Welcome back Oscar fans. It’s been a long hiatus, but we’re back as Oscar season officially begins with the arrival of December. Tonight, the National Board of Review hands out its awards. Traditionally, this is the first major award of the year. However, things were a little skewed this year when the New York Film Critic’s Circle decided to move up their awards. So for those who don’t already know, the NYFFC on Tuesday bestowed their Best Picture award to “The Artist.” Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) took home acting honors.

The NBR has traditionally awarded very artistic and unique films. Sometimes their choices have been outside the mainstream. Past Best Picture winners include “Quills,” “Finding Neverland,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” and “Up in the Air.” Last year, along with seemingly every critic on Earth, they selected “The Social Network.” They like famous directors and actors. Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese have historically fared well with NBR.

Let’s get to it. Here are our predictions.

Best Picture: The Artist

Top ten films:

The Descendants

War Horse

J Edgar

Midnight in Paris

Hugo

Young Adult

Moneyball

The Help

Contagion

Shame

Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Carey Mulligan, Drive & Shame

Best Director: Steven Spielberg, War Horse