My Oscar Nominations (As Well As What I Think Will Be Nominated)

It’s that time again. Tomorrow, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce their nominations for the 84th Academy Awards. Naturally, I am going to guess what I think those nominations will be.

Something like this is easy to do up to an extent. The big categories — normally you get 4/5 or 5/5. It’s the Techs where you slip up the most. Shorts, Foreign Language — things like that. You easily miss 2, 3, maybe even 4 of the nominees. And those are generally where your misses add up. And of course, there will always be surprises. That’s to be expected. Especially this year, when we don’t even know how many Best Picture nominees there will be. There will be films or performances that get on that will be what most consider alternates going in. There will be films that get on that no one saw coming. It’s the nature of the beast. Plus, me being a person who will, most of the time, vote for what I want to be nominated over what will probably be nominated, I’m used to having a percentage lower than I would have if I picked objectively.

Also, what I’m going to do, before I guess what I think will be nominated, is put what I would nominate for all of these categories. I’ll keep it mostly to “Oscar” films. I won’t put on a film like Hanna on the Best Picture list, even though I had it in my Top Ten. I won’t stray too far from the wheelhouse unless there was nothing else that I liked that much (which is rare, but happens).

That said, here are what I would nominate for the Oscars, and what I think the Academy will nominate.

We start, of course, with Best Picture. For both lists, my nominations and what I think the Academy will nominate (remember, my list first, then guesses), I’ll start with a set of five, since we’re guaranteed to have five nominees. After that, I’ll list from 6-10 which films I’d put on. The sliding scale allows from anywhere between 5 and 10 films, so, whatever the number ends up being, my list will cut off there, and those will be my guesses. I won’t do any of that, “Well, there were 8 films, but I guessed that one as #9.” None of that. If there are 8 films, my top 8 will count as my guesses.

Best Picture

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


6. War Horse

7. The Descendants

8. Drive

9. The Tree of Life

10. The Ides of March

Pretty simple. These were my favorite films (slightly rearranged). These, plus like two others, are really the contenders anyway. The Help will probably get on, and Midnight in Paris might make a showing. Those will probably take the “spots” (since we don’t actually know how this is gonna work out) of two of the last three films. Or rather, Tinker Tailor‘s spot. That, I’m pretty much resigned to saying, probably will be completely snubbed. So I’m pretty much right in line with them.

What I Think The Academy Will Nominate for Best Picture

1. The Artist

2. The Descendants

3. The Help

4. Hugo

5. War Horse

I’m pretty much resigned to The Help getting on. Personally, I think it’s a #6 film, but I know it’ll get on, because that’s what will piss me off the most, so I put it on. I will gladly be wrong in the case that it’s not on. At this point, it’s just an assumption that it will be on. And based on all the shit I’ve seen, I’d say there will be at least 6 or 7 nominees (8 seems most likely), and I think The Help will get on no matter what.

I also think Moneyball is a lock, but to me, War Horse is the “Oscar” film, so I want to put that as my #5. I’d be shocked if it didn’t get on, but I think that could happen. But I want to be wrong if it does. It’ll keep things interesting. But I think the top six are pretty much locks. It’s the rest that I’m curious about.

6. Moneyball

7. Midnight in Paris

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

9. The Ides of March

10. The Tree of Life

This is basically the same as the Producers Guild, with Tree of Life over Bridesmaids. Drive is also a wildcard, and I have that hanging around #11. There will be nothing else that gets on except those 11 films.

Most people figure Midnight in Paris and Dragon Tattoo as the most likely to get on, based on strong PGA and DGA showings for both, but they’re not assured, because of that sliding scale business. Still, they have above average chances. And then, #9, Tree of Life — it doesn’t really have too much going for it, having missed both the DGA and PGA. But it has a lot of support from those who love it, and those first place votes might be enough to get it on. Drive is also like that. Not widespread support, but rabid support. I wouldn’t be shocked to see it get on. I put Ides of March as #10 over it, simply because I feel like Clooney has a lot of support going for him, plus I really don’t think it’s going above 8 nominees. And Bridesmaids, I truly believe has zero chance of getting on, simply because — how many people are going to use first place votes to get that on? (Also, some people still think Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has a chance to get on. I feel like that possibility is less than Bridesmaids‘s chance.)

Best Actor

George Clooney, The Descendants

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Michael Fassbender, Shame

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Also just missing the cut were Ryan Gosling, probably for Ides of March over Drive, Demián Bichir for A Better Life, and Michael Shannon for Take Shelter. Also, apologies to Leo, but I just didn’t see it in that performance. I like my list. That might actually be the list. Though I just know they’re gonna leave Gary Oldman off. I just know it. I’ll consider him a surprise nominee until he gets on.

Who I Think The Academy Will Nominate for Best Actor

  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Alt: Michael Fassbender, Shame

Dark Horse: Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March/Drive

Shocker: Demián Bichir, A Better Life

I have to leave Oldman on until they don’t nominate him. I’ll be wrong. I don’t care.

Of the other possibilities — I can’t tell if Fassbender or Gosling stands a better chance at a nomination, of the two. Fassbender gave the better performance (Shame), but Gosling has the higher profile film (Ides of March). Both had all star years. Gosling also has the Blue Valentine thing going for him. Though Fassbender, to a a lesser extent, has the Hunger thing going for him. But he might also have the subject matter going against him. Also, Bichir got a SAG nomination. That could mean he might get in. Don’t rule him out. Surprise nominees are usually found in the SAG nominations. I’d be really surprised to see it happen, but it’s still definitely on the table.

Also, apparently a lot of people are picking Michael Shannon straight up. I can’t see it happening, but I guess anything is possible.

Best Actress

Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method

Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Charlize Theron, Young Adult

Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

This category was impossible to find nominees for. I didn’t even really love any performance on here except Mara’s. Outside of her, they were just to fill up the category. Williams was good, but I don’t see it as essential except for her (the performance is not as good as her Blue Valentine performance). I didn’t like Streep’s performance at all, and to me, The Help nominations are about awarding Viola Davis, the film, and so the Academy doesn’t seem so racist. I’d also like to show some love to Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia. I really liked that performance a lot. Other than that — weak year for female roles, Oscar-wise.

Who I Think The Academy Will Nominate for 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

Alt: Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Dark Horse: No one. But if you want one, Bérénice Bejo, The Artist. Seriously, there’s no one but these six.

Shocker: Charlize Theron, Young Adult

This is another one of those situations where I have to vote with what I want to happen and not what seems like it will happen. I’m terrified that they’re gonna leave Rooney Mara off this list. Glenn Close is a veteran playing a man, and that seems like it has enough traction to get on. And Tilda Swinton is Tilda Swinton. So there are six people fighting for five spots. Someone’s gonna get left of. I say it’s Glenn, since she might not have the veteran vote locked up. Kind of like Duvall last year. SAG didn’t nominate Rooney, which makes it more likely to be her that gets left off, but — here’s my rationale for putting her on:

First, the Academy, if they nominate Dragon Tattoo for Best Picture, are gonna look to get it an acting nomination as well. Who better to do it than Mara? Second, it’s possible that SAG did not have time to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or Tinker Tailor, for that matter), since they announced so early. Plus, they nominated Noomi Rapace for the same role last year. Maybe that’s why they didn’t vote for her. I don’t know. It’s all rationalization for hoping she gets on. Without her, the entire category will be dead to me. (Which, actually, it makes sense that in a year where they might finally give me a Best Picture winner I love unconditionally, they won’t nominate either of my favorite lead performances. Or supporting, for that matter.)

Anyway, that’s all beside the point. Those six are your definite set of nominees. Five of those six will get on. Theron has some traction, but very little. Almost none. I’d also assume that both Bérénice Bejo and Carey Mulligan are being pushed for Supporting, since that’s where they both have better chances of making it on.

Right now, I’d say that Meryl, Michelle and Viola are absolute locks. Glenn is close to one. (Ha ha! Pun!) And the fifth spot is Rooney or Tilda or Glenn. If Rooney’s not there, I get pissed, and if Tilda’s not there, the internet is pissed. Really, the only way to please everyone is to not nominate Glenn. But do we think that’s gonna happen? (I should have guessed that, but something tells me they can’t resist a woman playing a man. We shall see.) I’m pretty much resigned to Rooney not getting on.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

Albert Brooks, Drive

Ben Kingsley, Hugo

Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

(The awards for badass supporting performances of the year that will never be nominated for Oscars go to William Fichtner for Drive Angry and Kevin Bacon for Super.)

I barely found five here. I didn’t much get the Jonah Hill performance in Moneyball as an Oscar nominee, though I wouldn’t necessarily be against it. In a year like this, with nothing I truly loved (outside of Ben Kingsley. To me, his performance, and who he played, is the best overall performance. Fuck perception. He was amazing), I go by the actors themselves. And with that, I like Hill, so I’d be cool with him getting in there. For the performance? Meh.

I didn’t care for the Viggo Mortensen performance in A Dangerous Method (as an Oscar contender), I know Christopher Plummer will be nominated, so I didn’t feel the need to include him, especially since I didn’t love the performance or the film (love being the key word. I liked them both just fine). And Patton Oswalt was great in Young Adult, but personally, I really liked Mark Strong’s work in Tinker Tailor. I wanted to show that some love, because I don’t think people would immediately consider that to be a great performance. But I thought it was wonderfully done.

I also really liked Corey Stoll, who played Hemingway in Midnight in Paris. He was awesome.

This is also the most wide open of the acting categories. I don’t think anyone knows what they’re gonna do. I can, however, state with almost complete certainty, that Andy Serkis will not be nominated. Though at this point, nothing would shock me. And honestly, why not throw him on, if they care to? (But do they care to? I say they don’t. I say they don’t give him anything, and then throw him an honorary in like ten to fifteen years. Watch. That’s what they do.)

Oh boy. I have to guess now, don’t I? I’m fully expecting to only be 3/5 here. Only three people have any traction. The rest is a crap shoot.

Who I think The Academy Will Nominate for Best Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
  • Albert Brooks, Drive
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Alt: Ben Kingsley, Hugo

Dark Horse: Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method (or Armie Hammer, J. Edgar)

Shocker: George Clooney, The Ides of March (or Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life)

I didn’t put Ben Kingsley on, but I’ll tell you right now — when a film is a strong contender for Best Picture (and what is, if not Hugo?), the Academy always looks to get it at least one acting nomination. And Ben Kingsley is that person who is most likely to benefit from this. I know he hasn’t hit any of the guilds, but just hear me out on this:

Last year, Toy Story 3 and Inception were the only two films not to receive any acting nominations. Neither got a Best Director or Best Editing nomination, which means they weren’t serious contenders for Best Picture.

2009, only Avatar, District 9, A Serious Man and Up were didn’t receive any acting nominations. Only Avatar had a shot at Best Picture. But that was a very unique case, I’d say. Some might consider Hugo to also be a very unique case, but I don’t. There’s no motion-capture here.

2008, Slumdog had no acting nominations. There’s a precedent you can state. I will accept this. I can also say – foreigners. They don’t know the cast, so why would they nominate them? You’ll se more examples of this coming up.

2007, all films receive acting nominations. 2006, Letters from Iwo Jima doesn’t. Again, foreigners. I know it’s Ken Watanabe, but still — foreigners. 2005, Munich gets no nominations. Not a contender. 2004, all films receive nominations. 2003, Return of the King, Master and Commander and Seabiscuit get no nominations. Obviously a special case. 2002, Two Towers, no nominations. Never had a shot. This is how we got our special case. 2001, all films get acting nominations. 2000, only Crouching Tiger doesn’t get a nomination. Foreigners. 1999, all films get acting nominations. 1998, The Thin Red Line doesn’t get acting nominations. No shot. 1997, The Full Monty. Not a threat. 1996, everything gets one. 1995, Braveheart doesn’t. That’s the last time you see a film with a strong chance of winning Best Picture that doesn’t get a nomination, and isn’t either a special case, or a film full of foreigners. (Before that, you know what the last film was that had a strong chance at winning and got no acting nominations? Aside from The Last Emperor (again, foreigners), it was E.T. Thirty years, and that’s it.)

So I have a hard time thinking the Academy will let a film like Hugo, which is either the second or third choice at the moment behind The Artist, seemingly, go without any acting nominations. Here’s a film that is quite possibly going to win Best Director, and it won’t get any acting nominations? Don’t get all up in arms, I’m picking that it won’t too, just because Kingsley’s name hasn’t shown up on any of the precursors, but if it happens, don’t forget — I told you about it. (Also keep in mind — they nominated him for Sexy Beast, they nominated him for House of Sand and Fog. He’s on their mind. Trust me. It’s possible. Not probably. But possible.)

