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And the Oscar Goes to…

With the 84th Academy Awards ceremony approaching, here are the top contenders for success on Oscar night:

The Artist: Returning to the era of black-and-white, dialogue-free entertainment, The Artist portrays the fading age of silent films and the emerging industry of the talkies.

The Descendants: Set in Hawaii, this movie stars George Clooney in this a dramatic-comedic story of a fractured family’s attempt at reconciliation when a man discovers his comatose wife has had an affair.

The Help: Set in the 1960s, this film adaptation of the book of the same name voices African-American views on Southern social conditions.

Midnight in Paris: In this romantic-fantasy film set in Paris, a man is forced to face his problematic relationships when he nostalgically begins to explore Paris at midnight with some of the city’s greatest historical characters.

My Week With Marilyn: Colin Clark, a minor film assistant, gives Marilyn Monroe the chance to escape from the pressures of her Hollywood lifestyle for one week in the English countryside.

The Iron Lady: A portrayal of the most influential woman in the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, in the midst of a male-dominated society.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: A film adaptation of the Swedish novel chronicling sleuth Elizabeth’s investigation into a girl’s disappearance.

The Tree of Life: Revolving around a man’s memories of his past and childhood, The Tree of Life visualizes where our lives really begin.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and Max von Sydow star in this film adaptation of the best-selling novel. On September 11, Thomas Schell ( Tom Hanks) dies in the attacks on the World Trade Center. His son Oskar (Thomas Horn) embarks upon a mysterious scavenger hunt after finding a key in his father’s closet.

The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 26, 2012.