I have one or two quibbles with this generic early Oscar buzz rundown from the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Ruthie Stein, but none that are worth arguing about. Naah, let’s argue. Her second-tier Best Picture group (i.e., not the most likely but hanging in there) include Little Children (all but dead due to non-existent box-office and Jackie Earl Haley ick factor), The Illusionist (pic’s little-engine-that-could hit status has won industry-wide respect, but Best Picture talk is zip), Flags of Our Fathers (Stein acknowledges mixed reviews and a disappointing audience response but theorizes that the Academy’s respect for Eastwood may see it through — that was the case three or four weeks ago, not now), and the tag team known as “German Shepherd” — i.e., The Good German (which won’t happen), and The Good Shepherd (ditto).
Stein also has Factory Girl‘s Guy Pearce in as a possible Best Actor contender …nope. His Andy Warhol is the best I’ve ever seen (and his screen time is being expanded as we speak) but the part if obviously a supporting one, and I can’t imagine anyone saying different.