An industry observer who talks to Academy members is starting to think that maybe Alan Arkin might eke out a win against the ogre Eddie Murphy. “[Arkin’s] name is coming up, this and that person has told me they’re voting for him. Plus he’s in a Best Picture nominated film, so [Arkin’s performance] is being seen by a lot of people. Plus it’s not atypical for the Academy to have differences of opinion with SAG, and I’m thinking that such a difference just might be in this category [i.e., Best Supporting Actor].

“Murphy is a veteran, but Arkin is really a veteran, and the bottom line is that I just keep hearing his name…people I talk to on the phone and, like I said, I get stuff all over the map. It’s just another indicator that, at the very least, tells me the Best Supporting Actor category is not wrapped up….it isn’t a Helen Mirren situation. I’m not secure in predicting this absolutely, but there’s a reasonable chance, based on my unscientific readings, that [the winner] might be Arkin.”