As we get ready for Thanksgiving and the obligatory over eating that comes with it, here are some opening thoughts from the Clearinghouse before we get to the breakdown of each category...
UP IN THE AIR is staying strong and is considered by many to be the favorite to win Best Picture at this point...still with Nine, Lovely Bones, Invictus and Avatar still out there to be debuted it's not yet time to place your bets.
Saw trailers on the tube for Invictus, Avatar and UITA since our last post...Invictus looked better than I thought it would. Avatar does not. Lovely Bones continues a slight swoon as we move closer to its release...Avatar has gathered some heat in the interim since Clearinghouse # 4. and Jeff Bridges and "Crazy Heart" has zoomed onto the radar from complete obscurity in the last three weeks...we'll see if he and the movie have any staying power.
This entry of the Clearinghouse adds "Rope of Silicon", The Envelope and Gurus of Gold to the database...Now on to the categories...(TFF PIX IN CAPS AND BOLD)
Best Picture: 1) UP IN THE AIR, 2) The Hurt Locker, 3) Nine, 4) Precious, 5) Invictus, 6) AN EDUCATION, 7) Up, 8) The Lovely Bones, 9) Avatar, 10) A Serious Man.
Others in play: Inglorious Basterds, A Single Man, BRIGHT STAR, THE LAST STATION, THE ROAD, Julie and Julia.
Comments: Biggest Momentum...Hurt Locker, Avatar, A Single Man (finally catching up to the heat in the Best Actor and Supporting Actress categories...which have actually cooled a little) and The Road gets a bump...maybe because it finally gets released this week. Tree of Life drops out of all categories (including director and script) as the various guessperts factor in its release date being set for 2010.
Best Direction: 1) JASON REITMAN, 2) Kathryn Bigelow, 3) Rob Marshall, 4) Clint Eastwood, 5) Lee Daniels.
Lurkers: James Cameron, Peter Jackson, LONE SCHERFIG, Quentin Tarantino, Coen Brothers.
Comments: James Cameron is getting some good buzz in the run up to the release of Avatar.
Best Actor: 1) Morgan Freeman, 2) GEORGE CLOONEY, 3) Colin Firth, 4) Jeff Bridges, 5) Daniel Day-Lewis.
Others: Jeremy Renner, VIGGO MORTENSEN, Matt Damon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Robert DeNiro.
Comments: Two weeks ago Jeff Bridges best shot at a nomination was thought to be in supporting for The Men Who Stare at Goats...man, these change fast! His performance has exploded out of almost nowhere to leap into the #4 spot as a likely nominee...And that's really hurt Jeremy Renner's campaign as he drops from nominee to a "maybe" in status. Also a nice couple of weeks for Viggo as he returns to consideration as does the serious man, Michael Stuhlbarg.
Best Actress: 1) CAREY MULLIGAN, 2) Meryl Streep, 3) Gabby Sidibe, 4) HELEN MIRREN, 5) ABBIE CORNISH.
Lurkers: Saroise Ronan, Marion Cotillard, Sandra Bullock, Maggie Gyllenhall, Michelle Monaghan.
Comments: Cornish returns to "nominee" status. Bullock and Gyllenhall both appear for the first time. And the fall of Hilary Swank and Amelia is complete as she drops completely off the chart.
Best Supporting Actor: 1) Christoph Waltz, 2) Stanley Tucci, 3) ALFRED MOLINA, 4) Matt Damon, 5) CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER.
On the Outside Looking In: PETER SAARSGARD, Anthony Mackie, Christian McKay, Stanley Tucci (again), PAUL SCHNEIDER.
Dropping Out: JAMES MC AVOY.
Comment: Matt Damon is losing a little steam and Paul Schneider returns to the chart, replacing fellow TFF #36 potential nominee James McAvoy.
Best Supporting Actress: 1) Mo'Nique, 2) Penelope Cruz, 3) ANNA KENDRICK, 4) Julianne Moore, 5) VERA FARMIGA.
Lurkers: Judi Dench, Susan Sarandon, Samantha Morton, Marion Cotillard, Mariah Carey.
Comments: Moore falls a little bit and Samantha Morton comes on strong for her work in The Messenger. Also, Mariah Carey enters the chart...getting great notice for a small part and looking nothing like herself...look out for her.
Dropping out: Rachel Wiesz and Melanie Laurent.
Adapted Screenplay: 1) Precious, 2) UP IN THE AIR, 3) AN EDUCATION, 4) Invictus, 5) Nine
Others: The Lovely Bones, A Single Man, THE LAST STATION, Julie and Julia, Wild Things.
Dropping: THE ROAD.
Original Screenplay: 1) Up, 2) A Serious Man, 3) The Hurt locker, 4) 500 Days of Summer, 5) Inglorious Basterds.
And...BRIGHT STAR, District 9, It's Complicated, Avatar, THE WHITE RIBBON.
Dropping: Tree of Life and In the Loop.
Breakdown of THE BIG EIGHT CATEGORIES...Predicted Nominees: UP IN THE AIR-6, Nine, Precious, and Invictus-5, AN EDUCATION-4, and The Hurt Locker -3.
Nominations and Near Noms combined: Nine-7, UP IN THE AIR, Precious, AN EDUCATION, The Lovely Bones-6, The Hurt Locker, Invictus and A Single Man-5, Inglorious Basterds, BRIGHT STAR, THE LAST STATION, Julie and Julia-4
TFF#36...still 13 predicted nominations and 10 near noms...
The Clearinghouse will return next just prior to Christmas/New Years. Planning to spend New Year's Eve back in Telluride!