of categories perceived as possibly going a couple of different ways, but there really doesn’t seem like a lot of room for surprise or excitement at the top of the ballot. It’s tempting to make a left field pick or two just to keep things interesting, but I think I’ve done enough of that in the lower part of the ballot.

Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Based on critics and precursor awards, this was supposed to be a race between Christopher Plummer and Albert Brooks, but then the Academy went and did a funny thing by not nominating Brooks. That leaves Christopher Plummer. End of story. Supporting Actor Prediction: Christopher Plummer.

Supporting Actress

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

Octavia Spencer’s SAG win most likely seals the deal for her in this category. Berenice Bejo has the advantage of being in Everybody’s Favorite Movie, but even fans have to agree she was not the strongest part of it, don’t they? Janet McTeer was terrific in Albert Nobbs, but the movie itself was terrible and her performance doesn’t seem to have caught fire in the way it needed to in order to overcome the presumptive favorite. The actress with the best chance of beating Spencer is Melissa McCarthy. Personally, I hope that happens, but unfortunately too many people can’t get past McCarthy and the sink-shitting scene. How that’s more repellant and deal breaking than Spencer’s pie-shitting I’ll never understand, but it seems to be the case. Supporting Actress Prediction: Octavia Spencer


  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Demian Bechir, A Better Life
  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Up until SAG, critics and precursors seemed to be divided between George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Nevertheless, I predicted Dujardin for the SAG win. I was right and I’m sticking with that pick. Actor Prediction: Jean Dujardin


  • Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis, The Help
  • Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

For what it’s worth, my personal pick among this group is Michelle Williams. She’s not winning though. All along it has been framed as a race between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis. Viola Davis won the all important SAG award, but you can never count Meryl Streep out of any race she’s in, despite the fact she hasn’t won since the early ’80s. Interestingly, I think people assume she has won more often than is really the case and that counts against her. Actress Prediction: Viola Davis


  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Because The Artist is not even in my top four of the nominees, I’ve tried and tried and tried to imagine a scenario where Michel Hazanavicius loses the directing prize to the director of a film I find more deserving. There is an enormous amount of love and respect for Martin Scorsese and for Hugo and if he hadn’t already won for The Departed, I’d be predicting a split year where Director and Picture go to two different films like 2006 (Crash/Brokeback) or 2003 (Chicago/The Pianist) when the Academy seemed to be acknowledging that they knew their favorite picture wasn’t really the best picture and they were offering up director as a corrective to allow them to sleep at night. The other dark horse is Terrence Malick whose film The Tree of Life seemed to inspire a deeper love than The Artist among fans, but which also had an equal number of haters. Will voters want to reward Malick for his ambition even if ultimately they preferred The Artist? It’s a possibility and I’m tempted to make another left field pick, but the possibility is very remote and I’ve gone out on too many limbs already. Director Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius


  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse

Just for the sake of my own amusement, here’s how I personally rate the 9 nominees in order:

  1. The Tree of Life
  2. Midnight in Paris
  3. War Horse
  4. Hugo
  5. The Artist
  6. Moneyball
  7. The Descendants
  8. The Help
  9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Alas, I’m not an Oscar voter. Hugo notably has the most overall nominations with 11 versus The Artist’s 10, but that’s pretty much the only hook on which Hugo can hang its hat. The Descendants can claim the allegiance of the LA Film Critics, but it too is otherwise a once-promising also-ran. The Tree of Life got a smattering of critical love and it did win with the American Society of Cinematographers, but that’s not going to be enough. The other guilds – the producers, directors, editors and actors – are unanimous in their love of The Artist and the only earthly reason to think it could lose on Sunday night would be if it starred two gay cowboys. Picture Prediction: The Artist

Check out my predictions Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 or if you’re too lazy for clicking and reading, here’s my full list of predictions:

  • Picture: The Artist
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
  • Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
  • Foreign: In Darkness
  • Animated: Chico & Rita
  • Documentary: Paradise Lost 3
  • Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
  • Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
  • Cinematography: The Tree of Life
  • Editing: The Artist
  • Score: The Artist
  • Song: “Real in Rio,” Rio
  • Live Action Short: Time Freak
  • Documentary Short: Saving Face
  • Animated Short: A Morning Stroll
  • Art Direction: Hugo
  • Costumes: Anonymous
  • Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Makeup: The Iron Lady
  • Sound Mixing: War Horse
  • Sound Editing: War Horse

For what it’s worth, I think I’m most likely to be wrong about Costumes, the Shorts, Animated and Foreign.

