Final 2012 Oscar Predictions and Your Turn to Vote

2012 Oscar Predictions
Photo: AMPAS

If you read my recap of the Costume Designers Guild results from last night you know I was toiling with these predictions up to the last second and you'll also realize, once you get down to my Best Costume Design predictions, that a 90% chance doesn't equal 100%. That said, with only four days to go I offer up what I believe are my final 2012 Oscar predictions.

At some point you have to put the pen down and just walk away and that's what I am attempting to do at this point before I make any rash, knee-jerk decisions based on a hunch. If you've been reading throughout the awards season you already know how competitive I am and how much I really want to get as many of these right as possible. For me the Oscars have become more of a guessing game than a determiner of quality.

So without any further delay, here are my predictions with polls next to each category for you to place your votes as well.

The Oscars will take place this Sunday, February 26 and we will be here live-blogging the event as well as providing breaking news alerts with the winners. It should be fun and I hope you'll join us... Now let's get to the predictions...

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

Best Picture

  • The Artist (651 Votes)
  • Hugo (70 Votes)
  • The Descendants (62 Votes)
  • The Help (47 Votes)
  • The Tree of Life (29 Votes)
  • Moneyball (24 Votes)
  • War Horse (18 Votes)
  • Midnight in Paris (12 Votes)
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (9 Votes)

Total Voters: 922

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COMMENTS: I can't come up with a good reason not to predict The Artist for Best Picture. It's the clear front-runner at this point and no matter how you look at the race it's the one to beat.

Sure, you could look at The Help and its win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and assume the actors branch (the largest branch in the Academy) will vote for it. You could look at The Descendants, a film that might target the 94% white, 77% male, 62 year-olds in the Academy, not to mention it recently won Best Editing from the American Cinema Editors (ACE) and won with the Writers Guild. However, The Artist also won with the ACE and it wasn't eligible for the WGA award, so those sort of go out the window when looking at this category.

Looking at it clearly, I think we all know the smart choice.


Best Actor
  1. Jean Dujardin
    (The Artist)
  2. George Clooney
    (The Descendants)
  3. Brad Pitt
  4. Gary Oldman
    (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
  5. Demián Bichir
    (A Better Life)

Best Actor

  • The Artist (Jean Dujardin) (486 Votes)
  • The Descendants (George Clooney) (292 Votes)
  • Moneyball (Brad Pitt) (64 Votes)
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Gary Oldman) (54 Votes)
  • A Better Life (Demian Bichir) (15 Votes)

Total Voters: 911

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COMMENTS: This one isn't as simple as Best Picture. Dujardin is certainly the front-runner and this is an instance where his win at the Screen Actors Guild certainly plays a part. However, I would be less surprised to see Clooney sneak in for the win here than I would for The Descendants to win for Best Picture.


Best Actress
  1. Viola Davis
    (The Help)
  2. Meryl Streep
    (The Iron Lady)
  3. Michelle Williams
    (My Week with Marilyn)
  4. Glenn Close
    (Albert Nobbs)
  5. Rooney Mara
    (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Actress

  • The Help (Viola Davis) (528 Votes)
  • The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) (257 Votes)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Rooney Mara) (74 Votes)
  • My Week with Marilyn (Michelle Williams) (43 Votes)
  • Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) (22 Votes)

Total Voters: 924

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COMMENTS: The most talked about race all season is certainly the Best Actress race. Meryl Streep vs. Viola Davis and they've been trading blows all season with Streep winning at the Globes, Davis winning at the Screen Actors Guild, Streep winning at the BAFTAs and Davis winning at the Critics Choice Awards. It all comes down to your gut instinct and for me the SAG win puts Davis over the top.


Best Supporting Actor
  1. Christopher Plummer
  2. Nick Nolte
  3. Kenneth Branagh
    (My Week with Marilyn)
  4. Jonah Hill
  5. Max von Sydow
    (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Beginners (Christopher Plummer) (701 Votes)
  • Warrior (Nick Nolte) (47 Votes)
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Max von Sydow) (46 Votes)
  • Moneyball (Jonah Hill) (44 Votes)
  • My Week with Marilyn (Kenneth Branagh) (19 Votes)

Total Voters: 857

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COMMENTS: This, for me, is a no-brainer. Christopher Plummer has swept the precursor circuit and all he has to do now is write his Oscar acceptance speech. Of all the topline categories this has to be the most obvious.


