Oscar Flashback – The Freak Years


We as Oscar pundits invest so much of our time into the Oscar race, nearly a whole year, that the narrative we have planned out tends to want prominence in our minds even when the stats are against it. In the 14 years I’ve been covering this race it always comes to this point in the year where we start to drag out the freak years, the one-offs, the anomalies in hopes of finding evidence that our desired narrative still has a chance to flourish.

The funny part of it is, this is one of the years the exceptions might actually come true. There are so many odd things that have happened for the very first time ever in Academy and guild history that we actually might see some strange things transpire come Oscar night. Or we won’t.  There is either one frontrunner to rule them all (none has emerged so far) or it will be split up all over the place. I don’t think there can be a wrong prediction right now.

But first let’s look at the anomalies from the past and then we’ll look at what has changed this year and whether any of it will make a difference.

What are the biggest freak incidents in recent years?

 1. Driving Miss Daisy – Best Picture winner without a director
This one gets trotted out every time there is a lack of a director nomination.  People keep saying that the Driving Miss Daisy rule is so old that it’s about time for it to get broken.  That year, Bruce Beresford was not nominated for a Globe, a DGA or an Oscar, funnily enough.  It won many critics awards for Jessica Tandy and many for Morgan Freeman.  It also won the WGA and the PGA.  Driving Miss Daisy had earned a whopping $106 million at the box office and for 1989 that was HUGE, especially for a movie that was really just about two people talking.  Who even remembers what it was about anymore? But the audience ate it up.  It was up against Field of Dreams ($64 million), Dead Poet’s Society ($95 million), Born on the Fourth of July ($70 million), and My Left Foot ($14 million)

It was mostly a fluke that Driving Miss Daisy, starring an old woman, led the box office wasn’t it? But it was an extremely popular movie at a time when box office really mattered at the Oscars.  Around the year 2000, box office stopped mattering. It always helps, of course — a movie can never LOSE money — but it stopped being a driving force twelve years ago.  This year, box office feels like it’s back with a vengeance since this is one of those years when many of the Best Picture contenders have already made $100 million.

So why wasn’t Bruce Bereford nominated? Because there were better, more important directors who were: Woody Allen (Crimes and Misdemeanors), Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) — they replaced Beresford and Phil Alden Robinson.  Had 1989 been a year like this one, Henry V and Crimes and Misdemeanors would probably also be Best Picture nominees.  And this is your best argument for Argo.  To be on Driving Miss Daisy’s level, Argo will have to win the PGA and the WGA (against Kushner and Lincoln) at the very least.
Oscar Best Picture winner: Driving Miss Daisy + Screenplay + Actress + Makeup
Best Director (Oscar and DGA): Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July + Editing

2. Braveheart vs. Apollo 13

Ron Howard is one of the few directors to win the DGA and then not be nominated for the Oscar.  Many thought that meant Apollo 13 would then win the Oscar for Best Picture. After all, it had won the PGA and the SAG ensemble too.  Braveheart had won the Globe for Director for Mel Gibson, the Eddie and the WGA.  Mel Gibson was nominated for both DGA and Oscar, though, so that would mean the Mel Gibson’s of this year’s race would be or could be Spielberg and Ang Lee.  Like Braveheart, Life of Pi is notable for having no acting nominations.  It is also likely to win similar Oscars if it does win: Cinematography and Visual Effects [Braveheart won for Sound Effects Editing].
Oscar Best Picture and Director winner: Braveheart + Cinematography + Visual Effects + Makeup
DGA winner: Ron Howard, Apollo 13 + Editing

3. Reds vs. Chariots of Fire

Here is another weird one, although both Hugh Hudson and Warren Beatty were nominated for the DGA and the Oscar.  It was a surprising win that really only Ang Lee and Life of Pi could manage to replicate this year.  Reds ended up winning Best Director at the DGA and the Oscar but the little movie that made more money and cost less than Reds prevailed as Best Picture.  It was also the general audience crowdpleaser, by comparison, though it really had only won Best Foreign Film  at the Globes and Best Film at the NBR before shocking everyone by winning the Oscar.
Oscar Best Picture winner: Chariots of Fire + Screenplay  + Costume + Score
Best Director DGA and Oscar: Warren Beatty, Reds + Supporting Actress + Cinematography

4. Crash vs. Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain had won virtually all of the critics awards.  Paul Haggis had no Globes nomination for Director (though he did have a DGA and an Oscar nod for director).  Crash won the SAG ensemble, the Eddie and the WGA before winning Best Picture.  This isn’t a Brokeback Mountain vs. Crash year, not yet at least. Crash was helped because it cost practically nothing to make and was far more easily digested than Brokeback Mountain, a masterpiece too many refused to watch.

First, before we begin, we’ll talk about the why — since Ben Affleck’s Argo and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, arguably Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables were shut out of Oscar’s Best Director list that thrust them into the realm of Oscar freaks.  The Academy’s directors honored Steven Spielberg, David O. Russell, Ang Lee, Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke. Probably only three out of five of those can win but there is always the chance the other two could as well. It is just that kind of a year.
Best Picture winner: Crash + Screenplay + Editing
Best Director DGA and Oscar: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain + Screenplay + Score

5. Saving Private Ryan vs. Shakespeare in Love

Although both John Madden and Steven Spielberg were both nominated for Globes director, DGA and Oscar it was assumed that Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg big World War II epic, would win Best Picture. But in the days leading up to the Oscars, just as with Crash, buzz on the street was that Shakespeare in Love, the SAG ensemble + WGA winner, would take it instead.  Although Shakespeare in Love is the better written film, probably, this remains among the most contentious years in Oscar history
Best Picture winner: Shakespeare in Love + Actress + Supporting Actress + Screenplay+Art Direction + Costume+Score
Oscar and DGA winner: Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan + Editing + Sound Effects Editing + Cinematography

6. Gladiator vs. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vs. Traffic

Steven Soderbergh had two movies in the race, Erin Brockovich and Traffic.  Voters kept splitting his vote and he didn’t win anything so Academy people sent around messages to each other saying they should align around Traffic. In the end, Ang Lee won the DGA for directing, while Gladiator won Best Picture and Steven Soderbergh, in a shocker, took Best Director.
Best Picture winner: Gladiator + Actor + Costumes + Visual Effects + Sound
Best Director DGA: Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon + Art Direction + Cinematography + Foreign Language Film + Score
Best Director Oscar: Steven Soderbergh, Traffic + Sreenplay  + Editing + Supporting Actor

7. Chicago vs. The Pianist

This was a strange year because Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York had come in so powerfully in the beginning. But it would end up going home empty handed. At the same time, The Pianist was coming up strong especially at the BAFTAs.  Chicago was the film that made the most money and was the most popular (it is still one of the most popular Best Picture winners in recent history). It was a big Weinstein get at the time and it was the monster that couldn’t be stopped. But its director, Rob Marshall, wasn’t popular or well known enough yet to beat back the lure of Roman Polanski.
Best Picture winner: Chicago + Supporting Actress, Editing, Sound, Art Direction, Costumes
Best Director DGA: Rob Marshall, Chicago
Best Director Oscar: Roman Polanski, The Pianist + Actor + Screenplay


–For Argo to win it would become only the second film in Academy history, 85 years of it, to win Best Picture without a director nomination, but that hasn’t stopped many from predicting it might. This would become more likely if Argo won the PGA and SAG ensemble, and Affleck won the DGA.  Even then, it might not have the muscle to seize the Oscar.  Scott Feinberg at the Hollywood Reporter lays out how the Affleck supporters can get the write-in vote instituted so that Affleck might also win Director. Grand Hotel is the other film win without a director nomination in 1932 but the difference then was there were only three director nominees — one of a multitude of things that were different 80 years ago.

–For Zero Dark Thirty to win it would become the second film in Academy history to win without a director nomination, the second film in SAG history to win without a SAG ensemble nomination and one of a handful of films by a director to win so close to having won previously.

–For Silver Linings Playbook to win it would have to be the second film in 65 years of DGA/Oscar history to win without a DGA nomination, and the second film to win Best Picture without a Globe nomination for Director from the Musical Comedy category.  It would also be only the second time in Globes and Oscar history that a film lost in the comedy and went on to win Best Picture. (Annie Hall in 1977 is the only film that ever did).

–For Les Miserables to win it would have to be the first musical without a Globes nomination for Director to win Best Picture and the second film to win without a director nomination.

–Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour would make history for not having a DGA nomination, nor any SAG nominations.

Now let’s look at what changed this year.

1. The Oscar nomination ballots were turned in before the PGA/WGA nominees were announced and most notably the DGA as well.  No matter what anyone says, there’s a perception shift when five names are put forth by such a large group as the DGA and perception matters.  When 14,500 DGA voters say these are the five best it probably has more influence than we’d all like to think. It didn’t really have much of an impact in terms of WGA and PGA and Oscar but the DGA’s disconnect resulted in a huge mismatch.   This doesn’t mean Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow would have made the Oscar Best Director list but it’s something to consider.

2. The BAFTA voters changed their voting procedure for the first time.  They moved their date in the year 2000 so that their awards would take place before the Oscars and ever since then they released a long list that narrowed the field to manageable clusters of top contenders.  Voters from all of the branches voted from the long list to create the nominees. The long list would have asterisks which indicated which nominee members of the individual branches favored most — but those names didn’t always make it onto the ballot. Sometimes names without an asterisk got in. This is the first year the BAFTA is voting without the long list as guide.  But that doesn’t mean Spielberg would have made it on their ballot. Anyway, it’s just one more thing to consider.

