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Oscar roundup: October 9

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Michelle-Monaghan_lIt’s quite a busy week for OscarWatchers, with the release of the Sundance hit An Education (a certain nominee in at least a couple categories), along with a handful of other indies that have possible nomination chances: Trucker (featuring Michelle Monaghan, pictured here), The Damned United, and Bronson. You can also toss in Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, for good measure.

AN EDUCATION

Best Bets

Best Actress, Carey Mulligan: Next to Meryl Streep, she’s the strongest lock in the category this year.

Best Supporting Actor, Alfred Molina: Hard to believe he’s never been nominated before. His memorable turn as a stern but loving dad should change that.

Best Adapted Screenplay, Nick Hornby: Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz, and Peter Hedges turned his novel About A Boy into an Oscar-nominated screenplay. Now he could very well do the same with Lynn Barber’s memoir.

Possibles

Best Picture: Having double the nominee slots helps its case. But are the reviews strong enough?

Best Director, Lone Scherfig: It’s not a showy film, but the Danish filmmaker handles An Education’s touchy subject matter with great verve and sensitivity.

Best Supporting Actor, Peter Sarsgaard: Molina gets to chew more scenery. But if the film becomes an overall contender, Sarsgaard could have a shot at his first career nod.

TRUCKER

Possible

Best Actress, Michelle Monaghan: Monaghan breathes new life into a familiar construct—the gorgeous actress who goes non-glam—in this tiny indie. But if some of her higher-profile late-year competitors disappoint, she could benefit.

THE DAMNED UNITED

Possible

Best Actor, Michael Sheen: Sheen turns in yet another fine performance as a real British person. But will American audiences show any interest in a movie about a soccer coach?

BRONSON

Long shot

Best Actor, Tom Hardy: Grisly nude violence did the trick for Eastern Promises’ Viggo Mortensen. But will anybody see this British drama?

GOOD HAIR

Possible

Best Documentary: The doc branch doesn’t usually go for comedic non-fiction films, nor ones that people actually see. Chris Rock should hope the movie flops; that way he might have a chance for a nomination.

Photo credit: Kevin Estrada