I’m also gonna tell you right now — if Clooney also gets nominated for Supporting for Ides of March — close the book right then and there. He’s already won Best Actor. (I mean, he’s already won it anyway, but, they like to put bows on things.) Don’t be shocked if it happens. Remember 2004? Jamie Foxx was consensus Best Actor from November, and then Best Supporting Actor was really weak (all they had were Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman and Thomas Haden Church. Alan Alda got in on a veteran vote, and really all they had outside of those five were Freddy Highmore for Finding Neverland or David Carradine for Kill Bill Vol. 2. I’m pretty sure, though, that time, the Foxx nomination was assumed and the Alda one was the surprise. Still, though, when there aren’t enough set nominees, shit like that happens). It’s not out of the question. (I’ve also hear Pitt’s name bandied about here for The Tree of Life. I have a hard time thinking they’ll nominate Pitt twice and not Clooney, especially since Pitt is guaranteed to come away empty-handed.)

As for alternates that aren’t Ben Kingsley or George Clooney, which are very special surprise scenarios:

Viggo has enough status to sneak on, even though his only traction was really from the Globes. Also, Armie Hammer got a SAG nomination. Don’t rule out him sneaking on. Obviously SAG isn’t everything, but it clearly shows support. Andy Serkis and Patton Oswalt are floating around, but neither should get on, I feel. I also loved Max von Sydow, but Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close seems all but assured to be shut out at this point. Plummer has a stranglehold on the veteran nomination, and Brooks has the middle-age veteran nomination. Hill is the up-and-comer. Pretty much everything is covered at this point.

As for the category, I think that Plummer, Branagh and Brooks are the closest thing to locks we have. Hill has hit the most precursors otherwise, so he seems like the most likely to get on as #4. If someone can call a lock on #5 (and aren’t just bullshitting just to say so) and be right about it, I’ll be impressed. But I don’t think anyone knows for sure what’s gonna happen here. Might as well go with Nolte.

Now Best Supporting Actress. Here’s another one — I seriously couldn’t find a #5. So, rather than go with one of the people in the hunt for the Oscar nomination, I went with a performance that I really enjoyed a whole lot. I don’t feel bad about including it, since last year on this same list, I included Chloë Moretz for Kick-Ass. So I think I’ve set a precedent.

Best Supporting Actress

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Carey Mulligan, Shame

Ellen Page, Super

Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

This was a tough one for me. I was gonna put on Sandra Bullock for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, since I did actually like her performance, but that just felt like an “in the hunt” cop out. I enjoyed Ellen Page’s psychotic ADD performance so much more. Plus, like I said, I set a precedent. So why not?

This category is so weak, though. Wait until you see when we get to who I think will be nominated. It’s so terrible.

No one’s been talking about either of the ladies from Carnage. Do you think it’s possible one of those slip in unnoticed? After all, they are Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet. Of course, this is probably the last-minute conspiracy theorist talking, but, if it happens, I’ll have been the only one to mention it. (I really don’t think it’s gonna happen, though.)

Who I Think The Academy Will Nominate for Best Supporting Actress

  • Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain, The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Octavia Spencer, The Help
  • Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Alt: Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Dark Horse: Carey Mulligan, Shame

Shocker: Anyone else. Sandra Bullock, maybe?

Notice how I kept the Bridesmaids nomination on here. This is called a win-win for me. Either I’m gonna get it right and it’ll get on, or I’ll get it wrong and it won’t, and I’ll be happy.

The only other nominees with potential are Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs, who has almost as many precursors as McCarthy does (including SAG) and Carey Mulligan for Shame. Carey hasn’t gotten too many precursors, but in this weak field has a shot. Most people don’t have Woodley on, and if she gets left off, I’ll be upset. And that’ll pretty much be every acting category where one of my favorite performances is left off. (Great.) Still picking Woodley though, because I don’t care if I’m wrong. And because, how could they love the film that much and not nominate that performance? You know what I mean? How can you take this film seriously as a Best Picture contender when only the Globes have voted for it and they didn’t nominate it for Supporting Actress? That’s my other reasoning for leaving her on, aside from, “I want it to happen.”

P.S. Other people have Judi Dench on, but she only really got the BAFTA nomination. And other people have Vanessa Redgrave for Coriolanus, but that’s just a “She’s Vanessa Redgrave” mention more than anything. She won’t get nominated. Nobody saw that movie. (It was pretty good.)

The real vulnerable nominee here is Shailene Woodley. She didn’t get a SAG nomination. That could be a problem. However — the Academy isn’t SAG. If the Academy loves the film (and according to everyone, they’re gonna love The Descendants), they bring people like this along for the right. Plus, let’s not forget, they love George. George single-handedly got Tilda Swinton an Oscar for Michael Clayton. (Plus, Woodley was incredible, so I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to nominate her.)

So those are really your probables. The five I said, plus McTeer and Mulligan as alternates. That’s it. 7 people, 5 spots. I’m actually going out of my comfort zone with the McCarthy guess. Normally, I’d want to put Mulligan but “go out of my comfort zone” to guess McTeer, since she has a bunch of precursors. So really I’m going out of my fake comfort zone to vote for McCarthy. Why not, right?

Best Director

Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Michel Hazanvicius, The Artist

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Steven Spielberg, War Horse

Pretty much my top five for Best Picture, only with Spielberg over Bennett Miller. Terrence Malick was my #6. I’m very curious to see which way Oscar goes, since the five DGA nominees were Fincher, Hazanavicius, Scorsese, and then Woody Allen and Alexander Payne. Three of these are locked, but there are two open spots. I really want to know which way they go with them. Does Spielberg get left off? That would be interesting.

Who I Think The Academy Will Nominate for 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

Alt: Steven Spielberg, War Horse

Dark Horse: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Shocker: Bennett Miller, Moneyball

This was tough. I fully expect to be wrong. Scorsese, Hazanavicius and Payne are locked. Allen’s hit pretty much everything and the Academy loves him. I fully expect him to get on. I also have to figure that since Fincher hit the DGA over Spielberg, he’s the fifth nominee. But obviously Spielberg is the alternate here. A lot of people are saying Malick, but I haven’t seen any Tree of Life love anywhere to suggest that’s the case.

Outside of those seven (which are really the only seven), Tate Taylor has about a 2% chance (they have to really love The Help, and I know they don’t). Alfredson seems to have no shot. Bennett Miller is a threat, so he’s probably your #8 after Spielberg and Malick (simply out of support for the film). And Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive has a small chance, but I’d still put that at less than 5%. He’s probably your #9. I say stick with the five I listed and maybe Spielberg or Malick as an alternate.

