Best Actress has nothing on Best Actor. Consider the lineup of male performers with a legitimate chance of being nominated: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington, John Hawkes, Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Jamie Foxx. Truthfully, I could make an argument for any of those guys -- especially Cooper, who is a revelation in "Silver Linings Playbook"; he gives a performance that will forever change how audiences view him as an actor.
"'Flight' is gonna flop; who wants to see something like a plane crash after watching the news for the last few days?" That was me, writing to my HuffPost Entertainment brethren last Wednesday in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. To answer my own question days later: Apparently, a lot of people. Opening in just 1,884 theaters, the R-rated "Flight" finished second at the box office last weekend with $25 million in ticket sales. That's one of the best adult-drama openings of 2012, better than even "Argo," which continues to chug along toward a Best Picture nomination and possible win. All of which is to say, I was wrong about "Flight," because I forgot one key thing: Denzel Washington is the most dependable star in Hollywood.