Oscar Futures: Which Category Will Cate Blanchett Win Her Oscar In?

Photo: Courtesy of AMPAS

Every week between now and January 22, Vulture's Oscar Futures will listen to insider gossip, comb the Oscar blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.

Best Picture UP: The Savages. Outstanding reviews now make it a strong possible contender. So which will Fox Searchlight push, Savages or Juno? DOWN: Charlie Wilson's War. Its cast once made it seem like a pretty safe bet, but an L.A. screening this week underwhelmed; critics say it's good, not great.
CURRENT PREDIX: American Gangster, Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men
Best Director UP: Sean Penn, Into the Wild. The film's win for Best Feature at Tuesday's Gotham Awards bodes well for Penn here. DOWN: Todd Haynes, I'm Not There. His movie may lead in this week's announced Spirit Awards nominations, but its bad box office and split reaction from critics make Haynes even more of a dark horse.
CURRENT PREDIX: Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men; Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Sean Penn, Into the Wild; Ridley Scott, American Gangster; Joe Wright, Atonement
Best Actor UP: Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd. Depp wows in new clips from the film. He can actually sing, kind of! DOWN: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. With two highly acclaimed lead performances this year, he's competing with himself here. Voters will probably give him a supporting nod, though.
CURRENT PREDIX: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood; James McAvoy, Atonement; George Clooney, Michael Clayton; Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Best Actress UP: Amy Adams, Enchanted. The movie's record-busting Thanksgiving weekend means more Americans now realize precisely how adorable she is. DOWN: Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose. Rumors that Miramax WeinsteinCo could push I'm Not There's Cate Blanchett in the lead category instead of supporting mean this front-runner might actually have some competition.
CURRENT PREDIX: Amy Adams, Enchanted; Julie Christie, Away From Her; Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose; Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart; Keira Knightley, Atonement, Ellen Page, Juno
Best Supporting Actor UP: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War. The movie may not be perfect, but critics say his performance is. DOWN: Russell Crowe, American Gangster. In an increasingly competitive race, his restrained performance probably won't stand out.
CURRENT PREDIX: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men; Russell Crowe, American Gangster; Ethan Hawke, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War; Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Best Supporting Actress UP: Saoirse Ronan, Atonement. If true, rumors about a Best Actress push for Blanchett could spell good things for Ronan, whose chances for a nomination get better with every fawning review. DOWN: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a flop, so Miramax may push this performance for Best Actress, which would likely torpedo her shot at this award.
CURRENT PREDIX: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There; Romola Garai, Atonement; Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton