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December Oscar Predictions

As the calendar turns to December, critics circles and awards groups will begin handing out hardware to the year's best films and performances. In other words, it's finally Oscar time!

Now, we still have a long way to go until nomination morning (January 24), especially considering some very high profile films—like David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—have yet to screen for anyone. But we feel enough has happened that we can begin rolling out our official Oscar coverage, which starts today with our predictions for eight major categories.

Each week, we'll dig a little deeper into one of these categories, in order to help with your predictions and to let you know what you ought to catch up with.

So without any further ado, your 2012 Oscar contenders (in alphabetical order):

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
War Horse

Best Director

Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse

Best Actor

George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Actress

Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, Drive
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March
Ben Kingsley, Hugo
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress

Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Adapted Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants
Eric Roth and Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughn, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, War Horse

Best Original Screenplay

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Scott Z. Burns, Contagion
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Diablo Cody, Young Adult


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