By Dave Karger
February 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM EST
François Duhamel

We’re finally in the homestretch of the Oscar season, and I’m happy to say we have a handful of real races on our hands this year. Best Actor continues to befuddle me, while Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay could both offer surprises on Feb. 26 . At this point I’m thinking Hugo screenwriter John Logan could capitalize on all the support for the film — not to mention the fact that he’s a sole credited writer, which always helps. At this week’s Oscar nominees luncheon, I was taken aback by the tremendous amount of goodwill directed at Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close supporting-actor nominee Max von Sydow. (Perhaps because Christopher Plummer wasn’t there, von Sydow received an inordinate amount of octogenarian love.) Do I suddenly think von Sydow could beat Plummer? No, but he definitely moves up a few rungs in my rankings this week. On today’s episode of my series Nominated With Dave Karger, we take a closer look at Extremely Loud.

Best Picture

1. The Artist (last week: 1)

2. Hugo (last week: 2)

3. The Help (last week: 3)

4. The Descendants (last week: 4)

5. Midnight in Paris (last week: 5)

6. Moneyball (last week: 6)

7. The Tree of Life (last week: 7)

8. War Horse 

(last week: 8 )

9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (last week: 9)

Best Director

1. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (last week: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo (last week: 2)

3. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris (last week: 3)

4. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life (last week: 5)

5. Alexander Payne, The Descendants (last week: 4)

Best Actor

1. George Clooney, The Descendants (last week: 1)

2. Jean Dujardin, The Artist (last week: 2)

3. Brad Pitt, Moneyball (last week: 3)

4. Demián Bichir, A Better Life (last week: 4)

5. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 5)

Best Actress

1. Viola Davis, The Help (last week: 1)

2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady (last week: 2)

3. Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn (last week: 3)

4. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs (last week: 4)

5. Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (last week: 5)

Best Supporting Actor 

1. Christopher Plummer, Beginners (last week: 1)

2. Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (last week: 5)

3. Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn (last week: 2)

4. Jonah Hill, Moneyball (last week: 3)

5. Nick Nolte, Warrior (last week: 4)

Best Supporting Actress

1. Octavia Spencer, The Help (last week: 1)

2. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids (last week: 2)

3. Bérénice Bejo, The Artist (last week: 3)

4. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs (last week: 4)

5. Jessica Chastain, The Help (last week: 5)

Best Original Screenplay

1. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris (last week: 1)

2. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (last week: 2)

3. Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids (last week: 3)

4. Asghar Farhadi, A Separation (last week: 4)

5. J.C. Chandor, Margin Call (last week: 5)

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. John Logan, Hugo (last week: 2)

2. Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, and Stan Chervin, Moneyball (last week: 1)

3. Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon, The Descendants (last week: 3)

4. George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March (last week: 4)

5. Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (last week: 5)

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

Read more:

EW Special Coverage: Oscars 2012