Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Other Contenders - Hugo, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, The Iron Lady, Albert Nobbs, We Bought a Zoo, A Dangerous Method, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beginners, Super 8, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, Carnage, Contagion, Shame, The Rum Diary, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Take This Waltz, My Week With Marilyn, W.E., Win Win
Commentary - There are so many films that have yet to be seen, that this list is really an exercise in futility. That being said, I'll at least take a stab at it. War Horse from Steven Spielberg looks to be an epic historical film which could be an Academy gold mine. As could J.Edgar, with its stunning cast, but Clint has struck out recently, so it needs to be really good. The Ides of March looks a lot like Michael Clayton, and with Clooney and his team behind it, it definitely has a shot. Alexander Payne and Stephen Daldry films do well with the Academy, but we need to know more about the quality of The Descendants and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. From the trailer, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy looks like it could at least be interesting, but once again, some reviews will help determine its possibility. The Artist could be the indie film hit, as well as a foreign representative, but we need to know how it will play with American audiences and a broader consensus of film critics. Finally, I am going with two first half hits, Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life, but both films need to have longevity and The Tree of Life might not play well with the Academy. I didn't put Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because it looks to dirty and dark, and Hugo's trailer makes it look more like The Polar Express than an Academy Award winning Scorsese film. Of the other contenders, watch out for Moneyball, The Help, A Dangerous Method, and We Need to Talk About Kevin.