B’s Pre-nomination Oscar Predictions: The Acting Categories

Up to this point, I have spent the last few months tracking the Best Picture race. But more recently, I’ve decided that I’d expand my horizon’s a bit and give my predictions for all of the other Academy Award categories as well, from the acting categories to screenplay to visual effects to makeup. Let’s start things off with the acting categories.

Best Actor

1.George Clooney, The Descendants
2. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
3. Brad Pitt, Moneyball
4. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
5. Michael Fassbender, Shame

This is, and has been for quite some time, a two-dog race. But I think it’s a bit more one-sided than people think. While George Clooney and Jean Dujardin look to be locks, I also think Brad Pitt will receive praise for his performance as Billy Beane in Moneyball. The 4th and 5th spots are a bit shaky, as you we could see any combination of Oldman, Gosling, Fassbender, DiCaprio, Bichir, and so many others. My hope is that Gary Oldman finally receives his due, and while Shame appears to be shut out elsewhere, I’m hoping that Michael Fassbender gets the nod for his role as a raging sex addict. I think Clooney will take home the top prize, but Dujardin’s win at the Globes makes him a strong competitor.


Best Actress

1. Viola Davis, The Help
2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
3. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
4. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
5. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Everyone has already given the prize to Meryl Streep, it seems, but I’m not buying it. Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn has been receiving applause for a while now, as has Glenn Close as a cross-dresser in Albert Nobbs. The final spot could go to newcomer Rooney Mara for her role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I don’t think the Academy is going to give it to her. Don’t be surprised, either, if Charlize Theron sneaks into the field with a nomination for her performance in Young Adult. In the end, tt comes down to Viola Davis’s turn in The Help and Meryl Streep’s Thatcher-impersonation in The Iron Lady, but I have hopes that the Academy will recognize Davis’s sublime performance.


Supporting Actor

1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners
2. Kenneth Brannagh, My Week with Marilyn
3. Albert Brooks, Drive
4. Nick Nolte, Warrior
5. Jonah Hill, Moneyball

This trophy seems to have been given away in October, but there are a whole slate of possibilities when it comes to nominees. Brannagh and Nolte were both nominated for Golden Globes, and Plummer, obviously, came away a winner. There are a couple noms left that appear to be up for grabs, and they could easily go to Brooks in Drive, von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Mortenson in A Dangerous Method, Jonah Hill in Moneyball, and so many others. I think we’ll see Jonah Hill get a nom, as his performance alongside Brad Pitt in Moneyball completely surprised me, but I also would love to see Yorick van Wageningen get the nod for his role as Nils Bjurman, the sadistic “rapist pig”, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Only time will tell who gets the final 2 nods, but Christopher Plummer seems to have this one all but wrapped up, and it’s about damn time he gets some recognition.


Supporting Actress

1. Octavia Spencer, The Help
2. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
3. Berenice Bejo, The Artist
4. Jessica Chastain, The Help
5. Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris

And now we make our way to Best Supporting Actress, where the field has been pretty much decided. While Octavia Spencer looks like the odds-on favorite, Berenice Bejo, Jessica Chastain, Janet McTeer, and Shailene Woodley each received nods from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s how the field looks come Tuesday. I wouldn’t be surprised if Melissa McCarthy snuck in for her role in Bridesmaids, but I have an inkling that Marion Cotillard could sneak into the 5th and final spot for her understated performance in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, as characters written by Allen have seen their fair share of awards over the years.


And there you have it, my Oscar predictions in the acting categories. Nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 24th, so stay tuned to see how well my predictions fared. Also, be sure to check out my other Oscar prediction articles, where I’ve made my picks for Best Picture, the technical awards, feature awards, and the other major film awards.


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