As we ease into Christmas weekend several dates you should be aware of. In many ways, the whole Oscar race is being decided in the next two weeks.

Noms – Winners (key dates)

12/14 – 01/29 – SAG – Screen Actors Guild
01/03 – 01/21 – PG – Producers Guild
01/04 – 02/04 – ADG – Art Directors Guild
01/05 – 02/19 – WG – Writers Guild
01/05 – 02/18 – USC – USC Scripter
01/09 – 01/28 – DG – Directors Guild
01/09 – 02/07 – VES – Visual Effects Society
01/10 – 02/12 – ASC – American Society of Cinematographers
01/16 – 02/18 – ACE – American Cinema Editors
01/17 – 02/12 – BAFTA – British Academy of Film and Television Arts
01/19 – 02/18 – CAS – Cinema Audio Society
01/19 – 02/21 – CDG – Costume Designers Guild
01/20 – 02/19 – MPSE – Motion Picture Sound Editors
01/24 – 02/26 – AA – Oscars

The above dates (now on our sidebar) come from David Hanks’ really super great Big List.

Most importantly, though, two days after Christmas Oscar ballots will be mailed out.  During that same time, the Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Writers guild members are also filling out their ballots if they haven’t already done so.  I know one DGA member who has already cast their vote (for Hugo).  That means, the responsible among them have already seen all of the films and have mailed their ballots, or did them online.

But many of them are waiting until these next few days to watch movies with the family and then decide on what films to vote for.  The numbers are the numbers and majority rules.  The DGA is around 9,000, the AMPAS is around 6,000 and the PGA is around 4,700 members.  The SAG is around 100,000.  By contrast, the groups voting in the critics awards are much smaller, probably nothing over, say, 300.

All of this to say that it all comes down to NOW.

As we do every year around this time we offer up our For Your Consideration for ballot voters.  I am going to present one in every category and I encourage you to add yours in the comments.  Hope springs eternal before those ballots sail away.  We’ve nothing to lose except our self-respect, and that went out the window long ago.

Best Picture
While it seems pretty assured that The Artist, The Help, The Descendants, Hugo, Midnight in Paris and perhaps Tree of Life have their places carved out, there are three I’d like to make a play for.  One has a pretty good chance already but the other two are wild cards.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – what the fuck, bro.  Are they really going to let the entire series fade away unrecognized? Are they really going to say that $2,390,076,596 means nothing to Hollywood? Are they really going to say that all of these generations have no impact whatsoever on how movies get made now? In a season of movies aimed squarely at the target demo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows delivered the best of the series with beautiful effects, a deeply felt story, and great acting all the way around.

Moneyball – there are few films that feel like perfect movies this year. But Moneyball is a perfect film.  Maybe that’s because it took so long to bring it to the big screen. Maybe because it took passionate involvement and faith by Brad Pitt to get it made. Maybe because the Stan Chervin/Aaron Sorkin/Steve Zallion script has been perfected beyond belief.  Maybe it’s the naturalistic style of the ensemble or the persnickety exacting direction of Bennett Miller but it’s hard to find fault with this movie.  Because it doesn’t divide audiences people don’t seem to be taking sides for or against it and because of that it might get lost in the shuffle.  It made a decent amount of change at the box office and currently has the best reviews of the year, along with Harry Potter, The Artist and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Moneyball is one of the best films of the year.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – yeah, it’s also Sony. Yeah, it’s also Scott Rudin. Yeah, it’s also David Fincher. But with a pulsating, unforgettable score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, with the performance of the year by Rooney Mara, with subject matter that has awakened women young and old, who cares if it didn’t exactly hit with the target demo? God knows there are already hundreds of films they can see this holiday season. And as for the critics, how do you measure any film up against Fincher’s last effort?  You can’t, really.  But on its own, Dragon Tattoo is the surprise of the year-end movies. Is it schmaltzy? No, so that makes it different.  It’s a beautifully made thriller that, like most great films, takes a couple of viewings to fully appreciate.  Sure, movies that take more than one viewing aren’t often Oscar’s picks, but give the film a chance.  It isn’t The Social Network but it’s surely one of the year’s very best.  Time will have to catch up with Fincher on these films but it will be highly regarded in retrospect. I promise.

Best Actress
We know that it’s coming down to Meryl Streep in the Iron Lady, Viola Davis in The Help, Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs and Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn – these are all pretty much locked. I don’t know who you bump but I’d put in a bid for Ms. Rooney Mara for her ballsy, honest, dead-on portrayal of my kind of super hero.  She gets shit for not being hot enough, and gets shit for being too hot. She gets shit for being a victim turned avenger, and she gets shit for not being tough enough. We women are used to that – we’re used to not being everybody’s cup of tea.  Women get it much harder than men because they are judged by both men and women.  Young men these days are used to performances that cater to their specific needs.  But Mara’s Lisbeth Salander deliberately doesn’t do that.  She can’t help  how pretty she naturally is, but what we see on screen is a real person who isn’t ever going to live by anyone’s definition of who she should be.  Dragon Tattoo is about many things, starting with the mystery that uncovered women defending themselves by stepping outside the law. But it’s also about the creepy family on that island, about Sweden, yet most of all, it’s about a girl.

Best Actor
We know that this category is mostly going to be filled with George Clooney, brilliant in The Descendants, Brad Pitt in Moneyball — maybe his best ever performance,  Jean Dujardin in The Artist, Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar (totally deserved) and Michael Fassbender in Shame (if they can really have the guts to go there). That is a wonderful lineup, certainly.  But I’d also go to bat for:

Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Oldman has never been better in his understated role as George Smiley. Sure, it’s not as touchy feely as Oscar performances tend to be, and he’s not perhaps the most popular guy in the room.  But as of yet, Oldman has gone completely unrecognized his entire career.  This is really the role that he should finally get his first Oscar nomination for. Of course, you’re only as good as the guy standing next to you so who knows how it will all play out.  But Oldman has more than paid his dues.  More than that, he’s just amazingly good in Tinker, Tailor – controlled movements, haunting stories playing across his face at various times — no one could do that if they weren’t one of the best living actors, as Oldman is.

Woody Harrelson in Rampart – his role, again, isn’t fitting in with the sentimentalism of today — in fact, like Rooney Mara, it’s dark as dark can be.  But Harrelson has never been better. He takes that role deep.  Deep.  Can he bump one of the five? And if so, which one?  If only there were ten slots you could begin to get serious about actually rewarding the year’s best. Deciding on just five is impossible.

Original Screenplay:

Margin Call took many years to write.  It is tight as a drum.  Can the writers recognize this?  Hard to say but I don’t think any script got to the bottom of the Wall Street meltdown better. It starts out as a story about that moment in our history but it ends being about something bigger — how the rich keep getting richer and how single-minded the rest of us are, just caught up in the day to day of our lives, meanwhile, Rome burns.

Okay, Oscar watchers. How about you?

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  • Best Picture: Shame. I would urge all those who haven’t seen it to not deny themselves this experience on what they’ve heard, or on the NC-17. The juvenile response of some critics ought not to be a deterrent. This is an exceptional film, and it needs all the support it can get in such an artistically conservative environment. The way I felt while watching this film was like nothing else I’ve felt.

    Best Director: Steve McQueen

    Best Actor: Michael Fassbender

    I think it’s obvious that I like Shame…

    Best Actress: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) and Olivia Colman (Tyrannosaur)

  • Matt R

    Best Picture
    For Your Consideration.

    Harry Potter- Honestly, this is a monumental franchise that will endure longer and in a passionate way that no movie this year will ever amount too. It has brought happiness to billions of people while still keeping it’s integrity, not just making them commercial successes, but critical darlings. I think it deserves the kind of recognition that it has been denied since the very first film. I guarantee it will give you the attention and respect from the mass audience that the Oscars have been distancing themselves from in the past, and will continue to do so if something doesn’t happen.

  • Matt R

    I already sent a letter to the president of the academy with a letter and an article I wrote for my college newspaper (I am the entertainment editor), urging him to see what these movies mean to people. I thought would help.

  • Matt R

    Sorry one more comment Sasha. If I may, do not end your Potter section on such a, well, downer. End it with something uplifting and positive that will really encourage Oscar voters. It needs all the help it can get. Thank you.

  • You know me. I’m going all in for Tom Hardy and WARRIOR. I think that movie deserves a nomination at least. It’s been extremely popular with people who’ve seen it. The major complaint about the film that I see online and I share is (biggest spoiler ever) that Tommy should have won. That to me not only says how much people were invested in the movie itself but also how much they connected with Hardy’s portrayal. This guy has something and everyone knows it. He’s had a great year. I think he’s just as deserving of a nomination for supporting actor in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. To think that he’d be the emotional center of two films and then just get bypassed for awards recognition because his movies weren’t released properly or he doesn’t have enough name recognition yet, which I actually don’t believe, bothers me.

    I think people who haven’t seen WARRIOR might think it’s another ROCKY type film. Well it’s not and it is. ROCKY is my second favorite movie of all time. It was my favorite movie for most of my life until LOTR came along and upset the apple cart. I hate movies that copy or are unoriginal. WARRIOR is not. It is the story of this family set in the present. The horrible present where a teacher can’t stay afloat because he’s upside down on his mortgage. And he’s forced to put himself in harm’s way just to make ends meet and not go backwards thereby forfeiting the American dream. It’s the story of a man who never gets to come out on top. Someone with all kinds of potential who because of circumstances beyond his control went from watching a parent die to serving his country only to have that country turn on him and in survivor mode became a bitter and justifiably angry emotionally raw individual. These two meet head on with their father who started this whole mess that they have to clean up. This father wants to be redeemed but it’s so late now. Is there any amount of forgiveness that can make up for that past? Can these three get a win? Well you have to watch the movie to decide who really won and lost. I think it’s a great film especially about this time in America. And I really hope somehow, it or its star can get some deserved recognition.

  • Sasha Stone

    Sorry one more comment Sasha. If I may, do not end your Potter section on such a, well, downer. End it with something uplifting and positive that will really encourage Oscar voters. It needs all the help it can get. Thank you.

    Oh, sorry!!!! I’ll change it.

  • Mike F

    can anyone point me to an online version of that photo big enough to read? I looked on the times website…I tried blowing it up but it was too pixelated..

  • Margin Call’s a good pick for screenplay and I think the film overall would make my current top 10…

    Picture: Young Adult

    I was a bit surprised Young Adult made so little splash on the blogosphere, since it’s decidedly unsentimental. Well, I dug it…

    Actor: Michael Shannon

    This category is so loaded (I agree with Sasha on Harrelson) and I’d actually go with DiCaprio for the win, but I hope Shannon doesn’t get left out. He created a perfectly carved duality of devoted family man and tortured manic. He shouldn’t be left off just because Take Shelter was a smaller film, and I hope he can pull a Jennifer Lawrence.

    Actress: Charlize Theron

    Ballsy. She was my favorite in the category until I saw Dragon Tattoo, but in a tougher year for ladies, her full and true commitment to alcoholic narcissism should get a nod.

    Supporting Actor: Patton Oswalt

    Good comedians often seem to surprise us when they take on more dramatic roles (Murray, R. Williams) but timing and presence, requirements for stage and sketch work, typically make for great screen attributes. I loved Oswalt’s sort of knowing bitterness in Young Adult…

    Original Screenplay: Take Shelter

    I was drawn into Take Shelter from the beginning because its setting seemed so precise and real. Too many films that take place in the Heartland/Flyover States either glorifiy small-town values or turns its characters into a collection of shitkickers. Take Shelter drew its characters with tiny strokes, allowing the apocalyptic visions to heighten the engagingly modest narrative, not overwhelm it.

  • · The Skin I Live In: Picture, Director, Actor (Banderas), Actress (Anaya), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Cinematography, Original Score

    It’s one of Almodóvar’s best films. Period. Banderas’ best performance since Law of Desire and the most challenging in ages, Oscar-worthy.

    · Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Picture, Director (yes), Supp. Actor (Alan Rickman), Adapted Screenplay and a wild bunch of technicals.

    Because it deserves to be nom’d almost everywhere and it’s shapping up to a Hairspray-like huge snub (remember the reviews and b.o. of that Muischal plus its GG love in the noms?). At least, this HP franchise doesn’t need the Oscar gold to endure.

    · Red State: Picture, Director, Actor (Michael Parks), Supp. Actor (John Goodman), Supp. Actress (M. Leo), Original Screenplay, Film Editing

    A balls-out film, WAY smarter and better than reviews induce you to think. Challenging, poignant, Smith showing the world he’s way more than Jay and Silent Bob and his 3rd masterpiece in my opinion after Clerks and Chasing Amy. Maybe too painful to watch for americans? In Europe is being aprecciated differently (won the big awards at the Catalonian Festival, Sitges, one of Tarantino’s faves).

    · Habemus Papam: Picture, Director, Actor (Michel Piccoli), Original Screenplay

    One of the gems of the year. Oscar noms would bring attention to this extremely cute film.

    · Tintin: Picture, Director, technicals, Animated Feature.

    I’d label this Spielgerg directing achievement among his bests. Technology finally makes him completely free to experiment and conceive impossible shots and you can’t help but have your jaw drop.

