OSCAR PREDICTION CHARTS — January 19, 2009 (FINAL PREDICTIONS)

NUTSHELL: With just four days left to go in phase one of the Oscar season, the safest calls have announced themselves loud and clear. For the most part, it seems foolish not to heed their call, and so the final update might come off as a rather boring one. We still can’t deny the potential impact of Clint Eastwood’s late release “Gran Torino,” or the possibility that Pixar’s “WALL-E” resonates more than the precursors allowed. But the Academy is a fickle bunch, so we can’t rule out any number of left-field possibilities. Who knows what kind of “City of God” stunner is in the wings? Time will tell.

Column: “Enough foreplay”

Sort charts by: Main Categories/Technical Categories

BEST PICTURE
1 “Slumdog Millionaire”
Fox Searchlight Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures
2 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Paramount Pictures
3 “Frost/Nixon”
Universal Pictures
4 “Milk”
Focus Features
5 “The Dark Knight”
Warner Bros. Pictures
6 “Gran Torino”
Warner Bros. Pictures
up
7 “The Reader”
The Weinstein Company
up
8 “WALL-E”
Walt Disney Pictures
down
9 “The Wrestler”
Fox Searchlight Pictures
down
10 “Doubt”
Miramax Films
down

DIRECTING
1 Danny Boyle
“Slumdog Millionaire”
2 David Fincher
“The Curious case of Benjamin Button”
3 Christopher Nolan
“The Dark Knight”
4 Gus Van Sant
“Milk”
5 Ron Howard
“Frost/Nixon”
up
6 Darren Aronofsky
“The Wrestler”
down
7 Woody Allen
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
8 Clint Eastwood
“Gran Torino” (or “Changeling”)
9 Stephen Daldry
“The Reader”
NEW
10 Mike Leigh
“Happy-Go-Lucky”
NEW

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
1 Sean Penn
“Milk”
2 Mickey Rourke
“The Wrestler”
up
3 Frank Langella
“Frost/Nixon”
down
4 Clint Eastwood
“Gran Torino”
5 Richard Jenkins
“The Visitor”
6 Brad Pitt
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
7 Leonardo DiCaprio
“Revolutionary Road”
8 Josh Brolin
“W.”
9 Dustin Hoffman
“Last Chance Harvey”
10 Colin Farrell
“In Bruges”
NEW

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
1 Meryl Streep
“Doubt”
2 Anne Hathaway
“Rachel Getting Married”
3 Kate Winslet
“Revolutionary Road”
4 Melissa Leo
“Frozen River”
5 Angelina Jolie
“Changling”
6 Sally Hawkins
“Happy-Go-Lucky”
7 Cate Blanchett
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
8 Kristin Scott Thomas
“I’ve Loved You So Long”
9 Kate Beckinsale
“Nothing But the Truth”
10 Kate Winslet
“The Reader”

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
1 Heath Ledger
“The Dark Knight”
2 Robert Downey Jr.
“Tropic Thunder”
3 Josh Brolin
“Milk”
4 Philip Seymour Hoffman
“Doubt”
5 Dev Patel
“Slumdog Millionaire”
6 James Franco
“Milk”
7 Michael Shannon
“Revolutionary Road”
8 Eddie Marsan
“Happy-Go-Lucky”
9 Ralph Fiennes
“The Duchess” (or “The Reader”)
10 Bill Irwin
“Rachel Getting Married”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
1 Kate Winslet
“The Reader”
up
2 Penélope Cruz
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
down
3 Viola Davis
“Doubt”
down
4 Taraji P. Henson
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
5 Amy Adams
“Doubt”
6 Marisa Tomei
“The Wrestler”
7 Rosemarie DeWitt
“Rachel Getting Married”
8 Frances McDormand
“Burn After Reading”
up
9 Rebecca Hall
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
down
10 Vera Farmiga
“Nothing But the Truth”
down

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
1 “Slumdog Millionaire”
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Based on the book “Q and A” by Vikas Swarup
2 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Written by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 “Frost/Nixon”
Written by Peter Morgan
Based on his stage play
up
4 “Doubt”
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Based on his stage play
down
5 “The Dark Knight”
Written by Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Story by David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based on characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics; Batman created by Bob Kane
6 “The Reader”
Written by David Hare
Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink
7 “Revolutionary Road”
Written by Justin Haythe
Based on the short story by Richard Yates
8 “Gomorrah”
Written by Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni Di Gregorio, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudiso, Roberto Saviano
Based on the book by Roberto Saviano
9 “The Class”
Written by François Bégaudeau, Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet
Based on the book by François Bégaudeau
10 “Iron Man”
Written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway; Based on characters appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics; Iron Man created by Stan Lee
Based on the book by Nechama Tec

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
1 “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Written by Woody Allen
2 “Milk”
Written by Dustin Lance Black
3 “The Wrestler”
Written by Robert Siegel
4 “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Written by Mike Leigh
5 “WALL-E”
Original story by Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton
Screenplay by Jim Reardon, Andrew Stanton
6 “The Visitor”
Written by Thomas McCarthy
7 “Burn After Reading”
Written by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
up
8 “Rachel Getting Married”
Written by Jenny Lumet
down
9 “Gran Torino”
Written by Nick Schenk
down
10 “Changeling”
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
down

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
1 “WALL-E”
Walt Disney Pictures
2 “Kung Fu Panda”
DreamWorks SKG
3 “Waltz with Bashir”
Sony Pictures Classics
4 “Bolt”
Walt Disney Pictures
5 “Horton Hears a Who!”
20th Century Fox
6 “The Tale of Despereaux”
Universal Pictures
7 “Igor”
The Weinstein Company
8 “Space Chimps”
20th Century Fox
9 “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”
DreamWorks SKG
10 “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
Warner Bros. Pictures