3. For the first time since they originally pushed back their date (2003 or thereabouts) the Academy has reduces the number of days in the nomination phase shorter and extended the time to consider which the winners to choose post-nomination.   That is the thing that has thrown the whole race into chaos.  Since they originally changed the date, the momentum swing toward one contender was mostly unavoidable. Everyone voted at once so the winners tended to fall neatly into line across the board.  Now, final Oscar ballots don’t even go out until February 8 so that gives voters plenty of time to think about things and decide what film really deserves to be named Best Picture of the year.  Watching the dynamics of the race change since they pushed the Oscars back to February, we’ve seen the process settle into patterns that made for a very predictable awards season.    We might not see that this year.

4.  For only the second time in their history, the Oscars have more than five Best Picture nominees but not an even ten.  When you have more than five the final votes tend to reward films that have broad appeal rather than those with passionate support.  Passion gets you in for nominations but it doesn’t really help you win so much as being broadly liked. This benefits Argo, Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln more than the others; if they aren’t number 1s they will be 2s or 3s.  But passion seems to have benefitted Life of Pi, Amour, and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

5. Voters had the opportunity, amid much fanfare and some controversy, to vote online. According to the Academy, this resulted in a “record turnout.” Some observers online doubted that because many reported some trouble.  The worst trouble occurred whenever a voter entered in the wrong password three times because they then had to wait 24 hours to reset it.  Some ran into this snag too late and ended up not voting at all.  If it were me, I would be much more apt to vote online than mail it in. I am terrible with mailing things now.  So I am one person who is not surprised by the Academy’s statements — either way, this confusion might cause some kind of shift in voting in one direction or another.

So, how have the nominees shaken down this year?

2012 PGA | Globes Director | WGA | SAG | ACE| DGA | Oscar Best Director | Best Picture

PGA Globes Dir WGA SAG ACE DGA Oscar director Best Picture
Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln
Argo Argo Argo Argo Argo Argo Argo
Life of Pi Life of Pi Life of Pi Life of Pi Life of Pi Life of Pi Life of Pi
ZDT ZDT ZDT Actress ZDT ZDT Zero Dark Thirty
SLP SLP SLP SLP SLP Silver Linings
Les Mis Not eligible Les Mis Les Mis Les Mis Les Mis
Django Django Not eligible Django Django
Beasts of the Southern Wild Not eligible Not eligible Beasts of the Southern Wild Beasts of the Southern Wild
Amour Not eligible Amour Amour

1. Lincoln
Pros: Globes nod for Director, PGA/DGA/WGA/SAG ensemble/EDDIE/editing nomination/leading Oscar nominations with 12/strong Best Actor contender/strong adapted screenplay contender/$153 million so far.
Cons: No BAFTA nomination for director.

2. Argo
Pros: Globes nod for Director, PGA/DGA/WGA/SAG ensemble/EDDIE/editing nomination/strong adapted screenplay contender/$110 million so far/happy ending/hardly any negative reviews/multiple critics awards
Cons: No Oscar nomination for Director.

3. Life of Pi
Globes nod for Director, PGA/DGA/WGA/EDDIE/editing nomination/second leading Oscar nominations with 11/strong adapted screenplay contender/happy ending/ginormous worldwide box office at $400 mil.
Cons: No SAG nominations, no acting nominations.

4. Zero Dark Thirty
Globes nod for Director, PGA/DGA/WGA/EDDIE/editing nomination/strong Best Actress contender/strong original screenplay contender/hardly any negative reviews/best reviews of the year/multiple critics awards
Cons: No Oscar nomination for director/No SAG ensemble/recent Oscar win/political controversy

5. Silver Linings Playbook
PGA/DGA/WGA/SAG ensemble/EDDIE/editing nomination/strong Best Actress contender/strong adapted screenplay contender/four acting nominations/happy ending
Cons: No DGA/Globe nomination for director.

6. Les Miserables
PGA/DGA/SAG ensemble/EDDIE/strong Best Supporting Actress contender/beloved musical/hard core emotional content/$119 million and counting.
Cons: No Globe/Oscar nomination for director/more negative reviews than any other contender

7. Django Unchained
Globes nom for Director/PGA/EDDIE/strong Best Supporting Actor/strong original screenplay contender/$126 mil and counting.
Cons: No DGA/Oscar nom for director/no editing nomination/no SAG nominations.

8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Strong Best Actress contender/Oscar Director/strong adapted screenplay contender/many awards won already/happy ending.
Cons: No DGA/Globe nomination for director/no editing nomination

9. Amour
Oscar Director/strong Best Actress contender/strong original screenplay contender/multiple critics awards.
Cons: No DGA/Globe nomination for director/no editing nomination/no SAG nominations.

 Conclusion: Now that you know all of the facts, and can see the extent of the changes this year, you can decide how the cards may fall.  I am not one to predict the long shot, never have been.  Lincoln has everything going for it right now except buzz.  That could all change with one major win, like the PGA, DGA or SAG.  We are a few weeks shy of knowing what our true frontrunner is. When all is said and done we might say, wow, we knew it was going to end in a shocker. Or we’ll say, “it was always Lincoln.”  Either way, 2012 is one of the record books.



Kathryn Bigelow Defends her film in the LA Times

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Lincoln Featurette


  1. The Dude
    January 16, 2013

    Django had a Globe nomination for Directing.

    Also, ballots don’t even go out until Feb. 8? I didn’t know that, and that can be a game changer.

    Best director seems clear to me it’s between Spielberg and Lee (I see no chances of Russell taking it, even if SLP wins best picture), and who ever wins has to be the favorite to get Best Picture, although SLP might get this one.

    While it isn’t impossible for Argo to win, DMD had all the right nominations except Director, plus it was both the box office and the nominations leader. It isn’t the case here.

  2. Jerry Grant
    January 16, 2013

    Another difference between DMD and Argo is that DMD was not a “director’s” movie–that is, you never thought of it as being primarily about the work of the director. It’s a wonderful story, wonderfully acted, and which people really liked. “Argo,” on the other hand, derives a lot of its strength from its very skilled direction. So I think a lack of BD nom for “Argo” by the Academy means more than it did for DMD. I think it says more about the relative lack of enthusiasm for the movie as a whole.

    But then again, wtf, who knows, I think we will see big surprises Oscar night

  3. Tony
    January 16, 2013

    Brilliant article as always Sasha. In my opinion the mess in the race at this moment additionally reflects the fact that 2012 is probably the greatest year for cinema in recent memory. I absolutely love all nominated and snubbed films (e.g. The Master(!!!!), Looper, Arbitrage, Holy Motors, The Hobbit(!) not that much Cloud Atlas or TDKR etc. etc.). Anyway, in one of the strongest years with astonishing variety of achievements, my cinephilia, my intellect even my hearth stays with Zero Dark Thirty.

  4. bill
    January 16, 2013

    Just trying to remember social network vs. kings speech. Social won the globes, won almost all the critics, was going so strong and we were all so happy…then Kings Speech won the PGA and the tide shifted and never went back. Right now Im hoping that happens again but benefits Lincoln.

  5. deniz
    January 16, 2013

    I think Life of Pi not having any acting nominations is not a con. It doesn’t matter if you have any acting nominations. If we look at the stats, yes, there were more films that won best picture along with an acting nomination. But it’s just a fact, it doesn’t prove that acting nominations help a film win. And Life of Pi is not a kind of film that can get acting noms. It only has 1 actor, he’s alright but that’s it. Also, LOTR 3 and Slumdog won without acting noms. Whatever, what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t matter.

  6. Astarisborn
    January 16, 2013

    It is a toss up between Lincoln, Life of Pi and Argo. PGA goes to Lincoln and DGA goes to Lee, thus Lincoln wins best picture and Lee’s Life of Pi for best director. Argo may spoil both but unlikely.

  7. deniz
    January 16, 2013

    Even though I’m fine with Lincoln winning, I just want this year to have a shocking end. If Lincoln wins, we wouldn’t have that. At least a picture/director split would be amazing, I love it when that happens. (crossing fingers for Haneke)

  8. jess4Linc
    January 16, 2013

    If “Lincoln” doesn’t win it is probably because the Academy may think they have given enough dues to Spielberg and its time to recognize some other talented artist. This said even with all the praise and high esteem film critic groups has bestowed on “Lincoln” it is surprising that the film has being chosen only one time, that I can think off, as their best picture. Humm, could there be an underlying factor that isn’t being discussed and I am not talking the cop out “Well, other films are greater” banter because that thought is and would be open to discussion.

  9. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Sasha, GRAND HOTEL also won without a Best Director nomination. Back in the stone age when the Academy apparently loved the movie, but ignored its script and star-studded cast as well.

  10. keifer
    January 16, 2013

    Very good article – dissects the awards season to a T.

    I’m just glad that there is some suspense this year! Finally, a year when most of the big races are wide open.

    I think it’s telling, however, that the actors branch absolutely loves Silver Lining Playbook. Could all these big guns split the votes and wind up being another “Annie Hall” – type sweep?

    It would be refreshing to see another comedy win the Best Oscar Picture for a change. I think “Annie Hall” was really the last true comedy do so.

  11. jess4Linc
    January 16, 2013

    Does anyone know if the Academy rules still apply to TIE votes. The leading nominee with 3 votes or less over his closest opponent means a tie.

  12. Daveylow
    January 16, 2013

    I assume when you wrote that Brokeback was “a masterpiece no one wanted to watch” you meant certain members of the Academy. Since the film did very well at the box office for a film of its kind.

  13. JJ
    January 16, 2013

    Good. A month for members to consider Hathaway not an inevitability. I’d rather see Sally Field win for a trickier, more modulated version of suffering and heartbreak.

    I like underdogs.

  14. Daveylow
    January 16, 2013

    “‘Argo,’ on the other hand, derives a lot of its strength from its very skilled direction.”

    I think this is debatable. Argo’s direction is very similar to the way a good movie would be directed for cable television.

  15. Greg
    January 16, 2013

    I am not going to play the anomaly card, until I see how the other major award shows play out. Up to this point, we have seen Silver Lining Playbook win Best Picture and Best Director at the Satellite awards. We have seen Argo going for Best Picture and Best Director at the Critics Choice and Globes. We still need to see how the BAFTAs, DGA, PGA, SAG, Eddie, and WAG awards pan out.

  16. mecid
    January 16, 2013
  17. Adam Lewis
    January 16, 2013

    Wings also won Best Picture without a Best Director nominations (although it was a rather weird year first up I guess!)

  18. Sasha Stone
    January 16, 2013

    Zach, right, Grand Hotel. The difference back then was that they only had three Best Director nominees. So it sort of counts but not really. But you’re right technically.

  19. phantom
    January 16, 2013

    How strange, this is a year that could not only end with only the second BP-winner without a BD nomination, but could also break the record of the first one’s female lead who is the oldest Best Actress winner to date.

    By the way, am I the only one who thinks that though there is a good chance Jennifer Lawrence will take SAG (they loved her film, they didn’t love ZD30), Jessica Chastain will take BAFTA (they loved her film, they didn’t love SLP) and the two will battle it out for the Oscar, it could also VERY EASILY happen that Naomi Watts wins the crucial SAG (outstanding support from her high-profile peers who VOTE for SAG), Emmanuelle Riva wins BAFTA (she would be an excellent European choice, unlikely the BAFTA would go for anyone else), and in the end it will be a Watts/Riva finale with Riva taking the Oscar ?

  20. moviewatcher
    January 16, 2013

    Sasha, why don’t you like Driving Miss Daisy? I think it’s a great movie with some incredible performances.

    I think Lincoln is winning, but it’s going to be two weeks of suspense until SAG, DGA and PGA announce their winners. If by then we don’t have a BP frontrunner, then by god, blood will be shed on feb 24…

    It’s interesting to see that every single movie except Lincoln (BAFTA non-nomination was probably a fluke, or a non-american voting block thingy) has something against. Either no SAG ensemble nod or no GG/DGA/Oscar director nod.

    But then again, this is a yer for record-breaking, precedent-setting and blood-shedding.

  21. deniz
    January 16, 2013

    @phantom I hope that SAG win happens for Watts and then she can win the Oscar. She deserves to win it. Come on, Naomi, you can do it. (Really the only nominee who can’t win is Wallis)

  22. Robert A.
    January 16, 2013

    The PGA will be key, I think, since they started (during The Hurt Locker year?) using the same ranked system as AMPAS uses. If Argo or some other movie wins PGA, then I think we have to seriously consider the possibility that Lincoln won’t win BP. Until then, Lincoln still seems a fairly likely winner. The King’s Speech was in largely the same position as Lincoln is now–won BP in few if any critical contests, then pretty much swept all the major guilds.

    One thing I want to clarify in case people are confused about this. Ron Howard did not win the DGA and then get left off the Oscar list for director. He was nominated for a DGA, then wasn’t nominated for a director Oscar, and then won DGA. Many considered Howard winning the DGA as a “consolation prize” for getting left off the Oscar list. The same was true of Spielberg for The Color Purple–nominated for DGA, left off the Oscar list, won DGA in a kind of protest vote. There’s an outside chance, I suppose, that Affleck could follow this pattern and win DGA, but I’m still not sure that would mean Argo was a frontrunner for the BP Oscar prize. Whereas in most years DGA is the most likely indicator of the BP winner, I think this year PGA may be more indicative.

    The fact that final voting for the Oscars doesn’t start until February also may hurt Argo’s chances. People will have time to cool off about Ben not getting nominated.

    And about the question concerning tie votes. In order to tie these days, you have to have the EXACT same number of votes. In the early days they had the rule that if you finished within three points of each other, a tie was declared, but they discontinued that a long, long time ago. When Hepburn/Streisand both won in Actress back in 1968, it was an exact tie.

  23. John
    January 16, 2013

    Great article!!!

    2 things. I wonder if Lincoln will benefit from being the film that gets votes from those who love it/think its important ….. Versus ….. People voting for Argo because of the Affleck snub and people voting for SLP because of Harvey. I know people genuinely love Argo and SLP, but I’m talking about a potential cancel out scenario where people who vote for Argo or SLP for reasons other than “loving” it cancels themselves out against something like Lincoln.

    Also, 1995 must have been a very very tight year, what with Apollo 13 winning both PGA and SAG ensemble. You’d think those two would have made it win. Must have been very close to the win against Braveheart.

  24. phantom
    January 16, 2013

    I think it will go ‘The King’s Speech’ way : Lincoln might have only win awards for acting and writing in the CRITICS/HFPA/BFCA-phase, it WILL turn it all around when it will win the ironclad PGA/DGA/WGA/SAG Ensemble quartet…and it WILL win those four, or at least three of those four, count on it.

    It will have no trouble taking the WGA, it might have some competition for the SAG Ensemble but not from Argo which let’s face it, doesn’t feature one outstanding performance, probably from Les Misérables which does feature SEVERAL excellent performances, but since the film lost so much momentum, SAG probably won’t go for it, but if it does, it will be just another ‘The Help’ kind of win honoring the stellar performances of a film that failed to receive Oscar nominations for directing, writing, editing.

    Sure, Life of Pi could be a strong threat for PGA/DGA, it is a stunning directorial achievement after all that makes the kind of money any producer could appreciate, but even if it wins those or just one of those, it probably still doesn’t have the most dominant Academy-branch, the Actors, and with its 3 acting nominations and 4 SAG nominations, Lincoln most certainly has the Actors Branch covered.

    If Argo keeps winning, it still has to overcome the BD-snub (unless miraculously they pull off the write-in campaign which is NOT likely), and the same goes for a potential ZD30 PGA-win…without the BD nomination, it wouldn’t help it that much, it would be just another littlemisssunshinesque PGA-choice (=PGA winner without Oscar BD-nod).

    My money is on Lincoln emerging as the guild and subsequently Academy favorite and that means PGA/DGA/WGA/SAG Ensemble victories, Picture-Director-Adapted Screenplay-Actor-Supporting Actor Oscars plus a few tech awards.

    Let’s face it, at the end of the day, Lincoln is basically running unopposed : Pi doesn’t have the Actors, the ZD30-Argo-LesMis trio doesn’t have the Directors, Amour & Beasts are the (on paper) happytobethere players. Urgh, what terrifies me that that still leaves Silver Linings Playbook…but come on, how could a film win BP without BD nomination from the HFPA, DGA, BAFTA ? Sure Russell managed to sneak into the Oscar-lineup, but COME ON, he can’t win…RIGHT ?

  25. Andrew
    January 16, 2013

    “Lincoln has everything going for it except buzz”

    in other words

    Its lost all the major awards so far, but I like it so much it just HAS to win

  26. Andrew
    January 16, 2013

    re the write in- the article linked to clearly says it is BANNED, and would require a rule change from the board of governors.

    it is not an option and should not be seriously discussed as one

  27. phantom
    January 16, 2013

    …and Silver Linings Playbook completely slipped my mind re: SAG Ensemble. It is probably the biggest threat for Lincoln, no doubt about it…and Harvey could easily pull it off, too, maybe even the PGA, too…ohh, ohh, I don’t like those odds.

  28. Glenn UK
    January 16, 2013

    BAFTA has been a very good guide in recent years and I think its significant that they never nommed Spielberg. There are a good few weeks for us to see further changes and shifts in the Oscar race. Harvey and SLP have been given a huge boost by AMPAS … as has Pi and Lee. Lincoln achieved what was expected. Les Mis underplayed due to mediocre reviews (altho I think that was more anti-Hooper than anti-Les Mis). Argo and ZDT are the one’s to watch to take Best Picture – they are both increasing momentum IMO.

  29. January 16, 2013

    Emmanuelle Riva wins BAFTA (she would be an excellent European choice, unlikely the BAFTA would go for anyone else)

    It’s not unlikely. Both Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence are currently in better standing to win the BAFTA.

    I keep thinking about 1995 in relation to this year. I think it was the last time we saw anything like what we’ve seen this year. Not just Ron Howard for Apollo 13, but Ang Lee for Sense and Sensibility. Sense won the Globe that year, and also the BAFTA (after Oscar, and when it was less influential), and Lee was surely a frontrunner for an Oscar nomination (I say surely because I wasn’t following the race back then, being five years old and that). Both missed out, clearing the way for Braveheart, the only other possible choice.

    But this year, for Lincoln to follow in Braveheart’s footsteps, it’s going to have to assume frontrunner status, and there’s too much else happening this year for that to happen, at least as yet. Perhaps when groups who have voted since Oscar nominations, like PGA, DGA, SAG and BAFTA, start announcing, Lincoln will start winning. Or perhaps Argo’s Critics Choice and Golden Globes successes have kept it a valid choice. It sure could pull a Driving Miss Daisy on us, and that is probably the closest comparison, as Driving Miss Daisy’s win wouldn’t have been allowed to happen nowadays – Argo’s got a fight on its hands, and it at least has a DGA nod.

