With the Oscar nominations now behind us, it’s time to take stock of my predictions. My best call? Max Von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. (The Academy loves elderly and cuddly!) My worst? Switching from seven Best Picture nominees to five. (What was I thinking?) But let’s not dwell in the past, shall we? Now that we know the nominees, let’s move on to who actually has a chance to win next month. Clearly the two closest races are Best Picture and Best Actress. For actress, I’m still going with Viola Davis, but only by a hair. And for picture, Hugo did score more overall nominations than The Artist. But although the movie with the most nominations has taken Best Picture 14 times in the last 20 years, in the recent past there have been several films—among them The Hurt Locker, Million Dollar Baby, and A Beautiful Mind—that either tied or trailed their competition in the total-nominations count but took the top prize. Typically, these underdogs triumphed over their more-nominated competitors (Avatar, The Aviator, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) thanks to clear support from the Academy’s actors branch. While The Artist can boast two acting nods, Hugo has none, and it was also completely left out of the SAG Awards. So my money is still on The Artist. We’ll see what happens at the Directors Guild awards this weekend. Here are my rankings of the nominees in the eight major categories.

Best Picture

1. The Artist

2. Hugo

3. The Descendants

4. The Help

5. Midnight in Paris

6. Moneyball

7. The Tree of Life

8. War Horse

9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Director

1. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo

3. Alexander Payne, The Descendants

4. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

5. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Actor

1. George Clooney, The Descendants

2. Brad Pitt, Moneyball

3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist

4. Demián Bichir, A Better Life

5. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Actress

1. Viola Davis, The Help

2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

3. Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

4. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

5. Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Supporting Actor

1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners

2. Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

3. Jonah Hill, Moneyball

4. Nick Nolte, Warrior

5. Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress

1. Octavia Spencer, The Help

2. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

3. Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

4. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

5. Jessica Chastain, The Help

Best Original Screenplay

1. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

2. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

3. Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

4. Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

5. J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, and Stan Chervin, Moneyball

2. Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon, The Descendants

3. John Logan, Hugo

4. George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March

5. Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger