Geez, when did the Best Picture category get so glutted? I think I agree with most of Roger Ebert's predictions this year. (Though you'll note that I also predict the possible upset where applicable.) Ebert predicts The Artist for Best Picture, which is a perfectly rational guess, based on it's performance at the preceeding award shows. However, I do not have that much faith in the Academy. I think The Artist will be too avant-garde for their sensibilities, and they'll choose The Help, just like they chose Crash, and Forrest Gump. Because sometimes, the Academy is just dumb.
Best PictureExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The HelpThe Tree of Life
Leading ActorBrad Pitt (Moneyball)
Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
George Clooney (The Descendants)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
My heart says "George Clooney!" because... well, why wouldn't your heart cry out for him? But Jean Dujardin is likely the sure bet, especially if the voter didn't choose his movie for Best Picture. Can you say 'consolation prize'?
Leading ActressGlenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Viola Davis (The Help)
For the love of all that is holy, Academy, do not screw this up. Do not give yet another freaking award to a tepid Meryl Streep movie.
Supporting ActorChristopher Plummer (Beginners)Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn)
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
If it doesn't go Plummer's way (though he's old, and the Academy loves that shit), look for Nick Nolte for the upset.
Supporting ActressBerenice Bejo (The Artist)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Melissa McCarthy could be the upset here, and with good reason. Though Octavia had the more serious performance, and that always has the edge.
Animated FeatureA Cat in Paris
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Hugo (Martin Scorsese)Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
Again, I break with Ebert. The Academy loves them some freakin' Scorsese (drink!). Though, this is also another consolation prize award, and they may choose to give it to Terrence Malick, because Tree of Life won't be picking up a single other statue.
Screenplay (Adapted)The DescendantsHugo
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Though Moneyball could be the upset here.
Screenplay (Original)The Artist
Midnight in ParisA Separation
Documentary FeatureHell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: PurgatoryPina
And just in case you're curious, I'm also calling A Separation for the Foreign Language Film.