Monday, December 29, 2008

In 55 Days...

These four actors must pass on their crowns -- er, statues. Figuratively speaking...

But who will each of them present the new trophies to?

My new Oscar predictions are up in all four acting categories: ACTOR, SUPPORTING ACTRESS, ACTRESS and SUPPORTING ACTOR (plus Best Pic & Director). But winners? That's another story entirely...


Anonymous said...

While the nomination race for all 4 acting categories have all been narrowed down to 6 people, predicting the winners is hard. (so I'll try....)

ACTOR: If Eastwood scores the nom, the race becomes a lot crazier. If he misses, PENN beats out Rourke. So Penn, with an outside chance of Eastwood.

ACTRESS: This one is hard because both Hawkins and Winslet look like they could win or not a get a nomination. I'll just go with HATHAWAY for now.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: LEDGER. If not, Brolin but I think Ledger's got it.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Another hard one. Whoever gets the 5th spot (Henson, Adams, DeWitt) will have that and not an Oscar as the reward. Davis and Cruz have been the strongest contenders, but with rev. road looking so week, I'm a guess they reward WINSLET here.

more thoughts?

rosengje said...

You are killing me with absolutely no mention of Benicio del Toro. I know he is an extreme longshot but a scenario in which he sneaks in a la Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah has got to be more plausible than Michael Sheen scoring a nod.

Barry said...

Actor: Penn
Actress: Winslet
Supporting Actor: Ledger
Supporting Actress: Cruz

adam k. said...

I think Kate's still in for Rev Road, even if she's the only one who survives. It feels a little bit like Salma Hayek in Frida in that people respect her for shepherding the project even if they don't love it. In any case, they do love HER and her fans are crazy intense. And I really think there's a strong drive to give Cruz the supporting oscar, which means Winslet would get hers here.

But I don't think she wins unless both she and Leo are nominated. If it's just her and a couple techs, I think she puts all her eggs in the Reader basket and considers herself lucky for getting the two nods.

Sadly, I'm starting to get the feeling that the most likely outcome this year is 2 nods, 0 wins. But I also wouldn't totally discount the possibility that she shocks with a best actress nom for The Reader... though that's less likely now that the supporting campaign has gotten as much traction as it has. It just feels like the easiest way for her to actually win is to show up in lead for The Reader. The surprise of it alone would give her a huge momentum boost.

But isn't it crazy that we REALLY DON'T KNOW who's gonna win best actress this late? There's almost always a big frontrunner even before the first award ceremonies take place, but this year it feels like it could easily be STREEP, WINSLET, or even HATHAWAY. Or even someone else (Blanchett? Hawkins?) depending how the nominations turn out. It's all been so uneven. I'm starting to feel like it's a default win for STREEP, with Doubt seemingly pulling a lot more goodwill than Rev Road, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't completely up in the air.

adam k. said...

I also am surprised you don't have Emile Hirsch anywhere on your charts. Sure, he hasn't really popped up in precursors at all, but everyone's seeing him in Milk and a lot of people are saying he's their favorite. And it's not like Franco and Shannon have much precursor attention either...

David Giancarlo said...

Actor: Rourke
Actress: Streep
Supp. Actor: Ledger
Supp. Actress: Cruz

Esther said...

I just saw "Milk" yesterday and I agree about Emile Hirsch. He was terrific. I really hope he gets a nomination. Of course, Sean Penn was great and the movie itself was very powerful. I was choked up more than once.

I haven't seen too many of the other contenders, but I really enjoyed Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor."

alex said...

I agree about Emile Hirsch. I would be totally OK with him pulling a Tommy Lee Jones and getting the nomination - maybe even over someone like PSH. (I just returned from Doubt. Loved Streep and Davis, liked Adams more than I thought I would, but thought PSH was terribly miscast.)

ACTOR: Penn. No contest for me.
ACTRESS: If Winslet gets in, it's hers, I think. If not, I seriously hope the delightful Sally Hawkins can make a real go at it.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Winslet, if Rev. Road doesn't happen. If not, Cruz. I don't see either Doubt girl getting this.

Dominique said...

