Right now, Scott Feinberg over at Hollywood Reporter, has Lincoln winning four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. If it wins those four it shows broad support but it will share the record with the King’s Speech for lowest Oscars won with 12 nominations. But it makes sense in year where there are more than five nominees.

How many Oscars a film wins depends on how much competition it has and where that competition is coming from.  It goes without saying, of course, that history was meant to be broken.  Before the King’s Speech won only four Oscars no film with 12 had ever won that few.

Since there have only been 14 films nominated for Best Picture with 12 nominations, I thought I’d take a look back at those races and how they turned out.

But first, let’s look at the changing landscape of the Best Picture race itself.

–Between 1929 and 1945 the Oscars employed more than five nominees. After 1945 they had only five Best Picture nominees until 2009.

–Only since 2009 has the Academy messed with the number of Best Picture nominees.

–In 2009 and 2010 there were ten.

–Last year, and this year there was an indeterminate number of nominees.

When a film gets 12, 13 or 14 nominations that means broad support which can be had easier when there are fewer Best Picture nominees. This explains why The King’s Speech ended up with only four Oscars against its 12 nominations.  It had more competition.  It also explains why The Artist won 5 of its 10 Oscar nominations even though it appeared it might sweep.  The Hurt Locker did surprisingly well, winning 6 of its 9 nominations.

What was surprising about The Hurt Locker was that it didn’t just beat Avatar in the top categories, it took Oscars from Avatar where it shouldn’t have if Avatar had really been that popular. Conversely, Hugo took many Oscars from The Artist than had been expected because Hugo was more popular than people thought.

Mrs. Miniver and The Song of Bernadette are the only films with 12 nominations during the time when there were more than five and the most Oscars won was only 6.   (Gone With the Wind won 8 competitive Oscars with 13 nominations).  So it’s possible that with more than five Best Picture nominees it’s just not possible to sweep, not with so many other choices for other categories. It is far more likely that they would spread the wealth to reflect so many great movies in the race.

We don’t yet know what film will ultimately be popular with the industry. There seems to be equal support for Silver Linings Playbook and Argo, two films that will be competing in several categories, like Best Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing.  Lincoln appears to dominate the techs but it has competition from Life of Pi, and even Skyfall.

Life of Pi, with 11 nominations, could clean up the techs, leaving not that many behind for Lincoln.  It isn’t much in Best Picture where a passionate vote will be reflected because they use the preferential ballot counting.  But in the subsequent categories they still use the weighted ballot and there, passion counts for a lot.  That could give Life of Pi the edge with the techs.

–There have only been two films entering the race with 14 nominations and they both won.  Titanic won 11 Oscars and All About Eve (a high point in Academy history) won 6.

–There have been only 9 films that have entered the race with 13 nominations.  Of those, five won and four didn’t.

–The lowest number of Oscars won for a film with 13 was 3.

–The lowest number of Oscars won by films with 12 nominations was 1.

–Two films with 12 nominations only won a single Oscar.

–Nine films with 12 nominations won Best Picture. Five did not.

–The lowest number of Oscar wins for a film with 12 nominations that won Best Picture is 4.

Here is the chart of films with 12 nominations from the

The English Patient
 On The Waterfront
My Fair Lady
Dances With Wolvesscr,cine,score,editing,sound,director
 Schindler’s List AD,scr,cine,score,editing
Mrs. Miniver actress,supp,scr.cinema
Gladiator actor,fx,costume,sound
The Song of Bernadette *
 A Streetcar Named Desire *
The King’s Speech pic,,scr
Reds * cine,dir,supp
Johnny Belinda * actress (ham sierra mad)
Becket * screenplay (my fair lady,maryp)

Now let’s take a look at the two that not only didn’t win Best Picture but only won a single Oscar. Some people are predicting that Lincoln might join that dubious distinction by only winning one Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis.  Both Johnny Belinda and Becket took place after the Academy went back to five Best Picture nominees.  Both of them were in a race with two equally popular films. And both of them won a single Oscar.

Johnny Belinda had to compete against Hamlet (which won) and the equally popular Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Johnny Belinda had won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, tying with Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Hamlet had won Best Foreign Film and Best Actor at the Golden Globe. Hamlet had won Best Actor from the New York Film Critics, while Sierra Madre had taken Picture and Director.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre won: Director, Supporting Actor, Screenplay
Hamlet won: Picture, Actor, Art Direction, Costume
Johnny Belinda won: Best Actress

There were three films competing for the top prize and they divided the Academy up at the great cost of Johnny Belinda, which settled on Best Actress and was one of the few in Academy history to have four acting nominations, like Silver Linings Playbook.  Funnily enough, according to Inside Oscar, Johnny Belinda had been made as a showcase for Jane Wyman. They had changed directors half-way through and it was considered to be a good film but a sappy one.  The critics were upset when Hamlet won, with the Hollywood Reporter’s WR Wilkseron writing:

“From anyway you look at it, Hamlet was NOT the Best Picture of the year.  Have we a bunch of goofs among our Academy voters who, like many of the New York critic, kid themselves into believing that Britain is capable of making better pictures than Hollywood?”

The Johnny Belinda year was also marked by being the first year that the “big five” pulled their financial support for the Oscar ceremony, which caused much uproar.

Becket was sandwiched between Mary Poppins (13 nominations) and My Fair Lady, not a great place to be. That was the Julie Andrews vs. Audrey Hepburn war which would split the Academy the same way.

Mary Poppins won: Actress, Visual Effects, Song and Score – also won the Ace Eddie from the editors guild, the WGA.
My Fair Lady won: Picture, Director, Music, Sound, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume, etc. But it also had won the DGA.
Becket won: Screenplay

There was no DGA when Hamlet faced down Johnny Belinda but in all of these cases, for all of these films, the directors were ALL nominated for both the DGA and the Oscar.

That means there really isn’t any comparing this year with Becket at least because if you take Silver Linings Playbook and Argo as the two films competing most closely with Lincoln, one is missing the DGA and the other is missing the Oscar for Director. A more apt competitor would be Life of Pi if you want to find a film that might give Lincoln just the one Oscar win.

Taking a quick look at the films that didn’t win Best Picture but won a decent amount of Oscars anyway – Song of Bernadette was beaten by Casablanca, a Streetcar Named Desire (with 4 acting nods) was beaten by An American in Paris and had the added pressure of A Place in the Sun breathing down its neck, and Reds was beaten by Chariots of Fire.    George Stevens won Best Director for A Place in the Sun and Warren Beatty won Best Director for Reds.

In each of these instances, with the possible exception of Casablanca, the house was greatly divided between many different films.

What we haven’t seen much of lately is this kind of division and a lot of that has to do with the guild awards — SAG, PGA and DGA — which have helped to lay the groundwork for Oscar’s eventual outcome.

My conclusion is that we’ll know better heading into the Oscars whether the other films are as popular among voters as we think they are.  But that’s really all we know. Lincoln could win 1 Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis, or it could win three and not Best Picture, or it could win four and also Best Picture or it could win as many as six Oscars.

It is still the most likely among the nominees to win Best Picture, whether that turns out to be the case or not.


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  • Kurt

    I think the wealth will be spread very widely this year, which is not something I generally look forward to.

    At this point in time, I’m predicting SLP to just eke out a win (perfect campaigning throughout peaking by this weekend reassuring box office revival).

    As for best director, I’m not so confident in predicting Spielberg just yet, but by elimination it boils down to either him or Ang Lee (proof of how ridiculous those snubs were.)

  • danemychal

    I really think if Lincoln wins BP, those are the four Oscars it will take — the exact same 4 The King’s Speech took. Because Supporting Actor is still an unknown quantity this year (and in 2010, Bale was the clear favorite over Rush), I think TLJ has a better shot at getting Lincoln a 5th Oscar than Rush had for TKS. There are too many heavy hitters in the tech categories, with Life of Pi, Les Mis and ZDT/Argo looking particularly strong, to think Lincoln has a great chance of winning any of them.

    And it really is hard to look at the number of nominations and project how many it should win by taking into account Oscar’s entire history. It makes the most sense to calculate only those years since BP expanded to more than 5. In years of five BP nominees, True Grit probably would have won AT LEAST one of its 10 nominations. That is, if it would have even made the BP cut at all on a list of only 5 films. That is why I think your model of TKS with 12 nominations and winning 4 very important ones is a fine example for Lincoln to follow. And really, they should be spreading the love in such a fine year of film.

  • Elton Almeida

    I’m not even sure about Day-Lewis’ win. Of course he won almost everything til now and has great support but he already won twice and his last win was considerably recent. If he wins he’ll be making Oscar History. I think that’s hard.

    But I really would love to see his victory. Although I didn’t like “Lincoln” that much, he’s one of my favorite actors, I watched all his movies and HOLY GOD that guy is hot. (I always fall in love for him watching “My beautiful laundrette”)

  • Natasha

    One of my old college friends called SLP a “tough film to watch”……and implied maybe she didn’t like it so much as a result. Maybe that’s more widespread a view than one might think? What I’m trying to say here is that it might not be as easy for SLP to “steal” (if that’s the perception) some or all of the “big Oscars” as perceived….

