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    Oscars 2012: Megan Fox Is In; The Artist Is Out?!

    Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Oscar Trailer, The Artist, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin ABC; The Weinstein Company
    Oscar Watch

    The holidays ended and the races returned, as did, in an unexpected development, Megan Fox

    The latest look at which awards-season players are trending up—and down:  

    RELATED: Is Uggie the dog really in the race?

    HOTTER

    1. Megan Fox: The new trailer for the Oscar telecast wasn't all that funny, but it was heartening to see it usher the "Hottest Woman Alive" back from the cold. May Billy Crystal be so welcoming to TV viewers next month. (And may Josh Duhamel lose the mustache that makes him look like Bill Hader, not that there's anything wrong with looking like Bill Hader—it's just that Bill Hader already looks like Bill Hader, and without the help of a mustache, either.)

    2. Bridesmaids: By now it's picked up so many key nominations, including its recent ones from the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild, the Kristen Wiig comedy can only shock if it doesn't get a Best Picture nod on Jan. 24

    3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Its PGA and WGA nominations were no slam dunks for this touch-and-go contender.

    SAME OLD, SAME OLD

    1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Passed over by the PGA and WGA, the franchise's farewell installment picked up a nomination from the Art Directors Guild and made the Academy's even-shorter list for visual effects. To date, five of the Potter films' nine overall nominations have come for art direction and, yes, visual effects.   

    COLDER

    1. Super 8: Remember when J.J. Abrams' Steven Spielberg throwback was generating Best Picture talk? Probably not. The film's so far off the radar now that the sci-fi flick has even been erased from the visual-effects race.

    2. Movie critics: They hated, hated, hated Cars 2. So influential were their harsh words that the PGA nominated "Pixar's first bad movie" for animated feature honors.

    3. The Writers Guild Awards: They're coveted, they're prestigious, but unlike Hollywood's other guild awards, they're not the greatest Oscar predictors (not that they're supposed to be, but still…). Best Picture frontrunner The Artist wasn't nominated because it wasn't eligible. Ditto for Carnage, The Iron Lady, Margin Call, My Week With Marilyn and more. With so many top films nixed from consideration, it's difficult to use these WGA noms as a tell on the Oscars. 

    PHOTOS: 2012 Oscars Cheat Sheet!

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