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Oscar Futures: True Grit, James Franco Get a Bump

Every week between now and January 25 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: True Grit. The full trailer debuts, and, man, does this thing look great. DOWN: The Social Network. A backlash from the digerati, a PR push from Mark Zuckerberg, and this Times story, which cites the movie's "less than spectacular box office performance" as reason that Network's "not looking quite as bulletproof as many thought it was."
CURRENT PREDIX: 127 Hours, Another Year, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit.
Best Director UP: Peter Weir, The Way Back. He's been nominated four times (but never won), and this week his first movie since 2003's Master and Commander got an Oscar-qualifying release date. DOWN: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan. A Superman reboot would have been one thing — but how will Oscar voters feel about him maybe directing a Wolverine sequel?
CURRENT PREDIX: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan; Danny Boyle, 127 Hours; David Fincher, The Social Network; Tom Hooper, The King's Speech; Christopher Nolan, Inception.
Best Actor UP: James Franco, 127 Hours. The movie's full trailer dropped yesterday with a blurb declaring his "one of the greatest performances of all time." It looks nominatable, at least. DOWN: Javier Bardem, Biutiful. With Eisenberg and Firth locks, and Bridges and Franco up this week, this category is getting pretty crowded. And nobody's seen The Fighter yet ...
CURRENT PREDIX: Javier Bardem, Biutiful; Jeff Bridges, True Grit; Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network; Colin Firth, The King's Speech; James Franco, 127 Hours; Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter.
Best Actress UP: Diane Lane, Secretariat. They're in an awesome, bizarro feud over the movie itself, but both Roger Ebert and Andrew O'Hehir agree she's terrific in it.DOWN: Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs. S.T. Vanairsdale hears Love is "miscategorized as an Oscar-season hopeful ... Hathaway’s performance is fine (the Academy loves disabilities) but talk to me after you’ve seen it."
CURRENT PREDIX: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right; Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs; Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole; Lesley Manville, Another Year; Natalie Portman, Black Swan.
Best Supporting Actor UP: Ed Harris, The Way Back. Can you believe he's never won? That could help him in a race in which serial award winner Geoffrey Rush is the front-runner. DOWN: Sam Rockwell, Conviction. He's allegedly great, but nobody seems too excited about his movie.
CURRENT PREDIX: Christian Bale, The Fighter; Andrew Garfield, The Social Network; Sam Rockwell, Conviction; Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right; Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech.
Best Supporting Actress UP: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom. Kingdom's the first DVD screener to hit voters' mailboxes, and she's its best hope. DOWN: Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy. She's always excellent, and her movie's getting okay reviews, but she didn't get much of a bump this week.
CURRENT PREDIX: Helena Bonham-Carter, The King's Speech; Melissa Leo, The Fighter; Miranda Richardson, Made in Dagenham; Sissy Spacek, Get Low; Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit.