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Oscar Futures: The HMFIC Reigns at the Golden Globes

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 for insider gossip, comb the 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: Avatar. Top honors at the Globes and a cumulative gross that's closing in on Titanic's. Okay, fine, this thing might have a shot at Best Picture. DOWN: Nine. The Hollywood Foreign Press — the same body that couldn't bring itself to even nominate superior bromances Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin — honored The Hangover over Nine at the Globes. Will it even be nominated for an Oscar?
CURRENT PREDIX: Avatar, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Invictus, Nine, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air.
Best Director UP: James Cameron, Avatar. Boom! His Golden Globe should look great atop the pile of money that Avatar's made so far. Also, we enjoyed his speeches about peeing. DOWN: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds. Even before tonight the Oscar for Best Director was probably going to go to Cameron (who won the Golden Globe) or Bigelow (who took the Critics' Choice Award on Friday). Still, though — what the hell was Tarantino wearing?
CURRENT PREDIX: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker; James Cameron, Avatar; Lee Daniels, Precious; Jason Reitman, Up in the Air; Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds.
Best Actor UP: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart. All of the past six winners of the Critics' Choice award for Best Actor have gone on to win an Oscar. His Golden Globe tonight doesn't hurt, either. DOWN: George Clooney, Up in the Air. No wins at either of this weekend's big awards shows. Seems like the Oscar is Jeff Bridges' to lose now.
CURRENT PREDIX: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart; George Clooney, Up in the Air; Colin Firth, A Single Man; Morgan Freeman, Invictus; Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker.
Best Actress UP: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side. Two wins (and a pair of nice speeches) this weekend actually sorta make her a plausible leading contender. Wait, what? DOWN: Carey Mulligan, An Education. She sort of needed to win an award this weekend to stay a front-runner. (She did not.)
CURRENT PREDIX: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side; Helen Mirren, The Last Station; Carey Mulligan, An Education; Gabourey Sidibe, Precious; Meryl "T-Bone" Streep, Julie & Julia.
Best Supporting Actor UP: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds. He's won nearly every award he's been eligible for this season, now including a Globe and a Critics' Choice Award. You'd have to be stupid to bet on anyone else at the Oscars. DOWN: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger. We suppose he's probably in second place these days — but even he knows he's going to lose to Christoph Waltz.
CURRENT PREDIX: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger; Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles; Christopher Plummer, The Last Station; Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones; Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds.
Best Supporting Actress UP: Mo'Nique, Precious. Not only did she win two more awards this weekend, but she actually showed up to accept them. Nice speeches, too. DOWN: Penélope Cruz, Nine. She's terrific, yes. But her movie lost to freakin' The Hangover tonight.
CURRENT PREDIX: Penélope Cruz, Nine; Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air; Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air; Mo'nique, Precious; Julianne Moore, A Single Man.
Photo: Courtesy of Fox