Woody Allen "Midnight in Paris"
Dustin Lance Black "J.Edgar"
Diablo Cody "Young Adult"
Michel Hazanavicius "The Artist"
Mike Mills "Beginners"
Other Contenders - Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones "Like Crazy", Abi Morgan and Michael Hirst "The Iron Lady", Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo "Bridesmaids", Jeff Nichols "Take Shelter", Will Reiser "50/50", Thomas McCarthy and Joe Tibani "Win Win", Scott Z. Burns "Contagion", Terrence Malick "The Tree of Life", Sarah Polley "Take This Waltz", Sean Durkin "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Commentary - Like most years, this is a race without many of the supposed big Oscar contenders, and personally I am happy about it, because then incredible, but small works like Beginners, Like Crazy, Win Win, and even awesome comedies like Bridesmaids, all are in contention. That being said, I am playing it safe with these predictions for now, looking towards buzzed projects, and in many ways, ignoring the films I just mentioned, with the exception of Beginners, with may have legs because of Christopher Plummer's performance, and may make people take a second look at its screenplay. One nominee I am getting pretty sure of is Woody Allen. He is a legend in this category, and Midnight in Paris is his best, and biggest film, in years. After seeing the J. Edgar trailer, I am kind of ancy to see how it turns out. But if it is good, then look for previous winner Dustin Lance Black to see his name called again, as it is not easy to create a biopic out of thin air (although I'm not currently predicting it, this goes for The Iron Lady as well). Diablo Cody is also returning to the race, and although Young Adult skipped the festival circuit, which makes me kind of nervous, Jason Reitman has yet to do wrong, and if it turns out to be anything like Juno or Up in the Air, Cody will definitely be in contention. Finally, I went with the silent movie, The Artist. Now I know that seems like a crazy notion, considering there is not dialogue, that means that the script (aka the story) had to have been really good, and people are going crazy over this film and trying to push it into the Oscar race. I am not so certain of its chances in this category, but for now I'll go with the hype.