All the big dominoes have fallen. The Golden Globe Awards have been handed out, the Directors Guild (actually the best predictor of the Best Picture nominees) and Writers Guild have named their nominees, and just about every critics society has voted.

What have we learned from these big awards groups? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This has been the least exciting Oscar race in history. Track back to week one of these power rankings. The top five in Best Picture have never changed. In fact, if we’d done a ranking before an award was given out (something for next year) this would have been the top five as well.

Normally, there’s some major shakeup somewhere along the road. Some surefire contender that falls off, but that just has never happened this year. There is no logical reason to presume that any of the top five in Best Picture won’t get nominated.

So without further ado, here are the picks. . .

Best Picture
RK (LW) Movie Comments
1 (1) Slumdog Millionaire Did you hear those screams at the Golden Globes? Seems that everyone LOVES this movie. Plus it hit the important trifecta of DGA, PGA and WGA nominations.
2 (2) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Golden Globe shutout didn’t help, but then again, two of the top five in these rankings weren’t even nominated. It did get the PGA, DGA, WGA triple.
3 (4) The Dark Knight Heath Ledger love will carry this to a Best Picture nomination – Christopher Nolan was very classy accepting the award on his behalf at the Globes. It racked up a DGA, PGA and WGA nomination – beginning to seem redundant?
4 (5) Frost/Nixon It didn’t win a Golden Globe, but at least it got a bunch of exposure for being nominated and there’s the ever-present-among-the-top-five-on-this-list WGA, DGA and PGA triple.
5 (3) Milk Nobody is talking about this movie anymore beyond Sean Penn’s performance, but it has to be a lock when it has a DGA, PGA and WGA nomination. Right?
6 (6) The Wrestler The good news – Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe. The bad news – Mickey Rourke gave a bizarre velvet-clad acceptance speech when he won a Golden Globe.
7 (8) Doubt Decent enough box office and all those SAG nominations mean this isn’t completely out of the question at this point – it’s just an extreme longshot.
8 (7) Wall-E “Wall-E” needed either a PGA or DGA nomination to be considered a real threat. Instead, it missed on both and didn’t even get a WGA nomination for its screenplay – something that seemed a lock.
9 (9) Revolutionary Road Kate Winslet factor part 1: That double Golden Globe win will make people certain to see the film before they cast their ballots.
10 (NR) The Reader Kate Winslet factor part 2: The double Golden Globe win may cause voters to ignore the film’s middling reviews and give it another look.  Plus it got additional exposure with several Golden Globe nominations.

Dropping out: Rachel Getting Married (10)

Best Director

RK (LW) Director – Movie
1 (1) Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire DGA nomination, Check. Golden Globe win, Check. More precursor awards than anybody else combined, Check.  Absolute mortal lock, Check.
2 (2) Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Didn’t win, or even get nominated for a Golden Globe but he did make his presence felt with a very classy and heartfelt acceptance of Heath Ledger’s award. Plus there’s the DGA nomination.
3 (3) David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Maybe the least exciting candidate ever – his movie is now without buzz and he hasn’t really won anything, just a bunch of nominations – including the DGA.
4 (5) Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon Everybody LOVES Ron Howard. Loves the guy. Plus he got a DGA nomination – gosh this is getting too easy.
5 (4) Gus Van Sant - Milk Another mainstay in the top five, another DGA nomination. Director and Best Picture never quite line up, but there’s nothing to indicate they won’t this year either way.
6 (7) Darren Aronofsky – The Wrestler It’s nice to have a crazy man sing your praises on national TV for a solid minute, but it kind of hurts your cause when you flip off the camera.
7 (8) Mike Leigh - Happy-Go-Lucky A nice amount of “Happy-Go-Lucky” love sends Leigh farther up the list. He is universally respected and a past nominee in this category, so a late surge is not entirely out of the question.
8 (6) Andrew Stanton – Wall-E Shutout by the DGA. Film shutout by every other major guild, looks like his bid to become the first Best Director nominee for an animated film is at an end.
9 (9) Sam Mendes - Revolutionary Road It’s nice when your wife wins two Golden Globes. Helps your profile, and gives you a better shot at a nomination.  Oh, and there’s the whole and love and support aspect. I guess.
10 (10) Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married The buzz for this film is growing strong over the past couple weeks. Could he get nominated? Probably not, but he deserves a mention.

Dropping Out: Stephen Daldry – The Reader (9)

Best Actor

Actor – Film Comment
1 (1) Sean Penn – Milk Was absent at the Golden Globes and lost to Mickey Rourke, but he’s still the surest thing going.
2 (2) Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler He won a Golden Globe but how crazy is the Academy really about nominating a sequined indoor sunglass-wearing guy who thanks his dogs?
3 (3) Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon A quiet lock – nobody’s really talking about him, but there’s no way he doesn’t get a nomination.
4 (4) Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino Clint Eastwood just had his biggest opening weekend at the box office EVER. The lack of precursors can’t stop him now, he’s nearing lock status.
5 (5) Richard Jenkins - The Visitor His SAG nomination and slew of precursors leaves him here for another week, vulnerable to drop out in the final week as buzz is slowing on this film.
6 (6) Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Of course, it’s impossible to have buzz slow any more than it has for “Button” as the film’s actually being released has really hurt it – it never equaled the hype – still has the SAG nod to lean on though.
7 (7) Leonardo DiCaprio - Revolutionary Road It must have been nice for Leo to see his best friend win twice at the Globes, but even the boost it will give his “Revolutionary Road” performance won’t be enough to put him over the top.
8 (8) Josh Brolin – W. Brolin’s just going to keep sitting here at number 8 until something monumental happens – a little too late in the game for that.
9 (NR) Colin Farrel – In Bruges Hits the top ten for his surprise Golden Globe win. Still has no chance at an Oscar nomination however.
10 (NR) Brendan Gleeson - In Bruges Let’s make it an “In Bruges” double this week. Why? Because there are no other viable candidates in this category!

Dropping Out: Benecio Del Toro - Che (10), Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey (9)

Best Actress

RK (LW) Actress – Film Comments
1 (1) Meryl Streep - Doubt Just because Kate won twice does not mean she’s more likely to get nominated than the grand dame of the Oscars – maybe more likely to win perhaps?
2 (1) Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road In case you didn’t notice, she won two Golden Globes in the same night. In case you’re wondering, Sigourney Weaver once pulled off the same feat (“Gorillas in the Mist”, “Working Girl”). Her result? Two nods, no wins.
3 (2) Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married It’s really just getting boring to talk about her at this point; she may have peaked too soon. Luckily for her, the torpid “Bride Wars” stunningly shouldn’t hurt her chances with a nice opening at the box office.
4 (4) Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky Hawkins keeps gaining steam with an upset of Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes. Could she really be a lock for a light comedy without getting a SAG nomination? Looks that way.
5 (5) Melissa Leo – Frozen River Nobody’s won more critics awards than Leo in the last few weeks. This is a very small movie, but the growing buzz should get her in.
6 (6) Angelina Jolie – Changeling For whatever reason, the Academy seems to hate Angelina Jolie. Maybe it was her bizarre appearance with her brother the night she won for “Girl, Interrupted” or maybe it’s something else. Whatever the case, it seems she’ll need a performance that can’t be ignored to get another Oscar nomination – and this isn’t it.
7 (7) Michelle Williams – Wendy & Lucy The buzz has plateaued for this film, and seeing all those stars at the Golden Globes on Sunday only reaffirms that she’s still a longshot at best.
8 (8) Cate Blanchett – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button No precursor buzz, but Cate Blanchett musn’t ever be discounted.
9 (9) Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long Hey Kristin, it was nice to see you at the Golden Globes. Too bad we won’t be seeing you at the Oscars.
10 (NR) Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona Just on here for the potential residual buzz from “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture comedy.

Dropping Out: Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia! (10)

Best Supporting Actor

RK (LW) Actor – Film Comment
1 (1) Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight What is there left to say about Ledger at this point? He’s going to get nominated and he’s going to win. RIP.
2 (4) Robert Downey, Jr. – Tropic Thunder There was a lot of love for RDJ at the Golden Globes. Hollywood seems to be loving this comeback story and is certain to nominate him.
3 (2) Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt Eh, he’s a lock at this point, but just seems kind of boring since Heath Ledger means he’s got no shot at winning.
4 (3) Josh Brolin – Milk Nobody seems to be talking about “Milk” anymore, and it hurts him that late voters saw no glimpse of him at the Golden Globes, but he’s still going to get nominated. Right?
5 (6) Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire He’s only gotten one precursor nomination (though the SAG is by far the most important) but those screams at the Globes mean he’ll probably overcome that and get in.
6 (5) Eddie Marsan – Happy-Go-Lucky Buzz for Sally Hawkins is up and that means Marsan could cruise in on the coattails. Too bad for him that buzz for “Slumdog” is even higher.
7 (7) Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder Got a huge reception when his name was announced as a nominee on Sunday night.  Seems that Hollywood is falling back in love with him, but probably not enough to nominate him for a performance many will view as silly.
8 (8) Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road Two Globes for Kate means “Revolutionary Road” has some buzz going again. Too bad Shannon isn’t even mentioned in the trailers.
9 (9) Bill Irwin – Rachel Getting Married Buzz seems to be all but dead on “Rachel” especially when the film failed to get a WGA nomination – something that seemed certain a week ago. Looks like Irwin won’t benefit from playing Anne Hathaway’s dad.
10 (10) James Franco – Milk Much like “Rachel”, “Milk” seems to have run out of buzz. Looks like Franco is going to have to wait awhile.

Best Supporting Actress
RK (LW) Actress – Film Comments
1(3) Kate Winslet – The Reader Two Globes = Welcome to the top. She’s got extraordinary buzz now, and most critics see this as her best performance this year.
2 (1) Viola Davis – Doubt Looks like a lock to sew up the Gloria Stuart/Judi Dench/Ruby Dee “I’m in a movie for five minutes but nobody seems to care because the scene is emotional” nomination.
3 (2) Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona She and Hathaway both peaked early. They’re certain nominees, but just don’t have that overwhelming buzz working anymore.
4 (4) Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler Good to see her at the Golden Globes, and Mickey’s win will boost her profile as well. She’ll get in despite not getting a SAG nod.
5 (5) Amy Adams - Doubt Adams seems very vulnerable in the fifth slot, despite having a borderline lead role to Davis’ cameo and delivering equally good work. It’s strange the performances the critics and precursors single out in films.
6 (6) Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Eh. She got a SAG nod, but the buzz for “Button” is making like its lead character and moving in the wrong direction.
7 (7) Rosemarie DeWitt – Rachel Getting Married Buzz for Hathaway is waning thus DeWitt seems less and less likely.  Still, it’s hard to ignore all those precursor awards.
8 (8) Evan Rachel Wood – The Wrestler Mickey’s Globe win raises her profile, but not quite enough to move her up this list at all. She’s still been largely ignored by precursors.
9 (9) Hanna Schygulla – The Edge of Heaven She gets to hang out at ninth of the strength of her surprise National Society of Film Critics win.
10 (NR) Vera Farmiga - Nothing But The Truth Critics are absolutely raving about her performance in this barely-seen film. Plus we need some new blood on this chart.

Dropping Out: Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading (10)