Here's where it stands...
1. Slumdog Millionaire
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. The Reader
Note: Slumdog just can't stop winning awards. At this point, if it didn't win, it would be as big an upset as Brokeback Mountain in 2006. But don't expect to be surprised.
1. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
2. David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
3. Gus Van Sant, Milk
4. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
5. Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Note: Boyle wins...no matter what.
1. Kate Winslet, The Reader
2. Meryl Streep, Doubt
3. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
4. Melissa Leo, Frozen River
5. Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Note: Winslet and Streep, neck-and-neck. Hard telling. My money's on Winslet for now, since this Reader performance has been the most honored of the year when you consider the fact that it has garnered both lead and supporting awards.
1. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
2. Sean Penn, Milk
3. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
4. Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
5. Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Note: Another two-person race. I still have a feeling about Mickey, though.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2. Viola Davis, Doubt
3. Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
4. Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. Amy Adams, Doubt
Note: With Winslet out of the mix, Penelope Cruz is likely back in the top spot. It's been about five months since Vicky Cristina Barcelona was released and Cruz picked up very early "Oscar Frontrunner" status, so that heat sure seems to have faded...but who's gonna beat her?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
2. Josh Brolin, Milk
3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
4. Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
5. Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Note: Is it even worth discussing?
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
2. John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
3. Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. David Hare, The Reader
5. Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Note: Beaufoy is your winner.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon, Wall-E
2. Dustin Lance Black, Milk
3. Martin McDonaugh, In Bruges
4. Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
5. Mike Leigh, Happy Go Lucky
Note: Another category that's down to two: Wall-E v. Milk. I think it's the robot's award to lose.