Handicapping early Oscar frontrunners

With the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Golden Globe nominations out, it's time to look ahead to the biggest prizes of all: the Academy Awards.

So who's expected to get nods for the big show -- and more importantly, who will take one home?

The SAG awards are the best indicator of the Oscars, Dave Karger, senior writer for Entertainment Weekly magazine, said on "The Early Show."  They're actors, he explained, they're in the industry, and they're the same people voting in Oscars categories. So they're a better indication of who might be the front-runners for the Oscars than the Globes.

And the movie that did well with SAG -- as well as the Golden Globes and critics -- is the George Clooney movie about a father reconnecting with his daughters, called "The Descendants."

Pictures: George Clooney

Other films that may also do well in this year's Oscars race may be the mostly-silent film "The Artist" -- an overall the big winner with the most Golden Globes nominations -- and "Hugo," and "Drive."

CBS' Sunday Morning: "The Artist": Silents are golden

Karger said "Hugo" was also a big critics award winner, but it didn't get any SAG nominations. And "Drive" did well with critics, but received no industry (SAG) votes. Karger also mentioned "The Help," which he said didn't do so well with the critics, but did great with SAG and the Golden Globes.

And who isn't likely to win at this year's Oscars?

The George Clooney/Ryan Gosling movie "The Ides of March," Karger said, isn't expected to do well. Woody Allen, who received a Golden Globe nomination for best screenplay for "Midnight in Paris," also, isn't likely to get a repeat nomination in this category for the Oscars.

As for individual performances, Karger said Ryan Gosling is "an interesting case so far."

Pictures: Ryan Gosling

"He's being recognized for three different movies," Karger said. "Gosling got a SAG nomination for 'Drive,' and Golden Globe nominations in the drama category for 'The Ides of March,' and the comedy/musical category for 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' People will get recognized for two movies sometimes, but three is unheard of. But it might end up backfiring for Gosling. The Oscars won't coalesce around one of these three movies. Gosling might not get any Oscar nominations."

With such an open field, are there any best bets for this year's awards?

Pictures: Viola Davis

Karger said, "I think you can count on 'The Artist' for Best Picture. George Clooney should win Best Actor in 'The Descendants.' Viola Davis should win Best Actress in 'The Help.' Also from 'The Help,' Octavia Spencer for Supporting Actress. And Christopher Plummer should win Best Supporting Actor for 'Beginners.'"

However, there are a few lesser-known films that Karger recommends moviegoers see before the Oscar nominations for great performances, including "Albert Nobbs" for Glenn Close's depiction of a woman living the life of a man, Christopher Plummer as a dying father in "Beginners," and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."