It’s a good time of the year to remind ourselves of what I consider to be the Ten Commandments of Oscar Watching. It’s important to remember them because they are always forgotten. The truth is, there is no there there right now. There is a lot of hot air, a lot of people making sweeping assumptions and generalizations based on their own impressions of a film — or by talking to other bloggers and film critics at parties — or film festivals. But none of it is real yet. The race is fluid, not static.
Herewith, the Ten Commandments of Oscar Watching
1) Though shalt not predict a movie to WIN that has not yet been seen. It’s tempting — I want to put Les Miserables and Lincoln right at the top but anyone who’s been at this a while knows that it’s not a wise thing to do. Sure, you can spit in the wind and maybe you’ll be right on down the road but it’s always better to go with what you know versus what you don’t know. Right now I feel like three films can win: Argo, Silver Linings and Life of Pi. None of them have been reviewed by the majority of critics (which will make a difference in how they are perceived) and none of them have yet opened to the public (also makes a difference). They are all November releases, so we will know pretty soon how the majority of people will respond to these three films. But it’s an even bigger gamble to say Les Miserables is going to win because as yet, no one has seen anything except the trailer. Ditto Lincoln, The Hobbit and Zero Dark Thirty.