Best Supporting Actress
  1. Octavia Spencer
    (The Help)
  2. Bérénice Bejo
    (The Artist)
  3. Janet McTeer
    (Albert Nobbs)
  4. Jessica Chastain
    (The Help)
  5. Melissa McCarthy

Best Supporting Actress

  • The Help (Octavia Spencer) (651 Votes)
  • The Help (Jessica Chastain) (72 Votes)
  • The Artist (Berenice Bejo) (59 Votes)
  • Bridesmaids (Melissa McCarthy) (53 Votes)
  • Albert Nobbs (Janet McTeer) (13 Votes)

Total Voters: 848

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COMMENTS: Right behind Best Supporting Actor for most obvious winner is Best Supporting Actress. This is going to Octavia Spencer, I hope she has her speech prepared.


Best Director
  1. Michel Hazanavicius
    (The Artist)
  2. Martin Scorsese
  3. Alexander Payne
    (The Descendants)
  4. Woody Allen
    (Midnight in Paris)
  5. Terrence Malick
    (The Tree of Life)

Best Director

  • The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius) (525 Votes)
  • Hugo (Martin Scorsese) (195 Votes)
  • The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) (49 Votes)
  • The Descendants (Alexander Payne) (38 Votes)
  • Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) (27 Votes)

Total Voters: 834

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COMMENTS: Even though it was, for the most part, expected, Hazanavicius's win at the Directors Guild this year came as something of a surprise, but it also meant he is the obvious choice for Best Director at the Oscars and just one more reason to pick The Artist for Best Picture.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
  1. The Descendants
  2. Moneyball
  3. Hugo
  4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  5. The Ides of March

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • The Descendants (495 Votes)
  • Moneyball (157 Votes)
  • Hugo (63 Votes)
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (50 Votes)
  • The Ides of March (20 Votes)

Total Voters: 785

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COMMENTS: Until only a few days ago I had Moneyball in first followed by The Descendants, but wins with the WGA and the USC Scripters Award changed all that. I still wouldn't be surprised to see Moneyball or even Hugo take this award, but I don't think it's likely The Descendants will lose this one.


Writing (Original Screenplay)
  1. Midnight in Paris
  2. The Artist
  3. Bridesmaids
  4. A Separation
  5. Margin Call

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Midnight in Paris (494 Votes)
  • The Artist (191 Votes)
  • Bridesmaids (60 Votes)
  • A Separation (34 Votes)
  • Margin Call (14 Votes)

Total Voters: 793

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COMMENTS: I have had Midnight in Paris at the top the entire way and while some may tell you The Artist is going to take it I just don't see the Academy passing up a chance to give Woody Allen the Oscar. The bigger question is whether he'll show up to accept... my bet on that would be "No".


  • Jordan B.

    We are in agreement on most categories, and our picks agree in all of the major cateogories. The only ones that we differ on are Documentary (I think I'm going with Paradise Lost 3), Live Action Short (Raju) and Doc Short (Barber of Birmingham).

    At this time, I'm still unsure on Costumes (W.E. vs Hugo vs The Artist; Hugo was my initial selection); Art Direction (Hugo vs The Artist in a battle of two very different films); and Visual Effects (Rise has been my choice since November, but I'm balking with Hugo still sitting there).

    Any extra insight to lend on those 3, besides what you've mentioned above?

    • Mark Johnson

      I wouldn't bet against Hugo in Art Direction. One of the 4 categories I feel is a lock.

  • Mark Johnson

    Damn you Sound Editing. I still think War Horse should be the favorite there.

  • babmo

    Make Up: Not Voldemort...Griphook and Prof. Flitwick is same persone. Did you know that? That's the Make Up!

  • MajorFilmFan

    Perhaps I'm prejudice toward "Hugo" cause I LOVED that movie so much, but I think that movie is gonna clean the floor with the other films! I'm def. thinkin Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Director. Best Sound Editing I think belongs to Transformers 3, Best Special Effects belongs to Rise of the Apes, simply because of the stop motion work on the apes, particuarly on Andy Serkis (who I think should have been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, even though it WAS a stopmotion performance. He OWNED that role!!). Best Cinematography, it's gonna be Tree of Life. As flawed as that movie was, I STILL loved the hell out of it, and I feel it desrves SOME awards to show for Mallick's efforts on the film. Cinematography seems like the obvious choice...

    • Jordan B.

      Stop motion? You mean motion capture? And I hate to rain on the parade, but Hugo won't nab any awards outside of the technical categories. That's basically a foregone conclusion.