    · The People vs. George Lucas: Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Documentary Feature.

    I mean, if you saw this one, you know it SHOULD be nom’d somewhere, and maybe win Film Editing (what an amazing work of research and putting together the pieces).

  • Memphis

    I second Jesse Crall’s picks especially YOUNG ADULT and CHARLIZE THERON. Mostly the latter because I don’t see the picture getting in. The Academy isn’t THAT ballsy. Please please please Oscar Gods let Theron get that 5th spot. Close does not deserve it this year. The review are bad… like J. Edgar bad. Speaking of which, this is NOT DiCaprio’s year. He will get in next year. Give it to OLDMAN. Or SHANNON.

    BEST ACTOR- GARY OLDMAN, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY OR MICHAEL SHANNON, TAKE SHELTER (or if you’re really feeling the Mandate Pictures’ love go for a well deserved nod to JOSEPH GORDAN LEVITT, 50/50)

  • Memphis

    “I was a bit surprised Young Adult made so little splash on the blogosphere, since it’s decidedly unsentimental. Well, I dug it…”

    That’s because Sasha apparently didn’t like it (based on her tweets). I think it’s sad she barely wrote about it though. Other blog sites/Oscar sites have written about it- GREAT things- so, I’m content with that. I do wish Sasha would have taken a moment to step away from DRAGON TATTOO and written a little about YOUNG ADULT. After all… the site is Awards Daily… not Dragon Tattoo exclusive. And in no way did ROONEY MARA outdo CHARLIZE THERON’S performance in YOUNG ADULT. No friggin’ way.

  • Kory


    Best Picture- HARRY POTTER DH P2
    Best Supporting Actor- PATTON OSWALT, YOUNG ADULT
    Best Supporting Actress- JESSICA CHASTAIN, THE TREE OF LIFE
    Best Original Screenplay- DIABLO CODY, YOUNG ADULT
    Best Foreign Language Film- MISS BALA, MEXICO

    And please oh please don’t let there be an Artist sweep. I can’t handle as boring of a show as last year.

  • Arthur

    Harry Potter Nomination Breakdown
    Art Direction, Chances to win: Very high if it wasn’t for “Hugo” i would have told you this was the osacr they were going to give to harry, BUT, as Hugo is there it’s a competition between heart and facts
    Visual Effects, Chances To Win: Very High, again if it wasn’t for “Planet Of The Apes” i’0d say this is a lock but, WERE THOSE APES REALLY THAT GOOD? it’s up to the academy to decide

    Likely but nothing sure
    Sound Editing & Sound MixiG, Chances To Win: Not likely, although there were some interesting methods of sound used in the “FIRE CREATURES SCENE” in the room of requirements, it does seems like transformers or war horse even rango have a better shot
    Make-Up: Chances tO wIN. NONE, the only improvement in this one were the huge amount of make-up that was used for the Gringotts scene with all those goblins

    Cinematography, Chances to Win: NONE, Eduardo Serra’s wotk on this one was truly outstanding but gven the fact that the movie had so many DARK moments and only by the end we got to see these beautiful shots it seems like it won’t happen for serra
    Best Original Score: Chances to win. there’s some, Desplat’s work was truly beautiful on this one, he work both for part 1 & 2, and it was one of those clasical battle fantasy scores that stick into your skin when you watch the movie


    Best Supporting Actor, Rickman’s job was very very good but the proble was that he only stood out in 2 scenes out 4 he had and that doesn’t really help his case he might’ve had around 7 minute of screen time, but it was only what he needed to make an impact and start an oscarbuzz

    BEST PICTURE, Will it happen? will we wake up the morning of january 24th a look at this category and actually see the written name of Harry Potter, it doesn’t seem likely, it’s been snubbed pretty much in every list of the award season, It ONLY HAD that NBR top 10 and then WILL THE PGA’s make the cut for potter ??? it doesn’t hurt dreaming…

  • Scott

    Thought I’d mention that War Horse and Dragon Tattoo have finally made an appearance on the list.

  • Cr

    Best Picture for Margin Call and Best Supporting Actor PLEASE for Jeremy Irons. Tinker Tailor in many categories, especially Art direction, costumes, cinematography and score. And of course Best Actor Gary Oldman for yet another amazing under-the-radar perf. For some reason both Tomas Alfredson and Bennett Miller’s strong sophomore efforts aren’t being championed like I had hoped. They’re wonderfully subtle but too low key for the academy?

    and finally, if Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender aren’t up for Oscars for their vicious sibling bantor in Shame, I’ll debate skipping the ceremony (and then watch it any way, of course)

  • Insider

    Alan Rickman for Harry Potter.
    Miss Bala for foreign language film.

