Written by Paul Stathakis  |  February 26, 2012

The 84th Academy Awards will air live tonight on ABC at 7pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. The ever-talented Billy Crystal will be returning as host and this will mark his ninth appearance as Oscar MC. The race this year is quite tight, particularly in the Best Actor category where George Clooney and Jean Dujardin are the clear front-runners. At this year’s Golden Globes, Clooney won for Best Actor in a dramatic role while Dujardin took home the award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical. The Best Actress category and Best Picture category are just as close and unpredictable this year. Can Viola Davis win against Meryl Streep who, with her nominated performance in “The Iron Lady”, now totals 17 Oscar nominations. Streep won the Golden Globe for Best Actress but will she win the Oscar too? At this year’s Golden Globes, two films won for Best Picture but in two different categories: “The Descendants” won Best Motion Picture Drama while “The Artist” won for Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical. The Best Director prize at the Globes surprisingly went to Martin Scorsese for “Hugo” but many felt Michel Hazanavicius’ work was overlooked. So the big question now is, will Hazanavicius win tonight for Best Director?

 


Here are my Oscar predictions for the main categories:

 

Best Actor:

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants”
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

 

Best Actress:

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

 

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

 

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”

 

Best Director:

  • Michel Hazanavicius “The Artist”
  • Alexander Payne “The Descendants”
  • Martin Scorsese “Hugo”
  • Woody Allen “Midnight in Paris”
  • Terrence Malick “The Tree of Life”

 

Best Picture:

  • “War Horse”
  • “The Artist”
  • “Moneyball”
  • “The Descendants”
  • “The Tree of Life”
  • “Midnight in Paris”
  • “The Help”
  • “Hugo”
  • “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

 

Best Original Screenplay:

  • “The Artist”
  • “Bridesmaids”
  • “Midnight in Paris”
  • “Margin Call”
  • “A Separation”

 

Best Foreign Film:

  • “Bullhead”
  • “Footnote”
  • “In Darkness”
  • “Monsieur Lazhar”
  • “A Separation”

 

Best Animated Feature:

  • “A Cat in Paris”
  • “Chico and Rita”
  • “Rango”
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2”
  • “Puss in Boots”