||UP: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight. His movie's strong showing this week (especially his Directors Guild nod yesterday) makes him seem like a pretty safe bet here.
||DOWN: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's like he's not even trying!
|CURRENT PREDIX: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire; David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon; Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight; Gus Van Sant, Milk
||UP: Sean Penn, Milk. With wins from LAFCA, NSFC, and NYFCC, is he a lock for an Oscar? Maybe!
||DOWN: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler. Penn seems to have the momentum — will voters think Rourke's impending Iron Man 2 paycheck is reward enough?
|CURRENT PREDIX: Clint Eastwood Gran Torino; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn, Milk; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
||UP: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married. The Times certainly likes her chances, and not even crappy reviews for this weekend's Bride Wars could prevent the Golden Globes from giving her an award four days early.
||DOWN: Meryl Streep, Doubt. Hathaway's coming up strong and Kate Winslet really, really wants this one. If Streep does too, she'll have to work for it.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married; Melissa Leo, Frozen River; Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long; Meryl Streep, Doubt; Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
|Best Supporting Actor
||UP: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire. Best Picture winners usually pick up an acting award too, and Patel is Slumdog's only featured star. He probably can't beat Heath Ledger, but who knows!
||DOWN: James Franco, Milk. When was the last time you heard somebody mention him as a plausible contender? It's been a while.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Josh Brolin, Milk;
|James Franco, Milk; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt; Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight; Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
|Best Supporting Actress
||UP: Viola Davis, Doubt. Penélope's the front-runner now — but wait till people see Davis's clip at the Golden Globes this weekend.
||DOWN: Kate Winslet, The Reader. Will more buzz about nominating her in the lead category just divide her supporters?
|CURRENT PREDIX: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Viola Davis, Doubt; Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married; Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler; Kate Winslet, The Reader