In a year when the Directors Branch did what critics long complain that they don’t do — they thought for themselves — an irresistible narrative emerged. When Argo faced off Silver Linings all the way back in Toronto, Silver Linings won the broad consensus vote. However, the press built the “snubbed Ben Affleck” meme and it has really swallowed up the race. Neither Lincoln nor Silver Linings, nor Life of Pi could ever catch the “little movie that could” train, and especially not now. These are all very good films and deserving of more than a popularity contest. The press needs the narrative hook. Maybe the people do too. The awards race IS the movie and the reality show all in one. Is it any wonder Stephen Soderbergh wants to quit the movie business?
At any rate, the Gurus of Gold are divided about which film they think will win this year. Those sticking to Lincoln have mostly stuck throughout the season, or will until the DGA attempts to “correct” what they think the Academy got wrong. But the “anything but Lincoln” pundits have been all over the map. The usually steady Dave Karger was Silver Linings then Les Mis then Lincoln and now Argo. Steve Pond was Silver Linings then Zero Dark Thirty then Lincoln then Argo. Kris Tapley was Argo then Les Mis then Lincoln and now back to Argo. Scott Feinberg was Silver Linings then Lincoln then Argo. I think I started out Argo but have only switched once, to Lincoln. Anne Thompson had Life of Pi at one point before switching to Lincoln and will probably do so until the DGA anoints Affleck. The awards community doesn’t need one more blogger switching to Argo at this point. For me, I’m sticking with Lincoln because Argo still has to overcome some enormous hurdles to win, or as Nate Silver would say, his paths to victory are fewer.