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Oscar Bits and Bites

Tom O’Neil over at Gold Derby has compiled a list of screeners that have been going out to Academy members. Getting them there early is essential for films that don’t have purty young girls naked in them or big stars or rave reviews. He’ll be keeping track along the way. [GD]

At Vulture, Kyle Buchanan is doing Oscar Futures, tracking the ups and downs of various contenders. Up this week, Silver Linings Playbook. [Vulture]

And EW’s Anthony Breznican is writing up the Oscars this year. This week’s column, Keep Your Eye on tracks the current frontrunners: Argo, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook. Have a look! It will be vital to follow Breznican’s column throughout the season. [EW]

Jeff Wells continues his “take down” campaign of Lincoln while heavily advocating for Silver Linings Playbook. This time he imagines what people walking out of the theater might be thinking. Later, he points to the Sweet Spot video at the NY Times and sums the whole thing up as “everybody hated Lincoln” when in fact, two people did, and they disagreed with Scott’s review.  While it’s true, it isn’t going to send people out of the theater with happy tears streaming down their faces as they beam positivity to that fantasy scenario that just played out , and fanboys won’t erupt in spontaneous applause at various sections of the branded action flick, and perhaps it does require more than just showing up – to Jeff that means everyone hates it – his idea of a great movie is a “popular” one. By that definition, The Avengers is the best film of 2012. It’s a bizarre fixation, this. But all part of the delightful season known as Oscar. The best comment comes from Kris Tapley, who writes to Jeff’s headline of “beating a dead horse,” this: “Actually I think you’re skull-fucking the horse’s ocular cavities at this point.”

I see Jeff’s one-sided depiction of audiences reacting to Lincoln and raise him this comment by my Michael Fox on Facebook:

I went to the first ever showing of this film in Bozeman, Montana. It was a 3:00PM show. The theater was packed and it was a completely older audience. I would say the average age was about 60. No cel phones went off, the crowd was really into the film and at the end everyone applauded. Then a surprising number of people started talking to each other. People who did not know each other but had just watched the film together. They were talking about the characters in the movie-Stanton and Stevens and the three vote getters. I was impressed. We just went though a pretty contentious election here and I thought that this was a perfect film for folks in my town to see. Politics ain’t pretty and this film really demonstrated that.

So maybe they don’t skip out of the theater clutching their bosoms with joy and uplift about life but they are talking about this movie probably more than they are talking about any other. Second to Lincoln would be Life of Pi, Argo and The Master. [HE]

Meanwhile, David Denby at the New Yorker writes up “SIX FOOTNOTES TO THE GREATNESS OF LINCOLN. Worth a read:

Steven Spielberg began by hiring the best playwright in the country. According to the press notes for the film, Tony Kushner, immersing himself in the politics and language of the period, delivered a five-hundred page script, which was unfilmable except as a TV mini-series. At some point, when Kushner was in his car, Spielberg called, and said something like, “The best part of your script is the eighty pages devoted to passing the Thirteenth Amendment. Let’s make the whole movie about that.” [New Yorker]