‘The Tree of Life,’ ‘The Help’ are likely Best Picture nominees

Gold Derby’s Inside Track measures two factors in the Oscar race: who will be nominated and who will win. As reported earlier, Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming epic “War Horse” is predicted to win Best Picture based on the number of Oscarologists who give it their number-one rankings, followed closely by “The Descendants.” But do the same contenders look strong in the race to get the nomination?

Oscarologists have ranked their top ten choices in order of their likelihood of being nominated, and, unsurprisingly, “War Horse” is considered a virtual lock. 100% of Experts and Gold Derby Editors rank it among the top ten films to be nominated for Best Picture, along with 69% of Users, giving it 1/10 odds to make it into the race. Close behind are “J. Edgar” (2/13) and “The Descendants” (1/5). Those are the same three films considered likeliest to win.

But other films, though not given strong odds to win Best Picture, are widely expected to at least contend for the award. Experts and Editors are nearly unanimous in their belief that this summer’s breakout hit “The Help” will be nominated, and more than half of Users. It has 1/4 odds of making it into the category, despite being a 33/1 longshot for the win. Also looking strong is Terrence Malick‘s existential drama “The Tree of Life,” which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It’s given distant 50/1 odds to win with only 6% of Users giving it their vote of confidence, but the majority of Oscarologists expect it to be nominated, giving it strong 4/9 odds.

Also with a strong chance is Woody Allen‘s “Midnight in Paris.” It’s his best-reviewed film in years, and also the highest grossing of his career (though that doesn’t account for inflation). Oscarologists give it 1/2 odds of being nominated, but don’t expect to see Allen in the winner’s circle. “Midnight in Paris” appears to be a non-factor in that regard; it has 100/1 odds of winning. Several of Allen’s films have contended for Best Picture in the past, but only one of them has won: “Annie Hall” (1977).

A surprising contender for a nomination may be “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” It ranks only fifteenth on our Inside Track, but with 6/1 odds it can’t be ruled out. Like “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which won Best Picture for 2003, it’s the last installment of a blockbuster fantasy franchise, and “Deathy Hallows Part 2” is also the best reviewed of the “Potter” films, receiving a Metascore of 87, better than most of the films currently in the Oscar derby, including “Tree of Life,” “Drive,” and “Midnight in Paris.” But it also skews very young and may not be taken seriously by Academy members.

For the last two years, the Academy has nominated ten films for Best Picture, after decades of nominating five. This year they have amended their rules once again, dictating that a film must receive at least 5% of first-place votes to be nominated, which will result in somewhere between the five and ten nominees of years past. So not every film in our top ten can consider itself safe.

MAKE YOUR OSCAR PREDICTIONS: Will “The Help” be nominated for Best Picture?

Log your predictions in all top Oscar races. Compete against experts!

For a detailed chart of all Best Picture contenders, CLICK HERE. The current rankings are as follows:


1.) “War Horse” – 1/10
2.) “J. Edgar” – 2/13
3.) “The Descendants” – 1/5
4.) “The Help” – 1/4
5.) “The Artist” – 2/5
6.) “The Tree of Life” – 4/9
7.) “Midnight in Paris” – 1/2
8.) “The Ides of March” – 2/3
9.) “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” – 4/5
10.) “Moneyball” – 21/20
11.) “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – 6/5
12.) “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – 7/5
13.) “Carnage” – 9/2
14.) “The Iron Lady” – 9/2
15.) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” – 6/1

Stay on top of the Oscar races – Get free Gold Derby News Updates

More News from GoldDerby