ACTOR: Don't kill me, but I'm saying Eastwood. Rourke is disliked, Penn won too recently, and Eastwood has never won (in this category). Though if Rourke plays nice, it might be his.

ACTRESS: Still up in the air for me. Globes and SAG should clarify. I'm personally pulling for Hathaway or Hawkins, with Hathaway looking like more of a solid bet.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ledger. No contest.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cruz is looking very strong right now. However, a Globe of SAG loss might pave the way for a dark horse...

Anonymous said...

Why no Che? Four hour running time, mixed reviews at best, not AMPAS friendly, no real release, insanely difficult with no real hooks. Given that Nathaniel's only doing ten candidates, I think it's right that he doesn't include del Toro.

The problem with Winslet is that The Reader campaign is very very confusing. Many ads just single her out without using category placements, and if they see the film, they may believe she's actually (gasp) a leading lady. Because there are seven or eight genuine candidates (anyone else find it weird that Blanchett can get nominated for a Haynes academic exercise but not for an epic romance that's clearly headed for best picture?) and NO ONE has really gotten any major traction - even Meryl Streep has more detractors than usual (seriously, Doubt might be her most divisive work since Manchurian Candidate) best actress is really all over the map.

Anyway, with regards to Winslet, I think she'll get zero nominations or two nods - both seem equally plausible to me at this point

Anonymous said...

Like Benjamin, Daisy doesn't have a hell of a character arc (or conflict) to work with. Still, I think you're underestimating the power of Button to carry lots of nods with it.
As Tbe Wrestler opens wider, it would be fantastic to see it pick up some more steam. I saw this months ago in Vienna, and it has still stuck with me. Definitely more deserving of a Best Pic nod than Frost/Nixon or Benjamin Button.

The Pretentious Know it All said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Some comments...

As strong as Jenkins and Pitt both look (for the reasons you've stated), I still think they should be in Red because Eastwood still seems so plausible. (DiCaprio is in trouble - I can't see him getting in over Pitt at this stage and I think only one of Brad or Leo will be nominated, if that.)

Rourke MUST win the Globe if he wants to beat Penn. If Clint is nommed, then it might be a race but considering the lack of Globe or SAG nods, I'm still doubtful.

Predicted Five: Eastwood, Langella, Penn, Pitt, Rourke
Winner Prediction: Penn

Streep and Hathaway are locks. I think Jolie is very likely (though not as assured) due to the role/precursors.

As far the winner is concerned, that is a huge can of worms.

Should they be nominated, Blanchett, Jolie Leo and Scott Thomas will have to be very happy with having made it that far.

Hathaway is the hot young thing with a super-baity role and has paid her dues. She fits the mold of a winner perfectly. But why hasn't her film done better in the precursors? And seriously...she should be suing her agent for allowing "Bride Wars" to come out when it is.

Hawkins, should she be nominated, has a lovable character, oodles of critics awards, likely BAFTA and Globe wins and Mike Leigh. But the SAG snub is harsh. She's not even assured a nomination. How many people have seen her film?

Winslet, should she be double-nommed, will be an obvious sentimental favourite. But there remains that doubt about nomination. Not to mention that nobody, if anybody, thinks she deserves it for *this* performance.

So that leaves Streep. Double-nommed by the Globes (who may want to give her a win), unquestionably due for a win (yes, I realize she's won twice but it's been 26 years since the last one!) and in a film which AMPAS may want to give a statue to. But as good as she is in it, is this REALLY the film they're going to her her third Oscar for?

Predicted Five: Hathaway, Hawkins, Jolie, Streep, Winslet
Winner Prediction: Streep?!?!?

The winner in this race is pre-determined, as are four of the five nominees.

However, I am nonetheless especially curious about this category because the fifth nominee seems sooooooooo open.

I, unfortunately, think it will be Patel due to this "Slumdog" madness, RevRd's lack of support (not to mention Shannon's) and that I don't see two supporting nods for "Milk" with Franco having that sort of role.

But if we have an "OMG WTF" nomination, this is likely were it will be. For some reason I can't shake off this idea that Fiennes's name will be called.

Predicted Five: Brolin, Downey, Hoffman, Ledger, Patel
Predicted Winner: Ledger

I agree with your analysis re: the nominees virtually to the letter.

As great as Viola Davis is, I really think Penelope has this unless Kate is double-nommed and it's clear she's not going to win in Lead and there's huge pressure to aware her here. A globe win would be HUGE for her.

Predicted Five: Cruz, Davis, Henson, Tomei, Winslet
Predicted Winner: Cruz

Penn-Streep-Ledger-Cruz does not seem a likely quartet of winners. I think at least one first-time nominee will have to triumph. Who will it be? I don't know...

The Pretentious Know it All said...

ACTRESS: I'm glad that a some other people think it's possible that Hathaway can win. Both Streep and Winslet's performances are incredibly divisive. Even though there isn't a universal love for "Rachel Getting Married," even the film's detractors agree that it's singular work from Hathaway.

ACTOR: I've said before, if Eastwood gets nominated, he wins. If not, it's Rourke.

SUPP. ACTOR: Ledger. It's kind of a done deal.

SUPP. ACTRESS: Viola Davis. I don't see Cruz

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

But isn't it crazy that we REALLY DON'T KNOW who's gonna win best actress this late?

Yes! Isn't it wonderful though that the Best Actress and even the Best Actor race are up in the air right now unlike the way it's been especially since they moved the Oscars to February where there's been no real suspense anymore on whose winning. I only wish Best Picture and Best Director didn't seem so predictable this year. (I'm still trying to be naive and believe that even if SM predictably wins, there will be a director/picture split.)

As for Best Actress, it seems like the frontrunner changes every week. For now I'm still sticking with Streep, but it all depends on the Globes and Critics Choice on whether I change my prediction again.

I could definitely see Winslet winning Best Actress, but like you I also have those worries that she's more likely to go home empty-handed twice this year because neither film at least thus far is really making much traction. Plus, she's not only competing against herself in possibly getting nominated because of the category confusion (even if that seems less likely now that the Globes and SAGs both condoned the fraud), but perhaps more importantly competing against herself in which ones the Academy should reward her in. The Best Actress Oscar seems more likely, but since she's not a clear frontrunner at this point, voters trying to predict which one they should give her could have them ignoring her altogether so not to risk the chance of actually awarding her twice in the same night which will never happen. She really needs one role to stand out in one category to win if she's double nominated otherwise she's going to lose both.

Like with Holly Hunter's double nomination, everyone knew that she was going to win Best Actress that year, so she didn't risk vote splitting with her nomination in The Piano With Winslet, I could see her winning either category honestly right now even with Cruz and Davis being more of the frontrunners right now in supporting if they feel they must give Winslet something, and ultimately I think that may end up actually costing her either award.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Jolie is almost locked and Winslet's April stuggles is just hillarious (I'm trying to see it with a sense of humour). I would like to see her win for The Reader as lead but after so many supporting nods, I don't think they will put her lead. That't why I think she will get leading votes only for Rev Road and she will get the nod. And the supporting not, that is. If she doesn't get nominated for Rev Road, I think the supporting award is hers.

PS: I really hope DiCaprio is in instead of Pitt.


Anonymous said...

I can't help thinking the case where The Reader was released in 2009 and Winslet got nominated both years for lead with Streep winning in 2009 and Winslet in 2010. A perfect world, Oscarwise.

Alright. Just for you Nate. Winslet wins 2008 and Pfeiffer 2010.


Anonymous said...

I meant 2009, 2010.


Kim said...

If Kate doesn't get a nom, I will probably throw things at my TV as I watch the nominations being read.

Really, I think the only threat to Heath is Josh Brolin.


kim if Kate doesn't get nominated people are going to hate Harvey Weinstein even more than they already do since he forced the Reader into December alongside RevRd.

it really was unfortunate.

but i actually don't want her to get two nominations because even for my favorites I can't accept so much category fraud. It just depresses me so much. Feels like cheating every time. And who loves a cheater?

Anonymous said...

If that cheater's name is Kate Winslet (or Jake Gylenhaal), then yeah I can forgive and forget. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine the academy awarding SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE as Best Picture. It's not the type of film they usually award. The same goes for BENJAMIN BUTTON, but out of those two, the latter seems more likely. By the way, Nat, I saw BB yesterday and it was so emotionally distant. I wanted to love it so much, but there were too many distractions in the movie for me to do so. I loved the scenes where Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were playing their characters close to their age. It was romantic and heartbreaking.

I think whoever wins the DGA will ultimately win Best Director. I cannot imagine Danny Boyle or David Fincher winning despite any precursors.

If Johnny Depp or Bill Murray had won in 2003, it would be a lot easier for Sean Penn to win Best Actor for MILK this year. I can still see him winning a second Oscar. I'm confused why Clint Eastwood would win if he was nominated. Does the Academy really love him that much?

Kate Winslet will win the Oscar for Best Actress and will be double nominated. It's her time. I think a lot of people are overthinking her chances. If she's nominated twice, the academy will have an option as to where to award her. She's a leading lady and it's fitting that she wins Best Actress for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. I do not think Melissa Leo will be nominated. The SAG nomination helped, of course, but Sally Hawkins will take her place. The critics have really been rallying behind her, I'm surprised. I thought the big name critics groups would support Kristin Scott Thomas tremendously. What ever happened to her astonishing appraisals?

Heath Ledger will win the Oscar posthumously.

Whoever wins the SAG for Best Supporting Actress will win the Oscar. Right now, I have a strong feeling that Viola Davis could win. It's the type of role they love to reward and she deserves it. But if Cruz wins the SAG, then she cinched her Oscar.

For Best Original Screenplay, I think the nominees will be MILK, WALL-E, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, and THE VISITOR, despite what the Writer's Guild says, but whoever they award will eventually win the Oscar.

For Best Adapted Screenplay, the nominees are set as BENJAMIN BUTTON, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, DOUBT, FROST/NIXON, and THE READER. Whoever wins Best Picture will take this award.

Anonymous said...

I think Streep has to be the clear frontrunner --- her work is Doubt was excellent plus she has history and sentiment (she is way past due for her 3rd Oscar) on her side. It may be close but it should go to Streep.....

Go Meryl

Glenn said...

If Nat's predictions work out I think the winners will be:

Day Lewis to Streep
Cotillard to Penn
Bardem to Cruz (OMG!!)
Swinton to Ledger

However, I have a feeling Winslet will still get a Best Actress nomination and if she does then I think the win is hers. However, I'm still wondering if she can pull out the nomination for The Reader in Best Actress instead of Revolutionary Road. Hmmm. Still not sure if she can win Best Supporting Actress over Cruz (or Davis) even if she doesn't get a lead nomination.

Bernardo said...

I suddenly started wishing Cruz to win (I loved her anyways but I haven't seen The Reader or Doubt yet...stupid Mexican release dates) just to see Bardem reading out Penélope Cruz and planting her a big kiss as he gives her the Golden Statue XD.

Langella, Rourke, Penn...Pitt and DiCaprio (let's go star power! :P)
Winner: I was about to write Sean Penn but I just had a weird epiphany in which I saw Frank Langella winning...

Streep, Hathaway, Jolie, Winslet and Hawkins
Winner: Right now I'll say Streep. If SAG goes Hathaway or WInslet, the Oscar shall go their way.

Ledger, Hoffman, Brolin, Downey Jr and Patel
Winner: Heath Ledger

Davis, Cruz, Winslet, Henson and Adams (I have a hunch Tomei will be snubbed)
Winner: I can see Davis, Cruz and Winslet all winning... Right now I'm saying Davis.

adam k. said...

Honestly I wouldn't mind Winslet winning neither award. 7 nominations, and being the youngest ever to get them, and to be among the few double nominees, and to be the new leader in losses, would be kind of cool. And then the next time she's nominated ONCE, it'll happen. No question.

But the thing I'd like most would be if she shocks and gets nominated in lead for The Reader, and wins. But the fraud has been brought too far now, everyone knows she's gunning for supporting. Ain't gonna happen.

But I also find it hard to imagine that she'll win lead for Rev Road and then lose supporting for Reader in the same night, when people seem to love the Reader perf more. Is it really fair to have the less impressive perf win the more impressive category, and the more impressive perf lose the less impressive category? Doesn't make sense.