Oscar routinely leaves people off, so actually, I would not be surprised to see Fincher get left off (a la Christopher Nolan last year) at all.

So those are our major categories. Now, onto that middle section, of awards I really like:

Best Original Screenplay


Another Earth

The Artist

Midnight in Paris

Young Adult

It’s funny, since four out of my five are the same four out of five the Academy is going to nominate. The only difference is that Another Earth won’t get on, and Bridesmaids probably will (with Win Win being a dark horse spoiler). The Tree of Life seems to be a nonentity at this point.

There’s really nothing else to say here. These clearly were the scripts this year. These were practically all the original scripts. The only other ones I really liked that were original were Super, Hanna and Friends with Benefits. But even that last one had some ‘ehh’ moments. And The Muppets was cute, but that’s more like a film than a screenplay. You know what I mean?

What I Think The Academy Will Nominate for Best Original Screenplay

  • 50/50
  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Young Adult

Alt: Win Win

Dark Horse: A Separation

Shocker: Beginngers

I’d be surprised to see anything else to get on that’s not one of these 8. Maybe Tree of Life, but I doubt it. The last three are pretty interchangeable as alternates. And, obviously, Young Adult is the weak link, and the one most people are figuring will be left off. I’m leaving it on, because I liked it. I’d say you had a better chance at not picking it at this point. Go with Beginners or A Separation. They’re having some late surge in the picks, I’m seeing.

I fully expect to be at least 4/5 here. Young Adult hasn’t gotten too much traction, but a Globe and BFCA nomination might be enough. We’ll see. Tom McCarthy gets respect, Beginners is a film they like, so it could easily sneak on here, and A Separation definitely will get some attention too.

I’m also fascinated that all the top films this year are adapted screenplays.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Pretty self-explanatory, really.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball

Alt: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Dark Horse: War Horse

Shocker: The Ides of March

These were the same as the WGA five. War Horse is an obvious spoiler, but I honestly don’t see that happening. These five seem really locked. Tinker Tailor would be a nice surprise, which is why I put that as my alternate (and so I could make War Horse a Dark Horse. That never gets old). Personally, Ides of March might have more of a shot than War Horse to make it on, if it happens.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part  2 might get on here if they really want to show it some love, but all signs point to ‘never gonna happen’ there.

Real dark horse, if you really want to get crazy with your picking (assuming Tinker Tailor has no shot and you don’t want to pick any of the other ones): My Week with Marilyn.

So, really — it’s between those five, War Horse, and Ides of March. And Tinker Tailor. Those are your 8. It should almost definitely be 5 of those 8.

Dragon Tattoo is most vulnerable, and Tinker Tailor is most likely to take its spot. I left it on, since the WGA nominated it and because it’s more likely to get major nominations.

Best Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Left off Tinker Tailor in favor of Tree of Life. I feel justified. Also props to Drive. That looked great. But these five are definitely my five.

However… ooh, this is interesting…

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Cinematography

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • The Tree of Life

Alt: War Horse

Dark Horse: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Shocker: The Descendants

I realized that as much as I liked the look of War Horse, I love Tinker Tailor more as a film, plus these were the exact five that ASC nominated. So I figured I’d go with what I’d like to see happen, even though it’ll probably mean my getting it wrong (since it’s War Horse. I still assume this is in a position of power just because).

I fully expect to get 4/5 right here, but I’m doing it, again, in the interest of what I’d like to see happen. It’s no fun just making business decisions. One heart pick per category is acceptable. Two is crazy.

Best Editing

The Artist


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Moneyball was my #6.

I’ll keep this brief. This category is most about Best Picture. So it doesn’t so much matter about the editing as much as it matters what the favorites are for Best Picture. So your nominees will be the films with the obvious great editing jobs and the films competing for Best Picture. Last year, Inception, which by consensus had the best editing, was left off in favor of Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Fighter, The Social Network and The King’s Speech. Arguably four of those five were favorites for Best Picture. (This is also how we knew True Grit didn’t have a shot at winning Best Picture.)

So remember, err on the side of what will be competing for Best Picture. As in:

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Editing

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball

Alt: War Horse

Dark Horse: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Shocker: The Help

I’d also place, somewhere between Dark Horse and shocker: Drive and Midnight in Paris.

Of course, there could be another film that sneaks on here, like Ghost Protocol or Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But I really doubt it. Especially in this field.

The real interest will be, if one of those other films gets on, what gets left off. At this point, the major three (The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo) are considered mortal locks. If Descendants doesn’t get this nomination, arguably it has no shot at Best Picture. (The last film to win Best Picture without a Best Editing nomination was Ordinary People. So it’s important.)

ASE nominated these exact five, with the exception of War Horse over Moneyball. Now, smart money should be on War Horse as the #5 nominee in this category. But everything I’ve seen over the past month tells me that Moneyball is in a stronger position than War Horse is. (Maybe that’s just in my head, but whatever, we’re going with it.) Now, of course, it could still miss the Editing nomination, since it’s not really a Best Picture contender, and those two were my #5 and #6 anyway, but I think the final nomination will be between those two. Again, what goes on (unless it’s something totally random) will really tell you what’s really in on the Best Picture race.

Best Original Score

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

I liked them best. It was a relatively weak year for scores. Nothing really stood out to me. Though lots of respect to Moneyball. That was a terrific score. Drive too. Which…

I’ll also mention, before I get to the next part: Drive and The Tree of Life are ineligible.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Original Score

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • Hugo
  • War Horse

Alt: The Adventures of Tintin

Dark Horse: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Shocker: The Help, Moneyball, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Most people consider The Artist, Hugo and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as locks. And War Horse is on about 80-90% of people’s lists.

Surprisingly a lot of people have John Williams being nominated twice and also getting on for Tintin. I kept him off my list in the interest of, well… interest. It’s more interesting if they don’t automatically just put him on because he’s John Williams (though remember, it’s the Music Branch). Plus, that Tintin score felt like him doing himself. (War Horse did too, but I didn’t notice it that much throughout the film as I watched it.) I figured I’d put Potter on, since I think they’re gonna look to get that some extra nominations in these types of categories.

But really, no one knows what’s gonna go on. Watch them put on The Help. It could happen. No one knows with the Music Branch.

Best Original Song

“Coeur Volant,” from Hugo

“The Show,” from Moneyball

“Life’s a Happy Song,” from The Muppets

“Pictures in My Head,” from The Muppets

“Taking You with Me,” from Our Idiot Brother

I also really liked “So Long,” from Winnie the Pooh. I’m surprised the Moneyball song didn’t even get shortlisted. Really, Music Branch?

I’ll be honest — I really didn’t pay attention to songs in movies this year, so I used the Academy shortlist for guidance. If there’s anything I missed (that seems like I’d have thought about putting it on if I knew about/remembered it) that wasn’t shortlisted, let me know. (Within a reasonable amount of time. I’ll forget about this by Thursday.)

Also, you can refer to my article here about all the films shortlisted in this category (and probably still listen to them all too, if the youtube links are still working).

I’m gonna have to rank these, because this category could be anywhere from 2-5 songs.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Original Song

1. “Life’s a Happy Song,” from The Muppets

2. “The Living Proof,” from The Help

3. “Lay Your Head Down,” from Albert Nobbs

4. “Hello Hello,” from Gnomeo and Juliet

5. “Pictures in My Head,” from The Muppets

Alt: “Think You Can Wait,” from Win Win (just because something weird like this would make it on)

Dark Horse: “Coeur Volant,” from Hugo (if they love it that much)

Shocker: Uhh…”Collision of Worlds,” from Cars 2

or, “The Keeper,” from Machine Gun Preacher

or, “Love Builds a Garden,” from Gnomeo and Juliet

or, “Bridge of Light,” from Happy Feet Two

(Also secretly rooting for “So Long,” from Winnie the Pooh.)

Also, apparently a lot of people are picking “Man or Muppet” instead of “Pictures in My Head” as the second Muppets song. Honestly, with the Music Branch being the way they are, I wouldn’t be that shocked if they just put all three of them on. Because you don’t know. They’re crazy. They don’t give a shit.

(Also apparently a lot of people have the Captain America song on their lists. Not ironically, either. I don’t get it, and I refuse to put it on mine, because it’s not that good. Based on what you know about the Music Branch, do you really think they’re gonna vote that song on? He said, before we cut to the next scene…)

I see four nominees, at least, here. Maybe five, but I can’t guess the fifth. The Muppets makes the most sense. I’m fully prepared to miss very badly on this one.

Best Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tintin

Arthur Christmas

Cars 2


Winnie the Pooh

Pretty self-explanatory. It’s a five-nominee category this year, so I pick five. I didn’t really love Cars 2, but I liked it among the other choices.

Oh, so you’re aware, this is the current shortlist for this category:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Alois Nebel
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
  • Arthur Christmas
  • Cars 2
  • A Cat in Paris
  • Chico & Rita
  • Gnomeo & Juliet
  • Happy Feet Two
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Mars Needs Moms
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango
  • Rio
  • The Smurfs
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Wrinkles

That’s what you have to pick from.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Animated Feature

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Cars 2
  • Chico and Rita
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango

Alt: Arthur Christmas

Dark Horse: Winnie the Pooh (wishful thinking)

Shocker: Rio

I went with four of the PGA five, but kept Kung Fu Panda off in favor of Chico and Rita. If you’ve seen a trailer for that film (which is all I’ve seen from it), it looks like it should be on more than half of these nominees. This is a real animated film. I’ll probably miss one because of this, but I don’t care. (P.S. My secret wish is that Chico and Rita gets on and Kung Fu Panda knocks Puss in Boots off. But you know that’s not gonna happen.)

Best Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

Paris train station, silent film, World War I trenches, Britain in the 70s, Hogwarts. Clearly these are my five.

Now, the Academy’s five… that’s interesting.

The Art Director’s Guild nominated The Artist, The Help, Anonymous, Hugo, and Tinker Tailor for Period Film. Then for Fantasy, they nominated Tintin, Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter and Pirates. Contemporary film was Bridesmaids, Drive, Extremely Loud and Dragon Tattoo.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Art Direction

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Alt: War Horse

Dark Horse: The Help

Shocker: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Anonymous

The Artist, Potter and Hugo have appeared on everybody’s lists. So those should be considered locks, since we’ll all be going down on the same ship. The rest is very interesting.

Everyone’s lists, outside of those three nominees is filled with the rest of the films I listed, in varying orders: The Help, Jane Eyre, Anonymous, Tinker Tailor, War Horse, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Personally, to me, Jane Eyre just makes sense on the list. And since I typically get at least 2 of these wrong, I’m gonna take a shot and put it on. Worst that happens is I’m still wrong, but would have been right if I stuck by my usual methods. Whatever. And Tinker Tailor also feels like a film that would be nominated for Best Art Direction and snubbed everywhere else. I don’t know if I’d consider that a strong possibility, but I’m picking it nonetheless.

The Help makes sense as a nominee, as does War Horse. Those could easily be your final two. I left off Dragon Tattoo simply because, outside of Christopher Nolan films, contemporary films don’t ever get nominated here. It’s always period and fantasy films. The last film to be set in the modern day to be nominated for Best Art Direction (that wasn’t a Nolan film or a fantasy/sci-fi film of some sort)? Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and The Birdcage in 1996. No joke. Everything else has fantasy elements or sci-fi elements to it or is a period piece. Don’t put on Dragon Tattoo unless you’re sure.

Also, just to note: the Art Directors Guild nominated Anonymous, The Artist, The Help, Hugo and Tinker Tailor. So I’m 4/5 in line with them, going with Jane Eyre the costume drama instead of The Help, since Potter was on the Fantasy Film list. (This is just for your own voting purposes.)

Best Costume Design

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


There are two hard and fast rules for Best Costume Design (aside from, “Go with the period pieces”). Those are: Go with Tim Burton films, and go with Julie Taymor films. Neither of them have films up this year, so we go with the other rule — period pieces.

I went back and looked over the brief history of the Costume Designers Guild (their first awards were in 1998). The first year, it was just one film category, which doesn’t really help that much (they missed all five of the Oscar nominees). Then, from 1999-2004, Period and Fantasy were one category. In all but 2003 and 2004, they missed at least three nominees (all were three, once was four). So, we start from 2003.

In 2003, the two they missed (missed meaning, were not nominated at the Costume Design Guild Awards but were nominated at the Oscars) were: Girl with a Pearl Earring and Master and Commander. Don’t really want to analyze that too much. There it is.

In 2004, they missed Troy and they missed Finding Neverland. One of those makes sense, the other does not. (Who would have guessed Troy?)

