Updated Oscar picks

Well, most of the major non-Oscar nominations are out, including today’s SAG press release. Best Picture is looking more and more like a duel between Slumdog and Benjamin Button, and I have a feeling it’s going to be that way down to the end. The other three spots are likely to be filled by Milk and two of Frost/Nixon, The Dark Knight, and Revolutionary Road. Knight looks to be struggling a bit, which is ridiculous, but I still have to believe it edges in.

Anne Hathaway now has a solid advantage over all her competition in the Best Actress category. There are six other contenders at this point, and no matter who gets left out it’s going to piss people off — this is probably the single strongest category in 2008. Meryl is in, the rest are anybody’s guess — Sally Hawkins, though a major hit on most critics’ lists, took a big blow today from the bastards in the SAG. Melissa Leo gets a boost, as does Angelina although I’m still not convinced she can break in over Kristin Scott Thomas.

Best Actor has not changed. Either DiCaprio or Eastwood could squeeze in, but at this point I think Jenkins, Langella, Penn, Pitt, Rourke is starting to look like a safe prediction.

Penelope Cruz is kind of running away with the Supporting Actress category, though Viola Davis is in some ways right there with her. It’s still going to be shocking if Cruz doesn’t win unless there are some upsets in Davis’s favor at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.

Supporting Actor still belongs to Heath Ledger and regardless of TDK’s status in Best Pic that isn’t changing.

Slumdog v. Button will continue their battle in the Best Director category, where Danny Boyle and David Fincher are the major candidates. In the Screenplay categories, I predict wins for Benjamin Button and Milk.

Full prediction chart below, with five predicted nominees in bold and winners italicized.

Picture Chances
Slumdog Millionaire Lock
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Lock
Milk Likely
Frost/Nixon Possible
The Dark Knight Possible
Revolutionary Road Possible
Doubt Possible
The Wrestler Possible
Rachel Getting Married Possible
Gran Torino Possible
The Reader Possible
WALL-E Possible
Actress Chances
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) Lock
Meryl Streep (Doubt) Lock
Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road) Possible
Melissa Leo (Frozen River) Possible
Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long) Possible
Angelina Jolie (Changeling) Possible
Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky) Possible
Actor Chances
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) Lock
Sean Penn (Milk) Lock
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) Lock
Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) Possible
Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button) Possible
Leonardo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road) Possible
Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) Possible
Supporting Actress Chances
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) Lock
Viola Davis (Doubt) Lock
Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) Possible
Kate Winslet (The Reader) Possible
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler) Possible
Taraji P. Henson (Benjamin Button) Possible
Amy Adams (Doubt) Possible
Sophie Okonedo (Secret Life of Bees) Possible
Supporting Actor Chances
Heath Ledger (Dark Knight) Lock
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt) Lock
Josh Brolin (Milk) Possible
Robert Downey, Jr. (Tropic Thunder) Possible
James Franco (Milk) Possible
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) Possible
Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) Possible
Bill Irwin (Rachel Getting Married) Possible
Eddie Marsan (Happy Go Lucky) Possible
Director Chances
David Fincher (Benjamin Button) Likely
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) Likely
Gus Van Sant (Milk) Likely
Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) Possible
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon) Possible
Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married) Possible
Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight) Possible
John Patrick Shanley (Doubt) Possible
Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) Possible
Mike Leigh (Happy Go Lucky) Possible
Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) Possible
Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor) Possible
Stephen Daldry (The Reader) Possible
Adapted Screenplay Chances
Eric Roth (Benjamin Button) Likely
Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) Likely
Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) Likely
John Patrick Shanley (Doubt) Likely
Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) Likely
Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight) Possible
David Hare (The Reader) Possible
Original Screenplay Chances
Dustin Lance Black (Milk) Likely
Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) Likely
Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) Likely
Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon (WALL-E) Possible
Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) Possible
Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) Possible
Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor) Possible
Mike Leigh (Happy Go Lucky) Possible
Philippe Claudel (I’ve Loved You So Long) Possible
Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York) Possible

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