As usual the rankings are based on a mixture of real-world likelihood, pressure of colleagues and the eternal, rock-solid assessments of the Movie Godz.
Birdman‘s Michael Keaton has been in the top Best Actor slot since Telluride and I don’t see that changing, but who knows? Special HE shout-outs to two guys no one is mentioning but whom the Godz are insisting upon — Tom Hardy for his performances in The Drop and Locke, and to Bill Hader for his career-changing Skeleton Twins performance as a sardonic, living-in-emotional-limbo gay guy.
It’s been widely observed that the Best Actress heat afforded to Julianne Moore and her Still Alice performance is about being “owed” plus her fading histrionic actress turn in Maps to the Stars (I still haven’t seen Alice, and probably won’t until the AFI Fest showing.)
In the Best Supporting Actor realm I’m a bit more of an Edward Norton-in-Birdman guy than a cheerleader for J.K. Simmons-in-Whiplash, although I recognize that some believe that Simmons is the current front-runner . I also recognize that conventional wisdom says that Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette is in the lead for Best Supporting Actress, which is well and good except for the fact that Emma Stone‘s Birdman performance blows Arquette’s out of the water.
Obviously I’ve included speculative support for unseen performances…and so what? You know who’s also “owed” as far as the Best Supporting Actor category is concerned? A Most Violent Year‘s Albert Brooks because he wasn’t even nominated in this category for his delicious Drive performance.
Here’s the most recent HE Best Director chart. The Best Picture chart is sitting inside the Oscar Balloon box. Disputes and admonitions are requested. All charts are fluid and malleable.
By the way: I am in awe of Jett Wells‘s ability to bang these four charts out in record time — they had been pre-designed but he did all the resizing and zig-zagging and name-tagging in about 45 minutes.