We lamely present you with a carbon copy of the SAG's own nominees for Best Actor, which admittedly makes for an unusually strong lineup of performances—all from, except for The Hurt Locker, exceptionally weak films. If you think there's wiggle room here, take note: Because Colin Firth and Morgan Freeman are still solidly in this race, even though Tom Ford's embarrassing impersonation of Wong Kar Wai throughout A Single Man and Clint Eastwood's dully exploitative pushing of a Mandela-as-Obama message in his elegantly composed Afterschool Special Invictus didn't do either actor any favors, it's probably unlikely that Viggo Mortensen will sneak in for The Road, which has unfairly gotten less love this award season than those two films.
Otherwise: What Eric said yesterday. As with Tilda Swinton in Julia, all you need is eyes and ears to know that Joaquin Phoenix gave the richest, ballsiest male performance of last year in James Gray's Two Lovers, but we're not going to castigate Dave Karger and his ilk for refusing to promote this fine turn from the future rapper. Because, while they didn't, Two Lovers wasn't even eligible for Oscar consideration, having played on HDNet prior to its Los Angeles opening last year. That said, if AMPAS can bend its rules and place those who cast votes in the Foreign Language category on patrol as punishment for years of egregious blunders, isn't it time that the Oscars got with the times and acknowledged that movies today, from Avatar to Two Lovers, are no longer distributed the same way as they were back when Gone with the Wind premiered? Can we get a witness?
Will Be Nominated: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Should Be Nominated: Colin Firth (A Single Man), Joseph Gordon-Levitt ((500) Days of Summer), Hal Holbrook (That Evening Sun), Joaquin Phoenix (Two Lovers), and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)