HOLLYWOOD -- bright lights, big city . . . small town? Apparently so, if you look at this year's Oscar acting nominations. The Screen Actors Guild may have some 120,000 members, but this year's nominees seem to be swimming in an awfully small bowl. So, in a tip of the top hat to the never-been-nominated Kevin Bacon, we went fishing for six or fewer degrees of separation among the class of 2008. Our goal: connect each lead actor contender with one of his actress counterparts, and each supporting actress with one of her supporting brethren. Mostly we used professional matchups, but personal entanglements were fair game too. Bacon even figured into a connection. Most interesting challenges: French newcomer Marion Cotillard and youngster Saoirse Ronan. Oh, and feel free to jump in any time . . .
LEAD ACTORS/ ACTRESSES Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises") and Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"): Mortensen in "A Perfect Murder" (1998) with Michael Douglas; Douglas in "Fatal Attraction" (1987) with Glenn Close; Close in "102 Dalmatians" (2000) with Gerard Depardieu; Depardieu in "La Vie en Rose" with Cotillard. George Clooney ("Michael Clayton") and Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age"): Clooney in "Ocean's Eleven" (2001) with Brad Pitt; Pitt in "Babel" (2006) with Blanchett. Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Ellen Page ("Juno"): Day-Lewis in "Gangs of New York" (2002) with Leonardo DiCaprio; DiCaprio in "Titanic" (1997) with Kate Winslet; Winslet in "Little Children" (2006) with Patrick Wilson; Wilson in "Hard Candy" (2005) with Page. Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Julie Christie ("Away From Her"): The easiest of the bunch: Depp costarred with Christie in "Finding Neverland" (2004). Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah") and Laura Linney ("The Savages"): Jones in "JFK" (1991) with -- yes! -- Kevin Bacon; Bacon in "Mystic River" (2003) with Linney.SUPPORTING ACTRESSES/ACTORS Cate Blanchett ("I'm Not There") and Hal Holbrook ("Into the Wild"): Blanchett in "Babel" (2006) with Brad Pitt; Pitt's ex is Jennifer Aniston; Aniston hooked up with Vince Vaughn and was in "The Break-Up" (2006) with him; Vaughn in "Into the Wild" with Holbrook.