oscar futures

Oscar Futures: Love Hurts

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 Director UP: Christopher Nolan, Inception. He may make comic-book movies, but he reminds us this week that his are serious, 3-D-less, Riddler-free ones. DOWN: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan. His comic-book movies, though — he just signed up to do Machine Man after Wolverine 2 — make us wonder if he secretly hates attending awards shows.
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. Reviews for his movie are ecstatic, reviews for his book are not bad, and S.T. Vanairsdale has him leapfrogging Firth to top position this week. DOWN: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network. Buzz seems to be cooling down here. Was he really as good as everybody thought a month ago?
CURRENT PREDIX: Jeff Bridges, True Grit; Robert Duvall, Get Low; Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network; Colin Firth, The King's Speech; James Franco, 127 Hours; Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter.
Best Actress UP: Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole. The trailer debuts and, whoa, look at all that acting. (Also, Halle Berry technically "entered the Oscar race" this week, but she still doesn't seem to pose much of a threat.)DOWN: Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs. "She does well by the material," says Kris Tapley, "but she's asked to play a one-trick, woe-is-me character who never finds a genuine end to her arc." (Sorry, Jeffrey Wells.)
CURRENT PREDIX: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right; Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs; Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone; Lesley Manville, Another Year; Natalie Portman, Black Swan.
Best Supporting Actor UP: Sam Rockwell, Conviction. Anne Thompson makes the case: "The role of his career ... Rockwell should finally earn some of the recognition that he deserves." DOWN: Sean Penn, Fair Game. Scott Feinberg reports that Penn will campaign here instead of in lead — which is category fraud, says Kris Tapley, and may not help him much anyway.
CURRENT PREDIX: Christian Bale, The Fighter; Armie Hammer, The Social Network; Ed Harris, The Way Back; Sam Rockwell, Conviction; Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech.
Best Supporting Actress UP: Dianne Wiest, Rabbit Hole. She's looking good in the trailer. DOWN: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit. Is she too young to win? wonders Nathaniel Rogers, using math.
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.
Oscar Futures: Love Hurts