Falling off: Inherent Vice, Interstellar, Unbroken
Rising star: Whiplash
The skinny: Well, that was an interesting month. With some early critics’ groups already throwing their support behind frontrunner Boyhood, it didn’t seem like much had changed. Then the SAG and HFPA announced their nominations and whoa. Once sure things like Unbroken and Inherent Vice were nowhere to be found. I still don’t think there will be 10 Best Picture nominees, but now anything can happen.
Falling off: Bennett Miller, P.T. Anderson, Angelina Jolie
Rising star: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
The skinny: Is Eastwood actually a good director? That’s the debate going on, despite his National Board of Review win. He’s been hit or miss with the Academy (understandable given his prolific nature), but the Directors Guild will make this decision for them.
Falling off: Joaquin Phoenix
Rising star: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
The skinny: With Selma surging (slowly), Joaquin gets snubbed again. And while I don’t think Gyllenhaal has a shot with the Academy (his role is too unlikable and he hasn’t been nominated since Brokeback Mountain), his string of nominations elsewhere is certainly impressive.
Falling off: Meryl Streep (moved to supporting)
Rising star: Hilary Swank, The Homesman
The skinny: With the Globes and SAG Awards matching this list exactly, I think we’re done here.
Falling off: Channing Tatum
Rising star: Robert Duvall, The Judge
The skinny: Channing Tatum absolutely deserves to be in this conversation. Foxcatcher is his career-best performance, and if Jonah Hill can get nominated twice, I don’t see why he can’t. Robert Duvall is back again, despite The Judge getting critically ransacked and failing at the box office. Why he has a shot for this but was snubbed for Get Low, I’ll never understand.
Falling off: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Laura Dern, Katherine Waterston
Rising star: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
The skinny: A sharp group of younger and older, veterans and newbies. But man, I’d love to see Tilda Swinton up here.
Falling off: Nothing
Rising star, still: American Sniper
The skinny: Well, if Unbroken really is done for, American Sniper certainly has a shot. But it has to get something, right?
Falling off: Foxcatcher
Rising star: Nightcrawler
The skinny: I can see Whiplash being the benefactor of the “Sorry We’re Not Going to Nominate You for Best Picture” nomination, but Nightcrawler could just as easily take that spot.
Falling off: Nothing
Rising star: The Book of Life
The skinny: I don’t see this really changing, but The Book of Life could make a case.