*The big news in the movie world this week was, of course, the Oscar nominations. As with every year, they provided a giant range of emotions – elation for worthy nominees (like The Help‘s two nods) and scorn for the snubs (where was Albert Brooks’ nod for Drive?
So what are our predictions for the big night a few weeks from now? Let’s take a look.
BEST PICTURE: “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Moneyball,” “The Tree of Life” and “War Horse”
WHO WILL WIN: It’s probably between Hugo, The Artist and The Descendants at this point. It might be too much for Best Picture to go towards a kids-oriented 3D movie, so count on the two big dramas to slug it out. The Artist is the favorite right now.
BEST DIRECTOR: “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius, “The Descendants” Alexander Payne, “Hugo” Martin Scorsese, “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen, “The Tree of Life,” Terrence Malick
WHO WILL WIN: In a land of giants (Scorsese, Payne, Malick and Allen) look for the newcomer Hazanavicius to snag the award for his remarkable work in The Artist.
BEST ACTOR: Demián Bichir in “A Better Life,” George Clooney in “The Descendants,” Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”
WHO WILL WIN: It looks like a race between Dujardin, for his compelling and heartbreaking silent performance, and two Hollywood heavy hitters in Clooney and Pitt. Clooney’s Golden Globe win puts him in the lead for this coveted trophy. Oldman would be the ultimate dark horse.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn,” Jonah Hill in “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte in “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer in “Beginners,” Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
WHO WILL WIN: What a category. Three of the most respected actors ever, one crazy person (Nick Nolte) and … Jonah Hill. Anyways, this is the easiest call of the night. Give this one to Plummer, no doubt. He deserves it after a fantastic career.
BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” Viola Davis in “The Help,” Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady,” and Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”
WHO WILL WIN: Count out Close (poor critical reaction to the film) and Mara (too young, too disturbing a role). The Academy might just hand it to Streep because she hasn’t won one in a while. Call her the slight favorite over Davis and Williams, with either of them having an equal chance for an upset.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain in “The Help,” Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids,” Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs,” and Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
WHO WILL WIN: This one should go to Spencer for her awesome turn in The Help, but there’s always the chance she’ll split votes with Chastain. If that happens, Bejo might take home a surprise win.