Oscar Futures: ‘Charlie Wilson's War’ Stages a Comeback

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: Charlie Wilson's War. First everyone was excited. Then bad buzz killed it almost dead. But its five Globe nominations have Mike Nichols's movie on the rise again — and it still hasn't even opened yet! DOWN: Into the Wild. Broadcast Film Critics gave it a boost early in the week, but Globe shutout means Sean Penn's film is lost in the awards wilderness.
CURRENT PREDIX: American Gangster, Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men
Best Director UP: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood. Sweep of the L.A. critics could push him into the Designated Auteur slot at the Oscars. DOWN: Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Locked out of the Globes, and even the New York critics didn't recognize him — after NYFCC chief Armond White passionately argued that Lumet is a hack during the org's awards lunch.
CURRENT PREDIX: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood, 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: Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises. Surprising love for Viggo and the film from the Globes breathes life into the much-admired actor's chances.. DOWN: Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The movie got three Globe nominations — which makes it all the more worrisome that Amalric's performance wasn't recognized.
CURRENT PREDIX: Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd; James McAvoy, Atonement; Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Best Actress UP: Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart. Julie Christie might be the Oscar front-runner, but given the HFPA's love of hot stars, we'd bet money that Jolie will win the Globe. DOWN: Laura Linney, The Savages. She's been an Oscar favorite before, but even a last-minute switch to Comedy couldn't net her a Globe nom.
CURRENT PREDIX: Amy Adams, Enchanted; Julie Christie, Away From Her; Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose; Keira Knightley, Atonement; Ellen Page, Juno
Best Supporting Actor UP: John Travolta, Hairspray. A beloved movie star in drag: How could the Golden Globes resist? DOWN: Russell Crowe, American Gangster. The HFPA's decision that this role was a lead hurt his chances at a supporting nomination down the road.
CURRENT PREDIX: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men; Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War; Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Best Supporting Actress UP: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone. The respected actress made a clean sweep of the critics' awards this week… DOWN: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There …even the New York Film Critics' Circle, an award everyone thought was Blanchett's to lose.
CURRENT PREDIX: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There; Romola Garai, Atonement; Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton