Who We Predicted To Win the 2012 Oscars

By  · Published on February 26th, 2012

In a couple of hours, we’ll start live-blogging our little hearts out as Neil pretends to know what “chiffon” is, and after the red carpet, we’ll sink into that fifth drink while reveling in the sheer majesty of the 2012 Academy Awards. Stifling cynicism can take a taxi outta town for a while, because no matter what, if you want to see it, there’s still something magical about this night.

Part of that magic is being completely wrong. We’re confident now, but when the winners are announced, there’s always the tiny possibility of a big surprise. So who did you put down in your office pool to take home gold tonight? Our team spent all week tossing out their best analyses, and it all comes down to this.

Here’s who we picked. Would you take us up on these bets?


War Horse

The Artist – “Jean Dujardin’s performance is one for the ages. And it’s got a cute dog? Who doesn’t love a cute dog? Financial success, critical lauding, audience approval. All the result of one man’s dream to realize a love letter he had for the art form. That spoke to the movie-watching world. That spoke to the Academy.” – Jeremy Kirk


The Descendants

The Tree of Life

Midnight in Paris

The Help


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Demian Bichir – A Better Life

George Clooney – The Descendants Here’s where the popularity contest really comes into play. The media loves Clooney. The ladies love Clooney. The Academy loves Clooney. Starring in an acclaimed film helps him out a lot, but even more so, his competition isn’t as fierce as it has been the last times he’s been up for the Best Actor award. Two years ago, his performance in Up in the Air was eclipsed by Jeff Bridges’ sure-bet performance in Crazy Heart. Similarly, four years ago, his turn in Michael Clayton couldn’t beat out Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. While the Best Actor field is still strong this year, Clooney is the clear front-runner partially for his performance but also because of how much the industry loves this guy.” – Kevin Carr

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Brad Pitt – Moneyball


Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis – The Help

Rooney Mara – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady “The bottom line is that many voters believe that Meryl Streep deserves another Oscar, especially considering her last Oscar win was for Sophie’s Choice thirty years ago. I recently had a conversation with another film critic, and he said, “Oh, they just want to give Meryl that Oscar.” He’s totally right. And with such a spotlight role like this one, it’s the safe bet.” – Kevin Carr

Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn


Kenneth Brannagh – My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Christopher Plummer – Beginners “There is no “might” or “maybe” when it comes to Plummer, he’s going to win. There’s no doubt about it. He’s been cleaning house at every other awards show to date, and with charm , style, and class. When Plummer gets up to that podium, everyone is prepared for a slice of witty and heartfelt remarks. Who wouldn’t want to see him do that while wielding an oscar in hand?” – Jack Giroux

Max Von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Berenice Bejo – The Artist

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer – The Help “This shouldn’t be why she “might” win, but why she will win. Minnie was a hard-to-understand gruff character in the book and she needed someone to not only become her but believe in her. There is no doubt that Spencer understood Minnie and wanted to bring a vulnerability to her that any other actress might not have been able to achieve.” – Gwen Reyes


A Cat in Paris

Chico and Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango “Not only is Rango the year’s best animated film, but it’s also one of the best movies of 2011 period. The animation is absolutely stunning, and the film’s design allows for the occasional seamless integration into live footage that works beautifully. Gore Verbinski‘s direction and John Logan‘s script keep things engaging, exciting and smart as it tells a fun story filled with homages to pop culture icons as diverse as The Man With No Name and Hunter S. Thompson. Johnny Depp‘s excessive quirk has grown tiresome in live action, but he finds a perfectly suited home for it here.” – Rob Hunter


Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist The Artist has dominated award ceremonies leading up to the Oscars, and Hazanavicius has already picked up seven awards as Best Director including the one from the Director’s Guild of America. That’s fairly telling, though far from definitive, and the momentum seems to be pointing in a repeat here.” – Rob Hunter

Alexander Payne – The Descendants

Terrance Malick – The Tree of Life

Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris


Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash – The Descendants “Payne, Faxon, and Rash crafted some of the finest characters of the year – Clooney’s Matt King, Shailene Woodley’s Alex King, Judy Greer’s Julie Speer. Hell, they even made a woman in a coma feel like her own character.” – Kate Erbland

John Logan – Hugo

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon – Ides of March

Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin – Moneyball

Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo – Bridesmaids

J.C. Chandor – Margin Call

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris “Allen’s film was the delight of the year, a moneymaker and crowd-pleaser, but one that also comes with a script that has the most pay-off for book nerds, art fans, and history wonks. It’s Academy bait, but the rare kind that everyone can enjoy. Also, Academy members probably watched this with their grandkids. “ – Kate Erbland

Asghar Farhadi – A Separation


Bullhead (Belgium)

Footnote (Israel)

In Darkness (Poland)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

A Separation (Iran) “Writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s excellent relationship drama has received the highest number of accolades of any of the nominees, but more importantly it deserves all of the praise and the eventual win. Beyond simply being a smart, beautifully acted ‘he said/she said’ drama this movie offers an eye-opening look into a world most people simply don’t know about. Our idea of Iran is shaped by the nightly news, but Farhadi’s movie shows us the real people who populate the country and may surprise some with the revelation that they’re actually pretty damn similar to the rest of us.” – Rob Hunter


John Williams – The Adventures of Tintin

Ludovic Bource – The Artist “With a Golden Globe for Best Original Score already under his belt, Bource seems poised as the one to beat come Oscar night. Unlike his fellow nominees, Bource’s score did not just play under scenes and highlight climatic moments, it provided all the sound in The Artist (no small feat.) Taking us back to a time in film when instruments had to convey the myriad of emotions we can now rely on words for, Bource’s score truly sounded like it was taken from the 1920s and gave The Artist real weight making this return to the early days of filmmaking both exciting and entertaining.” – Allison Loring

Howard Shore – Hugo

Alberto Iglesias – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

John Williams – War Horse


“Man or Muppet,” by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets “The song has the epic grander that fit the climactic scene it was featured in and had audiences singing (and questioning) whether they were a man or a muppet as they left the theater. If you were to ask people to name one of the songs that stood out to them from the films released last year, “Man or Muppet” would probably top many people’s lists and if the Academy is looking to reflect film in 2011, they would be remiss to vote over this choice.” – Allison Loring

“Real in Rio,” by Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett – Rio


Check out the latest edition of Reject Radio for Cole’s complete, 24-category Oscar predictions and make your own for a chance to win some sort of fabulous prize.

Complete Academy Award Coverage

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.