  • RG S.

    If Hugo wasn't released last year the same year with HP, Potter might have been the frontrunner in Art Direction.

  • Helgi

    Please spare me these thoughts. The Oscars will forever be named The Scars. Drop the O and you´re there. So the O has a meaning after all.

  • Kevin

    It was announced yesterday that Meryl Streep has been added as a presenter, that ususally means she did NOT win the Best Actress Oscar. Being a nominee and then added at the last minute as a presenter = consolation prize for a great performance (Viola Davis presented at Globes - and lost, presented at BAFTA - and lost). I am also hearing A LOT of buzz about Michelle Williams being really close, and possibly pulling an upset.

  • Alex Roggio

    Best Sound Editing- Hugo
    Best Sound Mixing- Hugo
    Best Original Song- The Muppets
    Best Original Score- The Artist
    Best Costume Design- Hugo
    Best Art Direction- Hugo
    Best Makeup- The Iron Lady
    Best Visual Effects- Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    Best Live-Action Short Film- Raju
    Best Animated Short Film- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris
    Best Documentary Short Subject- The Barberer of Birmingham
    Best Original Screenplay- Midnight in Paris
    Best Adapted Screenplay- The Descendants
    Best Cinematography- The Artist
    Best Editing- The Artist
    Best Director- The Artist

    Best Supporting Actor- Christopher Plummer
    Best Supporting Actress- Mo'Nique
    Best Actor- Jean Dujardin
    Best Actress- Viola Davis
    Best Documentary- Paradise Lost 3
    Best Animated Film- Rango
    Best Foreign Language Film- A Separation
    Best Film- The Artist

    • Kevin

      You might want to update your BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS to OSCARs2012....

  • Jake

    Why wouldn't they pass up Woody Allen? How about the fact that he doesn't show up to awards shows which true or not just shows a certain arrogance or lack of respect. I don't think this is his best script but it's better than the artist

    • Barb

      Woody Allen doesn't give a rat's ass about the Oscar's and never has. Is it arrogance. No it is not. He just wants to do work. His partners care ALOT about the Oscars. But not everyone likes it and to tell you the truth - it has become a bit of a Vegas act. The dresses are completely weird and over the top......and to tell you the truth - they are lucky Streep keeps showing up. It is because she is a class act. If anyone should BOYCOTT the Academy it is her.

  • Conor

    I agree with most of your choices, but am in total disagreement with many of your alternates. Max von Sydow is the (unlikely) potential spoiler for supporting actor because of the Best Pic nomination, and because of the general respect (lifetime achievement if you will) for him. Also, I'd have The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom at #1 or 2. It's tragic, but also beautiful and cinematic, and I see most people voting in the category digging it. I don't think it'll be near the bottom in voting.

  • Ian

    Here are my current picks without the shorts or documentary feature. These won't necessarily be my final predictions as I won't fill out my ballot until Sunday afternoon.

    Picture: The Artist
    Director: Michel Hazanavicius
    Actor: Jean Dujardin
    Actress: Viola Davis
    Supp. Actor: Christopher Plummer
    Supp. Actress: Octavia Spencer
    Adap. Screenplay: The Descendants
    Orig. Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
    Animated Film: Rango
    Cinematography: The Tree of Life
    Art Direction: Hugo
    Costumes: W.E.
    Editing: The Artist
    Makeup: Harry Potter
    Score: The Artist
    Song: "Man or Muppet"
    Sound Editing: Hugo
    Sound Mixing: Hugo
    Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Foreign Language Film: A Separation

    Looks like the only category where I differ from Brad is costumes. The Academy as a whole may have not seen W.E., but obviously the CDG did and most of their members will be the Academy voters for that award. Also, lavish costume dramas tend to win this award irrespective of anything else (see The Duchess for example), and I always had Jane Eyre as the frontrunner here. But maybe the Academy is just in love with the 1930s right now (The Artist, The King's Speech). That's the only reason I can see W.E. beating Jane Eyre. With all that said though, I'm not at all confident in my pick of W.E., and I still may change it.

    A few other interesting categories:

    Original Screenplay: I've said for a while now that I think The Artist is a much stronger contender than most other people seem to think. I'll probably stick with Midnight in Paris, but wouldn't be surprised if The Artist upsets (the fact that Woody Allen won't show up may contribute).

