On Tuesday 10th January, at 5:38am PST, in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man, Gangster Squad, The Help) and this year's Oscar ceremony host Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) will announce the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards, due to be held on Sunday 24th February.
Usually, an Oscar-nominated or -winning actor or actress accompanies the current President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce the nominations, but they're trying something a little different. Incidentally, this is the first time since 1972 (and only the second time overall) that the Oscar host has been involved in co-announcing the nominations.
As has been my practice for the last few years, I like to try and predict who will be nominated (this is done for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting awards). Below is my list of who I think will be named on Tuesday.
NB. Just like last year, the Academy rules state that there could be anywhere between five and ten Best Picture nominees. I have selected ten films. If the total number of films nominated is less than ten, but one of the movies selected is named in my list of ten, I will count it as a successful prediction.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
Ang Lee (Life Of Pi)
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Marion Cotillard (Rust And Bone)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert de Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
As usual, I think there are some definites, a few maybes and perhaps a couple of WTFs in my predictions.
The Best Director category is wide open with several names vying for the spots- I went with Tom Hooper based on his DGA nomination but we could see Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) or Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) sneaking in.
Similarly, the acting nominations are quite open- it's entirely possible that Denzel Washington could get nominated for his lead role in Flight (at the expense of either Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman or Joaquin Phoenix; I'd say Daniel Day-Lewis is a cast-iron cert). In Best Actress, there's also the chance that Helen Mirren could sneak it for Hitchcock or nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts Of The Southern Wild.
I had the most difficulty selecting the Best Supporting categories this year, with several decent performances all getting recognition by critics circles or one of the other major awards. Waltz's castmate in Django Unchained- Leonardo DiCaprio- could get a Best Supporting Actor nomination, but there's always the chance that Matthew McConaughey could sneak in for Magic Mike or even Javier Bardem for Skyfall. On the subject of Skyfall, it could also be a Best Supporting Actress nod for Judi Dench or recognition for fellow Dame Maggie Smith for her fun turn in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Usually a score of 15 is adequate, but given the fact that there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture awards, I'ill be happy with a prediction of 18 or higher. I'll add the official nominations once they're announced on Tuesday afternoon.