The Oscar Race: Where We Are

seanpenn1heathjokerToday’s Directors Guild (DGA) nominations mean that it’s increasingly likely the Best Picture Oscar nominees will be: “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” and “The Dark Knight.” Generally, actors who are in Best Pic-nommed movies have better odds of winning Oscars than actors who are not in such movies. If this year’s list holds, that would mean that Sean Penn (“Milk”) would be more likely to win than Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”), and that they should just hurl the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”) right this instant. The Best Pic list is much less helpful in the women’s races. None of the Best Actress frontrunners (Streep – “Doubt”; Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”; Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”) would have an advantage. Similarly unaffected would be the Best Supporting Actress leaders (Viola Davis, “Doubt”; Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”; Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”). Bottom line: if you want to win your Oscar betting pool this year, you’re going to have to be very good at guessing among the actresses.

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