    Cinematography: This is just a crapshoot category to predict every year, but I don't know what film the Academy would go with if they went against The Tree of Life. This could still be a pretty wide open category

    Art Direction: Nothing to add to what Brad has said as this is just a tough category this year.

    Editing: Had Dragon Tattoo won the dramatic category that would have made things really interesting. Similar to cinematography though, I don't know what other film they'd go with though.

    Makeup: This is probably the Academy's last chance to honor the Harry Potter franchise and whether it wins or not it almost seems like an insult either way (it's either a pity win or the franchise gets completely ignored).

    Sound Editing: War Horse actually won the top award from the MPSE (editing). That gives me some pause in that category and while I've stuck with Hugo for both (it did win the top award from the CAS), I may still switch to War Horse.

    Those are my thoughts right now. Looking forward to Sunday as always; I'll be following the live blog as I watch the show.

    • Ian

      Forgot to mention animated film. I actually think that with this being a rare year where the Academy has a chance to honor a non-Pixar film, they may go outside the box with a foreign selection. It seems foolish to pick against Rango, and I definitely won't, but should one of the foreign options win I wouldn't be massively shocked. Of course they could just end up splitting the "non-Rango vote" (if there even is such a thing), and Rango will win anyway.

  • tommy

    bullhead is great . and in darkness is brightness

  • tommy

    bullhead and in darkness are greater than others. you can see them and then you have fair judgment.

  • Simon

    I would personally love to see The Descendants win Best Picture. Firstly, I found The Artist extremely clever, but the story ran thematically thin for me. Secondly, I feel that Clooney got a tough run with Up In The Air awards-wise. Thirdly, I feel that it is time Director, Alexander Payne, was honoured. And, finally, I feel it is a wonderful all-around picture. But, I could be wrong.

  • David

    I'd love War Horse and The Tree of Life to clean up, but realistically The Artist seems unbeatable. A shame - it's slightly overrated.

    A very poor year. Nothing touches the calibre of the ten in 2011. True Grit, Social Network, The Fighter, Black Swan, King's Speech, Inception, Toy Story III. This stuff trashes anything nominated this year.

  • Pareto


    Viola was s SAG presenter as well, and her name wasn't revealed 2 days prior to the awards.

    And FYI, nobody knows who wins except the two guys from PWC.

  • Matthew

    I really hope Meryl Streep can win another oscar but not for The Iron Lady...

  • John Doe Woo

    Done! And we also want to vote for our preferences, not just predictions! :)

  • Jordan B.

    Since I voted based on my predictions, here are my actual preferences (*Denotes a difference between prediction and preference):

    Picture: Moneyball*
    Director: Martin Scorsese (Hugo)*
    Actor: Brad Pitt (Moneyball)*
    Actress: Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)*
    Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
    Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help)
    Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
    Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball*
    Animated: Rango
    Foreign Language: A Separation
    Documentary: Undefeated*
    Cinematography: The Tree of Life
    Editing: The Artist
    Score: The Artist
    Song: The Muppets
    Sound Mixing: Hugo
    Sound Editing: Hugo
    Art Direction: Hugo
    Visual Effects: Hugo*
    Costumes: Hugo
    Makeup: Harry Potter* (can't believe I said that)

    Shorts: no preferences

  • Andrea

    Ehy teach some rispect!!! W.E. has one nomination (it deserves the Korzeniowski's score, Andrea Riseborough as Wallis Simpson and arti direction by Martin Childs too) it woulden't be the fisrt time in the Academy history that a film with one nomination win an Oscar! Critics about Madonna's movie have not open mind from you too, but good movies fly away from prejudices, they have a life without stupid critics.

    • Jordan B.

      Your comment was atrocious for me to read and understand, but I think I got through it. Brad's not saying that a film with one nomination can't win an Oscar. But when there are other deserving films that will likely miss out on the big awards (Hugo, for example), this is where those films tend to receive their dues. Here's the thinking, from a voter's standpoint:

      "I really loved Hugo, but I thought The Artist was better. So I'll vote The Artist for Best Picture, and Best Director too. Score? I'll also go with The Artist. And Editing? The Artist.

      But, man, I really loved Hugo! It needs to be recognized somewhere! Sound Mixing and Editing? Alright. But it's more than that: I loved the look of the film! I loved the Effects, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes should win that one. Alright, I'll vote Art Direction and Costumes as well then!"

      Something like that anyways. THAT is why it's hard to think that W.E., a movie that very few saw and even fewer care for, will pull out a win, even if it is in a category that many people don't worry too much about.