Now, 2005 was where they separated into three categories. More nominees.

2005, they missed two films: Pride & Prejudice and Mrs. Henderson Presents. Both costume films. Kind of surprising.

2006, they missed nothing.

2007, they missed only Across the Universe. That’s Julie Taymor.

2008, they missed only Australia. Baz Luhrmann. So maybe he’s a #3 here. Since Moulin Rouge!, they also missed. Keep this in mind next year for The Great Gatsby. (Or do we already know that’ll be nominated?)

2009, they missed only Bright Star.

Last year, they missed I Am Love and The Tempest. One is Julie Taymor. The other — happened.

So basically what I’m saying is, outside of certain directors, who are known for their costume design, the Guild is usually very good at guessing the nominees.

The other thing to take into account: 2005, four period films, one fantasy (Burton). 2006, three period, two contemporary (but they were The Queen and The Devil Wears Prada, which, one is fashion, the other is royalty). 2007, all period. 2008, all period. 2009, four period, one fantasy (Terry Gilliam). 2010, two period, one fantasy (Burton), and then The Tempest is fantasy, I guess, and I Am Love — is that contemporary? Not sure.

Basically the point is: unless the film is very costume-based, don’t go contemporary. And if you’re gonna go Fantasy, make sure it’s really solid (or a Tim Burton film).

This year, the Contemporary films from the Costume Designers Guild were: Bridesmaids, The Descendants, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Melancholia. Maybe you can make a case for Dragon Tattoo, but otherwise, I say throw them all out.

As for Fantasy: Deathly Hallows, Pirates, Red Riding Hood, Thor, X-Men. I say throw them all out except Pirates and Potter.

Period: The Artist, The Help, Hugo, Jane Eyre, W.E.

That’s your base set of nominees, right there. And because I’m so good, I went through all the films of 2011 and picked out anything that could even be remotely considered for this category. The films I came up with were:

Anonymous (which, why wasn’t that nominated by the Costume Designers Guild?), The Three Musketeers, J. Edgar, Immortals, A Dangerous Method, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock Holmes, The Conspirator, Water for Elephants, Midnight in Paris, maybe Tree of Life, Super 8, and maybe Iron Lady or War Horse. Some of these would be huge shockers. Like Immortals.

If this list of nominees consists of any film not mentioned above, I will be shocked!

Personally, here are what I think are the films most likely to get on:

  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • J. Edgar
  • Jane Eyre
  • Midnight in Paris
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • W.E.

That’s already a big enough list as it is. Do not rule out Pirates, simply because there is that period England wear at the start of the film. That holds a lot of sway with the Academy.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Costume Design

  • The Artist
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.

Alt: My Week with Marilyn

Dark Horse: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Shocker: Anonymous. Or Midnight in Paris. But I doubt that would get on.

By the way, I fully expect to get at least 2 wrong here. Something keeps telling me not to put The Help on the list.

I really think My Week with Marilyn or Potter could sneak on. But I’m gonna stick with W.E., since according to people, it’s like costume porn. And I love to be able to refer to shitty films as “Academy Award nominee.” (Kind of like, “Academy Award nominee Norbit,” or “Academy Award winner The Golden Compass.”)

Best Makeup

Albert Nobbs

The Artist

The Iron Lady

I just used the shortlist to pick my nominees. I honestly don’t care, as long as J. Edgar is not here. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Albert Nobbs
  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • The Iron Lady

Good luck. Start with Albert Nobbs and work your way out. It’s like silverware. There are only 7, so you have a good chance at guessing at least 2 of them.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Makeup
  • Albert Nobbs
  • The Artist
  • The Iron Lady

Alt: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Dark Horse: Anonymous

Shocker: Hugo. Or anything else, I guess. Though, of 7 nominees, would anything shock you? I’d be shocked if J. Edgar got on, that’s what would shock me.

Fuck if I know. I have a 3/7 chance. Well, 2/6. I know Nobbs is on. Right? (No, not necessarily.) Iron Lady makes sense, because of how they age Meryl. Then, I’m just assuming the love for The Artist will get it on. The Artist seems like the weak link there, but I assume as many nominations as possible. Artist or Potter, really. Otherwise you’re grabbing at straws, since no one really knows.

Best Visual Effects


Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Tree of Life

Gotta stick with Real Steel. I honestly don’t really care all that much about this category. It’s basically become “Best CGI.”

Here’s the shortlist for it:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
  • X-Men: First Class

I made some inquiries. The Visual Effects Society, since its inception (in 2002), has been pretty spot on. They missed Spider-Man completely in 2002 (but it was their first one, so, leeway). Missed I, Robot in 2004. Missed War of the Worlds from their main categories in 2005. Missed Poseidon and Superman Returns in their main categories in 2006. I think they missed Dark Knight in their main categories in 2008 (really?). So, for the most part, the films in their two main categories: Visual Effects in an Effects-Driven Feature and Supporting Visual Effects are where the nominees come from. Usually. Though I don’t know what the Oscar shortlists were for those respective years.

I can tell you, however, that based on their main lists: X-Men, Mission: Impossible, Real Steel and Tree of Life did not make it on. Now, of those, I’d say Tree of Life is your best shot to make it on simply because it is what it is. And I’m going to vote for it because there are five nominees, and because, how could you not? Otherwise, you’re looking at the probable nominees from: Captain America, Harry Potter, Hugo, Pirates, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers and maybe Tree of Life. That’s seven films. Take your pick.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for 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

Alt: Captain America: The First Avenger

Dark Horse: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Shocker: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

Most people have Apes, Potter and Hugo on as locks. So those should probably go on your list. Then, most people have Dark of the Moon on there, because — obviously. And then Tree of Life appears on the most lists because everyone is going, “How can you not?” Though outside of that, I see a lot of Captain America in place of one of the films, and an occasional Mission: Impossible. Personally, if the Visual Effects Society nominated Pirates, I wouldn’t rule it out. I wouldn’t necessarily vote for it, but don’t assume it won’t be there. You never know with them.

Personally, Hugo and Tree of Life are somewhat unsafe. But who knows? The Visual Effects Society nominated everything on the shortlist except X-Men, Tree of Life and Real Steel. I know I got 3 of them right. That’s all I need.

Best Sound Mixing

I don’t have preferences here, since I don’t really know what’s what.

I know we should probably just be throwing darts for these next two categories, but I decided to do some unnecessary leg work. Because why not?

I went over the last ten years of CAS (Cinema Audio Society) nominees and the last ten years of the Oscar nominees. Just to try to find some sort of patten or something.

Last year, CAS and Oscar differed twice. CAS had Black Swan and Shutter Island on, while Oscar had The King’s Speech and Salt.

2009, they had one different, with CAS going with District 9 and the Academy going with Inglourious Basterds.

2008, they had two different. CAS had Iron Man and Quantum of Solace, while the Oscars had The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Wanted.

2007, two different. CAS had 300 and Into the Wild, while the Academy had 3:10 to Yuma and Ratatouillle.

2006, one different. CAS had Babel, the Academy had Apocalypto.

2005, one different. CAS had Crash, the Academy had The Chronicles of Narnia.

2004, two different. CAS had The Bourne Supremacy and Finding Neverland, the Academy had The Incredibles and The Polar Express.

2003, they were all the same.

2002, they had one different. CAS had Catch Me If You Can, while the Academy had Gangs of New York.

2001, one different. CAS had Shrek, the Academy had Amélie.

2000, totally the same.

So, what you can see is — they’ve only been dead on twice in the past decade. So odds are, they won’t be dead on this year. Also, you see that they’re mostly right. They’ve never been more than two off. So three of this year’s CAS nominees: Hanna, Hugo, Moneyball, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Super 8, will probably be on the Oscar list.

As for trends in the differences — last year, they replaced one Best Picture potential for a bigger potential, and they replaced one film with a louder film. 2009, replaced Best Picture film with a bigger one. 2008, replaced one with a Best Picture contender and, I guess, Iron Man with Wanted. Interesting. 2007, can’t call that. Pixar got on. Pixar does well here when the film is good. 2006 is weird, and I guess means that Babel wasn’t that much of a favorite. 2005, Narnia is loud, Crash is not. Understandable. 2004, Pixar gets on, and another animated movie gets on. 2002, Best Picture contender gets on. 2001, wash.

So, really, go for the loud films, and go for the Best Picture contenders. Honestly, I’m expecting to be wrong here.

Will The Artist get on? Probably not. Will The Descendants?

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Sound Mixing

  • Hanna
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Alt: Fuck if I know…a Best Picture contener. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Artist. The Descendants. War Horse. It’s all guesswork. I hope to get 3 right.

Dark Horse: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Shocker: Something loud. Mission: Impossible, Tintin, Apes. One of those films.

Seriously hoping I don’t get 1 or 2 right here.

Best Sound Editing

This one was way too crazy to guess. The Motion Picture Sound Editors give out a bunch of fragmented awards. I just gave a glance and factored that into my thinking.

Here are what the Motion Picture Sound Editors nominated:

Sound Effects and Foley: Drive, Fast Five, Dragon Tattoo, Mission: Impossible, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, Transformers, War Horse.

Music: Drive, Dragon Tattoo, Hop, Hugo, Priest, Super 8, Dark of the Moon, Tree of Life.

Dialogue and ADR: Abduction, The Help, Moneyball, Quarantine II: Terminal, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, War Horse.

(All of that stuff up there) in Animation: Tintin, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango, Rio, Smurfs.

I haven’t seen a non-Pixar animated film get on since The Polar Express in 2004, and that was about trains. And the first Cars wasn’t even nominated, so I’m not guessing that, and I’ll be wrong if it gets on. Outside of that, really only Tintin would seemingly have a shot here, from Animation.

Outside of the usual Pixar nom, I’ve been seeing Best Picture films over the last few years, loud films, and slick blockbusters (which also count as loud films, to an extent). It’s basically a total crapshoot here. At least CAS has one category. This has a shitload.

Onto random guessing…

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Sound Editing

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

Alt: Drive

Dark Horse: Super 8

Shocker: The Artist, or some other Best Picture film. Or maybe something like Mission: Impossible.

Who really knows what’ll get on, though? I just guessed.

Best Foreign Language Film

Here’s the shortlist:

  • Bullhead, Belgium
  • Footnote, Israel
  • In Darkness, Poland
  • Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
  • Omar Killed Me, Morocco
  • Pina, Germany
  • A Separation, Iran
  • Superclásico, Denmark
  • Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, Taiwan

You can read what I said about them here. We have a 5/9 chance to guess this. So let’s have fun with it.

I have 4/5. It’s really the fifth one that I don’t know about.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Foreign Language Film

  • Footnote
  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • Omar Killed Me
  • A Separation

Alt: Bullhead

Dark Horse: Pina

Shocker: Superclasico

Do you have any idea? Yeah, neither do I. Fully expect to miss at least 2 here.

Best Documentary Feature

There are 15 films shortlisted here, and they are:

Battle for Brooklyn — “Battle for Brooklyn is an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood facing condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets.”

Bill Cunningham in New York — “A cinematic profile of the noted veteran New York City fashion photographer.”

Buck — “An examination of the life of acclaimed ‘horse whisperer’Buck Brannaman, who recovered from years of child abuse to become a well-known expert in the interactions between horses and people.”

Hell and Back Again — It “follows 25-year-old Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris on his most difficult mission: coming home after being seriously wounded in Afghanistan.”

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front — “A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s ‘number one domestic terrorist threat.'”

Jane’s Journey — “A documentary about the life and work of Jane Goodall.”

The Loving Story — It’s about “an interracial couple living in Virginia in the 1950s, and their landmark Supreme Court Case, Loving v. Virginia, that changed history.”

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory — “A further investigation into the arrest of three teenagers convicted of killing three young boys in Arkansas who spent nearly 20 years in prison before being released after new DNA evidence indicated they may be innocent.”

Pina — “A tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch.”

Project Nim — “Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.”

Semper Fi: Always Faithful — “Tells the story of Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, a devoted Marine for nearly twenty five years who lived and breathed the U.S. military.  But when his nine-year-old daughter died of a rare form of leukemia, his world fell apart. Years later, he made the shocking discovery of an alleged Marine Corps cover-up that the drinking water at the Corps Base was highly contaminated by toxic chemicals for thirty years.” (This will be a film within ten years.)

Sing Your Song — It’s about Harry Belafonte and his contribution to the Civil Rights movement.

Undefeated — It “documents the struggles of the Memphis’s Manassas Tigers as they attempt a winning season after years of losses. The team is turned around by a devoted coach, named Bill Courtney, who help form a group of young men into academic and athletic team.” (I hope it’s this one, and not that Sarah Palin documentary.)

