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DEC
26
3 YEARS

FEINBERG FORECAST: 'Bridesmaids,' 'Drive,' 'Extremely,' 'Tattoo,' and 'Tree' Fight for Noms

THR's awards expert Scott Feinberg offers his latest take on the Oscar race.

Bridesmaids singing - H 2011
Courtesy of Universal

What follows is my latest assessment of all of the high-profile Oscar categories, along with commentary about the latest developments in each. I welcome your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

BEST PICTURE
Frontrunners
The Artist (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, SAG, HFPA, NYFCC
The Descendants (Fox Searchlight, 11/23, R, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, LAFCA, AFI
The Help (Disney, 8/12, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, AFI
War Horse (Disney, 12/25, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, HFPA
Moneyball (Columbia, 9/23, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, AFI
Hugo (Paramount, 11/23, PG, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, NBR, AFI
Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/20, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, AFI
The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight, 5/27, PG-13, trailer) BFCA, AFI
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Bros., 12/25, PG-13, trailer) BFCA
Bridesmaids (Universal, 5/13, R, trailer) HFPA, SAG, AFI

Major Threats
Drive (FilmDistrict, 9/16, R, trailer) BFCA, AFI
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sony, 12/21, R, trailer) AFI
The Ides of March (Sony, 10/14, R, trailer) HFPA
J. Edgar (Warner Bros., 11/11, R, trailer) AFI
My Week with Marilyn (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, R, trailer) HFPA
Possibilities
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Focus Features, 12/9, R, trailer)
50/50 (Summit, 9/30, R, trailer) HFPA
Margin Call (Roadside Attractions, 10/21, R, trailer)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 (Warner Bros., 7/15, PG-13, trailer)
Beginners (Focus Features, 6/3, R, trailer)

If the public's interest in Oscar hopefuls is in any way indicative of the Academy's, then -- per THR's Pam McClintock -- the Christmas weekend brought good news for War Horse (which had a "stellar" $7.5 million debut on Sunday, behind only Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows for the day), mixed news for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which earned $19.4 million over the four day weekend, "slightly less than expected but nonetheless a solid start"), and bad news for We Bought a Zoo (which "came in No. 6 for the four-day weekend with a tepid cume of $15.6 million"). Meanwhile, the British pic Tinker Tailor and the Hollywood import Drive   garnered a field-leading six nominations from the London Critics' Circle, including nods for film of the year.

BEST DIRECTOR
Frontrunners
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) BFCA, HFPA, NYFCC
Alexander Payne (The Descendants) BFCA, HFPA
Steven Spielberg (War Horse) BFCA
Martin Scorsese (Hugo) BFCA, HFPA, NBR
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) HFPA
Major Threats
Tate Taylor (The Help)
Bennett Miller (Moneyball)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) LAFCA
Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) BFCA
Possibilities
Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) BFCA
David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
George Clooney (The Ides of March) HFPA
Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar)

The Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that Daldry will be honored as the Director of the Year at their 23rd annual awards gala on January 7.

BEST ACTOR
Frontrunners
Jean Dujardin (The Artist) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
George Clooney (The Descendants) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NBR
Brad Pitt (Moneyball) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NYFCC
Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Michael Fassbender (Shame) BFCA, HFPA, LAFCA
Major Threats
Demian Bichir (A Better Life) SAG
Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Ryan Gosling (Drive) BFCA
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March) HFPA
Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Possibilities
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) HFPA
Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Paul Giamatti (Win Win)
Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris)
HFPA

BEST ACTRESS
Frontrunners
Viola Davis (The Help) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NYFCC
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NBR
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) HFPA, SAG
Major Threats
Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) HFPA
Charlize Theron (Young Adult) BFCA, HFPA
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) BFCA
Possibilities
Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)
Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method)
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
HFPA

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Frontrunners
Christopher Plummer (Beginners) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NBR, LAFCA
Albert Brooks (Drive) BFCA, HFPA, NYFCC
Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Nick Nolte (Warrior) BFCA, SAG
Jonah Hill (Moneyball) HFPA, SAG
Major Threats
Armie Hammer (J. Edgar) SAG
Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method) HFPA
Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) BFCA
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Possibilities
Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) BFCA
Ben Kingsley (Hugo)
Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)
John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

