Predicting the 85th Academy Award Nominations

Award season is here! So many different award ceremonies are upon us. Nominations and predictions are flooding the web. Of course, you know what that means…I’ve gotta get in on some of that too!

<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.

But, before I get into my predictions for this year’s nominations, here’s a few things to know about this award season.

1st: The official nominations for the the 85th Academy Award ceremony will be aired live on Thursday (tomorrow) around 8am EST. Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone will announce the nominees to the world super early in the morning. Coincidentally, MacFarlane is also hosting the prestigious award ceremony. (Charlton Heston was the last host to also announce the nominees back in the late 1970’s.)


2nd: This upcoming Sunday, January 13th, is the date for the Golden Globe Awards ceremony (often viewed as the warm-up act for the Oscars).


3rd: The Razzies were announced on Tuesday. (Razzies often satirically recognize the worst of the movie categories.) Click HERE to check out the nominations. (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt 2 leads the noms with one in every category!)


4th: There are other awards such as the Director’s Guild of America, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards (SAG), Critic’s Choice Awards and more. (Lincoln has been leading the pack in many award nominations.)


5th: TONITE are the People’s Choice Awards. Not a fan of the choices of the Academies? Don’t miss the People’s Choice tonight to see the best music, movies, tv shows and more as decided by the people.


6th: The very special version of the awards hosted on this site (entitled THE [3rd annual] RED WEB AWARDS) will launch here next week. Be on the lookout as myself and 11 other judges have assembled several nominations for you to vote on and award the prestigious honor of a Red Web Award to. Click the following links to check out the previous Red Web Awards to have an idea of what’s in store at this exciting event. RED WEB AWARDS (Year 1) (Year 2). The RED WEB AWARDS go live for you to vote for the winners on Tuesday, January 15th!

Last year's host was Stan Lee! Who will host this year? Don't miss it!
Last year’s host was Stan Lee! Who will host this year? Don’t miss it!


But, of course, everyone pays the most attention to The Academy Awards. Below are my predictions on what the actual nominations will be. We will find out for sure on Thursday morning. Check out my lists and let me know your thoughts/bold predictions in the comment section!

Best Picturelincoln

  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Amour
  • Lincoln
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Argo
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • The Master
  • The Avengers

Best DirectorARGO

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  • Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  • Ben Affleck (Argo)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  • Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
  • Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)
  • Denzel Washington (Flight)

Best Actress in a Leading Roleamour

  • Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
  • Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
  • Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Best Actress in a Supporting Rolethe-master-image01

  • Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
  • Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
  • Judi Dench (Skyfall)
  • Sally Field (Lincoln)
  • Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)

Best Original Screenplay

  • Rian Johnson (Looper)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
  • Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
  • Michael Haneke (Amour)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)

Best Adapted Screenplaymovies_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_3

  • Tom Tykwer/The Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas)
  • Steven Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
  • Chris Terrio (Argo)
  • David Magee (Life of Pi)
  • William Nicholson (Les Miserables)

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Raid: Redemption
  • Amour
  • A Royal Affair
  • The Intouchables
  • War Witch

Best Documentary Featuresearching-for-sugarman

  • Searching for Sugar Man
  • How to Survive a Plague
  • Bully
  • The Impostor
  • The Invisible War

Best Animated Feature

  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Frankenweenie
  • From Up On Poppy Hill
  • ParaNorman
  • Brave

Best CinematographySkyfall05_v_23oct12_p_L_b_646x430

  • Skyfall
  • Life of Pi
  • The Master
  • Django Unchained
  • The Dark Knight Rises

Best Film Editing

  • Argo
  • Lincoln
  • Life of Pi
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • The Master

Best Production DesignCLOUD ATLAS

  • Skyfall
  • Les Miserables
  • The Avengers
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • Cloud Atlas

Best Costume Design

  • The Avengers
  • Lincoln
  • Anna Karenina
  • Mirror Mirror
  • A Royal Affair

Best Original Songmisty-melody1

  • Django Unchained- “Ancora Qui
  • The Hobbit- “Misty Mountains”
  • Skyfall- “Skyfall” by Adele
  • Brave- “Learn Me Right”
  • Les Miserables- “Suddenly” (Hugh Jackman)

Best Original Score

  • Cloud Atlas (Reinhold Hell & Johnny Kilmek)
  • Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Hitchcock (Danny Elfman)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Howard Shore)

Best Visual Effectsilm_avengers

  • The Avengers
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Life of Pi
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Prometheus

*Additional categories:

  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyles.

Do you think I will be spot on? Do you think my predictions are waaaayy off? Let me know your own and keep an eye out for the list of actual nominations to be announced shortly.

Have a great day and get ready for the awards! The 85th Academy Awards will air on February 24th, and, as mentioned earlier, the nominees will be announced in less than 24 hours! Get ready and best of luck to all of my predictions! 🙂

Thanks for reading. Happy Watching.

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”


  1. Nice choices. I, for one would be inclined to pick The Dark Knight Rises over The Avengers which I didn’t care much for. I also doubt about Salmon Fishing getting in over films like Les Miserables or Django Unchained in the best picture category. I’ve been hearing great things about Amour ever since Cannes but I really doubt it could make it to the best picture category when it’s the favorite foreign language film winner


  2. No love for seven psychopaths? That’s my favorite of the year.

    Also, the raid redemption is bad effing ass. It won’t win any awards probably. Maybe editing. There should be an award category for best choreography just for this and movies like ong bak.


  3. Couple of bold choices there! I would love to see The Avengers (or Skyfall or TDKR, really) make the list for Best Picture. Here’s hoping!


  4. The results are in. Check them out at Impassioned Cinema here:

    I was 61% correct in the categories I guessed.

    6/9 in Best Picture (Surprise, Les Miserables)
    3/5 in Best Director (No Affleck for Argo?)
    5/5 in Best Lead Actress (Spot On! Woohoo)
    4/5 in Best Lead Actor (Surprise, Bradley Cooper)
    3/5 in Best Supp. Actress (Way to go, Sally Field)
    3/5 in Best Supp. Actor (Pleasant surprise, Alan Arkin)
    3/5 in Best Orig. Screenplay (Hooray Moonrise Kingdom)
    2/5 in Best Adapt. Screenplay (Yes! Argo!)
    4/5 in Best Animated Feature (Pirates over Studio Ghibli??)
    2/5 in Best Foreign Language Film (These were mainly guesses anyways.)
    3/5 in Best Cinematography (Skyfall better have made this list)
    3/5 in Best Costume Design (Expected some of these…but SWATH?)
    3/5 in Best Documentary (Sugar Man…SWEET)
    4/5 in Best Editing (Almost got them all, ha)
    1/5 in Best Original Score (Guess I have different taste in music!)
    1/5 in Best Original Song (See the above comment)
    4/5 in Best Visual Effects (I knew Avengers would get a nom!)

    (*Didn’t predict Best Makeup/Hairstyling, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Sound Editing, or Best Sound Mixing.)

    All the noms are on Max’s page at Impassioned Cinema. Check it out. How well did you do?


  5. I’m surprised you predicted Salmon Fishing in the Yemen would make the noms. I like that movie but never thought that it was award-worthy. I’m surprised about Affleck and Bigelow getting snubbed though, wow!


    • Well, ya know. Sometimes those Academy types like to be weird and pull out one that no one expects. I figured it might sneak in, but hoped it didn’t. Glad my hopes were correct as opposed to my prediction on that count! haha.

      I was surprised by Affleck, but not too much by Bigelow’s exclusion. I don’t know that I’d count it a snub though as they still got accolades in other categories. IMO.


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