I’ve just put up some category projections in Oscar Balloon. The contenders are listed in order of likelihood and/or preference. Exceptions and disputations and the pointing out of arguable omissions are welcome. I haven’t gotten around to Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay contenders.

Likeliest Best Picture Contenders: 1. Moneyball (d: Bennett Miller). 2. The Descendants (d: Alexander Payne); 3. War Horse (d: Steven Spielberg); 4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (d: Stephen Daldry, screenwriter: Eric Roth); 4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (d: Tomas Alfredson); 5. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (d: David Fincher); 6. The Iron Lady (d: Phyllida Lloyd); 7. J. Edgar (d: Clint Eastwood); 8. The Help (d: Tate Taylor); 9. The Artist (d: Michel Hazanavicius); 10. Midnight in Paris (d: Woody Allen).

Likeliest Best Director Contenders: 1. Bennett Miller, Moneyball; 2. Alexander Payne, The Descendants; 3. Steven Spielberg, War Horse; 4. Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; 5. Tomas Alfredson, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; 6. David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 7. Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar.

Likeliest Best Actor Contenders: 1. Brad Pitt, Moneyball.; 2. George Clooney, The Descendants; 3. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; 4. Woody Harrelson, Rampart; 5. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar; 6. Joseph Gordon Levitt, 50/50; 7. Jean Dujardin, The Artist. 8. Michael Fassbender, Shame/A Dangerous Method; 9. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter. SPECIAL DISPENSATION: Damian Bichir, A Better Life.

Likeliest Best Actress Contenders: SPECIAL DISPENSATION: Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur…which needs to be seen because Colman absolutely kills in this British-made drama — just ask Guy Lodge. 1. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs; 2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady; 3. Viola Davis, The Help [even though Davis’s role is definitely not a lead]; 4. Charlize Theron, Young Adult; 5. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin; 6. Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea; 7. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn.

Likeliest Best Supporting Actor Contenders: 1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners, Barrymore, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; 2. Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes; 3. Albert Brooks, Drive; 4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Moneyball, Ides of March; 5. Jonah Hill, Moneyball; 6. Corey Stohl, Midnight in Paris; 7. Tom Hardy, Warrior, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Wettest Counbtry in World; 8. Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady.

Likeliest Best Supporting Actress Contenders: 1. Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus; 2. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants; 3. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, The Help; 4. Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter, The Help, The Tree of Life.