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Oscar, Oscar: Who will win?

Among the influential awards and honors we will be tracking here:

Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA): 12/11

New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC): 12/13

National Society of Film Critics (NSFC): 01/08/05

Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA):

National Board of Review (NBR): 12/1

IFP Independent Spirit Awards (ISA): 2/25/05

American Film Institute Awards (AFI): 12/12

Golden Globes (GG) Drama nomination (GGd) Musical or Comedy nomination: (GGmc) nominations: 01/06/05 winners: 01/16/05

Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG): 02/05/05

Directors Guild of America Awards (DGA): 02/2005

Writers Guild of America Awards (WGA): 02/19/05

Producers Guild of America Awards (PGA): 02/2005

American Society of Cinematographers Awards(ASC): 02/13/05

* An asterisk next to the acronym for one of the nominating groups (NBR, GG, ISA, SAG, DGA, WGA, PGA) indicates the winner from that nominating group.

Updated February 21: With the WGA ignoring both the leading Best Picture contenders, and awarding screenplay honors to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Sideways," the historical odds tilt decidedly in favor of "The Aviator." Only twice in the last ten years has a film won the Best Picture Oscar without taking at least two of the three guild awards (WGA, DGA, PGA) for which it was eligible; and in the two years where a single guild-award-winner did take Best Picture ("Shakespeare in Love" in 1998 and "Gladiator" in 2000) the winner was also the choice of the Producers Guild. And this year, that was "The Aviator."

Updated February 14: The SAG awards last weekend make it appear more than ever that Oscar night's big awards may be divvied up between the leading contenders: "Million Dollar Baby," "The Aviator," and (maybe, I hope) "Sideways."

Eastwood has already been named best director by the Director's Guild (DGA), while the best picture-prognosticating Producer's Guild (PGA) gave their top film award to "The Aviator."

SAG did the expected in giving Jamie Foxx best actor for "Ray," and then awarded Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman best actress and supporting actor for "Million Dollar Baby" and Cate Blanchett (as Kate Hepburn) best supporting actress for "The Aviator."

So, this is where it gets a little weird: "Sideways" nominees Paul Giamatti (actor), Virginia Madsen (supporting actress), and Thomas Haden Church (supporting actor) were shut out of the individual acting categories, but "Sideways" was honored with the best ensemble cast award (something the Academy does not deign to bestow).

So, the all-around best-acted movie of the year doesn't earn SAG awards for the individual actors, just the group as a whole? Doesn't make much sense, but it's happened before -- last year, in fact, when "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" took the ensemble honors while Johnny Depp ("Pirates of the Caribbean"), Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Renee Zellweger ("Cold Mountain"), and Tim Robbins ("Mystic River") took the individual SAG acting awards. The last three also took home Oscars.

I would not be surprised if this year the awards got sprinkled all over the place -- with actress, supporting actor and best picture going to "Million Dollar Baby"; supporting actress (maybe), original screenplay and director going to "The Aviator"; and adapted screenplay going to "Sideways."

That's the way it looks to me right now. Check back for updates as more pre-Oscar accolades come in. The Writers Guild (WGA), which hands out its awards Saturday night (Feb. 19), could change the picture considerably. Or not...

"Sideways" (NBR, AFI, LAFCA, NYFCC, CFCA, ISA, GGmc*, ISA, PGA) "Finding Neverland" (NBR*, GGd, PGA) "Million Dollar Baby" (NBR, AFI, NSFC, GGd, PGA) "The Aviator" (NBR, AFI, GGd*, PGA*) "Ray" (NBR, GGmc)

Conspicuously absent: "Kinsey" (NBR, AFI, GGd, ISA) "Closer" (NBR, GGd) "Hotel Rwanda" (NBR, GGd) "Vera Drake" "The Passion of the Christ" "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby" (NYFCC, CFCA, GG*, DGA*) Alexander Payne, "Sideways" (LAFCA, GG, ISA, DGA) Martin Scorsese, "The Aviator" (GG, DGA) Taylor Hackford, "Ray" (DGA) Mike Leigh, "Vera Drake"

Conspicuously absent: Marc Forster, "Finding Neverland" (GG, DGA) Mike Nichols, "Closer" (GG)

Jamie Foxx, "Ray" (NBR, GGmc*, NSFC [tie], SAG*) Johnny Depp, "Finding Neverland" (GGd, SAG) Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Aviator" (GGd*, SAG) Don Cheadle, "Hotel Rwanda" (GGd, SAG) Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby"

Conspicuously absent: Paul Giamatti, "Sideways" (NYFCC, CFCA, GGmc, ISA, SAG) Javier Bardem, "The Sea Inside" (GGd) Liam Neeson, "Kinsey" (LAFCA, GGd, ISA)

Imelda Staunton, "Vera Drake" (LAFCA, NYFCC, CFCA, GGd, NSFC [tie], SAG) Annette Bening, "Being Julia" (NBR, GGmc*, SAG) Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby" (GGd*, NSFC [tie], SAG*) Kate Winslet, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (GGmc, SAG) Catalina Sandino Moreno, "Maria Full of Grace" (ISA, SAG)

Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways" (NBR, LAFCA, CFCA, GG, ISA, NSFC, SAG) Clive Owen, "Closer" (NYFCC, GG*) Jamie Foxx, "Collateral" (GG, NSFC [tie], SAG) Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby" (GG, SAG*) Alan Alda, "The Aviator"

