I’ve just posted last night’s winners in the Oscar Balloon, but Oscar Ballon 2009 will be up and rolling sometime this weekend, certainly by Sunday night. I’ve already started this discussion but right now I’m looking for imaginative but not-too-loopy spitball nominations in nine major categories — Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress, Original and Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography.

In no particular order: Clint Eastwood‘s rugby-themed Mandela (or Playing The Enemy); Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, Terrence Malick‘s Tree of Life, Paul Greengrass‘s The Green Zone, Pedro Almodovar‘s Broken Embraces, Lone Scherfig‘s An Education (with a promising Best Actress nomination for Carey Mulligan), Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones, and Rob Marshall‘s Nine.

Plus Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Biutiful, John Hillcoat‘s The Road, Mikael Hafstrom‘s Shanghai, Stephen FrearsCher, Ang Lee‘s Taking Woodstock, Steven Soderbergh‘s The Informant and Nora Ephron‘s Julie and Julia.

Plus The Last Station with Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti ; Young Victoria with Emily Blunt, Miranda Richardson and James Broadbent; 1939 with Maggie Smith ; Bright Star with Abbie Cornish; John Madden‘s The Debt. And what else?