-- We seem to have stalled at these six locks for Best Picture, with two others (True Grit and Winter's Bone) supposedly strong bets but with major weaknesses (Grit was blanked at the Golden Globes, while other awards bodies are having a difficult time remembering Bone beyond star Jennifer Lawrence), and three films rotating out of two spots (The Kids Are All Right, which has unsteady buzz, 127 Hours, which really screwed up at the Globes but has the buzz, and The Town, which had manufactured buzz but missing the SAG Ensemble nod hurt--a lot). Hopefully, once the PGA and DGA sound off, we'll have a little more clarity here.
-- Unlike most, I have Darren Aronofsky locked in Best Director while Tom Hooper is only a Good Bet for The King's Speech. I think this year is strange for Best Director, with auteurs really taking the lead. I don't think Hooper will miss the nod, but I also don't think it impossible that he doesn't make the DGA shortlist, which would be tremendously bad for him.
-- Nicole Kidman is now locked in Best Actress. Michelle Williams is basically acting as a placeholder in Longer Shots because I can't come up with a feasible fifth nominee other than her...except for one. See below.
-- Hailee Steinfeld and Mila Kunis edge out Jacki Weaver in Best Supporting Actress, but I still think that's three women jockeying for two spots. However, what if the Oscars reject Steinfeld's obvious category fraud? If they bump her up to lead, making her the fifth nominee (edging out Williams), then Weaver takes her spot back and we have our five. That's the plan that makes the most sense, anyway. And considering exactly how fraudulent the category placement is, I don't think it impossible that this happens.
-- I'll start adding more and more categories as we get closer to the announcement in January. Next to go up will be Best Original Song, Best Original Score (recently thrown into question because of three controversially disqualified scores), Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature. I'll probably hold off on those dreadful Short categories that blanked me 0/3 in predictions last year until after the nominations. The technical nominations will probably come after the nominations as well.
Sound off about the new nominations in the comments!