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Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which are not actually eligible  in those categories are marked with an asterisk.


PICTURE

(This year, there will be anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees, so I will rank them in order of likeliness -- my guess is that there will be seven, just because. Of course, last year I guessed there would be seven and there were nine.)

1. LINCOLN
2. LES MISERABLES
3. ARGO
4. ZERO DARK THIRTY
5. LIFE OF PI
6. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
7. MOONRISE KINGDOM
8. FLIGHT
9. DJANGO UNCHAINED
10.  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

1.  THE KID WITH A BIKE*
2. AMOUR
3. THE MASTER
4. LINCOLN
5. THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETY*
6. MOONRISE KINGDOM
7. BARBARA
8. SNOWTOWN*
9. THE IMPOSSIBLE
10. LOOPER 


ACTOR

BRADLEY COOPER - Silver Linings Playbook
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - Lincoln
JOHN HAWKES -The Sessions
HUGH JACKMAN - Les Miserables
DENZEL WASHINGTON - Flight

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - Lincoln
TOM HOLLAND - The Impossible
TOMMY LEE JONES - Hope Springs
JOAQUIN PHOENIX - The Master
JEAN-LOUIS TRINTINGNANT - Amour


ACTRESS

JESSICA CHASTAIN -  Zero Dark Thirty
MARION COTILLARD - Rust and Bone
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - Silver Linings Playbook
HELEN MIRREN - Hitchcock
MERYL STREEP - Hope Springs

KIRSTEN DUNST - Bachelorette
ANN DOWD - Compliance
CECILE DE FRANCE - The Kid with a Bike*
EMMANUELLE RIVA - Amour
NAOMI WATTS - The Impossible


SUPPORTING ACTOR

ROBERT DE NIRO - Silver Linings Playbook
LEONARDO DICAPRIO - Django Unchained
JOHN GOODMAN - Argo
TOMMY LEE JONES - Lincoln
EDDIE REDMAYNE - Les Miserables

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN - The Master
MCNAIRY, SCOOT - Killing Them Softly
EZRA MILLER - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN - A Late Quartet
TOM WILKINSON - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


SUPPORTING ACTRESS

AMY ADAMS - The Master
SALLY FIELD - Lincoln
ANNE HATHAWAY - Les Miserables
HELEN HUNT - The Sessions
KELLY REILLY - Flight

AMY ADAMS - The Master
DOONA BAE - Cloud Atlas
CARMEN EJOGO - Sparkle
SALLY FIELD - Lincoln
KELLY REILLY - Flight


DIRECTING

BEN AFFLECK - Argo
KATHRYN BIGELOW - Zero Dark Thirty
TOM HOOPER - Les Miserables
ANG LEE - Life of Pi
STEVEN SPIELBERG - Lincoln

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON - The Master
J.A. BAYONA - The Impossible
JEAN-PIERRE AND LUC DARDENNE - The Kid with a Bike*
MICHAEL HANEKE - Amour
STEVEN SPIELBERG - Lincoln


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

DJANGO UNCHAINED
FLIGHT
THE MASTER
MOONRISE KINGDOM
ZERO DARK THIRTY

BARBARA
A LATE QUARTET
LOOPER
THE MASTER
MOONRISE KINGDOM


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

ARGO
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK***

BACHELORETTE
BERNIE
LINCOLN
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
THE SESSIONS


CINEMATOGRAPHY

LES MISERABLES
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
THE MASTER
SKYFALL

AMOUR
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
LINCOLN
THE MASTER
SKYFALL


ART DIRECTION

ANNA KARENINA
CLOUD ATLAS
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN
THE MASTER

CLOUD ATLAS
THE MASTER
MOONRISE KINGDOM
SKYFALL
TOTAL RECALL


COSTUME DESIGN****

ANNA KARENINA
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN
A ROYAL AFFAIR
SNOW WHITE & THE HUNSTMAN


FILM EDITING

ARGO
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN
ZERO DARK THIRTY

ARGO
CLOUD ATLAS
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
LOOPER
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK


ORIGINAL SONG

"EVERYBODY NEEDS A BEST FRIEND" - Ted
"FROM HERE TO THE MOON AND BACK" - Joyful Noise
"SKYFALL" -  Skyfall
"STILL DREAM" -  Rise of the Guardians
"SUDDENLY" -  Les Miserables

"BIG MACHINE" - Safety Not Guaranteed
"CASA DE MI PADRE" - Casa De Mi Padre
"EVERYBODY NEEDS A BEST FRIEND" - Ted
"SKYFALL" -  Skyfall
"YO NO SE" - Casa De Mi Padre


ORIGINAL SCORE

ANNA KARENINA - Dario Marianelli
ARGO - Alexandre Desplat
LIFE OF PI - Mychael Danna
LINCOLN - John Williams
SKYFALL - Thomas Newman

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY - Howard Shore
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON - Jeremy Sams
LINCOLN - John Williams
THE MASTER - Jonny Greenwood
PARANORMAN - Jon Brion


SOUND MIXING

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
LES MISERABLES
LIFE OF PI
MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS
ZERO DARK THIRTY


SOUND EDITING

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
LIFE OF PI
MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS
WRECK-IT-RALPH
ZERO DARK THIRTY


VISUAL EFFECTS

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
LIFE OF PI
MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
THE IMPOSSIBLE*
LIFE OF PI
TOTAL RECALL*


MAKEUP

HITCHCOCK
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN

CLOUD ATLAS*
HITCHCOCK
THE IMPOSSIBLE*


ANIMATED FEATURE

BRAVE
PARANORMAN
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
WRECK-IT-RALPH

FRANKENWEENIE
PARANORMAN
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETY*
WRECK-IT RALPH


And, as always, here are my nominations for a category which doesn't actually exist but damn it, it ought to:

TITLE DESIGN

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
CASA DE MI PADRE
SAVE THE DATE*
SKYFALL
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2


Here are my extremely tentative predictions for the nominations in the Documentary Feature and Foreign Language categories. I am not counting them as official predictions, so I will not consider them as affecting my overall accuracy score, whether I get them right or not.  (For those who want to make their own predictions in the specialty categories, the Academy has officially announced the short lists for Documentary Feature, Foreign Language Feature, Makeup, Visual Effects, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film, as well as the list of eligible films for Best Picture, Original Score and Original Song.)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

BULLY
THE HOUSE I LIVE IN
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
THIS IS NOT A FILM

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

AMOUR
THE INTOUCHABLES
KON-TIKI
NO
A ROYAL AFFAIR


MY TEN FAVORITE FILMS OF 2012

CLOUD ATLAS
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
THE IMPOSSIBLE
KILLING THEM SOFTLY
LOOPER
MOONRISE KINGDOM
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
SKYFALL


TEN BEST COMMERCIALLY UNRELEASED (ON CD) SCORES OF 2012

THE CAMPAIGN - Theodore Shapiro
FLIGHT - Alan Silvestri
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA - Mark Mothersbaugh
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON - Jeremy Sams
THE PAPERBOY - Mario Grigorov
PROMISED LAND - Danny Elfman
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - Danny Elfman
21 JUMP STREET - Mark Mothersbaugh
THE WATCH - Christophe Beck
WON'T BACK DOWN - Marcelo Zarvos

Alas, none of the scores I listed as 2011's unreleased top ten have received a CD release yet -- not even a For Your Consideration promo.


MY TEN FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK RELEASES OF 2012

Batman: The Animated Series Vol. 2 (La-La land)
Battle of Neretva (Tribute Film Classics)
Body Heat (Film Score Monthly)
It’s Alive (Film Score Monthly)
King Kong: The Deluxe Edition (Film Score Monthly)
The Shadow (Intrada)
Star Trek -- The Motion Picture (La-La Land)
Star Trek -- The Original Series Soundtrack Collection (La-La Land)
2 Days in the Valley: The Unused Score (Intrada)
The War of the Worlds/When Worlds Collide (Intrada)


MY FAVORITE THINGS FROM THE MOVIES OF 2012

Arguably the best pre-title sequence ever for a James Bond film -- the only problem, I can’t decide if it’s the one from Skyfall or the opening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained.