Warner Bros., like the rest of the world, was handed a big surprise when SAG nominated Hammer, and now they're doing everything they can to encourage the Academy to do the same: in addition to the requisite ads that highlight Hammer alongside his higher-profile co-star Leonardo DiCaprio (oddly placing one's name beneath the other's picture in some), the studio has him making the interview rounds with Oscar bloggers, and also debuted (via THR) a special featurette that intercuts intersperses clips of the film and behind-the-scenes production footage with highlights of a November Q&A in which Hammer shined.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Frontrunners
Octavia Spencer (The Help) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Berenice Bejo (The Artist) BFCA, HFPA, SAG
Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) BFCA, HFPA, NBR
Jessica Chastain (The Help) BFCA, HFPA, SAG, NYFCC, LAFCA
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) HFPA, SAG
Major Threats
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) BFCA, SAG
Carey Mulligan (Shame) BFCA
Sandra Bullock (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Possibilities
Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)
Evan Rachel Wood (The Ides of March)
Judi Dench (J. Edgar)

The Help co-stars Spencer and Chastain have been nominated together so many times already -- BFCA, HFPA, SAG, London Critics' Circle, etc. -- that it looks all but certain that they'll both receive supporting actress Oscar nods, as well. Something to look for from those precursor awards, though: can one manage to beat the other or will they effectively eat away at each other's votes, causing someone else (say, Bejo or Woodley) to emerge as the new frontrunner? That's what has almost always happened at the Oscars over the years -- last year (Melissa Leo beat Amy Adams, her co-star from The Fighter) was "the exception," whereas the previous two years were more "the rule" (Adams and Viola Davis both lost for Doubt and Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick both lost for Up in the Air).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Frontrunners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants) BFCA, HFPA, NBR, NYFCC
Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) BFCA, HFPA
Tate Taylor (The Help) BFCA
John Logan (Hugo) BFCA
Eric Roth (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) BFCA
Major Threats
Richard Curtis, Lee Hall (War Horse)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov (The Ides of March) HFPA
Steven Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Possibilities
Hossein Amini (Drive)
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frontrunners
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) BFCA, HFPA
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) BFCA, HFPA
Tom McCarthy, Joe Tiboni (Win Win) BFCA
Will Reiser (50/50) BFCA, NBR
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)

Major Threats
Mike Mills (Beginners)
Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) LAFCA
Diablo Cody (Young Adult) BFCA
J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)
Possibilities
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
James Ward Byrkit, John Logan, Gore Verbinski (Rango)
Dustin Lance Black (J. Edgar)
Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

BEST ANIMATED FILM (FEATURE)
Frontrunners
Rango (Paramount, 3/4, PG, trailer) BFCA, HFPA, NBR, LAFCA
The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount, 12/21, PG, trailer) BFCA, HFPA
Puss in Boots (DreamWorks, 11/4, PG, trailer) BFCA, HFPA
Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks, 5/26, PG, trailer) BFCA
Arthur Christmas (Sony, 11/23, PG, trailer) BFCA, HFPA
Major Threats
Cars 2 (Disney, 6/24, G, trailer) HFPA
Happy Feet 2 (Warner Bros., 11/18, PG, trailer)
Possibilities
Rio (20th Century Fox, 4/15, G, trailer)
Winnie the Pooh (Disney, 7/15, G, trailer)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM (FEATURE)
Frontrunners
If a Tree Falls (Oscilloscope, 6/22, TBA, trailer)
Undefeated (The Weinstein Company, 2/10, TBA, TBA) BFCA
Bill Cunningham New York (Zeitgeist Films, 3/16, TBA, trailer)
Project Nim (Roadside Attractions, 7/8, PG-13, trailer) BFCA
Buck (IFC Films, 6/17, PG, trailer) BFCA
Major Threats
Long Way Home: The Loving Story (TBA, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (HBO Documentary Films, TBA, TBA, trailer) NBR
Battle for Brooklyn (TBA, 6/17, TBA, trailer)
We Were Here (Red Flag Releasing, 9/?, TBA, trailer)
Hell and Back Again (Docurama Films, 10/5, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Pina (Sundance Selects, 12/23, TBA, trailer)
Under Fire: Journalists in Combat (TBA, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Semper Fi: Always Faithful (TBA, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Sing Your Song (HBO Documentary Films, 9/2, TBA, trailer)
Jane's Journey (First Run Features, TBA, TBA, trailer)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Frontrunners
A Separation (Iran) BFCA, HFPA, NBR, NYFCC
Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon) BFCA
Le Havre (Finland) BFCA
In Darkness (Poland) BFCA
Footnote (Israel)
Major Threats
The Flowers of War (China) HFPA
Declaration of War (France)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Simple Life (Hong Kong)
Pina (Germany)
Happy, Happy (Norway)
Possibilities
Terra Firma (Italy)
Sonny Boy (Netherlands)
Superclasico (Denmark)