Bottom line: Harvey should've waited. Then, Kate could maybe even have won twice in a row.

Anonymous said...

thoughts on your thoughts:
-provided a traditional pick like rev road, doubt or wrestler doesnt make it in, i think walle has a stronger chance than the dark knight. i was never with the dk hype, and would be very suprised if it happened. walle made good money too (is being the #1 movie ever an indicator of picture success, save titanic?) and seems to have topped more year end charts. i think best odds for doubt (which i have not been thinking til now) then walle.

-i agree with your assesment

-very difficult to say. i see where you are going with this lineup, but i ultimately find it hard to imagine hawkins AND leo in there. i would sub out hawkins for winslet, but this category seems the most speculative.

-i wouuld keep shannon up without franco. if the way this category is going happens, i see a possible nomination being aggrivating. one pet peeve with your list. just because he got a gg nom, cruise is not in this race. eddie marson has just a good of a chance at a nom as bill irwin. cruise's recognition is an anomoly that does not deserve listing.

-in my mind, its a pretty sealed off race with the five you picked. i agree with those five and the two alternates but do not think either will make it in.

Bernardo said...

This year is so exciting Acting-Wise! I have no idea of who'll get nominated!

But you know what'd be even more exciting? An unexpected contender (à la Lee Jones and Laura Linney last year)

Last year we were all asking ourselves Gosling or Hirsch? And Jones arrived!

Dustin Hoffman?

Winslet for The Reader? Williams for Wendy and Lucy? Blanchett? Beckinsale?

Fiennes for either of his pictures?

Farmiga? Bates? Winger?

Even though my two favourite crazy upsets are in Director and Screenplay... Stephen Daldry and the adapted screenplay of Let the Right one in.

Anonymous said...

Penn ... Streep ... Ledger... Cruz

Anonymous said...

Would like to see:
Jenkins (alt.Rourke)
Hawkins (alr. Leo or Hathaway)
Ledger (alt. Downey Jr. or Brolin or Marsen lol.)
Tomei (alt Cruz)

Glenn said...

Reading Adam say she could win two in a row I thought "oh, but surely she has another movie geared up for next year..." turns out she does not. She has nothing other than a voice part in an animated movie.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

As soon as Tilda announces "Heath Ledger", the Oscar broadcast goes to black.......

Anonymous said...

That's such a great photo of DDL/Cotillard/Swinton/Bardem. Such great winners, especially my girl Marion! :)

Anonymous said...

Mickey Rourke's doing no favors for himself now. Calling Sean Penn a homophobe? Huh? Why would he sign on for "Milk" in that case? The guy has the media on his side in his great "comeback," and just about everyone's saying how great he is in "The Wrestler." Way to go in practically handing the Oscar over to your biggest competition, Mickey.

Anonymous said...

Dev Patel should be higher than sixth for supporting actor, especially if voters love "Slumdog." He's at least third right now behind Ledger and Brolin, and Brolin's losing heat too. PSH and RDJ are both good to go for nods. James Franco's shaky for fifth, but I'm glad you at least gave up on that Michael Shannon jag.

Anonymous said...

Completely superficial.

It's just that looking at the picture of last year winners, there are so many possible combinations this year if they want to give awards with their minds on the final picture.

Supporting: Cruise(TT)/Cruz (VCB) (cold?)reunion. I know it's just impossible.

- Brad Pitt(BB)/ Jolie (Changeling). This picture might be irresistible if there weren't so many of them already. Quite unlikely.
- Winslet/DiCaprio(RR). Would make a nice Titanic reunion picture, but probably voters just don't feel the need.
- Streep (Doubt)/Eastwood (Gran Torino). Bridges of Madison County reunion with two of the most respected actors in Hollywood and with no many other opportunities? Quite likely.

Lead + supporting
- Scott-Thomas /Fiennes...

I think I'll stop here, I need some sleep, clearly.

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

Mickey Rourke's doing no favors for himself now. Calling Sean Penn a homophobe? Huh? Why would he sign on for "Milk" in that case? The guy has the media on his side in his great "comeback," and just about everyone's saying how great he is in "The Wrestler." Way to go in practically handing the Oscar over to your biggest competition, Mickey.

