While this has been a particularly unpredictable Oscar season, now that the dust has all but settled on the nominations, a good amount of “locks” have surfaced in all categories. What makes this year more fun than most is the open nature of the winners in virtually every category. But before we get there, I’ve put together a list of what I see as the most likely nominees. Perhaps the most fun come Thursday’s announcement will be to see if the Academy goes for such bubble films as The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. How far they go on these will likely speak to the overall diversity of nominations in general. I see this year having a fairly even spread with the leading nominations-getter (Lincoln) pulling in 11, followed by 8 from Zero Dark Thirty, and then an even countdown from there.

Argo has been on the rise lately. I would not be surprised to see it pop up in more categories than many people expect. I have a sneaking suspicion it might appear in Cinematography and even Production Design. Likewise, Les Miz seems to have a strong contingent of supporters that will pull it in for the major category and many of the tech categories too. I’m not ready to commit it to Actor, Director, Editing or Screenplay but I wouldn’t be shocked if it landed in any of those. Silver Linings Playbook has the potential to emerge in multiple Acting categories and many of the tech-ish categories like Editing. It’s liked, if not loved, by many in Hollywood. I think it’s a sleeper for numerous categories. However, the DGA snub hurts.

The Master’s support has been dwindling since it bowed in September. While it would be a complete travesty for it to be shutout of the Acting races, I wouldn’t be enitrely knocked over if it happens. Skyfall has the potential to break up the Oscars. With the 50th Anniversary tribute already in place and the buzz for “action” movies building towards an inevitable Oscar nomination in recent years, Sam Mendes’ film could be something of bracket buster. I’ve come to expect the Oscars to do the most conservative thing possible, so I still suspect Skyfall will get left out. But time will tell…

So now then:

Best Picture:
Zero Dark Thirty
Silver Linings Playbook
Les Misérables
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
Life of Pi
Django Unchained
Alt: Amour or Skyfall

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Ben Affleck, Argo
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Alt: Tom Hooper, Les Misérables

Best Actor:
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Alt: Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Best Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Alt: Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Alt: Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

Best Supporting Actress:
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Alt: Ann Dowd, Compliance

Adapted Screenplay:
Argo, Chris Terrio
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin/Lucy Alibar
Alt: The Sessions, Ben Lewin

Original Screenplay:
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola
Flight, John Gatins
Amour, Michael Haneke
Alt: The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Cinematography:
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Zero Dark Thirty, Greig Fraser
Alt: Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey

Costume Design:
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Alt: The Master, Mark Bridges

Best Production Design:
The Master
Anna Karenina
Les Misérables
Cloud Atlas
Alt: Django Unchained

Best Film Editing:
Argo, William Goldenberg
Zero Dark Thirty, William Goldenberg/Dylan Tichenor
Lincoln, Michael Kahn
Life of Pi, Tim Squyres
Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy/Crispin Struthers
Alt: Skyfall, Stuart Baird

Best Original Score:
John Williams, Lincoln
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Cloud Atlas, Tom Twyker/Reinhold Heil
Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Alt: The Master, Jonny Greenwood

Best Original Song:
For You, Keith Urban (Act of Valor)
Suddenly, Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Still Alive, Paul Williams (Paul Williams Still Alive)
Skyfall, Adele (Skyfall)
Learn Me Right, Birdy/Mumford and Sons (Brave)
Alt: Strange Love, Karen O (Frankenweenie)

Best Documentary Feature:
Searching for Sugar Man
How To Survive A Plague
The House I Live In
Invisible War
Alt: Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Best Documentary Short:
Kings Point
The Education of Mohammad Hussein
Monday’s at Racine
Open Heart
Alt: The Perfect Fit

Best Animated Feature:
Wreck-it Ralph
A Liar’s Autobiography
Alt: The Rabbi’s Cat

Best Foreign Film:
Amour (Austria)
The Intouchables (France)
Kon-Tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
War Witch (Canada)
Alt: A Royal Affair (Denmark)

Best Visual Effects:
The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
Life of Pi
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Alt: Skyfall

Best Sound Editing:
The Avengers
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Misérables
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
Alt: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Best Sound Mixing:
Zero Dark Thirty
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Misérables
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Alt: Django Unchained

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Alt: Men in Black 3

Live Action Short Subject:
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
when you find me
A Fábrica (The Factory)
Alt: The Night Shift Belongs to the Stars

Nominations Tally:
11 = Lincoln
8 = Zero Dark Thirty
7 = Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook
6 = Argo, Life of Pi
5 = Django Unchained
4 = The Master
3 = Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Anna Karenina, Cloud Atlas
2 = Moonrise Kingdom, Flight, The Sessions, Amour, Skyfall, Brave
1 = The Paperboy, The Impossible, Rust & Bone, Curfew, Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), when you find me, Act of Valor, A Fábrica (The Factory), 9meter, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Paul Williams Still Alive, Kon-Tiki, The Intouchables, No, War Witch, ParaNorman, Wreck-it Ralph, Frankenweenie, The Liar’s Autobiography, Kings Point, The Education of Mohammad Hussein, Inocente, Monday’s at Racine, Open Heart, Searching for Sugar Man, How To Survive A Plague, The House I Live In, Detropia, Invisible War, Looper

This entry was posted in Amour, Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Documentary, Films, Movies, Oscar Talk, Uncategorized, Zero Dark Thirty and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I would go with “Skyfall” over “Django Unchained” for Best Picture Nominee. Academy voters skew older and more conservative. I think you are write with “Django” doing well in the sound categories.

    I would love for Nicole Kidman to be nominated not only for her performance, but because “The Paperboy” was so bad.

    • Zac Petrillo says:

      No arguments from me about Skyfall in BP. I just will believe it when I see it.

      However, I think if Skyfall gets in BP, it has a chance to show up just about anywhere: Bardem, Dench, Sound, VFX, Editing, Screenplay, etc. I think it has bracket buster potential (but does that ever really happen at the Oscars or is it just wishful thinking?)

      Also, I loved The Paperboy. lol… Interesting how when a woman goes “over-the-top” it’s seen as weird, but when it’s a male, it’s often lauded.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s