  • It does indeed appear that LINCOLN will come away with:

    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Actor
    Best Screenplay

    After that there are two it is solidly in the running for:

    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Film Editing.

    As far as Best Supporting Actress and Best Score those categories seem spoken for with LES MISERABLES capturing the former and THE LIFE OF PI the latter.

  • rca

    ARGO just won Best Film of 2012 at Phoenix Film Critics!

  • keifer

    Personally, I like it when the wealth is spread around. It shows diversity in rewarding artistic excellence.

    Sidenote: My own opinion, but “Becket” should have won Best Actor for Peter O’toole and Best Picture in 1964. Can’t bear to watch “My Fair Lady” – such a lumbering dinosaur of a movie (and I love Audrey Hepburn. . . but not in this movie).

  • Sasha Stone

    My Fair Lady is unwatchable.

  • Akumax

    If I’m not mistaken BP is the category with the preferential ballot also for deciding the winner.
    It means that a film like Argo that is generally liked, and not at all devising, can really win. There are contenders like Zero Dark thirty, Lincoln and Le Miserables that could as easily end up in the first place or in the last place on a ballot. In a year so unpredictable this preferential voting can really make a big difference.
    Films with strong support like Argo, Amour and Life of Pi can collect a solid number of first places but also 2nd and 3rd places, I don’t think they will collect a lot of negative votes ending up in 9th place on a ballot.

    but maybe I didn’t understand the voting process right.

  • It’s so difficult…
    We’re living a so fucking-freak-crazy year… not exactly crazy year, but crazy for Academy weirdo choices…
    I’m verry happy when I read posts like that, about Oscar History.
    I am Art Historier and a resercher too. I’ve doing this since I was a little boy, at 8 (yes, 8!)
    And since that green years, I’ve been always really touched by all this.
    It’s really important to me.
    And here, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in different ways so far, there aren’t others like me. (JM, also known as João Marcelo in here João Mattos is the only exeption).
    Sometimes, I,m very passionate and I deffend whit all my heart my favorites… but, in the end, it’s all about love…
    And it’s really nice to know that I’m not alone in this case.

    About this year, The Master is by far mt favorite. After it, Argo. And after The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Life of Pi.
    All I have to say is good luck to this movies.
    Perks is out, The Master was snubbed (and it’s very sad), Affleck was snubbed as Director (very sad too) and Pi was honored.
    I vote for Argo as Picture, Lee as director and Phoenix, Hoffman, Watts and Hunt as actors (Hunt is leading and maybe the best perfornance in category… Watts have less time than expected but she’s so great and stronger whit her brilliant co-star, a little big actor called Holland. Maybe their chances are weak, but Phoenix and Hoffman deserves win more than anyone).
    So, I wish good luck to all them.
    Not couse they’re my favorites or I love them.
    But cause they’re really deserve this.
    For justice!

  • rufussondheim

    A lot of those musicals from that time frame that won Best Pic are unwatchable. Gigi, Sound of Music and My Fair Lady are unbearable. Even West Side Story is pretty bad compared to a quality stage version.

    And to think Singin’ in the Rain wasn’t even nominated.

    Oscar really doesn’t deserve the amount of attention we pay to it.

  • I really, really think that because of the egregious director snub for Affleck, that Argo will win Best Picture. And although I have nothing against DDL, I love and respect the man, but this will be his THIRD Oscar while someone like Joaquin Phoenix, who should have won for ‘Walk the Line’, is Oscarless. I’m hoping for a mind-blowing orgasmic Best Actor win for Phoenix, and a wonderful consolation prize for Best Picture to Argo.

  • Sometimes I feel bad for THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING with its measly 11 nominations and 11 wins. Perfection and yet no one ever remembers it. And they also wouldn’t remember that it did it without acting nominations/wins because there was some silly consensus out there that it was an ensemble movie and therefore no one should be singled out. How dumb. It was actually nomination morning that year when Sean Astin didn’t get nominated that I gave up on Oscar getting it right. That’s why I’m so calm about these things now. I expect it.

  • rufussondheim

    Akumax, the important thing to remember is that with each round, the film with the least number of #1 votes will be eliminated. So a film like Life of Pi (which a lot of people are discounting) may not have enough #1 votes to survive longer than a film like Les Miserables, which likely has passionate support from a significant minority of the membership. So all of those #2’s and #3’s may never come into play.

    I wish the Academy would release the vote totals at some point in time in the future. It would be fascinating. If I knew we’d get these totals in, say 2023 and I got lung cancer in 2017, I know I would survive that lung cancer just to see the vote totals for this year.

  • Akumax

    Thanks Rufussondheim,

    you are right, that is important, but I believe (maybe it is wishful thinking) that Life of Pi will collect a lot of number one places.

    Anyway, Argo seems to me the strongest contender with this voting system and I think it will win BP in the end.

  • Jack

    Adapted Screenplay


    Production Design
    Visual Effects
    Sound Editing

    Supporting Actress
    Sound Mixing
    Costume design
    Song- MAYBE

    I think Hoffman wins Supporting Actor, Amour wins Screenplay and Foreign Film.

    So the love is mostly spread around.

  • rufussondheim

    I know I am in a small minority here, but I still think Hugh Jackman has a legitimate shot at winning here.

    I just don’t see DDL as being iconic as Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, the last two performers to win three Oscars. The applause for DDL at the two televised ceremonies are polite, not enthusiastic (compared to some of the other winners) so I have to wonder if his support is as broad as it needs to be in order to win.

    Check out the applause for Hugh Jackman and DDL when their names are announced. The applause for Jackman is a little louder and a little more sustained. Not saying this is scientific, just saying that the applause for DDL should be a little more enthusiastic if he’s a foregone conclusion to win.

  • Jack

    Argo wins Editing. Zero Dark Thirty goes home empty handed. Same for Django and Beasts, though Beasts could upset adapted screenplay Precious style.

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    Wow…so many of you with ADD. i watch MY FAIR LADY often. it holds up beautifully. a classic with class. George Cukor, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Cecil Beaton’s designs, Mona Washburn, the brilliant music and lyrics, Andre Previn’s lovely score adaptation–where would you find such a combination of talent onscreen today in a project like this? and WEST SIDE STORY? SOUND OF MUSIC?
    c’mon you guys. unwatchable? then movies are something you need to set aside as a passion if you find so much effort to bash the great ones. how ’bout CITIZEN KANE? lots of young folks would put that on the unwatchable list. let’s dump ’em all…

  • Akumax


    I agree with you, Life of Pi is the one that will likely win the most Oscars this year. That is why I’m convinced that it will also win director (in stead of Affleck not nominated).

    Argo BP
    Ang Lee BD
    Argo also wins Screenplay and editing
    Pi also wins cinematography – score – visual effects – sound editing and (not so sure) production design

  • rufussondheim

    SeattleMoviegoer, I grew up liking those musicals, especially Carousel, which is still a favorite of my mother’s.

    But then around age 18 I discovered the works of Stephen Sondheim, who brought so much sophistication to the musical, his lyrics, his compositions are above and beyond the Golden Age of the Hollywood Musical. So after absorbing such treats as Sweeney Todd, Company, Sunday in the Park with George and Assassins those old musicals are just so dull. Sondheim taught me to expect more in a musical. When I see the old musicals, I simply expect more.

    Even lighter fare from Sondheim, like A Little Night Music, blows away those classic musicals. Sure a song as strong as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is great whenever and wherever you hear it, but when you see it in Carousel, it’s not any stronger than it is outside of that film. And compare it to “Send in the Clowns” which is a great song if you don’t know the context. But when you put it the context of the musical, it adds so many layers and it turn from a beautiful ballad to a rumination on failed relationships that will break your heart.

    Sondheim is a master who practically turned the concept of “second best” into “don’t even bother.”

  • My Fair Lady and West Side Story: masterpieces. Great movies. Also Cabaret, Singing in the Rain, Moulin Rouge. I repeat: masterpieces.

    Gigi and The Sound of Music: medium. Good, and noting more. Also Chicago.

  • Sasha Stone

    Jack’s predix look good. Supporting Actor is wide open. I think Lincoln will win one of those techs – not sure which but agree with everything else.

  • mecid

    Score is William’s to lose I think.

  • Manuel

    I think SLP will go empty handed simply because the film is the weakest in the bunch and has “less” passionate voters. The film has achieved enormous by just getting alll those nominations

    BEST PICTURE: Between Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Upset: Amour or Life of Pi

    BEST DIRECTOR: Spielberg vs. Haneke. Upset: Ang Lee

    BEST Or. Screenplay: Haneke vs Boal. Upset: Tarantino

    BEST SUP. ACTRESS: Hathaway. Mortal lock

    BEST SUP. ACTOR: TLJ vs PSH. Upset: Matthew McConaughey ( Kidding)

    BEST Ad. Screenplay: Lincoln/ Argo/ Django

    BEST Actress: Chastain vs. Riva

    BEST Actor: Day-Lewis vs Phoenix

    Lincoln is a respected movie but not loved I think. Passionate votes for Skyfall, Life of Pi, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour and Beasts

  • Akumax

    Williams’ score reminds me of The West Wing score here and there. Don’t find it Oscar worthy

  • I dunno. I don’t like the damn thing but I have a funny feeling LIFE OF PI might be the big winner. Maybe not BP, maybe so. But my vibes are saying it will take home the most Oscars.

    However, my vibes also thought Ben Affleck was going to win Best Director. So, you know.

  • Akumax

    What about Affleck winning director without the nom. Is it possible for the voting members to write a name on the ballot. I bet that with online voting is not possible, right?

  • I think that write-in rumor turned out to be bupkis, right?

    Anyway I could use some clarification on that and exactly how the voting is this year.

  • Check out the applause for Hugh Jackman and DDL when their names are announced. The applause for Jackman is a little louder and a little more sustained.

    Clap-o-meter results are very unreliable. Small, passionate groups of supporters for beloved underdogs generate the biggest applause. Les Mis supporters are such supporters.

    On another note, I can’t see a Production Design win for Life of Pi. They’ll go properly period, I think. They usually do. Anna Karenina or Lincoln. Les Mis has an outside shot. The Hobbit and Life of Pi would be extremely lucky.

  • It wasn’t so much a rumour. Scott Feinberg floated the theory as a possibility. Even he didn’t have much faith in it. No-one ever took it particularly seriously.

  • helios

    I know I am in a small minority here, but I still think Hugh Jackman has a legitimate shot at winning here.

    I just don’t see DDL as being iconic as Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, the last two performers to win three Oscars. The applause for DDL at the two televised ceremonies are polite, not enthusiastic (compared to some of the other winners) so I have to wonder if his support is as broad as it needs to be in order to win.

    Check out the applause for Hugh Jackman and DDL when their names are announced. The applause for Jackman is a little louder and a little more sustained. Not saying this is scientific, just saying that the applause for DDL should be a little more enthusiastic if he’s a foregone conclusion to win.

    Shocking. You think Les Mis has a chance, too. In fact IIRC it was going to break nomination records. Next time they should put an applause-o-meter on the screen so we can speculate even more like delusional maniacs. How loud was the applause for Streep when she lost the SAG?

  • helios

    rufus’ post should’ve been in italics. Ryan..?

  • zazou

    Those posters who have said that The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Gigi and West Side Story are ,”unwatchable,” and of course Les Miserables are really wrong. The worth of a film is in the eye of the beholder,so if you don’t like these musicals, that is unfortunate but not a judgement against the film. An intolerance for that which one does not like is part of today’s culture.If you don’t like musicals what about Opera is that a write-off as well?Actually the critics liked Sondheim and Fosse,but their taste is pretty narrow these days.

  • Slight correction; 1944, the year GOING MY WAY won Best Picture, was the first year the Academy went back to five Best Picture nominees.

  • Glenn UK

    I find it funny that references are made to gaps where a film failed to score ….. Argo an Oscar BD nod, SLP a DGA nod …… yet its never remembered that Lincoln failed to get a BAFTA BD nod. There is a significant gap for Lincoln too. It could be that the foreign/UK contigent are rooting for something else and they will be casting their votes in another direction which will take some heat off Lincoln and allow another movie to come through – possibly Argo, ZDT or Pi. As we have seen in recent years, the past statistics mean less and less and strange occurrences seem to be happening more frequently. We should know come Sunday which film will be the front-runner.

  • keifer

    Heh. Everybody has their opinion. You can disagree if you care to. I don’t mind.

    But I would rather pound a nail into my skull rather than watch Rex Harrison paraphrasing in My Fair Lady for 3 hours.

    All I said was it is unwatchable (my opinion).

    SOund of music, Cabaret, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Moulin ROuge, Singin’ in the Rain. Great movies (my opinion).

    My Fair Lady, Paint Your Wagon, Hello Dolly, Oliver – they stink. (my opinion)

  • Those posters who have said that The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Gigi and West Side Story are ,”unwatchable,” and of course Les Miserables are really wrong. The worth of a film is in the eye of the beholder

    You state that these posters are wrong, and then state that the worth of a film is in the eye of the beholder. How, then, can they be wrong, if beauty is a subjective quality?

    so if you don’t like these musicals, that is unfortunate but not a judgement against the film.

    Anyone is free to make a judgement about any film.

    An intolerance for that which one does not like is part of today’s culture.

    Intolerance for that which one does not like is part of human nature, not today’s culture.

    If you don’t like musicals what about Opera is that a write-off as well?

    Have these posters stated that they don’t like musicals? Or just some specific musicals? No-one even mentioned opera, never mind writing it off. Disliking a few musical films doesn’t necessitate a hatred for all vocal music.

    One of the most ridiculous comments I’ve read here in some time, and that’s saying something.

  • its never remembered that Lincoln failed to get a BAFTA BD nod.

    I remember it! I don’t think it’s currently that significant, and its far less significant than Ben Affleck’s Oscar miss or David O. Russell’s DGA miss. But I think it signals that BAFTA will not vote for Lincoln for Best Film, whether or not it wins the major guilds (which it could certainly sweep). This might upset the race yet again. So this snub may become more significant than it presently is.

  • Have these posters stated that they don’t like musicals? Or just some specific musicals? No-one even mentioned opera, never mind writing it off. Disliking a few musical films doesn’t necessitate a hatred for all vocal music.

    One of the most ridiculous comments I’ve read here in some time, and that’s saying something.

    You missed this one where our ultimate goal is revealed: We seek to dump all the movies the young folks don’t like:

    how ’bout CITIZEN KANE? lots of young folks would put that on the unwatchable list. let’s dump ‘em all…

  • Akumax

    Lincoln didn’t just miss the Bafta director nom. It has won almost anything so far. Support from critics groups failed to be strong, both critics choice and globes showed no love at all. It is not that strong of a contender, let alone being the frontrunner.

  • Astarisborn

    Ang Lee for Pi has a great chance of winning best director. Even if he doesn’t win DGA, I think BAFTA directing is going to him.
    Lincoln – Best Picture alt- Argo
    Ang Lee- Director alt Speilberg

  • Robert A.

    “Lincoln didn’t just miss the Bafta director nom. It has won almost anything so far. Support from critics groups failed to be strong, both critics choice and globes showed no love at all. It is not that strong of a contender, let alone being the frontrunner.”

    How soon we forget The King’s Speech.

  • KT

    I absolutely do not think John Williams will win. Life of Pi winning the Globe sealed the deal for me. I don’t know how many of these shows I’ve watched, hoping Williams will win another Oscar, and then I’m disappointed. Happens all of the time…the Memoirs of a Geisha year was probably the result that made me most upset, since he actually won the Golden Globe–and believe it or not, he has less of those than Oscars. And of course going back many years, there’s a few scores I’m shocked he didn’t win for, but then again this is the Academy we’re talking about.

    Re: Daniel Day-Lewis: I’m cautiously optiministic regarding Daniel Day-Lewis. Yes, it would be amazing to see him win a third Oscar, but I’m not sure whether voters know this would be a landmark award. If they do, and we won’t know until Oscar night, I think Hugh Jackman will win and it’ll be the shock of the evening. If Universal can get the word out that came from Tom Hooper and the Les Miz cast/crew that only Hugh Jackman could’ve played this role, he may have a chance. I also think for some people the whole Daniel Day-Lewis serious method actor schtick is getting old, hence the jokes at the Golden Globes, and they may want to vote for someone else. Do people in the industry think he’s already been awarded enough…or would like to see him do more films of less serious subject matter, comedies? Who knows? Right now, it’s looking very likely we will see Oscar history deservedly made—and what’s perhaps more noticeable, three wins of very high caliber performances that were all the best of their years. Vivien Leigh is probably the only other actor, maybe Jodie Foster (there’s probably a few others you can think of), where the Academy got the wins for the right roles for the actor’s career.

  • Akumax

    Robert A, you are right but…

    The king’s speech was a Weinstein creature Lincoln is not.
    That year The Social Network was the only other strong contender, it is not the same this season.
    Somehow I can see strong support for each movie nominated for BP, votes are going to be spread around a lot and I believe some contenders are more likely to get a lot of negative votes, Lincoln is one of them. I might be wrong, I often am.

  • rufussondheim

    Thanks, Paddy, for coming to my (and others) defense! It’s always nice when I don’t have to do any heavy lifting because others have done it for me.

    As for the applause-o-meter. Of course it’s unscientific. Of course it’s absurd. Of course one can’t make any concrete conclusions from it.

    But we have no real data about how “Hollywood” is thinking. We only know he is in the top 5. (and if you combine the SAG nominations, really the top 4) It’s all conjecture. So it’s kind of fun to bring it up since if I didn’t I’d be twiddling my dick, talking about the same shit day after day until we wait for Hollywood to get off its ass and give us some more info.

  • rufussondheim

    Off topic, but it appears Before Midnight might be 2013’s first great film.

