You can see an index of all predicted categories here.
Best Foreign Language Film
2. Amour (Austria)
3. A Royal Affair (Denmark)
4. Lore (Australia)
5. Our Children (Belgium)
Alternative: War Witch (Canada)
Michael Haneke’s Amour was the presumed frontrunner in this category before the French, having lost his Gallic flavoured film to Austria, opted for their international feel-good sensation ahead of Jacques Audiard critically acclaimed Rust & Bone. The Intouchables (whatever the hell does that mean, by the way? Is it even a word?) is the type of well-made, well-intentioned, but toothless film that gives the impression of being important without actually being compelling at all and these films score really well here. I will be very, very surprised if it misses the cut.
This year’s submissions are uncharacteristically stacked with critical hits, so some major titles are bound to slip through the cracks. At the moment, I’m feeling Spain’s whimsical Blancanieves, Germany’s separation-era character study Barbara, and Romania’s Mungiu-directed Beyond the Hills will the biggest names to miss.
Best Documentary Feature
1. The Central Park Five
2. The Invisible War
3. How to Survive a Plague
4. West of Memphis
5. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Alternative: The Gatekeepers
Not the smartest idea to predict this category so far in advance but I’ve seen quite a lot of docs this year, so I’ll give it a shot. The Central Park Five is a shoo-in as I’ve explained here. With the revelation that the Academy has sent a “suggestion” list along with screeners to the voters, one can’t help but think that recognizable names and subjects will get the better share of votes simply because they’ll be watched in more numbers than anything else. On that account, West of Memphis and How to Survive a Plague are likely nominees as well. Having seen The Gatekeepers and Mea Maxima Culpa at TIFF, however, I find it impossible to think anyone can watch them and not be touched. If enough people see them, enough people will vote for them.
Best Animated Film
3. Rise of the Guardians
4. Wreck-It Ralph
Alternative: Le Tableau (The Painting)
This category is unexpectedly difficult to predict this year. Brave’s fiery-haired heroine didn’t exactly set the screen ablaze, so Pixar’s nomination isn’t as locked as it was for its pre-Cars 2 output. It’s still a stretch to think of five films that voters will spring for ahead of it though. Frankenweenie is getting exactly the type of ‘Burton’s best film in years’ reviews that it needed for a nomination, so it’s probably in, even though being Burton’s best in years isn’t exactly a compliment. Everything is misty beyond the top two. I can totally see voters going for artsy under-the-radar titles though which ones I’m not quite sure yet. Le Tableau seems to be everyone’s number one guess.