    Silver Linings Playbook could do a Crash, definitely. Its only major wins could be SAG Ensemble, WGA and ACE, and then it could win the Oscar. If it pulls that off, and it easily could (it’d beat Lincoln to the WGA, which would help its chances massively), I might start predicting it to win. Its box office is only going to increase faster now that it has expanded, too.

    Why am I hypothesising anyway? This is an indecipherable year, at least right now.

  30. January 16, 2013

    Yeah, that whole write-in thing is ridiculous. They didn’t nominate him, so he’s not getting in. Just because other groups have naively tried to predict Oscar and pass it off as influencing Oscar doesn’t mean he ought to be included. Separate groups, different tastes.

  31. brace
    January 16, 2013

    After seeing Zero Dark Thirty I’m no longer surprised it didn’t get director nomination. Maybe they didn’t like it. I didn’t ( at least not that much). So now that i’ve seen all the nominated films I can say I’m fine with either Argo or Lincoln winning best picture, Amour for best foreign language, Riva actress, Hathaway supporting actress (hers is the only song in the movie I could stand listening), don’t care for best actor, after Golden Globes I’m no longer rooting for Jones for supporting. I mean, that Wiig/Ferrell thing was not that funny but it wasn’t that stupid or offensive either. also because I realized when he won the first time he was the least deserving, now when he deserves it I wish it goes to someone else, maybe Hoffman). and Tim Burton for animated film. that guy deserves Oscar in his resume. And Driving Miss Daisy is a nice movie.

  32. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    How weird is it that they once had up to 10 nominees for Best Picture but only 3 nominees for Best Director, the acting races, and everything else?

    Why DID Driving Miss Daisy win? OK, it’s not hard to see, but, today, Field of Dreams would have made more money and maybe been a bigger threat for the big prize (same sentiment as Daisy, only more beloved). What an odd, but diverse, year that was, with 3 sentimental choices facing off against more aggressive (Born on the Fourth of July) and restrained (My Left Foot) fare and stronger choices, like Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, Branagh’s Henry V, When Harry Met Sally, Do the Right Thing, Glory, and The Little Mermaid left out.

    P.S. I will puke when Silver Linings wins the SAG for Best Ensemble. What’s worse, white guys with guitar winning American Idol every year or the family dramedy taking the SAG every year?

  33. phantom
    January 16, 2013

    Paddy, I could see Chastain win the BAFTA, they loved her film (Picture, Director, Screenplay etc.), but I don’t think they were that into Silver Linings Playbook (no BP, BD), although IMO Lawrence is probably a stronger SAG-contender than Chastain (now they LOVED Silver Linings Playbook). Anyway, I have this weird hunch about Emmanuelle Riva and the BAFTA…AND the Oscar.

  34. January 16, 2013

    From that THR article:

    Either it’s time to dismiss the Globes as any kind of legitimate prognosticator or time for the Academy to recognize it has made a mistake and do the right thing: reintroduce a write-in vote.

    The Academy hasn’t made a fucking mistake. They’ve made their choice. Their choice doesn’t match the HFPA’s choice, nor the BFCA’s. Good for them. I wouldn’t want to agree with either of those institutions too frequently. The right thing is to stick by their choice.

  35. January 16, 2013

    Yeah, I have that same hunch re: Riva and the Oscar, but I don’t see it happening with BAFTA. Maybe I just don’t have that hunch. Their lukewarm response to Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t matter, though. They’ve had similar responses to films which have won. Sideways only got an Adapted Screenplay nomination there, then it won. They want to influence Oscar. If Lawrence wins the SAG, they may follow suit.

    Then I have a hunch about Chastain and SAG. And I expect Silver Linings Playbook to win Ensemble. No sense behind that. Just more hunches.

  36. Robert A.
    January 16, 2013

    “It will have no trouble taking the WGA, it might have some competition for the SAG Ensemble but not from Argo which let’s face it, doesn’t feature one outstanding performance…”

    Slumdog Millionaire?

  37. rufussondheim
    January 16, 2013

    The highlight of the awards season for Lincoln thus far has been the win at the North Texas Film Critics Association. Sadly no film that has ever won Best Picture from that prestigious group has gone on to win the Oscar. I think that says a lot.

    Now, you may say, surely there Lincoln must have won some other prestigious award for Best Picture. And you’d be right! It won the Dallas/Forth Worth Film Critics Association award for Best Picture. Now that film has a better track record for predicting the Best Pic at the Oscars. In its long and storied past it has predicted Best Pic 8 out of 17 times! What’s interesting, though, is if you look at the winners it’s picked the early frontrunner 15 of 17 times! And it picked Lincoln, the early frontrunner this year again, so make that 16 of 18 times.

    But surely you ask, Lincoln must have something else going for it. And it does! The Iowa Film Critics Association picked Lincoln for Best Pic as well! But since they apparently have no website or Wikipedia page it’s hard to see if that Bodes Well for Lincoln or not. Maybe Lincoln chopped their cherry? Who knows?

    Any way you shake it, Lincoln is a barnburner heading into this final phase of Awards.

  38. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Yeah…thanks, Sasha, for that Feinberg link and all, but you don’t have to be someone who isn’t rooting for Affleck this year to think that that piece was a bit out of touch. Nobody protested with write-ins when Baz Luhrmann was snubbed for Moulin Rouge, or Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth, or Peter Jackson for the second LOTR, or Christopher Nolan for Inception and/or The Dark Knight–easily the one that bugs “the real world” more than anyone else, especially Affleck.

    I have a feeling about Riva and BAFTA too. Not sure about Oscar yet, but neither Lawrence nor Chastain FEELS like a Best Actress winner to me for these movies. Of course, David O. Russell doesn’t feel like a Best Director nominee for this movie either. And before the nominees, I had Riva in last place (with Cotillard above her and Wallis in 6th a best). So, Best Actress is a clusterfuck this year, or what do I know?

    Riva’s isn’t a powerhouse performance, but Lawrence is just so young, and I don’t see Chastain winning for this film/performance. I’m still holding out for a Watts SAG triumph, but not counting on it (I’d probably be shocked), and even then I think an Oscar win would be highly unlikely.

    I love Naomi and want her to win, but the idea that her big-name supporters will equate to SAG love reminds me of 2003 when Julianne Moore got a big ovation at the SAGs but still didn’t win Lead OR Supporting over Zellweger or Zeta-Jones. Julianne and Naomi are in the same boat of being overdue both for Oscars and for strong film roles, in general.

    As for Silver Linings beating Lincoln for the WGA, or Screenplay Oscar, for that matter, I’d shit myself in disgust. Just disgust.

  39. rufussondheim
    January 16, 2013

    Oops, I found Iowa’s awards. It appears they predicted Best Pic only 2 of 9 times. (actually their awards are not too shabby, often favoring smaller character based films over the bigger splashier efforts. IN fact, it looks like Lincoln was probably the biggest budgeted filn to win.

  40. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    That Lincoln’s critics haul is so unimpressive feels like nothing more than a swipe against Spielberg and a notion that a film must be more contemporary, exciting, and directed by someone who ISN’T the greatest director alive in order to merit a win from the critics. Maybe I wouldn’t be complaining if the overall critics’ favorite, Zero Dark Thirty, were winning everything left and right, like The Social Network and Brokeback Mountain. But the fact that this year is as polarizing as it is and Lincoln STILL hasn’t won that much? Disappointing to say the least.

    It’s really not just the Daniel Day-Lewis show.

  41. Reno
    January 16, 2013

    There’s a write-in campaign for Ben Affleck? Ridiculous!

  42. keifer
    January 16, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook is the biggest threat (deep support from Actors/Directors/Writers branch). Also crucial is its Best Film Editing nomination (that is always, always an important component of any previous Best Picture winner of recent years).

    I would love an “Annie Hall”-type surprise sweep for SLP.

    It’s about time for a comedy to win Best Picture again.

    The two categories that have me baffled this year are Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. I know there has been much discussion on this site about them, but I think Riva has the edge, with Tommy Lee Jones squeaking in there with Lincoln supporters.

  43. steve50
    January 16, 2013

    Fantastic analysis, Sasha.

    This year’s race is unlike anything since the 70s, when Oscar prognostication was pretty much a pre-internet black art that reliant on local newspapers and the number of quality films in the race was fairly similar.

    The shockers you mention above were, indeed, all big surprises, but your analysis makes things pretty clear as to how the Academy went in each case.

    For Life of Pi to be viable, it must take the DGA and/or the PGA, so it looks like I have a full, two week regimen of chanting, candle-lighting and dancing naked around bonfires on my mountain top to try and make that happen.

    Seriously, it is anybody’s game right now because if you imagine any of the nominees winning, you can make a valid case for why.

  44. rufussondheim
    January 16, 2013

    Spielberg has had an impressive career, maybe of all working directors only Scorcese is in the same league.

    But when you are talking about the World’s Greatest Director it has an air of here and now in that. Spielberg’s best work is widely seen as decades old at this point.

    So what current directors would be the best in the world? If you check out my fave site, the critic’s top ten, and see who has the most #1 films, you see two directors have two films at #1 since 2000 – Kathryn Bigelow and Ang Lee. Scorcese, Fincher, Malick, the Coens, all have one. Spielberg has none.

    I wouldn’t vote for any of these as World’s Best Director. but I can’t really argue Spielberg if you want to look at this objectively.

  45. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Boo hiss. Kathryn Bigelow directed Point Break. Ang Lee makes one or two movies per decade. Not everyone “gets” all of Malick’s movies, his one true masterpiece being Days of Heaven. Coens are one-note and, like Tarantino, not everything they do is a masterpiece.

  46. lily
    January 16, 2013

    i see more in common with 1995 than 1989 for this year. weird people left out of the oscars, leaving them with a default choice for BP and BD, even if the guilds split up

    in 89, DMD led the noms and was the frontrunner, with the only real alternative being Born on the Fourth of July. that’s not the case this year though. even if affleck was nominated, argo would have tied with les mis and SLP for noms and both lincoln and life of pi have more.

    i agree that PGA will be the best predictor this year. if lincoln can get that, it doesn’t even have to get another guild and i’ll be comfortable predicting it for BP and BD on scar night. if it doesn’t get any guild, i’ll be shaky on it, but i STILL think it could be compared to what happened with apollo 13 in 95. unless of course SLP takes the guild awards, but i really do think it’s between argo and lincoln for the PGA

  47. Reno
    January 16, 2013

    ” Ang Lee makes one or two movies per decade. ”

    No, he makes 5 to 6 movies per decade.

  48. January 16, 2013

    All’s I know is the one that the most people in the Academy were moved by will win. And I’m thinking it’s going to be a happy ending. So whichever one that is. I still haven’t seen SLP or AMOUR, but I’m guessing AMOUR’s a downer and SLP is not. LES MIS isn’t a happy ending but I don’t think they people who liked it noticed. I don’t know how the LIFE OF PI people view that because to me the ending was a chose your own adventure situation. DJANGO was uplifting for people but probably not enough people. BEASTS was um, I’ll say happy. ZDT, nope. ARGO, you betcha. LINCOLN? People were definitely moved but I’m not sure if it was up or down.

    And then you have to go with how much the movies stay with you. I think DJANGO, BEASTS, and LES MIS do that. They all have what I’d consider happy endings. So I’d say they might go into first place if people vote their hearts. But if they go with buzz or stats or what they think they should do, then who knows? But I doubt that they’ll do that.

  49. Scott
    January 16, 2013

    I liked Point Break…and The Loveless and Strange Days and Near Dark and even Blue Steel and they are all a part of the reason I appreciate Kathryn Bigelow as a director. I’m very glad she won an Oscar and wish she’d been nominated this year. Whacked year for sure. I appreciate the clarity and style of her direction even when the script may be lacking. She creates a force in her story telling that is so clean…plus she’s got a knack for shooting cool legible violence which I don’t see many female (or even male) directors accomplishing.

  50. Akumax
    January 16, 2013

    Ang Lee made 6 films during the last 10 years, it is more than one or two per decade:

    Hulk, 2003 – Personal take on a genre, in my opinion the best Hulk in Cinema.
    Brokeback Mountain, 2005 – Masterpiece Golden Lion – 3 Oscars and dozens of other awards.
    Lust, Caution 2007 – brave great film that won the Golden Lion ( Ang Lee again 2 win in 3 years!)
    Taking Woodstock 2009 Very Good
    Life of Pi 2012 Masterpiece.

  51. Edkargir
    January 16, 2013

    Chariots of fire is the worst best picture winner in Oscar history. I even hate the music.

  52. Edkargir
    January 16, 2013

    Do the right thing was the best film of 1989.

  53. Bryce Forestieri
    January 16, 2013

    OT: Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno. Could he be back in the game? Brian de Palma hasn’t been on point in a log time, but it could happen. The story is hella dark and the part is meaty as fuck.

  54. menyc
    January 16, 2013

    Here is to many more freak years…

  55. Jess4Linc
    January 16, 2013

    Its interesting how the race is unfolding. Based on voting by Goldderby.com so called experts and editors If the race was held today and their so call experts had it right in all the categories….

    Lincoln………………….. would win 6 OSCARS that includes best pic, actor, sup. actor and screenplay, score, and DIRECTOR.

    Zero Dark Thirty……….would win 4 OSCARS … Film editing, Actress, sound editing and Screenplay.

    Les Miserables…………would win 4 OSCARS …. Sound mixing, Makeup, production design, and sup. actress.

    Life of Pi………………….would win 2 OSCARS ….. Cinematography and Visual Effects.

    Silver Lining Playbook….would win 0 Oscars….

    Argo………………..would win 0 Oscars..

    I just can’t see “Argo” or “SLP” not winning any awards. Surely there will be a surprise somewhere.

  56. Jerry Grant
    January 16, 2013

    “Do the Right Thing” not being nominated for Oscars is one of the worst embarrassments in Oscar history.

  57. phantom
    January 16, 2013

    OT : The Sundance Film Festival starts today and considering last year’s breakout hits received key nominations (Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Sessions), I think it might be worth taking a quick look at this year’s lineup and potential breakout films, performances:

    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    Kill your darlings
    Before Midnight
    The Look of Love
    Two Mothers
    The Way, Way Back
    The East

    Rooney Mara (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints)
    Mia Wasikowska (Stoker)
    Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace)
    Rosemarie Dewitt (Touchy Feely)
    Naomi Watts (Two Mothers)
    Robin Wright (Two Mothers)
    Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher)
    Ellen Page (The East)

    Casey Affleck (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints)
    Steve Coogan (The Look of Love)
    Liam James (The Way, Way Back)

    Nicole Kidman (Stoker)
    Ellen Page (Touchy Feely)
    Elizabeth Olsen (Kill your darlings)
    Brit Marling (The East)

    Peter Sarsgard (Lovelace)
    Jack Huston (Kill your darlings)
    Daniel Radcliffe (Kill your darlings)
    Ben Foster (Kill your darlings)
    Will Brittain (A Teacher)
    Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back)
    Steve Carell (The Way, Way Back)
    Alexander Skarsgard (The East)

    Before Midnight
    Touchy Feely
    Kill your darlings
    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    Two Mothers
    A Teacher
    The Way, Way Back
    The Spectacular Now
    The East

    I think Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, The Way Way Back, The East have great potential and seeing how well received the previous one was, Before Midnight could be a player, too. OK, thread-hijacking over.

  58. Jerry Grant
    January 16, 2013

    @Jess4Linc: I think many of those are likely, and no wins for “Argo” or “SLP” is not so ridiculous a prospect. I would propose “Amour” stealing two Oscars from ZDT, though: Actress and Original Screenplay.

  59. Archie
    January 16, 2013

    Because Affleck and Bigelow not being nominated for Oscar directors, Steven Spielberg will take the Oscar instead. Had those two been nominated, there’s no way in hell Spielberg will win. They are Spielberg’s main competitors – it is actually between Bigelow and Affleck for the Oscar but alas and boohoo to the Academy, they were snubbed. Same goes for the Best Film, the race comes down now between Zero Dark Thirty and Argo – leaning towards Argo. The probability is high for a ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ repeat. It just pisses me off Bigelow and Affleck did not get nominated. Otherwise there won’t be a split.

  60. Joseph
    January 16, 2013

    If Argo wins Best Picture, it’ll probably only win one other Oscar – editing. How bizarre indeed.

  61. Astarisborn
    January 16, 2013

    @steve50, I like your critiquing style and I’m right with you.
    “For Life of Pi to be viable, it must take the DGA and/or the PGA, so it looks like I have a full, two week regimen of chanting, candle-lighting and dancing naked around bonfires on my mountain top to try and make that happen.”
    I have seen all nomonees except amour, and by far Pi left a lasting impression of elated joy to all of my senses like no other film has this year.
    A DGA or PGA win would validate that Sharma and Khan were ignored for their mesmerizing convincing performances that complement the films eloquent beauty.

  62. unlikely hood
    January 16, 2013

    1989 not only had the films you mention, but also Sex Lies and Videotape, the $1 million indie that grossed $25 million and put two institutions on the map…Sundance and Miramax. Not insignificant, but not the stuff of Oscar legend either.

    You guys are missing two words: Skew Old.

    If you look at the commonality of Sasha’s seven examples, you can usually see why old people would prefer the upset winner over the favorite. Rarely is it because of starring actual old people, though clearly Driving Miss Daisy counts, as does Million$Baby, a film that barely grazed any of the precursors on its way to Best Picture.

    More often, it’s nostalgia, or just a sense that the film “doesn’t make any sudden movements,” as Joe Klein is constantly calling Obama’s mantra as a politician. (Klein says that Obama learned how to be a non-threatening black man – no sudden movements.)

    No doubt homophobia had something to do with BBM losing to Crash. But I think just looking at the poster, you have these 2 good-looking whippersnappers – when have the Oscars ever rewarded that? There’s a longstanding bias against young good-looking men, which is why Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt have each been nominated maybe 2x instead of 8 times. Crash was more like the ensemble films of old, the DeMille films etc. And it didn’t make any sudden movements like Jack and Ennis in the tent.

    The Pianist was a WW2 film, and Chicago was a musical – beloved genres from the 40s and 50s and 60s. Gangs of NY was – what the hell? A similar dynamic struck Apollo 13, which theoretically should have appealed to boomer nostalgia – yet it lost not because of its story, but its genre – it wasn’t anything familiar. Braveheart seemed closer to the DeMille/Lean stories of old. And of course, so was Gladiator, or even better than a lot of them. Certainly CTHD and Traffic were nothing like anything familiar.

