Not a whole lot of movement at the top this week, as the number one seeds all hold their ground in a tizzy of precursor awards.

The real movers and shakers are coming at the bottoms of the lists, as new competitors are starting to earn some big time buzz. With many Guild Awards on the way in the coming weeks, look for some top fivers to start falling at the feet of the newbies.

Check out the lists below…

Best Picture

RK (LW) Movie Comments
1 (1) Slumdog Millionaire You can’t stop the Slumdog.  Each week this film outpaces the competition with precursor awards including a surprise SAG nod for Dev Patel.  The only question now is whether or not it will actually win.
2 (2) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button This film is starting to get some incredible reviews, earning its Forrest Gump-ian reputation.  Its three SAG nods really help its chances.
3 (3) Milk The three SAG nominations really help this movie out, plus it keeps stacking up precursor nominations.  Needs a DGA nod to put it over the top.
4 (5) Frost/Nixon This is just a good solid contender that picked up two SAG nominations and its first win this week at the Las Vegas Film Critics Awards.  Nothing flashy about this one at all, it just seems like sure thing.  Seems like.
5 (4) The Dark Knight Huge box office and buzz nothwithstanding, “The Dark Knight” still has a popcorn movie reputation to overcome.  The fact that it missed out on SAG and Golden Globe nominations for everything but Heath Ledger just shows it still has some work to do.
6 (7) The Wrestler This one has been stacking up critics award nominations this past week and gaining some big momentum.  It has a real shot now at knocking off one of the Big Five.
7 (6) Wall-E This film has a list of precursor awards as long as any other and just doesn’t seem to miss on most of the big ones.  If this gets PGA, WGA and DGA love, it’s going to be hard to ignore any longer.  Animated or not.
8 (9) Revolutionary Road This film hasn’t gotten much love yet, but it seems like the buzz for it just starting to pick up.  In the coming weeks it could be a steady climber or fall flat on its face.
9 (10) Doubt Just when “Doubt” looked like it had no chance at all it goes out and picks up five SAG nominations.  That’s probably better for its actors than the picture as a whole.  But – So. Many. SAG. Nominations.
10 (8) The Reader The Golden Globe love seems like the last of it for this movie.  It’s not getting very good reviews and seems like a prime candidate to drop off this list.

Best Director

RK (LW) Director – Movie
1 (1) Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire Boyle has by far the most precursor love in this category and thusly ranks at the top of the list.  Funny how that happens.
2 (3) Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight As his film is going through a bit of a rough patch on this chart, his case is getting stronger with a couple of wins this week.  Could he be the fabled director whose film doesn’t get nominated?
3 (2) David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Fincher seems like a cinch, but he really doesn’t have that many other awards.  He might need a DGA nomination more than anyone in the top five.
4 (4) Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon He’s simply adored by the Academy and just picked up a Las Vegas Film Critics award.  He seems to be in, but it’s not certain.
5 (5) Gus Van Sant – Milk He’s running a close third behind Nolan for nominations, but that lack of a Golden Globe nomination just seems to be a Scarlet Letter for Van Sant.  The fact that the enormous praise for Sean Penn is starting to make this look like an actor’s achievement is also working against him.
6 (9) Darren Aronofsky – The Wrestler A Detroit Film Critics nomination is Aronofsky’s only precursor love so far, but with Mickey Rourke’s buzz on his side anything is possible.
7 (NR) Andrew Stanton – WALL-E He’s picked up a lot of love this week and seems like a prime candidate for the surprise DGA nomination that’s become so vogue in recent years.  Too bad his movie is animated.
8 (8) Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road He’s a previous Oscar winner (American Beauty) and that Golden Globe nomination helps, but it’s still his only nomination thus far.  He has to hope that the buzz that looks like it’s beginning to build for “Road” is real.
9 (6) Stephen Daldry – The Reader He got a huge boost from the Golden Globes last week and nothing since.  Tepid reviews for “The Reader” means he probably hasn’t got a shot anymore.
10 (NR) Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married He’s riding the Anne “Hathawave” right now and just won the Toronto Film Critics Award.  Could he challenge for the a nomination?  Time will tell.

