I seem to be doing this backwards, having discussed Best Picture already, but oh well. I hadn't seen all the Best Actor films, sue me. Finally polished off the final entry, Sweeney Todd (how embarrassing it took me this long). I'm really not a big Daniel Day-Lewis fan to be honest, but considering that role made the movie, it's impossible to see the statue going anywhere else. Personally, in order for Best Actor, I'd say:
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
They're all awesome, which is the only way I can explain Johnny Depp being last on any list. I serious have a hard time deciding who I'd give it to. Plus you could argue both Tommy Lee Jones and George Clooney weren't really stretching themselves the way some of the other performances did (I found Sweeney Todd disappointing, but that doesn't mean Depp didn't do an awesome job, he apparently wasn't even sure if he could sing!). Clooney did venture a little outside his box, but I find it surprising that he would be considered a sure thing if it weren't for DDL.
They'll give it to...Daniel Day-Lewis
I'd give it to...shit. I want to give it to Mortensen but even I must collapse under the pressure. Daniel Day-Lewis.
Here's where I failed. I just did not get out to see The Savages. I know, it looked so upbeat, too. So I'm going to assume (based on her past performances), Linney's level of awesomeness. I mean shit, it's basically what the Academy does, right? We know you didn't get it last year, and since there's nothing Major We Need To Say this year, here you go. Anyhoo, my personal choices in order, for Best Actress:
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Julie Christie, Away From Her
Ellen Page, Juno
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth
I love me some Cate, but been there, done that, you know? Twenty bucks says the clip they show is the scene where she gets Very Angry and Yells because GOD, it's DRAMA! And Julie Christie is awesome, it was an amazing performance, but jesus, it's just so...heavy. And OSCARY. I found Marion Cotillard's performance unique, remarkable and refreshing. Hands down, my choice. I think Ellen Page is typically considered 3rd in the line-up, and there are even rumors that if all the Cotillard/Christie voting cancels each other out she might snake it. Worse things could happen.
They'll give it to...Julie Christie (though it doesn't seem the sure thing I thought it was).
I'd give it to...Marion Cotillard.
Best Actor In a Supporting Role, in my order of preference...
Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of...
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
This one's also hard, since I have not seen the last two (JJ is still in the other room and by god, we're watching it this afternoon); I've heard really great things about Holbrook's performance and hate to put him last. Could also argue Hoffman's performance isn't anything really new for him, but he brought so much to that role, I really enjoyed it. So bite me. And really, I'd be shocked if anyone stole this from Javier. Unless his haircut could have been nominated, too.
They'll give it to...Javier Bardem. And so would I!
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, my choices in order, though I've only seen 4...
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
I wasn't big on Atonement, but the kid did do a pretty great job. And everyone has been going nuts over Amy Ryan's performance but that always confused me...I mean yes, great job, but I was really more impressed by Casey Affleck's performance in that film. Tilda Swinton is awesome and her getting nominated for this of all things (considering past work) is like Dame Dench and her 8-minute Oscar role. Ruby Dee? Great lady but again, for this?? And I'm Not There, though I'm sure it was here at some point, I seem to have missed. Seems like a Blanchett type of role, though, very much in The Aviator vein of channeling eerie performance chi.
They'll give it to...I have no idea. Either Ruby Dee or Cate Blanchett. Shit, maybe Amy Ryan. See, I don't know. I'll have to decide before betting time, though.
I'd give it to...Tilda Swinton. Because I can play that game, too!
If I get a chance later I'll look at the more important awards (screenplays, cinematography). But the actor awards are such fun piffle...