Christopher Walken in Seven Psychopaths, Stand Up Guys, and especially A Late Quartet.

Damsels in Distress -- It may be Whit Stillman’s weakest film, but nevertheless it’s his first film in 14 years, and just having him back in theaters, especially with a film that’s full of genuine charm and improves on repeated viewings, is treasure enough.

Daniel Kleinman’s opening title sequence from Skyfall. There are so many things I love about this film – especially Roger Deakins’ cinematography and Ben Whishaw as the new Q – but Kleinman’s titles are the peak for me, as they were for the other five Bonds he worked on. Maurice Binder has left his legacy in the best hands imaginable.

Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man -- though at this point, you could pretty much say “Emma Stone in whatever movie she happened to be in this year,” and it would be accurate.

The final scene of Not Fade Away.

The Impossible -- the greatest Steven Spielberg film Steven Spielberg never made (and I mean that as a compliment), with the most remarkable and emotionally powerful disaster footage ever staged, and a dazzling performance by Tom Holland that calls to mind Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun (I can think of no greater compliment for a young actor, or frankly an actor of any age).*

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper, The Dark Knight Rises and Premium Rush.

Looper - I love pretty much everything about this movie (right now it's my favorite of the year, though Dark Knight and Skyfall are close, and I loved The Impossible even more on second viewing), but two things in particular stand out: Gordon-Levitt's solution to the seemingly unsolvable predicament at the end, and the line "I'm from the future -- you should go to China."*

Mihai Malaimare Jr.’s 70mm cinematography of The Master.

The party scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, where Logan Lerman tells Emma Watson of his best friend's suicide, and Ezra Miller gives a speech about how much Lerman means to them -- I'm starting to cry again just thinking about it.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Late Quartet and The Master, especially when he sings “Slow Boat to China” to Joaquin Phoenix in the latter.

The pivotal sequence in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World scored with The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe.”

The return of 70s stylings in contemporary thrillers -- specifically the remarkably faithful adaptation of the late, great George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade (updated to 2008) as Killing Them Softly; Mark Mothersbaugh’s score for Safe; and pretty much everything in the ridiculously entertaining (or perhaps entertainingly ridiculous, I still can’t decide) Jack Reacher, especially Joe Kraemer’s moody score.

Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place.*

She’ll almost certainly win the Supporting Actress Oscar for that damn song in Les Miserables, but for my money Anne Hathaway’s most memorable performance in 2012 was as Selena Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises.

Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln and especially Hope Springs.

*Items with an asterisk were added after this post was first posted.


THE WORST FILMS OF 2012

Alex Cross
Atlas Shrugged Part II
Butter
The Cold Light of Day
Fun Size
One for the Money
The Paperboy
Silent Hill: Revelation
That’s My Boy
Virginia


*** Since this column was originally posted, I replaced the Original Screenplay nomination for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL with SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - omitting PLAYBOOK was an oversight, not a change-of-mind.


**** I only just noticed, a week later, that I accidentally left off my Costume Design predictions. Here they are.

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Comments (24):Log in or register to post your own comments
Two things:

- Bradley Cooper over Joaquin Phoenix? Cooper basically played a variation of every other character he's ever played (yes, the Academy likes disabled characters but Cooper is simply far too unlikeable to bring humanity to anything he does) while Phoenix more or less lived, breathed and slept as his character.

- The Amazing Spider-Man over John Carter in Visual Effects? John Carter created a world audiences hadn't seen before while The Amazing Spider-Man brought absolutely nothing new to table (besides, Spider-Man 2 won an undeserved Best Visual Effects Oscar in 2004).

Killing Them Softly -- the lack of love for this fine film in the US was startling; nay, a disgrace. The critical establishment is rapidly losing all credibility; see also the kudos lavished on the dubious Zero Dark Thirty.

Killing Them Softly was one of the year's best films (why aren't there any Oscar talks for Mendelsohn or Liotta?) but audiences absolutely detested the film. However, watch it and The Master be hailed as classics in five years while films like Argo and Silver Linings Playbook are totally forgotten (one's a heavily distorted portrayal of facts, the other's a generic romantic comedy that only got love because it's from an edgy director).

Killing Them Softly deserved props for Greig Fraser's exceptional cinematography (especially the hit at the intersection, the most beautiful death sequence of 2012). Aside from the clumsy, incessant political "subtext" shoved into every other scene, it's a brilliant film in my personal top ten for the year, and despite its commercial failure, will wear well in the years to come.

- Bradley Cooper over Joaquin Phoenix? Cooper basically played a variation of every other character he's ever played (yes, the Academy likes disabled characters but Cooper is simply far too unlikeable to bring humanity to anything he does) while Phoenix more or less lived, breathed and slept as his character.

I'd rather watch Bradley Cooper (who I find immensely likeable) than Joaquin Phoenix. Always been something him that's turned me off.

- The Amazing Spider-Man over John Carter in Visual Effects? John Carter created a world audiences hadn't seen before while The Amazing Spider-Man brought absolutely nothing new to table (besides, Spider-Man 2 won an undeserved Best Visual Effects Oscar in 2004).

Agreed. John Carter was a terrific visual feast and had some of the best CGI I've seen in recent years.

- SUPPORTING ACTOR - Ezra Miller, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Dare to dream. He was phenomenal in that movie (which ought to be required viewing for anyone who felt like an outcast in high school...so about 90%).

- ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Looper How to be diplomatic about this...if the Academy is seeking to recognize the first halves of movies, then this choice is justified.

- ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - Bachelorette I can sort of see why the film would turn people off, but I quite liked it. Very underrated.

- ANIMATED FEATURE Substitute FRANKENWEENIE with BRAVE and that's pretty much what I'd pick.

- Nice to see recognition for Shapiro's THE CAMPAIGN and Mark Mothersbaugh's scores (was this a banner year for the man or what?).

- Much to my shame (that I wasn't sure existed until I saw your list), I saw four of your ten worst in a theater*. 'Twould be nice to hear you expound on this selection (hint, hint).

- Mr. Jack, I totally agree about Greig Fraser's cinematography for KILLING THEM SOFTLY (which I liked, but didn't quite love). Stunning.

* - It was only hours after I got home from seeing THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY that I learned that the film was on YouTube for free. C'est la vie.

Looper is another movie that will be forgotten in five years once audiences realize it's nothing more than a B-movie with a pretty filter. Rian Johnson needs to earn his fans by doing something original instead of using cheap tricks to get them.

And on your worst list: Butter was a film that could have worked but failed by focusing on the wrong plot. Had it been about the stripper and the orphan, it could have been a great little movie on unlikely relationships (think Bad Santa with a gender reversal). But instead, they had to focus on the annoying middle America couple with skewed priorities and politics.

Why Scott your predictions look awful familiar to The Hollywood Reporter's own...Scott Feinberg...maybe you two are the same? lol

Why Scott your predictions look awful familiar to The Hollywood Reporter's own...Scott Feinberg...maybe you two are the same? lol

Nope. It's probably just that this year's seem like a pretty obvious bunch -- the biggest questions for me seem to be how many Best Picture nominations there'll be, whether Silver Linings Playbook's disappointing box-office (despite the rave reviews and hot stars) will hurt it, and whether Django can overcome its trashiness/controversialness and get major nominations.

Still hoping that The Impossible and Looper get nominated for at least one award (Looper is one of the short-listed 7 for Makeup).

Glad to see the love for Killing Them Softly; for me, even the political content doesn't detract, and dovetails nicely in Pitt's final lines. One commenter on another film blog wrote something like "They should have just filmed the damn book," which seems a little odd to me, because despite the title and year change, Killing Them Softly's one of the most word-for-word close adaptations I've ever seen.

Never a fan of Actor Matthew McConaughey, he changed my mind this year with three, (to me), amazing performances. Two I really liked and the third one, not too much. What I didn't care for was 'Magic Mike', mainly the film which was dreadful but the best thing in it was McConaughey. He was better in 'Bernie' which was quite wonderful. And then there was Friedkin's 'Killer Joe' (Unrated version) which was a mess, though it was entertaining. McConaughey should be nominated for his genuinely terrifying and hypnotic performance in 'Killer Joe'.

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