Dropping Out: Mike Leigh – Happy-Go-Lucky (7), Clint Eastwood – Changeling (10)

Best Actor

Actor – Film Comments
1 (1) Sean Penn – Milk Add a SAG nod to a mantle’s worth of critics trophies.  He’s a lock.
2 (2) Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler Another lock as he’s got a SAG nod and just as many critics’ awards as Penn.  Maybe they’ll switch spots next week, just to make it interesting.
3 (3) Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon The SAG nod assures this stage vet that he’ll finally add an Oscar nomination to his list of acting honors.
4 (7) Richard Jenkins – The Visitor The huge early-year buzz looks to have held up as Jenkins earned a SAG nomination for this role.  And you thought movies released in March couldn’t get Oscar nominations.
5 (5) Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road He didn’t get a SAG nomination, but it seems like the “Revolutionary Road” buzz is late to develop, something that will actually help Leo as Oscar voting doesn’t end for a few more weeks.
6 (6) Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Is his performance just a special effects trick?  SAG doesn’t seem to think so.  Whether the Academy will share that opinion is another story entirely.
7 (4) Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino Well, after winning the first award of Oscar season, things have been pretty cold for ol’ Clint.  He missed out on SAG (though the the same thing happened for “Million Dollar Baby”) and pretty much everything else.  Still, this looks to be his last acting role – so how can the Academy resist?
8 (8) Josh Brolin – W. Doesn’t look like this going to happen as his role in “Milk” looks like sure thing.  Too much strong competition.
9 (NR) Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey He’s here just because he’ll probably win a Golden Globe.  That nomination, however, is all the precursor love he’s received.
10 (NR) Jean-Claude Van Damme - JCVD There aren’t any viable candidates left, so we put Van Damme here just to point out that he finished runner-up for the Toronto Film Critics Award in this category.  Seriously.

Dropping Out: Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona (9), James Franco – Pineapple Express (10)

Best Actress

RK (LW) Actress – Film Comments
1 (1) Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married Can’t escape the Hathawave.  The monumental buzz and SAG nod make her a sure thing.
2 (2) Meryl Streep – Doubt Was there every any doubt?  (Hilarious!)  The SAG nod means she’ll overcome those bad reviews and notch her 700th nomination.
3 (7) Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road Kate’s SAG nod, a Las Vegas Critics win, and the certainty that she won’s split with herself for “The Reader” shoots her way up this list.  Watch out Meryl, this young Brit’s gaining on ya.
4 (3) Angelina Jolie – Changeling Jolie just keeps plodding along, picking up a few critics notices here and there and then a SAG nomination.  She’s be a sure thing if it seemed like anybody was, ya know, actually TALKING about her performance.
5 (6) Melissa Leo – Frozen River Seems a bit boring to just list the five SAG nominees as the top five, but Leo also picked up two critics wins (Florida and Utah) this week which means it just may not matter that only 12 people saw “Frozen River”.
6 (4) Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky The power of the SAG nominations – If Hawkins had gotten one she’d be number two on this list (ahead of Streep!) but she gets passed over and is now on the outside looking in.
7 (5) Cate Blanchett – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button No SAG nod for Cate, and really no love of any kind.  Still, she’s Cate Blanchett and this movie is gaining momentum – she has to get nominated.  Right?
8 (8) Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long The lack of a SAG nod really hurts – as does the lack of anything at all this week.  Looks like her ride is over.
9 (NR) Michelle Williams – Wendy & Lucy Williams is really gaining steam as this film is getting big raves upon its release with most of the praise going to its leading lady.  She just won the Toronto Film Critics Award and has a chance to shoot up in the next couple weeks.
10 (9) Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia! The certainty of a nod for “Doubt” means this is actually impossible (the Academy doesn’t allowed a person to be nominated twice in the same acting category – funny, isn’t the award for their performance? Not the person?), but she’s going to win a Golden Globe for it.  Could she win two in one night?

