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2012 Oscar Predictions

The following table provides predictions for the four main categories for the 2012 Academy Awards presented on Feb 26, 2012. The nominees are presented in order of expected probability to win, with the probabilities (in percentages) given in the second column. Eventual winners shown in bold.

Picture: The three front-runners for this category appear to be The Artist (with 10 overall nominations and Producer's Guild and Golden Globe Comedy or Musical wins), The Descendants (5 nominations and Golden Globe Drama win), and Hugo (11 nominations). Each of these movies also has a Best Director nomination, and while it wouldn't be a huge surprise if any of these films won Best Picture, The Artist seems to have the best chance of winning. The two other films with Best Director nominations, Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life, represent a bit of a long shot, while it would be a major surprise if any of the remaining four films won Best Picture.
The Artist 89%
Hugo 6
The Descendants 3
Midnight in Paris 1
The Tree of Life <1
Moneyball <1
War Horse <1
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close <1
The Help <1
Director: First-time nominee, Michel Hazanavicius, benefits from his Director's Guild win and 10 overall nominations for The Artist, giving him a big advantage over Martin Scorsese (with six previous Best Director nominations and 11 nominations for his film, Hugo), Woody Allen (also with six previous Best Director nominations but only 4 nominations for his film, Midnight in Paris), Alexander Payne (one previous Best Director nomination and 5 nominations for his film, The Descendants), and Terrence Malick (also with one previous Best Director nomination but only 3 nominations for his film, The Tree of Life). If the Academy voters decide to reward one of these latter four nominees rather than first-time nominee, Michel Hazanavicius, they could well choose Alexander Payne or (perhaps more likely) Terrence Malick, rather than Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen, who have both won before (although there have been other multiple Best Director winners, including Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg).
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist 85%
Martin Scorsese for Hugo 9
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris 3
Alexander Payne for The Descendants 3
Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life 1
Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin (with his Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Comedy or Musical wins) has the edge over George Clooney (with his Golden Globe Drama win), despite the latter's two previous Lead Actor nominations. Brad Pitt, with one previous Lead Actor nomination, would seem to have an outside chance of winning, while first-time nominees, Demián Bichir and Gary Oldman, are very unlikely to win this year, particularly since the other three nominees have been nominated in films with Best Picture nominations. Overall, this category seems the hardest to call of the four major races this year.
Jean Dujardin in The Artist 64%
George Clooney in The Descendants 35
Brad Pitt in Moneyball 1
Demián Bichir in A Better Life <1
Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy <1
Actress in a Leading Role: Since Viola Davis has won the Screen Actors Guild award, Michelle Williams has won the Golden Globe (Comedy or Musical) award, and Meryl Streep has won the Golden Globe (Drama) award, this is a difficult category to call. However, since Viola Davis is the only one nominated in a film that has also been nominated for Best Picture, she has the edge, while Michelle Williams seems the next most likely to win since Meryl Streep has won previously (for 1982's Sophie's Choice). Glenn Close and Rooney Mara are probably not in the running to win this year.
Viola Davis in The Help 71%
Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn 12
Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady 8
Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs 4
Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 4

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