Other categories nominated in: Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Supporting Actress (Bérénice Bejo), Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing,
Synopsis: Set in Hollywood in 1927, The Artist follows silent movie star George Valentin as the onslaught of talking pictures threatens to cause an early end to his career.
Why it deserves to win: Making a silent film in 2012 sounds like a recipe for Box Office disaster, but The Artist has managed to charm audiences worldwide, becoming both a critical and commercial success. Topping best of lists and scoring some big wins at The Critics Choice Awards and The Golden Globes, The Artist has a great shot of claiming the Best Picture Oscar this year.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Other categories nominated in: Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Synopsis: If there's anything America loves at the movies, it's Brad Pitt, baseball and inspiring true stories. Moneyball has all three! Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, former General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Working against a limited budget and old-fashioned ideas, Beane employs Peter (Jonah Hill), a young Yale economics graduate, to use a new statistical theory to help assemble a winning team.
Why it may win: Moneyball has proven popular with critics and the public, and has the Brad Pitt-Jonah Hill dream team combo working in its favour.
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster
Other categories nominated: Best Director, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing
Synopsis: Alexander Payne's latest effort, The Descendants, is set in Hawaii and follows a father (George Clooney) struggling to keep it together after his unfaithful wife falls into a coma.
Why it may win: The Descendants has already clocked in a win for Best Picture - Drama at The Golden Globe Awards, and has topped a number of prominent best of the year lists. George Clooney's performance has received rave reviews, and many experts are eying the film as a serious contender for Best Picture.
Other categories nominated in: Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer)
Synopsis: Starring the glorious Emma Stone - who wowed us in Easy A and The House Bunny - and the sassy and delightful Octavia Spencer, The Help follows a young society girl, who returns from college to her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Determined to become a serious writer, she sets out to write a book about black maids in the American South from their own perspective - an effort that ruffles feathers amongst the maids and the high-society women they work for.
Why it may win: The Help has swept up countless awards for its actors, including three trophies at the recent Screen Actor's Guild Awards. Solid acting, mass appeal and its moving approach to the civil rights theme could see it grab the prize.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, John Goodman
Other categories nominated in: Best Supporting Actor (Max von Sydow)
Synopsis: After his father dies in the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack on The World Trade Centre, a young boy goes on an adventure of discovery in New York City as he searches for the lock that matches his father's mysterious key.
Why it may win: Buzz around Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been minimal, and the silence may prove to be its defeat at the Oscars. It is adapted from Jonathan Safron-Foer's much-loved best-selling novel, however, and has some Oscar-worthy performances that could change its luck.
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Michael Sheen
Other categories nominated in: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction
Synopsis: Gil - a successful Hollywood screenwriter and aspiring novelist - and his high-strung fiancée head to Paris on holidays, where Gil falls in love with the romance of the city and a magic cab ushers him back to the glory days of 1920s Paris.
Why it may win: Woody Allen's latest effort is an utter delight, which has actually become his highest grossing film to date. It's a return to form for Allen, and a film many would enjoy seeing get a win.
Other categories nominated in: Best Director, Best Cinematography
Synopsis: The Tree of Life follows the eldest son from a 1950s Texan family, as he grows up, loses his innocence and deals with the beauty and suffering of life. Told in an impressionistic style, it moves back and forth across time and space as it captures the fundamentals of the human experience.
Why it may win: The Tree of Life won the prestigious Palme D'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and has received a host of accolades from critics and best of lists. It may prove to be too weird, emotional and fractured to get the nod from The Academy, however deserving it may be.
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law
Other categories nominated in: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Synopsis: A young boy lives in a train station in 1930 Paris and must solve a mystery involving his deceased father.
Why it may win: Hugo clocked in 11 nominations, making it the most nominated film at this year's Oscars. Scorsese already picked up the award for Best Director at The Golden Globe Awards, and Hugo has amassed a lot of positive support and approval across the film industry.
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