Bullhead (Belgium)
Black Bread (Spain)
Postcard (Japan)
Omar Killed Me (Morocco)

BEST ART DIRECTION
Frontrunners
Hugo (Dante Ferretti) BFCA, LAFCA
War Horse (Rick Carter) BFCA
The Artist (Laurence Bennett) BFCA
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Stuart Craig) BFCA
The Tree of Life (Jack Fisk) BFCA
Major Threats
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Maria Djurkovic)
J. Edgar (James J. Murakami)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Sarah Greenwood)
Albert Nobbs (Patrizia von Brandenstein)
Midnight in Paris (Anne Seibel)

Possibilities
Drive (Beth Mickle)
A Dangerous Method (James McAteer)
My Week with Marilyn (Donal Woods)
Jane Eyre (Will Hughes-Jones)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Frontrunners
The Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki) BFCA, NYFCC, LAFCA
War Horse (Janusz Kaminski) BFCA
Hugo (Robert Richardson) BFCA
The Artist (Guillaume Schiffman) BFCA
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Jeff Cronenweth)
Major Threats
Drive (Newton Thomas Sigel) BFCA
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Chris Menges)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Hoyte Van Hoytema)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Eduardo Serra)
Possibilities
The Descendants (Phedon Papamichael)
Shame (Sean Bobbitt)
J. Edgar (Tom Stern)
A Dangerous Method (Peter Suschitzky)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Frontrunners
Jane Eyre (Michael O'Connor) BFCA
The Artist (Mark Bridges) BFCA
Hugo (Sandy Powell) BFCA
The Help (Sharen Davis) BFCA
W.E (Arianne Phillips)
Major Threats
My Week with Marilyn (Jill Taylor) BFCA
Midnight in Paris (Sonia Grande)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Jacqueline Durran)
War Horse (Joanna Johnston)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trish Summerville)
J. Edgar (Deborah Hopper)
Possibilities
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Jany Temime)
Albert Nobbs (Pierre-Yves Gayraud)
Captain America (Anna B. Sheppard)
Anonymous (Lisy Christl)
A Dangerous Method (Denise Cronenberg)

BEST FILM EDITING
Frontrunners
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, Anne-Sophie Bion) BFCA
War Horse (Michael Kahn) BFCA
Hugo (Thelam Schoonmaker) BFCA
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall) BFCA
Drive (Matthew Newman) BFCA
Major Threats
The Descendants (Kevin Tent)
Moneyball (Christopher Tellefson)
Midnight in Paris (Alisa Lepselter)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Claire Simpson)
The Ides of March (Stephen Mirrione)
Possibilities
J. Edgar (Joe Cox, Gary Roach)
Contagion (Stephen Mirrione)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Dino Jonsater)
Shame (Joe Walker)
Margin Call (Pete Beaudreau)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Frontrunners
Hugo (Howard Shore) BFCA, HFPA
War Horse (John Williams) BFCA, HFPA
The Artist (Ludovic Bource) BFCA, HFPA
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) BFCA, HFPA
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Alexandre Desplat)
Major Threats
The Adventures of Tintin (John Williams)
Jane Eyre (Dario Marianelli)
The Help (Thomas Newman)
Moneyball (Mychael Danna)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alberto Iglesias)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Alexandre Desplat)
Possibilities
W.E (Abel Korzeniowski) HFPA
The Ides of March (Alexandre Desplat)
Hanna (The Chemical Brothers) LAFCA
Super 8 (Michael Giacchino)
The Skin I Live In (Alberto Iglesias)

The Academy's music branch released a list of the 97 scores that it has deemed eligible for this year's best original score Oscar, from which it will ultimately select five as nominees. Somewhat surprisingly, they snubbed and/or deemed ineligible Cliff Martinez's Drive (which has received a best score BFCA nod, was the runner-up with LAFCA, and tied with The Artist for the Boston Society of Film Critics' top prize), as well as Shore's A Dangerous Method, Desplat's A Better Life, and Christophe Beck's The Muppets, among others. Shore and Desplat still have strong shots Hugo and Extremely Loud, respectively.