Dropping Out:  Kate Beckinsale – Nothing But The Truth (10)

Best Supporting Actor
RK (LW) Actor – Film Comments
1 (1) Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight In a category where everybody else on the power rankings moved this week, Ledger stays put.  Probably because he’s the surest thing going.
2 (4) Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt A soft number two at this point – he got the Golden Globe and SAG nods, but he still hasn’t won anything.  Of course, nobody not named Heath Ledger really has.
3 (2) Josh Brolin – Milk A strange week for Brolin that saw him completely shut out of everything until a SAG nomination shot him right back into near-lock status.
4 (3) Robert Downey, Jr. – Tropic Thunder The SAG nomination means he should have no trouble overcoming the film’s light comedy reputation.  Hollywood really wants his comeback story at the Oscars.
5 (7) Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road He missed out on the SAGs but his name keeps popping up here and there.  “Revolutionary Road” is getting some sparkling early reviews, so the buzz could build over the next couple weeks for Shannon.
6 (NR) Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire The power of the SAGs – Patel hasn’t gotten even a single precursos NOMINATION to this point, and here he is at number six on the strength of his one SAG nomination.
5 (7) James Franco – Milk His SAG miss hurts him much more than Shannon since he has competition within his own film.  Looks like he’ll have to wait till another year.
8 (6) Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder Nothing but a Golden Globe nod for Cruise thus far.  Valkyrie’s inevitable bombing shouldn’t help him out either.
9 (NR) Bill Irwin – Rachel Getting Married Bill Irwin got nominated by the Chicago Film Critics and that’s enough to put anybody in a movie starring the super-buzzed-about Anne Hathaway onto this list.
10 (9) Eddie Marsan – Happy-Go-Lucky He’s gotten a few precursor nominations (including an LA Film Critics runner-up) but the fact that Hawkins couldn’t get a SAG nod pretty much means he’s got no chance.

Dropping Out: Ralph Fiennes – The Reader (8), John Malkovich – Burn After Reading (10)

Best Supporting Actress
RK (LW) Actress – Film Comments
1(1) Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Another week, another armful of critics awards for the Spanish siren.  Including the all-important SAG nomination.
2 (2) Viola Davis – Doubt SAG loved Doubt and Davis got in on the fun.  She’s actually neck-and-neck with Cruz in the precursor department for the last week, though still approximately 745,000 awards behind number one.
3 (3) Kate Winslet – The Reader The SAG nod in the supporting category puts her over the top (they don’t always follow the submissions for the Oscars – Benecio Del Toro won a SAG for Best Lead Actor for “Traffic”) but now it seems that everyone’s bought in and nothing’s going to keep Winselt from a pair of Oscar nods.
4 (4) Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler This may be a bit high for someone who didn’t get a SAG nomination, but it seems like the buzz for her film is just starting to grow, as evidenced by three Critics Awards wins in the past week.
5 (5) Amy Adams - Doubt The SAG nomination leaves her in the top five, but she’s the only actress in the top 7 who hasn’t won a critics award.
6 (6) Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button When you get a SAG nomination in a movie that Cate Blanchett didn’t, you must be doing something right.  There’s a potential for a buzz monsoon when the film finally comes out, and she could be catapulted upwards as a result.
7 (7) Rosemarie DeWitt – Rachel Getting Married She has the best chance for a nomination in the “I’m not Anne Hathaway” department of “Rachel Getting Married” but she missed on both the Golden Globes and the SAGs, so it’s tough to see it at this point.
8 (10) Evan Rachel Wood – The Wrestler A Utah Film Critics runner up is her only precursor love so far – not exactly a major endorsement.
9 (8) Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading The positive buzz on this movie keeps growing, and McDormand seems the most likely beneficiary, though it still doesn’t seem likely.
10 (9) Beyonce Knowles – Cadillac Records It’s going to be one of the top seven, but Beyonce gets to stay because she’s Beyonce.