Oscar Futures: Did Bad Reviews for ‘Frost/Nixon’ Sink Its Chances? Yes

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Photo: Courtesy of AMPAS

Every week between now and February 2, when the nominations are announced, movies and stars will help themselves — or, sometimes, hurt themselves — in the Oscar race. 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: Wall-E. Have you seen a better movie yet this year? Neither have we! And with so many of the fall's odds-on Oscar contenders turning to stinkers before our very eyes, Pixar's best-ever film may actually have a shot. DOWN: Frost/Nixon. Remember last week when this seemed like a lock? A chilly reception yesterday at the London Film Festival seems to have killed its chances.
CURRENT PREDIX: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E
Best Director UP: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino. The details of the plot were finally revealed. Sure sounds like something they'd nominate him for, right? DOWN: Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon. Again, stinky reviews make this seem unlikely.
CURRENT PREDIX: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire; Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino; David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon; Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road; Gus Van Sant, Milk
Best Actor UP: Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon. Reviews for the movie aren't great, but, according to critics who've seen it, he's great in the role that already won him a Tony. DOWN: Viggo Mortensen, The Road. Maybe next year!
CURRENT PREDIX: Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn, Milk; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Actress UP: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky. Everybody's flipping over the movie. Also, she's adorable. DOWN: Melissa Leo, Frozen River. Sure, she's excellent — but where did the buzz go?
CURRENT PREDIX: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie, Changeling; Kristen Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long; Meryl Streep, Doubt; Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
Best Supporting Actor UP: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt. Nobody's seen his movie yet, but with supporting-actor showcases The Soloist and The Road on ice till 2009, his nomination feels like a sure thing. DOWN: Jamie Foxx, The Soloist. He seemed like a safe bet — until Paramount pushed back his movie until next March.
CURRENT PREDIX: Josh Brolin, Milk; Jamie Foxx, The Soloist; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt; Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight; Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road; Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon
Best Supporting Actress UP: Kate Winslet, The Reader. Even if the movie is released half-edited and without a soundtrack, how can the Academy resist nominating her? They can't. DOWN: Debra Winger, Rachel Getting Married. If anyone from Rachel scores a nod in this category, we bet it's Rosemarie DeWitt.
CURRENT PREDIX: Kathy Bates, Revolutionary Road, Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married; Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler; Debra Winger, Rachel Getting Married; Kate Winslet, The Reader