  • @CR: I think I’d go Kevin Spacey for supporting over Irons, but both were strong (unless Spacey’s a lead).

    @ Memphis: DiCaprio’s got Gatsby as a lead and Django as supporting, so you’re right about him in 2012. Could be like Pacino in 1992 with Scent and Glengarry. Still, Leo got screwed on The Departed and Revolutionary Road and he turned in phenomenal work again, so I’d hate to see him get overlooked.

  • Scott

    Oh and check out this awesome cover guys!

    The BEST (Harry Potter) and the rest…and Dragon Tattoo heads up the awards preview!

  • Patryk

    For Your Consideration

    Best Picture – Weekend

  • Connor


    Best Picture: Harry Potter(why not?), Melancholia.

  • FYC:

    Best Picture – Harry Potter and the DH Part 2
    Best Supporting Actor – Alan Rickman (HP7.2)
    Best Supporting Actor – Gerard Butler (Coriolanus)
    Best Foreign Language Film – Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank) – Philippines

  • FYC:

    Best Picture: Harry Potter and the DH Part 2
    Best Actress: Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre)
    Best Actor: Tom Hardy (Warrior)
    Best Supporting Actor: Alan Rickman (HP7.2)
    Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)
    Best Foreign Language Film – The Flowers of War (China) and A Separation (Iran)
    Best Original Score: Harry Potter and the DH Part 2 (Alex Desplat) and The Flowers of War (Qigang Chen)

  • Scott

    Nice, Harry Potter supporters out in full force today!

  • rufussondheim

    I haven’t seen as many movies as others, so it’s hard for me to be serious about this but here I go. So if you’re a voter, take my joshing with a grain of salt!

    Picture – Tree of Life, years from now, you will understand. Vote for it now and you will be able to tell your grandchildren how much of a visionary you were!

    Screenplay – Win/Win – This story was a nice old-fashioned family drama about people who truly love each other, yet it’s not sappy or overdone. It’s sentiment is earned. Reward it.

    Song – The National song from Win/Win – You wish you had the talent The National has. They are one of the top musical acts over the last ten years or so. This isn’t their best work, but it’s still better than anything you’ve probably written, and you know it.

    Supporting Actor – Ryan Gosling for Crazy, Stupid, Love – He’s over the top and subtle at the same time. He makes the character arc this character undergoes completely believable. The first half could be a cartoon character, the second half could he could be a Lifetime movie loser. But he’s neither here, he’s impeccably cool and everyone either wants him or wants to be him (both apply if you’re a gay man.)

    Director – Kelly Reichardt for Meek’s Cutoff. Yeah, it’s not commercial and it requires more intelligence than most of you have, but she does something in this movie that just isn’t done. She’s an impartial observer along for the ride, which is tough for us viewers at first because, like the characters, we’re kind of lost (not being spoonfed a point of view is hard!) But as we learn more we’re as invested as the characters are and all we want to do is tell the characters what to do even though we have no idea what the right thing is. Utter Brilliance!

    Best Actor – Give it to Ewen McGregor! He had to dial down his natural charisma and the energ he often uses in his other films and be the quiet, introspective second fiddle to Christopher Plummer’s portrayal of exuberance in the face of death. His subtlety is impressive, he even was able to play second fiddle to a dog! And when he finally gets to his payoff scene in the end, he still dials it down so much that our emotions explode for him. He’s a huge star pleying a role that doesn’t require a huge star, which shows us exactly why he was perfectly cast. He’s due!

  • rufussondheim

    Scott, you will be happy to know that all of this HP discussion caused me to pull out Book 1 and read it for the second time. I’m only 3 chapters in and the thought of me being able to read the entire series for the second time has me absolutely delighted. (Although I still think the last movie sucked)

  • Rashad

    Dragon Tattoo
    Super 8


    Spielberg – Tintin



  • Rashad

    Oh yeah, Jeremy Irons for Oscar

  • david lindsey

    Owen Wilson-BEST ACTOR-Midnight in Paris.

  • Max

    It seems to me that nobody’s watching Damián Bichir coming for a Best Actor’s nomination, nor even Sasha.

  • Craig Z

    Matt, not to be a buzz kill but the president of the Academy doesn’t choose who is nominated.

