I’ve already mentioned the supporting actor race w/Pitt, Nicholson, Wahlberg, Affleck and Murphy but it is not the only superstar face-off.
Start with best actor in a drama: Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” will face off against a star of equal stature: Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Departed.” He will compete with acting legend and sentimental fave Peter O’Toole up for “Venus.” Then there’s a little-known actor named Will Smith who was nominated for “The Pursuit of Happyness.” All will likely lose though to the fifth nominee: Forest Whitaker for “The Last King of Scotland.”
The competition for best actress in a movie (musical or comedy) is also a doozy. You’ve got Beyonce Knowles up for “Dreamgirls,” Toni Collette for “Little Miss Sunshine” and Renee Zellweger for “Miss Potter” (never HEARD of it!). But the race will come down to marvelous Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” and Annette Bening for “Running With Scissors.” I give the edge to Streep who is a Globe fave.
For best director, Martn Scorsese (“The Departed”) is up against not one, but two familiar foes: Clint Eastwood (“Flags of Our Fathers”) and Clint Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima”). Also in the running are Stephen Frears (“The Queen”) and (say this one fast five times): Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”).