    Now if the Academy would just take notice since they completely failed to recognize the first two.

  • The Pope

    I’m delighted that you led this piece with an image from REDS. It was by far the most accomplished film that year and I think it holds up supremely well; certainly more so than Chariots. In fact, I would nominate REDS as one of the best nominated films that did not win Best Picture.

    Slightly off-topic, I know, but any excuse to sing the praises of an intelligent, passionate, articulate, stirring, big-budget, star-driven Hollywood movie. About commies no less!

  • Danemychal

    I tried to watch West Side Story a couple weeks ago. i got thirty minutes in, and decided it was the most overrated Oscar movie of all-time. Just awful. My Fair Lady is easier to watch, but woefully overlong. And knowing Audrey didnt song her own songs just makes it even harder to enjoy. Which brings us to The Sound of Music: I think it’s great! But its no Singin in the Rain or Wizard of Oz. All of this goes to show how wildly different people’s opinions of the classic musicals are! And rufussondheim is right — we give the Oscars too much attention. But we just can’t help ourselves.

  • m1

    they completely failed to recognize the first two.

    Actually, Before Sunset got a screenplay nomination. But I hope that Before Midnight gets more attention, if it ends up being really good. Hell, maybe Hawke and Delpy can sneak into the acting categories this time.

    Lincoln clearly isn’t a lock, but it has a very good shot and a strong narrative behind it. Spielberg wanted to make this movie for years, but he couldn’t for a while. AND it ended up being one of the best reviewed films of Spielberg’s career. It felt like a historical film as written by Aaron Sorkin. It was fantastic. That being said, Silver Linings Playbook and Beasts of the Southern Wild are just as good, and I wouldn’t be shocked if either of those films took home the prize. The Academy clearly loved those other films just as much.

  • Akumax

    @ Danemychal,

    my best compliments for deciding that West Side Story, which is 152 min long, was the most overrated Oscar movie of all-time. And thank you, for having the need of sharing your accurate and profound opinion with us.

    I’ve seen ten minutes of 2001 a Space Odyssey and then thought: well, I’ve had enough of apes, so overrated that prehistoric movie!

  • I love west side story. Beautiful work of art that changed musicals and movie musicals. No wonder fifty years later it gets produced so often. It crosses generation after generation. Possibly the best movie musical of all time. So much energy, love, and craft.

  • Antoinette, I did make note of how calm you are. It was especially obvious in late December after les miserable hit. 😉

  • Reno

    I pity, pity, pity, pity, pity, those who can’t stand The Sound of Music, Gigi, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Oliver and also Les Miserables for that matter. Musicals are scarce compared to other genres, hence future generations will be watching these titles more than some of the heralded dramas, film noirs, comedies, etc. Maybe they will appreciate these films more than today’s cynical snobs.

  • @Cinesnatch I meant during nominating time. 😛 lol By the way, did you end up seeing Les Miz? I remember that you hadn’t right away. I don’t remember if you ended up loving it or not.

  • steve50

    I’m with Cinesnatch on West Side Story – the good far outweighs the bad. WSS had that great score, the dancing, and two terrific supporting players (Moreno and Chakiris). The leads were blah, but the rest was great stuff.

    Not a true aficiondo of musicals in film, I need something that captures my attention, and Cabaret, Moulin Rouge, All That Jazz, and a few others managed that. Mostly, they are fair-to-decent material that suffers from bloat (The King and I, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha). Sometimes it’s forgiveable (that horrid dinosaur Camelot remains a guilty pleasure because it tries so hard). Other times, I just can’t do it (Sound of Music and those fucking kids gives me convulsions.)

    The musical, if it is to survive in movies as more than a collection of video clips with big name stars, MUST think beyond its current limitations. I’d love to see Assassins done imaginatively (any of Sondheim’s thoughtful work, actually), a totally re-engineered version of Show Boat, even and updated version of South Pacific (hell, set it in the Persian Gulf and change the title!)

  • Unlikely hood

    Argo goes home empty handed. You read it here first.

  • The Pope

    Let’s face it, of all genres musicals are a very mixed bag. They rely on the BIG NUMBER. And sometimes the bring it off (a la Ascot in My Fair Lady) and just as often they dont’ (Maria in West Side Story). My Fair Lady is, for the most part, unbearable. West Side Story has scintillating music and some, SOME brilliantly conceived numbers. The opening sequence is brilliant; the silence of the city and then the very nervous clicking of the fingers. And I just love, love, love when the Jets jump into the air and… very Wise!

    But Natalie Wood? Richard Beymer? George Chakiris? George EFFING Chakiris? Puh-lease. He won an Oscar for that?

    The saving grace is Rita Moreno. She was superb. Incandescent.

    I don’t like The Sound of Music. Turgid stuff. Hey, let’s turn the Anschluss into a musical!

  • steve50

    Argo and PI will either have a tremendous night or, I agree, go home with little. Their strength will be how often they land in the number two position on the same ballots where more polarizing films are in the number one position and end up getting dropped, causing the votes to go to their number 2’s. I think they’ll have enough number 1’s to stay past the first round.

    They are both very vulnerable in other categories, especially if there is a mob surge for another film.

  • Akumax

    Argo goes home with 4 Oscars. You read it here first.

    Supp Actor – editing – screenplay and… Best Picture

  • I fully expect there to be a lot of splits if only because the partisanship and promotion is so vocal and noisy. The Academy voters must have their own friends, political alliances, job prospects, and loyalties to consider. In a year with so many well made films, anything is possible. I’m honestly hoping for some true inkling about where the votes will fall with SAG.

    A Lincoln win would be excellent, but this simply wasn’t DDL’s best performance and I don’t think he is the lock that many believe simply because it has been said so often. Jackman or Phoenix could be just as likely.

    Saw some musical questions above. The next one I would like to see made would be City of Angels. With it’s “Book to Movie” theme set in the hey day of Hollywood film noir Studio system and some truly great songs, four strong leads and scads of supporting players, it could be both fun and popular.

  • Argo goes home with 4 Oscars. You read it here first.

    Supp Actor – editing – screenplay and… Best Picture

    Dude. No. Most of us don’t even get why Arkin is nommed.

    ftr, I like most musicals I’ve seen just not lately. Which means…


  • Thanks for asking Antoinette. I know steve50 you wanted to know too.

    Final consensus on les miserables the movie: I loved and hated it. I totally respect your opinions on the film, but I also find myself still defensive of the final product.

    I cried like a b!tch during most of the movie especially the latter half. The strongest assets of the film:
    1) music, lyrics, book
    2) characters, themes
    3) casting

    The singing was fine for me, but, yes, it could have been better. Russell Crowe didn’t bother me, but it was a killer role that, if played better, would be a lock for Oscar like Hathaway has forced herself on us. Those who say she was the best part … Well, I wonder if we were watching the same movie.

    The weakest parts:
    1) some of the editing was inexplicably horrific. One of the shots of thepriest on the stairwell during the final song was a seriously poorly executed moment which made me think they may have not had the necessary coverage? I don’t know

    2) the close ups didn’t bug me as much as The King Speech-type portraiture. You know, the Tom hooper style of taking half of an actors body and making a pretty “picture” from an askew angle. This is stuff anyone can do, and there was very little motivation for it. There were times that it was beautiful (like the shot of Amanda seyfried with the red background (when we first meet her?), but other times it just seemed like he was bored or didn’t know what he was doing. Some of the more fluid cinematography was fine though, like the opening, the shot leaving valjean up to the sky.

    3) Tom hooper’s propensity both unintentional and otherwise for high camp.i give him props, but I also have to take them away. The Javert crunch at the end suggested to me that hooper lacked deference to the source material. And the idea that we would literally see a man screw Anne Hathaway and then watch her rise from the transaction to sing I dreamed a dream, was questionable at best (My understanding from a friend who is familiar with the show is that the act is implied from off stage).

    I have been enjoying the original London soundtrack on my iPod lately, as I was unfamiliar with the musical outside a couple of songs up until a few weeks ago. I will probably buy the DVD (I don’t make many movie purchases), so I can both appreciate and mock it when necessary. The music is something else, and while hooper didn’t bat it out of the park, he didn’t embarress himself entirely also.

    I still think it earned most of its nominations. I do wonder why it the costume design and production design seemed to be slightly lacking. Budgetary?

    And after ZD30 it’s my pick for best pic of the year, out of the nominees. I alluded to on another thread Antoinette (you may have missed it) tHat our Oscar ballots for best picture are almost exactly opposite of each other. I think it would be fun for the two of us to see a movie together. The discussion afterwards would be exciting! By the way, I’m an Aquarian. What are you?

  • Sorry I typed this on my iPad. Bad Spelling, no paragraph breaks, etc

  • Jack

    Wow, thanks everybody! Thanks, Sasha!

    I think Pi wins the same awards as Hugo did last year.

    Supporting Actor is the widest race right now.

    Jones was declared a frontrunner, but has won nothing.

    DeNiro makes a comeback in a dark horse for Picture, but I can’t see him winning his 3rd the year Lewis wins his 3rd, and Spielberg wins his 3rd for Directing.

    I still don’t see Waltz winning. Sure, he plays the good white guy. But I don’t see him winning his 2nd that fast with QT again. I think the Globes liked Django more than the Academy will.

    Hoffman deserves to win, IMO. He has showed up at every guild and took the BFCA. But The Master only got acting nods.

    Arkin could be the biggest surprise. If Argo does in fact end up winning Picture, which I doubt, it’s possible, but I doubt it, he could upset for the win. He was a surprise for Miss Sunshine.

    Will the SAG Award matter Sunday? This year the guilds really haven’t told us much. Waltz isn’t even nominated. Though if Hoffman does end up winning the SAG, I think he will probably pull ahead.

    As for Lead Actor, I wouldn’t say it’s locked, but I’d feel pretty safe betting my entire bank account on Lewis. If there happens to be a shock, it’s Phoenix.

    Same goes for Supporting Actress. Hathaway deserves to win, but Field is the alternate.

    As for a tech win for Lincoln? Production Design or Costume. More so costume I’m leaning. If it had been noninated for make-up, I’d say it takes that easily.

  • @Vince Well, I’m glad you didn’t love it totally. lol Yeah I was gonna say I thought we were complete opposites. I was guessing you were a Gemini. I’m Sagittarius. That’s why I like large films with lots of glitter. Les Mis could have been that if someone else directed, imo. That’s also why I’m rooting for DJANGO, no matter what. It’s got the most pizzazz.

  • steve50

    Vince, I can totally agree with your reasons for liking what you did. The scales just tipped the other way for me (crashed, actually) – I couldn’t forgive the negative aspects, which is why I think musicals need directors with a unique vision. Standard framing, cinematography and editing don’t cut it. What transports on a live stage can be downright embarassing on film. But I’m not going to dump on Les Mis anymore, RIP. (Unless it pulls a “Carrie” on Oscar night and bursts from the grave).

  • I’m personally predicting Lincoln to win Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay, joining Reds with 3 wins. I’m feeling an Argo win coming for Picture, and Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field are far from safe in their categories. If anyone but Roger Deakins wins Cinematography I will scream. Lincoln could win Editing or Costumes, maybe, but I’m guessing that an Editing win for Argo will serve as a preview for the surprise win at the end. Arkin might win Supporting Actor also.

  • steve50

    For awhile I saw Argo as a possible spoiler for BP, but I’m guessing that the same people who like Argo might possibly be jumping on the SLP bandwagon. Lincoln support is large and strong and I think (until we get a big hint from the PGA) that it holds, BP, Actor and Adapted Screenplay for certain, and TLJ looks like he’s in for supporting actor. Not going to happen for Sally, unless she gets the SAG, but even that can be a jinx.

    The entire counter-campaigning this year is looking pretty obvious and tawdry and I hope there’s a distinct backlash against it.

    I can’t see anything but Anna Karenina for costumes and production design, not even if Lincoln sweeps – look at some of the opulent clunkers of the past that avoided sweep impact.

    Real battles are for director, cinematography, actress (which is actually an extension of the BP scramble this year, perhaps the consolation prize), score and editing.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Knowing how things are developing on the ground:

    Picture: Lincoln – LOCKED
    Director: Lincoln – LOCKED
    Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – LOCKED
    Actress: Emmanuelle Riva – GUT FEELING/WISH
    S. Actor: Tommy Lee Jones – LOCKED
    S. Actress: Anna Hathaway – CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
    Original: Tarantino – BARELY LEADING FOR NOW
    Adapted: Kushner – LOCKED
    Cinematography: Miranda – CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
    Editing: Goldenberg (Argo) – MOST HYPED/HIGHLY OVERRATED/LOGIC
    Score: Williams – LOCKED
    Production Design: Lincoln – COMFORTABLY LEADING
    Custom: N/A
    Makeup: N/A
    SoundS: N/A
    VFX: N/A

    The Blu-ray case will read:


    P.S. At the very least 7!

  • Lincoln will win makeup for sure. Oh wait ….

  • Daveylow

    @Bryce–I don’t know if you’re a shill for Lincoln but this is the second time you’ve posted a sweep for Lincoln and I don’t believe you. There is no evidence so far that Lincoln will win that many awards.

    Quite a few classic musicals never won best picture, including the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers works, Wizard of Oz, Singing’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. I do agree that My Fair Lady is one of the weakest musical films to win Best Picture. It’s just so unimaginative cinematically though I love the score. On the other hand, I like Gigi very much.

  • zazou

    My goodness I expressed a defense of several musicals that have a multi-decade following and the result was to infer that I am some kind of idiot. Well that person gets overheated pretty fast …over a defense of musicals? The point made was some people make sweeping denuniciations and never bother to temper what they say and yes that is a part of human nature but why be such a boor ?

  • christiannnw

    Speaking of “Going My Way”, I just found a VHS copy of it in my basement! Can’t wait to watch it tomorrow at my school’s library.

    “Lincoln” seems fine for that quartet of awards for the time being, hopefully Riva will shake things up come BAFTA, Anne Hathaway might kill a child between now and when Oscar ballots are due, and SAG should clarify Tommy Lee Jones’ chances.

  • Daveylow

    I didn’t really mean a literal “sweep” above but it’s possible that Lincoln may not even win the most Oscars. And if Spielberg loses the DGA, its BP prospects aren’t going to be assured.

  • Bryce Forestieri


    You know LINCOLN was robbed of that nomination. Shame on the makeup branch.

  • Robert A.

    Adapted Screenplay is going to be very interesting at the Oscars. If Argo or SLP upsets Lincoln/Kushner, that movie is most likely going to win BP. If Kushner wins, on the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily indicate Lincoln will win BP (although it certainly won’t hurt the cause, either).

    I still expect Kushner to win adapted screenplay, but I’m not sure I think it’s a dead-certain win for Lincoln. A probable winner, definitely. But didn’t Argo, for example, win the LA Film Critics screenplay prize, with SLP the runner-up?

  • Bryce Forestieri

    A few more prediction so that people have some sense before of what I’m talking about well before Oscar night.

    Lincoln will win the PGA
    Lincoln will win the SAG-ensemble

  • Bryce Forestieri


    Daniel Day-Lewis will win the SAG and the BAFTA, but some people will still maintain until Oscar night that there is a race: Day-Lewis vs Phoenix or Day-Lewis vs Jackman

    Silly individuals

  • Danemychal

    Daveylow – I think Life of Pi has a good chance of pulling a Hugo: most Oscars, none of the big ones. Lincoln or SLP should take home the big guns. Argo as the upset special for BP only if it gets a bunch of 2nd place votes on preferential ballots.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Hey how many of ya’ll can’t help but to at least once a year pop-in your Blu-ray of THE ARTIST that you bought with your money? Masterpiece you heard!

  • Daveylow

    I don’t own a copy of The Artist and I don’t regret it, though I liked the film. I do own Hugo.

    Anyone who thinks Can’t Stop the Music is better than Les Miz must really hate musicals.

  • Judy

    “My Fair Lady is unwatchable.” + some fairly unreasonable Les Mis comments throughout the season…

    I get the impression Sasha just isn’t a musical fan?

  • Mac

    Hmm… My Fair Lady is unwatchable?

    When I was a kid I hated My Fair Lady. Audrey Hepburn’s dubbing was terrible while Rex Harrison SHOULD have been dubbed.

    Having watched it recently, I now find it hilarious. Especially when Higgins starts bagging on Doolittle, and she’s borderline oblivious about it. Oh, and the Ascot Race is non-stop wit. Doolittle’s father has some great scenes as well.

    Wait a minute, My Fair Lady is actually pretty good! There is no way Harrison should have gotten the Oscar over O’Toole, but a nomination was okay. The production, Cuckor’s direction, and the screenplay are all aces. It was wildly popular and it deserved every boxoffice penny. Pygmalion is better (and just as sexist), but it wasn’t a musical and happened so much earlier.

    I enjoy that the Sixties were when actresses were at their most powerful in Hollywood. Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, and Sandra Dee were among the top boxoffice earners if not the TOP earner most years.

    It all changed when Spielberg and Lucas came along, dumped women for FX, and dominated with action and sci/fi. The Eighties spawned their imitators and now it’s been ages since actresses have consistently carried the boxoffice.

    Now we have a bunch of idealists that want their actresses to mix it up with the guys, play their game and come out on top. It’s great when it happens (Jessica Chastain in ZD30, or Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games) but it’s not fair to always expect it from them. That one-upsmanship will never give way to consistent quality. It’s particularly bad because the genres that have historically appealed to women are usually dismissed – Romance, melodrama, and musicals no longer dominate the boxoffice. It seems like technology is starting to finally embrace the fairer sex. Twilight, The Hunger Games and the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful are a few that wouldn’t have been given the greenlight a decade ago. But it’s too early to tell whether this is just a trend or not.

    My Fair Lady is a relic – a boxoffice smash, anticipated because of its star actress, and sustained by excellent storytelling. It’s been way too long since movies of this kind have been commonplace (carried by an actress, from a big time director that catered to actresses). Sasha and Co. can ridicule it, but I appreciate that it’s a great representative from a time when the playing field was a bit more level.

  • The Japanese Viewer

    Thanks for a good read, Sasha.

    I quite enjoyed THE HURT LOCKER. And while we’d never know what would have happened had it competed this year instead of 0D30, I’d still see the REAL competition vs The Hurt Locker [to suspend the reality] coming from Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo, etc., rather than from AVATAR (that’s my perception).

    ^My point is, I guess because that Hurt Locker year what seemed to be a real threat to the film was believed to be Avatar, which, unfortunately, still apparently left us wanting more in writing department; so, why the movie Avatar as a whole was, say, powerful enough to be a major player, its want in good script, in my opinion, tended to backfire and give way to the better film, The Hurt Locker.

    Speaking for myself, between these two, I’d pick The Hurt Locker as winner as well. [No hatred to Avatar, despite the most agreeable visuals I still prefer The Hurt Locker to it.]

    As for this year’s Oscar prediction, for now, I still believe Ang Lee, as well as Steven Spielberg, is the frontrunner in BD. If I need to pick one for now, I’ll go for Ang Lee. But PGA would help….

  • The Japanese Viewer

    Correction: But the remaining Guilds would help….

  • James

    If Silver Linings Playbook wins adapted screenplay I’ll be nauseous. That screenplay is legitimately bad at times.

  • alan of montreal

    Sasha, you really need to write a book–with all this research you’ve been doing over the years, it’s time you put it all together and publish it.

  • Robert A. is correct. And Kushner can’t lose. He’s got celebrity factor behind a strong Best Picture contender if not frontrunner. None of the other writers have that. It worked for Emma Thompson, Aaron Sorkin. Dustin Lance Black. Diablo Cody. Sofia Coppola. Etc. The list is quite long. Kushner has won Tony, Emmy, Pulitzer. Make room on your shelf for Oscar for hero worship well done, Tony.

    Lincoln: 4 Oscars (Pic, Dir, Actor, Screenplay)
    Life of Pi: 4 (Cinematography, Visual Effects, Prod. Design, Score)
    Les Mis: 3 (Sup. Actress, Sound Mixing, Makeup)
    SIlver Linings: 2 (Actress, Sup. Actor)
    Skyfall: 2 (Song, Sound Editing)

  • Amour: 1 or 2
    Django: Who knows if Harvey can eke one or more out. Obviously, it’s never wise in general to bet against him. That’s why I think De Niro has a shot over Lee Jones. Someone already alluded to questioning Waltz winning under same director, only three years later, to boot. I agree, but, it is the most *substantial* role out of the five (Read: Category Fraud). Waltz is one of two leads, no question. But, he doen’t even come close to topping himself in Inglorious B’s.

    And the one-hit wonders:
    Editing: Argo (I am going to disagree with Unlikely Hood on this, for now)
    Original Screenplay: Django or Amour (But I’m currently predicting ZD30, because I can’t let go)
    Costumes: Anna Karenina

  • Someone

    @Bryce Forestieri: Is LINCOLN “locked” for anything? I don’t think so. We have to wait for PGA, DGA and SAG – and then think about “locks”. 🙂 (Do you remember THE SOCIAL NETWORK vs. THE KING’S SPEECH year? Or Daniel Day-Lewis vs. Jack Nicholson year of GANGS OF NEW YORK? Or BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN vs. CRASH year? Nothing is certain, especially in a year like this when everyone thinks that ARGO will win – and ARGO isn’t nominated for best director – and as for now no one likes LINCOLN so much to reward it with “best picture” or “best director” award)

  • The Japanese Viewer


    I love Jennifer Lawrence. But for some reason I am feeling the heat in Emmanuelle Riva. And I love the latter’s performance in Amour as well. For the time being I am being torn between the two. [To me, it could go either way for Oscar.]

    As for the celebrity factor in case of writers, I wonder why in Oscar (film) context Diablo Cody’s name was included here – she’d been relatively unknown before Juno, and after Juno, correct me if I am wrong, she’s never been nominated for writing for films as far as Oscar. [In your context, it’s been implied that writers with long-established fame tend to have advantage for the Oscar win/nom. Thus, in my opinion, Cody is irrelevant. Young Adult, while garnering WGA nom, didn’t win, not to mention (no nom) in terms of Oscar.] Peace.

  • Vitamin168

    I guess Ang Lee will probably get the BD, as people in the industry know how hard it is to bring this supposedly “unfilmable” project to a real cinema, plus breaking new technical grounds in cinemagraphy, sound, visual effect and taking on a fresh new actor who has never acted before for this movie. Comparing to what Ang Lee has done for “Life of Pi”, everyone else in the nominated BD seemed to be having a much easier life making movie.

  • Chris138

    I saw Chariots of Fire recently and was astonished by the end of it to know that this is what the Academy considered to be the best film of 1981. It has to be one of the weakest choices they’ve ever made, because it doesn’t hold up by today’s standards at all, in my opinion.

    Oh, and Beasts of the Southern Wild has no chance of winning Best Picture.

  • Bball_Jake

    Since Zero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables didn’t get directing nods(they should’ve), which pretty much takes them out of the race for BP, I say give Silver Linings Playbook Best Picture and Best Director, give Chastain Best Actress, Day Lewis Best Actor, give Waltz Supoorting Actor, and Hathaway Supporting Actress.

  • Henry Z.

    In the last 42 years, only six biopics focusing on one individual has won Best Picture: Patton, Gandhi, The Last Emperor, Schindler’s List, A Beautiful Mind, and The King’s Speech. Not really common.

    Also Life of Pi is getting a lot of support in the industry. Beware a sweep and directing win.

  • The Japanese Viewer


    I am rooting for Ang Lee (Best Director). And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy and the remaining Guild(s) have picked him for the Best Director win given his fair chance in my book (for now).

    I am hoping the voters — Oscar’s and Guilds’ – will spot your simple and matter-of-factly made yet wonderful comment and take into account some points indicated.

    One thing for sure, Life of Pi has recently been underrated as a film, as well as a contender for some Oscar categories including Best Picture by the so-called pundits and so-called beyond-average viewers (but NOT by the industry, considering the number of noms garnered). I am looking forward to seeing someone else (or myself) eating socks digitally for BD, if not BP, category for that matter. xD JK…JK

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    I just saw LINCOLN. I caught a late show in Seattle. The large auditorium was completely empty. I had a private viewing. That’s fine. It had me the moment Abe laid next to his son on the floor, kissed him and then put him to bed. I believe I just saw one of the best male performances ever on film. Yup, right next to Stanley Kowalski, T.E. Lawrence, Charlie Allnut, George Bailey, Randle McMurphy, etc. etc. Daniel makes history with 3 lead male Oscars. Even Nicholson can’t boast about that. I’m glad I was alone. I blubbered through the film. I can’t describe why. Freedom? The cost of war? The greatness of one life? The impact a man can have on his fellow man? The miracle of our democracy when it works? Probably all the above. Bravo, Mr. Spielberg. Bravo, Mr. Kushner. This was a movie for the ages. It will deserve its Best Picture honor. I can’t believe that I’ve not seen any mention nor reference to Peter Stone’s brilliant book of 1776 in relation to LINCOLN. That great musical (and yes, go ahead and roll your eyes folks) contains one of the best scripts ever put to paper for a play or musical. Its drama depicted the back and forth, contentious, seemingly impossible drafting of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. You think the 13th Amendment had labor pains? Go back and see 1776. Of course, it may be “unwatchable” to many of you. I hope LINCOLN isn’t assessed as such in coming years. Wow….what a year for movies!

  • Glenn UK

    I would be surprised if Lincoln came away with more than 5 wins. The year is too strong for a movie to sweep.

  • Sammy

    I do not think Spielberg will win the DGA. This will probably be a split year on BP/BD.

  • “Argo goes home with 4 Oscars. You read it here first. Supp Actor – editing – screenplay and… Best Picture”


    If Hoffman won’t win, I’ d like to see Arkin winning.

  • Argo goes home empty handed. You read it here first.

    No I didn’t. I predicted that on Sunday.

  • alan of montreal

    I must say, those of you with photos are a handsome lot, especially the guy who looks like Brando. 😉

    I’ve said this elsewhere already, but I really feel that Suraj Sharma should have been given more awards consideration. He was definitely better than Cooper, and I would dare say even better than Tom Hanks in Castaway. There were nuances to his performances that I don’t think have been appreciated enough. I suppose it might be partly due to the overwhelming technical achievement of the film, but I also think that voters (and critics) thought that there was room for only one breakout debut performance this year, and that was Wallis’.

  • Elton Almeida

    I can accept everything but if “Life of Pi” wins Production Design over “Anna Karenina” and “Les Miserábles” I’ll vomit and will never again care about the Oscars.

  • Andrew

    Sasha’s important observation that we have an extraorinary waiting period, needs to be factored in. After the Guild awards, there is a long time for campaigning.
    The best campaigned award wins.

  • Sammy

    No way Arkin can win this time. It would be a honor for him to be nominated for a mediocre performance. Where is John Goodman in that movie + Flight?

  • Sammy

    I expect the best picture winner to win not more than three oscars. The competition is strong especially in the technical categories. Look at Anna Karenina – it can win all four nominations and that would not be a surprise. Also adapted screenplay win for the Beasts and original screenplay win for Amour is very much possible considering the strong AMPAS support and best director nominations these two movies had.

  • Akumax

    If Argo is beloved as I think it is, Arkin has a big chance in a category with no frontrunner.

    It’s either De Niro or him in my opinion.

  • Akumax

    and by the way nothing helped Argo more than the director snub. I think it made Affleck and the film the underdog that deserves more than it is getting. That’s a big push and if SAG and/or PGA go to Argo I think the momentum will be unstoppable.

  • Danemychal

    If Argo pulls out a win over Lincoln, that’s still a million times better than SLP winning. SLP is a good movie with absolutely no extraordinary qualities. Weinstein is such a factor that his “legacy” in film history will be that he tainted The Oscar race much of the time he was around. If his SLP wins this year, he’s one step closer to future generations looking at him like they do the steroid era in Major League Baseball.

  • Sammy

    Argo is a much better movie than SLP – no doubt about it. Harvey is big figure in this industry. We have to accept that fact. Without Harvey, SLP would not have got all those acting and directing nominations.

  • Patrick

    “In the last 42 years, only six biopics focusing on one individual has won Best Picture: Patton, Gandhi, The Last Emperor, Schindler’s List, A Beautiful Mind, and The King’s Speech. Not really common.”

    Henry Z., in the last 42 years, only 3 of the years used a preferential ballot for Best Picture. And lo and behold, The King’s Speech won in one of those years. If that’s not enough to convince you, The King’s Speech and Lincoln have landed the EXACT same nominations from the Oscars, the Globes, BFCA and SAG. Now many expect Lincoln to win Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay at the Oscars, which are exactly what The King’s Speech won.

    PS. With Schindler’s List among the six you named (which also had 12 nominations; swap out Makeup for Supporting Actress in Lincoln’s case), I’d say Spielberg’s got a pretty good track record for winning with biopics, no?

  • Greg Robinson

    If Argo and Affleck are so beloved as everyone seems to be saying why did the Academy not nominate the film in more categories including Best Director? Surely if the film and the direction is supposedly that good it would received the ballots and therefore the nominations? Now all of a sudden Affleck is dubbed and the Academy us rallying behind him. Why did they not just do it in the first place? The Academy did not rally behind Spielberg and The Color Purple when Spielberg failed to be nominated Best Director. Nor did they rally behind Ron Howard in the same fashion for Apollo 13. If the Academy members really loved Argo and more specifically Affleck’s direction it would shown up in the nominations. The Academy loved Color and Purple but not that much that they thought it was deserving of Best Picture.

  • Greg Robinson

    Affleck is snubbed… Sorry

  • Evelyn Garver

    It feels silly defending the world’s greatest actor, but DDL is “iconic” among actors. Everyone expresses the desire to work with him. Nominee Bradley Cooper says DDL is his “idol”. Oscar winners like Bardem and Crowe have also been quoted as saying he is the best alive. Day-Lewis’ schtick, as someone called it, has resulted in some of the greatest performances of all time. The joking at the Globes was admiring and affectionate. I’m surprised anyone thought otherwise. Also, it’s absurd to argue against a performer winning an Oscar because he has won before. By that logic, no president would serve 2 terms and no sports teams would repeat.

    Rufus, I also listen to the applause. I do not think it’s silly. I can’t say with certainty that DDL will make history, but he does deserve to.

  • JAck Plack

    DeNiro takes SUPP ACT and Haneke takes DIRECTOR.

  • Patrick

    “If Argo and Affleck are so beloved as everyone seems to be saying why did the Academy not nominate the film in more categories including Best Director? Surely if the film and the direction is supposedly that good it would received the ballots and therefore the nominations? Now all of a sudden Affleck is dubbed and the Academy us rallying behind him. Why did they not just do it in the first place? The Academy did not rally behind Spielberg and The Color Purple when Spielberg failed to be nominated Best Director. Nor did they rally behind Ron Howard in the same fashion for Apollo 13. If the Academy members really loved Argo and more specifically Affleck’s direction it would shown up in the nominations. The Academy loved Color and Purple but not that much that they thought it was deserving of Best Picture.”

    Good point Greg. And both Spielberg and Howard ended up winning the DGA as consolation prizes. In the same way, I expect Affleck to win the DGA as a consolation prize, with Lincoln still winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

  • Arkin winning has as big of a chance as Weaver winning.

    I’m beginning to really champion Phoenix in my heart, if only because Day-Lewis has been honored and then some already, practically sealed it on the “Greatest Actor working Today” front so a third Oscar, though it couldn’t go to a more deserving actor, is a bit much considering the phenomenal turn from Phoenix.

    And, again, it’s not like DDL would mind if he lost. I’m sure he knows, like everyone else, that whatever he chooses to do next will get him into the Best Actor race.

  • Vitamin168

    The Japanese Viewer;

    Ang Lee is a humble person, and probably will not care whether he wins BD or not. He has done that with Brokeback. He probably cares more about whether the other technical nominations of “Life of Pi” win the oscar award or not. I once seen a footage of video showing Lee bear-hugged Peter Pau, the winner of Oscar cinemagraphy for “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. He was genuinely happy for him.

  • rufussondheim

    The Director’s Branch of the Academy is one of the smallest groups. For some reason google is failing me, but it makes up about 5% of the total membership. Meanwhile the Acting Branch makes up about 30% of the total membership.

    There is a reason the acting branch is so important. It’s the largest group. And in that group sits Ben Affleck, a popular actor who’s clearly loved (won a Screenplay Oscar), who has seen ups and downs, been ridiculed by the tabloids, and then by critics. He then took charge of his own career when he was at a career low and started directing. And he’s released three films that are highly respected, and each film garners more respect than the one before. He’s an inspiring figure for many in the Acting Branch, I’m sure.

    And maybe (I have no idea) there is some resentment from the actors for overlooking Ben Affleck in the Direction Category, which was an extremely crowded category – 3 snubs! – and none of the surprises are universally derided or deemed unqualified by most.

    The Actors are almost like an NFL team leading their division with 2 games to go. They control their own destiny. And if they decided to award Argo Best Pic, it will most likely result in an Argo win. And from the sound of the reactions of him winning at BFCA and the Globes, it sounds like they want him to win.

    Sure, a lot of time will pass between those wins and the final ballots, but, damn, it sure seems like Argo controls its own destiny right now.

  • John

    These are my predictions pre-PGA, SAG, BAFTA:
    So these could alllll change soon enough 😉
    BP – Lincoln
    BD – Lincoln
    BA – DDL
    BA – Chastain (ZD30s only)
    BSA – DeNiro (SLPs only)
    BSA – Hathaway
    BOS – Amour
    BAS – Lincoln
    BED – Argo (Argos only)
    BCIN – Life of Pi (should be Skyfall)
    BPD – Anna Karenina
    BCOST – Anna Karenina
    BMUP – Les Miserables (because its Best Pic nominated)
    BSED – Skyfall
    BSMIX – Skyfall (will get both because thats the pattern)
    BFX – Life of Pi
    BSCORE – Life of Pi
    BSONG – Skyfall
    BFOR – Amour
    Spread of wealth:
    Lincoln – 4
    Life of Pi – 3
    Skyfall – 3
    Les Miserables – 2
    Amour – 2
    Anna Karenina – 2
    Argo – 1
    SLP – 1

  • rufus…

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but if the actors love Argo/Affleck so much, they will award it Best Ensemble at SAG no?

    Why is everyone predicting SLP I wonder…

  • JJ

    I hope anyone wins but Hathaway. Ugh. Have you tried listening to the soundtrack version of her song? The whole talking/singing thing ruined that score.

  • Robin Write

    People are predicting Silver Linings Playbook because it genuinely is an ensemble piece, but the Oscar nods in all four acting categories could really guide voters when it comes to the Ensemble award. I’m not completely sure though they look at it as the best ensemble, that is, the group of actors and their performances collectively – I think they go “oh that’s the best film film let’s give that the actors award”…

  • PGA: Lincoln or Argo
    SAG: Lincoln, Argo, or SLP
    DGA: Lincoln or Argo

    Unless Lincoln doesn’t get any one of these precursors, it’s still taking Oscar.

  • Sammy

    ZDT will fail to score any wins. The Academy did not love that film at all.

  • Sammy

    PGA: Lincoln
    SAG Ensemble : SLP, Naomi Watts wins the Best Actress.
    DGA: Life of Pi
    BAFTA: Argo for best film, Haneke wins for directing and screenplay.

  • Robert

    Mary Poppins also won the Oscar for editing, for a total of 5 Oscars.

