I didn't predict the Golden Globes because -- let's face it -- the HFPA are a bit of a minefield. Oscar prognostication really solidifies with the Screen Actors Guild's nominations, announced later today.
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network
Alternate: The King's Speech
They've made some terrible choices in the past - not least in 2007 with those "American Gangster" and "3:10 to Yuma" nominations. "The Town" seems to be on everybody's ensemble lists this year, and everybody in it (bar Rebecca Hall) is screaming "Look at me! Look at me!". "The Fighter" and "The Kids Are All Right" have tasty-looking cast lists, and could well grab three acting nominations a piece (if they're lucky.) Picking "Winter's Bone" over "The King's Speech" looks a lil silly, but the latter is losing a bit of steam, and, besides Colin Firth (who'll win here anyway) is anybody bothered about the acting?
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"
Alternate: Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
This one's between seven; all of the above plus Mark Wahlberg, who has yet to receive a sole SAG nomination despite other major Awards notices in "Boogie Nights" and "The Departed". You would expect Robert Duvall to get a lot of votes from the veterans of the organisation (arguably more of an advantage than he would have in the Academy), and they've just given Bridges a prize, so leaving him off ballots isn't that much of a guilty move. Gosling has two SAG nominations in the category, and Eisenberg has the biggest buzz of the moment.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Alternate: Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
In a year this constricted in terms of actual performances noticed (isn't that any year I hear you ask), wouldn't one be tempted to go with what you know? If you're giving Annette Bening her due, and you liked "The Kids Are All Right", then why not throw a bone to Julianne too? After all, the choices beyond that (unless we're talking vote siphoners) seem fairly slim. I think the other four are fairly locked up, given Kidman's renowned professionalism, and the fact she's worked with so many people in the organisation.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Alternate: John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"
Definitely a considerable chance of Mark Ruffalo getting snubbed, but doesn't this feel like an actors movie? I have doubts about Renner's staying power, considering that it's a pretty familiar role in a very mainstream film, but he has momentum on his side, and the performance itself is very decent.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"
Alternate: Dianne Wiest, "Rabbit Hole"
Are four of the five spots locked up already, with the "Fighter" girls doing so well? I'm going with Steinfeld because SAG seem to like younger actors in the Supporting categories. Wiest is a living legend, but is she more on the side of AMPAS nostalgia, ready to steal in come January?