FEINBERG FORECAST: George Clooney Heads to Hollywood, Angelina Jolie's Trailer Debuts, Viola Davis Wows at Women Event

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

Among the things that factored into this week's projections (which appear further down on the page) ...

  • On Thursday morning, the IFP announced the nominees for the 21st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards -- the first set of awards nominations announced this season. The Descendants and Martha Marcy May Marlene, both Fox Searchlight films, led the field with three nominations each. It is noteworthy that The Descendants nabbed Gotham nods for best feature, best ensemble and best breakthrough actor, the same categories in which the IFP nominated The Hurt Locker (2008) and Winter's Bone (2009), which both went on to score best picture, best director, best lead performance and best screenplay Oscar nods.
  • On Monday night, the 15th annual Hollywood Film Awards will take place at the Beverly Hilton -- making it the first awards show of the season. The top honorees of the night, all of whom are expected to be in attendance, are: the cast of The Help for the Ensemble Award; Bennett Miller (Moneyball) for the Director Award; George Clooney (The Descendants) for the Actor Award; Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) for the Actress Award; Christopher Plummer (Beginners) for the Supporting Actor Award; Carey Mulligan (Shame) for the Supporting Actress Award; and Diablo Cody (Young Adult) for the Screenwriter Award. Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), meanwhile, will receive the Career Achievement Award.
  • The New York Film Critics Circle moved up the date of its 2011 awards ceremony to Nov. 28, two weeks earlier than it has been held in years past. This is largely seen as an act of aggression against the National Board of Review awards ceremony, which has been the first voting-based awards show out of the gate for years (recipients for the aforementioned Hollywood Film Awards are determined by the event's executive director and an advisory committee), and will take place on Dec. 3. Both groups have proven to be fairly good predictors of Oscar winners -- except last year, when they both named The Social Network best picture but the Academy opted for The King's Speech instead.
  • Viola Davis (The Help), whom I have listed as the frontrunner in the best actress Oscar race since early September, boosted her awards prospects even further with a moving speech at the 18th annual Women in Hollywood gala, hosted by Elle magazine, on Monday, where she was one of nine honorees. Several other Oscar contenders -- best actress hopeful Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and best supporting actress hopefuls Elle Fanning (Super 8), Naomi Watts (J. Edgar), and Evan Rachel Wood (The Ides of March) -- were also celebrated at the event.
  • Sony has decided not to release Roland Emmerich's Anonymous widely on Friday, as had long been planned, but rather to open it on just 250 theaters (about one-tenth as many as most first-run films) and then expand it over the weeks and months thereafter. This move was supposedly motivated by a desire to give the film time to build positive word-of-mouth buzz as it expands to more screens. Since Emmerich is best known for making shlocky big-budget blockbusters like Independence Day (1996) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), audiences might be surprised to find that this film, which stars Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave, is actually rather thoughtful and well-made.
  • Composer Hans Zimmer, a nine-time Academy Award nominee who took home the best original score Oscar for The Lion King (1994), has stated that he will not submit his score for Rango for Oscar consideration this year. (In order for composers to be admitted into the Oscar race they have to personally submit their own scores.) Zimmer said, "It’s not like I’m not proud of Rango, because I think it’s a pretty amazing little movie." Rather, he explained, he made the decision partly to pay tribute to his longtime publicist Ronni Chasen (who was murdered last year) and partly to avoid the distractions of an awards campaign while he focuses on upcoming projects.
  • This week marked the release of the trailer for Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey and the trailer for Zhang Yimou's Flowers of War; as well as a new trailer for Alexander Payne's The Descendants.

The Artist (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
War Horse (Disney, 12/25, TBA, teaser)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Brothers, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
The Descendants (Fox Searchlight, 11/23, R, trailer)
Moneyball (Columbia, 9/23, TBA, trailer)
The Help (Disney, 8/12, PG-13, trailer)
Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/20, PG-13, trailer)
J. Edgar (Warner Brothers, 11/11, R, trailer)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sony, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight, 5/27, PG-13, trailer)
Major Threats
The Ides of March (Sony, 10/14, TBA, trailer)
The Iron Lady (The Weinstein Company, 12/21, TBA, teaser)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 (Warner Brothers, 7/15, PG-13, trailer)
The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Focus Features, 12/9, TBA, trailer)
Drive (FilmDistrict, 9/16, R, trailer)
Super 8 (Paramount, 6/10, PG-13, trailer)
Carnage (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/16, R, trailer)
My Week With Marilyn (The Weinstein Company, 11/23, TBA, TBA)
We Bought a Zoo (20th Century Fox, 12/23, TBA, trailer)
Young Adult (Paramount, 12/9, TBA, TBA)
Hugo (Paramount, 11/23, TBA, trailer)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict, 12/23, TBA, TBA)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Steven Spielberg (War Horse)
Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Alexander Payne (The Descendants)

Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Major Threats
Bennett Miller (Moneyball)
Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar)
David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
George Clooney (The Ides of March)
Tate Taylor (The Help)
Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady)
Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin)
Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Roman Polanski (Carnage)
Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Cameron Crowe (We Bought a Zoo)
Jason Reitman (Young Adult)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
George Clooney (The Descendants)
Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
Michael Fassbender (Shame)
Major Threats
Daniel Craig (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Jeremy Irvine (War Horse)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy)
Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Paul Giamatti (Win Win)
Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method)
Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris)
Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo)
Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50)
Christoph Waltz (Carnage)
John C. Reilly (Carnage)
Rhys Ifans (Anonymous)
Tom Hardy (Warrior)

Viola Davis (The Help)
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Major Threats
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)
Charlize Theron (Young Adult)
Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method)
Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Jodie Foster (Carnage)
Kate Winslet (Carnage)
Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre)
Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Michelle Yeoh (The Lady)
Ellen Barkin (Another Happy Day)
Rachel Weisz (The Whistleblower)
Vera Farmiga (Higher Ground)
Adepero Oduye (Pariah)

Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)
Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
Tom Hanks (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Major Threats
Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
George Clooney (The Ides of March)
John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method)
Jeffrey Wright (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Armie Hammer (J. Edgar)
Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)
Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)
Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin)

Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)
Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Major Threats
Sandra Bullock (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Carey Mulligan (Shame)
Judi Dench (J. Edgar)
Judy Greer (The Descendants)
Emily Watson (War Horse)
Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Evan Rachel Wood (The Ides of March)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help)
Naomi Watts (J. Edgar)
Scarlett Johansson (We Bought a Zoo)

Richard Curtis, Lee Hall (War Horse)
Eric Roth (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)
Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian (Moneyball)
Tate Taylor (The Help)
Major Threats
Steven Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov (The Ides of March)
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Hossein Amini (Drive)
Roman Polanski (Carnage)
Cameron Crowe, Aline Brosh McKenna (We Bought a Zoo)
Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In)
Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method)
James Ellroy, Oren Moverman (Rampart)
John Logan (Coriolanus)

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Dustin Lance Black (J. Edgar)
Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)

Major Threats
Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady)
Diablo Cody (Young Adult)
Tom McCarthy, Joe Tiboni (Win Win)
Mike Mills (Beginners)
Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy Mae Marlene)
Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones (Like Crazy)
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)
Will Reiser (50/50)
Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter)
Adrian Hodges (My Week with Marilyn)
J.J. Abrams (Super 8)
Dee Rees (Pariah)

The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount, 12/21, TBA, trailer)
Rango (Paramount, 3/4, PG, trailer)
Happy Feet 2 (Warner Brothers, 11/18, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Cars 2 (Disney, 6/24, TBA, trailer)
Arthur Christmas (Sony, 11/23, TBA, trailer)

Major Threats
Puss in Boots (DreamWorks, 11/4, TBA, trailer)
Rio (20th Century Fox, 4/15, G, trailer)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked (20th Century Fox, 12/11, TBA, TBA)
Winnie the Pooh (Disney, 7/15, G, trailer)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks, 5/26, PG, trailer)
The Smurfs (Sony, 7/29, TBA, trailer)
The Lion of Judah (Animated Family Films, 6/3, TBA, trailer)

The Interrupters (The Cinema Guild, 7/29, TBA, trailer)
Project Nim (Roadside Attractions, 7/8, PG-13, trailer)
Buck (IFC Films, 6/17, PG, trailer)
Senna (Producers Distribution Agency, 8/12, PG-13, trailer)
If a Tree Falls (Oscilloscope, 6/22, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Hell and Back Again (Docurama Films, 10/5, TBA, trailer)
Into the Abyss (Sundance Selects, 11/11, TBA, TBA)
Koran by Heart (HBO Documentary Films, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (Submarine Deluxe, TBA, trailer)
Bill Cunningham New York (Zeitgeist Films, 3/16, TBA, trailer)
Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia, 6/24, TBA, trailer)
Tabloid (Sundance Selects, 7/15, R, trailer)
Magic Trip (Magnolia, 8/5, TBA, trailer)
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (Anchor Bay Films, 10/16, TBA, trailer)
We Were Here (Red Flag Releasing, 9/?, TBA, trailer)
The Rescuers (Menemsha Films, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (Sundance Selects, 9/9, TBA, trailer)
Pearl Jam Twenty (Abramorama, 9/20, R, trailer)
Bobby Fischer Against the World (HBO Documentary Films, TBA, TBA, TBA)
The Whale (Paladin, TBA, TBA, TBA)
The Bully Project (The Weinstein Company, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Revenge of the Electric Car (Westmidwest Productions, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Sony Pictures Classics, 4/22, PG-13, trailer)
Still Seeking Domestic Distribution
Better This World
Bombay Beach
The Carrier

A Separation (Iran)
Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon)
Le Havre (Finland)
A Simple Life (Hong Kong)
In Darkness (Poland)
Major Threats
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
Declaration of War (France)
Footnote (Israel)
Pina (Germany)
Terra Firma (Italy)
Happy, Happy (Norway)
Sonny Boy (Netherlands)
The Flowers of War (China)
Black Bread (Spain)
Postcard (Japan)
Omar Killed Me (Morocco)
The Turin Horse (Hungary)
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Turkey)
Montevideo: Taste of a Dream (Serbia)
Morgen (Romania)