The 84th Academy Award nominations (and my predictions).

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It’s always an interesting day when the nominations are announced for the Oscars. After The Artist took center stage at the Golden Globes it seems as though this could be the film to beat. This time around I’ll look at the likely winners and the ones I hope win.The likely winners are in green and my hopefuls are in blue.

Keeping in mind that I haven’t seen many of the nominated films, I don’t intend to ignore or criticize the other films nominated. The Academy has a tough job to do when they sort through the hundreds of submitted movies each year. I’m excited to see the show and see who wins this time around. If you want to watch the show don’t forget to tune in to ABC on February 26th at 7E/4P.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants”
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist” – After the Golden Globes it’s hard to bet against The Artist.
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” – I loved this performance and it would be great to see Pitt get some recognition for a great role.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball” – This was an outstanding performance and a great movie. 
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” – Plummer has created a lot of buzz with this performance which also got him a Golden Globe this year.
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

I would’ve liked to see more recognition for 50/50 in this category. Seth Rogen gave a great performance in an incredible film. It’s also important to note that Albert Brooks outstanding performance in Drive has been overlooked this year.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – This is a tough category to choose. Mara played this role incredibly well, but she’s up against some stiff competition.
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn” – Having only seen one movie from this category I’ll go with Williams as the likely winner due to the Golden Globe she pulled in for the role.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help” – This category will hopefully recognize The Help a film that has generated a lot of talk, but little in the way of recognition. If voters aren’t too in love with The Artist, Spencer could bring home a statue like she did at the Golden Globes.

Animated Feature Film

  • “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
  • “Rango” Gore Verbinski – Rango has been well received and seems likely to win the category.

I’ve seen none of these films and I’m disappointed that TinTin isn’t even in the mix. I’m not sure that I’d spend money to see any of the movies that were nominated.

Art Direction

  • “The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould – Do I need to say anything? This movie should take the category without question.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan – This was a visually spectacular movie that shouldn’t have been ignored in some other major categories.
  • “Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • “Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
  • “War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales


  • “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth – This is one that could go a number of ways on award day. The camera work in this movie was great, and I hope it wins.
  • “Hugo” Robert Richardson
  • “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki – Films by Malick are wonderful to look at, and this could bring home the trophy. 
  • “War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

  • “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
  • “The Artist” Mark Bridges
  • “Hugo” Sandy Powell – The category is pretty self-explanatory.
  • “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor – Having seen only clips of the movie I think this one has a great shot.
  • “W.E.” Arianne Phillips


  • “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
  • “The Descendants” Alexander Payne
  • “Hugo” Martin Scorsese
  • “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen – This should be a winner for Woody Allen. From the start the critics and movie goers have loved it. Once again, this all hinges on the voters love affair with The Artist.
  • “The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Film Editing


  • “Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin – If you’ve seen the movie this shouldn’t even be a contest.
  • “The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

  • “The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
  • “The Artist” Ludovic Bource – I don’t think the other films in the category stand a chance.
  • “Hugo” Howard Shore
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
  • “War Horse” John Williams – Great score, great movie.

I have to ask, where is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? That was the best score of 2011 and it’s been ignored completely, sad move by the voters.

Best Picture

  • “The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer – I don’t see any of the other movies having a chance, with the exception of Midnight in Paris and The Descendants.
  • “The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers – This isn’t the likely winner, just one I’m pulling for.
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
  • “The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • “Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • “Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • “Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • “The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined
  • “War Horse Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Sound Editing

Sound Mixing

Visual Effects

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson – Once again, give Potter some love!
  • “Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
  • “Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier – These were some good visual effects. 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – Having not seen the movie, I’ll stick with what I know about all these nominees. This one should pull out a win.
  • “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin  Story by Stan Chervin – What a great look at an incredible true story. 
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
  • “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen – I’m pulling for Woody Allen in this category. This film might be his best in years. 
  • “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi


  1. I completely agree with why in the world was there no nomination for GWTDT for music??? That is very odd to me. Also, what’s with the Melissa McCarthy nomination? This is the Oscars for crying out loud.


  2. While I haven’t seen the film (and won’t), from what I’ve heard of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack, most of the songs aren’t actually written by Reznor, so that may have something to do with it. The other’s seem to have legitimate newly written scores. But that’s some speculation on my part.


  3. With Hazanavicius winning the DGA, The Artist is basically a lock for Director/Picture. I love the film, so I’m cool with it, but what Scorsese does in Hugo is pushing the language of film to a whole new level. If Dujardin wins the SAG tonight it would be a clear message that the film is starting to snowball and even the prior foregone conclusion that Clooney is winning Best Actor is on shaky ground.


  4. SAG awards just made the acting nominations much less mysterious. Right now the biggest mystery for me is to see if Hugo goes 0-11 or 1-11. I see its best chance for that One as Art Direction – the train set is phenomenal.


    1. I’m about three movies short of feeling fully educated this season. I need to see The Artist, The Descendants, and Hugo to see how things really feel. I think I’ll skip the Oscars this year though, just as easy to read about it the next day.


  5. I haven’t posted by predictions yet, but we share quite a few opinions as to whom or what wins. I agree that the Academy missed out on a large number of movies or performances that were deserving of nominations (Drive, Ryan Gosling, Albert Brookes, and Adventures of Tintin just to name a few). I haven’t been able to figure out why Melissa McCarthy has gotten as many nominations as she’s gotten this year for Bridesmaids (a movie I feel has been extremely overrated). This year’s Oscars are going to be extremely predictable!


  6. This year, the winners are harder to predict. However, for likely winners, Michelle Williams has no chance, It’s gonna be either Viola Davis in “The Help” or Meryl Street in “The Iron Lady.“ George Clooney in “The Descendants” seems to have the edge right now. Otherwise nice choices.


    1. thanks for the note. I’m always interested in the other opinions out there.

      I would be shocked if Streep wins this time around. She’s great, but I think she’s been surpassed this year by some great actresses. I’m also holding out for Williams since she did manage a Golden Globe for the role.

      Dujardin is Clooney’s biggest competition so that’s one that could be fun to see.


      1. I hope you’re right. Personally I’d love to see Jean Dujardin win. He was great in the film and he’s been popping up in different places and I’m really starting to like the guy.


  7. OK, here’s my predictions (aside from the shorts – I mean, who knows for those?):
    Picture: The Artist
    Director: Hazanavicious, The Artist
    Actor: Dujardin, The Artist
    Actress: Davis, The Help
    Sup. Actor: Plummer, Beginners
    Sup. Actress: Spencer, The Help
    Org. Screenplay: The Artist
    Adp. Screenplay: The Descendants
    Foreign Language Film: A Separation
    Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3; Purgatory
    Animated Feature: Rango
    Cinematography: Tree of Life
    Art Direction: Hugo
    Costume Design: Hugo
    Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Editing: The Artist
    Score: The Artist
    Sound Editing: War Horse
    Sound Mixing: War Horse
    Makeup: The Iron Lady
    Final tally: The Artist (6), The Help (2), Hugo (2), War Horse (2), all other winners with 1. Best film to be shut out? Midnight in Paris.


    1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m still pulling for Williams. I’m also a bit sad to see Drive get shut out. There were actually a number of ignored films this year. I guess it’s a good thing when there are so many good movies in one year.


  8. I’ll admit, without having seen Midnight in Paris the film I think will win big this year is definitely The Artist. It’s always interesting to see how the season plays out, but the Oscars look to be a night for that wonderful film. For now I’ll stand by my picks, but having seen that movie I’m beginning to wonder….


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