    Reds was in the wheelhouse – biopic, epic, like Lawrence of Arabia – but I think it was just a little too bloated and stridently liberal. Too many sudden movements. Chariots of Fire was vanilla ice cream on a plain cone. Still that was shocking. Maybe they were trying to make up for Carter boycotting the Olympics.

    The only one of Sasha’s 7 that I can’t really explain with nostalgia/old person-ness is SPR v. SIL. I mean, what the hell was that? Beware the power of Harvey.

    Anyway, all this bodes well for Lincoln. Biopic, no sudden movements. You can’t say that about the middle-east films or the unfamiliar-type Life of Pi. Harvey lingers though…scary.

  63. Jerry Grant
    January 16, 2013

    I agree Suraj Sharma was excellent in Pi, and was disappointed that he was never even mentioned as a prospect for lead actor. He’s barely mentioned in general. But he carries the movie on his shoulders.

  64. January 16, 2013

    Let’s think.

    1952. TGSOE winning over High Noon… WTF????!!!!! And Singing in the Rain out of BP. The whole insane thing is very old….

    1956. ATWI80D winning over Giant. Is it possible? I can’t imagine how, but it was.

    1976. That Rocky – so loved by almost everybody, a thing I’ll never understand- winning over All the President’s Man and Network. Pfffff!!!!!

    1981. Reds is one of my fave movie in all times. Top 20. My second choice was On Golden Pond. Charriots was a great shock! The 2 frontrunners losing BP. It looks like 1951, when 2 frontrunners A Steetcar Named Desire and A Place in the Sun also lose for An American in Paris.

    1995. That piece of shit Braveheart winning over Apolo 13 and Sense and
    Sensibility is a shame nobody will never forget.

    2000. Great movies – Wonder Boys, Almost Famous, Billy Eliot- out of BP race. The best, CTHD, is in foreign language. Weirdo hear. Gladiator doesn’t deserves wim BP, but eas the only choice.

    2005. Brokeback Mountain Losing BP for its gay theme. And the worst movie winning, that Trash. A shame nobody will never forget!!!

    2010. The Social Network losing for that burocratic BBC movie,The Kings Speech. A shame nobody will never forget…

    I think it’s the worst in all times…
    Oh fool and dumb Academy…

  65. Bball_Jake
    January 16, 2013

    Argo doesn’t deserve best picture. Out of the nominees, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, or Les Miserables deserves it. If anything else wins, the Oscars really don’t know what theyre doin.

  66. Gabriel
    January 16, 2013

    Nice article, Sasha, but a little correction: Braveheart won the Oscar for Sound Effects, not Visual Effects.

  67. January 16, 2013

    Thanks, Gabriel. Added that note.

  68. David Lindsey
    January 16, 2013

    By this point, we usually have a pretty clear idea what is going to win. Not so this year. I keep going over it all in my head, and can see a scenario where 7 out of 9 best pic nominees could win, and aside from Hathaway, Day Lewis, and SKYFALL for Song, none of the other categories seem settled either. Most perplexing is supporting actor. NEVER BEFORE have all 5 nominees been also previous winners. Whoever wins this category it will be a surprise.

  69. rufussondheim
    January 16, 2013

    I still have a lot of animosity for Braveheart beating Babe.

  70. Edkargir
    January 16, 2013

    1995 Leaving Las Vegas only film to win both Ny Film and LA film critics award and not be nominated for bp.

  71. jess4Linc
    January 16, 2013

    What is more interesting is that the so call experts over at MovieCityNews also give most of their Awards to “Lincoln” with one to SLP, Life of Pi, and one to Les Mes….Argo and ZDT get zero wins.

  72. Greg
    January 16, 2013

    “The highlight of the awards season for Lincoln thus far has been the win at the North Texas Film Critics Association.”

    Not true. Lincoln won Best Picture at the Dallas Film Critics awards. It has also won 20 best actor awards and 9 Best Adapted Screenplay awards (most in the adapted screenplay section).

  73. Greg
    January 16, 2013

    I am hoping to see some real competition this season. Most of the Best Picture races have been rather predictable. The Artist, The King’s Speech, Hurt Locker, Slumdog, and No Country were utterly obvious.

  74. unlikely hood
    January 16, 2013

    1995 was an odd year, for several reasons. Too bad this site wasn’t around then, the ground game would have been fun to read.

    The internet and independent film were both popping. Everyone in Hollywood was getting their first email addresses and cell phones. The year before, Pulp Fiction’s BP nom, screenplay win, and $100 million tally set off a gold rush – Sony, Universal, Warners, all rushed to set up their own indie labels. Meanwhile Miramax wouldn’t be left behind and sold itself to Disney to stop begging for distribution. Disney, as it happened, was flourishing, coming off its arguably best and inarguably highest-earning film ever, The Lion King, another big hit in Pocahontas, and what looked like a smart decision to contract the first computer-animated feature, megahit Toy Story.

    Oddly, in 1995 the Oscars turned away from all this. No Sundance-ish indies, no cartoons, no TECH…in fact, the only contemporary film to be nominated for BP was a fairy tale about a talking pig. Very easily, they could have nominated Dead Man Walking and/or Leaving Las Vegas, but instead they went wandering for their comfort food – period dramas – Apollo 13, Braveheart, Sense and Sensibility, and Il Postino in addition to Babe.

    If something feels missing in that lineup, it may be the traditional feeling of white-man absolution that Best Pictures up to that point often implied. Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, Dances With Wolves, Driving Miss Daisy, Unforgiven (forget the title, read the opening and closing titles) – these films implied historical reconciliation, an assuaging of guilt, an unvarnished affirmation of white-man humanity in the historical wilderness. Silence of the Lambs was the outlier – but it didn’t really have to beat back such a film either, it only had to beat a selfish gangster (Bugsy) and a legal crusader (in JFK).

    Without white guilt to assuage, what would the Academy do? Apollo 13 ticked a lot of the boxes – it might have won had it been called Apollo 11. But I mean, were these heroes for the ages? They just got themselves out of their self-imposed tricky situation. Perhaps Ron Howard had to be punished for coming from TV; perhaps Tom Hanks couldn’t win 2 Best Pictures in a row after winning 2 Best Actor Oscars in a row. Il Postino and Babe were obviously too eccentric for older voters – they had no precedent for such votes. Really, Sense and Sensibility was the obvious choice, but I have to think that somewhere between the Asian director and the gynocentric story, the Ernest Borgnine contingent lost interest.

    On one of those podcasts, someone – Craig Kennedy? – told Sasha that 1995 was the year of the videotape, the first time that studios really spread screener tapes all over Hollywood. That may be, but are we supposed to believe that’s why Braveheart won? Braveheart and Apollo 13 were both summer releases, but I’d argue that Braveheart plays (even) worse on video. After the nominations, Braveheart had another run in theaters – that’s when I saw it for the first time, March 1996 – and that was the push that really helped it. In the end, the Borgnine group found an old white man they could love, even if he did paint half his face blue.

  75. Moviescale
    January 16, 2013

    I don’t know why people here have whishthinking….it is very clear that Argo will get best picture on Oscars night….it is not my favorite, but since they backlashed ZD30, they will give it to an alternate one which is Argo. This year is similar to Crach vs. Brokeback Mountain which represents ZD30 this year. I do believe that ZD30 is the best movie in the last 10 years, but it won’t win. Yes Argo will win without a director nom. very obvious.

    If you think that Jeniffer Lawrence will win best actress for that light comeday performance which was supporting to a male, then you don’t know anything about best actress race, go ask Benette in “the kids are alright” who was even due that year for an award.

    Jessica Chastain will walk with the oscar whether you like it or not, drama, big role, carried the movie on her shoulder, a major transformation and she made it look so real. she wore wigs, veils “muslim hijab” and stuff…she’s american and young, and has it factor…..it is Chastains`s to lose.

  76. alan of montreal
    January 16, 2013

    Not sure if anyone’s posted this already (and I’m not going through all the fora to find out), but here’s the list of nominees (well, a select list–you have to download a pdf to get the complete list) for the Canadian Screen Awards (formerly both the Genie and Gemini awards, but they decided to combine both film and TV into one awards event, likely due to budgetary concerns): http://www.academy.ca/awards/nominees.cfm

  77. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Let me correct myself, Ang Lee makes only one or two truly great, memorable, widely seen and appreciated films per decade. No disrespect intended since he is one of our most versatile and talented filmmakers working today. It’s just that, next to Spielberg’s long, timeless, and still relevant career, he doesn’t compare.

    1995 is an interesting year, but I’m not surprised that Braveheart won, given the benefit of hindsight bias. It was the (1) epic (2) that struck a nerve with the public. I’m surprised to learn that Apollo 13 made $100 million more domestically, but then with Tom Hanks and outer space, it was more mainstream. Yet Braveheart is the film that touches more people. Apollo 13 (which I prefer) is more of a thriller than anything else, and was probably respected more than loved. That it won the SAG seems like a fluke today, though the fact that it didn’t win more than two technical Oscars also seems a bit surprising.

    If 1995 allowed more than 5 nominees, Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, The Usual Suspects, and Toy Story most certainly would have been nominated. Maybe something random but less aloof like The Bridges of Madison County would have gotten in at 10th, or maybe Mighty Aphrodite.

    Unfortunately, the most optimistic movie in this year’s lineup is Silver Linings, which might push it ahead of its more challenging competition.

