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January 22, 2009

Kate Winslet plus four


So is it Kate Winslet's race to lose now?

She didn't get the Golden Globe-style double nominations, and now her hopes for a first Oscar (five previous nods) all depend on the lead category and her unsympathetic character in "The Reader."

Will it happen?

We say don't count out veteran Meryl Streep or relative newcomer Anne Hathaway.

By the way, those were the three of five nominees that your resident Gold Rusher picked correctly, and most prognosticators had done the same (though most chose Winslet's "Revolutionary Road" gig here). We'd stubbornly stuck by new Globe winner Sally Hawkins in the charming "Happy-Go-Lucky," and Kristen Scott Thomas in the drab "I've Loved You So Long." She spoke French! She was dowdy! We thought for sure the previous Oscar nominee would make it into the group again.

Instead, voters threw a couple of curve balls.

Here's the lineup:

Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Meryl Streep, "Doubt"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"

Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"

Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"

Leo has been a critical and indie film darling for this bleak barely-getting-by tale, but she's in the big league now. Jolie, a supporting actress winner and brother canoodler for "Girl, Interrupted," missed getting nominated last year for "A Mighty Heart," a fine film that no one saw. Though she was very good in "Changeling," audiences didn't much connect with this period drama, and this feels a lot like a make-good to a famous actress (whose partner just logged a nom).

We see this as a real three-way race between Winslet, Streep and Hathaway. 


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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