This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 10th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.
Last year’s nominees: Demian Bichir, George Clooney, Jean Dujardin, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt
This year’s locks: Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington
Very likely: John Hawkes
Possible: Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix, Hugh Jackman
Unlikely: Richard Gere
The rundown: I see this as a six-man race, with Golden Globe nominee Richard Gere (Arbitrage) siphoning some votes but standing a very small chance of breaking into the race with no momentum for his film. This category has already effectively been won by Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), and he’ll be joined by another two-time winner, Denzel Washington (Flight), and a previous nominee, John Hawkes (The Sessions). Fighting for the last slot we have Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), both nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award, and Joaquin Phoenix, snubbed by SAG. The only past nominee among them is Phoenix, whose exodus from Hollywood and from sanity may hurt his chances with his fellow industry professionals. That said, Paul Thomas Anderson has a great reputation for getting his actors nominated, and I think that should help Phoenix make it in. Cooper should be in since his film seems to be extremely strong and he’s one of its crucial parts, but Jackman isn’t really receiving best in show reviews, and so it would be very easy for him to end up just like the Golden Globe-winning, SAG-nominated lead of a musical that ended up winning Best Picture, who just happens to be Gere (for “Chicago”).
One possible crazy scenario: Joining likely Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva from “Amour” is her 82-year-old French costar Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Forecasted winner: There’s no way it goes to anyone but Day-Lewis.