Back in May I had laid out how the Oscar race seemed pretty set early on in the best Actor category. Despite the many potential best actor nominees, early on names like Daniel Day-Lewis and Denzel Washington were being thrown around.
While I was more impressed with Crowe's acting in American Gangster, it's clear that Denzel Washington has the buzz behind him and an excellent shot at getting his 6th academy award nomination.
George Clooney's role in Michael Clayton while certainly not over the top and dramatic, is a nuanced title role in a film that won't be completely void of buzz and award announcements (plus the Academy loves him and other co-stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson will likely have buzz as well)
Daniel Day Lewis is still bringing in the buzz for his much anticipated role in P.T. Anderson's film There Will Be Blood.
The crazy buzz for Reservation Road and Jaoquin Phoenix had died. (Last March I blogged about how Reservation Road seemed to have unprecedented buzz behind it...it did)
And while Tom Hanks had his glory days with the Academy it's still unclear as to what role Charlie Wilson's War will play in this years award line-up, but more and more, I'm thinking Tom Hanks will not be receiving his 6th Oscar nomination this year. While Johnny Depp has turned up the juice, and could receive his 3rd nomination for Sweeney Todd (they're loving him this decade).
The only name clearly worth adding to the four remaining contenders from may (Washington, Clooney, Day-Lewis, Depp) is James McAvoy whose buzz for the highly anticipated film Atonement just seems to continue to grow.
So with that I present an updated image of the face of the predicted best actor nominees for 2007:
It would seem to me at this point that the shakiest nomination potential are for Clooney and Depp (Tim Burton isn't known for scoring nods for his actors). Yet the lack of a clear replacement secures there place.
The other true potential nominees in this catagory as I see it could be: Emile Hirsh, Into The Wild; Tommy Lee Jones, In The Valley of Elah; Phillip Seymore Hoffman, The Savages or Before the Devil Knows Your Dead.
If you haven't seen the movies mentioned here yet consider buying them online. If you're taking a trip it's easy to enjoy cheap movies from your hotel room with portable dvd players and other quality electronics.