Under Fire: Journalists in Combat — It’s self-explanatory. About the psychological toll on journalists covering wars.

We Were Here — “A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.”

This is though. Well, I have a 33% chance, theoretically, of guessing this.

I’d throw off, off the top, Battle for Brooklyn, Buck, If a Tree Falls, Jane’s Journey, and Sing Your Song. That’s five. So we’ll use 10 as my base for what to pick. And, if I had to guess…

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Documentary – Feature

Bill Cunningham in New York

  • Hell and Back Again
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Project Nim
  • We Were Here

Alt: Pina (It’s also up fot Foreign Language Film. Which one will they vote it for?)

Dark Horse: Undefeated

Shocker: Semper Fi: Always Faithful

The Loving Story sounds like something that should get on, but I don’t know. Under Fire‘s got a shot. Everyone’s picking Bill Cunningham, so why not, I’ll pick it too. I don’t give a fuck. Who knows. I should put on Undefeated, since it sounds most interesting, and is getting a wide release next month. but I won’t. Because I know every time I put something interesting on, they don’t vote for it. So I won’t. Let it get on. I’ll be wrong. Wrong and happy.

Also, totally guessed here too.

Best Documentary – Short Subject

There are 8 shorts on this shortlist. They are:

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement — Sounds self-explanatory. It’s about a dude who was a part of the Civil Rights movement who used to be a barber.

God Is the Bigger Elvis — This is about a woman who had a promising career as an actress in Hollywood who gave it all up to join a monastery and become a nun.

In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution — Just look at the title. You know this has to get on. They love shit like this.

Incident in New Baghdad — “U.S. Army veteran Ethan McCord recounts his life-changing experiences at the scene of one of the most notorious events of the Iraq War: the slaying of two Reuters journalists, along with a group of mostly unarmed men, on the streets of Baghdad by American attack helicopters in July 2007.”

Pipe Dreams — This is about what the “proposed Keystone XL pipeline” would mean for us. It traces the history and motivations behind the pipeline and talks about its impact.

Saving Face — It’s “about a plastic surgeon who reconstructs the faces of Muslim acid attack victims.”

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom — It’s “bout survivors of the Japanese tsunami picking up the pieces while blooming Cherry Blossoms grow out of the rubble and provide the people with a real life metaphor.”

Witness — No idea what this is about, so I’m gonna leave it off and be wrong if it gets on. What else can you do?

I have no preference on these, so I’ll just pick. Also, they nominate anywhere from 3-5 films here, so, I guess, to be fair, I’ll rank them. But honestly, I think that I should pick 5, and if they only put 3 on, and I have those 3 on my list, I should get all 3. But I won’t do that. I’ll be fair and rank them.

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Documentary – Short Subject

1. In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution

2. Incident in New Baghdad

3. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

4. Saving Face

5. Pipe Dreams

Alt: The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

Dark Horse: God is the Bigger Elvis

Shocker: Uhh…the last one. Witness. Just because we know nothing about it. But that should make it the alternate, since that’s gotta be the one that gets on.

Does anyone know? Pure guesswork, this is.

Best Live Action Short

Well, since no one knows about this category, including myself, instead of picking who I’d vote for blindly, I normally list them all, provide some sort of link to them so you can see a trailer for them, and then make my guesses. Ten films were shortlisted for this category, and here they are:

Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère (I Could Be Your Grandmother): 

Love at First Sight: 



The Road Home: 

The Roar of the Sea: I haven’t been able to find (though admittedly I didn’t look that hard) a trailer for this. But here’s a synopsis: “A story about an unusual friendship: An African refugee and his prison guard.”


The Shore: 

Time Freak: 

Tuba Atlantic: 38saa_clip_tuba_atlantic.html

John Hurt is in two films. And Terry George wrote and directed another one. Well, that makes it easier. I really don’t know what I’d vote for, so I’ll just pick randomly past the two I know I would.

Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère

Love at First Sight


The Shore

Tuba Atlantic

As for what they’re gonna nominate? Fuck if I know. Let’s go with…

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Live Action Short

  • Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère
  • Love at First Sight
  • The Roar of the Sea
  • Sailcloth
  • The Shore

Alt: The Road Home

Dark Horse: Tuba Atlantic

Shocker: Uhh… Raju?

Again, it’s all just blind guessing.

Best Animated Short

I’m doing this exactly like Live-Action Short, only I saved it for last, since we all love the animated stuff. It’s such a nice way to go out. Ten films were also shortlisted for this one:


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: 

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat: 

La Luna: 


Magic Piano: 

A Morning Stroll: 

Paths of Hate: 

Specky Four-Eyes: xers0z_cul-de-bouteille-specky-four-eyes_creation

Wild Life: wild_life_clip_2

Okay, based on these trailers alone, the films I’d nominate from this shortlist are:


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

La Luna

Paths of Hate

Wild Life

No one really knows what the Academy is gonna do. It’s pretty much blind guessing. Last year, I guessed my shortlist and only got 2/5. Shall I make that same mistake again?

I guess I’ll talk it out. I don’t think the Disney short gets on, but Pixar seems like an obvious choice. So that’s one. Flying Books looks amazing and clearly looks like a potential winner. That’s on. I love the Wild Life animation style, so that’s why I want to put it on. To me, Specky Four-Eyes looks to be their speed. I can’t tell about Luminaris, since the amination style is definitely up their alley, but it’s pretty avant-garde looking, and I don’t know if they vote for those. They tend to (like last year, with The Gruffalo) vote for straight narratives. So, I guess…

What I Think the Academy Will Nominate for Best Animated Short

  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • Magic Piano
  • Paths of Hate
  • Wild Life

Alt: Morning Stroll

Dark Horse: Specky Four-Eyes

Shocker: Luminaris

Like I know what I’m doing anyway. (P.S. The dude who made Magic Piano already won this category for Peter and the Wolf a couple years back.)

– – – – – – – – – –

So that’s what I got. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I don’t really care how well or poorly I do. I’m just excited by the whole business.

One response

  1. BlueFox94

    So, I was just browsing around some old posts on the blog until I read through this one and noticed that you were gunning for “The Show” from Moneyball to get a Best Original Song nom. Okay…I know I’m almost four years late here, but have you realized that “The Show” in the film was an anachronistic cover of a Lenka song from 2008? Just a funny error I noticed. :)

    August 31, 2015 at 8:33 pm

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