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For Your Consideration: Early 2012 Oscar Predictions

For Your Consideration: Early 2012 Oscar Predictions

With the Oscars now a three day-old memory, the time has come for the final edition of this column. I can’t say I’m particularly saddened. From the Toronto International Film Festival’s unofficial awards season kick-off in September to last weekend’s mediocre ceremony, it’s been six long months of speculation and anticipation, and I’m ready to move on (as I’m sure many of you are as well). While I’m sure I could rant on more about the ceremony (I already did here), and the predictability of nearly every major winner (though the tech categories screwed over my prognosticatory bragging rights with a few surprises), is there really any point anymore? The moment “The King’s Speech” solidified its status as this year’s surefire choice for best picture of the year, my awards season was over.

There is one final column before letting awards talk rest in peace until September. It’s been an annual tradition for me to take an ignorant stab at the following year well before there’s any substantial evidence in its regard (Sundance aside, that is.. at this point last year we did already know where “The Kids Are All Right” and “Winter’s Bone” were heading, though this year’s crop is much less promising). Surprisingly, it’s not always a total crap shoot. While last year I might have been significantly off the mark with “Love & Other Drugs,” “Miral,” “Somewhere” and “Hereafter” making the best picture lineup, I did manage to properly predict 4 of the 10 nominations (6 if you count the alternates). More over, I managed to get 4 of the 5 best actress nominees, missing only Jennifer Lawrence (despite, oddly enough, having seen “Winter’s Bone” at that point). So before this column lies dormant until the fall… let’s give it a shot, keeping in mind that this is more or less a fun little game and not one that I would take too seriously.

There’s certainly plenty to choose from, as 2011 looks to be a diverse and potentially quite fulfilling year for cinema.

A scene from “We Need To Talk About Kevin.”

We’ve got some of the greatest working filmmakers out there all giving us new projects, some of them perhaps the most ambitious of their careers. There’s Martin Scorsese’s extremely expensive 3-D adaptation of family friendly “Hugo Cabret;” Steven Spielberg’s double-whammy of “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” the former the most likely to give him his eighth career best picture nomination; David Cronenberg’s Carl Jung-Sigmund Freud biopic “A Dangerous Method,” starring a dreamy duo in Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender; Terrence Malick’s ridiculously anticipated “The Tree of Life,” which was actually predicted last year; and “Life” star Brad Pitt’s other big 2012 play for Oscar, Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball.”

There’s also Alexander Payne’s long-awaited follow-up to “Sideways,” George Clooney starrer “The Descendents”; Clooney’s own directorial effort, “The Ides of March,” a juicy sounding political drama starring Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Marisa Tomei; Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic, starring Leonardo diCaprio; Steven Soderbergh’s intensely all-star thriller “Contagion,” with a cast that includes 7 Oscar nominees and 4 winners; David Fincher’s adaptation of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”; Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of the acclaimed novel “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” starring Tilda Swinton; Jason Reitman re-teaming with Diablo Cody for “Young Adult'” and three-time best director nominee (for just as many projects) Stephen Daldry giving us “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” starring Oscar favorites Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.

And that’s honestly just scratching the surface. With the expanded ten nominees, it’s certain less expected films (or films we haven’t even heard of yet) could make the cut. And I mean, who knows, maybe Jodie Foster’s Mel Gibson dramedy “The Beaver” will go over in a way opposite to that which many expect. At this point, we kind of know nothing. So with that in mind, I present my major category 2012 Oscar predictions, one year in advance:

Best Picture:
A Dangerous Method
The Descendents
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Hugo Cabret
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
The Tree of Life
War Horse
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Young Adult

(Alternates: Contagion; We Bought a Zoo; Moneyball; The Help; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)

-For predictions in the rest of the main categories, continue to the next page-

Best Director:
George Clooney, The Ides of March
David Cronenberg, A Dangerous Method
Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Steven Spielberg, War Horse

(Alternates: Martin Scorsese, Hugo Cabret; Alexander Payne, The Descendents; Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar; Lynne Ramsay, We Need To Talk About Kevin)

Best Actor:
Leonardo diCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassender, A Dangerous Method
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Tom Hanks, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life (or Moneyball)

(Alternates: George Clooney, The Descendents; Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Antonio Banderas, The Skin That I Inhabit; Michael Shannon, Take Shelter; )

Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady.”

Best Actress:
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn (or Take This Waltz)

(Alternates: Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Anne Hathaway, One Day; Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene; Emma Stone, The Help)

Best Supporting Actor:
Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March (or Moneyball)
Viggo Mortenson, A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. Reilly, We Need To Talk About Kevin

(Alternates: Ben Kingsley, Hugo Cabret; Matt Damon, Contagion; Sean Penn, The Tree of Life; Armie Hammer, J. Edgar)

Best Supporting Actress:
Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life (or The Help, or Take Shelter)
Viola Davis, The Help (or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Judi Dench, My Week With Marilyn
Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
Naomi Watts, J. Edgar

(Alternates: Marisa Tomei, The Ides of March; Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris; Octavia Spencer, The Help; Shailene Woodley, The Descendants)

Best Original Screenplay:
J. Edgar
Take This Waltz
The Tree of Life
Young Adult

(Alternates: Beginners; Martha Marcy May Marlene; Butter; Midnight in Paris)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
A Dangerous Method
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Ides of March
War Horse
We Need To Talk About Kevin

(Alternates: The Descendents; Hugo Cabret; The Help; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)

Peter Knegt is indieWIRE’s Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Previous editions of this column:
For Your Consideration: Final Oscar Winner Predictions, Part III
For Your Consideration: Final Oscar Winner Predictions, Part II
For Your Consideration: Final Oscar Winner Predictions, Part I
For Your Consideration: Sundance and Next Year’s Oscars
For Your Consideration: Final 2011 Oscar Nomination Predictions
For Your Consideration: Guessing The Golden Globes
For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot…
For Your Consideration: 60 Women That Defined “The Year of the Actress”
For Your Consideration: A Mid-December Stab at Oscar Predictions
For Your Consideration: A Guide To The Oscar Precursors
For Your Consideration: The 10 Biggest Surprises of the Spirit Award Nominations
For Your Consideration: The 10 Worst Original Song Oscar Snubs of the Past 10 Years
For Your Consideration: A Mid-November Stab at Oscar Predictions
For Your Consideration: Gauging a Crowded and Female-Friendly Spirit Award Field
For Your Consideration: Could a Documentary Be Nominated For Best Picture?
For Your Consideration: Assessing Those Gotham Award Nominations
For Your Consideration: 10 Underdog Actors
For Your Consideration: 10 Underdog Actresses
For Your Consideration: Save For “Love” Snub, Foreign Language Submissions Uncontroversial
For Your Consideration: Post-Toronto Oscar Predictions
For Your Consideration: Updating Oscar Contenders In The Eye of The Storm
For Your Consideration: 10 Things The Fall Fests Should Say About Awards Season
For Your Consideration: Assessing Oscar In The Calm Before The Storm

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