Maybe Bernardo's epiphany of Langella winning will come true if Penn responds to Rourke's remarks, and they become embroiled in a nasty feud. I wouldn't put it past Penn to derail his campaign the way Rourke is doing now by opening his big mouth since he's already won once before, and while I think he would secretly love to win again because of his ego, I don't see him playing as nice as he did for the first one this time. Or maybe he'll surprise me by not commenting or having his publicist release a statement that criticizes Rourke but doesn't go over the line into bashing him.


iggy omg. i hope you're well rested now. ;)

but if they gave awards based on the final photo op history would probably look a lot different

Anonymous said...

Actor: Rourke
Actress: Winslet
Sup. Actor: Ledger
Sup. Actress: Tomei

John T said...

Actor: I could see Langella sneaking in between the Penn/Rourke feud. I personally think Langella is more likely than Rourke, at this point (Mickey Rourke, perhaps like Eddie Murphy or Burt Reynolds before him, may have made too much schlock to ever get an Oscar).

Actress: It's Streep vs. Hathaway. Winslet's nomination will be close, but she's not going to have any momentum out of the Globes or SAG Awards, and so I think we're seeing a Devil Wears Prada fight. Streep likely wins, unless Hathaway manages to start a sweep.

S. Actor: Ledger-the better question is who picks up the award for him, or will it be up to Tilda?

S. Actress: Cruz, in my opinion, has this one fairly locked up. Davis isn't famous enough to overtake a Cruz vs. Winslet battle, and I think people want a Best Actress Oscar for Winslet, whereas they merely want an Oscar for Cruz.

Anonymous said...


...will win...?

Anonymous said...

hmmm... best actress

Well as far as I see it,its Streep,Winslet,Hathaway,Hawkins and Jolie (although I hope Jolie is replaced by Leo)

Hawkins won't win,even with the critics backing...Streep and Winslet would kind of cancel each other out,its like
Living Legend vs. younger Living Legend
Jolie cannot certainly win
so I'm thinking its going to be

Anne Hathaway,and she kind of deserves it too cause its one of the best pictures of the year and theyre only gong to stick it with a nomination or two!

and may I say that it is better than the five pictures everyone keeps predicting for Oscar! (except WALL-E of course)
and it has ZERO BUZZ ?@#$@@!!!^&&%$

I'm just waiting for it to come out on DVD so I can add it to my collection!

Anonymous said...

now now Alan
look where this is taking your blood pressure
valid point nonetheless!


the medwenitsch ---interesting so you see a late surge for THE WRESTLER post nominations. I guess that could happen

Anonymous said...

I'd love it if Frank Langella managed to win the Oscar. Maybe now it's more than just a longshot possibility.

Right now, I'm thinking Langella, Winslet, Ledger, and Cruz.

Anonymous said...

Rob Says:


I'll say Pitt, Jenkins, Rourke, Langella and Penn.

DiCaprio could make it, but it looks unlikely. I'm not sure how much the love of Eastwood extends when the film gets reviews so mixed. Those last few nods have been for greatly acclaimed movies. I don't see Rourke winning at all. Neither Jenkins. I GUESS Pitt is possible, but the nomination seems to be it at the moment. I'll say Penn will take it in the end. Langella could upset.


Winslet, Leo, Blanchett, Streep, Hathaway.

The toughest one to call really. I'd say Streep and Hathaway are the only real locks. And Winslet is very well liked. Although it seems her film is not -it seems a like a flashy performance. Jolie seems certain, but something bugs me about it and her getting a nod. Blanchett trumped her last year, and she is in a Best Picture nominee. Daisy seems to be the soul of the film. Leo I think makes it the hard way, respect and a great performance - and recognition.


so ROB you think Hawkins gets the dump despite the rare potent combo of LAFCA & NYFCC?

Anonymous said...

Right now, my predictions for the winners are:

ACTOR: Sean Penn

ACTRESS: Meryl Streep



Anonymous said...