  78. The Japanese Viewer
    January 16, 2013

    “Steven Soderbergh had two movies in the race, Erin Brockovich and Traffic. Voters kept splitting his vote and he didn’t win anything so Academy people sent around messages to each other saying they should align around Traffic.”

    Thank you for confirming what I’ve been suspecting. That being the case, it was absolutely *unfair to, to me/I presume, Ang Lee. I, as someone from Asian culture where the likes of CTHD in general are commonplace, think CTHD was relatively a bit overrated in both Anglophone moviegoers and critics’ worlds but at least what they (the voters) could have done including the BD nom category was to let the nature take its course…. (*I am not naïve enough not to see the conspiracy take place, but still…) Anyway, I love all the BP noms that year even though, if my mem serves, I was kind of disappointed when Almost Famous had been left off the list.

    And Miss Daisy deserved to win. In my humble opinion, there was something in Fourth of July a la the Aviator that simply took away a chance to win. [Not to be self-important, but for many of us who’ve been around in this race for so long, we simply felt it coming, true in the end of not.] Simply put, Miss Daisy, as well as Million Dollar Baby, deserved to win BP (in my opinion).

    Thanks for a good read, Sasha.

  79. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Born on the Fourth of July wasn’t that good. So typical of the Academy to have a strong plate of films to choose from and then nominate 5 of the safest choices and choose the blandest of them all, even with the element of race relations. OMG, The King’s Speech is the new Driving Miss Daisy.

  80. christiannnw
    January 16, 2013

    Ooh this year is so exciting. Even though I’m not thrilled with every single nominee (*cough Silver Linings and Les Mis cough*), this year’s Best Picture slate is teeming with such diversity; that two of my favorite films from last year, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln”, are included seals the deal. And I love the tizzy Ben Affleck’s exclusion (not a “snub”, jeesh) from the Best Director category and his film’s subsequent wins at the Critics Choice and Golden Globes, and it will be interesting to see if this has any impact on the season’s proceedings.

    I also want to contribute something to the Best Actress exchange above: Jessica Chastain will win the SAG Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and the Oscar after. ZD30′s lack of an ensemble nomination might seem like an indication of weakness, but the film isn’t that much off an ensemble piece to begin with; all of the players may be excellent, but Chastain ultimately epitomizes the uncertainty and obsessiveness that pervades so much of the film. I also have a difficult time imagining a group full of working actors (especially younger ones) not being taken by her work ethic and professionalism in addition to the exceptional resume she has constructed these past few years. If the guild could recognize Viola Davis with an award for practically the same reasons, I see no reason why they can’t reward Chastain. And Jennifer Lawrence might’ve needed Watts to surprise at the Globes to diminish Chastain’s momentum.

    And why I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence can win the SAG Award: hasn’t been around long enough, role not “weighty” enough, and prognosticators taking her popularity too much into consideration when predicting her to win everything. It may be easy to invoke the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Cher, or Gwyneth Paltrow as reference points, but these performances had advantages over their competitors that Lawrence simply does not; Reese played a real life person and sang for the part, Cher had a long musical career plus one previous nomination, and Gwyneth got to go nude, sported a nice british accent, and was starring in a DEFINITIVE Best Picture frontrunner. Comparatively, Lawrence got to prance around in skintight solows that accentuated her (admittedly) attractive physique and confess her harlotry in the world’s most generic diner. Such qualities doth not make a winning Best Actress character. (P.S. I like Lawrence’s portrayal of Tiffany a lot, but it’s still not Leading Role caliber stuff).

    A well-deserved win for Daniel Day-Lewis seems like a certainty at this point, but i’m not quite sure about the supporting categories. Hathaway is certainly the frontrunner right now, but a Sally Field or Jacki Weaver win on Oscar night could be a certain sign of either of their film’s Best Picture wins. Supporting Actor reads as a total mess based on the stats, but I’m just predicting Tommy Lee Jones because his character is easy to root for. Too tired to think beyond that!

    Current Predictions
    Picture: Lincoln
    Director: Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
    Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
    Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
    Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
    Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserable)
    Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke (Amour)
    Adapted Acreenplay: Tony Kushner (Lincoln)

  81. Zach
    January 16, 2013

    @christiannnw, you make good points about the strikes against JLaw, but I wouldn’t be so sure about the SAG wanting to reward the actress who’s been in every movie. These are the people who ignored Julianne Moore in both categories in 2002 for a chance to award both stars of Chicago, one of whom didn’t even win that year. These same people went with Christopher Walken over Chris Cooper, and Johnny Depp over Sean Penn when the latter was obviously winning the Oscar. Often they go with the populist choice over the best performance or the pragmatic, “actor’s actor” pick. You’d think the working actors would be more inclined to support the Adrien Brodys and Tilda Swintons and such, but that hasn’t been the case. They go with who they know and what they like (one telling exception being actor’s actor Paul Giamatti beating movie star/triumvirate George Clooney). The Academy that rectifies it, sometimes not.

  82. daveinprogress
    January 16, 2013

    The 1981 example resonates most with me for this season. The ‘Reds’ – ‘Lincoln’ parallel and ‘Chariots of Fire’ being ‘Pi’ or ‘Argo’. Reds was stolid and beautifully made, but dense and heavy. Although Beatty for the 2nd time acheived 4 personal nods in one year for Producer/Director/Writer/Star, and still won Director for Reds, the Academy only bestowed 3 of its 12. Was it too much of a history lesson? Will Lincoln’s Oscar fate be the same? Will it lose to something smaller and less talky? I’m not sure. BAFTA’s oversight of Spielberg this year is curious and its failure at the Globes makes me unsure now about Lincoln’s ability to win both BP & BD.

    The ‘Amour’ presence feels strangely sentimental and akin to The ‘On Golden Pond’ dominance back then. Although AMPAS owes Riva nothing, they owed Henry Fonda big time, but they didn’t owe Hepburn a 4th in a year filled with great leading Ladies – Marsha Mason, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon. The themes of twilight years and dying must be resonant to a high per centage of members at any point in time – isn’t the average age of the voting body 64 or something like that? They may have already been through it with their parents or watched other Academy members fade. That double Oscar win for On Golden Pond’s leads was sentimental to the hilt. If enough people feel that neither Lawrence nor Chastain are deserving yet of the honour, and Watts gets lost in the mix, rewarding the 85 year old for the much loved French film may assuage that nostalgia and sentiment.

    Potential 3rd Oscars this year for Daniel Day Lewis, Robert deNiro, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field are highly likely considering Katharine Hepburn’s 4th back in 81 and Streep’s 3rd last year, although that was a long time coming.

    One more link between 2012 and 1981 is that Silver Linings is the firat film since Reds in 1981 to have all 4 acting nods. Maureen Stapleton theonly winner for Reds, my guess is Robert DeNiro could be the only winner for SLP. If the decision gets too tough for voters on 5 previous Oscar winners – i say give it to the ‘other’ greatest actor of his generation. Daniel Day Lewis virtually a generation behind DeNiro, will undoubtedly win this year too.

    Chariots of Fire along with a handful of other films since, won only 4 Oscars incl Best Picture, only Crash with 3 has scored lower since. Another split year.

    Anything is possible this year.

  83. daveinprogress
    January 16, 2013

    I’d better correct myself before I am slammed for naming Amour a French film. Austria’s entry into the Academy Awards.

  84. christiannnw
    January 16, 2013

    @Zach, points definitely taken. I’d like to think of last years group of SAG refreshingly eclectic winners as a possible shift in the guild’s choices (a french actor in a black and white silent film, two african american actresses portraying civil rights-era maids in two totally contrasting ways, Captain Georg von Trapp’s nascent homosexuality emerges in old age). Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part as a young artist. since I’d like to think professionals judge the work and the work alone. I may be kidding myself, but I do think Chastain is the frontrunner right now. Agh!

    Or one of the other three actresses could win, a la Adrien Brody or Marcia Gay Harden. A win for Emmanuelle Riva would be lovely.

  85. The Zach
    January 16, 2013

    Don’t forget that “Wings” at the 1st Academy Awards wasn’t nominated for director either.

    So that’s 3 out of 85 years.

  86. Someone
    January 16, 2013

    Well, actually: if ARGO wins it would be the FOURTH best picture winner without best director nomination, not the second. The previous three were “The Wings” (1927/1928), “Grand Hotel” (1931/1932 – “Grand Hotel” had only ONE NOMINATION – for best picture and nothing else – but it still won) and “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989).

  87. Someone
    January 16, 2013

    “For only the second time in their history, the Oscars have more than five Best Picture nominees but not an even ten.” The previous years when it was true were: 1931/1932 (8 nominations) and 2011 (9 nominations) so this is the third time in their history.

    “For Silver Linings Playbook to win it would have to be the second film in 65 years of DGA/Oscar history to win without a DGA nomination” Actually, the previous winners without DGA nominations were: “An American in Paris” and “Driving Miss Daisy” (and I’m not sure if you should count “Hamlet” also – I don’t know if it was eligible for DGA in its first year, though it was not nominated for DGA) – so “SLP” would be the 3rd or maybe even the 4th picture to win without DGA nomination.

  88. VN
    January 16, 2013

    There’s a big difference with Driving Miss Daisy and Argo. Miss Daisy was leading the pack that year with 9 nominations. In second place was Born in 4th July with 8 and the rest of the nomi nominees were between 3 and 5. It was the frontrunner by number and nominations and the Beresford snub was not the only one in the best director cathegory. It also showed a strong support with 3 nominations by the actors branch. Argo has a film like Lincoln with 5 more nominations including one for director and two more for acting. It’s also a movie that did pretty much better at the box office than Argo.

    I think this whole Critics Choice/Globes Argo momentum is just a feeling coming from pre-nominations morning. The Academy had showed its own frontrunner (Lincoln) and it will be confirmed when the DGA and the PGA comes.

  89. Sammy
    January 17, 2013

    I can see that Lincoln will be getting the PGA award later this month. Ang Lee is my favorite for the DGA win. SLP can win over Lincoln come SAG ensemble. So the guilds will not tell us more heading into the oscar night.

  90. Deniz
    January 17, 2013

    Seriously, nothing can beat Crash winning. A pure garbage film that didn’t win DGA, BAFTA, PGA, BFCA, Globes but then went on to win Best Picture: What a shock, what a travesty. It was an all time low for Oscars. No matter what happens this year, we can always look at Crash and feel good about this year.

  91. Sammy
    January 17, 2013

    Let’s be frank. Argo is an overrated movie. It has a American feel good story in it and that is all. Acting, directing – nothing is special in it.

  92. deniz
    January 17, 2013

    @Sammy I agree completely. The acting was actually mediocre. Arkin’s nomination is a joke and I’m glad Affleck didn’t get in. Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Life of Pi etc. were all much better.

  93. rufussondheim
    January 17, 2013

    I love that category “Visually Striking Film of the Year”

    A film could win for so many reasons – Life of Pi, last year I would have given it to The Tree of Life. Films can be visually striking for so many reasons, and this is great way to throw them all together to compare.

  94. John
    January 17, 2013

    I may becoletley wrong and it’s very ally,butthisis what I feel now:
    or: [I may be completely wrong and it’s very early, but this is what I feel now:]

    Picture – Lincoln, I still have faith that this will get more votes than Argo and SLP. I can think of many scenarios where it wins and where it loses.
    Director – Spielberg, with Ang Lee close behind.
    Actor – DDL
    Actress – Chastain, I think a lot of people like her, there’s such goodwill from last year, and I think she may be Zeros only win to rally behind. That said, Lawrence isLawrence and she has Harvey. And Riva is such a strong story that I could just see her winning in a lovely surprise.
    Supp. Actor – Deniro. Because I think it may be SLP only win and there isn’t enough love for Arkin or PSH. harveycould get him over the finish line.
    Supp. Actress – Hathaway.
    Original – Amour
    Adapted – Lincoln
    Editing – Argo, could be its only win,or one of a few.
    Cinematography – Life of Pi
    Art D – Anna Karenina
    Costume – Anna Karenina
    Makeup – Les Miserables
    Sounds – Skyfall
    Score – Life of Pi
    Song – Skyfall
    Effects – Life of Pi
    Animated – Frankenweeinie, maybe
    Foreign – Amour

  95. John
    January 17, 2013

    Ugh, “be completely wrong and it’s very early, but”

    That’s what that should have read above in my first line

  96. Someone
    January 17, 2013

    IMO Affleck didn’t deserve the nomination. Simply. All nominated directors deserve it far more than him. He won BFCA and the Globe not because he was better – but because HFPA and BFCA thought that he will win the Academy Award. And they wanted to foresee it.
    Maybe DGA won’t have desire to reward Spielberg for the 4th time or Lee for the 3rd time (as for now – no one has won DGA more than 2 times, except Spielberg) – and then they might still choose Hooper or Affleck (Bigelow is the least possible now, I suppose). But I hope they reward Lee. IMO – he simply deserves it. As well as – the Academy Award this year (and he won’t win Oscar if he won’t win DGA, I suppose).

  97. Tero Heikkinen
    January 17, 2013

    Would be fun to talk about all these things here, but my computer died last week – I’m laptopless. Well, I’m on it. Maybe next week this’ been sorted out.

    I can still surf internet with my Blu-ray player, but typing with a remote control would be too exhausting and frustrating.

  98. January 17, 2013

    My prediction here and now is that we have a second Annie Hall year. Easily my favorite film of the bunch is Silver Linings Playbook, and the Academy obviously loves it: it received an acting nomination in every category, and it received an unexpected Director nomination for Russell. Why? Because it’s GREAT. If Silver Linings gets the SAG ensemble, I can’t imagine there will be anything stopping it. Especially with Harvey involves. My prediction here and now? Both Director AND Picture go to Silver Linings Playbook!

  99. keifer
    January 17, 2013

    Brian Rowe: I agree with you about SLP and an Annie Hall-type sweep (see my comment above).

    And, lest we forget, SLP also has that all important “Best Film Editing” nomination as well. A movie can’t win Best Picture without at least obtaining a nomination for film editing.

    And SLP’s editing nomination was a surprise as well – totally unexpected – beating out (worthier) editors for Skyfall, Lawless, Snow White and the Huntsman, et al.

    I think it may be the year when the Academy “lightens up”.

    Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

  100. keifer
    January 17, 2013

    Isn’t “visually striking film of the year” redundant?

    That element of a film should already be covered under the “Best Cinematography” Oscar.

  101. Fábregas
    January 17, 2013

    Didn’t Grand Hotel win picture without a best director nomination in 1931? I think Argo will be the third, not the second.

  102. Greg
    January 17, 2013

    Here’s the problem with comparing Argo to Daisy:

    Daisy wasn’t nominated for a DGA and Best Director Globe. Argo on the other hand was nominated for a DGA and won for Best Director at the Globes, and didn’t see any leading performance Oscar nods.

    If Argo were to win, it would set its own precedent.

  103. Robert
    January 17, 2013

    In 1989, it was a very big deal that Driving Miss Daisy had made so much money while costing so little and being about an old woman. There were news articles about it–Hollywood was amazed, etc, etc, and my friends who worked in the film industry were all talking about it as well. Although people respected Born on the Fourth of July, people loved Daisy. The film they feel passionate about wins over the one that’s respected.

    I was not surprised in 1981 that Chariots of Fire won, and 30+ years later I feel the same way. Reds was respected, Chariots was loved (it really took off after debuting in the US at the NY Film Festival). Everyone I knew adored it and saw it multiple times, as did I. Passionate about vs. respected. I’ve recently seen both Reds and Chariots again, and I felt (sadly) that Reds didn’t hold up at all (it felt long and inconsequential), while Chariots was as wonderful as I remembered it.

    I also expected Shakespeare in Love to win in 1998. It’s a wonderful movie about actors putting on a show. How could the acting branch not love that? Private Ryan has a brilliant opening 30 minutes and a brilliant closing 30 minutes, but what’s in the middle is rather pedestrian.

    I remain astonished that Apollo 13 lost to the excrement that is Braveheart. Apollo 13 looked and felt like a Best Picture–big subject matter, beautifully done, a feel of epic film making to it. But I’ve met many people who love Braveheart.

    So for this year, I can’t figure out which is the movie that is loved vs. the respected one. For me, I’m with Sasha–I love Lincoln the most this year–LOVE it. Have seen it 3 times and it’s better each time. Do all those nominations mean it’s the one the Academy loves the most?

    I just saw Zero Dark Thirty. I don’t understand the love for Jessica Chastain’s performance. I thought she was ok, but it certainly didn’t feel like an Oscar winning performance.

  104. rufussondheim
    January 17, 2013

    If SLP were to win and people were to start comparing it to Annie Hall, I would probably shit myself.


    I would vote Skyfall as the Best Cinematography this year, but I would give Visually Striking to Life of Pi, so, no, I don’t think they are the same.

  105. Tim H
    January 17, 2013

    An interesting tidbit:

    Joining Ben Affleck on the very (very) short list of directors who won the Globe but were snubbed by the Academy are three other actor/directors. Paul Newman (Rachel, Rachel) Clint Eastwood (Bird) and Barbra Streisand (Yentl) All won the Director Globe but did not make Oscar’s final five.

  106. January 18, 2013

    Am I remembering correctly that all of the academy members vote on every category for the Oscars? Directors nominate directors etc. … but in voting for a winner, aren’t everybody voting?

    If so, then a SAG win would be huge for a film. I’m not giving up for Argo, but I think it’s unlikely. It’s probably my favorite among the nominees, yet I do love Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. Lincoln is the most predictable winner, I think, and today it seems that no one can beat that film. However, could the “sympathy discussion” surrounding Ben Affleck missing out on a director nomination hurt the film’s chances or increase them? And with George Clooney producing … the film has strong chances.

    But if I was a betting man, I would arrange these three as the most likely winners. I do not believe Life of Pi or Les Miserables can pull off a victory.

    1. Lincoln
    2. Silver Linings Playbook
    3. Argo

    Of course my choice of best and favorite films didn’t make it this year, but these three are all deserving, although I would probably be the happiest in seeing Argo winning.

  107. Sammy
    January 18, 2013

    SAG ensemble is not a very important thing come oscar race. Last year’s winner The Help did nothing at the oscars. It did not even have director and screenplay nominations.

    SLP: The Fighter also had a best editing nod and it only won two acting awards. Plus last year’s editing winner Dragon Tattoo was not even nominated for BP. It is purely a technical category like cinematography – nothing more than that. A movie without a best editing nod can well win BD and BP.

  108. Paul Voorhies
    March 5, 2013

    Random question from the 2002 Oscars. If 7-10 nominees for Best Pic then, do you think that Far From Heaven would have made the cut?? I LOVE that movie, and, in particular, Julianne Moore’s performance. She nearly swept the critics’ awards that year, and I think she should have won The Oscar. Of course, NicKid was more popular so…….

    What do you all think??

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