  • Winchester

    I don't see any reason to differ with Brad's predictions at this point.

    I do think Davis could in theory be upset by Streep (or even perhaps Williams in a bigger twist) but it's probably Davis.

    Apart from that, all the others seem set on course.

  • Travis

    Strangely, Documentary is the toughest one this year. The rest are really open and shut. Documentary is, from all the sources and prognosticators I've seen, torn between Paradise Lost 3, Undefeated, and Pina. I'm throwing my support behind Pina currently, but may change to Paradise Lost 3 by Sunday

  • Jonathan

    I still think it'll be Streep for Best Actress.

    The standing ovation at the SAGs when Viola won indicated to me that THIS was her "Oscar Moment".

    The long-standing respect for -- and awe of -- Streep (and the fact she hasn't won since 1983) definitely work in her favor for a role as polished and masterful as Thatcher. The movie sucked, but she was incredible. And that's kind of what I'm hearing all around town.

    So, Best Actress to Streep.

  • Barb

    I think you are pretty spot on with alot of them. I think Woody Allen will win. I want Marty to WIN - because I actually thought that HUGO was a much better picture ALL the way around than the ARTIST. I am not drinkin the koolaid. I liked the ARTIST......but HUGO blew me away.

    I also liked Brad Pitt this year. It would be amazing to me to see Clooney sneak a win - but it will probably be the NOW irritation ARTIST guy. He was good but I am BORED BORED BORED.

    I am happy for Christopher Plummer. He is the best American Actor we have and that is a deserved win in every way.

    Octavia Spencer earned the Oscar in her slot. I really really liked Mc Carthy........she won me over and Janet Mc Teer is one of our best actresses around. Ms. Chastain is fabulous also. All the ladies my hat is off. Octavia basically stole the HELP out from underneath everyone though.

    Now - to The Actresses. I love Viola Davis and if she wins it will be fine with me. She is a lovely soul and this was an amazing performance. I WANT MERYL STREEP TO WIN THOUGH. I just saw Iron Lady and I was just brought to my knees about how this woman continues year after year to deliver these performances........I just cannot fathom how she continues to be nice to everyone. Although she has won every award except the Congressional Medal of Honor...and I happen to think that she may win that before this damn Academy gives her another it is probably a better bet that Michelle Williams would pull an upset over Streep walking away with her 3rd. Either the Academy is stingy when it comes to Streep or I don't know....but what this woman has had to do to keep getting not the statue just completely flabbergasts me and this is not taking ANYTHING away from Viola Davis or Glenn Close, or Rooney Mara or Michelle Williams (who pulled off a miracle with Marilyn) But there were moments that Streep had in this weird movie that I was not watching her I was watching that Thatcher lady..........and for that....the winner is
    STREEP.........and if she doesnt win - I boycott. She won't because she is a class act.....but as an avid fan - I say f$%k them

  • jason

    nobody didn't see's amazing .

  • bright

    bullhead doesn't use explosions, 3D or other tricks to make you watch. But the powerhouse performances and typical Belgium scenery do.The movie is set in the hormones and veterinarian mob. But the true story at the heart is one of revenge and the impossibility of love. Enter a raw, but true world. An brilliant Belgium movie. It deserves an Oscar.

  • Jordan B.

    I think Jason wants everyone to see Bullhead.

    On the real though, there are couple categories that I'm still not totally locked into:

    MAKEUP: Smart money says The Iron Lady, but I keep thinking Harry Potter could pick up an award here.

    COSTUMES: W.E. won the CDG award, but I don't really know that that'll matter here. I think it's between Hugo and The Artist, and I am torn over which won to pick. I'm leaning towards The Artist, if only because it depicts much more elegant costumes in a period piece than does Hugo. But I don't know how much that really matters.

    VISUAL EFFECTS: Again, smart money seem to say Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, but Hugo is right there and, while its effects may not have been as good, it is a better movie, overall. I saw one expert point to the fact that no Best Picture Nominee has ever lost this category to a non-Best Picture Nominee. Which would seem to indicate that perhaps Hugo is the smarter pick.

    CINEMATOGRAPHY: If Lubezki doesn't win for The Tree Of Life, I'd be upset. I was indifferent to the movie, but I'll be damned if it wasn't the best looking film of the year. But I could see Guillaume Schiffman's B&W work in The Artist, or Bob Richardson for Hugo.