So here we are in the days before the Oscar nominations for calendar year 2009. We've been breaking down everyone's chances from the first stage of the critics' awards through the Guild nominations and onto the eventual winners of the two groups whose taste tends to be in line with Academy voters - the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Broadcast "Film Critics" Association. How sad. We can ignore their populist vibes, but must embrace the statistics that tell us that nominations are almost inevitable if not always a golden victory. Piece by piece we will look at the Top Eight categories until eventually having predictions in all of them (right down to the technical ones) of what will be on the list of contenders come the morning of Feb. 2. We begin with ten slots for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress

That would be Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo'Nique (Precious). Now hold on, I'm not making my full-on Oscar predictions yet. These are just the nominations. Wouldn't that be a shock though? Either one of the two performances dominating nearly every possible voting group award NOT getting a nomination? Someone would definitely be throwing a television down the stairs on that one.

If you read up on the breakdown of the leads, then you know there are five voting bodies we are considering - the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Golden Globes, the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Screen Actors Guild and the BAFTAs. In the Lead categories, there were 33 performances since 2001 that got nominations from all five groups. In the Supporting categories, there have been 15. 17 if you count the fact that Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) was nominated as the lead by the SAGs and BAFTAs, respectively. All 50 performances were nominated for an Oscar. Based on that stat alone, we can fill five of the ten Supporting slots with Waltz and Mo'Nique as well as Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air) and Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air).