Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Animated have already been won. My previous predictions will be correct. Bet on that. Best Actor is the toughest to call at this point. It's between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. Frank Langella, Brad Pitt, and Richard Jenkins have all been shut out so far, and with less then two weeks to go in the season, they really have no chance of winning. I can't really pick a clear favorite here. Sean Penn just won a SAG for Best Actor. The winner there, traditionally, goes on to win the Oscar. But Mickey Rourke has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. That, and the fact that Academy voters can connect with his character more then Penn's may put him over the top. I think Rourke gave the better performance, all things considered, but if Penn wins, I won't mind in the slightest.
On to Best Actress. You know, in hindsight, I think I was a bit too harsh on Kate Winslet at first. Now that my self-righteous rage at the snubs of Bruce Springsteen and Christopher Nolan has subsided, I can start to accept the actual nominations, instead of thinking of the ones I wish had made it. I've had a chance to go back to The Reader since the noms were announced, and, I'll be honest, I have a new found respect for it, or at least for Kate Winslet. I'm still adamant that the film should not be nominated for Best Picture, but I can't deny that Winslet is great in it. When I go back and think about it, her performance actually does resonate with me more then any other in the category. So, she has stolen my favorite to win from Meryl Streep. My prediction that she will win stays intact as well.
I'll end with Supporting Actress. I think the best performance here is Viola Davis in Doubt. True, she has only one scene, but, damn, is she good in that one scene. The whole thing is on the NY Times website. Check it out, I hope you agree with me. Here's the link: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/451995/Doubt/trailers
It would be great if Davis did win, but I don't think she will. She's too unknown. My prediction remains the same, Penelope Cruz. She's been racking up the awards so far, so it seems like a shoe in. But anything could happen. For all we know, the Academy could play it unsafe (unlikely, but whatever) and award it too the stripper (Marisa Tomei), the naive nun (Amy Adams), the religious mother figure (Taraji P. Henson), or the unknown, most deserving one (Davis). One can dream. I'll probably get on and review something before the ceremonies, during which I'll write up a play by play, or something. Until then, my friends.