||UP: David Fincher (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). What a difference two weeks make! When Dragon Tattoo debuted, pundits wrote off its Oscar chances, but it's been a sleeper surprise at the guilds. The biggest prize -- a DGA nomination for Fincher this week -- takes Tattoo from a perceived long shot to a safe bet.
||DOWN: Steven Spielberg (War Horse). Spielberg's DGA snub was a shocker. His defenders point out that the Director's Guild has way more rank-and-file members than the Academy's very select directors branch, but that makeup should have favored Spielberg, a studio mogul who's created countless jobs in film and television.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris); David Fincher (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo); Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist); Alexander Payne (The Descendants); Martin Scorsese (Hugo);
||UP: George Clooney (The Descendants). In the most unsettled of the acting races -- where it feels like Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Jean Dujardin each have a shot at the Oscar -- Clooney's Critics Choice award only helps.
||DOWN: Michael Fassbender (Shame). Shame is already losing theaters (and awards steam). Both it and A Dangerous Method are holding back on theatrical expansion until a potential Oscar nomination ups Fassbender's star power, but are they waiting until it's too late?
|CURRENT PREDIX: George Clooney (The Descendants); Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar); Jean Dujardin (The Artist); Michael Fassbender (Shame); Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
||UP: Viola Davis (The Help). Critics Choice award winner Davis is pulling ahead of close contender Meryl Streep, thanks to one classy, warm acceptance speech after another.
||DOWN: Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn). She'll get nominated, for sure, but even Young Adult -- a perceived underperformer starring competitor Charlize Theron -- is now outgrossing the stalled Marilyn.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs); Viola Davis (The Help); Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo); Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady); Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
|Best Supporting Actor
||UP: Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). James Franco's passionate editorial praising Serkis put the spotlight back on the motion-capture innovator during the crucial end period of Oscar voting.
||DOWN: Albert Brooks (Drive). He had a good chance at taking home the Critics Choice award, but season-long frontrunner Christopher Plummer triumphed instead.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn); Albert Brooks (Drive); Jonah Hill (Moneyball); Nick Nolte (Warrior); Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
|Best Supporting Actress
||UP: Octavia Spencer (The Help). She's got surging competition from Melissa McCarthy and her own costar Jessica Chastain, but red carpet fixture Spencer is suddenly everywhere, and she racked up a good win from the Broadcast Film Critics last night.
||DOWN: Shailene Woodley (The Descendants). She lost to Spencer in the Critics Choice category for Best Supporting Actress, and she even lost to super-adorable Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close star Thomas Horn for the ceremony's Best Young Actor honor.
|CURRENT PREDIX: Berenice Bejo (The Artist); Jessica Chastain (The Help); Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids); Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs); Octavia Spencer (The Help)