Cinema Chatter #6 – Reassessing

Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow and any worthwhile prognosticator will tell you that it’s still a very open field. Part of the confounding guesswork stems from the unknown number of Best Picture nominees that will be announced. Ranging from five to ten, the Best Picture field is more volatile than usual. The difficulty of the season rests with the fact many prestige pictures were left until the end of the year for screening – films like Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close were touted as frontrunners. Of course, such sight-unseen presumptions worked against both films, with the former on life support while the latter being critically slaughtered.

Insecurities don’t just rest with the Best Picture field – virtually all the acting categories have one or two potential spots that have pundits predicting a wide assortment of contenders. And the tech categories aren’t any easier. But as one could expect, it’s all part of a game, and that’s what makes this whole deal so much fun. Of course, I have my hopefuls, and that comes a bit into play in my predicting. Check out the predictions page for a more thorough analysis of each category. For now, you can check out the sidebar or the below for my picks.

Best Picture

 “The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”
“Moneyball”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
 
 Other Possibilities:
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
“Drive”
 

Best Director

Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
David Fincher, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
 
Other Possibilities
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”
Tomas Alfredson, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actor

George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt “Moneyball”
 
Other Possibilities
Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”
Leonardo DiCaprio “J. Edgar”
Demián Bichir, “A Better Life”
 

Best Actress

Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn"
 
Other Possibilities
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Kristin Dunst, “Melancholia”
Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”
 

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Albert Brooks, “Drive”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Brad Pitt, “The Tree of Life”
Christopher Plummer “Beginners”
 
Other Possibilities
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”
Armie Hammer, “J.Edgar”
 

Best Supporting Actress

Bérénice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help” Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”
 
Other Possibilities
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Carey Mulligan, “Shame”
Vanessa Redgrave, “Coriolanus” 
 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 “The Descendants”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Moneyball”
 
 Other Possibility
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Original Screenplay

“The Artist”
“Beginners”
“Bridesmaids”
“Midnight in Paris”
“A Separation”
 
Other Possibility
“Win Win”

Best Art Direction

“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”
“Hugo”
 “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
“War Horse”
 
Other Possibilities
“The Tree of Life”  
“Anonymous”
“The Help”
 

Best Cinematography

“The Artist”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
 
Other Possibility
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Costume Design

“The Artist”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Jane Eyre”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
 
Other Possibility
“War Horse”

Best Film Editing

“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“The Tree of Life”
 
Other Possibility
“War Horse”

Best Makeup

“Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life”
“Hugo”
“The Iron Lady”
 
Other Possibility
“The Artist”

Best Music (Original Score)

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
 
Other Possibility
“War Horse”

Best Music (Original Song)

“Lay Your Head Down” from “Albert Nobbs”
“The Living Proof” from “The Help”
"Coeur Volant" from "Hugo"
 “Life’s a Happy Song” from “The Muppets”
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
Other Possibility
"Star Spangled Man" from "Captain America: The First Avenger”

Best Sound Editing

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
“Rango”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Super 8”
 
Other Possibility
“War Horse”

Best Sound Mixing

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“Hanna”
“Super 8”
“The Tree of Life”
 
Other Possibility
“War Horse”
Best Visual Effects
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“The Tree of Life”
 
Other Possibility
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”

Best Animated Feature

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Cars 2”
“Kung-Fu Panda 2”
“Rango”
“Wrinkles”
 
Other Possibility
“Chico & Rita”

Best Documentary Feature

“Bill Cunningham New York”
“Hell and Back Again”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
“Pina”
“Project Nim”
 
Other Possibility
“Buck”
 

Best Foreign Langauge Film

Poland, “In Darkness”
Iran, “A Separation”
Canada, “Monsieur Lazhar”
Israel, “Footnote”
Germany, “Pina”
 
Other Possibility
Germany, “Bullhead”
 

Nomination Count

11 – “The Artist”

10 – “Hugo”

7 – “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” , “The Help”

6 – “The Descendants”

5 – “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, “The Tree of Life”

4 – “Moneyball”, “The Adventures of Tintin”

3 – “Midnight in Paris”

2 – “Beginners”, “The Iron Lady”, “My Week With Marilyn”, “Bridesmaids” “A Separation”, “War Horse”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”, “Super 8”, “Pina”, “Rango”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” “The Muppets”

1 – “Albert Nobbs”, “Shame”, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, “Drive” “In Darkness”, “Monsieur Lazhar”, “Footnote” “Bill Cunningham New York”, “Hell and Back Again”, “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”, “Project Nim” “Cars 2”, “Kung-Fu Panda 2”, “Wrinkles”, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, “Hanna”, “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” “