The Oscar Derby Officially Begins

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The National Board of Review has just announced its list of 2008 winners. Top film is “Slumdog Millionaire.” Quick thoughts: Clint Eastwood (pictured, right), who won Best Actor for “Gran Torino,” should definitely be on the short list now for Oscars, but doesn’t he have enough Academy Awards for Crissakes? No big surprise about Anne Hathaway (pictured, left) as Best Actress for “Rachel Getting Married,” although I still think Meryl Streep (“Doubt”) and Kate Winslet (“Revolutionary Road”) are the ones to beat in that category. On the other hand, is the failure of the NBR to name “Rev Road” on their Top Ten list a signal that it may not get a Best Picture nom, which would hurt Winslet’s chances in Best Actress category? Other NBR news: Josh Brolin won Best Supporting Actor for “Milk,” but he’s always been on the Oscar shortlist. Similarly for Penelope Cruz as Best Supporting Actress for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Most cheering NBR news from my perspective: that Viola Davis won Best Breakthrough for “Doubt.” I’d love it if she beat Cruz for the Oscar, since I think Penelope gives a very Charro-like performance in that Woody Allen film. Finally, while “Slumdog” definitely could win the Best Picture Oscar, keep in mind that the NBR top film and the Oscar have not matched up in 10 years, since “American Beauty.”

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