    I have lots of issues with the film version of My Fair Lady–George Cukor was a bad choice to direct it, and the whole thing feels rather embalmed and lifeless. But it’s important to understand the feeling at the time about the show. This was a time when Broadway musicals were a vital part of the culture–songs from shows were played on the radio, everyone in America watched stars performing numbers on the Ed Sullivan show, a soundtrack album (like West Side Story) would be the number 1 best-selling album of the year, etc. My Fair Lady was part of the zeitgeist of the late 50s and early 60s. By the time the movie got made, it was an EVENT. Everyone knew Julie Andrews had been snubbed by Jack Warner and that Audrey was dubbed, etc etc, everyone went to see it, everyone talked about it. The movie was beloved because the show was beloved, and there really wasn’t any doubt it would win. Mary Poppins was a much better film then and I feel the same way now–much more deserving. Rex Harrison was always going to win–an iconic performance on stage repeated on film–and they were able to honor Rex and Julie at the same time even though she was denied the chance to repeat her performance on film.

    As for Daniel Day-Lewis, it is inconceivable that he won’t win. It’s a performance for the ages, and I think even those who don’t love Lincoln will vote for him–it’s a towering performance.

  • Danemychal

    The SAG ensemble is amazing this year because there are 4 casts that could legitimately take it (sorry, Best Exotic, you have no shot). But it also doesn’t really tell us much about BP. We will already have the benefit of knowing the winner of the PGA the night before. Because PGA is a huge guild and only other one to vote preferentially, we will know a lot about the race Saturday night.

  • Bette

    “In each of these instances, with the possible exception of Casablanca, the house was greatly divided between many different films.”

    Of course we don’t know, but probably not. The Song of Bernadette won the first Golden Globe for Best Picture. Watch on the Rhine won the NY Film Critics award. The Ox Bow Incident took the National Board of Review. That was about it for precursors. Casablanca got nothing prior to the Oscars, and it was an upset winner for Best Picture over Bernadette.

    I am no fan of the Oscars (to put it mildly), but I have to concede, that was one of the very few times where they got it right in the context of an upset (or at all). Usually the films that pull the upset grow even lower in esteem over the years than at the time of their dubious victories, or at least stay where they were as other films soar past them. We all know what happened with Casablanca.

    And yet, the Academy still managed to get it wrong, because Casablanca is a 1942 release, not 1943! It would have been interesting to see what happened if Casablanca had to compete against wartime juggernaut Mrs. Miniver for the Oscar. Again, we’ll never know, but I suspect the lesser film would have prevailed. [And just as an aside since I can’t help myself, look at some of the films not even nominated for Best Picture in 1942 back when there were 10 nominees: To Be Or Not To Be, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, Now Voyager, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, etc…few nominees were in this league]. Also, while the year’s best film The Magnificent Ambersons managed to pull of a Best Picture nod, Orson Welles was snubbed for director, meaning Ambersons wasn’t even in the Academy’s top 5. So why do we care what the Academy thinks????

  • Bette

    I’m surprised by the disdain for My Fair Lady! I think its a wonderful film! But it ain’t no Dr. Strangelove, the year’s true Best Picture by a mile.

  • rufussondheim

    I have no ideas if people love Affleck or if they love Argo, and I’m not sure it makes a difference either way.

    Argo has a lot of names in it. None, except Affleck, are box office draws though (I’m not sure Affleck, the actor, is a box office draw anymore, he might be a bigger name as a director these days) but there are a lot of people in this movie that people have heard of, and many have been around a long time and garner a lot of respect for their work in non-film media, especially television.

    But, ultimately, I don’t think Argo is seen as a performance driven film like the other top contenders for the award. Les Miz, SLP and Lincoln are all performance driven.

    SAG is also a huge organization with about a hundred thousand members, and I doubt that they all get screeners for the films so one has to consider what films do these actors see. And what film will the actors want to win even if they haven’t seen the films. In this case, I think Les Miz has the edge.

    One thing I do know, if Argo wins the SAG Ensemble award, the Oscar race is over.

  • One thing I do know, if Argo wins the SAG Ensemble award, the Oscar race is over.

    Totes. And I also think ARGO and LES MIS have the benefit of larger casts, which seems to help. The only thing is LINCOLN and SLP have casts that are all superstars. For example LINCOLN does not include people like John Hawkes and that third guy in the funny trio, Gloria Rueben, Dane DeHaan, Jared Harris… It goes on and on who they left off the list. I never understood why they do that. I’m sure those people are SAG members. And I always remember huge casts like TRAFFIC winning. So imo it helps to have more. It would be ironic if LINCOLN won and no black people were included. I remember being mad way back when MOULIN ROUGE didn’t include Jacek Koman in its list. I don’t know if there was a good reason or not.

    So this year it will probably break down between awarding the most people possible if you like all of the casts or going for the wow factor of a household name cast.

    Maybe. I just made that up.

    fyi, I went by the cast lists here: When you click on ‘view cast list’ it tells you who actually would count as the cast and therefore get an award.

  • rufussondheim

    I probably wouldn’t vote for Lincoln just because they left Lee Pace off the list.

  • Even with names left off, Lincoln employed half of Hollywood. I still think its winning SAG. I would add les miserables to exotic hotel for likely losers. When you have Sacha baron Cohen insulting a fellow castmate on golden globe stage … Isn’t there some simple math there to be done .. ?

    I predict Lincoln will win PGA and perhaps lose DGA to affleck. He has been trotting out his kids like crazy even now.

    Lincoln is still winning Oscar. Four to be exact. That would be funny if Morgan freeman drove daisy’s ass around in a Lincoln. Probably too early in the century.

  • Never mind. She went from a Hudson to Cadillacs.

  • steve50

    Antoinette is right. 8 of the last 13 SAG Ensemble Awards went to the largest cast, many of whom did NOT go on to win BP. SAG is a red herring for predicting Oscar, or at least very unreliable.

  • Astarisborn

    ^ yes, that’s why Crash won over Brokeback Mountain at SAG.

  • Crash had a Huge Cast. Was Important. And dealt with Racism.

    Exactly why Lincoln is going to win.


  • I’n really surprised whit all this hate for “My Fair Lady”.
    A great movie, Master Cukor’s only Oscar, great lines, great numbers, the best songs ever, lovely. Audrey ( I could easily nominated her) and Mr. Harrison giving one of best performances on screen in all times…
    Isn’t it lovely? 🙂

    By the way, a question to alan of montreal: who’s the handsome guy who looks like Brando here? Just curious… Kkkkk

  • Bridgie James Rosenthal

    Here are my “brave” predictions based on Sasha’s adroit handling and analysis of the article:

    BEST PICTURE – “Argo” (Don’t underestimate George Clooney…)
    BEST DIRECTOR – Ang Lee, “Life of Pi” (An Asian-American filmmaker with an extraordinary gift for narratives about cross-cultural communication, and this acclaimed Yann Martel novel is one of them)
    BEST ACTOR – Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln” (Three-time Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep presenting the award to “now-three time Oscar winning actor Day-Lewis would be extraordinary…)
    BEST ACTRESS – Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
    BEST SUP. ACTOR – Philip Seymour Hoffmann, “The Master” (If he wins the SAG prize, this one’s in the bag already.)
    BEST SUP. ACTRESS – Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” (next category please)
    BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Chris Terrio, “Argo” (ala “Driving Miss Daisy” win iin 1990)
    BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Michael Haneke, “Amour” (Five major nods inc. Best Picture, Director, and Actress indicate wide support, and this is a great opportunity to reward the eclectic filmmaker’s “most accessible and Academy friendly” film aside from its expected Best Foreign Film nod)
    BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “Amour” (ala 1966’s “A Man and A Woman,” with both Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay awards)

  • BJR,
    This is the Oscar Winners of my heart (except fof Best Actor and supp. actress, but Anne will win, everybody knows…).
    I hope all this happens next February…

  • alan of montreal


    Why, Reno, of course. (though you come a close second)

  • Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  • Byron gray

    I keep saying it: Argo will win best picture because it celebrates the power and influence of filmmaking. This is an industry that loves to kiss its own butt.

  • Byron gray

    Am I alone in thinking that I could see Hathaway working too hard in Les Mis? It’s as if she was screaming: Academy members, you can’t deny me the Oscar now! And say what you will about My Fair Lady, Oliver!, and West Side Story (most of you have probably not seen them on the big screen) at least they had real sets and accomplished filmmakers who knew how to make the musical form…well, sing. The ugly, computer generated, endless Les Mis, crafted by static-camera Hooper, was such a bore that the audience at the theatre where I attended the screening actually applauded that it was finally over. And this was no unsophisticated, fan-boy crowd who would be bored with it any way. This was an audience made up of discerning adults in an arts-oriented community. As with the historical epic, filmmakers have lost their once native genius to make musicals that not only entertain but soar. And the singing of the Oscar-winning Crowe is an excellent example of why Hollywood should reintroduce dubbing. Every time he opened his mouth I could barely keep my eyes open. Appalling.

  • Niles

    I have confidence that Lincoln will win 6 oscars

    Supporting Actor
    Costume Design

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