The most likely Best Actor nominees as we speak (in this order): Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln; Joaquin Phoenix, The Master; Denzel Washington, Flight; John Hawkes, The Sessions; Jack Black, Bernie; Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook; Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour; Richard Gere, Arbitrage. Only five nominees. Who gets the axe?

Bernie costars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine at Soho House party the day before yesterday.

If I were a dictatorial Emperor of Hollywood I would give the five nominations to DDL, Denzel, Jack, Hawkes and Bradley Cooper. To hell with Pheonix and his creepy, whiskey-sipping, head-tilt, serpent-tongue routine…”neeeeeeee!!!” Trintignant is very good as the aging husband coping with the end, but somebody has to get chopped. Gere delivers his best performance since Primal Fear but…this doesn’t feel good. I don’t like cutting people. Nominate all eight. I don’t care.