Yes, thanks ;)

But don't tell me it doesn't worry you a bit that the photo with Meryl might increase Clint's possibilities (evil face). ;)

Peter said...

I haven't followed the buzz on likely winners very closely, but I'm sort of shocked that people here think Streep and Penn are likely to win.

Streep is always nominated but never wins. Why should this time be any different? It's not as if she's getting stronger notices this year than for, say, Adaptation or One True Thing. Both Hathaway (the young starlet thing) and Winslet (she's so due) seem more likely to me.

Penn was fantastic and I haven't seen The Wrestler yet, but I would think Rourke has this in the bag unless Eastwood sneaks in somehow. If Penn didn't already have an Oscar it would be different.

Ledger obviously is a lock. Amazing how difficult it is to fill that fifth spot. I have a feeling we'll see someone come from absolutely nowhere (Aaron Eckhardt??).

No idea how to read Supporting Actress. I enjoyed Cruz but don't really see it. If Winslet gets nom'ed here and not in lead, that makes it easier. Wouldn't rule out Tomei either.

Brian24 said...

ACTOR: Sean Penn won't be able to overcome the gay obstacle (Heath Ledger couldn't, sadly, and Harvey Milk is way gayer than Ennis Del Mar). Plus, we've heard rumblings about him being a homophobe even before Mickey Rourke's alleged text. Mickey Rourke is too disliked for the Academy to collectively welcome him all the way back with a win, even if he deserves it. So that leaves Frank Langella with a "sorry we've ignored you all these years" win, unless Clint Eastwood lands a nom, in which case the Clint lovefest continues with a win for his one note performance (which is a lot like his Million Dollar Baby performance, except now he's a racist instead of a misogynist).

ACTRESS: Meryl gets her third statue even though she deserved it more for One True Thing, Adaptation, and Devil Wears Prada). There's just too much bait here for the Academy to ignore. The only thing standing in her way is if Kate Winslet gets just one nom this year, and it's in this category for The Reader. But that doesn't look likely to happen at this point, and I don't think Kate can win with an actress nom for RR and a supporting actress nom for The Reader. Deserving double nominees too often come away empty-handed (Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver).

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger. Period. The suspense ends for this category on nomination day, and rightfully so.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz looks like she'll hold on and get her first statue (from Javier!). Viola Davis has too little screen time and not nearly the prolific career that Judi Dench had when she won for Shakespeare in Love. This is the category of surprises, though. If Marisa Tomei makes it to the short list, she might take home her second statue if there's enough love for The Wrestler, even if not for Mickey Rourke. Sure, it's his film, but so was Walk the Line for Joaquin Phoenix.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Should win: Rourke, Hathaway, Ledger, Cruz

I hope not but I have a feeling that this lineup may win:

- Penn (most likely)
- Streep (26 years without Oscar and since them TONS of nominations...)/ Winslet (Day-Lewis and Winslet... two cute brits together... and she's due for a win eventually)
- Brolin (prize for exceptional year, Ledger dead... SO unfair but I believe it may happen)
- Tomei (has been gathering really unexpected support)

Anonymous said...

While I think most of the predictions are credible, I believe you're off the mark with the Best Actress predictions.

Jolie and Leo will not be nominated this year.

Billy Held An Oscar said...

The Best Supporting Actor category is fascinating this year.

Will they honor a dead actor or an actor who has come back from the dead ?

I think Downey will walk off with the prize.

Anonymous said...

Once January 11th (isn't that the Globes) air, Anne Hathaway will begin her streak of wins...the Globes, SAGs, then finally the Oscars (Sally Hawkins will most likely win the BAFTA)...She's going to surprise everyone and walk all over Winslet and Streep--both talented ladies have two really annoying problems--one is overdue for another win while one is overdue for a win, period...I think this mindset is going to turn-off some, and as a result Hathaway will take the win...

....but I have NO idea who will win the Critics Choice Award, esp since the Critics darling Sally Hawkins wasn't even nominated (!)...maybe Hathaway again or even Melissa Leo.

The rest:
Supp Actor-Ledger (done deal)
Supp Actress-Cruz (with a close race between Marisa Tomei)

Anonymous said...

