In a year when voters will be divided among many good movies, Screen looks at the likely nominees for Oscars and Baftas; plus 30 contenders who have everything to play for.

Has a single film taken the lead in awards season so far? I don’t think so. This year I cannot put my finger on one picture that is so universally liked or such a cinematic knockout that it cannot be denied. There are plenty of really good movies, perhaps too many, and voters are genuinely divided.
The films provoke a different response from people. Who doesn’t feel on top of the world after watching The Artist? But while that joy is a satisfying feeling in the viewer, other emotions are no less powerful: the painful reflections on the human condition you feel after watching Shame or The Descendants, the old-fashioned soul-stirring of War Horse, the visceral excitement felt in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the tears shed at The Help. Each voter will decide on his or her favourite film by what emotional or cerebral response they have to it and each voter favours a different response. As many want to be disturbed and provoked by their films as want to be uplifted.
So with a view to provoking discussion, here are my tips for the titles and talent which will float the boat of the mainstream voting bodies like AMPAS and BAFTA. These are not necessarily the films I would like to win, but the ones I think will appeal across the many thousands of older-skewing AMPAS and BAFTA voters. I have chosen six in each category, to suggest some flexibility and a list of 30 alternates who could easily be in the frame depending on how voters respond.
Best picture
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Help
War Horse
Best director
David Fincher, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree Of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Best actor
George Clooney, The Descendants
Matt Damon, We Bought A Zoo
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Best actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Best supporting actor
Albert Brooks, Drive
Armie Hammer, J Edgar
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
Brad Pitt, The Tree Of Life
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best supporting actress
Jessica Chastain, The Tree Of Life
Carey Mulligan, Shame
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Emily Watson, War Horse
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best screenplay (original)
Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris
Scott Z Burns, Contagion
JC Chandor, Margin Call
Diablo Cody, Young Adult
Will Reiser, 50/50
Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids
Best screenplay (adapted)
George Clooney, Grant Heslov & Beau Willimon, The Ides Of March
Christopher Hampton, A Dangerous Method
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Tate Taylor, The Help
Steven Zaillian, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball
The Hot List
OK, since maybe a definitive tip list this early on is a little premature, so here are some more candidates who have everything to play for.
Tomas Alfredson, director, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Woody Allen, director, Midnight In Paris
Berenice Bejo, lead actress, The Artist
Kenneth Branagh, supporting actor, My Week With Marilyn
Jessica Chastain, supporting actress, The Help
Olivia Colman, lead actress, Tyrannosaur
Dominic Cooper, lead actor, The Devil’s Double
Leonardo DiCaprio, lead actor, J Edgar
Drake Doremus & Ben York Jones, original screenplay, Like Crazy
Kirsten Dunst, lead actress, Melancholia
Ryan Gosling, lead actor, The Ides Of March
Lee Hall & Richard Curtis, adapted screenplay, War Horse
Woody Harrelson, lead actor, Rampart
Adrian Hodges, adapted screenplay, My Week With Marilyn
Bryce Dallas Howard, supporting actress, The Help
Felicity Jones, lead actress, Like Crazy
Ben Kingsley, supporting actor, Hugo
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, lead actor, 50/50
Steve McQueen, director, Shame
Janet McTeer, supporting actress, Albert Nobbs
Viggo Mortenson, A Dangerous Method
Elizabeth Olsen, lead actress, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Yasmina Reza & Roman Polanski, adapted screenplay, Carnage
Andrea Riseborough, lead actress, W.E.
Michael Shannon, lead actor, Take Shelter
Peter Straughan & Bridget O’Connor, adapted screenplay, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Tilda Swinton, lead actress, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Tate Taylor, director, The Help
Mia Wasikowska, lead actress, Jane Eyre
Nicolas Winding Refn, director, Drive
Michelle Yeoh, lead actress, The Lady

For all of Screen’s previous Open Season awards blog posts, click here.