Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
PRO: Extra points for his &%$# turn in Gone Baby Gone; as the "coward" of the title, Ben Affleck's baby brother steals the movie from Brad Pitt with an unforgettable performance.
CON: Jim Belushi, Frank Stalllone and Joey Travolta are still waiting for their Oscars, so Casey may just have to be patient.
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men
PRO: Won the Golden Globe and everything else; critical lock for his role as the creeeepy force-of-nature assassin.
CON: "Old Men" in title offends Academy; Mike Nesmith fans refuse to give award to guy with Peter Tork's haircut.
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson's War.
PRO: On-target Golden Globe-nominated performance makes you think he is still in White House basement making policy somewhere; movie is a feel-good romp about a war we actually won, at least ten years ago.
CON: With top roles also in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and The Savages, his own ubiquity may hurt him.
Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild
PRO: Eighty-two-year-old actor a lock for this year's Peter O'Toole (i.e., old guy still acting) award.
CON: At 82, not nearly old enough for the academy to think he's old; fear that either he or fellow octagenarian Ruby Dee might breathe their last if their names are called.
Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton
PRO: Best portrayal of mental illness since Saw III.
CON: Lawyers aren't supposed to have hearts of gold -- that's hookers!
Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
PRO: Gender-bending triumph captures the essence of Bob Dylan; unlike Hairspray's Travolta (or even Clayton's Swinton), did not require a fat suit.
CON: Should be listed for best supporting actor -- but she's not there.
Ruby Dee for American Gangster
PRO: Finally, a role for an older black woman not played by Tyler Perry.
CON: The 82-year-old Dee's age may work against her; it's rare that someone who remembers emancipation wins an award; also, fatally un-hip predominately white Academy members had just gotten comfortable spelling "Gangsta" with an "A".
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement
PRO: Cute kid points worked for Anna Paquin in The Piano in 1994, and Ronan didn't get knocked up like that little strumpet from Whale Rider.
CON: There's not a presenter in the world who will dare to attempt that first name, though in the way of Irish names, it's actually pronounced "Jane."
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone
PRO: Touted for a small turn in Capote, Ryan makes good in this role as hard-edged skank mom of missing baby.
CON: Implausible plot; why did Mom not look for baby in Angelina Jolie's handbag?
Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton
PRO: Waifish actress courageously donned "regular-size" suit to play legal eagle having crisis of conscience; breakdown scene may have been manipulative, but moved us to tears.
CON: Academy voters confused - and horrified - by sight of regular-sized woman not raising their children or cleaning their pools.
please input your name:
please input your e-mail address: