Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Academy Award Predictions
The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24, 2012. I thought it would be fitting to post my predictions for the Oscars this year as we all appreicate and enjoy movies and the Academy Awards are the most prestigious movie awards each year (and really the only awards show that matters for movies). I have only chosen to make predictions for the major categories because let's be honest, no one wants to argue about who will make the cut for best costume design or best animated short. The categories I deem major are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay.
One quick caveat before I make my predictions: the new voting rules only allow a movie to be nominated for Best Picture if it gets a certain percentage of first place votes. This rule change makes it much more difficult to predict the exact amount of movies that will be nominated since there is no set number. The last two years, the Academy reverted back to 10 nominees, a method that had not been employed since 1943. From 1944 to 2008, the Academy restricted nominations to five Best Picture nominees per year.
Now, instead of staying with the 10 nominees, "the new rule for Best Picture dictates that in order to get a nomination, a film must be listed in top position on at least 5 percent of the ballots." Here's the bottom line: "We could still see as many as 10 nominees for Best Picture, but we know there will be at least five. And the likelihood is the number will probably settle somewhere in the middle with seven or eight."
That being said, I have ranked the nominees by their odds of winning the award. The number one spot means that I believe that nominee will win and the number five spot indicates that nominee has the poorest chance of winning. Given the new Best Picture rules, the top seven are the ones I think will definitely get in. I have also included an "Other Contenders" section since some of the races are very close and I want to be sure to include the others who I think could still sneak in. The "Other Contenders" are also listed in order of their odds of being nominated.
One of the shames of the Academy Awards is that they do not allow an actor/actress to be nominated for multiple films. While I like this rule overall, it often leaves out deserving actors/actresses who gave several great performances in a year because their peformances end up splitting votes. Academy Award voters are forced to choose only one performance for a given actor/actress. Thus, their chances of being nominated for one performance are reduced.
For instance, Jessica Chastain has had one of the best years for an actress in recent memory. Not only did she appear in five films this year (The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Take Shelter, and Coriolanus), she was great in all of them. The two movies she is most likely to get nominated for are The Help or The Tree of Life. Unfortunately, she was so good in both those films that I fear she ultimately will not get nominated for either. Some voters will select her for The Help, while others will nominate her for The Tree of Life (or even Take Shelter). Thus, the voting restriction can end up failing to honor some of the best performers (not performances) of the year, which also results in some of the best performances not being nominated.
Without further ado, here goes my picks for the 2012 Academy Awards in all the major categories:
Best Picture
1. The Artist
2. The Descendants
3. Hugo
4. The Help
5. Midnight in Paris
6. War Horse
7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
8. Moneyball
9. The Tree of Life
10. Drive
Other Contenders:
Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Ides of March, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Best Director
1. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo
3. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
4. Alexander Payne, The Descendants
5. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Other Contenders:
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Tate Taylor, The Help
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Bennett Miller, Moneyball
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Best Actor
1. George Clooney, The Descendants
2. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
3. Brad Pitt, Moneyball
4. Michael Fassbender, Shame
5. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Other Contenders:
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Best Actress
1. Viola Davis, The Help
2. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
3. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
4. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
5. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Other Contenders:
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Elizabeth Olson, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Best Supporting Actor
1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners
2. Albert Brooks, Drive
3. Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
4. Jonah Hill, Moneyball
5. Nick Nolte, Warrior
Other Contenders:
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March
Ben Kingsley, Hugo
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Best Supporting Actress
1. Berenice Bejo, The Artist
2. Octavia Spencer, The Help
3. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
4. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
5. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Other Contenders:
Jessica Chastain, The Help or The Tree of Life
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Carey Mulligan, Shame or Drive
Judi Dench, My Week with Marilyn
Best Original Screenplay
1. Midnight in Paris
2. The Artist
3. 50/50
4. Bridesmaids
5. Young Adult
Other Contenders:
The Tree of Life
Win Win
A Separation
Best Adapted Screenplay
1. The Descendants
2. Moneyball
3. Hugo
4. The Help
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Other Contenders:
War Horse
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Ides of March
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


  1. Let's see how you did:

    Best Picture: The only one you mised was Extremely Loud - and you included Drive & Girl w/ The Dragon Tattoo - I give you an 8/10

    Best Director: 5 out of 5 - Well done 10/10

    Best Actor: flip Fassbender for Demian Bichir and Leo for Gary Oldmen and you've got it - 6/10

    Best Actress: You had Tilda Swinton - and Rooney Mara got the nom - otherwise you were dead on. 8/10

    Best Supporting Actor: 4/5 again! Flip Brooks for Sydow and you'd be perfect. 8/10 again

    Best Supporting Actress: one more time - 4/5! I'm bumping you up to 9/10 for this one...

    Oringial Screenplay: You had 50/50 and Young Adult while Margin Call and A Seperation got the nom... Since I loved Young Adult - i'll give you 7/5

    Adapted Screenplay: Another 3/5 - Flip your picks, The Help & Girl w/ the Dragon tattoo with Ides of March and Tinker Tailor... and you'd be right on the money - 6/10

    Overall picks: I'm going to give you a 9/10 - Well done!!!

  2. Great percentages! I wish I had noticed this post before they were announced so I could have predicted too. We should all post our winner predictions and throw some money in a pool!

  3. That seems like a horrible waste of money Dan. Why don't we just light it on fire? Or bury it in sand? Throw it in a pool, honestly.