Nothing much changed, which pretty much means that no answers have been put out about the year’s potentials. I’m looking towards Tim Roth to be a possible standout in “Selma” while Domnhall Gleeson may be the breakout of “Unbroken.” There are a little bit of rumblings of Dominic West in “Pride” as well. This is all a mystery right now. Bring on TIFF and NYFF.
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE
1. Mark Ruffalo
FOR HIM: Previous nominee for "The Kids are All Right." Has another praised performance in "Begin Again." Was said to be a true standout in Cannes.
AGAINST HIM: There's still a chance that Steve Carell joins him in a Supporting bid which may steal a lot of votes.
2. Edward Norton
Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
FOR HIM: Two nominations under his belt and he hasn't been in the hunt in over fifteen years. If co-star Michael Keaton is as great as we think he may be, he could pull someone like Norton in for the ride.
AGAINST HIM: How big is his part?
3. J.K. Simmons
FOR HIM: A veteran who is said to deliver one of his best turns yet. In a category that loves to reward vets, he may be a near shoo-in..
AGAINST HIM: There's still no telling if the Sundance buzz will translate to all of the U.S.. This could be a smaller film which leaves him out.
4. Logan Lerman
FOR HIM: Trailer showed that he could be a standout. After being completely ignored for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," this could be an entry way for him. Maybe this generation's Timothy Hutton?
AGAINST HIM: It's hard to standout in war films with this many male players. Look at people like Nick Nolte, Tom Sizemore, etc.
5. Robert Duvall
FOR HIM: A veteran who has proven that he still has it after all these years as we have seen in "The Road." Has what seems like a very complex, and complicated role.
AGAINST HIM: How much do the much publicized rewrites actually mean?.
THE NEXT FIVE CONTENDERS
6. Christoph Waltz
FOR HIM: Two-time Academy Award winner in a villainous type role. This could be another great turn for him.
AGAINST HIM: Could go lead.
7. Josh Brolin
FOR HIM: Was semi-good in "Labor Day" and is looking for his second nomination following "Milk." If this Anderson film is a big player, someone could get swept in.
AGAINST HIM: Internal competition.
8. Domhnall Gleeson
FOR HIM: Has a lot of the tricks that warrant Oscar attention like massive weight loss. Early word is very positive.
AGAINST HIM: Rather unknown and has internal competition.
9. Tim Roth
FOR HIM: Former Oscar nominee for "Rob Roy." Plays George Wallace, a pretty ruthless historical figure. Could be one to watch.
AGAINST HIM: It's co-lead-ish. May not buy it here.
10. James Corden
Into the Woods
FOR HIM: It's a performance that is said to be borderline lead. He has some terrific songs as well. If they go for the film in a big way, could he "John C. Reilly" himself into the lineup?
AGAINST HIM: Rather unknown. This seems to be more about the ladies.
OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS
11. John Lithgow
Love is Strange
Outstanding performance that straddles the line of co-lead, which helps in Supporting.
12. Michael Shannon
"Revolutionary Road" and "Take Shelter" were just the tip of the iceberg. This could be something substantial. Playing at TIFF.
13. James Franco
Playing a murderer which could offer him some new and exciting things.
14. Albert Brooks
A Most Violent Year
Because that "Drive" snub still stings for some.
15. Robert Pattinson
Map to the Stars
Is beginning to show his range. He also has "Queen of the Desert." His "Twilight" days may be long behind him.
16. Adam Sandler
Men, Women, & Children
Sandler has proven his talent in films like "Reign Over Me" and "Punch Drunk Love." Will Reitman push him over the edge?
17. Joel Edgerton
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Surprisingly did not look terrible in the trailer. That's all we can say for now.
18. Dominic West
Thomas McCarthy often gets very special things from his actors. His miss for "Ghost World" still remains inexcusable.
Clayton Davis started to write professionally in his sophomore year of college when Johnny Alba, the editor and owner of the old Oscar prediction site, The Oscar Igloo, had an opening for staff writers. Clayton wrote for The Igloo for nearly four years before being appointed editor and revamping and renaming The Oscar Igloo into the now popular mega-site, The Awards Circuit. Since then, Clayton has become a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to awards season show, The Critics Choice Awards. Most recently, Clayton is a now an active member of the International Press Academy, which hosts the popular Satellite Awards as well as the newly integrated Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which hosts the Critics Choice Television Awards. In June 2014 he became the year's first accepted member to New York Film Critics Online. He has been quoted in various outlets (CNN.com, Bloomberg.com, TheWrap.com, AceShowbiz.com, SlashFilm.com, ScottFeinberg.com) and continues to raise the bar for film-talking enthusiasts around the globe.