If I had to predict right now, I’d list my Best Picture Oscar favorites in this order: Moneyball, The Descendants, War Horse (who knows?), The Help, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (ditto), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ditto) and possibly Midnight in Paris.
I’m not talking about personal favorites, mind. I’m doing a Dave Karger thing here, predicting what the Academy will sanctify. Which I hate doing because it gives me indigestion.
The likeliest Best Director nominees are Bennett Miller (Moneyball), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Steven Spielberg (War Horse), Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, etc. — the kneejerk British kiss-ass factor among Academy members) and David Fincher (Dragon Tattoo — payback for last year’s Social Network loss to Tom Hooper).
Best Actor picks are, in this order, Brad Pitt (Moneyball), George Clooney (The Descendants), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Woody Harrelson (Rampart), Michael Fassbender (Shame, Dangerous Method) and possibly Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar).
Best Actress toppers include Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Charlize Theron (Young Adult), Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Rooney Mara (Girl With Dragon Tattoo).
Best Supporting Actor: Christoper Plummer (Beginners) and Jonah Hill (Moneyball)…who else?
Best Supporting Actress: Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Judy Greer (The Descendants), Jennifer Ehle and/or Kate Winslet](Contagion)