7 Responses to “Oscar Predictions Part 4: The Big Ones”

  1. Well your final lot is one I can also endorce completely. Streep and Scorsese ate not out of the picture, and Bejo could spring a mighty upset if her film runs the table, but I think what you are predicting here will come to pass on Sunday.

    I like your nine-film order of preference and will play the game too. I’m not too far off from your lineup, obviously. My Top 4 made my own Ten Best List.

    1. The Tree of Life
    2. The Artist
    3. War Horse
    4. Hugo
    5. The Descendants
    6. Moneyball
    7. The Help
    8. Midnight in Paris
    9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

  2. Yeah about the only place we strongly differ is on Midnight in Paris.

    I won’t be surprised if Streep wins. Like i said you can never count her out, and yes, Bejo shouldn’t be underestimated simply because of the movie she’s in. But still. I feel pretty safe with these picks. I think Marty is a longer shot than Streep, but not as long as Bejo.

  3. I should add that although I’m rooting for Williams, Actress is the one category where I’ll be satisfied with whoever wins.

  4. I wouldn’t mind seeing McCarthy win, she’s very likeable. But the only thing Bridesmaids got her is an Emmy Award for Mike & Molly instead, lol.

    I’ve seen people hating on her because she got the acting nom instead of the other Bridesmaids cast members. Still, moments like these are rare for someone like Melissa who’s been somewhat noticeable since Gilmore Girls.

    BTW, I saw The Artist last night. Pretty good film, but I’m not madly in love with it. I’m fine with Dujardin winning the award for Best Actor. But if Clooney wins, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.

  5. I sense that I will be really disappointed with the winners in the best director and lead actor. Of course, the Best Picture as well, but the last one is kind of given with the Artist in the race. I expect the film to grab all three of the awards. And I’m not saying it’s a bad film. I liked it but it’s kind of a Hollywood nostalgia movie which was indeed well crafted but there are more deserving winners for these awards.

    With the actors, both Clooney and Pitt did a great job for their respective roles. And I’d be disappointed if it goes to Dujardin who did well but not “that well”.

    And I’m so much hoping, rooting and so on, that Allen will win the Director’s Oscar. I know it’s almost impossible but if that was to happen it would make my night. :)

    As for the best pic contenders, my order would differ slightly from Craig’s and Sam’s.

    1. Midnight in Paris
    2. Moneyball
    3, The Artist
    4. The Descendants
    5. Hugo
    6. War Horse
    7. The Tree of Life

    I am yet to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Help. Will watch at least one of them today but neither seems like a type of film I’d be drawn to watch under normal circumstances.

  6. I REALLY REALLY want Malick to pull a Polanski and win BD!!But it won’t happen in a million years. Of these races the really close one is Best Actor. I still don’t know if Dujardin has the edge, although the fact that Clooney has an Oscar already will play its role. Craig, your top 3 of your preferences is exactly like mine! I think these 3 movies will stand the test of time. As a Spielberg fan, first and foremost, i am sad that only in the sound departments War Horse has a chance, but….next year it will be A LOT different with Lincoln!!

  7. “I REALLY REALLY want Malick to pull a Polanski and win BD!!”

    That wonderful possibility has crossed my mind and I similarly dismissed it.

    I wonder whether Scorsese and not Malick might take home the directorial prize if there is a BP (The Artist) and BD split. That way the Academy celebrates both homages to early cinema.

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