Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oscar charts: Best Actor

THE FIVE (4/5=100%)
1) Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) (=)
2) Peter O'Toole (Venus) (+1)
3) Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness) (-1)
4) Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) (=)
5) Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond) (+1)

UPDATE (1/23): Goddammit. Now, I liked Leo in Blood Diamond. I really did. It's hardly an embarassing best actor choice. But his work in The Departed is just SO MUCH better. Mostly because The Departed is a better film. But anyway. The irony here for Leo is that he clearly could've gotten a double nom this year if he's just committed to the supporting categorization. I happen to think it's not entirely fraudulent, so I wouldn't really have minded. Cate Blanchett, for example, is much more worthy of my ire. But yay for Gosling, anyway. Glad he hung on. And yay for Leo for not totally missing a nod. I liked his Blood Diamond performance. I don't really mind it being here.

UPDATE (1/20): These five are looking pretty solid. I still don't think O'Toole is a lock, simply because no one has seen the film (and cause they might want to avoid handing him another loss). And Gosling and DiCaprio are still iffy. But who would actually replace them? No one, save another DiCaprio and MAYBE Cohen. But I doubt it. So this is the five. The least competitive best actor race in years... shame that Jackman, McAvoy, and others never got any traction.

UPDATE (1/5): Some important changes. Ryan Gosling gets a much-needed boost from SAG and rises into the top 5. Watanabe falls hard, failing to be noticed anywhere as his film goes from "near-lock" to "probably still safe" (reminds me of Eric Bana in Munich). And of course DiCaprio now struggles with category confusion with his double nod from SAG. I think his Departed perf will hold on here, but don't be surprised if he's left out on nomination morning, or (worse yet) nominated for Blood Diamond instead.

UPDATE (12/16): The field narrows. Whitaker is the only lock in what has become a 7-man race (8 if you count Leo for Blood Diamond). Smith and O'Toole still look likely, even with their less-than-enthusiastic precursor attention. DiCaprio has been popping up everywhere, but vote-splitting could still undo him, since he's been popping up everywhere for BOTH films. Watanabe, I think, will nab the last spot, though Gosling and Cohen are right there with him. This lineup will be hard to peg. SAG should help quite a bit, though.

On the lower end of the second tier, Eckhart finally pops up, since no one else has managed to get traction and he at least has a globe nod and a film with a matching globe nod (deserved or not). And Jackman, who I maintain will be getting SOME votes from people who actually saw The Fountain, rounds out the actors' top ten.

UPDATE (12/3): Lotsa changes. Ken Watanabe enters the chart (and the top five) as Leo drops out due to category confusion... it's still unclear which category he'll ultimately go for, but he just got a supporting nod from the satellites, which doesn't help his lead campaign(s). Damon for Good Shepherd rises again now that it doesn't look like his Departed performance will get in the way. Foxx holds steady at #10 (I think people are underestimating him, though I don't think he'll actually make it), Cohen rises, Clooney and Law fall, and Jackman enters the chart for The Fountain.

*I do realize my glaring omission of Thank You For Smoking's Aaron Eckhart; I just honestly don't see him having any chance at all, despite his satellite nod, and I didn't want to make an 18th slot.

UPDATE (11/13): Leo is back. I think he's going lead (as well he should). With this development, Luke falls and Ryan rises. Also, the Prestige men make way for two Matt Damons. That's it for now.

UPDATE (11/1): The men from The Departed have departed. In their place, I now have Luke and Gosling. But I really have no idea who will place in this category. A lot of space has now opened up. A major shake-up, this was.

FIRST THOUGHTS: People seem to agree at this point that O'Toole, Nicholson, Whitaker, and Smith are looking good for nods. Beyond that, it gets tricky. I am of the opinion that Leo will probably get nominated for something, and I think he could actually make it for The Departed along with Nicholson, though that is by no means certain. 7 through 9 are also very possible, though I think someone lower would need a big change in buzz to rise up (or in Foxx's case, an even bigger Dreamgirls steamroller effect than is currently anticipated).


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