Oscar Nominations 2012

Oscar Nominations 2012, The 2012 Oscar nomination are set to roll in Tuesday morning, and given the early buzz and variety of winners in critics circles and at last week's Golden Globes, it should prove to be a compelling race in which the academy may be honoring form as well as content.

From the uplift of "The Help" and "The Descendants," to the grit of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" to the grace of "Hugo," there is a bevy of possible best picture nominees for every size and style. But which will be honored?

The silent charm and black and white elegance of "The Artist" - a classy, witty throwback to Hollywood's golden age that's anything but uniform - figures to enjoy multiple nominations. The film took home the Best Picture - Musical or Comedy award at the Golden Globes last week, and the film's French star Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor gong at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival - both good signs that the film will clean up in Oscar nods.

Another top contender should be Alexander Payne's "The Descendants." The George Clooney family comedy-drama has been a critic's darling since it debuted, and writer-director Payne has seen his previous efforts "About Schmidt" and "Sideways" clean-up during awards seasons. Clooney also looks like a lock to receive a Best Actor nod, while young ingénue Shailene Woodley has already taken home a handful of critics' awards for her role as the daughter of Clooney's cuckolded land baron.

Along with Clooney's inevitable Best Actor nomination, Hollywood heavyweights Brad Pitt ("Moneyball") and Leonardo DiCaprio ("J. Edgar") are safe bets, but the real question seems to be which leading men will fill out the category. Will it be Gary Oldman, for his understated turn in the British spy thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?" Believe it or not, the veteran actor has yet to receive a nod from the Academy. Other possibilities include Michael Fassbender for "Shame," Ryan Gosling for "The Ides of March," and Jean Dujardin for the aforementioned "The Artist."

As for this year's Best Actress nominees, there's one word on everyone's lips: Meryl. Streep is now looking at her 17 th Oscar nomination for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," and the actress, essentially considered a living legend, has not won in nearly 30 years. She does face come stiff competition, notably from the ladies from "The Help." Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain - who starred in an astounding six feature films in 2011 - could give Streep a run for her money, as could Michelle Williams as the lead in "My Week with Marilyn."

The supporting actor prizes should see some older actors who played out of their normal range finally get their due, like Christopher Plummer for "Beginners" and Albert Brooks for "Drive." These categories also look to young, new talent, so "The Descendants'" Woodley or Asa Butterfield from "Hugo" might hear their names called.

As for the big prize, a total of 10 films will again be competing. Some are shoe-ins ("The Artist," "The Descendants") while others are likely bets ("War Horse," Hugo"). But with 10 nominees, there is room for some surprises, be they artier fare like "The Tree of Life" or a megahit like "Bridesmaids."

If the Golden Globes are any predictor of Hollywood's big prize, the Academy's love for big stars and fresh talent is certain to be spread around.

The 84 th annual Academy Awards will be held on February 26.

Best Picture
War Horse
The Artist
The Descendants
Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Director
Michele Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo Kristin Wiig, Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, Ides of March
Steven Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Foreign Film
In Darkness
Monseiur Lazar
A Separation

Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Best Animated Short
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Best Live Action Short
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Best Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Best Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Costumes
The Artist
Jane Eyre

Best Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Libration Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Best Documentary Short
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Film Editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Makeup
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady

Best Original Score
The Adventures of TinTin
The Artist
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
War Horse

Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet”, The Muppets
“Real in Rio”, Rio

Best Sound Editing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
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