So, I can’t really let this go by unnoticed.  I just have to say it because no one else really is.  

No one is talking about the possibility, the serious possibility, that The Artist could not only be nominated for Best Picture but could WIN.  The strange thing about The Artist is that it has everything a stealthy Best Picture winner needs — it’s the movie everybody loves and the movie nobody thinks can win.  Sounds a lot like Slumdog Millionaire.

But the difference is that people do think it could win – pretty high profile peeps too – like Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger, InContention’s Guy Lodge and Movie City News’ David Poland.  I mentioned this is my State of the Race column, that I’d run into Poland at the Ides of March premiere and he was talking about how The Artist was going to WIN.

Speaking of the Weinstein Co., the pundits all have Meryl Streep in their number one spot to win.  Gold Derby and the Gurus of Gold all have Streep first, followed by Glenn Close, then Viola Davis for The Help trailing third.  I keep thinking it’s Viola Davis all the way but it’s always hard to fight off a wave of consensus.  Except when we remember that Meryl Streep almost always takes the lead early on only to be defeated by another actress.

But if it’s her time to win her third Oscar, it’s her time to win her third Oscar, and Viola Davis will have to wait for her first Oscar.  Ditto Glenn Close.  I’m still thinking Davis until I actually see Streep in the film.  No one has seen her performance yet so predictions right now are just spitting in the wind.

However, we’ve all seen The Artist. It was the movie everyone was talking about in Cannes, then in Telluride and in Toronto. It’s the movie everyone likes. It’s the movie no one will hate. It’s the movie everyone will get.  The trick will be whether its popularity at film festivals will reach a general audience enough for the Academy to go for it. I’m not quite ready to go there just yet.  I do recognize it as a no-brainer for nominations across the board.

Schindler’s List was the last black and white film to win.  The Artist is absolutely brilliant.  I do think it will win several Oscars, though, like maybe Best Actor, costumes, art direction…anything it can win it will win.  But I’m not ready to declare it the winner yet, despite Karger, Lodge and Poland’s assertions.

What do you think, Oscarwatchers?