One might argue that Truman Capote is also way gayer than Ennis del Mar.

Brian24 said...

Good point, Arkaan. But I think PSH's win for Capote was equal parts performance and a sense that he was long overdue. Penn won just a few years ago. So for him to win, it's gotta be all about the performance, which I think will hit a nerve with the pro-prop 8 members of the Academy (and there quite a few).

Anonymous said...

julie christie should be in that picture.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I tend to agree. But here's the thing - I don't think the academy is that sentimental. Sean Penn's respected enough that he's been nominated despite his films faltering (in 1999, he was nominated over Matt Damon amongst others; in 2001, over Gene Hackman amongst others). He's been around for just as long as Rourke, but has been a steady presence.

Rourke is definitely a contender - his character arc his fused with his personal arc that people may want to reward both. But Rourke himself is too much of a live wire - whereas Sean Penn's grown up, Rourke's just grown older (that text message, calling the writer a fag).

Additionally, if you believe that the prop 8 story is the story of the Hollywood political season (second to Obama, of course), Penn, moreso than anyone else involved with his film, will benefit. Milk is likely going to be more broadly embraced then The Wrestler

Plus the usual oscar hooks: he dies in the end (that's not a spoiler), real character/mimicry, "he's so brave" and Penn's gotten the best reviews since Dead Man Walking.

Re: sentiment.

In the past ten, eleven years, we've seen sentiment fall by the wayside. We've seen Hollywood's most famous marriage ignored despite a tailor made opportunity (Bogie and Bacall). But Bacall lost to a sweep. Stuart was part of a sweep but couldn't get anywhere. Peter O'Toole couldn't upset the bait train of Forrest Whitaker. Sentiment got Dee the nomination, but she couldn't beat Swinton. A famous couldn't get Benning an award... twice (and no one would argue that Swank is one of those actresses who's career demands two oscars. One wouldn't say that of the Benning, either). Julie Christie lost to bait last year. On and on and on. And finally, I don't think Rourke is a character the academy is invested in enough to win on sentiment anyway.

Right now, I'd predict a Penn victory. If he hadn't won in 2003, we'd be talking about a Mirren sized lock. We're not, so he's just a Penn sized lock. But that'll be enough. Rourke will make a race of it, though.

Brian24 said...

Do you think it's still a Penn size lock if Clint gets a nom? I agree that sentiment usually isn't enough for a statue (except maybe for Susan Sarandon; I would have given it to Elisabeth Shue), but Clint can take it to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

I actually think both Ledger and Cruz are locked up in the Supporting categories. I can understand how someone would disagree with that (especially in the case of the latter), but I don't see anyone else prevailing in those races. In terms of the leading categories, Best Actress is still a mess, and Best Actor is between Penn and Rourke, just as most have assumed for months. At the moment, I'm thinking:

Best Actor: Sean Penn
Best Actress: Kate Winslet
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz

adam k. said...

I agree that personal sentiment for beloved veterans who've never won has definitely taken a backseat to oscarbait roles and the "token win for each film" mentality... and to plain old quality. Eastwood is a special case, though. I think the only way Penn loses is if Eastwood's in the mix... but even then, I think Penn will triumph in the end, due to the momentum he'll have built up by then.

Who thinks he'll lose the independent spirit award to Rourke, though, and avoid the kiss of death? The spirit award is where the real suspense will be...

Anonymous said...

I think acknowledging the existence of Gran Torino as a contender for major oscars is a troubling idea, and something I won't be doing. Even if he gets nominated, I shall pretend only four people got nominated.

In my universe, Kate Winslet was nominated for Heavenly Creatures, Ian McKellan won in 1998, and Ron Howard has never made a movie. You should come and visit sometime.

Brian24 said...

A universe with no Ron Howard films? Sounds like heaven.

Anonymous said...

Meryl Streep
Sean Penn
Kate Winslet
Heath Ledger

Tilda Swinton is going to be a lucky girl. She'll name HEATH the best supporting actor of the year and she will be in lots of TV-news, videos, xtc. It's going to be a standing ovation for Heath and probably a historic minute (posthumous Oscar, since Finch in 1977) and Heath is more acclaimed.