By The Playlist | The Playlist January 23, 2012 at 11:15PM
Lord knows why I'm doing this last minute. Maybe just to get it on the record so I can either be totally embarrassed or elated in the morning, regardless, while I've been thinking about this for some time, I just haven't had the time to sit down and actually write out my Oscar predictions.
Part of it is Sundance. That's the entire conversation right now in the industry so it's going to be weird tomorrow morning when that conversation gets upended for at least a few hours by the 84th Academy Award nominations.
Will there be major upsets, umbrage, tears, insults, anger, depression, hunger and then acceptance? Who knows, but every year there are one or two suprises and this year shouldn't be any differnet. OK, to my brief and quick predictions and unlike Oliver Lyttelton, our Oscar blogger who made his predictions here, I won't be doing any categories outside of the major ones, I just don't have time and need to sleep.
I'll be going in order of sure-shots to the fringes of nominations.
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"
Janet McTeer ("Albert Nobbs") could be a spoiler and did get a SAG and Golden Globe nomination, but she feels really cold in the Oscar conversation otherwise.
Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
Kenneth Branagh - "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte - "Warrior"
Albert Brooks - "Drive"
Let's face it. Christopher Plummer has already won this award. Some will put Patton Oswalt as the spoiler here, but I don't think he has much of a chance, especially in a year when this might be Nick Nolte's last-ever nomination. The man is really old and wheezes like he doesn't have too many performances left, let alone Oscar shots. Normally, I might think someone like Albert Brooks had no shot because "Drive" did not make the slightest dent this year, unfortunately, but it's Brooks, he's well-loved and this is a nice comeback for him, but he certainly ain't winning. Armie Hammer did get a SAG nom, but that feels like a complete anomaly in the Oscar race this year.
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
If there's a spoiler here it's Rooney Mara from "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." She scored a Globes nod, but not a SAG nod. And Glenn Close, yes, she's won every nomination under the sun, but did anyone see "Albert Nobbs"? Maybe I'm being totally naive to the fact that she's Glenn Close, but if anyone does not make it into the five I have listed above, it might not suprise me if it's her. Charlize Theron should definitely be in here for her fabulous work in "Young Adult," but unfortunately, Meryl Streep decided to act in a movie and Jason Reitman's film is just too raw around the edges for the Academy, but I would be utterly delighted if she side-swiped this field and earned a nom somewhere.
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame"
The field in which Oli and I most deeply disagree on here is the Best Actor category field. He thinks Gary Oldman can sneak in there for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and I think he has no shot whatsoever (that said there is a groundswell building for him among Oscar bloggers). In fact, if that film earns itself even one nomination outside of say art direction, I'll be shocked. Demian Bichir scored a deserving SAG nomination for "A Better Life," but I don't think he'll be able to run that through to Oscar. A lot of people think Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be left on the outside for "J. Edgar," but I think that film is perfect for the Academy and he's a lot better in it than people give him credit for. Michael Fassbender is an outside shot to some, but I think more Oscar voters saw that film than they did 'Tinker Tailor,' as controversy does make for curiosity. Circling the outside is a dark horse I'm worried about: Michael Shannon in "Take Shelter." I don't have the guts to put him in my picks, but I think he could upend this thing unexpectedly. Woody Harrelson for "Rampart" should mostly definitely be in among these five picks, but alas his outstanding performance was in a film that sadly, not too many people took notice of (and I put it in my top films of the year list).
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Stephen Spielberg, "War Horse"
Yes, David Fincher did earn himself a nomination off "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," but I don't feel like that has the legs to follow through as it doesn't seem like much of an Academy film. I think this is Scorsese's year (again), but Hazanavicius or Payne could possibly upset. Many people may laugh at me for including Spielberg and "War Horse," but I think the Academy eats up tripe like that film.
"Midnight in Paris"
"Ides Of March"
Call me crazy, I don't think "Bridesmaids" and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" are geting in here despite the surprise PGA nominations, nor do I think "The Tree of Life" will earn a Best Picture nomination (though that might be nice). Truthfully, I should be only putting seven picks on here instead of eight (remember with new academy rules, it doesn't have to be ten films this year), but "Ides Of March" did get a PGA and Globes nod and it's vastly underrated. Plus everyone loves Clooney.
See you tomorrow, bright and early with the final nominations, 8:30 AM EST.