I'm sick as all hell, grumpy, and my mind ain't much good for nothing but thinking about the Oscars. So here are my choices (at least, who I think will win in terms of my model Academy voter). And, in case you're wondering, here's how the nominees are chosen and then voted for. My selections are in red, with my reasoning in italics.
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
George Clooney in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah" (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises" (Focus Features)
There's no competition here: the juiciest part being played by the juiciest actor and in a film that's anti-capitalist and anti-fundamentalist.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War" (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)