  • James

    Harry Potter’s gonna get nominated for BP, no doubt about it. It’ll be the 1st sequel to a sequel (sub-sequel?) to do so. If Breaking Dawn Part 2 delivers the best of the series with beautiful effects, a deeply felt story, and great acting all the way around next year, then it too will make the cut. Then we’ll have sub-sequel sequels, grand sequels, and great grand sequels to look forward to in our moviewatching future. Hooraaaaaay!!!

    Merry Christmas!!!!!

  • Fielding

    100,000 in the SAG? Wow! And they gave a Best Ensemble nomination to Midnight in Paris? Sweet!

    It’s getting a Best Pic nod at the Oscars and that’s all that matters. Everything else is crap.

  • Craig Z

    Hugo and Drive for anything!

  • brandz


    Carey Mulligan in Shame, a sight to behold.

  • Josh

    James, I hate your sarcasm. It’s disgusting.

  • Jacob

    Best Picture: No opinion, haven’t seen The Descendants or Hugo or The Artist yet. So I’m not gonna specify quite yet. I loved Dragon Tattoo though.

    Best Actress: ROONEY MARA. the end.

    Best Actor: Brad Pitt was wonderful, I think he deserves it.

    Best Supporting Actress: I think Octavia Spencer is most deserving, but on a sidenote I really think the Academy should recognize Melissa McCarthy’s performance in Bridesmaids and give her a nod.

  • First of all the Merriest of Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sasha, and thank you for your Herculean efforts to light up all our lives on a daily basis with the intelligence, insight and wit of your great, great writing on film.

    Your heart shows through in every piece. Thank you for being you.

    And you’ll be even happier to hear that I think there really is a groundswell building around “Dragon Tattoo” and esp. Rooney Mara. She could be in Best Actress, bumping some one. But who? I predict — it will be a shocker whichever way it falls…

    And yes, I was at an Academy screening at the very last instant before Christmas for ELAIC…It was interesting. There was weeping. Not by me. VERY hard for New Yorkers to watch a movie about THEM. And 9/11 the traumatic experience of all our lives here…

    And at the end. Polite, but not overwhelming applause. AND that KID! He got the biggest hand, and the most raves which I just happened to overhear from AMPAS members. And oh yes, Max Von Sydow got a big hand, too. But not Hanks or Bullock…Stephen Daldry’s worst film to date. But THAT KID! What’s his name? Thomas Horn? Pardon my ignorance but it’s late and it’s Christmas.

    AND a non-actor, he’s got Asperger’s and he’s playing someone with Asperger’s and that’s a clear-cut disablity role right there. He COULD knock Michael Fassbender out. They don’t like SHAME. I know that. And they ALSo don’t like “Iron Lady”. But they have to hand to Meryl for her technical virutousity, but the politics! Well, they just clash.

    But they liked Von Sydow and that KID could just pull one of those Keisha Castle-Hughes of “The Whalerider” nominations…

    I think the audience, voting members-all and as happily serious about their responses to ELAIC as any critics would be….I think they wanted to give it SOMEthing. And it oould be that poor kid, who gets put through HELL in this movie…And he can ACT! I didn’t feel for the character. I felt for him, this amazing child performer…

    Or they COULD nominate Von Sydow. His silence is eloquent and the kid is irritating beyond belief, but he has Asperger’s so he’s supposed to be…

    That could be the big surprise. Best Picture it’s not. The script is a contrived joke. And all those images of falling people…from the Twin Towers…It seemed exploitative rather than moving. Distasteful. That’s the word.

    But that KID!

    Or it could be Owen Wilson in that Fifth Best Actor slot.

  • Scott

    Paul Rudd (Our Idiot Brother)
    Asa Butterfield (Hugo)
    Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana (Hanna)
    Daniel Craig (Dragon Tattoo)
    And all the love for (Shame)

  • MikeScott


    ANOTHER EARTH (I know it won’t happen, but I thought it was great)
    BELLFLOWER (Really bad*ss flick)


    Nicholas Winding Refn, DRIVE
    Lars Von Trier, MELANCHOLIA


    Michael Fassbender, SHAME
    Ryan Gosling, DRIVE
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50


    Kirsten Dunst, MELANCHOLIA
    Brit Marling, ANOTHER EARTH


    William Mapother, ANOTHER EARTH


    Charlotte Gainsbourg, MELANCHOLIA
    Carey Mulligan, SHAME (She was great in DRIVE too, IMO)
    Anna Kendrick, 50/50





  • Dominik

    Best Actress
    Mia Wasikowska in “Jane Eyre”
    Kirsten Dunst in “Melancholia”

    Best Picture
    Norwegian Wood

    Please Academy, stop voting for the stuff you usually like, start voting for what I like! 😉

  • Nevin


    Best Picture: I also second the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo it is a masterful film and Drive.

    Best Actor: There a lot of great performances this year and you can’t go wrong with many of them, especially Michael Fassbender. Two performances that I think are very underrated and will probably not get recognized. Please take a look at Daniel Craig for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Matt Damon for We Bought a Zoo. Though Mara is the real spotlight in the film, Craig plays a character we have never seen from him before, not a action hero but a very simple human character. Matt Damon does a pitch perfect job as emotional and sometimes funny father.

    Best Actress: Rooney Mara has the best performance of the year. I came out of the movie speechless on how amazing she is in the film. Also a very underrated performance Brit Marling from Another Earth.

    Best Suporting Actor: Andy Serkis – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Best Supporting Actress: Evan Rachel Wood – The Ides of March, Carey Mulligan – Shame
    Best Director: David Fincher – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nicholas Winding Refn – Drive
    Best Screenplay – Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris, Steve Zaillian – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Best Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus ross – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jonsi – We bought a Zoo

  • Pierre de Plume

    I’m with Paddy M regarding Shame. It’s a masterpiece.


    Hunter McCracken, The Tree of Life (supporting actor)

    Sacha Baron Cohen, Hugo (what a great character!)

    Poetry, Best Foreign Film (South Korea)

    Weekend (best screenplay)

    Vanessa Redgrave, Corialanus

    . . . and Eddie Redmayne, supporting actor, My Week With Marilyn: It took a totally committed, totally believable supporting character to make this film work as it did. Redmayne delivered.

  • rufussondheim

    I think, Mr. Holt, that one thing that really favors The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is that there’s nothing else like it out there, and as we discussed in the other thread, there’s an overabundance of sentimental films out there. I imagine there’s quite a few Academy members to whom those sentimental films don’t appeal. There’s not much out there to choose otherwise besides Drive or The Tree of Life.

    I think critics are not giving the Fincher movie its due because most of them just watched the Swedish movies in the last couple of years and maybe even read the books, so they were kind of burnt out on this whole Stieg Larsson trilogy. I don’t think that will be the case with many academy members.

    The one thing that’s working against it is the whole “wasted vote” possibility. Like in Presidential elections people don’t want to “waste” a vote even though they might like a Third Party Candidate. Dragon Tattoo is kind of like a third party candidate in this race. But if enough of them chat amongst themselves maybe they will believe it’s not a wasted vote.

    But at this point I like its more chances than War Horse.

  • knee_play

    melancholia (picture, director, screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, actress, supporting actress)

    drive (picture, director, screenplay, editing, score, lead actor, supporting actor)

    meek’s cutoff (picture, director, screenplay, cinematography)

    beginners (screenplay, supporting actress, supporting actor)

    the future (screenplay, score)

    bridesmaids (actress)

  • Tony

    By the way, this is the Top Ten of Juan Carlos Arciniegas (@JCArciniegas), CNN en Espanol movie expert:

    9. Take Shelter
    8. Bridesmaids
    7. Rango / TinTin (tie)
    6. Like Crazy
    5. Drive
    4. A Separation
    3. Tree of Life
    2. The Artist
    1. Shame

  • Beth Stevens

    Best Picture / Best Director

    he Tree of Life – If you don’t nominate one of the few American masterpieces of recent times, then why give out awards at all? And if you nominate it for BP while ignoring Terrence Malick, that’s a double ouch. Of all the auteurist films I can think of, this one DEFINITELY did not direct itself.

    A Separation – Isn’t it about time we had a foreign film nominated for best picture again? Why not Farhadi’s personal and cultural gem, that touches on so many common issues in today’s society, whether Iranian or European or American. If not BP, then at least a screenplay nom, please.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – After SAG’s disappointing choice of five lightweight comedies/dramadies, I really hope the Academy won’t be reluctant to look at a dark and disturbing picture in this escapist year. Oscar has traditionally been known for going darker, at least some of the time (Silence of the Lambs, No Country for Old Men). Give the Girl a chance, guys!

