Two big differences this year will ultimately affect the outcome of the race. The first is that there were ten Best Pic nominees.¬† The second is that they moved the Oscars back to March, not quite late March like they used to be – but at least they’re in March.¬† Changing the date changes the pattern of the way the Academy chooses its winners because there is more time to think about the general consensus.¬† The general consensus is set in place over at the Gurus of Gold, which has your usual suspects in first place — the only categories have some disagreement are Best Picture and the two screenplay categories.
One question that keeps nagging at me is the idea of The Hurt Locker, a tiny movie hardly anyone saw, actually winning Best Picture. It has everything going for it except that Avatar is more popular, Inglourious Basterds won the SAG.¬† What it has in its favor, of course, is that it has won when large voting bodies have come together, most importantly, the DGA. One crucial loss was the SAG ensemble vote.