I haven’t been updating much on the main page, but on the Oscar pages every category has now been updated. The only category that has yet to have complete predictions posted is the Live Action Short category and that’s because we are still waiting for the Academy to release a short list for that.
Of all the categories in this year’s Oscar the ones we have a clearest read on at this point are the acting categories. That’s largely because the Screen Actors Guild is the only guild that has released their nominees at this point and almost all precursor bodies give their opinion on performances of the year. It may not be clear who the winners will be, but as far as nominees, there has pretty much been a consensus. Check out my analysis on the race so far after the jump…
Best Performance by an Actor
1) George Clooney – Up in the Air – Clooney received a nomination from the Globes, the BFCA, and the Screen Actors Guild. He also has won the most precursor awards with 10 wins and one tie.
2) Colin Firth – A Single Man – He has also scored with SAG, the BFCA, and the Globes and won the second most precursor awards. His film is also quietly gaining steam as other popular films lose their steam. He could make a run for the win.
3) Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker – He hit with SAG and the BFCA, but missed with the Globes. However, he has the advantage of riding the buzz in one of the most critically acclaimed film of the year. The praise for the film and Renner aren’t going to quiet down anytime soon.
4) Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart – Globe nom, SAG nom, and BFCA nom. He hasn’t won quite as many precursors as Clooney or Firth, but he’s a well-liked actor with one of those roles that just seems automatic.
5) Morgan Freeman – Invictus – He has a Globe nom, a SAG nom, and a BFCA nom, too, so why isn’t he a lock? His film, and performance therein, has been slowly losing steam throughout the precursor season. He hasn’t won with any critics groups and is thought of as a respected actor who has had his chance.
6) Ben Foster – The Messenger – He’s surprised with a few precursor nominations and one win (more than Morgan Freeman). However, he is getting overshadowed by his co-star Woody Harrelson.
7) Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man – It was an absolutely fantastic performance and in my opinion, it’s critically under-appreciated. However, the film seems to be inexplicably losing steam.
8) Matt Damon – The Informant! – It was Matt’s better performance this year, but the competition is lighter in the supporting actor category so he’ll likely get nominated there and not here.
THE LONG SHOTS
9) Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine – Oscar loves Daniel Day-Lewis. It seems every time he’s in a film that gets Oscar attention, Day-Lewis is one of the reasons. All it takes is for him to work with a director like Rob Marshall who will completely misuse his abilities.
10) Viggo Mortensen – The Road – I made the mistake of discounting Viggo early in the year, but he’s gaining back a lot of momentum with a BFCA nomination and some minor precursor attention.
Best Performance by an Actress
1) Carey Mulligan – An Education – Mulligan is leading the pack in precursor wins with 11 and she has also received a Globe nom, SAG nom, and BFCA nom. She’s this year’s breakout star.
2) Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia – She’s just behind Mulligan in precursor awards with 7 wins and one tie. She’s a lock to win the Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy and she’s looking for her third Oscar win.
3) Gabourey Sidibe – Precious – The actresses of Precious are getting a lot of love and Gabby has enjoyed being called the other breakout star of the year. She’s received a nom from the BFCA, SAG, and the Globes.
4) Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side – When I saw the trailer for this film I was predicting a major stinker, but the film has showed major staying power at the Box Office and Bullock has scored noms from the BFCA, SAG, and two from the Globes (for The Blind Side and The Proposal).
5) Helen Mirren – The Last Station – She got no love from BFCA, but SAG liked her and so did the Globes, so she’ll probably sneak in as that fifth nominee.
6) Marion Cotillard – Nine – Nine is losing steam across the board, but actresses Cotillard and Cruz are the two bright spots from the film that continue to get praise.
THE LONG SHOTS
7) Abbie Cornish – Bright Star – This whole film is being under-appreciated on this side of the Atlantic and Cornish’s performance is not as strong as it was once thought to be.
8) Melanie Laurent – Inglourious Basterds – Everything Basterds is getting love all across the board at the precursors and Laurent has sneaked in a precursor win and some late season buzz.
9) Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria – The BFCA gave Blunt a nomination and this type of period piece royalty role has been awarded by the Oscars time and time again.
10) Penelope Cruz – Broken Embraces – It has the disadvantage of being a foreign film, but a lot of people love Cruz – you never know.