||UP: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker. Pundits at Gold Derby have Locker in the lead for Best Picture (tied with Invictus). We like her chances.
||DOWN: Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones. The early word on Bones, says Roger Friedman, is that it "doesn't quite work as a thriller" and "awards may be elusive."
|CURRENT PREDIX: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker; Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire; Clint Eastwood, Invictus; Rob Marshall, Nine; Jason Reitman, Up in the Air.
||UP: Colin Firth, A Single Man. He won at Venice in September and now he'll be honored as best actor at the Santa Barbara Film Fest.
||DOWN: Morgan Freeman, Invictus. We're sure he'll be nominated, but, from the trailer, doesn't it sort of look like he's just playing Morgan Freeman?
|CURRENT PREDIX: George Clooney, Up in the Air; Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine; Colin Firth, A Single Man; Morgan Freeman, Invictus; Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker.|
|Best Actress ||UP: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious. Her appearance on Ellen yesterday shows she's much better adjusted than her character. Wouldn't it be fun to see her do a victory dance behind an Oscar podium?||DOWN: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia. Most agree it's still a two-way race between her and Carey Mulligan, and Mulligan has the edge.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Abbie Cornish, Bright Star; Helen Mirren, The Last Station; Carey Mulligan, An Education; Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire; Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.
|Best Supporting Actor
||UP: Matt Damon, Invictus. His South African accent: better than we expected!
||DOWN: Christopher Plummer, The Last Station. We're sure he'll be great, but his co-star Helen Mirren is getting most of the attention so far.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Matt Damon, Invictus; Alfred Molina, An Education; Christopher Plummer, The Last Station; Paul Schneider, Bright Star; Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds.
|Best Supporting Actress
||UP: Mo'Nique, Precious. So she won't campaign and she's demanding money for promotional appearances — she'll still be nominated, thinks Anne Thompson.
||DOWN: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air. After flirting with a lead-actress campaign, Paramount decides to run her in supporting (against her co-star Anna Kendrick, who has more screen time).
|CURRENT PREDIX: Marion Cotillard, Nine; Judi Dench, Nine; Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air; Mo'nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire; Julianne Moore, A Single Man.