I’m updating HE’s Oscar Balloon this morning with the following. As always, disputes, corrections and beyond-the-ballpark suggestions are welcome. “HE approved” obviously means favored status, rooting factor, etc.

Best Picture Likelies (in this order, right now): 1. Birdman (HE approved); 2. Boyhood; 3. The Theory of Everything; 4. The Imitation Game; 5. Foxcatcher; 6. The Grand Budapest Hotel. Unseen Best Picture Spitballs: 1. Interstellar; 2. A Most Violent Year; 3. Gone Girl; 4. American Sniper; 5. The Gambler; 6. Into The Woods; 7. Selma; 8. Inherent Vice; 9. Unbroken; 10. Big Eyes; 11. Mr. Turner; 12. Fury.

Most Visually Ravishing, “Painterly” Best Picture Contender: Mr. Turner, although I’d like to see it with subtitles sometime down the road.

Best Director: Alejandro González Inarritu, Birdman (HE approved); 2. Richard Linklater, Boyhood; 3. James Marsh, The Theory of Everything; 4. Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game; 5. Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher; 6. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Director Maybes: Christopher Nolan, Interstellar; JC Chandor, A Most Violent Year; Angelina Jolie, Unbroken; David Ayer, Fury; Clint Eastwood, American Sniper; David Fincher, Gone Girl.

Best Actor: 1. Michael Keaton, Birdman (HE approved); 2. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything; 3. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; 4. Steve Carell, Foxcatcher; 5. Tom Hardy, The Drop/Locke. 6. Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner (despite my inability to hear half of Spall’s dialogue due to his all-but-indecipherable British working-class accent); 7. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler; 8. Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice; 9. Ben Affleck, Gone Girl; 10. Bill Hader, The Skeleton Twins.

Tragic Absence of Sublime, World-Class Lead Performance due to (no offense to Roadside) an overly cautious release strategy: Paul Dano as Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy.

Best Actress: 1. Julianne Moore, Still Alice (is Sony Pictures Classics going to screen this any time soon or what?); 2. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; 3. Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year/Miss Julie/Eleanor Rigby; 4. Anne Dorval, Mommy; 5. Reese Witherspoon, Wild; 6. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; 7. Shailene Woodley, The Fault In Our Stars.

Best Supporting Actor: 1. Edward Norton, Birdman (HE approved); 2. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (HE approved); 3. Ethan Hawke, Boyhood; 4. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher; 5. Albert Brooks, A Most Violent Year; 6. Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice. 7. Benicio Del Toro, Inherent Vice. The Anti-Contender (i.e., not a snowball’s chance in hell): Michael Caine, Interstellar.

Best Supporting Actress: 1. Emma Stone, Birdman (HE approved); 2. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood; 3. Kristen Stewart, Still Alice / Clouds of Sils Maria / Camp X-Ray; 4. Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game; 5. Jessica Lange, The Gambler; 6. Vanessa Redgrave, Foxcatcher.