It’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.


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.


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.



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.



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?


Long shot

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



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