Oscar nominations will be revealed Tuesday January 24th. As we get closer, the Grouches will be sharing some thoughts, hopes, and predictions. You can read thoughts on the so-called “major” categories all over the place, but this time around, we share what we think we’ll be most upset about nomination morning.

John: Best Actor will be uninspired

I’m worried that Best Actor is going to turn into a boring slate despite the number of interesting options there are this year. There are three actors in smaller films that I’d love to see nominated, but I fear only one will find a spot: Michael Shannon in Take Shelter, Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Michael Fassbender in Shame. And to make matters worse, the one Oscar bait-type performance I really enjoyed is the one that seems to be sinking: Leonardo DiCaprio in J Edgar. Still, at least a portion of these guys should be in.

Otherwise, it’s a good year for avoiding disappointment. There isn’t much in the way of locks that annoy me. I think The Artist is going to receive outsized love in technical categories since people seem to just love the movie. But I don’t see many picks that look egregious or likely snubs that would hurt me. We’ll reassess if Midnight in Paris misses a Best Picture nod, but I think it’s in. I predict I will be sad at Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy not receiving enough love, but I haven’t been holding out too much hope anyway.

Jared: Original sin

Often the only category with any real oddball picks is Original Screenplay, sometimes even landing on one of my favorite movies.  This year the category seems pretty open.  There are two locks, but you can easily build convincing arguments for why at least eight other films will (not should) be nominated for the last three spots.  I haven’t yet seen all the contenders, so I can’t say for sure what I want to happen, but I’m increasingly worried that Oscar voters are going to end up with the wrong films here.  It shouldn’t be Beginners, Win Win or Take Shelter, in my opinion, even if I can appreciate the spirit of voting an indie in.

I’ll also add one more name to John’s list: Demian Bichir.  There were a lot of strong performances this year that are going be swallowed up by the golden boys of Hollywood.

Finally, I think the system of an undetermined number of Best Picture films will be a bust.  Granted, it will be a little harder to make that call this year given that there’s no The Dark Knight, and it is hard to imagine public outcry over any of the bubble films getting in (or not).

Brian: Andy Serkis Motion-Captured My Heart

There’s somehow the idea that an actor winning an acting Oscar for a motion-capture performance is an inevitability. That somehow, the technology is the future of movies and Andy Serkis will be seen as the pioneer who paved the way for many other performers. I highly doubt that — and if it ever happens, it will be the result of the creation of a new category, throwing motion-capture actors into a ghettoized group much like the animated film is now.

That’s a long winded way of saying that Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Andy Serkis getting snubbed for a Best Supporting Actor nomination is my pick for biggest disappointment. He was phenomenal as Caesar, and anyone who’s seen the behind-the-scenes clips can’t deny that what he did was acting. But I know the Academy is just too narrow-minded to understand it.

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