Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 84th Academy Award winners through February 26th, when the winners are announced.
While many are pegging a Viola vs. Meryl showdown in the best actress race, it seems after her SAG win and some very affecting speeches on the precursor circuit, Ms. Davis is looking more and more like an assured a win come Oscar night. Which leaves the only truly nail-biting acting race to the boys.
In the lead actor category, there's been a considerable split among precursors between George Clooney ("The Descendants") and Jean Dujardin ("The Artist"). Both won Golden Globes, while Clooney took a Critics Choice and Dujardin won the SAG. Either one of them could take home the Oscar, or feasibly another scenarios could go down if they split a large portion of the vote: Brad Pitt's humble charm on the circuit could help him win an Oscar for "Moneyball" (it also helps he's never won, while Clooney has).
This will make it one of the most relatively exciting envelopes to be opened February 26.
Best actor predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here.
The Predicted Winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
The Possible Spoiler: Brad Pitt, Moneyball or George Clooney, The Descendants
Shoulda Been Here: Michael Fassbender, Shame