Virginia Madsen, "Sideways" (LAFCA, NYFCC, CFCA, GG, ISA, NSFC, SAG) Laura Linney, "Kinsey" (NBR, GG, SAG) Cate Blanchett, "The Aviator" (GG, SAG*) Natalie Portman, "Closer" (GG*) Sophie Okonedo, "Hotel Rwanda" (SAG)

Conspicuously absent: Meryl Streep, "The Manchurian Candidate" (GG)

Ensemble cast (not an Oscar category)

"The Aviator" (SAG) "Closer" (NBR) "Finding Neverland" (SAG) "Hotel Rwanda" (SAG) "Million Dollar Baby" (SAG) "Ray" (SAG) "Sideways" (SAG*)

Charlie Kaufman, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (NBR, WGA*, GG) John Logan, "The Aviator" (WGA, GG) Keir Pearson & Terry George, "Hotel Rwanda" (WGA) Brad Bird, "The Incredibles" Mike Leigh, "Vera Drake"

Conspicuously absent: Bill Condon, "Kinsey" (ISA, WGA) Zach Braff, "Garden State" (ISA [debut screenplay], WGA)

Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, "Sideways" (NBR, LAFCA, NYFCC, CFCA, WGA*, GG*, ISA, NSFC) Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, "Before Sunset" (ISA, WGA) Paul Haggis, "Million Dollar Baby" (WGA) Jose Rivera, "The Motorcycle Diaries" (WGA) David Magee, "Finding Neverland" (GG)

Conspicuously absent: Patrick Marber, "Closer" (GG)

"The Sea Inside" - Spain (NBR*, GG*, ISA) "The Chorus" ("Les Choristes") - France (NBR, GG) "As It Is in Heaven" - Sweden "Downfall" - Germany "Yesterday" - South Africa

Conspicuously absent: "Moolaade" - Senegal (NSFC) "House of Flying Daggers" - Hong Kong (LAFCA, GG) "Bad Education" - Spain (NBR, NYFCC, ISA) [NOTE: The Spanish submission was "The Sea Inside"] "A Very Long Engagement" - France (CFCA, GG) [NOTE: The French submission was "The Chorus"] "The Motorcycle Diaries" - Brazil (NBR, GG)

First Screenplay (not an Oscar category)

Rodney Evans, "Brother to Brother" (ISA) Zach Braff, "Garden State" (ISA) Joshua Marston, "Maria Full of Grace" (ISA) Shane Carruth, "Primer" (ISA) Mario F. De La Vega, "Robbing Peter" (ISA)

"Born into Brothels" (NBR, LAFCA) "The Story of the Weeping Camel" (NBR, NSFC) "Super Size Me" (NBR) "Tupac: Resurrection" "Twist of Faith"

Conspicuously absent: "Bright Leaves" (ISA) "Tarnation" (ISA, NSFC) "Chisolm '72: Unbought & Unbossed" (ISA) "Fahrenheit 9/11" (CFCA, NYFCC)

Caleb Deschanel, "The Passion of the Christ" (ASC) Bruno Delbonnel, "A Very Long Engagement" (ASC*) Robert Richardson, "The Aviator" (CFCA [tie], ASC) John Mathieson, "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera"

Conspicuously absent: Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron, "Collateral" (LAFCA, ASC) Christopher Doyle, "Hero" (CFCA [tie}, NYFCC) Pawel Edelman, "Ray" (ASC) Xiaoding Zhao, "House of Flying Daggers" (NSFC)

"The Incredibles" (NBR, LAFCA, NYFCC) "Shark Tale" "Shrek 2"

Conspicuously absent: "The Polar Express"

Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, "Finding Neverland" (NBR) John Williams, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" Thomas Newman, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" John Debney, "The Passion of the Christ" James Newton Howard, "The Village"

Conspicuously absent: Clint Eastwood, “Million Dollar Baby” (GG) Howard Shore, “The Aviator” (CFCA, GG*)

"Accidentally in Love" -- "Shrek 2" (GG) "Believe" -- "The Polar Express" (GG) "Learn to Be Lonely" -- "The Phantom of the Opera" (GG) "Al Otro Lado Del Río" -- "The Motorcycle Diaries" "Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" -- "The Chorus"

Conspicuously absent: "Old Habits Die Hard" -- "Alfie" (GG*) "Million Voices" -- "Hotel Rwanda" (GG)

National Board of Review: "Finding Neverland," "The Aviator," "Closer," "Million Dollar Baby," "Sideways," "Kinsey," "Vera Drake," "Ray," "Collateral," "Hotel Rwanda"

NBR Best Foreign Language Films: "The Sea Inside," "Bad Education," "Maria Full of Grace," "The Chorus (Les Choristes)," "The Motorcycle Diaries"

NBR Top Five Documentaries: "Born into Brothels," "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession," "Paper Clips," "Super Size Me," "The Story of the Weeping Camel"

American Film Institute (listed alphabetically): "The Aviator," "Collateral," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Friday Night Lights," "The Incredibles," "Kinsey," "Maria Full of Grace," "Million Dollar Baby," "Sideways," "Spider-Man 2"

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