With the announcement of Oscar nominations early Wednesday morning our time, here are my final predictions for which actors will make the cut. I am also having an alternate (or two) in each category. As there are 10 nominees this year in the Best Picture category, I will do a separate post for that prior to Wednesday.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Penelope Cruz – Nine (although it really should be Marion Cotillard!)
Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
Mo'Nique – Precious
Julianne Moore – A Single Man
Alternate: Samantha Morton – The Messenger: A two-time nominee and well regarded. Moore, unfortunately, is most susceptible.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
Alternate: Alfred Molina – An Education: This respected actor could be carried along by other nominations for this wonderful film. Damon the most susceptible.
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia
Alternates: Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria: A Golden Globe nominee and playing a queen never hurt anyone at the Oscars; Abbie Cornish – Bright Star: While no Globes or SAG love, it's not unprecedented to still get an Oscar nod (eg Laura Linney for The Savages). Mirren is most susceptible.
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up in the Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
Alternates: Viggo Mortensen – The Road; Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man. If either of these guys' films gets a Best Picture nod they could be carried along. Sadly, Renner is the most susceptible.