Now, why do I do these in April? Because every April, Nathaniel at The Film Experience does it, ending it with the Actress Psychic Contest. If you can guess the five Best Actress nominees this far in advance, you get a capital p Prize! EEEEE! I got 3/5 last year, correctly predicting Bening, Kidman and Lawrence; I had Naomi Watts (Fair Game) and Robin Wright (The Conspirator) in my other two slots. But that was then, this is now, so let's roll on.
A Dangerous Method
The Ides of March
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Tree of Life
The War Horse
Oh, sure, J. Edgar is slated for 2012, but if I'm right about Mr. Eastwood, that movie will be in cineplexes by late December with three National Board of Review awards under its belt.
Last year: 4/10 - The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech
David Cronenberg, A Dangerous Method
Simon Curtis, My Week with Marilyn
Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Steven Spielberg, The War Horse
I predict Cronenberg will get that finally-recognized-auteur slot, joining Curtis as a first-time nominee. Eastwood works his magic after a few years' absence -- though expect Clooney as a possible spoiler. Spielberg gets in because there's no way he won't go justice to the source material (good stuff), and Malick may be the one to beat! He said without having seen a thing.
Last year: 1/5 - Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Anne Hathaway, One Day
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Close is welcomed back into the fold, Streep and Williams get biopic nods, Olsen is the indie slot, Hathaway gets the second nomination needed in order to clinch the Overdue! status sure to come when her Judy Garland biopic hits in 2013 (or thereabouts).
Last year: 3/5 - Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right; Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Fassbender's packed year is sure to get him some recognition, and hopefully Oldman's turn as a legendary literary figure will net him his first nomination. Gosling will finally get a second nomination, right? He does great work every year, and every year....
Last year: 1/5 - Colin Firth, The King's Speech
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Peter Mullan, The War Horse
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Eddie Redmayne, My Week with Marilyn
I am convinced in my head that leading man Redmayne will be pushed to supporting to (a) increase his chances of getting a nomination, and (b) increase Williams' chances of getting the gold. Mullan's character, that of the drunken father, is one of the best characters in War Horse, and he's also due for recognition. I'm predicting Hawkes to be this year's Jeremy Renner ("Whoa! Back so soon?"). And then there's also Mortensen and Plummer. I'm least confident about this lineup.
Last year: 2/5 - Christian Bale, The Fighter; Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
Monica Bellucci, The Whistleblower
Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life
Judi Dench, J. Edgar
Elizabeth Reaser, Young Adult
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
I'm equally confident in this lineup. I wasn't going to predict Chastain, since no actor has ever been nominated for a Malick film, but in the end I thought, "To hell with it."
Last year: 3/5 - Amy Adams, The Fighter; Helena Bonham-Carter, The King's Speech; Melissa Leo, The Fighter
J. Edgar - Dustin Lance Black
Martha Macy May Marlene - Sean Durkin
The Tree of Life - Terrence Malick
Win Win - Thomas McCarthy, Joe Tiboni
Young Adult - Diablo Cody
McCarthy finally gets accepted into the club, Cody and Black get welcome back hugs, Durkin fills that indie slot, Malick wins.
Albert Nobbs - Glenn Close, John Banville
A Dangerous Method - Christopher Hampton
My Week with Marilyn - Adrian Hodges
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - Peter Straughan, Bridget O'Connor
The War Horse - Lee Hall, Richard Curtis
A passion project, three directing nominees, and a respectable adult thriller.