- Comedic Slot? Burn After Reading's dumb jock Brad Pitt or Tropic Thunder's offensively committed thespian Robert Downey Jr.? Or neither?
- Australia's Brandon Walters? Will awards bodies see this as merely natural screen presence... or a true acting turn?
- Milk. How much supporting actor traction could it possibly get. One (Josh Brolin) Two (James Franco) Three (Emile Hirsch)? Only three films have managed three nominees in this category. They were On the Waterfont and the first two Godfathers
- Bill Irwin in Rachel Getting Married? True longshot possibility or merely Nathaniel's wishful thinking?
- Critics Awards. Do they all go to Heath Ledger's way for The Dark Knight or do the Associations and Circles attempt to shore up support for a candidate who needs it more, Ledger being a done deal and all...
- Category Fraud. Will they honor the FYC lines or laugh in the face of outrageous claims (i.e. The Reader has no lead, Father Flynn is a supporting role in Doubt)
- Dev Patel in Slumdog. Personally I find the acting in this energetic film merely adequate. Will strong love for the movie convince voters otherwise?