  • John

    Congratulations for the ‘FYC’ campaign, Sasha. These films and performances deserve some solid support. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a great intense mystery thriller and interesting and deep character development. It’s Fincher at his best.
    Harry Potter is not only one of the best-reviewed films of the year but it has almost reached $1,4B and the entire series goes up to $8B worldwide and has been consistent and very good quality-wise. It’d be a shame not to reward it with a Best Picture nomination.
    Moneyball is excellent American cinema. Great screenplay, great editing, a great lead performance and a story that makes a typical sports movie become a substantial character study (cough The Blind Side cough).

    I’d also love to add A Separation, which is probably the best film of the year. I’d love to see a Foreign Film be nominated for Best Picture, or at least for Best Original Screenplay, except the Foreign Film nomination. It definitely deserves it.

  • John

    A Separation
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Fahradi, A Separation
    McQueen, Shame
    Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Michael Fassbender, Shame
    Woody Harrelson, Rampart
    Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
    Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Christoph Waltz, Carnage
    Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
    Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

    Carey Mulligan, Shame
    Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
    Kate Winslet, Carnage

    A Separation

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

  • For your consideration (worthy but unheralded mentions from critics so far):

    Best Picture – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

    Best Actress – Michelle Yeoh, The Lady

    Best Actor – Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method

    Best Supporting Actor – Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Best Supporting Actor – John Hurt, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Best Supporting Actor – Vincent Cassel, A Dangerous Method

    Best Supporting Actress – Vanessa Redgrave, Anonymous
    Best Supporting Actress – Judi Dench, My Week With Marilyn or Jane Eyre

    Best Adapted Screenplay – A Dangerous Method
    Best Adapted Screenplay – Anonymous

    Best Cinematography – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    Best Cinematography – Anonymous

    Best Costumes – Anonymous
    Best Costumes – A Dangerous Method

    Best Art Direction – Red Riding Hood
    Best Art Direction – Anonymous

    Best Makeup – The Eagle
    Best Makeup – Anonymous

    Best Film Editing – The Beginners

    Best Original Score – Anonymous
    Best Original Score – Jane Eyre

  • Aubrey

    The 20% rule for Best Picture. Flaws?

    1. Suppose a films ranks 2nd best on everyone’s voting slip, it won’t be nominated? How is that the year’s 5 best?

    2. Polarizing ones too will be nominated, worshiped by some but reviled by others. Then what happens to films very well liked but not enough no. 1?

    3. 20% of no. 1 of total voters, in order to be nominated. So how to have more than 5 nominees?

    If the 20% rule is so good for Best Picture, how come the other categories don’t have it?

    Seems flawed.

  • Susan

    Best Picture: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Best Director: Tomas Alfredson (TTSS)

    Best Actor: Gary Oldman (TTSS)

    Criminally overlooked film in the whole season and I wholeheartedly agree on Gary Oldman, ridiculously overdue for his first nomination…

  • For Your Consideration


    Best Director: Tomas Alfredson (TINKER TAILOR), Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER) or Martin Scorsese (HUGO)

    Best Actor: Michale Shannon (TAKE SHELTER) or Gary Oldman (TINKER TAILOR)

    Best Actress: Viola Davis (THE HELP), Tilda Swinton (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN)

    Best Supporting Actor: Ben Kingsley (HUGO) or Mark Strong (TINKER TAILOR)

    Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain (TAKE SHELTER) or Amy Ryan (WIN WIN)



    Best Cinematography: HUGO or TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

    Best Adapted Screenplay: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

    Best Original Screenplay: WIN WIN

  • Archie

    Best Film : Tinker Tailor Sodier Spy
    Best Actor : Gary Oldman

    One of the best reviewed movies this year with a lot of praise for it´s main actor and criminally overlooked so far in awards season .Erase this mistake and give it a nomination !

  • Sato

    The Golden Globes denied us…

    Please CONSIDER…

    BEST PICTURE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2

    ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape


    ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein- “A Dangerous Method”

    ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway- “Midnight in Paris”

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Woman in the Septic Tank from Philippines\

    ORIGINAL MUSIC (SCORE): Abel Korzeniowski- “W.E.”

    COSTUME DESIGN: Arianne Phillips- “W.E.”

  • Mark F.


    Best Supporting Actor: Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
    Best Picture: Drive, Weekend

  • forg


    Winnie the Pooh for Best Animated Film
    – So simple, so gentle but wonderfully crafted.

  • Arthur


  • Nathalie

    Why blockbusters don’t get recognition at the Oscars? What makes a movie deserving of an Oscar? Movies are made for entertainment right. So shouldn’t the best movie of the year be the one that most people enjoyed watching. The Grammys are like that. Why is it different or movies?? Can somebody help me understand.

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