Back to IndieWire

Gold Digging: Front Runners and Underdogs VI

Gold Digging: Front Runners and Underdogs VI

Its been a few weeks since I’ve posted a prediction list, and thought that wouldn’t be an issue, as no precursors have been announced since pre-Xmas SAG. But things did manage to shift without them: There Will Be Blood, Juno and Atonement are making a lot of money (so far), Sweeney Todd isn’t; Sean Penn got divorced, which some say will hurt him; the Golden Globes will go on, but likely with no stars, meaning there won’t be some smooth acceptance speech to boost chances for, say, Johnny Depp or Cate Blanchett.

But one thing hasn’t changed. While most of the acting races have fairly clear races, best picture is still a giant question mark. No Country For Old Men is the only absolute lock, while Into The Wild lingers a bit behind it. The other three slots? Well, Atonement and Michael Clayton appear to be good shots, but I have a weird feeling one or both of them might be Tuesday morning shockings. Either way, they join a slew of films genuinely in the running, including more-likelys Juno, American Gangster and There Will Be Blood, and less-likelys The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Sweeney Todd. I’m almost willing to count those two out (and might after PGA and DGA say yay or nay), but for now, they have a hope. I’m thinking last year’s too-late-too-little situation seen by the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men might not be possible for films as popular as Juno and as critically lauded as There Will Be Blood. But I’m likely being really naive, and wonder if American Gangster, Atonement, Into The Wild, Juno, No Country For Old Men will end up being the lineup.

Anyway.. as for the other races, you can check out the charts after the jump, but it seems like the men’s races are totally sewn up: Day-Lewis and Bardem seem impossible to beat, especially now that Depp is SAGless and boxofficeless. Hal Holbrook would be the one to look out for in Bardem’s case, especially if they go gaga for Wild (which I still suspect they will, Robin Wright Penn or not). But the ladies… That’s a different story. Actress is a genuine three way race between Cotillard, Page and Christie, with Christie maybe having the slight edge. And you’d think Amy Ryan would be the leader in supporting, but I just can’t see her or Cate Blanchett (or anyone) winning. Kris Tapley at Incontention.com suggested Catherine Keener in a Marcia Gay Harden-sorta-pull-off, and I appreciate his ballsiness. And who knows, it could happen. But for now, I cannot declare a winner, and if I had to, I’d still go with Ryan.

Updated charts after the break. I’ll post one final stab after the rest of the guilds speak their power.


1. No Country For Old Men

The Challenger
2. Into the Wild

Likely Nominee But In Such a Crowded Year, It May Not Be As Stable As It Seem
3. Atonement

Looking Better Everyday
4. There Will Be Blood
5. Juno

Everyone Likes It, But Does Anyone Love It? I Think Acting and Screenplay Might Be Enough
6. Michael Clayton

I’m Likely Underestimating
7. American Gangster

Possible Upsets
8. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly


1. Ethan & Joel Coen, No Country For Old Men

2. Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

They Love Actor-Directors, and SAG Loved “Wild”
3. Sean Penn, Into The Wild

The Likely Lone Director(s)?
4. Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
5. Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Am I Underestimating..
6. Ridley Scott, American Gangster

At The Expense of the Lone Director
7. Joe Wright, Atonement

Screenplay Nod Enough
8. Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton

Shoulda Been a Lone Director
9. Sidney Lumet, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead


This Year’s Helen Mirren
1. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

The Only Slight Competition
2. George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Three Slots, Four Dudes?
3. Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
4. Emile Hirsch, Into The Wild
5. Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
6. Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl

Down. But Not Out?
7. Denzel Washington, American Gangster
8. James McAvoy, Atonement

Anythings Possible
9. Josh Brolin, No Country For Old Men
10. Frank Langella, Starting Out In The Evening


Locks, But Who Will Win?

1. Julie Christie, Away From Her
2. Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
3. Ellen Page, Juno

Surprising Stronghold
4. Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart

SAG Be Damned??
5. Amy Adams, Enchanted

Why Is This Happening?
6. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

It Shoulda Been You
7. Laura Linney, The Savages

Barely Possible
8. Keira Knightley, Atonement
9. Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


1. Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men

The Likely Other Four
2. Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
3. Hal Holbrook, Into The Wild
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
5. Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James…

I Could See It
6. Tommy Lee Jones, No Country For Old Men

Please. God. No.
7. John Travolta, Hairspray

Could Be The Big Surprise? But No Precursor Love
8. Max Von Sydow, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
9. Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood


A Shockingly Huge Lock (For a Nomination)
1. Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Could Still Win?
2. Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Locked Nominee
3. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Not The Three I Envisioned a Few Weeks Ago, But The Three That Duke It Out
4. Catherine Keener, Into The Wild
5. Saorise Ronan, Atonement
6. Ruby Dee, American Gangster

A Slew of Dark Horses
7. Kelly Macdonald, No Country for Old Men
8. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Margot at the Wedding
9. Jennifer Garner, Juno
10. Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement
11. Marisa Tomei, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead


1. Diablo Cody, Juno

Locked Nominees
2. Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
3. Brad Bird, Ratatouille

Surprisingly Fragile
4. Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Came Out of Nowhere
5. Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl

Could Easily Replace Jenkins & Oliver
6. Kelly Masterson, Before The Devil Knows Youre Dead
7. Judd Apatow, Knocked Up

Slightly Possible
8. Steven Zaillian, American Gangster
9. Steven Knight, Eastern Promises
10. Todd Haynes, I’m Not There


Winners? Could See Upset Here
1. Ethan & Joel Coen, No Country For Old Men

The Other Nominees. Wait…
2. Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
3. Christopher Hampton, Atonement
4. Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
5. Sean Penn, Into The Wild
6. Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Wilson’s War

7. James Vanderbilt, Zodiac
8. Sarah Polley, Away From Her

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Uncategorized and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox