Josh BrolinAfter becoming a more well know name after last year's Oscar-winner No Country For Old Men, Josh Brolin may just become the name you will hear quite a few times in the coming months as he takes on playing the current President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's W. And though he will get a lot of press for W., it will most likely be Milk that will give him the Oscar nomination. Though there is a chance he will get nominated for W., watch out for him in Milk. I wonder what the real George Bush will think about his version, of well, him!?!
Elizabeth BanksShe is the "IT" girl of 2008! Watch out for her! Her name will be everywhere in the next couple of months, especially for playing the First Lady Laura Bush, as well as being in a "porno." Yes you read right. She will be starring alongside Seth Rogen in Kevin Smith's Zack And Miri Make A Porno as well as playing Laura Bush in W. How much more opposite can you get? Ha ha ha... She will also be seen in the comedy Role Models and the Toronto Film Festival gem Lovely, Still starring Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn. But definetly watch out for Elizabeth Banks this season, especially for her Oscar chances for playing Laura Bush for Best Supporting Actress.
Anne HathawayShe is practically a lock after recieving amazing reviews for her role as the sister from hell who shakes things up at her sister's wedding in Rachel Getting Married. We all remember her from The Princess Diaries and then making the shift to "adultland" in The Devil Wears Prada, and now she has gone even farther in Rachel Getting Married, a role that will most likely finally get her a nomination. In the past, Hathaway has attended the Oscars as a presenter for a few years, now she might attend the Oscars as a nominee! So definetly look out for Hathaway as she may get Oscar nomination number one!
Rosemarie DeWittShe started to become well-known when she took on a role in (one of my favorite movies ever) Cinderella Man, starring alongside Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, and Paddy Considine, which in real life she is the granddaughter of James Braddock, who the movie is about, but she became more recognizable after nabbing the lead role in Fox's Standoff alongside Ron Livingston and then AMC's Mad Men alongside Jon Hamm. Now, she stars alongside Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, and earning rave reviews as well, even some saying it would be a "crime" not to nominate her for Best Supporting Actress.
Sally HawkinsHawkins is the "breakout" star of the year. She won the Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival and has been recieving great reviews for her role as Poppy, a cheery schoolteacher, in Happy Go Lucky. The film is by Mike Leigh, who is known for his leading (unknown) women who earn Oscar nominations for his movie (such in the past as Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake and Brenda Blethyn in Secrets and Lies). It looks as if it's Sally Hawkin's turn! Definetly look out for Sally Hawkins as her chances are looking good for an Oscar nomination.
Richard JenkinsWhat a role of a lifetime for this 61 year old! His role as Professor Walter Vale in the indie-gem of the year, The Visitor, was Jenkins's first lead role in a movie. In the past, he has been known for playing the supporting roles, but this time it was all about him! He was unbelievable in The Visitor, and he truly deserves an Oscar nomination! He earned rave reviews as The Visitor started to become bigger and bigger, and what a way to reward Jenkins then with a nomination! It would be the most deserved nomination among all of the nominees!
Michael SheenHe should've got a nomination for playing Tony Blair in The Queen, but he was wrongfully shut out from recieving a nomination. Though the BAFTA Awards nominated him... But now he has another chance! He plays David Frost, the reporter who interviews President Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella, post-Watergate. Sheen is reprising his role as Frost from the original stage version of Frost/Nixon, as Langella is doing the same. Sheen may finally get that nomination that he deserves!
Kodi Smit-McPheeIt seems to be that Kodi Smit-McPhee may be the child nomination of the year. He recieved rave reviews from down under in Australia for Romulus, My Father, in which he won the Australian Film Institute award for his role, but it may be his role in the Cormac McCarthy adapation The Road that will kickstart his future acting career as he stars alongside Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron in the post-apocalyptic tale about a man (Mortensen) and his son (Smit-McPhee) trying to survive by any means possible.
Viola DavisYou may recognize Viola Davis from Antwone Fisher, in which she recieved an Independent Spirit nomination, as well as tv shows Century City and Traveler. Now, she stars alongside Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams in Doubt. In the original stage version, Adriane Lenox won the Tony Award for the role as Mrs. Muller, which is the role Davis is playing in the film adapation.
James FrancoJames Franco is being considered the next James Dean, but wait, didn't he already play him? The resemblance is striking, which led Franco to win a Golden Globe for his portrayl as Dean as well as earning an Emmy Award nomination for the role. Since then, Franco has starred in the Spider-Man series alongside Tobey Maguire and Kristen Dunst, Flyboys, and most recently Pineapple Express, in which he has now become more well-known. Now he is starring in a supporting role in Milk alongside Sean Penn. To get an idea of Franco's character in Milk, in which he play's Penn's character's gay partner, see this interview that Franco did with Jimmy Kimmel on his late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!: