Looking like sure bets are Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, crowd-pleaser Slumdog Millionaire, and Frost/Nixon. The fifth slot is shaping up to be a horse race between Doubt and The Dark Knight. Actors are the biggest voting block of the Academy, and the Screen Actors Guild didn't nominate TDK. But it is an audience favorite, which would mean good ratings for the awards show. And no one wants to win an Oscar when no one's watching. So we'll see. Either way, sorry, Wall-E.
Usually falls in line with Best Picture, so Slumdog's Danny Boyle, Milk's Gus van Sant, and Button's David Fincher are sure bets. We're not positive that Ron Howard will get a nod for his somewhat utilitarian direction of what is mostly an actors movie, though he did get recognized by the Directors Guild. Christopher Nolan could very well squeak in for TDK. John Patrick Shanley, who is viewed (rightly) as mostly a writer probs won't end up here for Doubt. Maybe Wall-E's Andrew Stanton will get a little "hey thanks for playing."
Definitely Anne Hathaway for her stripped-down-yet-still-showy work in Rachel Getting Married, Kate Winslet's for her mopey/yelly turn in Revolutionary Road, and Meryl Streep's barking in Doubt. Sally Hawkins' pluck in Happy-Go-Lucky didn't woo SAG, but everyone else seems to love her. We hope that Melissa Leo gets recognized in the fifth slot for her grizzled performance in Frozen River, but it might go to Angelina Jolie because she's pretty and yells a lot in Changeling. Boo.
Yes on: Sean Penn for Milk, Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, Frank Langella for
People Talking!: The Non-Musical Frost/Nixon, and Bradley Jane Pitt in Button. Number five will mayyybe go to Six Feet Under Papa Richard Jenkins for The Visitor. Though everyone likes the growly old Clint Eastwood schtick he does in Gran Torino.
And the rest of these are really too wide to tell, but we're going to go ahead and predict anyway...
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis is practically a lock to win the whole damn thing for her two scenes in Doubt. Joining her at her table at the pre-awards luncheon will probably be Taraji P. Henson for Button, Amy Adams for Doubt as well, Penelope Cruz for Hannah and Her Spanish Sisters or whatever, and Annette Bening for her deliciously screwball work in 2008's most overlooked gem, The Women. (We're joking on that last one.) Let's give it to that creepy girl in Let the Right One In!
Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin will win for Milk as a consolation prize for no one really liking W. that much (and for him having to deal with Babs as a
mother-in-law step-mother). Robert Downey Jr. and Heath Ledger ought to get notices for their heavily-made-up work in Tropic Thunder and TDK, respectively. I dunno. Who else? Maybe Phil Hoffman for Doubt. Maybe George Clooney for just being alive in the world. We hope Emile Hirsch gets recognized for his fantastic work as Cleve Jones in the fantastic Milk.
Both Adapted and Original are much wider races, but look for TDK (surprise!), Button, and Nixon in the former; Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Milk, and Rachel Getting Married in the latter.
I know you guys mostly care about Best Sound Editing, but you'll have to wait to find out about that. Happy ballot making or whatever!