Oscar Index: Enough About Bridesmaids, Already

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The Leading 5:

1. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

2. Viola Davis, The Help

3. Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

4. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

5. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Outsiders: Charlize Theron, Young Adult; Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene; Felicity Jones, Like Crazy; Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia

Oscar oracle Mark Harris had the key insight this week for all the acting categories, effectively singling out those who went three-for-three in the Critics Choice, SAG, and Golden Globe nominations as the most formidable to date. Which is sort of stating the obvious until Harris reminds us about the last time this happened -- 2010, when Mila Kunis drew recognition from all three bodies for Black Swan only to be snubbed by the Academy. Womp woooommmp. And then it's still stating the obvious: Streep, Davis, Williams and Swinton are about as close as you get to locks with a month still remaining before Oscar-nomination morning.

Among them, Streep bolstered her campaign this week with a profile on 60 Minutes, which performed the neat trick of getting The Iron Lady in front of casual moviegoers while impressing the fence-straddling, over-45 voting bloc that Harvey Weinstein needs to woo away from Davis. Meanwhile, one observer asked if Williams -- a precursor-awards darling (who also happens to be Streep's Weinstein Co. stablemate) -- should actually be the frontrunner for My Week With Marilyn. Davis continues to have her supporters as well, though Team Nobbs wins the week's Big Balls prize for awards-campaign audacity after scheduling their New York premiere directly opposite that of The Iron Lady. Incredibly Close, indeed! Ugh, forget it.

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The Leading 5:

1. Jean Dujardin, The Artist

2. Brad Pitt, Moneyball

3. George Clooney, The Descendants

4. Michael Fassbender, Shame

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Outsiders: Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Demián Bichir, A Better Life; Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March; Michael Shannon, Take Shelter; Woody Harrelson, Rampart; Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus

Pitt is on a roll, still plugging away on the campaign trail while pundits like Harris and Jeffrey Wells make a persuasive case for not only a nomination, but also a win. Pitt's secret weapon? Try The Tree of Life, writes Harris:

[A]t this time of year, I always want to tell the voters, "Forget everything you've heard so far and just vote for greatness wherever you find it." As an example, I'll cite the single best piece of screen acting I saw this year: Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life. So far, this performance has not figured in the Best Supporting Actor race at all. It should. [...] Nobody in the Supporting Actor category did more nuanced, layered, complicated work this year. But instead of being at the center of the discussion, his performance is on the fringes, because the system has decided that Pitt will be "taken care of" with a Best Actor nomination for Moneyball. He deserves that nomination. He deserves this one even more.

Perhaps so. Politically speaking, neither Moneyball nor Tree of Life's studios wants Pitt anywhere near Supporting Actor: Sony doesn't want him sharing the category with his co-star Jonah Hill in a competing film, and Searchlight, knowing that Christopher Plummer already has Supporting Actor locked up, doesn't want to indirectly juice Pitt's Best Actor chances against their guys Fassbender and Clooney.

Fassbender, meanwhile, came back a bit with his Golden Globes nod but still breaks even after his SAG snub a week ago. In sadder news, this may be goodbye for Oldman after his Globes love went to the twice-nominated Gosling, though we saw the same thing happen last year with Biutiful's Javier Bardem -- who also went 0-fer in the BFCA/SAG/HFPA triathlon. So nobody panic just yet! Except you, Woody Harrelson. Panic all you want. That said, if Bichir's supporters continue to seem more intent on credit for his SAG recognition than the continued recognition of Bichir himself, then hell, maybe Harrelson could come back. It's early! Focus, people!

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Comments

  • Morgan says:

    Still don't see Terrence Malick in the race *at all* for directors?
    He's gotten a lot of critics awards, as has The Tree of Life (to be expected though), which has given the film a bump - but why not the director on these charts?
    Especially with War Horse getting fairly mixed reviews, that could make Speilberg's spot vulnerable...
    Aside from Payne, Hazanavicius and Scorsese being locks at this point I would say, the other two spots seem up for grabs between Daldry, Speilberg, Allen and Malick I would say - even Bennett Miller is Moneyball gets a bump.

  • AS says:

    New Rule: The Academy must add a new category titled "Best Use of an Enya Song."

  • Lauren says:

    Stu- 1) You are hilarious, I love reading your commentary! Some of the best "Oscar-analyzing" on the web!
    2) Glenn Close, really? You even said yourself in the THR podcast- give it to someone deserving... aka THERON! Do you really think Close will pull through? Say it ain't so. I can't imagine the Academy passing up on opportunity to nominate someone who gives arguably the best performance of the year in yes, a polarizing film, but since when has the Academy stuck to mainstream crap? Or just crap in general? Looking at you Albert Nobbs.
    3) Happy Holidays!

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    Yeah, you know, Malick should be there. That's an honest oversight/omission. Consider this a correction; I'd say he's interchangeable with Daldry at this point. Miller might be for real; Moneyball fans are almost as fervent as ToL fans, but we'll see if/how that translates to the Academy.

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    YES. What genius.

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    1. Thank you! You are very kind, and I appreciate your readership.
    2. I know it sucks, but as noted many times previously, Oscar Index does not reflect my personal choices. It's as objective a read of the race as I can summon at the time it is written, which means that yeahhhh, Glenn Close is in there. Were it up to me I'd have Kirsten Dunst at the top every single week, and I would most definitely include Theron in the top 5. Honestly I am not convinced GC has what it takes to get to Oscar night, but we'll see.
    3. Happy holidays to you as well! Stay tuned next week and into 2012...

  • Jospeh says:

    I agree completely with what you were discussing. Good stuff. Keep it up

  • Bury supervisor Kevin Blackwell has introduced a scathing attack on the club enthusiasts, branding some over the internet responses as silly for criticising his management within the club.
    http://www.spunka.se/omspunks.asp?p=6

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